Sunday, April 29, 2007

Roger Revelle was right

Eli, because he RTFSPM, knows what the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report will say about the rise of global temperatures by 2100

Best estimates and likely ranges for global average surface air warming for six SRES emissions marker scenarios are given in this assessment and are shown in Table SPM.3. For example, the best estimate for the low scenario (B1) is 1.8°C (likely range is 1.1°C to 2.9°C), and the best estimate for the high scenario(A1FI) is 4.0°C (likely range is 2.4°C to 6.4°C).
and also, because he RTFR, Eli knows what Roger Revelle thought in 1991, 1 to 3 C. Of course, that is not what was published by S. Fred, in the Cosmos Club Magazine
Assume what we regard as the most likely outcome: A modest average warming in the next century- well below the normal year-to year variation- and mostly at high latitudes and in the winter.
We know from the copy of the infamous galleys that S. Fred brought with him to San Diego that S. Fred wanted to say less than 1 C and that is what he wrote. Less than 1 C might arguably be less than the normal year-to-year variation in global temperature, about 0.2 C, but 1 to 3 C is substantially greaterSo what did Roger Revelle say. We can look at the galley proofs. The comment on the side is Roger Revelle's, and it says "one to three"

How do we know that Roger Revelle wrote one to three. . . well Eli RTFD, S. Fred's deposition starting on page 157
Q: Turning back to this marked up manuscript, is now the galley proof, moving to the impact - the climate change section again, Galley: 003, can you explain to me the discussion in February of 1991 concerning the first sentence under this section? And explain the notations.
A: The printed text represents, of course, my final draft submitted to the Cosmos journal sometime in 1990. The handwritten note on the side is Roger Revelle's. And it reads either "one or three" or "one to three." I can't make it out. The discussion revolved around whether warming would be below the year-to-year variation. And I explained to Roger that my wording was much more certain, that if the average warming was below one degree, it would be below the normal m year-to-year variation, whereas his numbers would certainly not be. below the normal year-to-year variation. He didn't argue about the normal ill year-to-year variation, but he argued about the number. I was able to convince him. But we compromised finally by leaving out all references to any number. And note that his position was much more conservative than mine. He was willing to allow that a much larger temperature increase would still be below the normal year-to-year variation. And I told him that that is not so.
Q: Let me see if I have this right. The "one to three" indicates what?
A: The "one to three" indicates degrees Celsius.
MR. BLUTE: Just for the record, or that was Dr. Revelle's handwriting. He so testified. He was there. You're not a handwriting expert Let's move on. (Discussion off the record.)
Q: Taking what you've told us to be the "one or three" or the "one to three" written by Roger, may I take the "RR" with the circle around it to indicate your expression that this was one of Roger's comments?
A: Yes.
Q: Fine.
A: The "RR" is in my handwriting.
Q: Clearly. Would you agree that it doesn't matter whether Roger wrote "one or three" or "one to three," or whether you wrote "one to three" or "one or three," that in either case we're talking about Revelle's comment?'
A: Well, I would never have written this.
Q: Okay.
A: You know, this is my final draft. And so these comments were written on here by Revelle to discuss with me before we turned the draft - the final draft, the laser proofs back to the publisher.
Lancaster leads S. Fred on
Q: Well, just again on this point, under the "Impacts of Climate Change" in the first sentence, is it reasonable to understand the "one or three" or the "one to three" comment to indicate Dr. Revelle's belief that a modest average warming, a likely outcome, would be one to three degrees - in the range of one or three degrees Celsius, in that range?
A: That is one interpretation.
and S. Fred claims that Revelle didn't know the magnitude of annual variation in global temperatures
Q: Is that an incorrect interpretation? And if so, what is the correct interpretation? Why are those words written there?
A: He was under the impression that this would still be below the normal year-to-year variation. And we discussed it and thought the best way to adjust it is to take out reference to any kind of number. So we deleted my sentence - my part of the sentence and we deleted his comment.
Q: Doesn't it show that he actually struck the word "well" in that third line of that paragraph?
A: It does show that, yes.
Q: Isn't it true in the published version that the word "well" isn't struck, that it exists in the document?
A: I'd have to check that.
MR. BLUTE: It speaks for itself.
Q: Would you agree, based on what you've just said, that it was understood between you and Dr. Revelle that the words "of less than one degree Celsius: well" would be struck from the document?
A: I don't recall that. But I'm quite willing, as it were, to strike the word "well." So if it does appear in the final version, it might well have been a mistake.
Q: Might it not have been a mistake if Dr. Revelle believed that one to three degrees was the most likely average warming in the next century, to have the words "below the normal year-to-year variation"?
A: Well, I don't think that's correct. That's just my point, that if you accept the fact that the average warming is below the normal year-to-year variation, which he did, then you cannot specify a warming of one to three degrees. It has to be less than one degree.
Q: Did you and Dr. Revelle discuss at that point what the number was for the normal year-to-year variation?
A: I think we tried to estimate it.
Q: What number did you come up with?
A: I told him it would have to be less than one degree. And he agreed but suggested that we also take out my wording, which is "of less than one degree." So we left it kind of open. This is quite usual when people collaborate and try to achieve a compromise.
Q: Is it possible that you got to this point and you understood Dr. Revelle's belief was that a likely warming would be one to three degrees indicated by this comment written in the margin, and that then you were able to move on by you striking the language "of less than one degree Celsius," your agreeing to strike that language?
A: Well, I certainly agreed to it, yes.
S. Fred does Alberto Gonzales imitations.
Q: Is it possible that at that time you didn't discuss and didn't estimate the normal year-to-year variation?
MR. BLUTE: He just testified that he did.
MR. LANCASTER: Yeah, I just want to know if it's possible that he didn't.
A: I think we did.
Q: You remember that clearly?
A: Yes, I think I said to him that a three-degree increase would certainly stick out about the normal year-to-year variation. And he accepted that.
Q: If Dr. Revelle's closest colleagues believe that Roger Revelle - Roger Revelle's view was that the most likely warming in the next century would be one to three degrees, then you're saying they're mistaken?
MR. BLUTE: Objection. You can answer.
A: Either that, either they're mistaken, or they misinformed you, or I was able to convince him otherwise. Revelle is not an expert on mathematical models. And these numbers are derived from mathematical models.
And Our Dick Lindzen sulks across the stage:
Q: Is it fair to say that it was your belief in March of 1990 that a modest average warming in the next century would be one to two degrees Celsius?
A: Yes, at that time that was my belief.
Q: And what influenced your belief between that time and the writing of this draft?
A: I would say a closer look at the data on temperature changes and a realization that the models are really much worse than I had thought. This was based on discussions with a number of experts whose names I've already mentioned.
In short, 1-3 C was not such a bad estimate at the time for what would happen in a century, but sad to say Lancaster had to serve as his own attorney at the time for lack of funds. SLAPP suits depend on this. Poor Tim Ball


