Sorry deniers – worries of global warming are up again


5:22 pm - July 1st 2012

by Leo Barasi    


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Over a short period at the start of 2010, belief that climate change is real and manmade fell sharply.

Since then, it recovered slightly but had remained lower than it was at the end of 2009.

But now three polls have shown that the decline has been fully reversed.

The fall in agreement with climate science was widely covered at the time. A BBC poll in February ‘10 was typical of the shift and reporting:

This fall in agreement with climate science followed ‘Climategate’, the Copenhagen Conference, and a particularly cold winter. Individually, none of these are good explanations for the fall – see here – and I think the most likely explanation is that they together prompted a change in media tone about climate change, which then affected public attitudes.

These new polls are the first to indicate that level of belief that climate change is real and manmade has returned to where it was at the end of 2009. Each poll asks the question in different ways:

The Guardian/ICM poll found that the proportion that thinks climate change is real and manmade is the same now as it was in December ‘09 (and credit to them for including a link to the data in the article – still unusual).

Although Dec ’09 was after ‘Climategate’ broke, it was before public opinion changed, so this is a good ‘before’ and ‘after’ comparison.

So from this poll it looks like we’ve overcome some doubts about climate change. But to say there’s been “a remarkable pattern of stability in acceptance of climate change as established fact” isn’t likely.

The second poll, by the Sunday Times/YouGov, finds a similar pattern. Agreement that climate change is real and manmade has increased over the last two years:

We don’t have a comparable poll from late ’09, so can’t see whether we’re back to the same level as we were then, but the Sunday Times article argued that the numbers agreeing with climate science is in decline.

As Carbon Brief pointed out, this was a very selective and misleading reading of the data. That said, it is true that even with the recent recovery, agreement is still lower than it was in 2008 (and probably lower still than in about 2005).

Finally, Angus Reid have published international data that also suggest UK agreement with climate science is at the same level now as it was in Dec ’09.

This one in fact suggests that the numbers recovered as early as summer ’10. I haven’t seen this replicated anywhere else, and haven’t seen the full polls so am a bit wary. But it does at least support the trend shown in the other polls.

So put together, the conclusion is clear. ‘Climategate’, recent cold winters and the economic climate no longer have any discernible impact on public belief that climate change is real and man-made.


A longer version of this post is at Noise of the Crowd

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About the author
Leo is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He manages communications for a small policy organisation, and writes about polling and info from public opinion surveys at Noise of the Crowd
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Reader comments


Two minor points.

1. Worries “are”, not “is”.

2. Why “sorry deniers”? Is yah-boo-sucks really the point here?

2. Erica Blair

And your point is?

The connection between crime and the fear of crime is equally tenuous.

What would get really get me worried would be if the world climate had continued to warm over the last decade – not as it had done – levelled off.

I see the Koch denier bots are as active as ever.

4. Thomas Hobbes

People asked in June think it’s a bit warmer than people asked in October or March.

Is this really the best you can do? Pathetic.

@4

Rilly? That’s a fail, IMHO.

6. Dissident

Erica

Temperatures only seem to be levelling off in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The reasons are twofold, and linked. Arctic sea ice is melting, Greenland Glaciers accelerating to the sea, increasing the ammount of ice cap melting. That absorbs a huge ammount of heat. The same principle is used to keep your G & T cold in a warm room. The disappearance of sea ice alters surface albedo of polar region, basically dark ocean absorbs light, white ice reflects it – following this? As more solar energy is absorbed, thigs heat up. Compare an asphalt road with a white fence…

With more solar energy absorbed, weather patterns change. Low pressure systems as opposed to high pressure. What are we getting? As low pressure systems become more dominant, and overall temperature of the arctic rises, the difference between polar and equatorial temperatures drop. The jet stream is powered by the difference. If that difference drops, what fuels the jet stream drops, making it weaker. Still following? Now this is the important bit as far as Britain is concerned, and Europe, Siberia and North America. A weaker jet stream can’t keep polar air bottled up in polar regions as effectively as before!!! It meanders, allowing huge masses of polar air to spill out, and equally huge masses of warm, moist tropical air to move in – melting yet more ice, and triggering fiercer low pressure systems.

In short, a small global rise in temperatures caused by extra CO2 has triggered a large rise in polar temperatures, changing weather patterns (which temporarily level off further warming) BUT THOSE CHANGED WEATHER PATTERNS INCREASE MELTING, allowing more heat to be absorbed. All the while, the concentration of CO2 is increasing. It is a non-linear positive feedback. Imagine putting a speaker next to a microphone!

Things won’t stabilise until all the ice has melted, average temperatures will be 5 or 6° higher than now, and sea levels will be anywhere between 6 and 60 metres higher than now. We would have to rebuild our entire coastal infrastructure, costing hundreds of trillions in todays money.

Ironically, mitigating or even reversing that trend would generate an equivalent amount, and we won’t need scuba diving gear to visit any of the coastal cities! To say nothing of lowlying food growing areas…

What do you think the result of that pos

7. Erica Blair

From

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8511670.stm

Q&A: Professor Phil Jones

Phil Jones is director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA), which has been at the centre of the row over hacked e-mails.
The BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin put questions to Professor Jones, including several gathered from climate sceptics. The questions were put to Professor Jones with the co-operation of UEA’s press office.

B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming
Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.
C – Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?
No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant.

In other words a plateau. Is Phil Jones a ‘denier’ too?

Yes Erica, a temporary plateau as the ice melts!!!

Note I didn’t imply you are a denier, just wanted to give you the info in a way that is easy for a lay reader to follow 🙂

9. Northern Worker

Since when has public opinion decided science? Did I miss something?

My problem with all this AGW stuff is it’s based on computer models. As an engineer computer models are something I know about and used since 1972. Computer models cannot predict the future because there are too many variables, which cannot be simulated. Fine in engineering where you know everything but not for chaotic systems.

My other problem is that India and China are just not interested. They add more in a few months to CO2 than the UK does in a year. So even supposing there is such a thing as AGW, the UK cannot return to the stoneage because it will do nothing for anything as long as China and India take no notice.

10. Dissident

Nortern Worker, we need the opposite of a return to the stone age!!! we have no choice but to use 21st & 22nd century tech to mitigate and reverse AGW!! 20th century tech will cause disaster, as that is the cause. A return to the stone age will cause disaster, as there are too many of us…

Incidentally, simulations are far more sophisticated now, and we no longer have to rely on them to see what is happening.

I’d prefer real science. Not sociology or psychology of science, which is what talk of ‘scientific consenus’ amounts to.

12. andrew adams

Erica,

Look again at what Phil Jones said.

I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

He is saying that it did get warmer in absolute terms (0.12C per decade) but that this trend fails a particular statistical test (significance at the 95% level). He then explains that in order to establish a statistically significant trend you need to look over a certain period of time and in this case15 years is (just) too short a period.He made a further statement a few months later saying that the trend since 1995 was now statistically significant due to the extra time which had elapsed. Also, the “skeptics” do not usually quote the part of his original answer where he mentioned there was a 35 year statistically significant warming trend.

In short the point here is not really about whether it has warmed or not in recent years but about statistics, and that fact that you should not infer too much from short term trends. It is also ironc that “skeptics” like to quote Jones’s statement but try to draw conclusions based on the trend since the turn of the century (ie an even shorter period than the one Jones was asked to comment on).

Is it true that Britain only contributes about 4pc of the annual global production of greenhouse gas emissions?

My other problem is that India and China are just not interested.

Oh dear. They have much stronger environmental movements than the UK does. Typically ignorant rubbish

“In other words a plateau. Is Phil Jones a ‘denier’ too?”

As I read it, he is saying, politely, that the questions are stupid.

16. So Much For Subtlety

14. Sunny Hundal

Oh dear. They have much stronger environmental movements than the UK does. Typically ignorant rubbish.

Oh Sunny, that is just too funny for words. Point me to any Chinese environmental movement.

Sunny re comment 14:

“My other problem is that India and China are just not interested.

Oh dear. They have much stronger environmental movements than the UK does. Typically ignorant rubbish”

Pure wishful thinking.

If you go to China on work instead of talking to ‘activists’ over the web you will see at first hand how the vast urbanisation rolls on unabated. That’s not even talking about manufacturing……

Electing Jenny Jones to Parliament might not be a big deal as far as you are concerned, but I don’t see too many Greens sitting in the National People’s Congress.

18. Dissident

China is having to plant a forest thousands of miles across its northern border in a desperate attempt to save Beijing from the encroaching Gobi Desert! Whether it’ll work is another question…

With a population measured in the billions in that overall region, there is a huge inertia to overcome. Especially when the actual industry is controlled by those who’s short term profits/bureaucratic fiefdoms are tied to old 20th century technology. Whether they are in China or America!

India is still ideologically hogtied to old, outdated ‘neoliberal’ delusions, yet the monsoon is showing worrying signs of sputtering… both India and China are now smothered in a brown haze clearly visible from space. A bit like the smaller smog stain that frequently covers LA in America. That brown haze is recent, and growing. It is a worrying harbinger of OUR SPECIES’ transformation of the Earths atmosphere.

Arguing over statistics never amounts to much. Global warming is a tired expresion. It is about climate change and as a 54 year old it is clear from the evidence of my eyes and my memory that following droughts, flooding in the UK is on the increase. Every year there seems to be more forest fires worldwide. We hear of exceptional temperatures in the USA on the news today. Also consider that fossil fuels are finite. Against that look at global population and increasing demand for all natural resources. Think about all this and then think of solutions.

20. Dissident

Climate change? more like chaos!!

Most of the solutions are there, waiting in the wings. It is the idiots who accept denialist propaganda over the evidence who are stopping those solutions being implemented properly.

Meanwhile resource wars are hotting up like the planet… maybe those idiots want more, but what crimes have their children committed, to deserve the consequences? Is the fate of that baby in a pram, to be chewed up in a genocidal resource war, or face a slow, painful death by starvation and tropical plagues?

That is the next generations fate, and denialists wilfully choose that.

