There's no police tape across Michael Mann's office doorway this morning. "Always a good start," he says, juggling a cup of coffee as he slides his key into the lock.
Mann, a paleoclimatologist, wears a sport coat over a turtleneck. As he takes a seat at his desk, a narrow sunbeam angles through the window, spotlighting a jumble of books, journals and correspondence. Behind him, a framed picture of his six-year-old daughter rests near a certificate for the Nobel Peace Prize he shared in 2007. Propped into a corner is a hockey stick, a post-lecture gift from Middlebury College, which Mann jokingly says he keeps "for self-defense."
Mann directs Penn State University's Earth System Science Center. Several months ago, he arrived at his office with an armload of mail. Sitting at his desk, he tore open a hand-addressed envelope and began to pull out a letter. He watched as a small mass of white powder cascaded out of the folds and onto his fingers. Mann jerked backward, letting the letter drop and holding his breath as a tiny plume of particles wafted up, sparkling in the sunlight. He rose quickly and left the office, pulling the door shut behind him. "I went down to the restroom and washed my hands," he says. "Then I called the police."
For someone describing an anthrax scare, Mann is surprisingly nonchalant. "I guess," he says, "it's so much a part of my life that I don't even realize how weird it is."
"Weird" is perhaps the mildest way to describe the growing number of threats and acts of intimidation that climate scientists face. A climate modeler at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory answered a late-night knock to find a dead rat on his doorstep and a yellow Hummer speeding away. An MIT hurricane researcher found his inbox flooded daily for two weeks last January with hate mail and threats directed at him and his wife. And in Australia last year, officials relocated several climatologists to a secure facility after climate-change skeptics unleashed a barrage of vandalism, noose brandishing and threats of sexual attacks on the scientists' children.
Those crude acts of harassment often come alongside more-sophisticated legal and political attacks. Organizations routinely file nuisance lawsuits and onerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to disrupt the work of climate scientists. In 2005, before dragging Mann and other climate researchers into congressional hearings, Texas congressman Joe Barton ordered the scientists to submit voluminous details of working procedures, computer programs and past funding—essentially demanding that they reproduce and defend their entire life's work. In a move that hearkened back to darker times, Oklahoma senator James Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, released a report in 2010 that named 17 prominent climate scientists, including Mann, who, he argued, may have engaged in "potentially criminal behavior." Inhofe outlined three laws and four regulations that he said the scientists may have violated, including the Federal False Statements Act—which, the report noted, could be punishable with imprisonment of up to five years.
It's late February when I visit Mann in his office, almost two years after Inhofe issued his "list of 17." Though it's still winter in central Pennsylvania, the temperature outside hangs in the upper 60s, crocus stems poke up from flower beds, and shopkeepers have thrown open their doors along College Avenue. Mann is home for three days between conferences in Milwaukee and Hawaii and West Coast stops on a promotional tour for his new book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.
In the late 1990s, Mann developed a graph that demonstrated a recent and dramatic uptick in global mean surface temperatures. The hockey-stick-shaped curve has become emblematic to both sides of the climate debate. To the vast majority of climate scientists, it represents evidence, corroborated by decades of peer-reviewed research, of global warming. To climate-change skeptics, the hockey stick is the most grievous of many illusions fabricated by thousands of conspiring scientists to support an iniquitous political agenda.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) included Mann's graph in its Third Assessment Report in 2001. Al Gore and Davis Guggenheim then included it in their 2006 climate-change documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The film galvanized both the pro- and contra-climate-science camps, propelling the issue of human-caused global warming into the culture wars—and Mann along with it. "Since then, my life has been crazy," he says. "People have stolen my e-mails and bought billboards and newspaper ads to denounce me; they've staged bogus grassroots protests; they've threatened my family. I've been through eight investigations by everyone from the National Science Foundation to the British House of Commons. Every time, they find no evidence of fraud or misuse of information. Every time, they conclude that my methods are sound, my data replicable. And every time I'm exonerated, another investigation pops up."
Mann has been called a "compulsive liar, a con man and an extraordinary psychological case." Some critics accuse him of masterminding a cabal of scientists that aims to establish a new world order. Still others compare him to Hitler, Stalin and Satan.
