2009年11月30日月曜日

Climategate

温暖化データに疑惑があがった。
温暖懐疑派と思われる一部の者が、温暖主流派のサーバに不法侵入し、
メールを盗み、公開した。メール内容から、温暖化の基礎となる気温
データを主流派は、都合の良いように加工したと報道されている。
IPCCでは、多くの科学者が指摘しているように、歴史的な事象を無視し、
主流派は主張を頭数で押し切ったらしい。

スパコン同様に本来の性分をはずれ、政治活動に専念する科学者は、真の
政治家とは異なり、政治には向いていないことが世界的に証明された例だ
ろう。

数日経っても日本では主要マスメディアの話題とならない。
政治家の力が働いているのだろうか。


Hot Tricks: Climate change we can't believe in?


---過去1000年の気温変動の虚実(09/11/27)---
2009年11月27日/Ecolomy
http://eco.nikkei.co.jp/column/emori_seita/article.aspx?id=MMECza000024112009

 こんにちは、国立環境研究所の江守正多です。今回は、過去1000年規模の気温変動についてとりあげたいと思います。実は、この問題に関連して、最近とある事件が起こりました。英国イーストアングリア大学気候研究ユニットのサーバーが外部から何者かにハッキングされ、温暖化関連の研究者のメール 1000通あまりがインターネット上に流出したのです。

■温暖化研究のメールがハッキング被害、ネットに流出
 被害にあったのは、過去の気候データの復元や解析などの研究で「気候変動に関する政府間パネル(IPCC)」においても中心的な役割を果たしてきたグループです。その研究者たちの内輪のやり取りが生々しく世間の目に触れることになりました。
 26日付で日経エコロミーに掲載の記事にも既に紹介されています。
 この件に関していえることは、第一に、このようなインターネット犯罪が許されてよいはずはありません。しかし同時に、われわれ研究者は、特に研究の内容や進め方に関しては、万が一他人にのぞかれてもばつの悪くないような態度を普段から取っておかなければならないものだなあ、と改めて考えさせられました。
 この事件をきっかけに、過去1000年の気温変動のデータの信頼性の問題がにわかに注目を浴びているようです。これは以前からたびたび話題になってきたことなのですが、ここでは細部にはあまり立ち入らず、初めての人にもわかるように問題を概観してみましょう。
 2001年に発表されたIPCCの第3次評価報告書で、米気候学者のマイケル・マンらが復元した過去1000年の北半球平均の気温変動データが有名になりました。
 図1のグラフの大部分の期間を占める青い線は、木の年輪、サンゴ、氷床などに刻まれた間接的なデータから復元した過去の気温の変動、最近200年程度の赤い線は温度計で測られた気温の変動です。青い線と赤い線をつなぐと、何百年間もほとんど変動がなかった気温が近年のみ急上昇しているように見えます。この形がホッケーのスティックに似ていることから、俗にこのグラフは「ホッケースティック曲線」とよばれます。
 実際には、過去のデータには大きな誤差幅があることが灰色で示されているのですが、この青と赤の「ホッケースティック」の線のみが世の中に注目されてしまったようです。これは、科学コミュニケーションの観点からみて大きな不幸だったといえるかもしれません。誤差幅のことを無視して最近の気温上昇が異常なものとしてしばしば強調され、その一方で、過去1000年の気温はもっと大きく変動していたはずだと考える古気候学者などが一斉にこのグラフに不審の眼を向けたようでした。
 その後、この問題については同様の研究が多く発表され、07年に発表されたIPCC第4次評価報告書では、複数の研究結果のグラフが重ねて示されました。
 第4次報告書のグラフ(図2)を見ると、解析方法や用いたデータの違いなどによって、復元結果には大きなばらつきがあることがわかります。第3次のときの「ホッケースティック」も多数の線のうち1つとして描かれています(紺色の線MHB1999)。他の研究も重ねると、過去1000年の気温は、「ホッケースティック」のみで示されていた場合に比べて、より変動が大きかった可能性があることがわかります。特に、古気候学者などがその存在を強調する中世の温暖期(10世紀ごろからの気温の高い時期)や小氷期(14世紀ごろからの気温の低い時期)が比較的明瞭に表れています。しかし、それらを考慮した上でも、IPCC第4次評価報告書は、「20世紀後半の北半球の平均気温は、過去500年間の内のどの50年間よりも高かった可能性が非常に高く、少なくとも過去1300年間の内で最も高温であった可能性が高い」と結論づけています。

