Plus: A Climate Depot Exclusive: Real Climate Exposed! A Comprehensive Report on the "Real" RealClimate.org
The global warming promoting website RealClimate.org, is under fire yet again from a prominent scientist for presenting incorrect climate information. Climatologist Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. publicly rebuked the website in a June 30, 2009 article for "erroneously communicating the reality of the how the climate system is actually behaving." Pielke, the former Colorado State Climatologist and currently a senior scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, countered Real Climate's claim that warming was "progressing faster than expected" with the latest data on sea level rise, ocean heat content and Arctic ice.
In his article titled "Real Climate's Misinformation", Pielke also chastised readers of Real Climate for blindly accepting the incorrect climate claims promoted on the site.
"Media and policymakers who blindly accept these claims are either naive or are deliberately slanting the science to promote their particular advocacy position," Pielke Sr. wrote.
Realclimate.org, a website which much of the mainstream media has relied on for climate science developments, has come under increasing criticism and scrutiny from scientists. Real Climate's lead blogger and NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt was harshly criticized for some of his scientific claims in January 2009. Atmospheric scientist Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, a prominent scientist from the Netherlands, wrote a scathing denunciation of Schmidt in which he said he was “appalled” by Schmidt's “lack of knowledge” and added, “Back to graduate school, Gavin!”
The latest scientific woes by RealClimate.org were rebutted point by point by Pielke on June 20, 2009.
Real Climate claimed:
“Our regular readers will hardly be surprised by the key findings from physical climate science, most of which we have already discussed here. Some aspects of climate change are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago - such as rising sea levels, the increase of heat stored in the ocean and the shrinking Arctic sea ice."
"First, what is 'physical climate science'? How is this different from 'climate science'. In the past, this terminology has been used when authors ignore the biological components of the climate system," Pielke wrote.
Pielke continued: "More importantly, however, the author of the weblog makes the statement that the following climate metrics 'are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago'":
1. Real Climate Claim: “rising sea levels”
Pielke's Response: "NOT TRUE; e.g. see the University of Colorado at Boulder Sea Level Change analysis. Sea level has actually flattened since 2006."
2. Real Climate Claim: “the increase of heat stored in the ocean”
Pielke's "Response: NOT TRUE; see
Update On A Comparison Of Upper Ocean Heat Content Changes With The GISS Model Predictions.
Their has been no statistically significant warming of the upper ocean since 2003."
3. Real Climate Claim: “shrinking Arctic sea ice”
Pielke's Response: "NOT TRUE; see the Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly from the University of Illinois Cyrosphere Today website. Since 2008, the anomalies have actually decreased."
Pielke Concluded: "These climate metrics might again start following the predictions of the models. However, until and unless they do, the authors of the Copenhagen Congress Synthesis Report and the author of the Real Climate weblog are erroneously communicating the reality of the how the climate system is actually behaving.
Media and policymakers who blindly accept these claims are either naive or are deliberately slanting the science to promote their particular advocacy position."
Climate Depot Exclusive Report: A Long History of Accuracy Woes and Activism for RealClimate.org
Atmospheric scientist Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, a prominent scientist from the Netherlands, wrote a scathing denunciation of Schmidt in which he said he was “appalled” by Schmidt's “lack of knowledge” and added, “Back to graduate school, Gavin!”
“Roger Pielke, Sr. has graciously invited me to add my perspective to his discussion with Gavin Schmidt at Real Climate. If this were not such a serious matter, I would have been amused by Gavin's lack of knowledge of the differences between weather models and climate models. As it stands, I am appalled. Back to graduate school, Gavin!” Tennekes wrote on January 29, 2009. Tennekes, is an scientific pioneer in the development of numerical weather prediction and former director of research at The Netherlands' Royal National Meteorological Institute, and an internationally recognized expert in atmospheric boundary layer processes. Tennekes is also featured in U.S. Senate Minority Report Update: More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims “Gavin Schmidt is not the only meteorologist with an inadequate grasp of the role of the oceans in the climate system. In my weblog of June 24, 2008, I addressed the limited perception that at least one other climate modeler appears to have,” Tennekes wrote. “From my perspective it is not a little bit alarming that the current generation of climate models cannot simulate such fundamental phenomena as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I will not trust any climate model until and unless it can accurately represent the PDO and other slow features of the world ocean circulation. Even then, I would remain skeptical about the potential predictive skill of such a model many tens of years into the future,” Tennekes added.
Atmospheric Physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh, also critiqued RealClimate.org on June 24, 2008. Peden wrote, “'Real Climate' is a staged and contracted production, which wasn't created by 'scientists,' it was actually created by Environmental Media Services, a company which specializes in spreading environmental junk science on behalf of numerous clients who stand to financially benefit from scare tactics through environmental fear mongering.”
Meteorologist Joe D'Aleo also launched a sharply worded critique of RealClimate.org in January 2009 titled “Response to Gavin Schmidt – Global Data Base Issues Are Real.” “To Gavin [Schmidt] and the other alarmists, it appears, a piece that is fair and balanced can make no mention of any other opinion except that carbon dioxide is causing global warming and action is needed now and will deliver gain and no pain, something the one sided media coverage has gotten them used to over the years,” D'Aleo wrote on January 13, 2009. D'Aleo served as the first Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel and served as chairman of the American Meteorological Society's Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting.
Israeli Astrophysicist Nir Shaviv has also been critical. “The aim of RealClimate.org is not to engage a sincere scientific debate. Their aim is to post a reply full of a straw man so their supporters can claim that your point 'has been refuted by real scientists at RealClimate.org,'” Shaviv's website reported. Shaviv, who calls the website “Wishfulclimate.org,” noted that the “writers (at RealClimaet.org) try again and again to concoct what appears to be deep critiques against skeptic arguments, but end up doing a very shallow job. All in the name of saving the world. How gallant of them.”
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