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Eli. What's even worse is the stuff earlier in Singer's deposition where he admits that the people who edited the manuscript were Lindzen and possibly Michaels.

Yet neither guy appears as an author.

Singer also admits that Revelle did not write a single sentence in that manuscript.

In actuality, the bit of scribbling off to the side might be Revelle's only contribution to the article. Now you should go and find how many times disreputable "journalists" like Greg Easterbrook and George Will referenced this bogus article and used it to bash Gore.

Mus musculus anonymous

Anonymous said...

The wording in the original is very interesting, and so is what Revelle did not cross out.

"Assume what we regard as the most likely outcome: A modest average warming in the next century of less than 1 degree Celsius - well below the normal year-to year variation- and mostly at high latitudes and in the winter."

1) while this is a technically accurate sentence, if year to year variation is around 0.2C and if one expects the warming over the next century to be significantly less than 0.2C -- since this would also be less than 1 deg C, of course -- that is a very odd way to put it, nonetheless.

It is puzzling that there was no mention of the actual year to year variation in the original sentence. Wouldn't one want that in there if one were arguing that warming over the next century would be small? (as an indication of just how small)

2) It certainly looks like Revelle actually was under the impression that the normal year to year variation was greater than 1 degree (or at least of that order).

If Revelle had known the actual year to year variation, he certainly would have realized that his best estimate of 1 to 3 C (assuming it was he who wrote that in the margin) was not even close to being consistent with the "below the normal year-to-year variation" statement -- and Revelle would presumably have crossed that part out as well.

Taking 1 and 2 together can lead to some interesting speculation.

Anonymous said...

From reading the original draft, I would rather assume that Revelle did not precisely strike through the wording which he wanted to be deleted, but simply stroke through a false information ("less than one degree Celsuis") and wished it to be replaced by a correct one ("one to three"). He presumably expected Singer to acknowledge this and correct the paragraph (not just the one half sentence!) accordingly.

Given that he probably thought to be working with a person that has some basic knowledge of the science (let`s also not forget his already bad health at that time), I find it 1) not surprising that Revelle worked in this not very clean way, and 2) that Singer of course knew that, but deliberately chose to ignore what is obvious to any reader of the original manuscript and decided to carry on with his task to catch the precious name of the dying Revelle.