21. the a&e charge nurse

The risk of not acting on global warming FAR outweighs the risk of acting (should global warming prove to be a myth).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zORv8wwiadQ

Needless to say, whatever is said now, it will prove too little, too late, until proposed changes finally coincide with the financial interests of the big corporations.

22. Chaise Guevara

@ 11 TONE

“I’d prefer real science. Not sociology or psychology of science, which is what talk of ‘scientific consenus’ amounts to.”

Not really. We use scientific consensus because it’s always possible to find a nutter/maverick/stooge who disagrees with the “normal” position. This can create the illusion of a 50:50 debate when news programs bring the m/n/s on to argue with one of the millions of scientists who do support the standard position. But if a very high proportion of qualified people agree with one view, a lay person really ought to be placing high odds on that view being true.

Now, occasionally mavericks are right and everyone else is wrong; consensus is not proof, and first-order evidence always takes precedent over authority. But if you yourself (“you” here and after is general, not personal) have only a passing understanding of the issue, and you decide to believe one expert who believes one thing instead of hundreds who believe another, you need to be asking yourself how exactly you came to your conclusions. All else being equal, it sounds like confirmation bias.

None of this has any bearing on the fact that public opinion polls like those cited in the OP tell you nothing about the scientific reality, of course.

23. Robin Levett

@TONE, Chaise, #11 & 22:

Just to add; “scientific consensus” isn’t established by opinion polls or counting heads. It’s established by considering publications in the relevant field.

In this instance, the scientific consensus that GW is A is established by noting that no relevant paper has been published over many years that has thrown any serious doubt on that fact; not because such papers are kept out of the journals, but because there is simply no evidence against the hypothesis. That was the methodology of the Oreskes paper.

24. Northern Worker

Sunny @14 and Kojak @17

Sunny, Kojak is quite right. I’ve been to both India and China on business recently and you would not believe how bad it is. And I don’t just mean CO2. My background includes setting up plant here in the UK to deal with pollutants coming from industrial processes, particularly chrome plating. Looking at a plant in India last year, I asked how they disposed of the residue from the various processes. They took me to a window and showed me the river!

I hear tell, as well, that where the Chinese mine for rare metals, for amongst other things wind turbines and electric cars, the local pollution is awful – and you can see the holes in the ground from outer space. I haven’t, though, seen this for myself.

Dissident @10

I started computer modelling in 1972. I’m still doing it. Yes, it’s now moved on. Instead of white punch tape for programmes, transmitted to IBM Call 360 by a phone modem, you can run pretty well anything on a powerful desktop these days. Of course big models, like weather and climate, need supercomputers. But my point is that it’s not the computer but how you design the model and what you put in. The Tories’ Office for Budget Responsibility isn’t doing too well with its sophisticated computer model; they can’t even get it right six months ahead never mind their three-year forecasts. Besides, the computer climate predictions made a decade ago have proved to be out by thirty-odd per cent.

I’m not saying I don’t believe in global warming. I just don’t see how we can influence it especially as India and China, which I’ve seen first-hand, simply don’t care. I’m much more concerned about common or garden pollution. We really shouldn’t be dumping rubbish and toxic chemicals all over the place without due care.

“Sorry deniers”?

What is it with LC and the obsession with PR and communication?

You realise of course the polls you cite are completely and utterly irrelevant to the issue? Every world power and international institution believes in MMGW. So how is that going?

@14

lol

@Northern Worker

> My problem with all this AGW stuff is it’s based on computer models.

No, it isn’t. The basis for (A)GW is historical data and long established, robust physics. The models are used to try to figure out what happens next (and of course, they are tested against the things we know have already happened). That CO2 is a greenhouse gas is indisputable from a physics standpoint, and the measurable increase in atmospheric CO2 can be attributed to humans because of different isotopes involved in anthropogenic and natural sources of CO2. So 1) Increasing atmospheric CO2 leads to an increase in average global temperature. 2) CO2 *has* increased in recent decades, and is continuing to do so at an increasing rate (recessions aside). 3) The atmospheric CO2 increase is almost 100% attributable to humans. Therefore, GW is anthropogenic.

> My other problem is that India and China are just not interested.

So? That has no impact on the truth of the statement that GW is real, and anthropogenic. Second, it’s nonsense that taking action will take us back to the stoneage; in fact, given the current economic climate, having the Government do some serious infrastructure spending (instead of stupid, counter-productive austerity) in building a renewable energy infrastructure would be a huge benefit to the UK; putting people back to work, and creating demand where private industry has failed to do so.

27. Northern Worker

Andy C @ 26

Yes, AGW is based on forecast models. The projections of temperature and sea levels in 100 years cannot possibly be based on anything else. Or are you suggesting climate scientists are utilising guesswork?

The UK is responsible for 2% of CO2 emissions; India and China 33% and rising rapidly. But since you seem to be an expert, tell me: if we closed down the UK completely and everyone moved to another country, exactly how much will be the world cool down? One degree over a hundred years? One-tenth of a degree? One-thousandth? One ten-thousandth?

Besides, most climate scientists admit that the models they ran ten years ago have been wildly out now the ten years is up. And these same scientists are puzzled as to why the world has cooled in the last 15 years.

As for green jobs and green energy, all of this is going to be a huge burden on our economy. This stuff cannot exist without taxpayer subsidies. And exactly who is getting these subsidies? Rich people and companies. Very useful for growth and jobs. Are you a Tory?

28. Dissident

Northern worker

lol it would be wonderful if mitigating and reversing AGW was a not-for-‘profit’ global & local co-op guild, unfortunately we have to throw a carrot to the idiots that see ‘profit’ as more important than gaia, civilisation, communities and unfortunately even their own children!!

@Northern Worker

> Yes, AGW is based on forecast models…

Did you actually read what I wrote? Global Warming refers to the increasing trend in the average global temperature that has been *observed* during the course of the last several decades (we aren’t talking about projections here, we are talking about recorded history). The Anthropogenic component refers to the fact that this increase in average temperature can be attributed to human activity. This is *known* not by running climate models into the future, but by measuring the ratios of different carbon isotopes in the atmosphere over the course of the last several decades. This *observed data* (not model projections) shows very clearly that average temperature increases can be attributed to atmospheric CO2 increases, which in turn, can be attributed to human activity.

> if we closed down the UK completely…

So your argument is that because the UK can’t solve the world’s problems by itself that it shouldn’t even contribute? Also, I don’t even claim that the world would cool down *at all* if CO2 emissions stopped altogether… it will continue to rise due to the multi-century life of atmospheric CO2, that’s why we need to reduce CO2 emissions rapidly, to avoid making the problem even worse, for even longer.

> And these same scientists are puzzled as to why the world has cooled in the
> last 15 years.

Fairly typical denialist propoganda; a cursory look at the temperature data for the last fifteen years shows no such thing. Furthermore, models have been running for more than 10 years… in fact, models from the 1980s continue to match observed trends for temperature.

> This stuff cannot exist without taxpayer subsidies.

Which is not an uncommon way for many industries to get off the ground, so that’s not really an argument against it.

> …Very useful for growth and jobs.

Depression economics 101: Private industry and consumers aren’t spending money and exports aren’t picking up the slack; the only remaining source of demand is Government spending… in particular employing public sector workers (thus creating jobs, or at the very least, not laying people off), and infrastructure spending, which tend to be large, multi-year projects that employ many hundreds of thousands of people, who then have some job security and money to spend to create further demand… GDP grows, as does inflation (in a sensible and useful way) and the burden of national debt is reduced as a result. Very useful for growth and jobs.

> Are you a Tory?

Seriously? I’ll stick to the content of the argument, not ridiculous ad hominems.

30. Robin Levett

@Northern Worker #24:

Besides, the computer climate predictions made a decade ago have proved to be out by thirty-odd per cent.

Cite.

#27:

…the world has cooled in the last 15 years.

Cite.

31. White Trash

14 “My other problem is that India and China are just not interested.”
Oh dear. They have much stronger environmental movements than the UK does.

Even more than that the Chinese authorities actually seem to have greater political will than in the West, and are pumping huge amounts of money into cleaner development.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/china-business/8904733/China-unveils-1-trillion-green-technology-programme.html

The one child policy was also a great contribution to reducing the damage being done – far better than anything we’ve done in the West so far.

32. So Much For Subtlety

23. Robin Levett

In this instance, the scientific consensus that GW is A is established by noting that no relevant paper has been published over many years that has thrown any serious doubt on that fact; not because such papers are kept out of the journals, but because there is simply no evidence against the hypothesis. That was the methodology of the Oreskes paper.

Well we know that articles are kept out of journals by one means or the other. But the real problem here is what you are using to define a pro-AGW paper. If you actually read the scientific literature, they do not say AGW is happening. They say that this or that observation is consistent with AGW. But it could be consistent with a lot of things. The actual scientific case for AGW is extremely weak. There really is no scientific consensus it is happening.

Andy C

No, it isn’t. The basis for (A)GW is historical data and long established, robust physics.

No it isn’t.

The models are used to try to figure out what happens next (and of course, they are tested against the things we know have already happened).

They are used to try to figure out what happens next. And they always fail. And they are not tested against the things we know have already happened. Because they fail at that too. Although the Climate-gate e-mails showed us what they do – they run the models against past data and fiddle with the inputs until they produce something similar. Which means they are rubbish. But then they always were.

That CO2 is a greenhouse gas is indisputable from a physics standpoint, and the measurable increase in atmospheric CO2 can be attributed to humans because of different isotopes involved in anthropogenic and natural sources of CO2.

Undeniably true on both counts.

So 1) Increasing atmospheric CO2 leads to an increase in average global temperature.

But this is not true. Or rather it is an assumption. We do not know if it is true. The environment is a very complex thing. There are feed backs. We do not know if those feed backs are positive or negative. We do not know if putting more CO2 into the atmosphere may cause something else to change which will offset any rise in temperature. In fact we can be damn sure it does because we are still here. The Earth is clearly very robust.

2) CO2 *has* increased in recent decades, and is continuing to do so at an increasing rate (recessions aside). 3) The atmospheric CO2 increase is almost 100% attributable to humans. Therefore, GW is anthropogenic.

