Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Two Faces of Mark Lynas

Mark Lynas.jpgThe science writer Mark Lynas has an op-ed piece in the New York Times, "With G.M.O. Policies, Europe Turns Against Science."

In it he criticizes the Eurpoean Union for their rejection of crops that are genetically modified. They're "anti-science," he says.
CALL it the “Coalition of the Ignorant.” By the first week of October, 17 European countries — including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland — had used new European Union rules to announce bans on the cultivation of genetically modified crops.

These prohibitions expose the worrying reality of how far Europe has gone in setting itself against modern science.
Lynas tugs at our heartstrings, telling you about the terrible things he's seen:
I have spent time with malnourished children in Tanzania whose families were going hungry because cassava crops were wiped out by brown-streak disease. That was particularly painful because in neighboring Uganda I had recently visited trial plots of genetically modified cassava that demonstrated complete resistance to the virus. The faces of the hungry children come to mind every time I hear European politicians boast about their country’s G.M.O. ban and demand that the rest of the world follow suit — as Scotland’s minister did in August.
Those heartless Europeans, going against science and starving children. How could they?

And indeed they are anti-science, in this case. But what Lynas doesn't tell you is the outsized role he had in creating Europe's anti-scientific attitude towards GMOs.
He [Lynas] admitted "... in 2008, I was still penning screeds in the Guardian attacking the science of GM – even though I had done no academic research on the topic, and had a pretty limited personal understanding. I don’t think I’d ever read a peer-reviewed paper on ]asingly inconsistent with my pro-science environmentalism with regard to climate change." [Wikipedia]
Lynas doesn't write a thing about what role his wrting, activism and crimes played in creating the very atmosphere he now wants to excoriate as being anti-scientific.

Lynas is whitewashing his own history. How many children starved because of him?

By the way, GMOs have nothing at all to do with climate change. They're separate subjects with little overlap, and the science on both of them is clear. The science on GMOs has been known for well over a decade -- they aren't harmful, and there's no reason to expect they could be harmful.

But instead of reading and understanding the science, Mark Lynas wanted to be a vandal and a criminal. He wanted to be an activist -- an anti-science activist. I wonder if, in his conversion on GMOs, he offered to pay for the damage he created in the farming and research fields of Europe?

Who knows what Lynas will want to be next month? Whatever it is, it probably won't be determined by science. Maybe by just whatever position gets him in print.


PS: The New York Times has been rejecting a comment that points out Lynas's hypocrisy. Why would they be protecting Lynas?

46 comments:

John said...

"They" are NOT "anti-science."

GMOs are NOT science but simply another technological application of science.

They are the equivalent of the A- /H-bombs in 1) their relation to science, per se, 2) the (theoretical) legitimate, and ultimate veto, the general populace should have over use of those applications and 3) the easily predictable, negative, ultimate effects of their long term use.

"They" are responsible citizens of the globe and who realize that widespread use of GMOs will help annihilate the ecosphere ... along with the effects of climate change.

It is hardly science to uncover knowledge of the physical system in which we find ourselves only to, in the obsessive search for "profit," prevent future generation from ever experiencing that system.

John Puma

Thomas Palm said...

"The science on GMOs has been known for well over a decade -- they aren't harmful, and there's no reason to expect they could be harmful."

This is a very strange statement. GMO isn't a single organism, it's a method to create new plants and animals. Surely you *could* make harmful organisms with it. Whether GMO is safe or not depends entirely upon whether or not you trust the testing performed, and as the VW scandal recently proved, it's uncertain to what extent you can do that.

David Appell said...

Thomas: You are well aware of what I mean by that sentence. Your complaint isn't an honest one.

David Appell said...

John Puma wrote:
""They" are responsible citizens of the globe and who realize that widespread use of GMOs will help annihilate the ecosphere."

Baloney. How is this supposed annihilation supposed to happen?

David Appell said...

John, maybe you're right but I sincerely doubt that the average European citizen has all these settle and complex factors in mind when they reject genetically modified foods.

Thomas Palm said...

David, I read what you wrote. If you meant something else perhaps you could clarify, because I can't read your mind.

