Saturday, December 30, 2006

Benny and the dunk tank

Like the guy at the carney who insults the crowd so they will buy chances to dunk him in the tank Benny Peiser is once more on the search.

"Some commentators have argued that these differences undermine my main criticism while they validate Oreskes' claim. However, as I have stressed repeatedly, Oreskes entire argument is flawed as the whole ISI data set includes just 13 abstracts (less than 2%) that explicitly endorse what she has called the 'consensus view.'"
The rules of the competition are that the endorsement must be in the abstract and that it must endorse the 'consensus view' which we will take as the IPCC TAR as advanced by the NAS report, and various statements of learned societies (this is going to be a lot easier when the fourth Assessment Report is released). The list starts in 1993. In many cases the articles anticipated the consensus and contributed to it.

Brian Schmidt at Backseat Driving was the first to take him up, picking the second in the list and getting us off to a fine start.
2.
AU
MATYASOVSZKY, I, BOGARDI, I BARDOSSY, A, DUCKSTEIN, L
TI ESTIMATION OF LOCAL PRECIPITATION STATISTICS REFLECTING CLIMATE-CHANGE
SO WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH
Eli can extend Brian's comments a bit, noting that the conclusion
Under the dry continental climate of eastern Nebraska the effect of 2 X CO2 scenario on local precipitation regime is spatially variable and significant: the number of wet days slightly decreases but both the mean and variance of daily precipitation increase resulting in a more variable precipitation regime.
matches the consensus view in IPCC TAR WGI
These factors suggest that, while global precipitation exhibits a small increase with modest surface warming, it becomes increasingly concentrated in intense events, as is observed to be happening in many parts of the world (Karl et al., 1995), including the USA (Karl and Knight, 1998), Japan (Iwashima and Yamamoto, 1993) and Australia (Suppiah and Hennessy, 1998), thus increasing risk of flooding. However, the overall changes in precipitation must equal evaporation changes, and this is smaller percentage-wise than the typical change in moisture content in most model simulations (e.g., Mitchell et al., 1987; Roads et al., 1996). Thus there are implications for the frequency of storms or other factors (duration, efficiency, etc.) that must come into play to restrict the total precipitation. One possibility is that individual storms could be more intense from the latent heat enhancement, but are fewer and farther between (Trenberth, 1998, 1999).
The fourth abstract includes the following statement at the end

3. AU LAWRENCE, MG
TI AN EMPIRICAL-ANALYSIS OF THE STRENGTH OF THE PHYTOPLANKTON-DIMETHYLSULFIDE-CLOUD-CLIMATE FEEDBACK CYCLE
SO JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES

AB The possible influence of the marine biogeochemical sulfur cycle on the global climate has been a topic of much recent research. Based on the hypothesis that phytoplankton could affect cloud albedo by producing dimethylsulfide, which is a precursor to aerosols and cloud condensation nuclei, and that cloud albedo could in turn affect the productivity of the phytoplankton, the presence of such a feedback cycle would have significant implications for models of global climate change. By considering available data on the relationships between individual components of the proposed feedback, an empirical model is developed of the cycle as a whole, allowing an assessment to be made of the degree to which the cycle could thermostatically regulate the climate. It is estimated that the feedback strength is about 20% (10% - 50%) of that which would be necessary to completely counteract a perturbation to the global climate, such as is anticipated due to accumulation of anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

And, from the TAR (published seven years after this paper) DMS emissions from phytoplankton are still not very well characterized, but again we find general agreement

There are several possible sources of error in these calculations. The most serious assumption is that the DMS concentration fields do not change between the years 2000 to 2100. DMS is produced as part of phytoplankton bloom cycles, especially in high latitude areas. It is likely that the mean distribution of phytoplankton blooms in the upper ocean would change between 2000 and 2100 given any perturbation of the sea surface temperature, wind speed, and sunlight. The other major assumption is that the monthly climatological ice cover does not change between 2000 and 2100. Ice acts as a lid on the ocean in upper latitudes through which DMS cannot pass.

Overall, the calculations suggest a small increase in global DMS flux between the year 2000 (with a global DMS flux of 26.0 TgS/yr) and the year 2100 (with a global DMS flux of 27.7 TgS/yr). The most noticeable features in the 2100 fields are the predicted increases in DMS fluxes in some areas of the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and some areas of the Southern Ocean immediately adjacent to the Antarctic continent. There are some localised increases predicted in the tropical and sub-tropical Pacific Ocean.

The next paper

4.
AU
SCHULZE, RE KIKER, GA KUNZ, RP
TI GLOBAL CLIMATE-CHANGE AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
SO GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS

not only agrees with the consensus, it played a part in forming the consensus as referenced in the TAR
Analysis of potential impacts, using dynamic simulation and geographic databases, has been demonstrated for South Africa and the southern Africa region by Schulze et al. (1993) (see also Schulze et al., 1995; Hulme, 1996; Schulze, 2000). Relatively homogenous climate and soil zones were used to run agrohydrological, primary productivity, and crop yield models. The results reaffirm the dependence of production and crop yield on intraseasonal and interannual variation of rainfall.
The fifth paper starts:

5.
AU HULSE, JH
TI AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND THE ENVIRONMENT
SO FOOD RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development alerted the world to the hazards presumptive if the planet's natural resources of land, water, air, energy and biological organisms are not protected and utilised more conservatively. UNCED declared two urgent research priorities: global climate change and genetic diversity. Excessive use of fossil fuels and a resultant atmospheric pollution forebodes higher temperatures at the earth's surface. The consequences for agriculture are unpredictable.
That's clear enough, certainly this was endorsing the 'consensus view' in 1993, when the observations, models and predictions were less certain. Let's move on to #6

6.
AU RACHIDI, F KIRKHAM, MB KANEMASU, ET STONE, LR
TI ENERGY-BALANCE COMPARISON OF SORGHUM AND SUNFLOWER
SO THEORETICAL AND APPLIED CLIMATOLOGY
An understanding of the energy exchange processes at the surface of the earth is necessary for studies of global climate change. If the climate becomes drier, as is predicted for northern mid-latitudes, it is important to know how major agricultural crops will play a role in the budget of heat and moisture.

The IPCC TAR says that there will be increased summer continental drying and risk of drought over most mid-latitude continental areas.

So far Eli has looked at 6 abstracts and found 5 that support the 'consensus view'. Benny is going to get wet. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

J. S. - (Wacki) said...

Eli,

My email address is at the bottom of my website. Please use it. I have something of interest to tell you.