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					       Is the free scientific process
    threatened by the political agenda?

                                           Eigil Friis-Christensen
                                                 DTU Space


       • 1 – My motivation

       • 2 – Characteristics of Modern Science

       • 3 – Ad hominem accusations versus scientific substance

       • 4 – Ridiculing the scientific process in the public

       • 5 – Peer Review Process

       • 6 – Conclusion

1   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
My motivation
• Awarding Al Gore and the (IPCC) the Nobel Prize obviously had a
  big impact in the public. Although not a science prize, in the
  media it was generally regarded as the final acceptance of the
  climate model projections of future climate. The debate is over;
  it was said over and over again.

• However, as scientists, we should be the last to confuse politics
  and science. As long as we see the advancement of science, the
  scientific debate will and must continue.

• We must never forget that computer models cannot possibly
  include Nature’s entire plethora of physical processes. Only
  experiments and observations provide the means to decide,
  which models are right and which models are wrong or
  insufficient.

• This is exactly what science is all about. And we need to tell it.

2   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
Modern science
• What characterizes modern science?
   – Computer simulations? Well, perhaps too much, but

• One of the fundamental pillars of modern science is observations. In
  this respect many regard the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546
  – 1601) as the father of modern science because his extremely
  accurate observations made it possible to formulate of some of the
  fundamental laws of physics, on which our society is based (Kepler).
• Another great Dane, Nicolaus Steno (1638 - 1686) may be regarded
  as one of the fathers of modern geological sciences. Observations of
  fossils in high mountain areas convinced him to go against the
  mainstream doctrines of the evolution of the Earth, based on pure
  speculations.
• Hans Christian Ørsted, (1777 – 1851) discovered electromagnetism
  1820 by doing experiments based on a intuitive feeling (wish!) of a
  connection between electricity and magnetism.


3   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
  Ingenuity and Authority (Consensus) –
  a never ending battle!

• Why had this simple effect not been observed earlier?

      • In 1821 Ampère wrote to a friend: The French scientists did not
        discover electromagnetism 30 years earlier because Coulomb
        (1736-1806) had stated, that there could be no connection at all
        between electric and magnetic phenomena!

      • Faraday had a different view: “his constancy in the pursuit of his
        subject both by reasoning and experiment, was well rewarded
        by the discovery of a fact of which not a single person besides
        himself had the slightest suspicion”




  4   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
Reminding us all: The Scientific method
From Wikipedia

• Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena,
  and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps
  must be repeatable in order to dependably predict any future results.
  Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many
  independently-derived hypotheses together in a coherent, supportive
  structure. This in turn may help form new hypotheses or place groups of
  hypotheses into context.

• This method can never absolutely verify (prove the truth of) . It can only
  falsify
    – Einstein: "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a
      single experiment can prove me wrong.

• Karl Popper: empirical hypotheses must be falsifiable.




5   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
    Ad hominem accusations
    www.realclimate.org
                                                  Climate Change: The Role of
                                                  Flawed Science, An analysis by Peter
                                                  Laut – November 2009
                                                  Ref. Svensmark and Friis-Christensen
                                                  … “However, the authors had also
                                                  added relevant data. These were all
                                                  displayed in the 1997‐article, but some
                                                  of them were removed again in the
                                                  1998‐article. Strangely enough, the
                                                  removed data were precisely those
                                                  data which indicated a beginning
                                                  disagreement with the solar theory”
                                                  This wrong allegation was pursued
                                                  in a documentary in Swedish
                                                  National TV (SVT) September
                                                  2009.
                                                  In a press release of May 03,
                                                  2010, SVT was criticized by The
                                                  Swedish Broadcasting Commission
                                                  (SBC).
6    DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
Steve Connor “explains why the science is flawed”,
    The Independent, Monday, 14 December 2009

• Sun sets on sceptics' case against climate change
   – Critics who say global warming is not man-made are using the
     summit in Copenhagen to make their case.

• … scientists working in the field have told The Independent that Laut's
  critique is correct and that the original papers published in 1991 and
  1998 are seriously flawed. Six leading experts, including one Nobel
  laureate, agreed with Laut's analysis that the graphs of Friis-Christensen
  and Svensmark showing apparent correlations between global warming,
  sunspots and cosmic rays are deeply flawed.

• Friis-Christensen now accepts that any correlation between sunspots and
  global warming that he may have identified in the 1991 study has since
  broken down. There is, he said, a clear "divergence" between the
  sunspots and global temperatures after 1986, which shows that the
  present warming period *) cannot be explained by solar activity alone.