At the time of our meeting, Mann was juggling several FOIA requests and two lawsuits—one of which would be resolved the following week, when the Virginia Supreme Court rejected the state attorney general's demand that the University of Virginia (Mann's former employer) turn over the researcher's e-mails and other documents. The university spent nearly $600,000 to argue that releasing personal correspondence would chill academic research. "Yes, there's been a toll on me and my family," Mann says. "But it's bigger than that. Look what it's doing to science, when others see this and see what happens if they speak up about their research. These efforts to discredit science are well-organized. It's not just a bunch of crazy people."
If the evidence for anthropogenic global warming is overwhelming, the empirical evidence must be written up many times in peer reviewed literature. Is that correct?
Where would I find the peer reviewed paper or papers showing this empirical evidence?
If there is no empirical evidence, why is there a battle over climate science? All scientists know that empirical evidence is necessary for scientific confidence in a theory.
I should add that I did not/do not consider the ozone depletion theory to be fraudulent, although it may or may not prove correct.
The original proposal to phase out CFC's at the manufacturing level was reasonable, sufficient and best of all, voluntary. It was all that was needed.
The rest was heavy handed political BS.
Here's a suggestion to you climatologists that are being sued or harassed by politicians:
Fight back by suing them back! Pursue criminal and civil actions at them and let them know there are consequences to their actions. No, they can't plead immunity. Simply argue the Proxmire ruling.
To you global warming skeptics: why don't you go and meet the cattle ranchers that had to slaughter their livestock or the homeowners that lost the homes to global warming related wildfires? Also, think about telling your grandchildren or your descendants about having fresh meats and vegetables at a family reunion over Soylent Green.
OK, folks -- Do you know what happens when you get serious, roll up your sleeves, make an honest effort to learn some basic programming/data-analysis techniques, and actually crunch some data yourselves?
You end up confirming what the climate-science community has been saying all along.
A perfect case in point is the surface temperature data network. For *years*, skeptics have been attacking the global-average temperature results computed from surface temperature data, without making even a token effort to learn how to process the temperature data themselves.
When it comes to computing global-average temperatures from surface temperature data, you really can get 95 percent of the answer with less than 1 percent of the effort.
If you code up a straightforward gridding/averaging procedure and apply it to *raw* temperature data, you will get results that are amazingly similar to the results published by the climate-science community.
Below is a plot of the results that I got when I computed straightforward averages from 4 global temperature data sets: GHCN versions 2 and 3, and CRUTEM versions 3 and 4.
As you can see, my "hand rolled" program, when applied to all 4 data sets, produced results very similar to the official NASA/GHCN results every time.
Remember -- I got these results by running raw (not "homogenized") data though a straightforward gridding/averaging procedure that does not involve *any* data adjustments or "manipulation" -- all done on a "legacy" 5-year-old laptop.
All the data and documentation needed to do this are freely available to the public, and are just a few mouse-clicks away.
cyberwarrior, are you referring to those grandchildren whose every waking moment will be dictated by the government, told how they must walk, talk, look, act and think, throughout their financially destitute lives? Are those the grandchildren you are talking about?
I'm betting my scenario is closer to the truth than yours.
Need to follow up with a quick correction. The CRUTEM Version 4 station data is actually "homogenized" (not raw) data. For CRUTEM Version 4, the CRU decided to use data that had been adjusted/homogenized by the various NWS offices.
The GHCN V2/V3 and CRUTEM V3 data sets are still *raw* station data, however.
But look at the results! The homogenized CRUTEM4 data produces results that are *very* similar to the results that you get from the other (raw) data-sets. So it should be absolutely clear that for global-average computations, the data adjustments involved in "homogenization" almost perfectly cancel each other out!
So let me repeat: CRUTEM4 homogenized -- CRUTEM3, GHCN2, GHCN3, raw. And when you look at the above plot, you almost need a magnifying glass to tell them apart!
Your scenario Greystone1 is what you get when you feed your kids all the right wing garbage against them learning to think for themselves.
The scenario I posted is the one your descendants will be facing if nothing is done about global warming.