Assuming that there is any GW.

33. Robin Levett

@SMFS #32:

Well we know that articles are kept out of journals by one means or the other.

If there were any legitimate science behind the anti-AGW crowd, we can be sure that they would be publicising the papers that were being kept our of, as opposed to not being good enough to get into, the journals. They don’t do so; all we get is rubbish such as that peddled by the SPPI.

If you actually read the scientific literature, they do not say AGW is happening. They say that this or that observation is consistent with AGW.

You can then no doubt point me to say a dozen papers in Nature over the last 10 years that use that formulation; let me have the references and I’ll look them up; I have a subscription.

Their is a lot of well-intentioned-but-misguided alarmist nonsense to be found in these comments. Anyone interested in understanding the reality of ‘Global Warming’ beyond the usual eco-fascist/Guardian claptrap should read Richard Booker’s ‘The Real Global Warming Disaster’.

There is a lot of well-intentioned-but-misguided alarmist nonsense to be found in these comments. Anyone interested in understanding the reality of ‘Global Warming’ beyond the usual eco-fascist/Guardian claptrap should read Richard Booker’s ‘The Real Global Warming Disaster’.

36. Dissident

Haha Jake

Who funds Richard Booker? ask yourself that. If you think he (and others, like for example Delingpole) are independent, think again!

I for one smell the stench of either Charles Koch or the fossil fuel industry emanating from them, seriously sulphurous, like the refined corpses of the Permian mass extinction you thoughtlessly fill your gas guzzling mode of transport with…

Who precisely is the fascist??

37. Northern Worker

Andy C @ 29

“So your argument is that because the UK can’t solve the world’s problems by itself that it shouldn’t even contribute?”

You didn’t answer my question. How much difference will closing the UK make? I reckon it would be absolutely nothing at all. We’ll sacrifice our standard of living, export what remains of our industry to India and China and impoverish our people for nothing. I’ve been to India and China, as I said, and they think we’re nuts to pursue this green stuff. But happy we are giving them all the good jobs.

As for your comments about subsidies, jobs and growth, welcome to my world. I’ve worked in the wealth-producing UK industry sector all my life. It’s where people have proper jobs. It’s where wealth is produced by adding value and exporting. It’s what I want to see for the future of this country because it employs people in satisfying occupations, which are well paid. It employs young people, and trains them (apprenctices) and gives them skills. It isn’t subsidised and the only times I’ve seen governments picking winner and handing out taxpayers’ money (British Leyland anyone) the results were disasterous and the companies have failed anyway.

I want all this because it’s good for the UK. What I don’t want is some of the stuff I’ve had to put up with in the last 10 years or so. I’ve had to help export entire companies from the UK to India and China. Why? Because it’s become impossibly expensive here. The red tape and regulation, which could be UK or EU, is overwhelming. Costs like Uniform Business Rate and employers’ NIC are huge burdens. The cost of energy (electricity and gas and fuel for trucks) have been rising and cannot be met. I dare not even start on Health & Safety, etc.

So, I’ve seen two entire companies fire, between them, 600 workers, and everything – stock, machinery, jigs, tools – everything has been shipped to India and China. Is that what you want? We can’t make a living in the UK by cutting each others’ hair! And don’t give me the smart jobs, service industries and green jobs stuff. None of this pays like making something and exporting it. And we don’t have enough smart people to rely on doing smart stuff, which doesn’t in any case employ lots of people.

Anyway, I’ve got to get ready for work now so I haven’t got time to discuss further. Besides, I’ve made my views abundantly clear. I know what I want for the UK because I know it works. It brings prosperity, jobs and growth. I don’t think green works. You have your position; I have my position. You have your theory; I have my practical experience. I don’t think your theory will work; I know my practical experience of all things mucky and industrial does work. So let’s leave it at that. We’ll see who was right in ten ot twenty years.

@Northern Worker

> You didn’t answer my question. How much difference will closing the UK make?

Yes, I did. I quite clearly conceded that, on its own, the UK cannot get the job done, and will see no reduction in warming. Also, I’m not talking about shutting the UK down, or anything approaching that.

> I’ve worked in the wealth-producing UK industry sector all my life. It’s where
> people have proper jobs.

What extraordinary arrogance. Doctors, firefighters, police officers, teachers, military personnel… they aren’t *real* jobs?

> It’s where wealth is produced by adding value and exporting.

Sure, exports are good…. trouble is, with europe stupidly pursuing austerity as well, exporting isn’t going to get us out of the current depression because not enough people will buy our goods. That’s why you focus on internal things, to set your own house in order in the short-to-medium term.

> The cost of energy (electricity and gas and fuel for trucks) have been rising

Absolutely! Hence why we should be looking to move away from our reliance on fossil fuels and gas and look to renewable energy that will see reductions in long-term costs, because they don’t run out/get nightmarishly difficult to extract.

> We can’t make a living in the UK by cutting each others’ hair!

I’m pretty sure I talked about large scale infrastructure projects in the UK. Unless you think multi-year, multi-billion pound building projects happen by magic?

> And don’t give me the smart jobs, service industries and green jobs stuff. None
> of this pays like making something and exporting it.

Tell that to Germany, they pursued green tech and…. exported it! We haven’t even tried it.

> You have your position; I have my position. You have your theory…

Not my theory, it’s the Theory of people who spend their lives studying this stuff, and know more about it than we do. It’s known to work, because it’s been the successful strategy for ending recessions/depressions since the 1930s, in many countries, on many occasions. Your n=1 practical experience doesn’t compete with that.

@NorthernWorker

So your post just boils down to the usual tedious rightwing whinge about regulation – it’s this rather evidence-free habit that has got the Right into so much trouble when it comes to the banks.

I love the one about Health & Safety being a “burden”. Not so much of a “burden” as killing or maiming an employee or passer-by though, mate. Something your -“wealth-producing industry” was quite adept at.

All those factories you set up in India and China may escape the “burden” of keeping their employees safe from harm, but their products still have to meet tight UK (and therefore EU) regulations in order to pass customs.

I doubt your “wealth-producing industry” has helped to generate even 0.001% of the wealth as a free and democratic State. Where would your industry be without a healthy, educated workforce? How would it operate in a State without the rule of law free from the threat of invasion? Where would it find a market if all we did was permitted the unemployed to dive into penury?

The Poll carefully excludes the correct answer.
Global warming is cyclical but human action has contributed a significant minority to the recent upswing which could have continuing deleterious effects to the global ecosystem.
If you burn some coal in the grate it warms the living-room (a century or so ago it warmed the bedroom as well); if you burn a billion tons of coal you warm the whole planet. Since 1965, according to the BP Survey of World Energy, we have burned 158 billion tonnes of coal and comparable amounts of oil and natural gas. It is mathematically impossible (assuming the three laws of thermodynamics have not been repealed while I was asleep) that this has failed to increase global temperatures. However the solar cycle is more important and anyone who stupidly claims otherwise is inviting and encouraging scepticism. Exxon is nearer the truth than the idiots who claim it’s all man-made – the Romans grew grapes in Britain, they skated on the Thames in the 1600s.
BUT man-made warming is the *only* thing that we can affect so it is the one on which we need to concentrate (there are nice padded cells for people who want to control solar cycles). Tell the truth and disarm deniers (most sceptics are not deniers, but we are handicapped in debating with them by the dishonesty of some AGW propagandists)

@ Robin Levett #30
I’ve seen reputable graphs that do show a decline in the last decade, but only a conspiracy theorist would keep a schedule of all such stuff at hand to deal with the likes of you. I am sane so I don’t: Try the NASA website. You seem to define the debate on terms that require sceptics to be insane in order to refute your claims that they are insane.
I believe than mankind has contributed and is currently contributing to global warming but your approach to anyone who disagrees with your extremist views makes me want to run for the hills.
The technical advances spearheaded by my father were a significant contribution to the reduction in energy wasted (in modern jargon: the improvement in the UK’s energy efficiency). I minimise unnecessary use of fossil fuels by using public transport whenever practicable, wearing extra layers of clothing in winter, walking, using solar water heating panels (the only “renewable energy” thast doesn’t need subsidies), burning waste wood that would otherwise go to landfill,
etc. Al Gore consumes more fossil fuel in a week than I do in a year. Why don’t you have a go at him?

42. Robin Levett

@john77 #41:

I’ve seen reputable graphs that do show a decline in the last decade, but only a conspiracy theorist would keep a schedule of all such stuff at hand to deal with the likes of you. I am sane so I don’t: Try the NASA website. You seem to define the debate on terms that require sceptics to be insane in order to refute your claims that they are insane.

I do apologise; my day job, as well as my online background, involves supporting assertions when challenged. That is particularly the case where counter-intuitive claims are made such as that the world has cooled in a decade containing 7 of the 10 hottest years on record, as well the lowest Arctic ice extent and the one or two next lowest. So people can continue to make assertions as to facts to their heart’s contents – but I fear that I will continue to be pernickety enough to insist on evidential backing for them. So I would ask you to be so kind as to actually reference just one “reputable graph” showing that it has cooled over the last decade; but will understand you if you don’t feel it appropriate to do so.

Al Gore consumes more fossil fuel in a week than I do in a year. Why don’t you have a go at him?

Is he fat too? Does Al Gore’s carbon consumption (and I suspect that you are wrong on this) make a difference to the fact of AGW? Hypocrisy, if that is what it was, doesn’t change physics.

@ Robin Levett
Al Gore has a mansion that uses air conditioning in summer and central heating in winter and he flies thousands of miles. Depends on how you define “fat” – he is fatter than I (I used to reckon that looking thin significantly helped my credibility when collecting during Christian Aid Week). Of course you are right that hypocrisy doesn’t change physics but when I am trying to explain that cutting down energy waste is desirable, blatant hypocrisy by the self-styled leaders of a so-called crusade does change the response of listeners and *that* changes physics because why should they reduce waste if al gore flies around by private jet?
90-odd% of the world’s population either doesn’t understand or chooses not to understand: I am asking that you don’t screw things up for the handful of us who are trying to explain stuff by telling obvious lies that discredit our explanations.

