Global warming NOT stalling despite ignorant claims


by Sunny Hundal    
10:40 am - January 10th 2013

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On Tuesday this week the Telegraph blared: ‘Global warming at a standstill, new Met Office figures show’.

The Daily Mail also claimed triumphantly: ‘Global warming has STALLED since 1998: Met Office admits Earth’s temperature is rising slower than first thought’.

The Times took a similar line: ‘Global warming is over for five years, says Met Office’.

All of the headlines are rubbish, and deliberately distort what the Met Office actually said.

These headlines are all based on the Met Office’s latest temperature forecast, issued at the end of last year.

The Met Office’s updated forecast says that by between 2013 to 2017, global temperatures would rise by around 0.43 degrees above the long term average. This is 0.11 degrees lower than the Met Office’s prediction for the same period back in 2007.

In other words, the Met Office slightly revised down their projections of global warming, but that still means global warming is taking place rather than ‘stalling’.

As the Carbon Brief blog point out:

The fact that temperatures are currently rising slowly compared to the rapid warming from the 1970s until the late 1990s doesn’t mean global warming has stopped, or stalled. Rather, natural fluctuations in the climate system are currently having a combined cooling effect on atmospheric temperatures that’s damping the full extent of human-caused temperature rise – as the Met Office explained in a response to a similar claim by journalist David Rose last year.

In fact the Met Office also released a statement this week saying the media coverage of their forecasts was wrong, and that global warming was still happening.

Globally, 2012 is unlikely to be at hot as previous year due to cooling La Niña weather, but still expect it to be the world’s eighth or ninth-warmest year on record.

As the New York Times pointed out this week:

Assuming that prediction holds up, it will mean that the 10 warmest years on record all fell within the past 15 years, a measure of how much the planet has warmed.

As the NYT goes on to point out, nobody under the age of 28 has lived through a month of global temperatures below the 20th-century average. For the last 28 years, global temperatures each month have been above average.

All this is in stark contrast to how our ignorant press keep spinning this news.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


“All this is in stark contrast to how our ignorant press keep spinning this news.”

I dont think they’re ignorant. They are wilfully lying.

2. Chaise Guevara

“All of the headlines are rubbish, and deliberately distort what the Met Office actually said.”

Daily Mail’s (surprisingly) seem accurate enough, as it explicitly states that it’s still rising. It’s a shame they couldn’t resist slipping “admits” in there, that old trick used to imply blame where no blame is needed, but heigh ho.

The main point about this particular barney is that it shows the models are seriously deficient. Given that, it seems unwise to spend ludicrous amounts of money on the basis of these projections.

Somehow this story (global warming is moving ahead, although not so visible in measurements) brings to my mind the Soviet leaders, who were all in the same train. The train stopped, because the track ended.

Stalin had the driver of the train shot. The train still didn’t move.

Khrushchev had the workers in the train remove any rails from behind the train, and put them again in front of the train, to move ahead. But eventually there was a need for a bridge, so the train stopped.

Brezhnev told everyone to close their eyes and keep saying “choo choo”, to maintain the idea that the train moves ahead.

Then Gorbachev climbed to the top of the carriage and shouted: “The train is not moving! Listen everyone, the train is not moving!”. And it still didn’t move ahead.

Looks like we’re waiting for Gorbatchev in the climate discussion. Or perhaps we’re waiting for Putin, who will simply pick up the train and lift it ahead (while wearing no shirt).

@2: “It’s a shame they couldn’t resist slipping “admits” in there, that old trick used to imply blame where no blame is needed, but heigh ho.”

True, but on the other hand, this also seems to be standard practise in the OPs of this site as well, as well as any other newspaper. Churnalism.

The main point about this particular barney is that it shows the models are seriously deficient.

No it doesn’t. The revision is within the error bounds, and we remain within the envelope of most prediction ensembles from as much as 30 years ago (which were crude by modern standards). The models are actually holding up very well.

7. Chaise Guevara

@ 5 Gallbladder

The Guardian’s style guide cautions against it, although I don’t know to what extent that’s reflected in the paper. It’s definitely a common trick, though.

“n other words, the Met Office slightly revised down their projections of global warming..”

Hmm, I guess you’re right, the Met office simply revised down a bit. Next year they’ll revise it down again, then again the next year. This also means the dreaded ‘tipping point’ has been bumped ahead again. The tipping point was once in 2005, but when nothing happened they bumped it ahead to 2009, then nothing happens so they bumped it ahead to 2014, now its 2020 perhaps.

When will the public finally realize that climate catastrophe is just wishful thinking from the chronically depressed climate alarmists.

cheers

So temperatures have been rising for the last 28 years. That’s a very loooong time in terms of climate. I got the impression climate was something that happened over many decades, hundreds of years in fact. Anything shorter is just weather.

Considering that Kyoto has finished and failed and CO2 is still rising it’s a wonder that global temperatures have pretty much flat lined over the last 15 years – but then there is no need to believe me as you would say it’s only weather.

Shouldn’t ‘Conserving’ the planet be a conservative issue if anything?

And there are still idiots out there who think climate change isn’t happening – or if it is it’s not caused by mankind. What other other nonsense do they believe?

12. Gallbladder

@7 Chaise: take Polly Toynbee for instance. If Guardian were against such rhetoric tricks, they wouldn’t employ her. Just a couple of random googles:

“Faith schools: now even the church admits they’re unfair”
“The tide of opinion is turning when even Standard & Poor’s at last admits:”
“Harman admits to having read Fifty Shades of Grey” – now that one’s defensible, it really is suspicious that someone reads such trash.

Of course, this is just one of the many such weasel words and phrases that churnalists use. But LC as a site is not particularly good place to criticise Daily Mail for it.

I disagree with what you’ve written.

“the Met Office slightly revised down their projections of global warming”

25% is not a slight revision.

But the main point, is that the “long term average” is from 1970-2000 and DOES NOT INCLUDE recent years.

We have been around 0.4° above that average for over a decade now. The predictions were that we would then rise up to 0.54, but now we’re predicted to stay around 0.43°.

The rise is negligible. We’re roughly in the same boat as we were a decade ago. Your article is misleading, implying that we are rising by 0.4, but we’re not, we’re STAYING around 0.4.

And the Telegraph reported exactly what you did!

“It had been thought that this would be 0.54C during the period 2012 -2016 but new data puts the figure for the 2013-2017 period at 0.43C.”

The exact drop that you mention as if it were misleading is in the opening statement of the article!

You say “would rise above”, implying they’re not already above, but they’re already at the 0.4 level. This is sensationalist reporting.

As @11 Cole hints, there are a number of distinct sects within climate change scepticism. Rather like the Judean People’s Front/ People’s Front of Judea, they agree on very little, other than the existence of a massive conspiracy to suppress them. Rival sceptic beliefs include:

1. It’s not getting warmer – they’re faking the data
2. It is getting warmer but it’s nothing to do with us
3. It is getting warmer but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before (e.g. the end of the last ice age)
4. It is getting warmer, it is our fault, it hasn’t happened before but hey, it’s a good thing – more vineyards in Surrey!

Could any climate change sceptics enlighten us as to which is the one true faith?

@Falco: “The main point about this particular barney is that it shows the models are seriously deficient. Given that, it seems unwise to spend ludicrous amounts of money on the basis of these projections.”

Our knowledge of anthropogenic global warming comes not only from models, but from multiple independent but consistent sources.

The models have worked very well, in fact, and as time passes and we have more data to test them against they can be improved.

@SadButMadLad: “global temperatures have pretty much flat lined over the last 15 years”

Simply not true, not at all.

Here is a valuable resource I have come across that shows all the myths ‘sceptics’ peddle, and includes links to the real science with the comprehensive debunking of denialist propaganda…

http://www.skepticalscience.com/

@ Badstephen, there is a more comprehensive list of denialist arguments on there, your list is but the tip of the melting iceberg!

@ Klem, try reading the whole lot, then come back on here claiming it’s all alarmist wishful thinking. I am assuming of course that you are not ideologically hog tied to the frankly v smelly & corrupt denialist crap.