GMO is potentially dangerous, something GMO-supporters have a hard time admitting. You have to study each organism individually to try to find the risks involved. If it is pesticide resistant, you have to consider what added use of that pesticide till do to the environment. If it has some novel gene for increased survival, like frost resistance, you have to consider its potential for spreading and becoming a super weed, or the new gene spreading to relatives etc.

You can say some GMO:s appear to be safe, but you can't say the technology as such is safe.

uups said...

Well, David, of course there are average Europeans who reject GMOs for silly reasons, but Lynas' comment is about governments and governmental organizations, and their reasoning is indeed as John and Thomas Palm describe it above (specific for individual applications, with an eye on potential ecological and agricultural impacts). This is *not at all* comparable to the crank-style rejection of climate science by US Republicans.

It's just as with nuclear power: one can build nuclear power plants in a safe way or with sluggish/insufficient safety measures (as in Chernobyl or Fukushima), and at some point one has to care about long-term storage the waste, a question which has not been solved satisfactorily in Europe (no remote places to bury them in the ground). Rejecting nuclear power for the latter reasons is not at all rejecting the science. It's just a different (more differentiated) risk assessment.

John said...

To David,

Part One
To David,

I hope your blog can afford the loss of it's "average European" readers. I'll save the comparison of "the average American" to "the average European" until after my fifth drink.

And, IF I am right, who the fuck cares how GMOs are rejected in Europe, or elsewhere, as long as they ARE rejected???

To start, let's be clear, GMO crops DO NOT have to be toxic/carcinogenic/immune suppressing/etc. when digested in the human alimentary canal to be "harmful." (if such GMOs do not now exist they eventually will.)

One must, by the relationship of plant growth with climate, connect the "annihilation of the planet" by GMOs to the effects of climate change. I assume the human species is correctly considered a part of "the planet."

GMO+climate-change annihilation of the planet (including its self-avowed, most glorious species) starts by inducing further pressure to grow SINGLE genotype crops. (The genetic equivalent of "monoculture.")

That is, Monsanto picks the specific variety of corn, soybeans, or whatever species, into which to incorporate the genetic information for the desired "engineered" trait. I assure you they do not perform that engineering on the full range of varieties available for any given crop.

Therefore, use of GMOs further decreases the collection of genes/traits, independent of the GMO trait, in any given industrially grown food crop. This is a dangerous tendency that has been going on, for other reasons, for decades before the GMO technology was employed.

The more effective is Monsanto in saturating any given crop/industry with their GMO seeds, the higher will be the probability, that conditions producing crop failures, usually climatic failures, will render any given annual harvest null and void. For example, are the optimal temperature ranges for the growth of Monsanto's corn, wheat and soybean genotypes wide enough to deal with the changes in temperature that will occur in the areas in the US in which these crops are grown?

The industry has experience near-disasters in the past by use of a narrow range of background genetics. Let's make sure we have stock piles of food ready to keep them Monsanto technologist's going when they need to pump out more genetic variety!!

JPP

John said...

To David,

Part II

The major GMO trait engineered and marketed is resistance to Monsanto's herbicide Round Up™. This is to allow, greater use of the herbicide to deal with weeds. (In the post below I will attempt to give site addresses I have collected for article on GMOs. Among those are recent revelations that farm workers are beginning to suffer health effects of increased exposure to Round Up. Ditto for the "lower" forms of life with which our food producing crops co-evolved and, therefore, ultimately depend.)

Monsanto has recently admitted that it knew all along that weed resistance to Round Up™ would eventually develop. But being a clever, if murderous, corporation they are one step ahead. Patents have now been issued for GMO crops genetically-endowed resistance to 2,4D, one of the molecules that allowed our excellent experiment in chemical terrorism in SE Asia a few decades back. What Monsanto shill is going to say it is alright for YOU to drink a quart of 2,4D?

Are we ready for 2,4D-resistance in all the weeds of the world's "breadbaskets"? What about the effects on those "who grow your food"? Do we really need another toxic substance in our soil and water? What's the proposed 3rd generation poison after 2,4D?

A minor area of genetic modification is "salt resistance." This will not confer the ability to grow crops in salt water per se. It has to do with the chemical nature of the fertilizers of the prior generation of advances in agricultural technology, i.e. "the green revolution." Decades of this chemotherapy has essentially depleted soils of the microorganisms whose recycling of vegetable matter, and atmospheric nitrogen fixation, is what feeds growing plants. Presumably the margins on chemical fertilizers are much lower than for Round Up™ and 2,4D.

