Dr. Oliver W. Frauenfeld

Dr. Oliver W. Frauenfield [this denier cut&paste spells his name wrongly] (Climate Scientist), Contributing Author to the UN IPCC Working Group 1 Fourth Assessment Report, with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences Division of Cryospheric and Polar Processes at the University of Colorado.

“Without question, much more progress is necessary regarding our current understanding of climate and our abilities to model it.”

“Only after we identify these factors and determine how they affect one another, can we begin to produce accurate models. And only then should we rely on those models to shape policy. Until that time, climate variability will remain controversial and uncertain.”

Dr Oliver Frauenfeld is a real climate scientist and currently assistant professor at Texas A&M University his work and interests include

My research activities entail a broad range of topics in climate variability and climate change. I focus primarily on surface-atmosphere interactions, over both the land and the oceans. One of these research areas investigates changes in high-latitude and high-altitude environments; specifically, the interactions between frozen ground (permafrost and seasonally frozen areas) and other cryospheric variables in the high latitudes of Eurasia, with the overlying atmosphere. Some of my other research studies the effects of land cover and land use change on climate across the Tibetan Plateau.

I also continue to explore ocean-atmosphere interactions in both the tropics and midlatitudes, such as interactions between the Pacific Ocean and synoptic-scale atmospheric circulation variability of the Northern Hemisphere. Additionally, I am evaluating climate patterns and atmospheric teleconnections, in terms of both their general variability and climate change.

Seasons of Change in the Arctic Environment- Interactions Between Frozen Ground in the Russian Arctic and Atmospheric Circulation -The Contribution of Land-Surface Processes to Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau- Changes in Permafrost Dynamics over the Russian Arctic Drainage Basin- Permafrost Humor

Oliver Frauenfeld has had an illustrious career and was a contributing author for the 2007, IPCC Working Group 1 Fourth Assessment Report, Chapter 4: Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice, and Frozen Ground . [firefox has issues with security but it is safe] and has worked on several papers with T Zhang concerning permafrost and climate change.

One of his contributions to the paper and co-work with Zhang reads-

4.7.3.2 Seasonally Frozen Ground in Non-Permafrost Areas

The thickness of seasonally frozen ground has decreased by more than 0.34 m from 1956 through 1990 in Russia (Figure 4.20), primarily controlled by the increase in winter air temperature and snow depth (Frauenfeld et al., 2004). Over the Tibetan Plateau, the thickness of seasonally frozen ground has decreased by 0.05 to 0.22 m from 1967 through 1997 (Zhao et al., 2004). The driving force for the decrease in thickness of the seasonally frozen ground is the signifi cant warming in cold seasons, while changes in snow depth play a minor role. The duration of seasonally frozen ground decreased by more than 20 days from 1967 through 1997 over the Tibetan Plateau, mainly due to the earlier onset of thaw in spring (Zhao et al.,2004). The estimated maximum extent of seasonally frozen ground has decreased by about 7% in the NH from 1901 to 2002, with a decrease in spring of up to 15% (Figure 4.22; Zhang et al., 2003). There was little change in the areal extent of seasonally frozen ground during the early and midwinters.

Deniers like to cite Oliver Frauenfeld’s scepticism because having a real sceptic who not only knows his stuff but is also critical boosts their argument. However just using the number game chapter 4 of the 2007 IPCC report had over 50 scientists contributing to it.

Oliver Frauenfeld scepticism occurs in the Senate Minority report [which is mined frequently for sceptic quotes]

Climate scientist Dr. Oliver W. Frauenfeld, a co-author of the 2005 book Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming and a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences Division of Cryospheric and Polar Processes at the University of Colorado, questions the accuracy of climate models. “Without question, much more progress is necessary regarding our current understanding of climate and our abilities to model it. Before we can accurately understand the midlatitudes’ response to tropical forcing, the tropical forcings themselves must be identified and understood,” Frauenfeld wrotein “Shattered Consensus.” Frauenfeld, a Contributing Author to the IPCC Working Group 1 Fourth Assessment Report, added, “Only after we identify these factors and determine how they affect one another, can we begin to produce accurate models. And only then should we rely on those models to shape policy. Until that time, climate variability will remain controversial and uncertain.”