「研究者がデータ操作」疑惑、注目集めるが・・・・・・
 さて、今回のメール流出をきっかけにして問題になっていることの1つは、これらの復元データと温度計データがつながるあたり(1960~80年ごろ)で、うまくつながって見えるように研究者がデータを操作していたのではないか、ということのようです。僕はこの問題からは研究テーマが遠いこともありますし、ここでどんなデータ操作がなされていて、それが何を意味するのかなどを、ブログなどに断片的に現れた流出メールを見ただけで判断してコメントすることは控えておきます。
 メールの文章が前後の文脈から切り離されて一人歩きすることで、メールを書いた個人やその研究が「不当な非難」を受けることがないように祈ります。
 しかしながら、違法な手段で世の中にさらされてしまったものとはいえ、このメールの中から、仮に科学的に不健全なデータ操作を研究者がしていたことなどが明らかになったとしたら、この研究者は誠実に対応し、必要な訂正などがあればきちんとすべきであろうと、個人的には思います。
 ただし、過去1000年の気温変動に関するIPCCの結論が万が一これに影響を受けたとしても、いわゆる「人為起源温暖化説」の全体が揺らぐわけではまったくないことに注意してください。第1回のコラムで説明したように、「人為起源温暖化説」の主要な根拠は、「近年の気温上昇が異常であるから」ではなく、「近年の気温上昇が人為起源温室効果ガスの影響を勘定に入れないと量的に説明できないから」なのですから。
 ところで、ずいぶん次元の違う話ですが、第4次評価報告書のグラフでもまだまだ過去1000年の変動を過小評価していると主張したい(あるいは第4次のグラフを知らない)人たちが、以下のようなグラフを示すことがあります。
 図3のグラフの原典は米国のロイド・ケイグィンが96年に書いた論文の図で、海底堆積物のデータから復元された、北大西洋のサルガッソー海の海面水温の変化です。つまり、半球や全球を代表するものではなく、特定の海域のデータなのです。そして、同じ著者らによる99年の論文によれば、北大西洋のさらに高緯度の海域のデータはこのグラフとは逆の変動を示しており、これらの変動が地域的に限定されたものであることは明らかです。これらの論文はIPCC第3次評価報告書にも引用されています。
 なお、このグラフはIPCCに反対する米国の署名活動(「朝まで生テレビ!」で丸山茂徳さんが言及していたもの)のホームページからとってきたものです。
 06年の点はケイグィンの元の図には無く、後から付け加えられたものです。
 また、時間軸が本物のケイグィン のグラフと少しずれています(本物のデータは1950年以前しかありません)。
 マンなどの北半球平均の気温復元データとこのグラフを対立する代表的なデータとして並べて、IPCCが後者を無視しているかのように批判するのは科学的に不健全な孫引きの典型です。そのような文脈でこのグラフに出合ったときには、ぜひ注意してください。
 関連して、さらに次元が違う話になりますが、7000年前ごろの縄文時代に日本では海面が今より2~3メートル高かったことがよく知られており、「縄文海進」と呼ばれています。このころ、世界平均の気温が今よりずっと高かったと思っている人がいるようですが、それは間違いだそうです(専門が遠いので、僕も最近までよく知りませんでした)。

縄文時代、日本の海面が上昇した原因は・・・・・・
  7000年前ごろにかけて海面が上昇したのは、氷期が終わって氷床が大量に融けた、つまり地球全体が暖かくなったせいです。しかし、その後に日本付近で海面が下降したのは、地球全体が寒くなって氷床が増えたせいではなく、海水が増えたことによりその重さのために海底が沈下したせいです(逆に氷床が融けた近くでは、軽くなって地形が隆起しました)。
 また、そのころに日本付近が今よりも暖かかったのは、黒潮の流路変化によるものと考えられているそうで、地域的な出来事です(訂正します。この時期は気候最適期とよばれ、北半球規模で20世紀よりも1℃程度温度が高かったと考えられています。ただし、この後に氷床が拡大したという証拠はありません)。
 というわけで、「縄文海進のころは地球が今よりもずっと暖かかったのだから、今の温暖化も異常ではない」というような説明に出会ったときにも、ぜひ注意して頂きたいものです。
 京都議定書の次を議論するコペンハーゲンの第15回国連気候変動枠組み条約締約国会議(COP15)が間近に迫り、世界は温暖化対策についての合意形成を急いでいます。科学的な理解の混乱がその足をひっぱるのはたいへん残念なことです。いわゆる主流派の科学者も、いわゆる懐疑派側も、小手先のロビー活動を競い合うのではなく、科学的な誠実さをこそ競い合いたいものだと思います。


