Cherry Pick Update: How Dumb are These People?

December 14, 2012

Cherry Pick Update: Australian Radio interviewed the author (there’s an exotic concept) of the “game changing” out-of-context leak from the upcoming IPCC report.  Does this pattern look familiar?


MARK COLVIN: A blogger has put most of the drafts of the fifth International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, due next year, on the internet.

The blogger Alec Rawls is a climate change sceptic.

He and other climate sceptic journalists and bloggers have isolated one section of the draft to suggest that cosmic rays, such as those of the sun, may have a greater influence on warming than had been claimed.

The leaked IPCC drafts cover a range of subjects from the quality of climate models to measurements of sea level rise and Arctic ice loss.

Professor Steve Sherwood is a director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

He is also a lead author of chapter seven of the IPCC report, which happens to be the one the sceptics are claiming for their side.

But Professor Sherwood is scornful of the idea that the chapter he helped write confirms a greater role for solar and other cosmic rays in global warming.

STEVE SHERWOOD: Oh that’s completely ridiculous. I’m sure you could go and read those paragraphs yourself and the summary of it and see that we conclude exactly the opposite, that this cosmic ray effect that the paragraph is discussing appears to be negligible.

MARK COLVIN: They’re saying that it is the first indication that the IPCC recognises something called solar forcing.

STEVE SHERWOOD: It’s not the first time it recognises it. What it shows is that we looked at this. We look at everything. The IPCC has a very comprehensive process where we try to look at all the influences on climate and so we looked at this one.

And there have been a couple of papers suggesting that solar forcing affects climate through cosmic ray/cloud interactions, but most of the literature on this shows that that doesn’t actually work.

MARK COLVIN: So you’re saying that you’ve managed to basically eliminate this idea that sunspots or whatever are more responsible for global warming than human activity.

STEVE SHERWOOD: Based on the peer-reviewed literature that’s available now, that looks extremely unlikely.

MARK COLVIN: So what have these people done? Is this just a case of cherry-picking a sentence?

STEVE SHERWOOD: Yeah, it’s a pretty severe case of that, because even the sentence doesn’t say what they say and certainly if you look at the context, we’re really saying the opposite.


18 Responses to “Cherry Pick Update: How Dumb are These People?”

  1. How dumb are these people? On a scale of 1 to 10, about 75.

    Then again, this strategy worked really well for them with Climategate. Dumb stuff can have an impact as long as it has a good story behind it and sounds plausible. That’s why we’ve got to get out in front of this one and get the right information to the public. Good job by ABC interviewing the IPCC author.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      and thanks to you for the timely and complete takedown. I think this one will not have much legs because it is being properly reported from the get-go.
      Journalists pretty much get it that they were suckered by a bunch of buffoons in the past.

  2. uknowispeaksense Says:

    I think Peter you need a new section called Climate Denial Own Goal of the Week. Rawls would feature often.

  3. rayduray Says:

    The Guardian reports that some people are actually observing and understanding reality.

    Headline: Extreme weather more persuasive on climate change than scientists

    AP poll shows that events like superstorm Sandy are succeeding with climate sceptics where scientists have been failing

  4. sailrick Says:

    One aspect of this, is that the last decade was dominated by La Nina and it’s cooling influence on the atmosphere. The 1990s were dominated by El Nino, which warms the atmosphere.

    However, there is more to that, than what you get at first glance.

    90% of the excess heat is going into the oceans. The atmosphere is where only 3% of the warming is happening.

    Ironically, La Nina is when the earth is gaining the most heat. In the oceans, where most of the excess heat from the over amped greenhouse effect goes

    So, while atmospheric temperature rise seemed to level off some in the 2000s, what was really going on is the oceans gaining heat, the heat going down to deeper waters.

    During El Ninos, which warm the atmosphere, the oceans release some of the excess stored heat into the atmosphere, warming it, while some of the heat goes out into space.
    The earth loses some of it’s accumulated heat.

    This cycle between El Nino and La Nina is called ENSO- El Nino Southern Occilation.

    ENSO does not warm or cool the planet in the long run. It is just a cycle that moves heat around. The breathing of the oceans, so to speak. Inhale exhale.

    • It would be simple and probably nice if the earth’s climate and ocean actions could be explained with something as simple as a trace gas, carbon dioxide that makes up .035-8% of the atmosphere and 15.1% of the ocean’s makeup but only simple people could believe such a thing. They should know just how dynamic and complex the climate is and all of the factors that affect it before making such a flawed judgment. Here are some sites to look into, if you care to. The biggest flows out of the atmosphere are photosynthesis on land and CO2 uptake by cold ocean water. These are about 30 times and 40 times respectively the flow of carbon into the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning. What follows also adre3sses the utterly insane allegation that CO2 is increasing the acidity of the oceans.
      “The pycnocline (meaning rapid change of density) separates the surface layer of the ocean from the deep ocean. Deep ocean water has a temperature of about 3 degrees Celsius and a salinity measuring about 34-35 psu.”
      “The interaction between water temperature and salinity effects density and density determines thermohaline circulation, or the global conveyor belt. The global conveyor belt is a global-scale circulation process that occurs over a century-long time scale. Water sinks in the North Atlantic, traveling south around Africa, rising in the Indian Ocean or further on in the Pacific, then returning toward the Atlantic on the surface only to sink again in the North Atlantic starting the cycle again.”
      “As water travels through the water cycle, some water will become part of The Global Conveyer Belt and can take up to 1,000 years to complete this global circuit. It represents in a simple way how ocean currents carry warm surface waters from the equator toward the poles and moderate global climate.” [The Global Conveyer Belt has suddenly stopped for several speculated reason in the past and caused dramatic and rapid climate changes always to the cold side; therefore, warm is preferable to cold any day]

  5. Chris Says:

    Climate Change — The “800-year lag” unravelled

  6. prokaryotes Says:

    Climate Change — The “800-year lag” unravelled

  7. prokaryotes Says:

    Medieval Warm Period — fact vs. fiction

  8. […] buffoonasphere bubble that briefly bobbed up over a leaked non-operative IPCC draft has subsided.  Result? A moderate […]

  9. ontspan Says:

    Nooo, the septics are yet again uncritically echoing misinformation? Who would have thought of that? How the septic community is able to so thoroughly discredit itself time and time again never stops to amaze me.

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