Finally, familiarize yourself with "terminator" technology. It's the perfect diabolical abuse of science by monsters of predator capitalism. It is a genetic modification of plant crops that render their seeds infertile unless and until they are treated, at a Monsanto facility, no doubt, to release the fertility block.

When the weeds and non-weeds alike acquire that "trait" what happens to the atmospheric O2 supply? How long until all topsoil erodes into the ocean? The non-crop plants (including weeds), of course, are the genetic background from which our preferred crops were selected. Why destroy that biological patrimony of evolution on which our existence depends?

How are corporate profits worth all those risks?

David Appell said...

John, I'm not going to publish some long list of articles that you cut-and-pasted from somewhere -- that's not discussing science.

David Appell said...

Thomas wrote:
"GMO is potentially dangerous.... If it has some novel gene for increased survival."

If. You're imagining things, then using that as a reason to outlaw the GMO.

Thomas Palm said...

David, where did I say anything about outlawing GMO? As usual it is impossible to discuss risks with GMO because the supporters tend to be fanatical and simply refuse to accept there are risks involved. Oh, and the frost resistance I mentioned isn't just my imagination, inserting genes from a fish giving frost resistance to tomatoes has been tried, it just didn't work out very well.

David Appell said...

Thomas, yes, I know about the fish genes in tomatoes.

There are risks involved in everything. But denigrating GMOs because of an imagined risk doesn't make sense to me.

David Appell said...

John wrote, "The major GMO trait engineered and marketed is resistance to Monsanto's herbicide Round Up™. This is to allow, greater use of the herbicide to deal with weeds."

Farmers have to use some kind of pesticides and herbicides, in order to produce to feed 7+ billion people. What I've read is that Gyphosate is one of the least damaging options.

John said...

To David,

Can you point to actual agricultural reasons for the INCREASE in the amount of Round Up used?
Did you happen to read about, among the references you chose not to publish, the effects on farm workers of the INCREASE use of Round Up?

Did you not notice that the effects of the INCREASE use of Round Up is creating the same outcome as the massive abuse of antibiotics in treatment of human disease? That is, as I have also stated, and you apparently choose to ignore: the overuse of Round Up has selected for RU resistant weeds.

Therefore, "one of the least damaging options" has been made obsolete because of abuse.
Your argument, therefore, is invalid.

Will you believe Monsanto's easily predictable propaganda (equivalent to big tobacco and big climate deniers) that 2,4D is "one of the least damaging options" for the farmer? What IS the 3rd generation compound to replace 2,4D when the weeds become resistant to it?

Monsanto is NOT interested in feeding 7 billion people. Read Vandana Shiva regarding the destruction of agriculture in India as farmers join the "cash crop" contingent supplying not domestic population but, rather, the global speculator class with commodities to trade on their hallowed "markets."

Further industrialization and financialization of agriculture is NOT the answer it is THE problem.
Localization is the answer. Are you aware of, and comfortable with, the energy (i.e CO2 emissions) required to ship food thousands of miles as mandated in the current system?

Are you comfortable with the emission effects of the massive production of total junk foods, from the obvious to the ubiquity of high-fructose corn syrup? How about the health effects of ingestion of that thinly veiled poison? The direct health costs and "economic losses" caused by them?

John Puma

Thomas Palm said...

David, we are different then, because I think it is better to consider risks *before* some disaster happen. Chernobyl was "imaginary" until it happened, the serious consequences of AGW are "imaginary" at the moment etc.

David Appell said...

Thoma s wrote: "David, we are different then, because I think it is better to consider risks *before* some disaster happen."

With that philosophy, man would have never built the first fire.

"Chernobyl was "imaginary" until it happened...."

What is the damage that would have occurred had the Chernobyl reactor never been built and, instead, several coal-fired power plants were constructed and utilized instead?

"....the serious consequences of AGW are "imaginary" at the moment etc."

No, they aren't, and we have a far better handle of the large risks of climate change than anyone has ever shown for GMOs.

David Appell said...

Thomas: Better yet, what if ALL the nuclear plants in the world, which have not had accidents, had instead never been built and coal was used instead for power production?