---As Copenhagen summit nears, ‘Climategate’ dogs global warming debate---
By Patrik Jonsson | Staff writer/ November 28, 2009 edition
http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2009/11/28/as-copenhagen-summit-nears-climategate-dogs-global-warming-debate/

Climate experts insist leaked e-mails don’t undercut the science showing a warming planet. But public concern about global climate change is waning as delegates prepare to craft an international agreement at Copenhagen.

Atlanta

As major Western powers rush to break a deadlock over a new global emissions treaty ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit in 10 days, world leaders face another problem: Waning public concern over man-made global warming.

The leak of embarrassing, and in some cases troubling, emails from a major global climate center, East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), has given fuel to skeptics of human-caused global warming, putting even more pressure on leaders to get a deal (or at least the beginnings of one) in Copenhagen.

Among the ideas floated to break a deadlock: A satellite system by which nations could be monitored for their carbon dioxide emissions. Also, a $10 billion global climate fund that would subsidize efforts by poorer nations to cut carbon emissions.

On the global stage, wealthier nations like the US are loathe to damage their own economies with emissions caps while developing nations, which tend to be among the most polluting, won’t face the same curbs.

Developing countries, meanwhile, complain they don’t have the resources to implement carbon-emission cuts nor prepare for the effects of global warming, such as sea-level rise and drought.

Reduced expectations for Copenhagen

Expectations for a deal at Copenhagen have been scaled back dramatically, though British prime minister Gordon Brown said a treaty could be forthcoming within months.

Mr. Brown’s so-called “Launch Fund” would allow the globe to “get moving on climate change as quickly as possible,” he said. “Together the collective power of the Commonwealth must be brought together to tackle a new historic injustice, that of climate change.”

But even as UN climate scientists issued a report Tuesday about accelerating warming ahead of the Danish summit, the science behind sometimes apocalyptic alarms is suddenly being broadly questioned.

The Nov. 20 release of over 1,000 emails between climate scientists via an apparent hacking attack is raising questions about mentions of “tricks” by scientists to buttress the warming theory.

To be sure, the emails don’t appear to be a smoking gun that disproves global warming, or even man’s role in that warming. But they do throw new doubts on the integrity of scientists who control historic climate data, the debate and, climate change policy, critics say.

One oft-cited example: While climate scientists say skeptics shouldn’t be believed because their data isn’t published in peer-reviewed journals, some of the revealed emails show climate scientists actively lobbying to have skeptics denied publication, even threatening to boycott some publications if they don’t keep skeptical studies out.

And while many scientists disregard the lack of warming since 1998 as a predictable blip in the general trend, one scientist noted in a leaked email: “The fact is we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we can’t.”

Skeptical lawmakers dig into ‘Climategate’

The “Climategate” documents spurred Sen. James Inhofe (R) of Oklahoma, a vocal skeptic, and other congressional Republicans to begin a probe into the findings of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and whether contradictory data was suppressed in the research. Reports from the UN agency are the primary basis for US policy direction on climate change, including new Environmental Protection Agency rules and proposed legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions in the US.

“The furor over these documents is not about tone, colloquialisms or whether climatologists are nice people,” writes the business-friendly Wall Street Journal. “The real issue is what the messages say about the way the much-ballyhooed scientific consensus on global warming was arrived at, and how a single view of warming and its causes is being enforced. The impression left … is that the climate-tracking game has been rigged from the start.

The chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, stood by his panel’s 2007 findings last week. That study is the foundation for a global climate response, including carbon emission targets proposed this week by both the US and China.