More interesting if you actually go into the data is that some of the coldest years in the last few decades have been excluded from the data to get to where the Met office predictions now are….

…and as anyone who knows anything about climate modelling should know is that the models *are* seriously deficient – there are huge numbers of variables and feedback loops which are poorly understood.

18. Robin Levett

@Tyler #17:

More interesting if you actually go into the data is that some of the coldest years in the last few decades have been excluded from the data to get to where the Met office predictions now are….

Interesting, if true. Is it? Some evidence would be usual when making a claim of fraud.

The ‘Escalator’ diagram at Skeptical Science shows how deniers cherry-pick data in order to use the meme ‘it hasn’t warmed for x years’.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47

This cherry picking usually focusses on the year 1998, which had an unusually strong El Nino effect.

@ Robin

I’ll try and find the article I read with the drill down into the data but it is to do with the statistical handling of the data. They’ve chopped off the data at a certain confidence level at both ends of the distribution, which is commonplace. But the distribution of annual temperatures isn’t normal. The warmest years were closer to the mean than the coldest, so by doing this they’ve shifted the mean temperature records. I understand that using all the data gives a lower number.

It’s also worth noting that the Met office isn’t exactly neutral when it comes to AGW either – they get a large part of their funding for research into the subject, soo could be considerd a vested interst. They are also run by Sir John Houghton, who is well known as a major proponent of AGW, not least because he is one of the founders of the IPCC.

In fairness, predicting and modelling global warming is hellishly difficult. Every stage of the process has significant technicalities. Even measuring temprature accurately is non-trivial…then adjusting and normalising the data to try and remove errors is a statistical nightmare prone to adding more error in than you try and remve. Then you have to somehow build a computer model of the entire planet and it’s ecosystem and all of the different competing and combining inputs, often poorly understood. So it’s no small wonder that the models are massively simplified (compared to the Earth itself, and even then they need supercomputers to run) and tend to focus on easy to measure and evenly distributed things in our atmosphere – like C02.

The complexity is such that anyone suggesting that the science is settled is making a foolish and very dangerous assertion.

21. Chaise Guevara

@ 20 Tyler

“It’s also worth noting that the Met office isn’t exactly neutral when it comes to AGW either – they get a large part of their funding for research into the subject, soo could be considerd a vested interst.”

If we suddenly discovered that AGW had stopped, wouldn’t that prompt research investment in itself?

“They are also run by Sir John Houghton, who is well known as a major proponent of AGW, not least because he is one of the founders of the IPCC. ”

The thing is, being a “proponent” of AGW is not like being a proponent of, say, gay marriage. It’s a scientific issue, or should be. In my anecdotal experience, most people who believe in AGW do so because they think the science points that way. Hopefully most of them would change their minds should the facts change. Do you have reason to believe that Houghton would not?

Falco: “The main point about this particular barney is that it shows the models are seriously deficient.”

It shows a prediction made for a four year period – *made four years in advance* – was 0.11C out from a prediction made with the benefit of more recent data. Yes, that’s just one ninth of a degree celsius.

“Seriously deficient” my arse.

I suspect nearly all economic projections ever made have been more seriously deficient than that, yet you don’t seem to have a problem with using those for “spending ludicrous amounts of money”.

The reality of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a matter of basic physics. There is no significant doubt that increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere results in heating of the surface of the earth. (It’s important to remember that most of this heat goes into the oceans, not the atmosphere.) If it were found that the rise in temperature did not occur, then it would have a knock-on effect over a large part of fundamental physics. It would be a “paradigm shift” – THAT would generate research funds!

Of course, there is disagreement over the overall effect on the climate system. A lot of this is concerned with the ‘climate sensitivity’, measured by the effect on the global average temperature of a doubling of atmospheric CO2. The difference between climate scientists who are approved by ‘sceptics’ and those who are demonised is that the former place the likely value of the climate sensitivity near the lower end of the estimates.

Factors that could affect the sensitivity include the distribution of heat between oceans and atmosphere and the effect of clouds (do they trap heat more than they reflect it back into space?). Also, the earth does not reach a new steady state instantaneously – if we stopped generating CO2 the temperature would still continue to rise for a time.

In fact, estimates of the sensitivity based on data from research on past climates seems to suggest that the models, if anything, underestimate the climate sensitivity. My own view is we are stupid to wait until the models become ‘good enough’, whatever that may mean, because we know AGW is happening and it’s serious.

Incidentally, I’ve debated with ‘sceptics’ for years, and I find that they usually have no difficulty in accepting mutually contradictory arguments in reinforcing their scepticism. One of the common pairs is ‘the climate is too complex to model’ and ‘there is not a straight trend between these two points on the historical temperature record’. (If you don’t understand my point here, then you really need to learn a bit more about climate science before commenting.) Skeptical Science even has a list of these contradictory pairs.

I’d suggest this to the ‘sceptics’ – your points have almost certainly been answered, by scientists, at Skeptical Science. If you can’t move the argument on – by producing a satisfactory rebuttal to the answers on the Skeptical Science site – then your ‘scepticism’ is probably not rationally based. Or worth a shit.

@ 21 Chaise

I would hope that people change their view if the science changes. My concern is that many would not. Especially, as I have made pains to point out, because the science is certainly not settled, and is incredibly complex. There are now massive vested interests in AGW – financially, politically and academically. Too many people with too much to lose. Given it is extemely unlikely that there will be a defining “the Earth is round” moment where the science is definitively settled, I would be unsurprised if many of those interests didn’t fight tooth and nail to hold on to their money, political ego’s or proffesional credibility. After all, we are all human, and all self-interested.

@ Jungle

It’s really not that simple. That predicition plays a statistical game, given that warming over the *whole* period is forecast to rise now by 0.43. So thats at 25% error…and that in itself discounts the uncertainty.

@ severn

Not sure you do understand climate science.

The physics you refer to is the Arrhenius effect. Lets ignore many of the problems of that greenhouse model and simplify the problem to the leve you have.

Indeed C02 acts as a greenhouse gas. So does every other gas though. Also turns out that C02 is pretty much the worst greenhouse gas out there when it comes to absorbing energy from the solar spectrum. Water is by far the best gas with any significant concentration in the atmosphere.

So why the big focus on C02?

Simples really. It’s pretty hard to argue the nitrogen and oxygen, making up the bulk of the atmosphere, are bad for us. Likewise water. It’s also pretty easy to measure the C02 content of the atmosphere and attribute it’s increase to man. More than that, C02 is fairly evenly distrubted in the atmosphere, making it fairly easy to model. Water, given it forms clouds and it is always evaporating and condensing, is nightmarish (indeed, near impossible) to do the same for.

So when looking for something which man has put into the atmosphere, is easy to measure and easy (possible) to model you really only have one choice – C02. So the science has tended to focus on that, with the implicit nod to the unknown effects water vapour has on AGW. The model (and science) just isn’t as simple as saying more C02 = higher temperatures.

@Tyler

I refer you to my final para in my previous comment. If you just repeat denier memes (I call them zombie memes, because they are dead but keep coming back) without rebutting the scientists’ answers, then your arguments are worthless.

“So why the big focus on C02?”

Easy. Because massive research shows that [CO2] is the biggest influence on changes, both natural and artificial, in the climate. See Richard Alley talking about it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RffPSrRpq_g

This doesn’t deny that other forcings and feedbacks influence the climate, and scientist s do not neglect them, but [CO2] is the main way we are modifying the climate ourselves.

Oxygen and nitrogen are an irrelevance here as they don’t absorb infrared radiation. Water does, but one of the reasons CO2 is important is that it absorbs IR at frequencies water doesn’t. I made IR spectra for some years in a lab, and I was aware of the strong effect of both substances at the time.

(There’s a new-to-me contradiction here: I’ve often seen ‘sceptics’ claim that the absorption of CO2 is so strong that a small increase in concentration will have negligible effect. This ‘sceptic’ is claiming that it’s too small – which he could easily check is untrue.)

The main thing wrong with the ‘greenhouse effect’ is its name, which allows deniers to confuse people. The only people who question the basic physics tend to be on the outer reaches of the crankosphere. There may, of course, be a new Galileo out there, but they currently lack one important thing – a good reason to question the physics.