@ Robin Levett
Give me a couple of weeks with no work to do and I can dig it out. But don’t ask for an answer in ten seconds unless you are as insane as you assume the “deniers” are.
Before we got married my wife used to work for Charity Commission and during our honeymoon she spotted every Almshouse we passed*; after our Silver Wedding, more than twenty years after she left CC, she still spots Almhouses but she doesn’t keep a record of every Almshouse that she has spotted in nearly 30 years. That is because she is sane.
*Equally, I spotted the much fewer items relevant to my job

45. Dissident

John 77

Trusting those who profit the most from burning fossil fuels… hmmmm intresting inference there. Just like the people who trust bankers (and their pet politicians) with the economy! I guess we’re screwed. May as well flush our conciences down to the cesspit we’re turning the worlds oceans into! But then at least the intelligent rat people who will be our successors on this planet would have vast stores of new oil in the ground, as AGW triggers a repeat of the Permian mass extinction.

All to cling on to obsolete technology (the internal combustion engine is obsolete, cultural inertia keeps it in production) and feckless lifestyles.

Incidentally, the solar cycle is not as effective as you think, an increase of 0.23% (maximum possible, measured with a resolution of days) and 0.07% (averaged over the cycle) in solar irradiance causing a 1°K increase in temperatures globally? Come on, think of what THAT would imply, which is basically the Earth’s climate has NON LINEAR feedback cycles.

Now imagine a thickening of the Earth’s thermal blanket, in the CO2 band alone of 30% so far, with similar values for nitrous oxides, methane, etc, and the introduction of entirely new blankets with CFC’s.

Are you certain that would have no real effect, like Exxon claims?

@john77

> Give me a couple of weeks with no work to do and I can dig it out. But don’t ask for
> an answer in ten seconds unless you are as insane as you assume the “deniers”
> are.

Robin only asked you for one graph, not a complete history, you said you have several, finding one really shouldn’t be too hard. Certainly, it shouldn’t take any longer than the amount of time you must have spent writing all the comments on this thread.

@ dissident
How do *you* explain the Ice Ages? Or subsequent temperature cycles? Your claims of a “maximum possible” increase of 0.23% in irradiance defies logic and is inconsistent with modern astronomical theory.
Are you accusing me of trusting BP when they produce data that argues that mankind has burnt so much fossil fuel that it must have contributed to global warming? Should I assume that they are lying and that burning fossil fuel has been totally insignificant?
Or are you a total liar? I have never, anywhere, said that I trust Exxon on anything (despite being an oil analyst in the 1970s when it would have been commercially beneficial to do so). I merely said Exxon was nearer the truth than those who claim that all global warming is man-made.

@ Andy C
I actually have a job.

49. Chaise Guevara

@ 43 john77

The thing is, politicians sorta have to fly around the world. It’s part of their job. Most of the rest of us don’t. It’s a bit like saying a president is a liar because he claims he’s made the streets safer yet walks around with a bodyguard: unlike him, we’re not all that likely to be assassinated. It’s an ad hom argument that ignores the specifics relevant to the individual.

50. Robin Levett

@john77 #40:

However the solar cycle is more important and anyone who stupidly claims otherwise is inviting and encouraging scepticism.

Cycles go down as well as up. AGW goes up only; there’s a ratchet effect.

Which solar cycle are you taking about, by the way?

Exxon is nearer the truth than the idiots who claim it’s all man-made – the Romans grew grapes in Britain,

…and Herodotus didn’t think much of them, to be honest… He thought that the climate suited neither grapes nor olives.

…they skated on the Thames in the 1600s.

Which was about when Pepys visited vineyards at Greenwich and Hatfield.

In the early 19th century they knocked down the old London Bridge, with its weirs that slowed the river flow, and installed the embankments that narrowed the river very considerably so that I flowed faster – and lo and behold there were no more frost fairs on the Thames. It’s amazing how water doesn’t freeze as well when it flows faster and deeper. It is true that it was cooler in Northern Europe in the 16th century; but what does this have to do with AGW?

@ Chaise
Yeah, fair comment as far as it goes but the fossil fuel energy consumption of his mansion far exceeds my own.

@ Robin Levett
I don’t want to pollute my reply to an honest commentator like Chaise with this
That says a lot
I want to reduce global warming and I *have* to oppose you: that says more.
What did Herotodus say about Exxon, which was created more than two thousand years after his death?
The solar cycle I am talking about is that of the Sun that “rises”each morning when the earth rotates to face it: you appear to think there is another in which I might be interested. If so it is irrelevant.
A moron might think that works in the

A moron might think that works in the 19th century would affect the climate in the 17th and 18th centuries – unfortunately for you, I am noy a moron

54. John Samuel

I recommend a perusal of http://www.skepticalscience.com/.

To the comments “warming has levelled out”. If you only look at surface temperatures over a very few years, the increase has slowed (although not statistically significant). But the real warming is in the ocean. The globe is a three dimensional object, measuring surface temperatures is not adequate.

If you read the journals – Science, Nature, the AGU, etc – the debate over whether it is happening has long ceased. The debate over whether or not it is manmade has long ceased. Those debates are only conducted in the blogosphere, heated by the likes of Delingpole.

Hansen’s 1981 paper has proven remarkably accurate. The models, sadly, work.

It really is O level science.

55. Northern Worker

AndyC@38

“Yes, I did. I quite clearly conceded that, on its own, the UK cannot get the job done, and will see no reduction in warming.”

Thank you, my point exactly.

“What extraordinary arrogance. Doctors, firefighters, police officers, teachers, military personnel… they aren’t *real* jobs?”

They don’t add value like the 12% of our economy occupied by manufacturing. They don’t export anything. We can’t all be doctors, firefighters, police officers, teachers, military personnel. If we were, we’d go bust in a second.

“Sure, exports are good…. trouble is, with Europe stupidly pursuing austerity as well, exporting isn’t going to get us out of the current depression because not enough people will buy our goods.”

Wrong. Taxing and borrowing by the government, which it then spends on doctors, firefighters, police officers, teachers and military personnel gets us nowhere and certainly not out of the mess we’re in.

“The cost of energy (electricity and gas and fuel for trucks) have been rising Absolutely! Hence why we should be looking to move away from our reliance on fossil fuels and gas and look to renewable energy that will see reductions in long-term costs, because they don’t run out/get nightmarishly difficult to extract.”

By the time we have a renewable energy infrastructure, and the cost has fallen below fossil fuels, it’ll be too late. I don’t think you appreciate what’s involved. First the money. The private sector is only interested, it seems, if they are heavily subsidised and for a very long time. We’ll end up with something like PPI running decades into the future. And there only seems to be one (foreign) player left interested in opening one nuclear power station. We have shale gas. That’s the answer, and it’ll benefit the north of England where they desperately need good value-added jobs on good money. The government certainly can’t raise the money.

Secondly there is the time involved. Take it from me, someone well used to large scale engineering projects, this stuff takes years by which time we’ll be experiencing brown-outs (low voltage) and black-outs. I worked through the 70s and the three-day week, and it causes huge amounts of chaos. At least then there was an end in sight. If we don’t deal with the problem soon, there will be no end in sight.

“I’m pretty sure I talked about large scale infrastructure projects in the UK.”

See above – money and time. And to that I’d add that we don’t exactly have plentiful supplies of expertise. Engineering graduates are thin on the ground and we’d end up buying it all in from Germany, India and China. We have plenty of doctors, firefighters, police officers, teachers, military personnel – and we even have 240,000 accountants (because of all the red tape and tortuous tax system), which is more per head than any other developed country.

“Tell that to Germany, they pursued green tech and…. exported it!”

See above. That’s because Germany has relentlessly pursued an industrial economy with proper jobs. We haven’t but we have lots of doctors, firefighters, police officers, teachers, military personnel …. oh and accountants.

“Not my theory, it’s the Theory of people who spend their lives studying this stuff, and know more about it than we do.”

On this point I freely admit that I’m an engineer and not an economist. However I know what a good job looks like, and I’m not n=1 in this real life, real world experience. Okay, so I’m old-fashioned Labour. I’m a dinosaur left over from times gone by when people worked in satanic mills. But it works. People like those kinds of jobs. They add value; they create exports; people get paid good money. Most importantly, jobs like these give our young people a future rather than the Tories’ ‘workfare’ apprenticeships in a supermarket deli.

I’m sorry to rant on like Ed Balls and his growth and jobs. He is right, though, although I’d almost certainly disagree with him about what kind of jobs. So there we are. We’ll have to beg to differ.

56. Northern Worker

BenM @ 39

Sadly you clearly know nothing about working in industry. And you obviously haven’t been anywhere near any factories in India or China, which I have. When you’ve put in the years, then I think you’ll be qualified to comment about health and safety and everything else. When you’ve spent time in factories in India and China then your comments on industry in these places might carry some weight.

As for being right wing, I was born in a council house in the NE (actually in the house) in the 1940s. I served an apprenticeship and got an Ordinary National in engineering – good enough to go to Polytechnic (later it became a university). My company sponsored me on a thin sandwich course degree in engineering. That’s where I started.

With my background it would be surprising if I voted anything but Labour, which I’ve done until Tony Blair’s last term when it became clear that all three parties are the same and Labour has moved to the right. I haven’t voted at all since then. I’ve got no time for Ed Milliband.

“I doubt your “wealth-producing industry” has helped to generate even 0.001% of the wealth as a free and democratic State.”

I’m not sure what you mean by this comment, but if you mean that public sector workers add value (ie wealth) and export their efforts to pay for what we import – like 40% of the fodd we eat, which is imported – I think you’d better go and read a book about economics.

Better still, look at what’s happening in Greece. Here we have a country where they don’t have any industry worth speaking about. But they have an enormous, well paid public sector. So no industry or other means of real wealth production, which has meant Greece borrowing shed loads of money to pay for the public sector. Now look at what’s happened. Greece is bust. That’s because doctors, firefighters, police officers, teachers, military personnel, etc don’t create wealth and don’t export anything.