How many humans would that have killed and sickened? What would have been the damage to ecosystems?

Risks can be studied and managed. We all take calculated risks in our lives every day, such as driving.

Thomas Palm said...

David "What is the damage that would have occurred had the Chernobyl reactor never been built and, instead, several coal-fired power plants were constructed and utilized instead?"

What if the people who built and operated the Chernobyl plant had accepted that nuclear power was potentially very risky and implemented proper security measures when building and operating it so there wouldn't have been a disaster in the first place? You argue as if accidents like Chernobyl is just something we have to accept. Either accept bad reactors or switch to coal. Black or white with no scales of gray in between.

"Risks can be studied and managed". To some extent yes, but only if you accept there are risks. Someone who claims "they aren't harmful, and there's no reason to expect they could be harmful" is *not* someone I would trust on that point, and that was my whole point from the start: do we trust the industry and regulators to properly handle a dangerous technology.

I don't remember who came up with the statement that biology is more dangerous than physics, because physics decay with the square of the distance while biology increase exponentially, but it seems relevant here. The effects of something like Chernobyl was mainly local, but a mistake with releasing the wrong GMO could have global repercussions.

David Appell said...

Thomas, you avoided my question.

People need electricity. The numbers show that generating it by nuclear is far safer to people and ecosystems than generating it with coal.

Everyone knows there are risks to both types of generation. No one accepts "bad risks." Risks should be managed to be as low as possible. These go without saying.

You are using the worst case scenario and attempting to make it the rule. It isn't. You need to look at the big picture to analyze risk. You're saying, look at that 100,000 acre forest fire that destroyed 300 homes -- we should stop using fire.

I don't agree with your statement about biology vs physics. Manmade climate change is going to last at least 100,000 years. And that too must factor into the question of risks of coal vs nuclear.

Thomas Palm said...

David, "The numbers show that generating it by nuclear is far safer to people and ecosystems than generating it with coal."

You continue to argue in black and white, assuming that anyone who says anything critical about nuclear power or GMO is totally against them, despite the fact that I've never said anything about being against either. You may not realize it, but reactors built in the West are a lot safer than Chernobyl, which is why I don't oppose them.

"You are using the worst case scenario and attempting to make it the rule."

No, I'm using the worst case scenario to prove why you should consider risks in advance, not just dismiss them as "imaginary" until they happen (which they will if you dismiss them like that) It's thinking like that that made Chernobyl possible.

My comment about biology vs physics was relevant to risks with nuclear vs GMO. AGW is another matter which I agree doesn't fit.

David Appell said...

Thomas: I'm not arguing risks shouldn't be considered in advance. No one would ever do that. You've set up a strawman argument.

What scientific studies were done, if any, to assess adding the frost resistant gene to other species like tomatoes?

By the way, it's possible to naturally breed plants to be frost resistant:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110902104743.htm

"My comment about biology vs physics was relevant to risks with nuclear vs GMO. AGW is another matter which I agree doesn't fit."

But nuclear power is needed at least as a bridge to sustainable noncarbon energy. So opposing nuclear power by an inaccurate understanding of its risks -- especially when compared to fossil fuels -- runs the risk of increasing climate change even faster.

Thomas Palm said...

David " I'm not arguing risks shouldn't be considered in advance. No one would ever do that. You've set up a strawman argument. "

What you stated was "The science on GMOs has been known for well over a decade -- they aren't harmful, and there's no reason to expect they could be harmful." If you think GMO can't be harmful, what risks are there to be considered?

"What scientific studies were done, if any, to assess adding the frost resistant gene to other species like tomatoes?"

Good point, I have no idea. Were enough tests done to ensure such a change would have been safe? And I don't think adding a gene from a fish is quite equivalent to normal breeding for frost resistance. Adding such a radically new gene (for plants) could have unforeseen consequences if it manages to jump to wild plants.

" So opposing nuclear power by an inaccurate understanding of its risks"

Except that as I stated I don't oppose nuclear power. I do oppose building and operating reactors with the safety practices of Chernobyl, and perhaps that's where we disagree. You figure even bad nuclear power is good, because it is still better than bad coal.

David Appell said...

Thomas: How do you prove something is safe/

If you haven't looked into what studies were done in the tomato case, you can't criticize it.