• now: In a scientific paper from 2000!
• *): i.e. the warming from 1986 to 2000!

7     DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
Ridiculing the                                      George Monbiot.
scientific process                                  The Guardian
                                                    13th March 2007
Logic
                                                    Caricature
• Hypothesis: solar-climate link exists
                                                    • … recent temperature
• Step 1: Main result. Demonstration                  variations on Earth are in
  that SCL precedes the sunspot                       "strikingly good agreement"
  number. Hence compatible with                       with the length of the cycle of
  hypothesis                                          sunspots. Unfortunately, he
• Step 2: check recent years with                     found nothing of the kind. A
  unfiltered data – still compatible.                 paper published in the journal
    – Nb! No data after 1986                          Eos in 2004 reveals that the
                                                      "agreement" was the result of
                                                      "incorrect handling of the
                                                      physical data". The real data
                                                      for recent years show the
                                                      opposite: that temperatures
                                                      have continued to rise as the
                                                      length of the sunspot cycle
                                                      has increased.
                                                 Friis-Christensen & Lassen: Length of the
                                                 solar cycle: an indicator of solar activity
                                                 closely associated with climate. Science
                                                 (1991).
8   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
  Ridiculing the                                           George Monbiot.
  scientific process                                       The Guardian
                                                           13th March 2007
Logic
                                                           Caricature
Update in 2000, more data available
• Conclusion 1: confirmation of trends until
                                                           • When this error was exposed,
  1986 (1991 paper) with a short (33 yr) filter
                                                             Friis-Christensen and his co-
    – long filter with arithmetic error*) was not            author published a new
      used (scientifically meaningless)                      paper, purporting to produce
• Conclusion 2: Discrepancy after 1986. leaves               similar results(4). But this too
  room for other explanations, including AGW                 turned out to be an artefact
                                                             of mistakes they had made -
                                                             in this case in their
                                                             arithmetic(5).*)


                                                   *) Had already been published by the
                                                   authors prior to the critique:
                                                   Thejll, P. and K. Lassen, 2002. Erratum to
                                                   "Solar forcing of the Northern hemisphere
                                                   land air temperature: New data" JASTP62
                                                   (2000) 1207-1213, J. Atm. Solar-Terr. Phys.,
                                                   64, 105.


  9   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
Ridiculing the                                    George Monbiot.
scientific process                                The Guardian
                                                  13th March 2007
Logic
                                                  Caricature
Next step, hypothesis regarding the
                                                  • So Friis-Christensen and
  physical mechanism:
                                                    another author developed yet
   through cosmic rays affecting clouds             another means of
• Hypothesis 1: Total cloud cover                   demonstrating that the Sun is
    – Not falsifiable 1982 to 1995                  responsible, claiming to have
    – But failed when data for low clouds           discovered a remarkable
      became available – for data after             agreement between cosmic
      1995                                          radiation influenced by the Sun
                                                    and global cloud cover(6).
    – New hypothesis necessary!
                                                  • But, yet again, the method was
• Hypothesis 2: (2000): Low clouds are
                                                    exposed as faulty. They had
  affected
                                                    been using satellite data which
    – This hypothesis has not been falsified        did not in fact measure global
      yet.                                          cloud cover. A paper in the
                                                    Journal of Atmospheric and
                                                    Solar-Terrestrial Physics shows
                                                    that when the right data are
                                                    used, a correlation is not
                                                    found(7).
10   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
Ridiculing the                                     George Monbiot.
scientific process                                 The Guardian
                                                   13th March 2007
Logic
                                                  Caricature

• Hypothesis regarding cloud formation,
  Creation of ultrafine aerosols enhanced by • So the hypothesis changed
  increased ion concentration                  again. Without acknowledging
                                               that his previous paper was
    – Tested experimentally in three
                                               wrong, Friis-Christensen’s co-
      different laboratory set ups.
                                               author, Henrik Svensmark,
    – Tested in the real atmosphere using      declared that there was in fact
      measurements of aerosols during          a correlation - not with total
      Forbush decreases                        cloud cover but with “low cloud
                                               cover”(8). This too turned out
• Conclusion:                                  to be incorrect(9). Then, last
    – The hypothesis of a solar activity       year, Svensmark published a
      effect on climate through cosmic rays    paper purporting to show that
      ionising the atmosphere, enhancing       cosmic rays could form tiny
      aerosols and cloud condensation          particles in the
      nuclei, and finally cloud formation has  atmosphere(10).
      not yet been falsified.


