German Scientists Call Rahmstorf’s Selective Citing Of Literature “Embarrassing …Science-Ethically Very Unclean”

Science-ethically dubious: Stefan Rahmstorf silent on large body of dissenting Gulf Stream results in newspaper interview

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
[Translated, edited by P Gosselin]

There was an interview with Stefan Rahmstorf in the German daily Märkischen Allgemeine Zeitung (MAZ) on March 23, 2015:

A tipping element on which the globe’s future hinges
Climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf and his colleagues at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research have evidence of a further weakening of the Gulf Stream.”

That’s old hat. As we have already reported here, other teams of scientists unfortunately have been unable to find any such weakening of the Gulf Stream, and so Rahmtorf is pretty much standing all by his lonesome in the middle of nowhere. And that did not did not remain unnoticed by the MAZ, which persisted courageously:

MAZ: Climate skeptics such as former Environment Hamburg Senator of Fritz Vahrenholt characterized the weakening of the Gulf Stream as part of the natural cycles.

Rahmstorf: I’d be curious to see evidence of that – unfortunately Herr Vahrenholt has published practically nothing in the scientific literature. We also looked for natural cycles and have determined that there have not been any significant fluctuations over the past 1000 years.

True, Fritz Vahrenholt did not publish anything on that topic. But others have to a great extent and Vahrenholt quoted them. This is how science works: You do not need to research everything yourself, rather you turn to the large research networks and peer-reviewed literature. Notable here are for example studies from the University of Rhode Island, NASA, University of Heidelberg, University of Hamburg. The scientists in Hamburg have just recently shown natural cycles. It is quite amazing that suddenly Rahmstorf is unable to recall any of these studies and prefers to indulge in some Vahrenholt-bashing. Apparently the MAZ also found his excuse hardly helpful and continued to persist:

MAZ: Climate scientist Mojib Latif also does not believe in the currently diminishing speed of the Gulf Stream.

Rahmstorf: The current weakening has also been confirmed by other studies. We simply track the stream with the help of proxy data further back in time. In a 2004 study fellow scientist Latif used temperature differences from the North and South Atlantic in order to determine the speed of the stream. Here it was not taken into account that we had an aerosol blocking of the sunlight because of air pollution in the northern hemisphere. This effect cannot be so clearly separated from that of a change in the stream; thus we have refined his methods.

Who believes? Rahmstorf here is peddling to a newspaper his very one-sided view as the supposed consensus within the science field. Embarrassing and science-ethically very unclean. That’s a shame.


It seems Rahmstorf may have a growing habit of not playing cleanly. -PG

5 responses to “German Scientists Call Rahmstorf’s Selective Citing Of Literature “Embarrassing …Science-Ethically Very Unclean””

  1. Pethefin

    Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang published an article today, where claims of Gulf stream slow down are dismissed by two Norwegian experts:

    1. Sebastian Luening

      Thanks Pethefin. I have now added your link to the german version of the article. It is amazing how a single institute dominates the media when there hardly anybody else agreeing to their extreme ideas…

  2. DirkH

    Just give Stefan a time series and the desired conclusion and he’ll find the right nonlinear Monte Carlo random walk model to show it. Or some obscure R operator nobody ever heard of.

  3. handjive

    With The Australian BoM throwing all it’s credibility in one basket:

    It might be time to re-visit Stefan Rahmstorf in 2014 @10 mins:

    The variation between El Niño and La Nina is strongly affected by random chance, so it’s stochastic, it’s unpredictable, and that’s why IPCC doesn’t attempt to predict that.

    So you will find a statement in the latest IPCC report which kind of says that this evolution over the last 15 years was not predicted like that by the IPCC …”

  4. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #180 | Watts Up With That?

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