I have worked on editing documents like that (though on another topic), and if I would not have been unable to understand a comment like Revelle's I would have lost my tiny little unpaid job right away.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was intentional that the year to year variation was not explicitly stated at the getgo.

Had it been, Revelle would certainly have noted the inconsistency and demanded it be remedied, since his thinking was still very much acute enough to recognize the "less than one degree" error.

Anonymous said...

@Eli Rabett:
Perhaps you are interested in it: The german magazine "Spiegel" tries to copy "The great global warming swindle".,1518,479076,00.html

You can watch the video here:

Its the same old rubbish with John Christy, Fred Singer, Monckton and some German climate skeptics.

Anonymous said...

nils said: "I would rather assume that Revelle did not precisely strike through the wording which he wanted to be deleted, but simply stroke through a false information"

I would accept that, had he not also stricken the word "well". The fact that he did strike through "well" demonstrates that he was very cognizant of possible inconsistency between the wording 1 to 3 deg C that he wished to swap in for the "less than one deg" and the existing wording "well below.." that followed.

The fact that Revelle only struck through the "well" (and left the remaining "below...) would logically seem to imply that he was under the impression that year-to-year variation was well above 1 degree C, since it would have to be for the lower bound of the 1-3 deg note to be consistent with the "below..." wording that Revelle left in.

I am convinced by what I have read that Revelle understood the possible inconsistency quite well.

I find the following statement by Singer to be particularly interesting:

"I explained to Roger that my wording was much more certain, that if the average warming was below one degree, it would be below the normal m year-to-year variation [only if the year to year variation was >= 1 deg C! And according to that graph that Eli shows above, that variation is about 0.2C], whereas his numbers would certainly not be. below the normal year-to-year variation.[you can say that again!] He didn't argue about the normal ill year-to-year variation [interesting, given that Revelle did strike that word "well", but it is at least possible that Revelle did not point that out in his conversation with Singer], but he argued about the number. I was able to convince him.."

Anonymous said...

Another way to look at this is that Revelle expected polar amplification to be quite sharp. Otherwise the use of "average" with "mostly at high latitudes and in the winter" doesn't quite make sense. As we know (and to what extent did Revelle know it then?), many of the worst shorter-term effects of AGW (THC slowdown, sea ice retreat, GIS melting) are associated with polar amplification.

Anonymous said...

What do you want to bet that Motl has violated Copyright law by posting this image of Revelle from the Sandiego Historical Society?

Even if he asked for and received permission to post it, he as clearly violated their terms of use, since he did not credit them wit ha caption next to the image.

He apparently thinks that just linking to their site gets him off the hook.

When SHS hear about it, I suspect Motl may be in some doo-doo.

Can you say copyright infringement?

EliRabett said...

Eli would not be especially hard on Lubox for this one (other things....). Since he included the URL, the link is explicitly included in the html code. On most browsers, when you roll over a link, the link shows somewhere.

Honestly, Eli may have missed some too. Not something we need a bloggers ethics panel for.

Anonymous said...

Normally, I would agree, but Motl is using Revelle as a prop for his denialist nonsense and I somehow doubt that anyone who has been involved with documenting the history of Revelle's work would approve.

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Eli - Truly you are doing the Lord's Work here. You have become the very "Hammer of the Infidels."

Anonymous said...

A soft, furry hammer -- but with an extremely hard nose (of Rabettanium).

If anyone can drive the nails into the Denialist's steal coughin, Eli can.

Anonymous said...

While similar, the "R's" in the RR next to the crossed out Revelle note do not look quite the same as those in a sample of Revelle's signature seen here

I am no handwriting expert and I certainly understand that people do not always make their letters exactly the same, but they do usually make them in the same way.

You can decide for yourself, but first note how, in the signature, the front part of the R is more sloping (less vertical) and how the R's come to a distinct "point" at the top (as opposed to curved loop).

The R's next to the crossed out note seem (at least to me) to be more rounded and flatter on top.

Also note that at the top of the R's in the complete signature, the left and right sides of the R "cross" at the top. This indicates (to me at least) that Revelle made his R in two strokes. One stroke form the loop to the left (ending at the top) and the other to form the right side of the R (starting where the left loop ended). In other words, it seems to indicate that he did not make the top part of the R in one continual loop (as some people, including myself do), which presumably would have led to a more rounded (and less pointed) top for the R.

But as I said, I'm no hand-writing expert and these are simply my observations.

Anonymous said...

I see where above Singer actually says the RR was his to note that the comment was Revelle's.

"A: The "RR" is in my handwriting."