Since you didn't mention the other items, I would say you have nothing to say about them just like any "conservative" with their holier than thou attitude.
The Simple solution is to Get ALL JETS out of the JET STREAM!
80,000 TONS per hour of DIRTY, FILTHY, CANCEROUS, DIESEL jet exhausts is burning up and destroying the planet.
I am glad to see that Popular Science has the GUTS to take on this situation, ARE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T!
Now if the Government and Congress would get their heads out of the sand, and face reality, before there is NO turning point, And I told you so, and Where is the E.P.A. we don't hear a word out of them, Are they DEAF,DUMB,& BLIND?
I won't have to go to Florida next Winter, Florida weather will be right here in VERMONT! What will it be in your State,if it isn't BURNED OR FLOODED OUT.
Where is Obama or Romney, are they like the E.P.A., DEAF,DUMB & BLIND!
Cyberwarrior, you blame wild fires on global warming (and a thousand other things no doubt just like all the other dupes out there), and then brag about being able to think for yourself? You and jdlaughead should get together and smoke a few dubes.
Pyronaught - check out http://tinyurl.com/7h6739d and http://youtu.be/r_qdETSYcDM - both very informative about wildfires and duping about global warming.
This observation is noteworthy (referring to Colorado) "Of the 10 largest fires in the state’s history, only one hasn’t occurred in the last decade".
It's just common sense that we should lay down the law and eliminate carbon fuels before it's too late.
cyberwarrior, you assume I am a conservative, Wrong again. Is jumping to conclusions your idea of thinking for yourself?
It might surprise you to know that I have solar panels on my roof as well as a rainwater recovery system... neither of which was subsidized by the government. But you will not see me putting a gun to my neighbor's head and forcing him to do the same.
I think for myself, not for you.
I make decisions for myself, not for you.
I am not and never will be a dictator... and that is where you and I differ.
No I don't jump to conclusions Greystone1, however you exhibited the same train of thought on climate change conservatives do.
Commendable you use solar panels and a rainwater recovery system. Your choice not mine. I support nuclear, geothermal, wind, and solar btw. I also advocate fracking as well.
You do not think for me. I think for myself.
You say the difference between us is you're not and never will be a dictator.
The difference between you and me is if any of the aspects of global warming come to pass ( we'd all be winners if they don't ) is I can show clean hands should I be accused of not warning anyone and if I'm wrong, it would be for the right reasons.
As a friendly suggestion, track the amount of rainwater you're getting. Not just for a year. For at least ten years, including the weather temperature, humidity, etc. This is how real research (not just in climatology) works.
Ameoba & DSL,
a) I have been at SkepticalScience, RealClimate and other consensus blogs and learned that data manipulation, data deletion, and just out right misrepresentation are the norm in dialogues that do not follow the consensus catechism. My head is sore from beating it against a brick wall.
b) Climategate illustrated that a small elite can and has influence climate science research, funding, and publications; all with a specific agenda in mind.
c) The original accusation of death treats to climate scientists was suppose to have occurred in Australia and a journalist misrepresented the actual conversation. Needless to say, the story went viral, but the substance was based upon an intentional mis-statement. There have been subsequent vile behavior, words and threats. But the original was a fraud.
d) When the IPCC was developed, climate research altered focus to document the influences of man upon climate and not what are the components of climate and how do they interact. As we have observed there are abrupt climate changes after periods of relative homeostasis. Ocean phenomenon like El Nino Southern Oscillations and atmospheric pressure variances at time will "resonate" with one another and a new climate regime will abruptly emerge. Global Climate Models have not been able to either hind cast let alone forecast these abrupt changes (1901, 1939, 1970's and more recently the 1998/2001) as described by Swanson & Tsona 2009. The reliance upon Greenhouse gases as an explanation for the driver of climate change leaves all current GCM wanting. A recent paper by Melles et al describing core samples going back 2.6 million years call for new climate models to be developed, especially since the Arctic was 5 C warmer than now and the atmospheric CO2 was <330 ppmv. CO2 is not likely the drive or climate, contributors to be sure, but its effect is minuscule in comparison to... that is yet to be defined.
e) As the Mann predictions made back in the 1980s has not come true; as the other modeler's models do not follow one another and diverge measurably, and as the modelers reliance upon the "assemblage" of models have shown them to not understand the very statistics they employ, we will likely see a further disconnect between what the models predict, observational reality, and the rhetoric used to explain this chaos.
f) I believe as long as climate models assume that CO2 is a climate driver as opposed to be a bit player in this drama, not only will the public and their reluctant representatives distance themselves from the entire climate controversy, there will be less and less resources made available to study and understand what makes weather, and by extension, our climate. That is in my estimation the real catastrophe.
