OK I guess I can’t hide any more as I’ve been outed by both Anthony Watts and E.M.Smith as an attendee at the ICCC conference in Chicago. I found myself “over the pond” on business and grabbed the opportunity to come, taking a few days vacation. Well actually Joe D’Aleo twisted my arm more than a little (thanks Joe I’m really glad you did). Tonight is the first night I’m actually awake enough to be able to focus on a computer screen at this time so I have no excuse. I don’t normally suffer badly from jet lag (East to West), but this time it is bad (I’ve been waking every morning at 3-4am), probably not helped by getting seriously led astray by friends in New Jersey on Friday night, such that I arrived in Chicago feeling a little worse for wear on Saturday. Dinner with E.M.Smith on Saturday evening was fun – so much to say about climate stuff and other shared interests, and it was great finally to meet him as he has become a real friend though blog comments and email exchanges over what seem like an age but is probably only six months or so.
The conference dinner was quite an event (delicious food), although it was a little unnerving to have cameras everywhere preparing to film the keynote speakers including Steve McIntyre (left).
Steve described the history of both his hockey stick investigations and the revelations in the Climategate emails in his quiet, even-handed tone. Somehow the story as he tells it is so much more powerful because he doesn’t hype it.
I didn’t manage to make breakfast or the first session today through sheer tiredness, but did catch some interesting stuff such as a theory for a new sun-dictated ice age from Russian scientist Habibullo Abdussamatov, who predicts a new extreme solar minimum commencing in 2042, but with significant cooling in the run up to this. Craig Loehle’s paper “Natural climate cycles explain most of the 20th century warming” is something that I want to revisit. [Update: E.M.Smith has a much more comprehensive summary of these two papers, and others here, since he was clearly more awake yesterday evening than I was.}
Joe’s paper collected all that is wrong with the temperature data, and he surprised me by using some of my graphs/maps. I also heard Anthony (right) running through his impressive collection of badly sited surface stations and comparative analysis of the data from low and high quality sited stations. Now the interesting thing here was that I was sitting behind two guys with whom I had had the priviledge of a long chat about the quality (or not) of the surface data. I could see much shaking of heads.
I got a very brief chance to say hello to James Delingpole (left) after he entertained us in his inimitable style, and managed to put faces to a lot of names, including Ric Werme, a longtime commenter at WUWT. That faces-to-names thing has been one of the nicest aspects so far, but overall the best thing has been being able to have conversations with people about climate science without having to explain a whole load of background first. And, although there has been some lamentation at the lack of balance in the science here, another plus point is being able to discuss doubts and errors openly without having to tread carefully around the normal points of contention. It is actually quite refreshing.