Richard Tol, (photo right) a former leader author of the infamous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says the famous paper claiming that 97 per cent of scientists back global warming tells us only that the climate community is pushing creditability:
Now almost two years old, John Cook’s 97 per cent consensus paper on anthropogenic global warming has been a runaway success. Downloaded more than 300,000 times, voted the best 2013 paper in Environmental Research Letters, frequently cited by peers and politicians from around the world, the paper seems to be the definitive proof that the science of climate change is settled. It isn’t…The alleged consensus is about any human role in climate change, rather than a dominant role, and it is about climate change rather than the dangers it might pose.
Cook and colleagues argue 97 per cent of the relevant academic literature endorses that humans have contributed to observed climate change. This is suspect.... In popular discourse, however, Cook’s finding is often misrepresented. The 97 per cent refers to the number of papers, rather than the number of scientists (it's important except for the part about 97% being really 0.3% !
Although there are large areas of substantive agreement, climate science is far from settled. Witness the dozens of alternative explanations of the near 18-year pause in warming of the surface atmosphere. The debate on the seriousness of climate change or what to do about it ranges even more widely.The Cook paper is remarkable for its quantity, though. Cook and colleagues studied 12,000 papers, but did not check whether their sample is representative for the scientific literature. It isn’t. Their conclusions are about the papers they happened to look at, rather than about the literature. Attempts to replicate their sample failed: a number of papers that should have been analysed were not, for no apparent reason.
The sample was padded with irrelevant papers. An article about TV coverage on global warming was taken as evidence for global warming. In fact, about three-quarters of the papers counted as endorsements had nothing to say about the subject matter…
Cook’s hand-picked raters disagreed on what a paper was about 33 per cent of the time. In 63 per cent of cases, they disagreed about the message of a paper with the authors of that paper… Cook’s employer argued that releasing rater identities would violate a confidentiality agreement. That agreement does not exist… Time stamps reveal that ... one of Cook’s raters inspected 675 abstracts within 72 hours, a superhuman effort… There's that creditability factor again. Some questioning by a curious scientist, Brendon Shollenburger, caused him to receive a letter threatening a law suit for even thinking of finding unhidden secret data and commenting on it. This is really starting to smell like another Climate-Gate!
UPDATE: Here's some alarming stuff, straight out of a Hollywood script, and reported by the warmist Sydney Morning Herald as indisputable fact:
1) Gulf Stream water currents in the Atlantic Ocean have slowed to the weakest in as long as 1,000 years, threatening shifts in US and European weather, as well as coastal sea levels including in New York and Boston…But wait! Michael ”HOCKEY STICK'' Mann? Whoa....there’s a warning right there! (photo of Mr Shonky-Stick at right)
2) Researchers have for years raised concerns that shifts in the Gulf Stream may change the climate in Europe. ... 3) Climate models should be updated as they underestimate the effects of the temperature swings and ice melt, Pennsylvania State University’s Michael Mann said in the statement.
In fact, other climate scientists can't see what Mann and co-author Stefan Rahmstorf are describing:
Climate scientist Martin Visbeck of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel sees Rahmstorf’s interpretation of the results critically: ‘The study’s focus on the sub-polar part of the Atlantic and the spectral analysis are interesting,’ he says. ''But there are other AMOC assessments that point to a completely other development. The paper does not offer any strong indication of the development of the AMOC during the past fifty years.”
[AMOC is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the larger circulation system of which the Gulf Stream is a part.] Meanwhile, Watts Up With That notes that a reader Jaime Jessop asked Mann an inconvenient question on his FaceBook page, quoting a study indicating the change in AMOC is due to “natural variability”. Mann first answered, but then deleted his response. Was this another ''Gottca'' moment, reminiscent of the Hockey Stick fiasco.
As WUWT reported on a peer reviewed paper last year, H. Thomas Rossby (photo left) says: URI oceanographer refutes claims that climate change is slowing pace of Gulf Stream saying in a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters:And then there’s this other problem; Greenland's ice mass seems to be on the increase so far this year and above the 1990-2011 mean: (see Blue Line below)
''The ADCP measures currents at very high accuracy, and so through the repeat measurements we take year after year, we have a very powerful tool by which to monitor the strength of the current,” said Rossby. “There are variations of the current over time that are natural — and yes, we need to understand these better — but we find absolutely no evidence that suggests that the Gulf Stream is slowing down.”Of course, Rahmstorf and Mann don’t list Rossby’s study in their references, nor seem to use the “highly accurate” ADCP data. Instead they use a model along with [proxies, reconstructions, and] the highly interpolated GISS data to come to the conclusions they want. So, it isn’t surprising they are chasing phantoms in their study. They claim (in Figure 1 from their paper) that this cold spot south of Greenland is caused by meltwater from Greenland and it is evidence of a slowed circulation…
The Way I See It......this would have been an amusing how-not-to tale for our students. But Cook’s is one of the most influential papers of recent years. The paper was vigorously defended by the University of Queensland (Cook’s employer) and the editors of Environmental Research Letters, with the Institute of Physics (the publisher) looking on in silence. Incompetence was compounded by cover-up and complacency…
Cook’s team may, perhaps unwittingly (not), have worked towards a given conclusion. If you want to believe climate researchers are incompetent, biased and secretive, Cook’s paper is an excellent case in point. There's seems to be more wishful thinking and fact fiddling in the warmist community than the Truth. The Truth-is-out-there alright, but on the sceptics side.