I believe as long as climate models assume that CO2 is a climate driver as opposed to be a bit player in this drama...
There is no "assumption" about CO2 involved -- the fact that CO2 is a climate driver derives from basic physics *and* hard paleoclimate data.
To get the paleoclimate perspective, watch this video: www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml
The video is about an hour long -- but since you have demonstrated from your activities here that you have plenty of spare time on your hands, you have no excuse not to watch the whole thing.
It's easy to claim fraud and walk away from a comment stream. Where is the evidence for your point (a)? I eagerly await.
(b) No, that's not what Climategate illustrated. Again, where is the evidence? What did Phil Jones do? How was the science corrupted? Who tried to publish what, and why was Phil Jones worried about the integrity of the science? Do you find it absolutely impossible to believe that people try to publish garbage and, when they fail, get bitter? You should see what happens when garbage does get through (Soon and Baliunas, Roy Spencer, etc.). Do you want an "anything goes" scientific process? No more peer review (yes, it's elitist, and a good thing too)?
(c) Did you read the email collection? Or had you read it already? Whatever the details of the outing, the threats exist, and I don't think those are the only ones.
(d) GCM is General Circulation Model. Your ENSO claim is bizarre. New climate regimes from ENSO? Nothing is coming up in Google Scholar for Swanson and Tsona. I searched for Tsonga as well. Is it an Energy & Environment publication? As for models, no one has constructed a climate model that remotely comes close to 20th/21st century observed reality without including CO2 forcing. The models that the IPCC used in AR4 have done remarkably well. Here is analysis from a pretty good statistician: web.archive.org/web/20100322194954/http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/models-2/
And here is skepticalscience's rundown of AR4, showing both successes and failures: www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models-intermediate.htm.
I think you're taking Melles a little too far. Which Melles paper, btw?
(e) What Mann predictions? Model projections? Or Mann's personal predictions? CO2 a bit player? Start with the physics, RiHo. Puckrin (2004) is easy enough. If you accept H20 as the major GHG, you're going to have a tough time calling CO2 a "bit player." www.cccma.ec.gc.ca/papers/jli/pdf/puckrin2004.pdf
Climate change has been talked about for centuries, arguably way before the United States began: http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Climate_change_talk.pdf
Getting late in my neighborhood, enjoy:
Woods Hole also has articles on abrupt climate change. The idea has been around for quite a while, just not in the consensus mindset, so it doesn't exist to them.
You have an opportunity to see what climate scientists who are not involved in the elite have to say.
my roomate's aunt makes $83/hr on the laptop. She has been without work for 8 months but last month her pay was $8682 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site...NuttyRich.com
RiHo08, you have strong opinions but they seem to me to be mostly without merit. This is my take on each point.
a) I’ve visited SkepticalScience and RealClimate often too. I’ve found them to be fair with all visitors that want to make a valid point on either side of the climate issue or want to ask questions, dumb or otherwise. On the other hand, if you are trolling for trouble, out to make political rant, or claiming some extraordinary explanation for warming that goes against basic physics, then expect to deleted or get an unwelcome reception. Try to knock politely instead of banging down the walls.
b) One of the unpaid duties of scientists is to peer-review and prevent publication of bad science. The hacked email example you refer to a well-known case of poor science being published. If non-consensus author such as Lindzen publishes something and it well-researched as his work usually is, they don’t object to it being published, though they may not agree with his conclusions.
c) Who cares if the original reported instance of a threat was false? This article is, in part, about the large number threats that are ongoing.
d) The purpose of the IPCC is to report to the nations of the world what all the independent researchers are finding but in a single (very large) report. Just about everyone that had something published has to sign-off that the report fairly represents their views. There might be abrupt weather changes based on internal variability of the climate system, but the climate does not seem to change without some kind of external forcing, which scientists mostly understand now. I haven’t heard of any abrupt changes in 1998/2001 or the other dates you mentioned, just some larger instances of internal variability that are/will be short-lived.