None of this information has anything to do with ‘climate models’.

26. Chaise Guevara

@ 24 Tyler

Sure – I just feel that you’d see more people revising their views on a factual issue than a moral one.

@ Severn

All those gasses absorb IR at different wavelengths, and all at different frequencies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Synthetic_atmosphere_absorption_spectrum_2.gif

It just happens that water is by far the best at it, and C02 not so good. o2 and n2 are pretty terrible. It also has to be said it makes for bad political science if you try to reduce oxygen production….

From wikipedia:

By their percentage contribution to the greenhouse effect on Earth the four major gases are:[18][19]
water vapor, 36–70%
carbon dioxide, 9–26%
methane, 4–9%
ozone, 3–7%

Read a book about the history of climate modelling and you’ll see that the focus on Co2 came about in part because of it’s facility for use in the models used by early supercomputers – Co2 is evenly distributed in the atmosphere and it’s atmospheric content is easily measured and only changes slowly. Water vapour is unevenly distributed, hard to measure atmospheric content which is always changing…making it’s use in models extemely hard.

@ Chaise

One can but hope, but morals and money or power don’t always mix well.

What is interesting to me is that the ‘sceptics’ have taken their stand on a factual issue, rather than on the policy issue (and therefore ultimately moral issue) of what to do about the problem, and when, on which I think the debate should be taking place right now.

As the science is pretty strong, the factual issue is one that the ‘sceptics’ will inevitably lose. The science is about matter and energy, and these do not care what people think.

I’ve just been making a mental list of types of ‘sceptic’ argument. They all stay well away from actually dealing with the science. For example:

(1) We don’t know everything, so therefore we know nothing. (As someone else pointed out, that never seems to apply to economics.)

(2) There is something that doesn’t look right to me (zombie meme), therefore the whole body of theory and evidence must come tumbling down. (Never any responsibility to show how the meme might falsify the science.)

(3) Ad hominem: scientists work for money, or it’s all a big hoax, so the science is falsified. (Actually, if anybody had been able to show this, Exxon would have made them rich by now.)

This is worth reading for an explanation of the economic issues.

What gets most of the “skeptics” I think is the fact that the “believers” appear to wish to impoverish us, when even if the theory is true, no such thing is necessary!

This is worth reading:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chasing-Rainbows-Economic-Myths-Environmental/dp/1906768447/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357916639&sr=1-1

(You will recognise the author!)

30. Robin Levett

@Tyler #24:

There are now massive vested interests in AGW – financially, politically and academically. Too many people with too much to lose. Given it is extemely unlikely that there will be a defining “the Earth is round” moment where the science is definitively settled, I would be unsurprised if many of those interests didn’t fight tooth and nail to hold on to their money, political ego’s or proffesional credibility. After all, we are all human, and all self-interested.

Well, that explaisn the backing that the denialists get from the fossil fuel industries with tens of trillions of dollars at stake; what about the scientists?

Indeed C02 acts as a greenhouse gas. So does every other gas though. Also turns out that C02 is pretty much the worst greenhouse gas out there when it comes to absorbing energy from the solar spectrum. Water is by far the best gas with any significant concentration in the atmosphere.

So why the big focus on C02?

Water? That stuff that rains out of the air when the temperature drops? That water?

Water vapour, while it remains in the atmosphere, is an effective GHG. CO2 and methane (which quickly degrades into CO2) are the major anthropogenic GHGs. They are also gases that don’t rain out of the atmosphere at the drop of a hat; that don’t require continued heating to stay there. Warming resulting from CO2 and CH4 increases the atmosphere’s ability to retain water vapour, and hence produce further warming – but take those gases out and the water vapour will rain out within days.

That’s why climatologists will tell you that water vapour is a feedback, not a forcing.

Try this article; which is one of the two cited for the figures on respective GHG effects in the wikipedia page you rely on for your comparison of GHG effectiveness:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=142

All this makes this paragraph:

Read a book about the history of climate modelling and you’ll see that the focus on Co2 came about in part because of it’s facility for use in the models used by early supercomputers – Co2 is evenly distributed in the atmosphere and it’s atmospheric content is easily measured and only changes slowly. Water vapour is unevenly distributed, hard to measure atmospheric content which is always changing…making it’s use in models extemely hard.

either dishonest or physically illiterate.

31. Robin Levett

@Tyler #20:

I’ll try and find the article I read with the drill down into the data but it is to do with the statistical handling of the data. They’ve chopped off the data at a certain confidence level at both ends of the distribution, which is commonplace. But the distribution of annual temperatures isn’t normal. The warmest years were closer to the mean than the coldest, so by doing this they’ve shifted the mean temperature records. I understand that using all the data gives a lower number.

I await this with interest.

It’s also worth noting that the Met office isn’t exactly neutral when it comes to AGW either – they get a large part of their funding for research into the subject, soo could be considerd a vested interst.

You might want to consider this blogpost and the accounts linked from it:

http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/addressing-the-daily-mail-and-james-delingpoles-crazy-climate-change-obsession-article/

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/r/6/AR_A2011-12.pdf

They are also run by Sir John Houghton, who is well known as a major proponent of AGW, not least because he is one of the founders of the IPCC.

Cause or effect? Read your paragraph back to yourself, and see whether you can work out why it is ludicrous.

@Tyler

What you write is hardly possible to answer because it’s ‘not even wrong’ – it makes little sense.

But scientists do not ignore water or other greenhouse gases in their models.

@cjcj

I don’t think anyone wants to ‘impoverish’ us. Any actions must take account of the fact that climate change from going on as we are will come at a substantial cost, including greater damage from a higher-energy environment, higher sea levels with loss of land, possible disease risks, changing climatic zones and so on.

I don’t have much hope from conventional economics, which cannot even describe the existing world properly, let alone one subject to major climatic change. Economics diverged from reality in the 19th century.

So many opiniated people.. so few that actually know..

brazilfordummies.net

35. Northern Worker

Interesting discussion. The focus should, however, be on computer models used to forecast all the doom and gloom. From what I have read, none of the forecast models have come even close to what has happened and can’t even backcast accurately. This doesn’t surprise me. I’m a mechanical engineer who has been using computer models since 1971. In engineering we are well aware of their limitations; if we were not, then bridges would fall down, etc. But it seems that climatologists have far too much faith in models.

@ 35 Northern Worker

I remember you stating that on previous OP’s about AGW.

So explain why Arctic sea ice reached a new record low last year, that the Greenland icecap is melting, that permafrost in northern Canada & Siberia is melting, that the tree line in the same zones is moving poleward, that rainfall is increasing, etc. Also try looking at actual data about what I have stated. There is a lot of it available online – models are incidentally unanimous in predicting a rise in global temperatures.

Obviously they cannot model with 100% accuracy, yet they are not producing noise, they are hinting at what might happen (and if anything, those accepted by the IPCC have underestimated the pace of change.)

You should cover the lack of justice for Sir Jimmy Savile. Condemned as guilty by the cops despite having no trial and no opportunity to defend himself.

What’s sad is that after all this time it is not understood by the wider public that global mean surface temperature (GMST) trends are computed as 30 year averages, and so while the Met Office decadal forecast is of interest simply because it’s useful to know what to expect on shorter timescales, this has no bearing on the GMST trend, which continues to move upwards whether you look at HadCRUT3, or NCDC data (and no doubt GISS as well, but the site is down at the moment, so I can’t confirm it), and has done so for each rolling year since 1977 for both data sets.

@Northern Worker

“it seems that climatologists have far too much faith in models.”

You should probably spend some more time reading the climate literature; climate scientists routinely discuss the accuracy and limitations of models. Furthermore, it should be noted that where models have fallen short, it tends to be that they have *underestimated” changes, not overestimated. For example, process-based sea level rise models underestimate sea level rise (though they have improved significantly recently – semi-empirical models do better), and the rate of ice sheet/shelf loss has been faster than models predicted. Projections of global temperature tend to do quite well, with even models from the 1980s still hanging on (probably not for much longer, but it’s fair to say we’ve learnt quite a lot since 1980).