Genes naturally jump between species all the time. Do you want a safety study every time that happens?

Unknown said...

David, you say the science of global warming is clear. That's only partially correct. It is clear that the planet has warmed and it's clear that man's activity has contributed to the warming. Beyond that, nothing about climate change is clear. E.g., David, I think you cannot answer the following questions:

1. What's the value of climate sensitivity? The IPCC doesn't know. They think it's between 1.5 and 4.5 deg. C, but admit that it could be outside this range.

2. A couple of dozen theories have been advanced to explain the pause or slowdown in warming during the last 15 -18 years (including the theory that there was no slowdown). Which theory is correct?

3. Global warming models say that the troposphere should be warming more quickly than the ground. Why do the temperature records show the troposphere warming less than the ground?

4. IPCC scientists have a variety of climate models, with different assumptions. Which model is the correct one?

5. IPCC scientists maintain that man's activity didn't affect global temperature before 1950. What caused the sharp global warming from 1910 to 1940?

6. And, what caused the drop in global temperature from 1940 to 1950?

7. Why did Antarctic ice extent grow to a record level in 2014?

8. Why did Arctic sea ice extent rebound, to a degree, after reaching a record low in 2012?

Cheers
David in Cal

Thomas Palm said...

David you keep lining up the strawmen. I've never demanded that you proves something is safe, only that you do a proper risk evaluation, which assumes you even admit there are risks. I didn't criticize the tomato as much as use it to show that people are experimenting with genes that could cause trouble in nature. And yes, genes do jump, but almost always between closely related species, either through cross fertilization or by a virus or bacteria that infect both species and bring some spare DNA along. Between fish and plants neither mechanism is exactly likely.

John said...

To David,

Good, you do understand a serious biological risk: "Genes naturally jump between species all the time. Do you want a safety study every time that happens?"

Obviously there cannot be a valid safety study for that done even one time, much less every time.

Therefore, I want sensible people to quash the industry that unilaterally chooses what genes (plant or otherwise) will eventually jump between species.

Otherwise we are courting biological/botanical disaster the same way mindless consumption has courted climate disaster.

John Puma

David Appell said...

John wrote:
"Therefore, I want sensible people to quash the industry that unilaterally chooses what genes (plant or otherwise) will eventually jump between species.... Otherwise we are courting biological/botanical disaster the same way mindless consumption has courted climate disaster."

John, do you see any benefits from GMOs?

What do you think of this article, that links to many studies that have been done on GMO safety?

"With 2000+ global studies affirming safety, GM foods among most analyzed subjects in science," JoAnna Wendel & Jon Entine | October 8, 2013 | Genetic Literacy Project
http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/10/08/with-2000-global-studies-confirming-safety-gm-foods-among-most-analyzed-subject-in-science/

David Appell said...

Thomas wrote: "I didn't criticize the tomato as much as use it to show that people are experimenting with genes that could cause trouble in nature."

Reading a little about frost-resistant tomatoes, and as you said it was never commercialized, it's not even clear to me if they were grown anywhere other than a lab or greenhouse, so perhaps safety studies on it were never done. But I'd have to study it and ask around to be sure. I would be very surprised if there were no studies on safety.

Transferring genes is a huge subject, a lot of people work on it, and I only follow it at the popular level. I think one would need to look at each case and find what studies have been done.

But I don't see GMOs disappearing at this point. The technology is too useful. Just wait until we have GM people!

David Appell said...

David in Cal: There are answers to all your questions, if you would go and look for them. I do not appreciate you coming here and throwing all kinds of questions out when you clearly have not done your homework.

#1) not knowing the precise value of climate sensitivity does not mean climate change isn't a risk, and potentially a high risk.

#2) Better data show there was no pause in surface temperatures. See the Karl et al paper in Science from May -- it was widely covered.

#3) I don't know. So? We do not have to have perfect knowledge of the climate system to see we are at risk of significant change.

#4) No model is ever "correct," nor can they be.

#5) GHGs, some increase in solar intensity, and some diminishment in volcanic cooling that looks to have caused the Little Ice Age.

#6) Probably areosols. Perhaps a natural fluctuation. A decade does not matter and doesn't prove or disprove anything -- it's the long-term trend that matters.

#7) Winds. Go read RealClimate.

#8) Natural fluctuation.