Global Climate Models don’t and aren’t intended to replicate exact instances of observed internal variability, just as they can’t predict volcanic eruptions. But if a hindcast is run and the model is told the timing of the events, they do replicate the expected temperature and other climate responses. This gives us confidence that they have predictive capability. Swanson & Tsona 2009 has been well-refuted at this point and even the authors say skeptics have misrepresented it.
You didn’t say which Milles et al paper you mean so I can’t address this point. However, CO2 and climate generally correlate over geologic history with a log one way or the other depending on which came first (glacial cycle versus volcanic increase). It’s not the only thing going on. Continental positions affect ocean currents which allow tropics move or not at times to the polar areas. The continents have moved recently.
e) Mann is a paleoclimatologist, a sort of temperature historian. I don’t think he made any predictions so I don’t see that you could say some predictions of his did not come true. Both the Hockey Stick and Mann have been independently investigated and vindicated more times than any other facet of climate science or any other climate scientist, including a congressional committee under Bush. Many (12+) subsequent temperature reconstructions by independent researchers worldwide have reached the same conclusions. Despite efforts by many to disprove his work, no one has. The “Hockey Stick” is one thing we have very high confidence in now.
f) Climate models do not assume that CO2 is the primary climate driver. They just calculate the climate’s response to added CO2 as they would for more insolation according to known and lab tested physics. Physics further decides what falls out from that including various feedbacks. It is scientists that conclude CO2 is the primary climate driver based on the model output (and this agrees with the findings of other scientists using empirical observations). I really don’t know what more you expect of science. This is the way all science works. I think you just don’t like what science is revealing in this case.
One of the good things of being a little older than most who appear to leave comments here is that I have some perspective about what came before and the shifting stance that so called climate scientists have taken on where we are headed. The consensus in the 1970's of the climate science world was that the Earth WAS headed toward another period of glaciation. Some here may not like to admit this but it is in fact truth. As we know, in a few short years, using for the most part the same data, decided we weren't cooling we were warming. Go figure...
Next, there is no dispute that the current climate models do not work. That is an absolute fact that those who believe in AWG freely admit. If you don't believe me Google "climate models".
Can you say East Anglia emails. Isn't East Anglia University one of the major sources of and evaluation of climate data for the IPCC? Yes I believe it is! If you want to stick your head in the sand feel free but these emails refute the very existence of increased warming of the Earth for over the last decade and completely obliterated the "Hockey Stick" fraud, and exposed the breathtaking manipulation and destruction of data to keep the truth about AGW hidden.
Face it, climate science is little more than a religion. Based on faith and hope and little else. There currently is no grand theory that explains even a fraction of why the climate changes. The only thing we can say is we haven't, as yet, got a clue! All we currently have are little more than guesses about why the Earth cools and warms, Forget about trying to predict the future of when and how much climate change we will have. We CAN NOT! Maybe when we come to an understanding of the "when" and "where" of weather we can concentrate on climate issues...
Climate science predictions have ALL been wrong. Go ahead an plug in historical climate data in the current climate models and check the results. Oh.. They have already done that. Guess what? They weren't even close...
Betting on a horse to win that always finishes last is a fool's errand. AGW adherents appear to be on such a quest.... Saddle up the donkey. Grab your lance. The windmills are over there...
... with a lag one way or the other ... Continental positions affect ocean currents which allow tropical heat to move or not at times to the polar areas. The continents have not moved recently.
RiHo08 slightly garbled Swanson & Tsona 2009.
It’s actually Swanson and Tsonis 2009
Beautiful sign, I have saved the image.
Dculton says: “Forget about trying to predict the future of when and how much climate change we will have. We CAN NOT!”
But it IS ALREADY BEING DONE. We do it for our planet’s volatile weather days in advance with great success now. Climate is more stable over time so it’s a bit easier to predict climate over very long periods (to project actually), compared to forecasting weather.