Going back to the subject of this thread – AGW – the UK on its own, as AndyC admits above, cannot solve it. My point is that having been to India and China, the UK should not de-industrialise because those two countries will not join in. And don’t say the Tories’ plan for climate change does not involve de-industrialisation because it does. We cannot possibly reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 without closing every factory and taking every vehicle off the road. Then you really will find out what ‘penury’ means.

Fortunately it looks like AGW and all this green stuff is totally dead in the water now the world has better things to do like figuring out how to stop spiralling down into depression. Rio +20 looked like a total flop. So can we move on now because I’m off to work?

57. Robin Levett

@john77 #52/3:

I’ll reply more substantively later today on these and earlier posts, but an observation or two now?

Firstly, you have managed implicitly to question my honesty and call me a moron at the same time as misrepresenting and apparently misunderstanding my comment. Some might consider that quite ironic.

Secondly, if the diurnal cycle was what you were referring to in your post #31: have you considered that there is no such cycle from a global point of view? The sun never sets on the Earth – it only sets on points on the Earth. The “G” in AGW stands for Global, not Local. And what has the diurnal cycle to do with the differences in Northern European temperatures between the Roman period and the 17th century.

58. Chaise Guevara

@ 55 Northern Worker

“They don’t add value like the 12% of our economy occupied by manufacturing. They don’t export anything. We can’t all be doctors, firefighters, police officers, teachers, military personnel. If we were, we’d go bust in a second.”

So if you don’t add value you’re not doing a “real job”? That seems pretty snobby to me, not to mention mercenary. Doctors, firefighters and police save people’s lives, how the hell is that not real work?

59. Dissident

John 77

Aaah!!!! talk about misreading. You said “solar cycles” when you meant “Milanchovich cycles”

The MILANCHOVICH cycles merely alter the distribution of light hitting the Earth’s surface, net result polar regions either receive more, or less light over the year. Which alters the amount of snowmelt in summer. Unfortunately, the concentration of greenhouse gases now will prevent another ice age from occuring for up to a million years…

You say you don’t trust Exxon, yet you let propaganda that company and others involved in the fossil fuel industrial complex introduce doubts about AGW into your head. I once had those doubts, over 20 years ago. You follow the funding of that propaganda, and suddenly it all becomes clear!

It is worse than trusting a banker, it is giving the likes of Soros carte blanche with the stock exchange – oh wait, we do!

I would rather trust the literally millions of threads of evidence – from fossil records of the Permian to isotope balance of CO2, to photographic records of shrinking glaciers & trees growing above the former treeline myself.

Those who claim it is a conspiracy are at best disingenious. Conspiracies involving hundreds of thousands of scientists worldwide? Wouldn’t last a day. Conspiracies involving a few very rich people, they last, at least until you look under the rug, and see the inconvenient truths!!

Like Northern Worker, you are well intentioned. Unlike so many rightwing trollbots on here… So I say to you, find the evidence. Subscribe to New Scientist, Scientific American, Nature etc. & follow the evidence trails. It will take a while, true, but it is worth it to understand better!

@ Robin Levett
i) I did not call you a moron – I said that *I* was not one.
When I say “solar cycle” I do not mean diurnal cycle. It stopped being called a sunspot cycle decades ago and *I* eventually caught up with the change in terminology.
ii) You have repeatedly questioned my honesty – if you want a reputable graph showing a recent downturn try NASA
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.gif
http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_February_2012.png

@ 59 Dissident
I did actually mean solar cycles, though I lazily failed to explain that I was thinking of both long-term cycles and what used to be called the sunspot cycle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation
“Sunspot numbers over the past 11,400 years have been reconstructed using dendrochronologically dated radiocarbon concentrations. The level of solar activity during the past 70 years is exceptional — the last period of similar magnitude occurred around 9,000 years ago (during the warm Boreal period).[27][28] The Sun was at a similarly high level of magnetic activity for only ~10% of the past 11,400 years, and almost all of the earlier high-activity periods were shorter than the present episode.[28].”
I just don’t see how using BP’s data to show that burning fossil fuels *must* have warmed the Earth and therefore we *must* reduce fossil fuel consumption as the only practicable option to tackle global warming is falling for Exxon’s propaganda.

62. Robin Levett

@johjn77 #60:

Very quick response – more when I can.

i) I did not call you a moron – I said that *I* was not one.
When I say “solar cycle” I do not mean diurnal cycle. It stopped being called a sunspot cycle decades ago and *I* eventually caught up with the change in terminology.

The sunspot cycle does not match the recent increase in warming – to the contrary; see:

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_16/

ii) You have repeatedly questioned my honesty

I rarely call anyone a liar on the Internet; and even more rarely without justification. If you can show me where I’ve done so, I will withdraw and apologise – over to you.

if you want a reputable graph showing a recent downturn try NASA
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.gif
http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_February_2012.png

No, I wanted a graph which supported your claim of “a decline in the last decade” – see your #41. The graph above does not; it shows a significant warming over the last decade, whether you are talking about the annual or the 5-year moving average.

@ Robin Levett
I quoted to Dissident (who, like Chaise, has the good manners to treat me as well-meaning but misinformed) a reference to scientific research that states that solar cycles for the last seventy years have caused far more solar radiation to warm the earth than for millennia and you respond with a point estimate of the effect of solar radiation and “greenhouse gases” for one year. I link to two graphs that shows a decline since 2002, the last decade; you claim that they don’t; the five year moving average for 2009-11 in the first graph is lower than 2004-8, implying a decline if you would care to look (although that wasn’t what I was asked to show); the second graph shows both the actual and the moving average down over the last decade (2002 +0.2, latest -0.12/+0.1). On my planet (as it would be on Vulcan) that is a decline.
Using Wikipedia may be below your normal standard of proof but I don’t have time to go to the Bod to check stuff out every time: ,
Incidentally the Frost Fairs were held on the tidal reaches of the Thames where the freezing point of water is lower and since they didn’t knock down the old London Bridge until 6 years after they built the new one, the river should have flowed slower in that period but the river didn’t freeze over once in the 17 years before they knocked it down. If you’re really pernickety, why not ask how that gells with the theory that speeding up the flow was what stopped the Thames freezing? Most people think that it was the end of what was called “the little ice age”. In the 15th and 16th centuries people were able to drive carts across the frozen Thames, but not when there were two London Bridges in the early 19th century
“So I would ask you to be so kind as to actually reference just one “reputable graph” showing that it has cooled over the last decade; but will understand you if you don’t feel it appropriate to do so.” That looks very much like questioning the honesty of my comment and if it is not then you operate in different circles to me.
You may think that “Does Al Gore’s carbon consumption (and I suspect that you are wrong on this)” is just be questioning my ability to do arithmetic but since I won every possible maths prize in school career, it comes across as and is, in fact, impugning my honesty.
You either chose not to check out the NASA website or need better spectac

Sorry everyone – I seem to have hit a size limit
I was saying that I accept anyone can find problems with reading screens or *anything* – it is my standard excuse for not being an athletics judge (I just hand the guy my specs), so if you misread the graph for that reason I can’t blame you.

65. Northern Student

@Northern Worker,

With respect to “the UK only contributes 2% of global emissions”. I have two qualifications to this statement:

1) this is an estimate based on highly uncertain model data; it could be more it could be less.

2) the 2% figure is dependent on a certain outlook (termed the production perspective) which assigns responsibility for emissions to the geographical region of production. The alternative (the consumption perspective) assigns responsibility for emissions to teh geographical region of consumption. I.e. under the current system the emissions associated with production of the washing machine you bought are the responsibility of china. from the cionsumption perspecive you (the UK) are responsible for those same emissions.

From the consumption pespective the UK is repsonsible for considerably more than 2%. For more info on this see the recent parlimentary report

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmenergy/1646/164602.htm

@ Northern Student
Excellent comment.
Now evangelise your neighbours/fellow students to think about this: get them to cut down on unnecessary imports such as Kenyan flowers for Mothering Sunday (bake a Simnel Cake instead), strawberries out-of-season etc. I’ve never bought a washing machine from China – a better analogy would be clothing imports (when I was young my footwear was made in Somerset or Cumbria from by-products of the UK food industry – now I am assailed by those wanting me to buy stuff from 10,000+ miles away).

67. Robin Levett

@john 77 #63:

“So I would ask you to be so kind as to actually reference just one “reputable graph” showing that it has cooled over the last decade; but will understand you if you don’t feel it appropriate to do so.” That looks very much like questioning the honesty of my comment and if it is not then you operate in different circles to me.

It was actually – at this stage – questioning your understanding of what you had been looking at.

I quoted to Dissident (who, like Chaise, has the good manners to treat me as well-meaning but misinformed) a reference to scientific research that states that solar cycles for the last seventy years have caused far more solar radiation to warm the earth than for millennia…

Your reference was to Wikipedia, and via that to Solanki, to the effect that the Sun had been unusually active either over the last 70 years, or since 1900, depending on which date you take. The difficulty is that warming has not tracked solar forcing.

…and you respond with a point estimate of the effect of solar radiation and “greenhouse gases” for one year.

Nope; I responded with a reference to a NASA review of the literature written by Hansen and others, of which the particularly relevant piece is:

The role of the Sun. The measured positive imbalance in 2005-2010 is particularly important because it occurred during the deepest solar minimum in the period of accurate solar monitoring (Fig. 2). If the Sun were the only climate forcing or the dominant climate forcing, then the planet would gain energy during the solar maxima, but lose energy during solar minima.

The fact that Earth gained energy at a rate 0.58 W/m2 during a deep prolonged solar minimum reveals that there is a strong positive forcing overwhelming the negative forcing by below-average solar irradiance. That result is not a surprise, given knowledge of other forcings, but it provides unequivocal refutation of assertions that the Sun is the dominant climate forcing.

So it may well be the case that the Sun has been active over the last 70 or 112 years; but contrary to your original claim, it is not the dominant forcing. It cannot be, if the Earth has gained energy while the Sun is delivering less energy.