Tyler: Saying 0.11C is 25% of the previous prediction is missing the point entirely. Temperatures can go down as well as up, and 4 years is a very short time to predict temperatures over.

Indeed, I’m of the opinion the Met Office should not be calculating such figures because the effect is entirely predictable – i.e. they will be misrepresented by an extensive army of industry lobbyists in the media and online.

@Jungle

“Indeed, I’m of the opinion the Met Office should not be calculating such figures because the effect is entirely predictable – i.e. they will be misrepresented by an extensive army of industry lobbyists in the media and online.”

However the truth is inexorable, and every year that passes, the lies of the fossil fuel industry & their patsies get ever more threadbare…

@jungle

While I can understand and sympathise with your position, I think their are a couple of important points to note; the first is that the Met Office has a professional responsibility to provide forecasts that have relevance to short-term policy decisions, and the second is that if the Met Office didn’t offer decadal projections, the deniers would simply shift position again and say “why are they refusing to make shorter-term projections”. I think we’re better off not engaging with deniers at all, and simply talking past them.

@ 30 Robin Levitt

You’ll actually be surprised how much money there is riding on global warming. The amounts a whole raft of interested parties get from it. You’ll also be surprised how little cash is spent on lobbying for fossil fuels – not least because many of these fossil fuel companies know full well they have a safe market for their current products (or that they can pass any taxes down to consumers) and that there is huge money to be made from the global warming bandwagon.

The nicest example of this is some of the games being played when it comes to subsidies gained when cutting emmissions in the EU but then shifting production to China.

“I await this with interest.”

I’ll try and find this for you today. It’s really just a discussion of stats though, and how the top and bottom of the distribution gets cut out n the process of normalising data.

@ Severn

” But scientists do not ignore water or other greenhouse gases in their models.”

You’d be pretty surprised. They are not ignored, but they are certainly downplayed.

The problem with the science is this. Typically when you run and experiment, you have an independent variable and a dependent one. In other words, you change one thing and keep everything else the same, and see what effect it has on the thing you are trying to measure.

In the atmosphere, this is fairly easy to do with CO2, as the concentrations of it in the atmosphee are evenly distributed, easy to measure, and change very slowly. Measuring your dependent variable (temperature) is actually the hard part.

Water in the atmosphere doesn’t fit that easily though, as the concentrations in the atmosphere are *always* materially changing and are unevenly distributed.

That of course is befoore any of the plethora of poorly understood feedback loops are considered.

So science has drifted towards using C02 as the major greenhouse gas in models – models (and supercomputers) just can’t cope properly with water.

It’s also a less convincing story to the public blaming water (good for us) for AGW rather than C02 (what we breathe out) – and public opinion really does matter, especially when it comes to securing funding.

@ 35 Northern Worker

Completely agree. Modelling the whole planet’s ecosystem and all it’s internal interactions, let alone the effects of things like the sun is to understate the problem “non-trivial.”

Just to spell it out for a few people on this blog – it is *impossible*.

@ Andy C

“For example, process-based sea level rise models underestimate sea level rise”

Like to see this evidence. There is plenty of recent data suggesting sea-level rises haven’t occured. Famously the Maldives were supposed to be under water by now as predicted in the 80s and early 90s….and yet their height against sea-level hasn’t budged.

@Tyler,

Actual observations that show this denialist nonsense for what it is:

http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators#seaLevel

and a brief summary of the process-based/semi-empirical models:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/01/sea-level-rise-where-we-stand-at-the-start-of-2013/

45. Robin Levett

@Tyler #43:

You’ll actually be surprised how much money there is riding on global warming. The amounts a whole raft of interested parties get from it. You’ll also be surprised how little cash is spent on lobbying for fossil fuels – not least because many of these fossil fuel companies know full well they have a safe market for their current products (or that they can pass any taxes down to consumers) and that there is huge money to be made from the global warming bandwagon.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all. We’ve had this conversation before – see my post last November at:

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/11/14/undercover-sting-exposes-tory-crusade-against-clean-energy/#comment-423065

For the latecomers, and to remind you: The fossil-fuel companies have declared on their balance sheets reserves equivalent to five times what we can safely burn and still stay within the 2C target maximum warming. Those reserves contribute some $27trn to those balance sheets. If the fossil-fuel companies agreed to leave 80% of those fuels in the ground, they’d have a $20trn hole in their balance sheets. They will therefore spend what they need to to allow themselves to continue taking them out of the ground. Against those numbers, the money spent on climatological research is a drop in the ocean.

As for your reply to severn; please think about what happens to water vapour pumped into the atmosphere. Read the RC article I’ve now referred you to twice. Water vapour is for all practical purposes a feedback, not a forcing. If you increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere it warms it; which allows the atmosphere to hold more water vapopur, amplifying the heating effect over the long-term.

If you pump extra water vapour into the atmosphere, all other things being equal, you temporarily increase rainfall in the area downwind of the pump. There is no long-term heating, because the humidity returns to equilibrium over a matter of days.

@ Robin Levett

I agree, $24tn is one hell of a slush fund… Imagine how many elections in America, favourable newspaper stories etc can be bought with just the interest alone…

The fact that long term that $24tn will last as long as snow does in a furnace, once the collapse of the icecaps, ecosystems and our civilisation accelerates beyond 1st gear, is totally irrelevant to your average right wing, mindlessly authoritarian, wilful ignorance fetishist in the denial industry…
…especially since Charles gives them money now for their gibberings on this subject!

Here’s a link to an amusing video about the sort of people i am talking about here that Has been newly released on Skeptical Science!
http://www.skepticalscience.com/2012-year-climate-change-got-real.html

47. Radical Rodent

Dissident:
“…right wing, mindlessly authoritarian, wilful ignorance fetishist in the denial industry…” And you, of course, are left wing, freedom- loving, and open-minded (probably with the proviso of only as long as the other person is in full agreement with you). Can you not see the mindless authoritarianism and wilful ignorance in your own speech? Rhetorical question, really; probably not.

My own experience of “denialists” is that they accept that the climate is changing, that the world is warming, that CO2 levels are rising, that much of this could be attributed to humans. What they do question (again, not deny) is that this is ALL the fault of human activity, or that humans can do much about it. These types of events have happened in history, so what is so special about it happening now (another than to seriously inconvenience the human race)?

Whenever I have raised questions on “denialist” sites, they tend to be pleasant and polite in their response, though not necessarily informative; the same question raised on “alarmist” (for want of a better word) sites usually results in offensive and abusive rhetoric, often containing nothing informative other than a bad feeling about these people. I have never considered the political inclinations of anyone outside political argument.

There may be true denialists out there, but they will also believe that the Earth is flat, the Moon landings were faked, and evolution cannot be real. I have not encountered anyone like that, the only “denialist” I have encountered are those who believe that there is some science that cannot be questioned, and to do so is a crime that can only be punished by complete ostracism – witch-hunting, if you will (and which, it would appear, you want).

48. Robin Levett

@Radical Rodent #47:

My own experience of “denialists” is that they accept that the climate is changing, that the world is warming, that CO2 levels are rising, that much of this could be attributed to humans.

SMFS’s oeuvre on this site alone shows that your experience is rather narrow. With the caveat that what he, in common with most other denialists, usually says is that “climate is always changing, and there’s nothing out of the ordinary about any change going on at the moment”, he can easily be found to have denied three out of four of the points you mention.

The fourth – CO2 is rising – is regularly questioned; do you know the name Ernst Beck? Watt felt it necessary to ask Willis Eschenbach to produce a piece on this for WUWT, dealing with common denialist aguments about CO2:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/04/under-the-volcano-over-the-volcano/

Whenever I have raised questions on “denialist” sites, they tend to be pleasant and polite in their response, though not necessarily informative

Your experience doesn’t reflect mine.

…the same question raised on “alarmist” (for want of a better word) sites usually results in offensive and abusive rhetoric, often containing nothing informative other than a bad feeling about these people.