We do climate hindcasts that start with a “blank” planet, run for millennia, cross though glacial ages and arrive at something that looks quite like the pre-industrial climate we had – this is called “spinning up” the model. From there the models track the last century’s climate up to present based on the changes modern civilization caused to the atmosphere and land, and then sometimes centuries into the future. Note that the model gets there all on its own using just the fundamental rules of physics or approximations of the rules.
No they aren’t perfect but they aren’t bad and they give us a range of outcomes that we can be confident about. All those outcomes are warmer if continue on the present emissions path.
Obviously people change their environment and have for over 10,000 years. This isn't necessarily a problem. Some may drown but others may get rich. Doing something about it is only worthwhile if the solution IS convenient, or at least more convenient than inaction. And the affect on government and society would outweigh any imaginable affect of environmental change per se no matter what the environmental impact, so long as it was short of racial extinction. Let Bangaldesh drown.
One of the good things of being a little older than most who appear to leave comments here is that I have some perspective about what came before and the shifting stance that so called climate scientists have taken on where we are headed. The consensus in the 1970's of the climate science world was that the Earth WAS headed toward another period of glaciation.
Sorry, but you are completely wrong. See http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1 for details.
@caerbannog- You're right. The conservative talk show hosts inform the public every time militant lefties attack and intimidate us "deniers". Sometimes to the point of exhaustion.
Climategate is insignificant when compared with the overwhelming evidence disproving man-made global warming. I doubt there's anything anyone can say to change your mind, I'm just glad you are in the minority. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to respond while relying on electricity from wind power when its not windy or solar when its dark out.
Come on that was clever wasn't it?
Guilt is a powerful influence of science, community and facts. We humans many times feel guilty, when some natural even happens and blame ourselves for the destruction. Biblically, there is a lot of history of people who were destroy, because they were sinners and ignored the facts of it being a natural Earth result.
Manipulative world leaders, politicians and the owned paid for media could be protecting an idea, we humans naturally fall victim too. We feel guilty for all the pollutions in the world and so it is our fault the Earth is getting warming. While it may be an emotional truth, it is not necessarily a scientific fact.
Disasters, chaos, large group emotional hysteria does make for a few good business profits.
See life in all its beautiful colors, and
from different perspectives too!
<i>"Let's see -- an adjunct professor, funded by "soft money" at a university that has suffered multi-year 10+ percent cuts in funding, does not have his contract renewed. That's happening all across the country; are the many thousands of other junior, untenured faculty who have lost their jobs due to budget cuts victims of repression as well?" <i/>
Well, the University announced hiring four new professors right before they fired him, so the budget argument doesn't work. Fellow U of O Professor Kari Norgaard, on the other hand, wishes to have any critics of climate change theories "treated for a disease." I guess, because anyone that disagrees with her must be crazy or sick.
<i>"As for Zwick -- he said no such thing -- you've taken him completely out of context and twisted his words."<i/>
You've got me there, he didn't say that. He said to track them and let their houses burn. But I'm not the one who twisted his words, it was another article in Forbes that did. I made the mistake of trusting that source and I apologize. However, it further reenforces my argument that the media distorts the facts for it's own purposes.
I think deniers exhibit the most guilt of all, the reaction to guilt being to disbelieve commonly-accepted facts, opposition to common sense solutions, and extreme defensiveness over the matter/ taking on the role of mind guards to defend the group think in discussions such as this one. It makes me chuckle that deniers comprise 12% of the US population but come out of the woodwork to disrupt a discussion board like this, for a news article about bullying by organized climate science deniers. If deniers can accept the truth of the matter and forgive themselves for what they've done, we can move on to responding to the problem-- but this requires self-forgiveness to accept things as they are.
Another facet of denier psychology I think is important is the cowardice in being unable to face up to the situation squarely, simply over fear of changing how things are. The salve here is to have faith in ourselves-- that change is possible, that we've got it in us to do just fine without burning oil, coal and gas. They are not sacred things to be defended, and besides, we would have run out of these fuels anyway, leaving our children in the lurch, with systems that are collapsing all around-- and that would have been wrong.