Unknown said...

David -- sorry if I wasn't clear. Let me try again. I didn't intend to address just how big a risk global warming is. I meant to address what aspects of climate change were clear and which ones weren't clear. To that end, I provided a lists of things that are not clearly known or agreed IMHO.

In particular, the Karl paper might be right, but it's not clearly right. Many critics consider it to be wrong. Also, warmists have propounded a variety of theories explaining the warming hiatus, such as heat stored in the deep ocean, volcanic activity, etc. The fact that these scientists have offered theories to explain the hiatus shows that they think there was a hiatus.

David in Cal

David Appell said...

Which critics, with credentials, think Karl et al is wrong?

John said...

To David,

At the moment I'll respond to the article of the link you gave but not the underlying article it reviews (i.e. "Nicolia et. al.")

Here is a review article for you to read and comment upon: http://tinyurl.com/nnt3vbh
It addresses both the direct effects question (#7) and outlines the bigger picture, that is, GMOs as a continuation of the consolidation of the control of global agriculture into fewer and fewer corporate hands, aided by governments and their courts. (See various court cases Monsanto has brought against farmers. The main result is that NON GMO seed users must be vigilant against the accidental pollination of there crops by nearby GMO crops! The issue of patenting of genes is idiotic enough, but now Monsanto effectively holds a patent on pollination itself.)

The main author is Miguel Altieri, some of whose many original papers are listed among the references. Note that NON of them appear among the references of "Nicolia et.al." casting serious doubt that paper has, despite it's claims, any desire to examine "the debate" about GMO use.

I counter with "GMO Myths and Truths." Chapters are linked at right-hand margin. Link: http://tinyurl.com/kszoh2p

The article you linked essentially addresses two issues:
1) safety of actual ingestion of GMOs
2) gene transfer

To #1, as I said above: "To start, let's be clear, GMO crops DO NOT have to be toxic/carcinogenic/immune suppressing/etc. when digested in the human alimentary canal to be harmful." (if such GMOs do not now exist they eventually will.) It is unlikely that the engineered components of GMOs would be able to survive the conditions in the human stomach. Those components are, of course, biochemicals and, thus, not resistant to digestion. No, the effects will be borne, as usual, by the lowly farm worker, whether Hispanic in the US, Central American, African or Indian, who will demonstrate the effects of Round Up, later 2,4D, when these are absorbed through the skin and lining of the lungs.

To #2, the argument seems to be, "well gene transfer occurs naturally therefore we should feel free to transfer them UNnaturally." This classic demonstration of hubris can be taken as a scientific and societal justification the moment there appears in the scientific literature the natural transfer of genes between the animal and plant KINGDOMS. (As per fish anti-freeze compound engineered into tomatoes.

I must sign off here for now.

John Puma


JoeT said...

David, if I can jump in here. The answer to your immediate question is Kevin Trenberth. You even wrote about this on August 13 of this year.

And as for question #3 above, it's the troposphere over the tropics that is supposed to be warmer than the surface -- the so-called tropospheric hot spot. The latest results show good agreement with climate models. See https://theconversation.com/climate-meme-debunked-as-the-tropospheric-hot-spot-is-found-42055 an article by climatologist Steve Sherwood citing his own work.

David Appell said...

JoeT: You're right, Kevin Trenberth said he thinks there is still a hiatus.

On the other hand, NASA GISS and HadCRUT4 both took up the NOAA changes to the sea surface temperatures in about a month or two. I presume they (as experts) looked at them and decided they made sense.

Science will solve this, as it always does. Someone puts forth a finding, others analyze it and agree or disagree, papers are written, and if there are errors they are found and corrected. Eventually there is a consensus and science moves forward. Science has been doing this for 400 years, and it's why it's been so amazingly successful.

David Appell said...

By the way, Joe, UAH made huge adjustments to their data in August, which were in some cases huge -- changes about 3 times larger than Karl et al's -- and no deniers (I'm not saying you are) said a word about them -- they adopted them without question, and happily, because they gave a result they like. And UAH hasn't even published a paper yet explaining the changes(!), which they say are still in "beta." But the data are out there every month and the WUWT crowd are happy to use them.

http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2015/04/some-big-adjustments-to-uahs-dataset.html

http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2015/06/noaas-data-changes-actually-smaller.html

http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2015/08/changes-to-uah-tropospheric-data.html

JoeT said...