Going in with an attitude that those commentators who accept the scientific consensus on AGW are “alarmists” is likely to draw that reaction from the more excitable commentators. The great achievement of the AGW denialists is to shift the Overton window to the extent that there is considered to be some kind of equivalence between the respective positions; that the use of the word “denialist” justifies searching for an offensive way of characterising the mainstream scientific position.

There may be true denialists out there, but they will also believe that the Earth is flat, the Moon landings were faked, and evolution cannot be real. I have not encountered anyone like that…

It’s clear that you have indeed led a sheltered life. Uncommon Descent, which is run by the more respectable “mainstream” Intelligent Design advocates (Dembski, for example) denies the mainstream scientific views of both evolution and AGW.

Even Googling “watts up with that intelligent design” gets you comments such as this one:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/25/global-warming-skepticism-and-the-new-segregation/#comment-1156872

WUWT has hosted E Calvin Beisner, and regularly features articles by him in its weekly news roundup. Beisner is the National Spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance – whose statement of faith includes Biblical inerrancy and direct creation of Adam and Eve; that is, it is a creationist group. Its critique of AGW is Bibilically-based

… the only “denialist” I have encountered are those who believe that there is some science that cannot be questioned, and to do so is a crime that can only be punished by complete ostracism – witch-hunting, if you will (and which, it would appear, you want).

No mainstream scientist believes that questioning science – ay science – is a crime. They are, after all, all in the business of questioning science. You don;t get a Nobel by saying “Me too”. It is the mendacity, double standards and all-round lack of scientific rigour in the denialist camp that they object to.

@ Andy C

Ah, the famous NASA satellite data….

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5067351/Rise-of-sea-levels-is-the-greatest-lie-ever-told.html

http://iceagenow.info/2011/12/satellite-sea-level-data-tilted-distort-figures-sea-level-expert/

The Maldives are a great example. Being only about a meter above sea-level, and given also that this story has being going on since the 80s, we would expect them to be underwater given NASA’s data tells us the sea-level has risen 60mm since 1994 alone…yet this simply isn’t the case or observed.

@ Robin Levitt

Seriously? The Tory party have more people making pots of cash out of Green energy than they do out of fossil fuels….and even the old fossil fuel companies are making more and more of their moeny out of green energy.

You also use a liberal conspiracy as evidence….really? You also make the leap of faith that people against wind farms are being paid off by fossil fuel companies…when in fact most of them are against them as they are inefficient, expensive, unreliable and blight the landscape.

On the topic of water in the atmosphere:

It is both a feedback and a forcing. Using realclimate – an alarmist blog – might not be your best source of evidence though. Let’s have fun poking some (massive) holes in their piece though, shall we?

I quote:

“Making some allowance (+/-5%) for the crudeness of my calculation, the maximum supportable number for the importance of water vapour alone is about 60-70% and for water plus clouds 80-90% of the present day greenhouse effect.”

These numbers described when talking about radiative *forcing* in the troposphere.

“Since we are looking at the whole of the present-day greenhouse effect (around 33 C)”

Oh dear….give the oft quoted 33C number, they are using the most basic model of the Earth’s surface temperature.

“While water vapour is indeed the most important greenhouse gas, the issue that makes it a feedback (rather than a forcing) is the relatively short residence time for water in the atmosphere (around 10 days). To demonstrate how quickly water reacts, I did a GCM experiment where I removed all the water in the atmosphere and waited to see how quickly it would fill up again….”

Wonderful! Let’s take a closed system GCM model and directly equate it to an open system like the atmosphere…where at no point is there ever zero water vapour in the air. Let’s also ignore air currents etc.

This is ALL model based stuff. Water vapour in the atmosphere is both feedback and forcing, but mostly forcing. Notice you’ve also stopped talking about C02 as the main greenhouse gas…..yet it is being blamed for *all* of global warming, both directly and as a cause of a feedback mechanism for water vapour.

@Radical Rodent

“My own experience of “denialists” is that…”

I think their is a spectrum of denial, and that even individual denialists move around within this spectrum according to the exact subject being discussed (denialists will quickly shift back to questioning that warming is happening at all if they feel a suitable opportunity has arisen).

“What they do question (again, not deny) is that this is ALL the fault of human activity…”

I don’t accept that this is an honest question for most people (certainly not the people who frequent climate sites – on either side of the ‘debate’ – hence why I feel the term ‘denial’ is appropriate in most cases). It has been demonstrated that the rise in atmospheric CO2 can not only be attributed in part to humans, but almost entirely (the carbon isotope ratios that demonstrate human contribution also demonstrate the magnitude of that contribution). Once this demonstrable fact has been pointed out, failure to adjust your position is a characteristic of denial, not scepticism, or honest inquiry.

“These types of events have happened in history, so what is so special about it happening now (another than to seriously inconvenience the human race)?”

First, this type of event has never been seen to have happened with this rapidity before, making adaptation that much more difficult, and it has never happened while their have been humans on the planet, leading to the second point; the “inconvenience” to the human race (among other species) is kind of the point. If there were no consequences, then there really would be cause for concern. Incidentally, I think large scale loss of coastal regions, displacing many millions of people from their homes, to give one example, qualifies as slightly more than an inconvenience.

“Whenever I have raised questions on “denialist” sites…”

Though I suspect insults can fly pretty readily from both sides, this is the internet after all, I do have an issue with this. People don’t tend to insult you for agreeing with them. So, asking identical questions on sites that deny global warming and its implications, and sites that accept the scientific consensus, and getting the responses you claim would tend to suggest you have raised questions that fit into the denialist worldview rather than scientific one; so it’s not really a meaningful comparison. It’s a bit like going to the websites of Man City and Man Utd and asking “who’s your favourite City player?”, what would you expect the distribution of responses on each site to look like?

“then there really would be cause for concern”

I, of course, meant

“then there really would be no cause for concern”

52. Radical Rodent

Andy C:
The sort of questions I ask are not in the mould of “Who’s your favourite City player?” I studiously tried to avoid that; while I can be dumb, that would actually be stupid. I try to ensure my questions are more along the lines of, “Can you explain the off-side rule?” (as I know absolutely nothing about football). I may not understand the answer, and might try again, differently phrased. But, of the questions that I have asked, many seem unable to give an answer; on the “alarmist” sites, the response is vitriol; on the “denialist” sites, the answer is considerably less unpleasant, if no more informative. To continue with the football analogy, how would you feel if you asked that of your two fans, to have the United fan pour scorn and vitriol on you, questioning your heritage and advising self-harm and suicide, while the City fan patiently and politely tries to explain what he might not fully understand himself. Who would you be more likely to listen to, and side with?

There are excellent examples on this particular… erm, thread? or is it post? One good one is Tyler, who seems to raise points of issue politely and without rancour. The responses can be quite unpleasant (but what do you care – he is a denier, isn’t he?); my own observations are that the much-reviled “denialists” deny very little, they merely raise questions – the true “denialists” are the alarmists, who vehemently deny that there can be ANY questioning of their cherished beliefs.

You are right, “denialists” don’t question if it is the fault of humans; they question if CO2 is the big, bad gas it is painted, when there is still a lot of information to be gathered. As one well-respected scientist has declared, in a talk that can be found on-line: “The underlying processes (or mechanisms) are not yet fully understood.” If that is the case, then how can you unequivocally say that it is all the fault of CO2?

Finally, if your scientific rigour is the same standard as your English, then many might question your results.

@ ‘radical’ rodent

I’m disappointed, I hoped for a better response than that. You obviously need to be better informed about a whole range of things, also I was referring to the kind of people denying AGW shown in the video clip I linked to. As Andy C helpfully pointed out, people are seemingly reasonable if – and only if – they espouse the kind of outlook you yourself adhere to!

There is more than enough research showing that with the majority of people, the default is to entrench within your own opinions rather than accept information that contradicts those opinions – which is why ‘flat earth’ concepts were so hard to shift. Even though there was always ample evidence that the earth is in fact round!

AGW is in the category of earth is round, not flat, the evidence is already compelling. What would change your mind? When sea level rises a metre, Nebraska is a desert, all the arctic sea ice gone? Or would you continue clinging desperately to the fossil fuel industry’s ultimately self destructive propaganda?