11   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
Peer Review Process
Referee report …. April 2009

• Unlike the CO2-warming theory which agrees with every plausible
  computer model of climate that has been tested (with varying amounts of
  warming, of course), the author cites NO climate model evidence to
  support his claims. Unfortunately, it is all proof by assertion.
• Referee quotes:
    – I found a more extensive critique of this point at
      http://www.realclimate.org/
    – All of this will require significant work and there are certainly no
      guarantees that all the steps can be verified (which they have been
      for the greenhouse gas hypothesis)
    – The author is reputed to be a scientist, and a scientist does not
      ignore criticisms like those made above. A scientist should address
      the criticisms, and try to refute them.!
    – In summary, an uneasy pair of questions arises: If the author has
      simply ignored the above arguments, how seriously should we take
      his work? And should we trust his judgment on any point? I
      recommend that the editors reject this manuscript.




12   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
www.realclimate.org
gavin @ 16 October 2006
• First, the particles observed in these experiments are orders of
  magnitude too small to be Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN)… however,
  aggrandisation of these small particles is in no sense guaranteed (Missing
  step #1).
• To show that the cosmic ray mechanism is important, you need to show
  that it increases CCN even in the presence of lots of other CCN (Missing
  step #2).
• Next, even if more CCN were made, you would need to show that this
  actually changed cloud cover (or optical thickness etc.) (Missing step
  #3).
• And given that change in cloud properties, you would need to show that
  it had a significant effect on radiative forcing – which despite their hand
  waving, is not at all well quantified (even the sign!) (Missing step #4).
• Finally, to show that cosmic rays were actually responsible for some part
  of the recent warming you would need to show that there was actually a
  decreasing trend in cosmic rays over recent decades – which is tricky,
  because there hasn’t been. (Missing step #5).




13   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
Peer Review Process
Referee report …. April 2009

• Unlike the CO2-warming theory which agrees with every plausible
  computer model of climate that has been tested (with varying amounts of
  warming, of course), the author cites NO climate model evidence to
  support his claims. Unfortunately, it is all proof by assertion.
• Referee quotes:
    – I found a more extensive critique of this point at
      http://www.realclimate.org/
    – All of this will require significant work and there are certainly no
      guarantees that all the steps can be verified (which they have been
      for the greenhouse gas hypothesis)
    – The author is reputed to be a scientist, and a scientist does not
      ignore criticisms like those made above. A scientist should address
      the criticisms, and try to refute them.!
    – In summary, an uneasy pair of questions arises: If the author has
      simply ignored the above arguments, how seriously should we take
      his work? And should we trust his judgment on any point? I
      recommend that the editors reject this manuscript.




14   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
 'No Sun link' to climate change
 By Richard Black, BBC Environment Correspondent, 10 July 2007
                                                   BUT
• A new scientific study                           • You cannot falsify the cosmic ray climate
  concludes that changes in                          hypothesis using 20 years of data.
  the Sun's output cannot be                       • Classical mistake: discarding other causes of
  causing modern-day climate                         temperature rise and decline.
  change
                                                   • Clear correlation on the 11-year time scale
• It shows that for the last 20                      between cosmic rays and cloud cover,
  years, the Sun's output has                        tropospheric and ocean temperature, not
  declined, yet temperatures                         predicted by climate models.
  on Earth have risen.
• Mike Lockwood's analysis
  appears to have put a large,
  probably fatal nail in this
  intriguing and elegant
  hypothesis.
• He said: "I do think there is
  a cosmic ray effect on cloud
  cover. It works in clean
  maritime air where there
  isn't much else for water
  vapour to condense around”.
 15   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark
Conclusions
• The political agenda has influenced the ”normal” scientific debate
    – Attempts to monopolize science (IPCC, climategate)
    – Personalization of scientific controversies – assisted by the media by
      ad hominem accusations in order to attack the credibility of
      scientists.
    – The scientific methodology (a hypothesis is valid as long as it has not
      been falsified) seems forgotten.
• The peer review process is particularly affected (cf. climategate).
    – Only peer reviewed papers are (ideally) part of the IPCC input.
    – Therefore there is an interest, not always purely scientific, to
      influence the review process.
• OUTLOOK
    – In a free democratic society (free exchange of ideas) science and
      scientific methodology will survive but perhaps scientists need to
      fight .




16   DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark

				
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