Monday, January 25, 2010

“Robust” is the Global Warmists Favorite Word

What is it with the Warmists and “robust”?

Dr. Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), admitted that they had wrongly asserted that glaciers in the Himalayas would melt by 2035, but then defended the IPCC, saying it was wrong to generalize based on a single mistake. ‘Our procedure is robust,’ he added.

“Was ist das “robust”? I sputter in German (confronted with such arrogance, my English failed me.)

What is robust about a review methodology that (1) includes a 1999 news report on Himalayan glaciers that was never reviewed by glacier science experts? (2) that then was lifted from and cited as a source a 2005 World Wildlife Fund report that contained a basic arithmetic error (the rate of average annual glacier retreat for 121 years was determined by dividing the total distance by 21 instead of 121)? and (2) ignored critical comments generated in the course of the IPCC “robust” review process?

Professor Graham Cogley, a glacier expert at Trent University in Canada, said the claim multiplies the rate at which glaciers have been seen to melt by a factor of about 25.

An authoritative report published last November by the Indian government said: “Himalayan glaciers have not in any way exhibited, especially in recent years, an abnormal annual retreat.”

Raj Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, denounced the Indian government report as “voodoo science”.

However, it is apparently robust voodoo science.

Next we consider Michael Mann of “hockey stick” fame, immortalized by Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” Inconveniently for both Gore and Mann, the hockey stick has been totally broken and discarded by serious climatologists, thanks primarily to the outstanding work and persistence of Stephen McIntyre. Suffice it to say, “trees don’t make good thermometers,” since they grow well with more rain, more CO2, logging which removes their neighbors, farming that does the same and adds fertilizers, and sometimes grow poorly when it gets really hot. Mann et al compounded their tree-ring proxy scam by using small, carefully selected samples, and by using algorithms that produced hockey sticks even when fed random, spurious data.

But with all these problems, a global warming enthusiast pronounced historical temperature determination through Mann’s tree-ring proxies to be robust. I think what “robust” means in this context is that a lot of global warming alarmists – Mann, Briffa, Jones – are complicit in the fraud.

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