I have already alluded to the fact that the $24 tn that industry will get by extracting what’s left would disappear like snow in a furnace. Here is just one way. The cost of rebuilding our coastal infrastructure 1 metre higher is in excess of $100 tn, by the end of this century. That means we would have to spend more than $1 tn on average, every year, for the rest of this century just to keep something like our current coastal infrastructure workable. In reality the cost would be predominantly borne by the next 2 generations. Are you comfortable with saddling your children & grandchildren (if any) with that single expense – let alone the costs of every other problem AGW will visit upon them?

Something else I have observed over the past 2 decades, is how much money has been wasted maintaining the fossil fuel industry too. How many wars have been fought in the Middle East to secure oil for America’s frankly inefficient & obsolete kind of automobiles? How many lives too? Just compare that cost – borne by everyone else except that industry – with the cost of converting to no carbon technology, ranging from renewables to nuclear. Especially when that conversion goes hand in hand with far more efficient modern technologies…

Why does the fossil fuel industry’s shareholders stay wedded to such stupidity too, aren’t they supposed to be motivated solely by making money? Looking at the kind of future AGW will give us (impoverishment, starvation, genocidal wars etc) I know what I would rather invest in…

54. Robin Levett

@Tyler #49:

Seriously? The Tory party have more people making pots of cash out of Green energy than they do out of fossil fuels….and even the old fossil fuel companies are making more and more of their moeny out of green energy.

What would happen to a fossil fuel company that had 80% of its fuel reserves wiped out?

BP was declaring, as at 31 December 2011, c10.5bn bbl of proved reserves of liquids (and another 7+bn bbl oil equivalent of gas). Taking the liquids alone, that’s $1trn-worth.

Its total sales in 2011 were c$375bn; are you really suggesting that the majority of that was sales of green energy?

You also use a liberal conspiracy as evidence….really?

I don’t understand this; please explain.

You also make the leap of faith that people against wind farms are being paid off by fossil fuel companies…when in fact most of them are against them as they are inefficient, expensive, unreliable and blight the landscape.

Weirder and weirder. No, I don’t.

You suggested following the money; I pointed out that the fossil fuel companies have by far the largest sums of money st stake dependent on the outcome of the “debate”. If you don’t think that money is an issue, don’t raise it as such.

Using realclimate – an alarmist blog

I’d prefer to describe them as experts – since that is what they are. Your mileage clearly varies.

“Making some allowance (+/-5%) for the crudeness of my calculation, the maximum supportable number for the importance of water vapour alone is about 60-70% and for water plus clouds 80-90% of the present day greenhouse effect.”

These numbers described when talking about radiative *forcing* in the troposphere.

Sorry? Could you put that in English, please?
To put it diferently – do you understand what is meant by the terms “forcing” and “feedback” in this context?

“Since we are looking at the whole of the present-day greenhouse effect (around 33 C)”

Oh dear….give the oft quoted 33C number, they are using the most basic model of the Earth’s surface temperature.

Pardon? You do realise that the 33C is entirely derived from thermodynamics, don’t you? The GHG is the explanation for that difference. The number is pretty much universally accepted.

Notice you’ve also stopped talking about C02 as the main greenhouse gas…..yet it is being blamed for *all* of global warming, both directly and as a cause of a feedback mechanism for water vapour.

I have never started talking about CO2 as the main greenhouse gas. It is however the main forcing over the last century and a half. Exactly how does water vapour stay in an atmosphere that is not warmed by non H2O forcings?

@ Robin

My interpretation of the difference between feedback & forcing in the context of AGW is the temperature at which various chemicals that absorb infra red wavelengths are gaseous. CO2 is permanently gaseous at Terran temperatures. On Mars, the same gas acts more as a feedback, as it can also be present on that planet as a solid (so can freeze out of the atmosphere quickly, especially in the southern hemisphere aphelion winter) In approximately a billion years time, water would become a forcing in the terran atmosphere, as the sun would be so bright & hot that it would be impossible for water to stay for long as either a liquid or solid. Have I got it right?

56. Radical Rodent

Dissident:
You persist with your idea that those like myself and Tyler are denying any climate change; I know of no-one in the scientific community who hold the view that there is NO climate change – perhaps you are in denial that “denialists” are not actually denying much at all? Most acknowledge climate change is happening, but question the entrenched belief that it is all the fault of human-produced CO2. In the clip (rather over-dramatised, I thought, but it is American) there are only three who said that the Earth is cooling; one was a politician, one from the Heartland Institute, and the other in the media; none with any scientific credentials quoted. (Though, oddly enough, on a geological scale, the Earth is cooling, but, hey, those paleoclimatologists – the ones who look really, really far back – whose work I have seen are obviously “deniers”.) Yes, there are people out there who believe in a flat earth (which is actually quite a modern belief – the Greeks and Romans knew it to be round, as did Columbus, though he thought it was a lot smaller); there are also people who believe that they can levitate, and some who think that we are ruled by shape-changing lizard aliens. What would you say to that respected scientist who said: “The underlying processes (or mechanisms) are not yet fully understood.”?

It is curious how the cool summers experienced recently have all been dismissed as “weather”, yet the hot one this year (though confined to the USA) is proof! As regards the disappearing ice that the BBC was in a panic about in the autumn of last year, NASA eventually decided that it was caused by wind pushing the ice a bit further north; naturally, the BBC, in its continual quest to “give the whole picture, impartially and without favour”, declined to mention this.

Of course, the cessation of temperature rise over the past few years is easily dismissed by you, as the time period is not enough to give a proper analysis. Fair enough; but then, Paul Douglas did say, “This is the biggest storm I’ve ever seen in four years tracking weather.” So fourteen years is too short if it questions your belief, but four years is okay if it confirms it?

Here is a rather an apt quote from the book I am reading at the moment (good quote; bad book, so I won’t give you more details): “You have to stand back … open your mind to all possibilities and let them fall into place, not force them towards a foregone conclusion.” You have seen two trends that could be connected, assumed that they are, and are now running around, screaming the equivalent of, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

What is even more scary is the reported response of the people of the USA – the government should do something about it! The government, the all-powerful government! Not the individual, not “we, the people”, who happily go about their lives as usual, driving hither and thither, jetting back and forth, pursuing all their pleasures without reducing their use of oil; heating their homes and offices in winter, cooling them in summer – i.e. not doing a damned thing to lessen THEIR output of CO2. No, that is the job of “the government” – and this from the “Land of the Free”! And it is just as bad in the UK, the land of the freebie.

@Radical Rodent

Regarding the first point, would you care to link to some examples of this equivalent questions on the relevant blogs?

I’m particularly interested in this, because I fail to see any unpleasantness towards Tyler in this thread, and in fact, the responses have links to evidence (Tyler dismissed my link to NASA observations, failing to note that the evidence I link to actually breaks down variations in sea-level rise geographically; it isn’t completely uniform). His links don’t cite any peer-reviewed papers, or actual observations, and include some completely bizarre arguments that somehow latent heat precludes the possibility of sea level rise (I have a suspicion that the basis is yet another abuse of thermodynamics).

“As one well-respected scientist has declared, in a talk that can be found on-line: “The underlying processes (or mechanisms) are not yet fully understood.” If that is the case, then how can you unequivocally say that it is all the fault of CO2?”

1) A link would be more helpful than saying some video, by some scientist, somewhere online. You can’t seriously expect me to find this video from that statement?

2) The second sentence makes my point for me. First, if you reread my post, you’ll note that I’m talking about human contributions to atmospheric CO2, and how those increases can be attributed to humans, because natural sources of CO2 have a different carbon isotope signature than anthropogenic sources; these are *observations*, not models. So, having been told why such attribution is possible, you’ve failed to modify your position and tried to (not so subtly) change the argument. This is denialism.

“Finally, if your scientific rigour is the same standard as your English, then many might question your results.”

I thought it was “alarmists” who resorted to insults; it seems that when you have no credible counter-argument, you resort to petty, pathetic insults over trivial typos. It rather undermines your credibility.

@ radical rodent

Do you actually think it’s cooling? We’ve had a few years worth of La Niñas in the pacific. The upshot of La Niña conditions is a surge of cold water from the Southern ocean spreads across equatorial pacific – as it goes it absorbs an awful lot of heat. Thankfully for us, in the short term at least. There are other ways exess heat is absorbed, like for example melting ice. You can easily factor in the consequences of all that heat energy been absorbed, and once you do, the warming trend is revealed. Please watch this other video clip showing how, and explain to me what the flaws are. I would be interested to read them.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/16_more_years_of_global_warming.html

You also claim that stormy weather is pushing ice around in the arctic. Fair enough, it has. There is a caveat though. There have always been stormy conditions like that in the Arctic, yet in the past those storms didn’t push ice so far out of the way that you could establish trade routes across the arctic sea. That is a recent development! Have you asked why it’s recent? Why an average storm could clear so much ice away? Could it perhaps be because the ice is now unusually thin? Why is the ice so unusually thin – ask yourself that.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Arctic-continues-to-break-records-in-2012_NOAA.html

Incidentally, have you heard of the latest heat wave? It’s Australia’s turn for it!

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Ocean-Heat-Came-Back-to-Haunt-Australia.html

Your statement about people carrying on with their profligate lifestyles is giving me cause for concern. The stereotype is ‘mr & mrs smith’ driving their SUV a mile to the shops for a bar of chocolate etc you are right to point that out! Then you look at their ‘information’ source – mostly a tabloid like The Sun, or a pretend I’m not a tabloid like the Daily Mail etc. The very newspapers that ape denialist propaganda the most! It’s like they give ‘mr & mrs Smith permission to continue as before (& what’s reported must be true coz it matches up with their mindset)

59. Radical Rodent

I tire of this endless back-biting. Yes, I should not have made such a childish remark, so my apologies; I am just getting exasperated.

The scientist who made that quote I, er, quoted, is already linked to on this site; it looks to be the same talk in which he says it – I haven’t gone through the whole 55 minutes of it again, as I find his voice, and his bouncing style, annoying.

You asked for sites to back up my hypothesis; the best I can give is this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpfMM3bVbhQ. A very enjoyable and informative 37 minutes, and answers every question you have asked of me; however, I suspect that many of your belief will not bother to look, but I do hope you do.

What really frightens me is what is behind this AGW scam (for scam it certainly is) – and the clue was in my previous post: “the government must do something”. This is exactly what “the government” wants – this is a scam for us to hand over our liberties and freedoms, so hard won by our forefathers, to a bunch of extraordinarily incapable people (“The [US] constitution is just a piece of paper…”!). The USSA and the EUSSR are actively pursuing policies that Messrs Stalin and Hitler would have been truly envious of – and we are lapping it up! The only bright thing I can see is that I can say that I AM a Nobel Prize winner, being a citizen of the EU.

60. Robin Levett

@Dissident #55:

I’m not an expert; but my understanding is that the usage of the two terms reflects whether the cause of a temperature effect is internal or external to the climate system – whether it is an independent or a dependent variable.

Forcings include (in no particular order) changes in solar irradiance; the Milankovich orbital cycle; volcanic eruptions; and changes in GHG content in the atmosphere. Each has an effect on the climate without being caused by climatic effects (although one must be careful – warming the oceans, for example, will result in outgassing of CO2, so there is a feedback component to CO2).

Feedbacks are causes that arise in response to climatic signals and amplify those signals.

Water vapour is, other than in the stratosphere (where it is a low-order forcing), a feedback, not a forcing, because the water vapour content of the troposphere depends on temperature; it is a variable dependent upon that temperature. Increase the global temperature, by adding CO2 for example, and you increase the water vapour content, which increases global temeprature further. That is a feedback response.

If you try to inject water vapour into the atmosphere without changing any other property or variable, all you do is create a temporary increase in rainfall downwind of the injector. You will not measurably increase global temperatures because the water vapour rains out over a period of days; its residence time in the atmosphere is too short.

Inject CO2 into the atmosphere, however, and it largely stays there (some is absorbed by the ocean, some is absorbed by vegetation) over significant periods and warms the atmosphere; the residence time of a CO2 increase is measured in decades, not days. The CO2 content of the atmosphere varies (largely) independently of temperature.

@ Robin
Cheers for the clarification.

@ Radical Rodent
Where’s your tinfoil hat?
Jokes aside, do you seriously think AGW is a scam to take your freedom away from you? Governments, corporations and the super rich simply do not need to do so, they already have taken away most of your freedoms by smashing unions, deregulating various aspects of our economy, selling off our assets (nationalised industries) to the (lowest) rich bidder, using terrorist outrages as leverage to clamp down on you, forcing you to have yet another pay cut for doing more work, criminalising you if you protest etc..

Why would they want to peddle an AGW scam, when in the short to medium term they profit the most from its denial?

BTW radical rodent, by claiming AGW is a scam (finally – the truth always outs in the end) you have proven my calculated insults (calculated to get to the truth about you) to be valuable! There is no point in trying to convince you at all, difference is you are not the only reader of this blog…

You will no doubt continue to your deathbed thinking that it’s all a scam. I sincerely hope your family doesn’t end up being emaciated wreckage, looking down on you with contempt for the part your denial plays in their ruined future.

FYI by the way, I am not authoritarian, I see authoritarians as power junkies (or wannabes at least)

63. Radical Rodent

My, my; aren’t you the clever one. “Four legs good, two legs better.” Have you deigned to look at the site I posted in defence of my argument, as YOU requested – nay, you DEMANDED? I suspect not, or if you have, just a quick sortie to say that you have been there, but certainly not “contaminated” yourself with a very interesting, and entertaining, 37 minutes.

Have you opened and studied ANY of the sites posted by the despicable “deniers” on here, like myself and Tyler. Am I correct in guessing that the answer is, “No”? Heaven forfend that you should look at the information that the likes of Tyler and myself are prepared to look at in our quest for information; I suspect that, like myself, Tyler is prepared to look through the sites for your argument, and is certainly a lot better than I am at putting the point across. You, it would seem, are only prepared to accept the word of the IPCC – I mean, what does a mere academic Swede like Nils-Axel Morner know about rising sea levels the IPCC doesn’t?

Me and my family may well end up “emaciated wreckage” (a curious and interesting juxtaposition), but, if we do, you will be with us, as we will all have been taxed into deep, deep poverty.

64. Radical Rodent

Have you deigned to look at the site I posted in defence of my argument, as YOU requested – nay, you DEMANDED? I suspect not, or if you have, just a quick sortie to say that you have been there, but certainly not “contaminated” yourself with a very interesting, and entertaining, 37 minutes.

Have you opened and studied ANY of the sites posted by the despicable “deniers” on here, like myself and Tyler. Am I correct in guessing that the answer is, “No”? Heaven forfend that you should look at the information that the likes of Tyler and myself are prepared to look at in our quest for information; I suspect that, like myself, Tyler is prepared to look through the sites for your argument, and is certainly a lot better than I am at putting the point across. You, it would seem, are only prepared to accept the word of the IPCC – I mean, what does a mere academic Swede like Nils-Axel Morner know about rising sea levels the IPCC doesn’t?

Me and my family may well end up “emaciated wreckage” (a curious and interesting juxtaposition), but, if we do, you will be with us, as we will all have been taxed into deep, deep poverty.

65. Radical Rodent

Have you deigned to look at the site I posted in defence of my argument, as YOU requested – nay, you DEMANDED? I suspect not, or if you have, just a quick sortie to say that you have been there, but certainly not “contaminated” yourself with a very interesting, and entertaining, 37 minutes.

Have you opened, and studied, ANY of the sites posted by the despicable “deniers” on here, like myself and Tyler. Am I correct in guessing that the answer is, “No”? Heaven forfend that you should look at the information that the likes of Tyler and myself are prepared to look at in our quest for information; I suspect that, like myself, Tyler is prepared to look through the sites for your argument, and is certainly a lot better than I am at putting the point across. You, it would seem, are only prepared to accept the word of the IPCC – I mean, what does a mere academic Swede like Nils-Axel Morner know about rising sea levels the IPCC doesn’t?