I link to two graphs that shows a decline since 2002, the last decade; you claim that they don’t; the five year moving average for 2009-11 in the first graph is lower than 2004-8, implying a decline if you would care to look (although that wasn’t what I was asked to show)…

What I asked you to do was “reference just one “reputable graph” showing that it has cooled over the last decade”. The NASA graph does not; it shows a 5 year moving average anomaly in 2002 of just short of 0.5C, and in 2008 of c.55C. It doesn’t actually show the 5 year moving average up to 2012, not indeed annual figures beyond 2010.

It is true that the 5-year average declined between years a couple of times in the period since 2002; but that isn’t a cooling “over the last decade”.

It looks like the trend is upward over the decade; but that is an impression, not calculated; and it is the trend that matters; not comparing one year with the year N years before.

…the second graph shows both the actual and the moving average down over the last decade (2002 +0.2, latest -0.12/+0.1).

Try this graph – the same data but with 3 months added:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_May_2012.png

which shows no such reduction; and note that both the UAH graphs, which plot monthly temperature anomalies and a 13 month moving average, also seem to have a trend line – the thin black line that looks like a flattened sine-wave. That shows an increase in temperature over the last decade on both graphs.

So it would appear that your understanding is indeed at fault.

Incidentally the Frost Fairs were held on the tidal reaches of the Thames where the freezing point of water is lower and since they didn’t knock down the old London Bridge until 6 years after they built the new one, the river should have flowed slower in that period but the river didn’t freeze over once in the 17 years before they knocked it down.

The last Frost Fair was in 1814, the next previous one having been in 1795. Interestingly even Tambora, which caused the year without a summer in 1815, didn’t make a Frost Fair possible; indeed, since 1810 was the coldest decade on record, as a result of eruptions from 1810 onwards, one would have expected Frost Fairs most years if they depended solely on local temperatures.

Since the last maximum of the LIA was in 1850 then one would have expected a Frost Fair that year if it depended solely on the local temperatures. There wasn’t one.

I don’t, by the way, deny that there was a Little Ice Age, nor that it was at times warmer in Roman times; I question quite how much difference in temperature there was. That was the relevance of my references to Herodotus and Pepys; yes, grapes were grown in Roman Britain, but that didn’t indicate some glorious Mediterranean climate – the grapes weren’t particularly good. Yes, there was a Little Ice Age in Northern Europe; but we were still growing grapes in Britain, in and north of London; so there weren’t Arctic conditions.

And this:

You may think that “Does Al Gore’s carbon consumption (and I suspect that you are wrong on this)” is just be questioning my ability to do arithmetic but since I won every possible maths prize in school career, it comes across as and is, in fact, impugning my honesty.

No, it was questioning your ability to do research. Gore’s mansion is pretty energy-efficient; and uses green energy. Check this page, and the Snopes pages referenced in it:

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/06/al-gores-mansion/

Finally in this comment, the reason i thought you were referring to the diurnal solar cycle was this passage from your #52:

The solar cycle I am talking about is that of the Sun that “rises”each morning when the earth rotates to face it: you appear to think there is another in which I might be interested. If so it is irrelevant.

@ Robin Levett
Arguing that Al Gore doesn’t consume more energy than I because he buys his electricity from “renewable solar, wind and methane gas sources” is like saying “I bought my ivory from the Co-Op, so that makes it ethical”. The only data that your reference gives me is the out-of-date 191,000 kwh and $1359 a month, which excludes his use of a private jet, while I travel mostly on foot or public transport. I was mostly moaning about his use of a private jet instead of scheduled flights, but on those figures his mansion alone used more electricity in a DAY than I and my family did last year. So how much more efficient has he made it? If he’s improved it by more than 50% rather than the 11% (summer-only) cited by Snopes why didn’t his spokeswomen say so? Sorry – you get a C for that argument.
The first graph shows a year-on-year decline over the last ten years from 2002 to 2012 *as well as* the declining moving average which I mentioned as a secondary point. If you would care to look at inconvenient facts before denying their existence. That is not the graph to which I originally referred, it is just the second independent graph I found – the first from New Scientist was several years out-of-date – when looking. Note not the first to suit what I wanted to find – the second independent one that I found at all and it showed a decline from 2002 to 2012, demonstrating that there *are* reputable graphs showing a cooling.
I am grateful for your acknowledgement that there was a “little ice age” – this is denied by some AGW enthusiasts. Since wine grapes tolerate cooler climates better than dessert grapes, comments about them not being good for wine doesn’t help your pooh-poohing of the Roman era being warmer. The current climate is not warm enough to farm Dartmoor – there is evidence that it was farmed in Roman and pre-Roman periods.
To say that gaining energy during a dip in a high-level plateau of solar irradiation compared to levels in previous centuries disproves the dominance of solar radiation in warming the earth is clutching at straws. There is, as I pointed out in my first post, a significant minority impact from burning fossil fuel throughout the post-war period (I quoted data for the last forty years) but that cannot explain the ice ages nor the little ice age.

69. Robin Levett

@john77 #68:

There is, as I pointed out in my first post, a significant minority impact from burning fossil fuel throughout the post-war period (I quoted data for the last forty years) but that cannot explain the ice ages nor the little ice age.

You claim that solar activity is the major driver of climate over the last 40 years. That cannot be right; can I refer you to this page:

which concludes that:

Regardless of any discussion about solar irradiance in past centuries, the sunspot record and neutron monitor data (which can be compared with radionuclide records) show that solar activity has not increased since the 1950s and is therefore unlikely to be able to explain the recent warming.

The Solanki paper upon which the Wikipedia entry rides is criticised; that paper relies upon less reliable and consistent proxy data then the sunspot records and neutron monitor data.

The Ice Ages weren’t caused by the Sun; you need Milankovich cycles for that, which operates over periods of 10s of thosuands of years. Interestingly, the Milankovich cycle has been cooling over the last 2,000 years…

The Little Ice Age was not a result of Milankovich cycles; the best guess at present is that it was the result of some combination of volcanic and solar forcing; volcanic activity was very high during the LIA by contrast with the MCA, wheras solar irradiance is thought to have dropped by comparison with the same period. It’s important to realise, though, that the LIA was pretty clearly a Northern European phenomenon; and that we shouldn’t get out of proportion – the temperature differences between the LIA and late 20th century temperatures are not that great even within Northern Europe.

The first graph shows a year-on-year decline over the last ten years from 2002 to 2012 *as well as* the declining moving average which I mentioned as a secondary point

It cannot do so – it doesn’t have a 2012 figure (probably because 20012 hasn’t finished yet…). 2001 and 2011 do however both appear; 2001 is rather below 0.5C anomaly, whereas 2011 is rather above 0.5C anomaly.

But this is a little beside the point – comparing spot temperatures might be a good game, but it’s the trends that matter, and those don’t appear on the graph; but given that all but one of the figures is either equal to or higher than the 2001 figure, with the four highest figures in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010, I think we can guess which way the trend will run.

What the graph also shows is that even the lowest temperature in the decade is higher than any other year in the record before the 1998 El Nino peak; and we are now getting La Nina troughs higher than any previous El Nino peak.

Since wine grapes tolerate cooler climates better than dessert grapes, comments about them not being good for wine doesn’t help your pooh-poohing of the Roman era being warmer.

I don’t pooh-pooh the Roman era being warmer; I suggest that the difference in temperatures was not as great as people imagine and as people like SPPI try to suggest; and if wine grapes tolerate cooler climates better than dessert, then the fact that even wine grapes found the Roman British climate too cold supports that point. (BTW – I’ve said Herodotus, but it was Tacitus who made the cmment).

The current climate is not warm enough to farm Dartmoor – there is evidence that it was farmed in Roman and pre-Roman periods.

That’s odd; the National Park Authority believe that 90% of Dartmoor is being farmed now; albeit it’s largely grazing. But havign said that, it ahs always been largely grazing land. The position isn’t quite as simple and temperature dependent as you suggest – see:

http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/learningabout/lab-printableresources/lab-factsheetshome/lab-farming_history

Arguing that Al Gore doesn’t consume more energy than I because he buys his electricity from “renewable solar, wind and methane gas sources” is like saying “I bought my ivory from the Co-Op, so that makes it ethical”.

I’m sorry, but this comment suggests you don’t actually understand the issue. The amount of energy we use is neither here nor there- we’re never going to overheat the Earth by direct heating. The key is the amount of fossil carbon we turn into CO2. Insofar as he’s not using fossil carbon, he’s not part of the problem.

As for the private jet – what figures do you have for that; bearing in mind that when this allegation first surfaced in the denialist literature, he didn’t actually have a private jet? I think you’ll find, for example, that he flew commercial to Copenhagen.

