Monday, April 02, 2007

Climate Science Iconoclasts - Bless 'em All

I stumbled across a blog tonight hosted by Roger A. Pielke Sr., PhD.
Dr. Pielke has the following credentials:
Senior Research Scientist in CIRES and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Colorado-Boulder in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. His entire impressive CV.
Dr. Pielke and his research group have a blog that is committed to eliminating the noise in the debate and to provide a forum for unbiased exchange of information related to climate science.
This is the first time I think in many years, that someone who is simply trying to apply discipline to an area of science was seen as a rebel.
The content of his blog is impressive and incredibly (academically) destructive to the approach taken by the IPCC.
Here is a summary of his group's conclusions (with volumes of discussion and support on his blog):
  1. The needed focus for the study of climate change and variability is on the regional and local scales. Global and zonally-averaged climate metrics would only be important to the extent that they provide useful information on these space scales.
  2. Global and zonally-averaged surface temperature trend assessments, besides having major difficulties in terms of how this metric is diagnosed and analyzed, do not provide significant information on climate change and variability on the regional and local scales.
  3. Global warming is not equivalent to climate change. Significant, societally important climate change, due to both natural- and human- climate forcings, can occur without any global warming or cooling.
  4. The spatial pattern of ocean heat content change is the appropriate metric to assess climate system heat changes including global warming.
  5. In terms of climate change and variability on the regional and local scale, the IPCC Reports, the CCSP Report on surface and tropospheric temperature trends, and the U.S. National Assessment have overstated the role of the radiative effect of the anthropogenic increase of CO2 relative to the role of the diversity of other human climate climate forcing on global warming, and more generally, on climate variability and change.
  6. Global and regional climate models have not demonstrated skill at predicting regional and local climate change and variability on multi-decadal time scales.
  7. Attempts to significantly influence regional and local-scale climate based on controlling CO2 emissions alone is an inadequate policy for this purpose.
  8. A vulnerability paradigm, focused on regional and local societal and environmental resources of importance, is a more inclusive, useful, and scientifically robust framework to interact with policymakers, than is the focus on global multi-decadal climate predictions which are downscaled to the regional and local scales. The vulnerability paradigm permits the evaluation of the entire spectrum of risks associated with different social and environmental threats, including climate variability and change.
  9. Humans are significantly altering the global climate, but in a variety of diverse ways beyond the radiative effect of carbon dioxide. The IPCC assessments have been too conservative in recognizing the importance of these human climate forcings as they alter regional and global climate. These assessments have also not communicated the inability of the models to accurately forecast the spread of possibilities of future climate. The forecasts, therefore, do not provide any skill in quantifying the impact of different mitigation strategies on the actual climate response that would occur.

No comments: