Can Climate Forecasts Still Be Trusted?

jerry-lewisConfidence Melting Away: Doubts Grow in Climate Change Debate

By Gerald Traufetter

The Siachen Glacier is home to the world’s highest crisis region. Here, at 6,000 meters (19,680 feet) above sea level, Indian and Pakistani soldiers face off, ensconced in heavily armed positions.

The ongoing border dispute between the two nuclear powers has already claimed the lives of 4,000 men — most of them having died of exposure to the cold.

Now the Himalayan glacier is also at the center of a scientific dispute. In its current report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that the glacier, which is 71 kilometers (44 miles) long, could disappear by 2035. It also predicts that the other 45,000 glaciers in the world’s highest mountain range will be virtually gone by then, with drastic consequences for billions of people in Asia, whose life depends on water that originates in the Himalayas. The IPCC report led environmental activists to sound the alarm about a drama that could be unfolding at the “world’s third pole.”

“This prognosis is, of course, complete nonsense,” says John Shroder, a geologist and expert on glaciers at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. The results of his research tell a completely different story.
For the past three decades, the US glaciologist has been traversing the majestic mountains of the Himalayan region, particularly the Karakorum Range, with his measuring instruments. The discoveries he has made along the way are not consistent with the assessment long held by the IPCC. “While many glaciers are shrinking, others are stable and some are even growing,” says Shroder.

Untenable Claim

The gaffe over the Himalayan glaciers has triggered an outcry in the world of climatology. Some are already using the word “Glaciergate” in reference to the scandal over a scientifically untenable claim in the fourth IPCC assessment report, which the UN climate body publishes every five years. The fourth assessment report was originally published in 2007. Last week, the IPCC withdrew the erroneous claim and apologized for the error.

German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, a member of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is also upset about the incident. “The error in the IPCC report is serious and should not have happened,” Röttgen told SPIEGEL. “Scientific accuracy is a vital condition to support the credibility of the political conclusions we draw as a result.” Although the minister still has confidence in the overall validity of the IPCC report, he wants to see “a thorough investigation into how the error originated and was communicated.”

But why wasn’t this clearly nonsensical claim noticed long ago by at least one of the 3,000 scientists who contributed to the IPCC report? “What’s really amazing is that such a blunder remained uncorrected for so long,” says Shroder.

Read the rest of this story at ABC News (Yes. Really. ABC News).

24 Responses to Can Climate Forecasts Still Be Trusted?

  1. Klem January 29, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    The question which begs to be asked is ” why did it take 3 years for climate sceintists to speak up about this lie in the AR4?” As soon as Copenhagen failed, suddenly they are speaking up. What kind of scientists are these people? In every other science, if a collegue makes a rediculous statement, the scientists can’t wait to shoot it down. Thats real science, that’s the way it works. But climate scientists are silent for 3 years, and only after Copenhagen they speak. Al Gore used to say the science is settled, what he meant was “the science is silenced”.

    • Dan McGrath January 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

      You’re dead-on. Of course, the reason scientists remain silent (well one of the reasons, anyway) is that the climate gurus that have position and influence with the IPCC (particulary those associated with Hadley’s Climatic Research Unit) will crush any dissenters, drumming them out of “peer-reviewed” journals, mounting campaign to get them fired and dry up their funding. If you don’t adhere to the CRU’s warmist orthodoxy, you’re a heritic and get burned at the proverbial stake.

      The climategate emails reveal the methods used to stifle dissent. See here for a taste:

  2. Rob N. Hood January 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    In 1971, conservatives responded to a call by Lewis F. Powell to reassert themselves by “financing think tanks, reshaping mass media and seeking influence in universities and the judiciary.” The result was a well-financed, meticulously planned offensive waged on four fronts.

    The primary mode of attack was economic. Conservatives waged no-holds-barred class warfare. Corporation taxes were lowered, as were those of the wealthiest individuals. This increased the gulf between the richest and poorest Americans, ripped apart the social safety net, and decreased social mobility. Working families lost confidence in the future.

    A second front was political. Conservatives seized control of the Republican Party and used ideological litmus tests to purge the GOP of moderates. Republican candidates were required to take a “no new taxes” pledge and to subscribe to socially conservative positions.

    A third initiative generated a pervasive conservative media presence, featuring conservative personalities and information conduits, such as the Fox News Channel. Millions were spent framing an omnipresent furtive conservative message. This led to familiar general themes – “government is the problem” – and focused responses to conservative hot buttons: estate taxes were branded as “death taxes;” gay marriage was opposed on the grounds that homosexuality was “a disease” that, if encouraged, would infect young people; healthcare reform was opposed because of spurious claims it would result in government control of all health services and “death panels” seeking to euthanize the elderly.

    As they pursued their objective of turning the US into a plutocracy, conservatives spread disinformation to deflect blame from their ideas and the Republican lackeys that implemented them. For example, many Americans falsely believe government caused the financial crisis, whereas it was conservative profiteers who brought down the economy.

    • Neil F. AGWD/BSD January 29, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

      Rob. Wow! Do you really believe that? For one thing Fox news began in 96′. Another is that Reagan said that government is the problem in the 80’s. I don’t know where you get this stuff but it is seriously flawed revisionist history. And last but not least it does nothing to address the question; Can climate forcasts still be trusted?

  3. Hal Groar January 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    This whole report should be flushed and a new one drawn up. I really don’t care what it says, I feel these scientists have damaged the credibility of the field so badly already that anything they will say will be doubted by anyone following this debate. I have to admit that I am beginning to question the instructors I had at the U of M years ago. I can’t trust any of them.

  4. Rob N. Hood January 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Excuse me? I said nothing about Reagun or Fox… I simply outlined some of the factual initiatives taken by ultra-conservative that has been successful in making the Extreme Right-Wing so powerful today. It didn’t happen by accident. or magically when Reagun was elected. I dont’ know what you are seeing/reading but it isn’t what is posted. Very strange. Get some glasses?!

    So you think Reagun was the first wing-nut to say that government was the problem? Puuuuhhhhlease. Like it was his great contribution to the destruction of democracy? No, sorry but it wasn’t, and he wasn’t the first. There wasn’t anything unique about Reagun escept that he was an actor, and apparently a good one. He fooled a lot of people into thinking he was someting special. He was just another helpful meat puppet for the Corporate rulers.

    • Neil F. AGWD/BSD January 30, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

      That’s right, you did not say anything in that last post because you copied and pasted it like you do most of the time. (Plagiarism is the practice of claiming or implying original authorship of (or incorporating material from) someone else’s written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one’s own without adequate acknowledgement.) Did you even read it? From your post above, author unknown:
      “A third initiative generated a pervasive conservative media presence, featuring conservative personalities and information conduits, such as the Fox News Channel.”
      And of course the piece that you plagerised, fails to mention that Lewis F Powell said that because he believed that think tanks, the media, and institutions of higher learning were being overrun by Leftists, Communists, and other radicals.
      So as usual your hit and run posts, you are out of phase, and out of context, with what this thread is about!
      So do you think that climate forcasts can still be trusted or do you not? That is what we are talking about here.

    • Panaguy47 February 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

      Learn to spell Regan and you are so wrong.

      • Neil F. AGWD/BSD February 3, 2010 at 6:46 am #

        Oh, he didn’t mispell Reagan, he spelled it that way to sound like “ray gun”. Clever?…..Not.

  5. Panaguy47 February 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm #


  6. Rob N. Hood February 3, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    You people are so simple-minded. Fascism is winning by a landslide and running your lives and you cannot even see it at all. The Nazi propagandists would be proud, their craft has not only lived on, it has been perfected.

    Who cares how Reagan is spelled? Did you really think I didn’t know how to spell it? Who cares where any thoughts originate? If the originators don’t care then why should you? And even if they did care- the point is thoughts are powerful- especially if they can clear the clouded minds of us peons. We are enslaved and need all the help we can get!!!! To focus on meaningless junk like this is… unbelievable to me. Wake the hell up and grow up and stop being the robots the powers that be want and need you to be.

  7. paul wenum February 3, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    You enslave yourself my friend. Robot of the left.

  8. Rob N. Hood February 4, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    If the leaders of our government and major corporations were smart, they would respond to booms and busts the opposite of the way they do.
    During a boom, salaries are high. Stock prices rise. State and federal tax revenues go up. Governments run a surplus. Soon we hear calls to “give back” the people’s money—by cutting their taxes. As a result, tax rates fall. So do government revenues.

    This is stupid. During a period of economic growth and low unemployment, governments should increase taxes. After all, people can afford to pay more when they earn more. And booms eventually end. So some surplus should be set aside for a rainy day.

    During a bust, salaries stagnate or decline. Securities markets seize up or crash. Governments run into fiscal trouble. So they raise taxes.
    This is stupid too. People are broke. The last thing they can afford during a recession is higher taxes. Governments should cut taxes when the economy sucks. They should be drawing on that big nest egg they should have stashed away during the fat years to pay bills and stimulate recovery.

    • Dan February 4, 2010 at 11:14 am #

      Oh. Well, if we can “afford it,” then we should just give the government all of our “surplus” money. Why every strive to improve our condition, eh? By applying your reasoning, our effective tax rate will eventually be 100%. Taxes are already too high and should never be raised for any reason under any circumstance. Government must live within it’s means.

  9. paul wenum February 4, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    After reading the rants of Rob I can now see why we are in the mess that we are in. This is the mind-set of certain, not all liberals. Now if this does not scare you, what the hell will? Entitlement, Entitlement, feed my face, don’t work,you pay taxes, not I, so “Everyone can feel good.” Don’t worry, be happy the liberals will take care of you! Caveat, watch your pocket!!! There are numerous hand in there! A hard working person is not in a good mood when the majority of their income feeds the one’s that have no reason to work even though they can! Trust me, the majority of hard working people think this way. Just ask them. It is very simple.

  10. Terry Parsons February 6, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Folks, Rob is the epitome of a true liberal. The ordinary person is to dumb to make good decisions. The elitist government employee should control and make all decisions for us poor dumb souls! The liberals just cannot stand the idea that they are losing the global warming idea and with it government control of people “for the good of mankind”.

  11. paul wenum February 6, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Not for “the sake of Mankind,” for “the sake of their social agenda.” I don’t like fences around me. Open/free space is good. We are getting boxed in and that is the part that is disconcerting to me. My own opinion.

  12. Rob N. Hood February 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    Maybe it is stupidity. It certainly isn’t logic or reasoning that makes you so blind. I’ve never said anything about taxing the middle class more. In fact just the opposite. So why to you need to twist “my” words and/or make them up the way you always do? That is very strange and I would think you would or could realize how childish and self-serving that is. You can go on and on about “plagarism” all you want- but twisting another’s words and/or meanings to me is MUCH MUCH worse.

    But you people don’t want a real debate or argument. You ALWAYS find ways to avoid it. All you want is what any tw0 year old wants. It’s way, or no way.

  13. paul wenum February 7, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Your comments are always strange. You always say, “You people.” You have a personal issue with something that I cannot put my finger on but will figure it out shortly.

  14. Paul Wenum February 10, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    As stated, “Always” and “never” are not in my vocabulary.

  15. Rob N. Hood February 14, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    Do you all really believe that IT (meaning the reasons for America’s decline) is mostly, if not entirely, a problem because “Liberals” are in control of this country and have been for some time now in some way that I am not aware of? Do you really truly believe that?

  16. Paul Wenum February 14, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    It started in 1965 and has gotten worse since, be it republican or democrat. Bye the way, that included the good and the bad. Enough said. Things must change or we will be a third world country. Pass Cap N Trade and I quarantee it.

  17. Rob N. Hood February 16, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    So what is the answer Paul? You like to criticize everthing I say, but have no real answers. I’m waiting to obtain your wise words. (and please refrain from saying anything about “VOTING”, or if you do please tell me WHO I should be voting for, I really want/need to know- otherwise how can I be part of the solution and not part of the problem…?????

  18. Paul Wenum February 16, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    With a closed mind you are part of the problem in America today. As to voting? I’ve said it numerous times before. Vote your conscience. Right, wrong or indifferent. People that don’t vote and then chastise people that do have no right in telling others how this country should be run when they don’t partake. Oh my God, why are we in this situation? You never voted!! Coleman V Franken ring a bell?? Look what we got. Jeez.

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