So far, climate scientists say nothing in the leaked emails takes away from the fact that the climate change evidence is solid. In fact, a new study in the journal Science shows the polar ice cap melting is happening at a faster rate than predicted just a few years ago.

In a teleconference call with reporters this week, one of the scientists whose emails were leaked, Pennsylvania State University paleoclimatologist Michael Mann, said that “regardless of how cherry-picked” the emails are, there is “absolutely nothing in any of the emails that calls into the question the deep level of consensus of climate change.”

Leaked e-mails part of a ’smear campaign’

This is a “smear campaign to distract the public,” added Mann, a coauthor of the Copenhagen Diagnosis, the report on climate change released this week ahead of the Copenhagen. “Those opposed to climate action, simply don’t have the science on their side,” he added.

Professor Trevor Davies of the East Anglia CRU called the stolen data the latest example of a campaign intended “to distract from reasoned debate” about global climate change ahead of the Copenhagen summit.

But the problem for scientists and policy-makers isn’t as much as what the emails actually reveal - though some of it is certainly vexing - but how it will play in Peoria or Copenhagen.

Recent studies show that, while many Americans worry about global warming, their concerns are receding.

Researchers, including Mann, say the blame lies with skeptics trying to undermine hard science about the plight of the globe and mankind. They’ve turned “something innocent into something nefarious,” Mann said last week.

But even some climate scientists at East Anglia, the CRU that got hacked, worry that tribal and political attitudes among scientists may undermine public support for climate change legislation. Citing momentum, however, UN chief Ban Ki-moon told a summit in Trinidad and Tobago Friday that “success in Copenhagen is in sight.”

The New York Times quoted East Anglia climate scientist Mike Hulme saying the leaks hint that “some areas of climate science has become sclerotic … too partisan, too centralized.”


---Hacked climate emails called a "smear campaign"---
Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:54pm EST
by Stacy Feldman, SolveClimate
http://www.reuters.com/article/internal_ReutersNewsRoom_BehindTheScenes_MOLT/idUSTRE5AO4TW20091125

(SolveClimate) Three leading scientists who on Tuesday released a report documenting the accelerating pace of climate change said the scandal that erupted last week over hacked emails from climate scientists is nothing more than a "smear campaign" aimed at sabotaging December climate talks in Copenhagen.

"We're facing an effort by special interests who are trying to confuse the public," said Richard Somerville, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a lead author of the UN IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

Dissenters see action to slow global warming as "a threat," he said.

The comments were made in a conference call for reporters.

The scientists-Somerville, Michael Mann of Penn State and Eric Steig of University of Washington-were supposed to be discussing their new report, the Copenhagen Diagnosis, a dismal update of the UN IPCC's 2007 climate data by 26 scientists from eight nations.

Instead they spent much of the time diffusing the hacker controversy, known in the media as "Climate Gate."

The scandal began on November 20, when an unknown hacker stole at least 169 megabytes of emails from computers at the prominent Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia and put them online for the world to see.

CRU is considered one of the world's leading institutions concerned with human-caused global warming. The leaked emails contain private correspondence on climate science dating back to 1996.

Skeptics of global warming say these messages are filled with evidence of manipulated data from lead authors of the UN's highly influential IPCC reports.

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma, pictured here), a climate skeptic, said he would launch an inquiry into UN climate change research in response.

In an interview with the Washington Times radio show, Inhofe explained the investigation would look into "the way cooked the science to make this thing look as if the science was settled, when all the time of course we knew it was not."

CRU Vice-Chancellor of Research Trevor Davies responded in an official statement:

"There is nothing in the stolen material which indicates that peer-reviewed publications by CRU, and others, on the nature of global warming and related climate change are not of the highest-quality of scientific investigation and interpretation."

Michael Mann, co-author of the Copenhagen Diagnosis and lead author of the UN IPCC Third Assessment Report, blamed skeptics for taking the personal emails out of context.

"What they've done is search through stolen personal emails-confidential between colleagues who often speak in a language they understand and is often foreign to the outside world. Suddenly, all these are subject to cherry picking," he said.

They've turned "something innocent into something nefarious," Mann added.

The vital point being left out, he said, is that "regardless of how cherry-picked," there is "absolutely nothing in any of the emails that calls into the question the deep level of consensus of climate change."