Frauenfeld was a contributor to Shattered Consensus, producing one of the nine chapters by the usual climate deniers Patrick J. Michaels (Editor), Dr. Sallie L. Baliunas ), Dr. Robert C. Balling Jr  Dr. Randall S. Cerveny , Dr. John Christy , Dr. Robert E. Davis , Dr. Ross McKitrick, Dr. Patrick J. Michaels , Dr. Eric S. Posmentier , Dr. Willie Soon and a book published in 2005 by the Marshall Institute.

The George C. Marshall Institute was established in 1984 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation to conduct technical assessments of scientific issues with an impact on public policy.

In every area of public policy, from national defense, to the environment, to the economy, decisions are shaped by developments in and arguments about science and technology. The need for accurate and impartial technical assessments has never been greater. However, even purely scientific appraisals are often politicized and misused by interest groups.

The Marshall Institute seeks to counter this trend by providing policymakers with rigorous, clearly written and unbiased technical analyses on a range of public policy issues. Through briefings to the press, publication programs, speaking tours and public forums, the Institute seeks to preserve the integrity of science and promote scientific literacy.

We publish reports, host roundtables, workshops and collaborate with institutions that share our interest in basing public policy on scientific facts.

The Marshall Inst is a right wing thinktank and lobby group. Like most thinktanks their funders have an interest in CO2 reduction policy and the oil industry. According to the Marshall Institute Oliver Frauenfeld is still retained as a speaker.
What does Oliver Frauenfeld believe? Evidently by associating with the Marshall Institute his political leanings maybe to the right or he may need to pay off his mortgage. A Discovery Channel interview on melting permafrost gives an idea of his professional opinion.

Jan. 22, 2007 — Some of the perennially frozen ground high in the Himalayas has been shrinking, say Japanese scientists.

The year-round frozen “permafrost” ground was found to start at 17,000 to 17,400 feet above sea level (ASL) on the south-facing slopes of Nepal’s Khumbu Himal in 1973, but is now at 17,700 to 18,000 feet (ASL), report Kotaro Fukui and his colleagues in the February issue of the journal Global and Planetary Change. Oddly enough, another measurement of the permafrost there in 1991 showed the same lower limit as 2004.

“Thus, it is possible that the permafrost lower limit has risen 300 to 1,000 feet (100 to 300 meters) between 1973 and 1991, followed by a stable limit of 17,700 to 18,000 feet (5400 to 5500 meters) over the last decade,” the researchers report.

The likely cause of the thaw is global warming, which appears to be affecting the south-facing Khumbu Himal more quickly than on the nearby Tibetan Plateau, explains Fukui, a researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research. Unfortunately, because the researchers have only three permafrost snapshots to judge by — 1973, 1991 and 2004 — there’s just not enough data available to say much more about what’s going on.

“That’s the problem with any climate study: too little data,” said climatologist Oliver Frauenfeld of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Many places that are likely to see the greatest changes from global warming are in remote mountains or polar regions which are hard to monitor closely.

Besides just indicating climate changes, thawing permafrost poses special problems in mountainous regions. Thawed mountainsides that contain water are more likely to slide than permanently frozen ground, in which water is just another solid mineral, Frauenfeld explained.

On flat permafrost regions of the Arctic or Tibet, for example, thawing can cause roads and railroad tracks to buckle and building foundations to sink or collapse.

The good news, says Frauenfeld, is that even with the worse-case climate warming scenario, most permafrost in the world today would still be permafrost. In places like the Russian Arctic, for instance, a rise of -40 degrees to -30 degrees is a lot — but it’s still frozen.

Compared to the total area of frozen ground on Earth, said Frauenfeld, “The changes we’re seeing in the permafrost regions are not that big.”

The places most affected are those that are now hovering just under freezing in summer, which are at the fringes of the world’s permafrost zones, Frauenfeld said.

What does Fraunenfeld think now? A recent paper indicates that he is still sceptical, with a study that has seen little permafrost reduction in the high Eurasian plateau.

 

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