Annotated Index to my Publications and Papers
My writings are grouped under the topic headings on the left. New items live here on the home page until I get around to filing them. Peer-reviewed articles are denoted **. Invited and edited articles or chapters are denoted *.
NEW ITEMS (as of June 17, 2013)
ENCOMPASSING TESTS OF SOCIOECONOMIC SIGNALS IN SURFACE CLIMATE DATA: I have a new paper out in Climatic Change on the question of whether surface climate data are biased by non-climatic factors relating to socioeconomic development:
- **McKitrick, Ross R. (2013) Encompassing Tests of Socioeconomic Signals in Surface Climate Data. Climatic Change doi 10.1007/s10584-013-0793-5.
STATISTICAL EVALUATION OF IPCC EMISSION FORECASTS: I have a paper forthcoming in the Journal of Forecasting, coauthored with Mark Strazicich and Junsoo Lee, which looks at the probabilities of different IPCC emission forecasts. We examined the SRES forecasts which were used for the 3rd and 4th Assessment Reports. The paper was accepted last year but we are still waiting for the final published version to appear. The IPCC has traditionally referred to these scenarios as mere "projections" and treated each as equally probable. We looked at them probabilistically and found the top half of the distribution less likely than the bottom half, and in particular the top quarter are very difficult to justify. Our paper is here.
MY IPCC REVIEW: In 2012 I was a reviewer for the First and Second Order Drafts of the forthcoming IPCC Report (AR5). The expert review process is now closed, even though the report is still undergoing several rewrites. None of the changes introduced at this point will be seen by expert reviewers. Government reviewers will have access to the text at one point, but very few of them bother to submit comments, and the IPCC rules permit Lead Authors to ignore them anyway. In past assessments this post-review rewrite has been the point at which some of the worst mischief has been done to the text: I wrote a report for the UK-based Global Warming Policy Foundation about this in 2011. Things may be a bit different this time around since the IPCC draft has been leaked. This will make it harder for the IPCC Lead Authors to introduce major changes, or delete stuff previously inserted in response to review comments, because there are many more eyes now on the text. Another change is that, in the past, the IPCC did not release review comments, at least until Steve McIntyre got on their case. But even if they plan to release the review comments for the AR5 eventually, they will wait until a long time after the Summary for Policy Makers has been published, at which point it will be too late for people to see what the process looked like. So in order to increase the transparency and openness of the IPCC process, I have compiled my submitted comments on the Second Draft into a single PDF file which anyone who wants can read, and I hope other reviewers will likewise release their review comments. My undertaking to the IPCC was to keep the draft text confidential, but I didn't promise to keep my own comments confidential. The first couple of comments refer to a Figure that has already been widely distributed.
ENVIRONMENT AND INEQUALITY: I made an invited presentation to the CIGI conference "False Dichotomies" (Nov 16-17 2012) in a session on the theme of Environment and Inequality. My argument was that there is a kind of Environmental Kuznets Curve connecting social equity and the stringency of environmental policy. In heavily polluted economies, increased stringency and enforcement of regulation generates a mix of benefits and costs that benefit overall equity. But in modern, high income economies with low pollution levels, like Canada and the US, environmental policy overkill is becoming a means by which wealthy urban households derive warm glow benefits while passing the costs disproportionately onto low-income and rural households. My presentation slides are here. The entire session can be viewed online here. Peter Victor speaks first and then I come on at about the 14:00 mark.
THE DISMAL THEOREM: I have released a Discussion Paper entitled "Cheering Up the Dismal Theorem" which critiques the basis of the Weitzman (2009) argument that people should, in principle, be willing to spend an arbitrarily large amount of current income to prevent a catastrophic loss of consumption due to the risk of a large future climate change event. It turns out there are lots of Discussion Papers floating around criticizing various aspects of the Dismal Theorem, so many so that journals are already considering the topic somewhat done to death even though the critiques are mostly not yet published. Mine differs from the others in that I don't try to argue that the basic structure of the argument needs to be tweaked. Instead I am arguing that Weitzman's main result depends on an approximation term that can be replaced with its exact counterpart, and if this is done the results no longer go through.