@ Robin Levett
Are you trying to wind me up or what?
“Farmed” does not in normal English or Scots usage mean “used for grazing” and surprise surprise the NPA website does NOT say it is farmed. What is does say, inter alia,
“Reaves are low, stony, earth covered banks which were built around 1200 BC to divide all but the highest parts of Dartmoor, first into territories (a little like our present day parishes), and within those into long, narrow, parallel fields. Their main function was probably to control the movement of stock, but there is some evidence that prehistoric people were also growing cereals here.” “A climatic deterioration and the spread of peat during the first millennium BC (1000 – 1 BC), both resulting in poorer grazing vegetation, contributed to the abandonment of the higher part of Dartmoor during the later prehistoric period.”
It is more used for grazing in theory than in practice – last time I was on Dartmoor we did not see a single live sheep (we share the bones of one dead one.
The source that you misquoted supports my comment.
I referred to a widely, if not necessarily universally accepted, scientific theory that the last SEVENTY years have seen abnormally high solar activity and you then say it *cannot* be true because “solar activity has not increased since the 1950s”. STOP, think. Yes it CAN be true because if solar activity has been high since c1940 and current levels are at 1950s levels they are HIGH.
I do not read, except possibly by mischance when misdirected there by LC, denialist websites. I did not say Al Gore owned a private jet (I know he inherited a lot of money but …). I said he flew by private jet. Even his defenders say he flew by private jet to promote his book. Is youtube a denialist website? Is The Guardian? Is “Greenanswers”? So as a distraction from my pointing out that *your* reference showed the Gore family mansion consumed more electricity in a day than my family do in a year, pretty effective distraction but no marks for contribution to the debate. [Since I started with he consumes more energy in a week than I do in a year, that may count as an own goal by you.]
“The amount of energy we use is neither here nor there- we’re never going to overheat the Earth by direct heating. The key is the amount of fossil carbon we turn into CO2. Insofar as he’s not using fossil carbon, he’s not part of the problem.”
Balderdash three times over. He IS using fossil carbon – his claim to be carbon-neutral is based on buying “carbon credits” and hypothesising his electricity use to “renewable suppliers” (which ignores realities – his electricity comes from the nearest power station). The subsidy system means that renewable sources do not vary their output according to how Al Gore buys – they sell whatever they can produce, so if Al Gore cut his consumption the same amount of “green” energy would be produced and less “polluting” energy. So he is part of the problem. To say that he is not part of the problem because he designates part of his excessive wealth to buy a few “carbon credits” would get you vitriol from Sally if used to describe Bob Diamond. The Gore fans want us to believe it is all about CO2 and burning a trillion tons of coal and oil has no effect – ROFL. . I have given up believing either extreme view of the greenhouse effect but CO2 is neither the most common nor the most effective of the greenhouse gases – di-hydrogenmonoxide is far more common and CH4 has a much greater effect per molecule.
I’m sorry but you are either being a totally disingenuous defender of Gore because he is a “environmental crusader” or you don’t understand what you are talking about. If he actually bought a million square miles of Amazonian rain forest and employed a small private army to protect it and the indigenous people from illegal ranchers, then he might get to be carbon-neutral, but he doesn’t.
You may collect a Tim Worstall award for pedantry. The *2011* number was below that for 2002 – there were 5 years lower, one level and three above in the 9 years reported in the last decade and the average temperature in the 2005-10 period is *below* the start level – which blows a hole below the water-line in your claim that a dip in solar radiation plateau led to more global heating. Some twit has chosen a one-year anomaly to justify an obviously invalid claim. The average temperature in the last decade is lower than in 2002. That does not mean that there is no global warming. It does not mean that that there is no greenhouse effect. It certainly does not mean that burning a trillion tonnes of coal-equivalent has no impact. But it does mean that the graph shows a decline in the last decade which coincides with a decline in solar radiation and that I can actually observe spot points on a graph and that you should not dismiss anyone who diverges from the party line as being an Exxon lobbyist.
I cannot post encyclopedias so if you want references I must find the least irrelevant ones on the internet – but you seem to discount any that don’t support your preconceived viewpoint and blindly accept any that do.

,

hot off the press news, the Roman world was as warm as today!!

http://www.newscientist.com/mobile/article/mg21528733.100

john77 you are vindicated, yet it also states the long term cooling trend has been stopped (long term as in on the scale of centuries) the cooling since 2002 is variation unfortunately, as that long term cooling would imply expanding ice caps & glaciers as for your comments abou All Gore, yes I agree, he consumes far too much!!!

@ Robin Levett
I don’t know where you got your idea that the last maximum of the little ice age was in 1850 but this afternoon, while trying to read something useful I ran into a reference to the metoffice site
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/
which, at first second and third sights thinks differently.
The idea that building a new London Bridge caused the end of Frost Fairs is as rubbish as claiming no energy is consumed in manufacturing windmills or that Al Gore consumes no fossil fuel energy.
The downturn in the running average in the last decade only relates to England but …

73. Robin Levett

@john77 #70:

Quick comments on three issues – time for bed.

Livestock farmers would be miffed to be told they aren’t real farmers; you might have missed the NT comment that arable farming on the moor stopped before the Romans arrived; and there’s arable farming around the moor nowadays.

I hold no brief for Gore; I’m not convinced by carbon credits, but they weren’t the subject. You claimed outright that buying energy from renewable resources didn’t help solve the problem. Carbon credits weren’t mentioned until you introduced them in your rant.

I say that increased solar activity cannot have driven the warming we’ve seen since 1950 because there has been no such increase since 1950. The fact that there might have been some increase in activity (and that must be questionable – if the proxies that Solanki relies upon are unreliable between 1950 and 2012, why should they have been reliable for the 8 years previously) in the 8 years previously. The link that is missing, by the way, is:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/08/did-the-sun-hit-record-highs-over-the-last-few-decades/

As for the graph; does the fact that adding a year to the period over which you are purporting to measure a cooling make such a huge difference to whether there is any cooling not suggest anything to you? Cherrypicking both the length of the period and the start year so as to try to produce a cooling doesn’t help your argument one whit; and I repeat that what matters is not a point to point comparison, but a trend. Real climatologists know this.

Oh; and the average temperature anomaly in the decade to 2009 is lower than the temperature in 2010; but so what?

@ Dissident
Many thanks – it always feels more convincing to have one’s views confirmed by neutrals or dissidents than by those already arguing the case. I must ask my son to keep that copy of New Scientist (he usually throws them away after a few months because I rarely have time to read them).
Yes, I do not doubt that cooling since 2002 is a variation – the RSS suggest that we can expect 48% of years to be cooler than the immediate predecessor so there will be runs where 9 years later 2011 or N+9 is cooler that 2002 or N. I only mentioned this originally to point out that some AGW propagandists were scoring own goals by shouting stuff that was obviously untrue (I reckon the University of East Anglia has done more for Exxon than the millions of dollars Exxon has spent on lobbyists). So we say this is a variation but if you burn 4 BILLION tons of coal a year the trend will be upward (the denialists can argue about the effect of greenhouse gas but they can’t say that burning 4 bn tons of coal doesn’t warm things up).

exactly john 77!!!

@ Robin Levett
YOU introduced carbon credits by your reference to the website defending Al Gore’s energy consumption. To argue that affects the invalidity of your claim that Al Gore is not the problem because he buys electricity from a “renewable supplier” is bullshit. The swing producer of electricity is not the solar panel (which cannot be turned off or on by the grid0 but a fossil fuel station. He is a problem two ways: one because he consumes a frightening multiple of the fossil fuel energy needed by a normal middle-class (UK middle-class, not US “middle-class”) family, and two because his blatant hypocrisy encourages others to think there is not a real problem.
NPA did NOT say what you claimed and the arable area of Dartmoor is much less than it was. I have *never* heard a mixed or livestock farmer say he was farming hillside grazing land. There is a difference between fields used for grazing during the year they are left fallow and hillsides which are unusable for arable farming. One day you might go and look.
“I say that increased solar activity cannot have driven the warming we’ve seen since 1950 because there has been no such increase since 1950.” Are you serious? The 1940s et seq are stated to be recipients of significantly higher solar radiation – this has a cumulative effect on the earth’s temperature. You do not need any further increase in order to get a continual (not continuous) rise in temperature. If you keep your fooy on the accelerator without pressing it any further down the car will continue to accelerate until the traffic cop pulls you over. If you don’t believe that a high plateau of solar activity since 1940 has warmed the earth try arguing it out with the traffic cop that you can only be doing 30 mph.
Your repeated attempts to change the definition every time I show that you are wrong are getting beyond irritating.

77. Robin Levett

@john77 #76:

YOU introduced carbon credits by your reference to the website defending Al Gore’s energy consumption.

Nope; I didn’t refer you to a webiste defending Al Gore’s energy consumption, I referred you to two websites (Snopes and Factcheck) that exists solely to provide unbiased information.

And my comment to which you responded with reference to carbon credits was correcting your apparent misconception that all energuy usage contributes to AGW.

And finally, as I’ve already said, I’m not convinced by carbon credits as they are currently operated; I don’t propsoe to defend them as a panacea for fossil-carbon usage.

To argue that affects the invalidity of your claim that Al Gore is not the problem because he buys electricity from a “renewable supplier” is bullshit.

Which was not what I said. The claim to which I responded at #69 was that:

Arguing that Al Gore doesn’t consume more energy than I because he buys his electricity from “renewable solar, wind and methane gas sources” is like saying “I bought my ivory from the Co-Op, so that makes it ethical”.

The issue was however Gore’s “carbon consumption”, not his energy consumption. His energy consumption in and of itself is irrelevant to AGW in more than one sense.

My reply was that “Insofar as he’s not using fossil carbon, he’s not part of the problem.” Notice that “Insofar as…”? It means that I accept that to the extent that he is using fossil carbon, he is part of the problem.

The swing producer of electricity is not the solar panel (which cannot be turned off or on by the grid0 but a fossil fuel station.

But the more renewable capacity installed by the supplier, the less baseline capacity is provided by fossil carbon.

He is a problem two ways: one because he consumes a frightening multiple of the fossil fuel energy needed by a normal middle-class (UK middle-class, not US “middle-class”) family, and two because his blatant hypocrisy encourages others to think there is not a real problem.

Just to get some perspective – because getting some perspective on the subject might reduce the hysteria about Gore and make your job of explaining the problem to others easier:

First: how much energy does your family and business use? I have little doubt that it is less than Gore’s, but please compare like with like.

Second: how much of the energy you use is renewably-sourced? Gore’s claim is that he has a lot of solar PV installed on the house, and geothermal in the grounds; and he pays extra for grid-produced electricity from purportedly renewable sources. How much of that do you do?

NPA did NOT say what you claimed

The NPA site begisn with:

<blockquote.For over 5,000 years farming has been the main land use on Dartmoor

So the NPA regards what has been happening over the last 5,000 years as “farming”.

This is the relevant section:

More than 8,000 years ago, when most of Dartmoor was covered with trees, people hunted wild animals. By about 2000 to 1500 BC most of the tree cover had been cleared and Dartmoor had become an important area for the grazing of sheep and cattle.

People lived either permanently or seasonally in circular stone huts called round houses. Hut circles, which are the remains of these buildings, can be seen on many parts of the moor. Some are arranged in groups, some are associated with small, irregular fields, some lie within stone wall enclosures and others are in amongst large areas of rectangular fields known as reave systems.