This is a "smear campaign to distract the public," said Mann. "Those opposed to climate action, simply don't have the science on their side," he added.

Professor Davies called the stolen data "the latest example of a sustained and, in some instances, a vexatious campaign" designed "to distract from reasoned debate" about urgent action governments must take to reverse climate change.

According to Somerville, the comments in the emails "have nothing to do with the scientific case" for climate change.

It is "desperate" to launch this right before Copenhagen, Eric Steig, co-author of the Copenhagen Diagnosis, said on the call.

Sen. Inhofe, meanwhile, lauded the timing of the incident.

"The interesting part of this is it's happening right before Copenhagen. And, so, the timing couldn't be better. Whoever is on the ball in Great Britain, their timing was good," he said.

Science Can't Silence Skeptics, Still

The fallout from the scandal is putting some of the world's leading climate scientists on the defensive and underlining the influence of skeptics, even as the case for human-caused warming gets stronger.

According to the Copenhagen Diagnosis report, climate change has rapidly accelerated beyond all previous predictions and humans are to blame.

The findings are a synthesis of 200 peer-reviewed papers that continued to pour in from all over the world after the UN IPCC issued its 2007 analysis. Somerville described the report as an "authoritative assessment" of the newest climate change data.

The results reveal that global warming emissions in 2008 were nearly 40 percent higher than those in 1990. Further, sea level rise is 80 percent above past IPCC predictions.

If 2 degree Celsius warming is to be avoided-the point at which catastrophic damage is predicted to occur-fossil fuel emissions must peak between 2015 and 2020, "and then decline rapidly," the authors warn.

"There's an urgency to this that is not politically or ideological driven," said Somerville. This is "objective scientific reality," he added, and we're "running out of time," to stop the problem.

In a statement released on Tuesday, three of the UK's leading science organizations-the Met Office, the Natural Environment Research Council and the Royal Society-issued an unusually strong statement in advance of Copenhagen. They wrote:

The scientific evidence which underpins calls for action at Copenhagen is very strong. Without co-ordinated international action on greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts on climate and civilization could be severe.


---Climate Action Urged Amid Controversy---
NOVEMBER 25, 2009
By KEITH JOHNSON
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125911350443163363.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Two dozen scientists issued a report Tuesday arguing that the effects of man-made global warming have intensified in recent years, as controversy has ratcheted up over whether the views of scientists who disagree have been squelched over the past decade.

The 60-page report, prepared by many scientists who helped write a 2007 United Nations study that blamed humans for rising global temperatures, seeks to spur policy makers at the big climate summit in Copenhagen next month to take aggressive action to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

"Science has not stood still, and it is quite clear scientifically that we cannot continue to procrastinate," said Richard Somerville, one of the report's authors and a research professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

The report addresses an issue that has become a political hot button: the fact that global average temperatures have fallen since 2005, though the years 2006-08 remain among the hottest on record. The report says that the decade from 1999 to 2008 showed overall warming.

The new report also says that effects of global warming, including melting ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctica, now approximate the worst-case scenarios foreseen in the 2007 report.

But both that U.N. climate report and climate science in general have come under increased scrutiny in the wake of the release Thursday of documents hacked from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University in the U.K.

The hacked documents, widely disseminated on the Internet and the subject of intense scrutiny by climate scientists across the spectrum of opinion, portray leading researchers in the human-made global warming camp slamming rivals, pressuring scientific publications and possibly tampering with data subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Phil Jones, head of the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, said in a statement Tuesday that he and his colleagues "accept that some of the published emails do not read well." He added that some "were clearly written in the heat of the moment," but that he and his colleagues "are, and have always been, scrupulous" in their scientific work.

One of the scientists who prepared the new report -- and whose emails figured prominently among those hacked -- is Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. He described the hacking as "unfortunate" and part of a "smear campaign" ahead of the Copenhagen summit.

The documents prompted congressional Republicans to start investigating how the report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was prepared, because such reports form the principal foundation for U.S. government action on climate change. That action includes increased regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency and proposed legislation to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and vocal skeptic of man-made global warming, on Tuesday sent letters to several of the scientists involved in the hacked emails, as well as to six federal agencies "notifying them to retain documents related to the release of emails from the Hadley Center's Climate Research Unit."

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