David, I do know about the UAH adjustment. In fact, I read them about them here and elsewhere. As you might tell from my comment about the tropospheric hot spot, I'm hardly a denier (which, as you point out, you didn't call me). Rather I'm a plasma physicist who happens to be interested in what the real climate physics issues are, rather than the fake ones. Trenberth's arguments are especially interesting because he thinks the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is extremely important --- part of the answer to #6 above by the way. Now that it has turned positive for the last 2 years or so, Trenberth thinks the surface warming will be increasing at a faster rate. As you say, this is how science works. We'll find out if one or the other is right, or maybe something different. This is what makes real science fascinating.

David Appell said...

John @ 10/29:

Your link isn't to an article, just to a blog post.

Blog posts aren't science.

Do you have any real science to point to -- peer reviewed work in respected journals?

The former is quality work that deserves consideration. The latter does not.

Otherwise I am not interested.

David

David Appell said...

John:

After looking at the "article" you offered.... it isn't science. It is just a few hand-waving bullet points, that prove nothing.

In fact, this seems like a joke.

That you offer this shows me you do not understand science and how science comes to the truth.

David

David Appell said...

David in Cal wrote:
"In particular, the Karl paper might be right, but it's not clearly right...."

Why?

PS: In the future, when you make a claim, provide evidence to support it.

David Appell said...

Joe T:

These guys claim to have found the hotspot:

"Climate meme debunked as the ‘tropospheric hot spot’ is found,"
Steven Sherwood et al, June 3, 2015
https://theconversation.com/climate-meme-debunked-as-the-tropospheric-hot-spot-is-found-42055

David Appell said...

JoeT: But it's clear Trenberth has not dug deeply into the data, as did the NOAA team.

How then can his remarks be considered on the same level?

David Appell said...

uups 10/25 wrote:
"Well, David, of course there are average Europeans who reject GMOs for silly reasons, but Lynas' comment is about governments and governmental organizations...."

My post isn't about that. It's about Lynas's bald-faced hypocrisy, and his pretending that he had nothing to do with the anti-GMO sentiment in Europe and Africa.

David Appell said...

John wrote 10/26:
"That is, as I have also stated, and you apparently choose to ignore: the overuse of Round Up has selected for RU resistant weeds."

So? All pesticides create resistance, and this has been happening since long before GMOs....

JoeT said...

David

Perhaps you didn't realize when you wrote your response to me that you linked to exactly the same article as I did at 9:50 regarding the tropospheric hot spot. Had you not read my post?

As for Trenberth, you said "But it's clear Trenberth has not dug deeply into the data, as did the NOAA team." That's not clear to me at all, how do you know? His argument is two-fold: 1) Karl shouldn't have started at 1950, a time of negative PDO, because it lowers the trend prior to 1999. 2) The phase of the PDO is critical in determining how much heat is sequestered in the deep ocean, rather than the surface.

Even though I am a physicist, as you are, I don't feel qualified to weight in on how clear it is whether Trenberth did or did not dig deeply into the data.

You know how this is supposed to work: If Trenberth is obviously wrong, then let's see the paper by Karl et al. that rebuts it. Has such a paper been published?

I'm on the sidelines on this, just trying to understand what the real physics issues are rather than useless discussions about "deniers vs skeptics" or unreferenced opinions that feedbacks aren't important. Besides, I'm fascinated to know whether the warming rate will in fact increase in the near future.

BUT ....

If I had one question to ask Trenberth I would ask him this: Given the short time intervals and that autocorrelation of the data greatly increase the 2-sigma uncertainty in the warming rate, how can you be so sure there even was a hiatus?

David Appell said...

Joe: The Supplementary Material for Karl et al has Table S1, where their trend results are given for 1880-2014, 1950-1999, 1951-2012, etc. And they used lag-1 autocorrelation for the errors, and they still found statistically signficant trends for 1998-2012, 1998-2014, 2000-2014.

You're right, ultimately it does not matter if there is a "hiatus." There were several in the 20th century, and warming always resumed. 15 years is too short of a time to draw meaningful conclusions about climate change, but, of course, those opposed to climate change want to use short intervals to claim there has been no warming.