Reaves are low, stony, earth covered banks which were built around 1200 BC to divide all but the highest parts of Dartmoor, first into territories (a little like our present day parishes), and within those into long, narrow, parallel fields. Their main function was probably to control the movement of stock, but there is some evidence that prehistoric people were also growing cereals here. A climatic deterioration and the spread of peat during the first millennium BC (1000 – 1 BC), both resulting in poorer grazing vegetation, contributed to the abandonment of the higher part of Dartmoor during the later prehistoric period.

from which I took the messages that:

1 The dominant agricultural usage of high Dartmoor in prehistory was “the grazing of sheep and cattle”

2 The field boundaries associated with the reave system were in place “probably to control the movement of stock”;

3 That “there is some evidence that prehistoric people were also growing cereals here”;

4 That a combination of coller climate and the spread of peat caused the abandonment of the high moor.

and the arable area of Dartmoor is much less than it was.

What was it?

You may well be right; but it isn’t as black and white as you made out. The limit of arable farming has varied over time in reponse to climate, vegetation and population changes. The Roman period, which you originally refererd to, was apparently a period of retreat, not advance.

I have *never* heard a mixed or livestock farmer say he was farming hillside grazing land.

So what do the sheep****ers of Wales say they are doing?

There is a difference between fields used for grazing during the year they are left fallow and hillsides which are unusable for arable farming.

Indeed there is; but there is very little crop-rotation going on nowadays on large farms of any kind.

One day you might go and look.

I grew up on the North Downs.

“I say that increased solar activity cannot have driven the warming we’ve seen since 1950 because there has been no such increase since 1950.” Are you serious? The 1940s et seq are stated to be recipients of significantly higher solar radiation – this has a cumulative effect on the earth’s temperature. You do not need any further increase in order to get a continual (not continuous) rise in temperature. If you keep your fooy on the accelerator without pressing it any further down the car will continue to accelerate until the traffic cop pulls you over…

Can i borrow your car? Mine accelerates until the power output of the engine at the selected throttle-setting reaches equilibrium with the frictional forces of all kinds, at which point it stops accelerating.

The same goes for climate; if you apply a forcing, the system reacts until it reaches equilibrium with that forcing. If you turn up solar output between 1942 and 1950, the climate system will react until it reaches a new equlibrium. Are you claiming that there is a 60-year delay in response to solar forcing?

That premise is in doubt in any event; we know for sure that there has been no increase (from cycle to cycle) in solar activity since 1950. The proxies that Solanki used suggested that there was such an increase. The evidence that you rely upon to show solar activity increase btween 1942 and 1950 is exactly the same in kind as that shown to be unreliable for the subsequent 62 years. What changed in 1950 to render unreliable that which was previously reliable?

For what it’s worth, the Max Planck Institute press release issued in the release of Solanki’s paper began with the words:

Studies at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research reveal: solar activity affects the climate but plays only a minor role in the current global warming

It finishes with:

The influence of the Sun on the Earth is seen increasingly as one cause of the observed global warming since 1900, along with the emission of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, from the combustion of coal, gas, and oil. “Just how large this role is, must still be investigated, since, according to our latest knowledge on the variations of the solar magnetic field, the significant increase in the Earth’s temperature since 1980 is indeed to be ascribed to the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide,” says Prof. Sami K. Solanki, solar physicist and director at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research.

http://www.mpg.de/496690/pressRelease20040802

So whose interpretation of Solanki’s paper are we to believe? Yours, or the author’s?

Your repeated attempts to change the definition every time I show that you are wrong are getting beyond irritating.

You haven’t yet shown me to be wrong; and the words “Pot. Kettle. Black” appear apposite here.

78. Robin Levett

@john77 #72:

I don’t know where you got your idea that the last maximum of the little ice age was in 1850

NASA: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary/?mode=alpha&seg=l&segend=n

but this afternoon, while trying to read something useful I ran into a reference to the metoffice site

Leicestershire isn’t Northern Europe.

The idea that building a new London Bridge caused the end of Frost Fairs is as rubbish as claiming no energy is consumed in manufacturing windmills or that Al Gore consumes no fossil fuel energy.

It’s a good thing that I’ve made none of those claims, then, isn’t it?

Specifically in relation to Frost Fairs; a combination of warming climate, embankment of the Thames, and removal of the old London Bridge’s weirs and piers (which backed up the Thames to the extent that there was a difference in level of up to six feet across each side of the bridge) ended the Frost Fairs.

79. Robin Levett

@dissident #71:

Unfortunately, the New Scientist piece doesn’t really start very well;

CLIMATE scientists have long held that the past 2000 years were almost uniformly cool.

which simply isn’t very true.

The argument in the paper as I understand it is that orbital forcing has driven a cooling trend since the Roman era, interrupted only by the forcing arising from anthropogenic CO2; john77 is arguing for solar variability as the dominant factor.

I’d noted, but not yet read, reference to the paper in Nature (where it’s published) and wll read it. I can’t see how it vindicates john77 though.

80. Robin Levett

@john77 #70:

CO2 is neither the most common nor the most effective of the greenhouse gases – di-hydrogenmonoxide is far more common and CH4 has a much greater effect per molecule.

Missed this before.

Hydrogen hydroxide (as I often call it) has the problem that it falls out of the air at inconvenient moments when you try to increase atmospheric concentrations without increasing the temperature; which is why its a feedback and not a forcing.

Methane has a much greater effect per molecule; but a much shorter residence time in the atmosphere (10 vs 100 years) before decaying into (ultimately) CO2 and hydrogen hydroxide.

None of this is news.

81. Dissident

@ Robin Levett

above a certain threshold, hydrogen hydroxide does become a positive forcing! that’s what sealed the fate of the second rock from the sun 3.5 billion years ago! hopefully we won’t push the third rock from the sun that far though….

82. Robin Levett

@Dissident #81:

above a certain threshold, hydrogen hydroxide does become a positive forcing! that’s what sealed the fate of the second rock from the sun 3.5 billion years ago! hopefully we won’t push the third rock from the sun that far though….

Actually, the Venusian clouds are composed of hydrogen sulphide and sulphate (and the vast bulk of the atmosphere is CO2) – there’s virtually no hydrogen hydroxide. The Venusian atmosphere’s hydrogen hydroxide content is of the order of 20ppm; that of Earth’s atmosphere is around 4000ppm.

83. Dissident

@robin, i was talking about when Venus was young, the planet was once as rich in water as the Earth.Runaway greenhouse effect boiled the oceans, and a combination of uv bombardment splitting water into hydrogen & oxygen, high temperatures and the solar wind stripped it of the hydrogen, leaving oxygen which combined with carbon and other elements. So… it is true there is very little water left now!

@:Robin Levett
Took my wife on a brief holiday with clean air thanks to reliance on hydroelectric power. Will go through your ramblings in the morning but can deal with one item without a night’s sleep. My business use of power is, apart from my travel on public transport, included in my calculation of my family’s use as my business use is part of my use. I installed solar water heating panels in 1996 (my previous house didn’t have a south-facing roof). I am too intelligent to think that nominating a “renewable” supplier will make one ha’porth of difference in the amount of electricity I consume or the amount that is generated by that supplier which is weather-driven not demand-driven.
I drive neither a Reliant Robin nor a Lamborghini, so if I kept my foot on the accelerator, I’ld be pulled over by the police – don’t you have any police round your way?

85. Robin Levett

@john77 #84:

I drive neither a Reliant Robin nor a Lamborghini, so if I kept my foot on the accelerator, I’ld be pulled over by the police – don’t you have any police round your way?

I always keep my foot on the accelerator when travelling forwards; my car isn’t powerful enough to travel at more than 20 or so miles an hour at engine idle speeds. I’d be interested to know quite how powerful your car is if you can truly cruise on a motorway at a steady 70 miles per hour without your foot on the accelerator.

86. Robin Levett

@john77 #84:

Took my wife on a brief holiday with clean air thanks to reliance on hydroelectric power.

Sorry I missed this; I hope you enjoyed the break.

@ Robin Levett
# 86 Thanks
# 85 You really need to get a new car (or take off the handbrake when driving) – sometimes I have to put my feet on both the clutch and the brake to keep my speed at/under 70 mph going downhill on a motorway. I did not say that I cruised indefinitely at 70 mph without using the accelerator. In the absence of hills, keeping your foot on the accelerator at a constant pressure will result in your accelerating until the traffic cop pulls you over or you run out of petrol: you never quite get to the point where air resistance exactly balances the engine’s propulsive force – you merely make an asymptotic approach to that speed. Rolling friction is what allows your car to move – it doesn’t oppose motion. I have never driven a car whose engine idles as soon as I take my foot off the accelerator.
Leicestershire is IN Northern Europe
Most farms around my home go in for crop rotation on arable land – I belonged to the local jogging club for twenty-odd years and it runs along public footpaths in the countryside on summer evenings so I can notice this. [I grew up in industrial conurbations but within yards of farmland and, apart from a dozen years in London, have always lived within walking distance of active farms – maize has replaced oilseed rape as the main subsidy-driven intruder into local crops]
{more to follow}

88. Robin Levett

@john77 #87:

In the absence of hills, keeping your foot on the accelerator at a constant pressure will result in your accelerating until the traffic cop pulls you over or you run out of petrol:

Are we talking at cross-purposes; I am talking about a constant pressure as being setting the accelerator at say 2″ into its travel, and keeping it there.

you never quite get to the point where air resistance exactly balances the engine’s propulsive force – you merely make an asymptotic approach to that speed.

To the limits of GATSO accuracy, you reach that speed.

Rolling friction is what allows your car to move – it doesn’t oppose motion.

Friction in bearings does; or does you car not only continue accelerating where others reach and remain at a constant speed, but also have frictionless bearings?

II have never driven a car whose engine idles as soon as I take my foot off the accelerator.

Nor have I; but engine braking gets you there after a time.


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  12. mel starrs

    Sorry deniers – worries of global warming are up again http://t.co/zaqCS7Y3

  13. Pixelpark UB

    Sorry deniers – worries of global warming are up again http://t.co/jLqNvY89 [WARNING]

  14. Tim Fenn

    Sorry deniers – worries of global warming are up again | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/4qQz12nM via @libcon





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