Me and my family may well end up “emaciated wreckage” (a curious and interesting juxtaposition), but, if we do, you will be with us, as we will all have been taxed into deep, deep poverty.

66. Robin Levett

@Radical Rodent:

Carter is the best you can come up with?

Try considering:

http://www.eap-journal.com.au/archive/v40_i2_02_ward.pdf

@Radical Rodent

I have taken the trouble to watch the Bob Carter video you linked to. Apart from the obvious comedy value of it, it is still selective and flawed.

He first claims the climate has varied naturally (true) then he shows the rate of change (also almost true) etc. All of those statements show that the earth’s climate is meta stable – even small forcings cause large effects!

Now lets have a look at our civilisations effects on the earth. We have so far liquidated 40% of the natural land based biomes of the earth. We are also systematically extracting giga tonnes of sequestered carbon from the crust -aka fossil fuels.

Bob Carter’s claims imply that this will not cause any noticeable effect to the earth after stating how variable the earths climate is as a result of small forcings (milankovitch etc) in the past? Explain please…

Now lets have a look at the funding Bob Carter receives for his merry jaunts across Australia & the world with his amusing little power point presentation. Have you ever heard of the Heartland Institute? It is a right wing think tank promoting neoliberalism – that socioeconomic ideology behind the erosion of your freedoms & privilidges you complain about losing earlier in this thread. Guess who funds it the most – the fossil fuel industry!!!

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=41

Ironic that you post a link to a denier funded by a thinktank in turn funded by Exxon, who owns that company? Ah yes, a certain person called Charles Koch. Ho hum.

68. Radical Rodent

There have been many occasions when people claim that they never said or wrote something, to have it thrown back in their faces (most often politicians, but it can happen in academe, as well). I am not going to trawl through John Houghton’s works to prove my point; there was an excellent example on an (admittedly old – “Cutting Edge” shown in 1990 on SBS Television Australia) UK TV (Ch 4) documentary, where Stephen Schneider denied that he expressed concern about an on-coming ice age in the 1970s, to have the TV interviewer pull out his book, and show him the highlighted passage.

Also, we probably are all aware of quotes that can very easily be proved were never actually said (James Cagney: “You dirty rat!”), or have been subtly changed (Humphrey Bogart: “Play it again, Sam” or, to be more cerebral, Shakespeare: “Lead on, McDuff”).

Other quotes from the programme may be apt here: “A lot of people are getting very famous and very well-known, as well as very well-funded, as a result of promoting the disastrous scenario of greenhouse warming.” – Dr Sherwood Itso, US Conservation Labs;

“The best prophets of doom are the ones filmed the most.” – the presenter, Hilary Lawson.

Anyway, an incorrectly attributed quote is not really the point, here; you may not agree with Professor Carter’s opinions, but are you also saying that the empirical evidence that he presented is wrong?

Tyler, and his ilk, and I are not really “deniers”, we are not in denial, we are merely unconvinced by the arguments so far presented. The other day, when I woke up, it was 6°C outside; by noon it was 19°C. Why was I not melting away by the evening? Perhaps a poor example of short-term thinking, but the same is said of heat waves – definite proof we are all doomed – yet cold snaps are dismissed as “weather”. 14 years is not long enough to say the temperatures are not rising (mind you, if they haven’t risen for 14 years, how can you say that they are not not rising…? Never mind, we won’t go there); however, four years is good enough to get in high drama about a storm. Please find some consistency.

Weather is a daily thing; seasons occur over a year (though, in the British Isles, they can also be daily). Climate is something we have only been studying seriously for about 150 years, and appears to be a complex of cycles within cycles occurring over centuries and millennia; it is those in Prof. Carter’s field, and similar, whose work (and those few that I have seen seem to be in agreement, but please enlighten me if you can) really has more relevance in the scheme of climate than those who are only thinking decadal.

69. Robin Levett

@RedRat #67:

Anyway, an incorrectly attributed quote is not really the point, here; you may not agree with Professor Carter’s opinions, but are you also saying that the empirical evidence that he presented is wrong?

Read the paper I referred you to.

70. Radical Rodent

Robin Levett:
I have, though my attention did tend to wander on quite a few occasions (few scientists are even trying to rival the readability of Crichton or Pratchett): “However, it is clear from the available evidence that the Earth was warmer than today at some point in its recent geological past.” Could you argue with that?

Have you seen the video?

Perhaps the one thing that puzzles me the most is what alarmists are doing to negate their effect upon CO2 emissions… Nothing! Surely, the only thing that can be done to stop this increase in CO2 is to stop producing it – stop driving; stop ALL travelling, if not by walking, cycling or horse; stop heating (or cooling) your homes and offices; stop buying any product that you know the production of emits CO2 (this includes electricity). Taking it to its extreme, eat raw food, and stop all unnecessary exercise or activity – the more you pant, the more CO2 you are putting out!

How many of you are doing any or all of those? Until you do make some serious attempts in that direction, I shall remain unconvinced. Does nobody find it ironic that although the “solutions” I have suggested would reduce a person’s fiscal outgoings, the only solutions that seem to be accepted usually require vast expenditure, most often of other people’s (i.e. the tax-payers’) money.

Of course, even if the temperature drops as if off a cliff by 2020, the alarmists have already covered all bases: “In October 2003 U.S. Pentagon released a controversial report, ‘An abrupt climate change sce¬nario and its implications for United States national security,’ that explored how global warming could lead to rapid and catastrophic global cooling.” (http://climateviewer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/06_fleming_pathological-geo-eng-history2.pdf)

71. Radical Rodent

Robin Levett:

Perhaps I should have asked, have you WATCHED the video?

72. Robin Levett

@Radical Rodent #70 & #69:

Perhaps I should have asked, have you WATCHED the video?

No; a video is a very poor reference on scientific issues. Anything he can say in 37 minutes I will take 5 minutes to read, and I can refer back and forward to check for consistency and whether I heard correctly. I don’t need to take notes for checking his facts, whereas a written piece should contain footnotes with references for any contentious facts/arguments. Do you have a transcript?

I have seen some of Bob Carter’s written output, and critiques thereof. Would you refer me to anything in writing of his that you find convincing? How did you react to this passage in the paper I referred you to:

Carter (2008) claims “IPCC models, which invoke a positive feedback loop from water vapour, predict much greater increases up to 6.4°C for a doubling in carbon dioxide.” He also states that “alternative calculations” suggest “an increase of only 0.2-1.0°C for a doubling of carbon dioxide”, citing Isdo (2001) which is neither listed in his ‘References’ nor exists on any database of scientific publications.

Think though the implications of Carter’s having cited a non-existent paper for a sensitivity figure dramatically lower than the rest of the scientific literature supports.

“However, it is clear from the available evidence that the Earth was warmer than today at some point in its recent geological past.”Could you argue with that?

Why should I? Depending of course upon what you mean by “recent”, it’s true. But what is the relevance of that fact? At what point in the recent geological past did we have a technological civilisation of the scale we have today?

…stop all unnecessary exercise or activity – the more you pant, the more CO2 you are putting out

I’m sorry; but this is either flippant relyign for its humour upon the fact that we all know this is irrelevant to CO2-induced global warming, or betrays a deep misunderstanding of the problem. Let me know which before I go further.

How many of you are doing any or all of those? Until you do make some serious attempts in that direction, I shall remain unconvinced

Your view then is that the vast bulk of the world’s climatologists are lying about the existence of the problem? You won’t believe the science because you don’t think the authors are doing enough to mitigate the problem?I think you have deeper problems than incomprehension of the science.

73. Radical Rodent

Robin Levett:

So you haven’t watched the video. Okay, good to know your mind is so open. No, I do not have a transcript, and have no idea if there is one available; I suspect even if there was, you wouldn’t bother – it is only by that numpty Carter, after all. Have you watched “An Inconvenient Truth”?

The point I was trying to raise was: at what point is the human-produced CO2 bad? All of it, or just that produced by burning fossil fuels? Assuming the latter, what are you doing to stop your reliance upon fossil fuels?

Your view then is that the vast bulk of the world’s climatologists are lying about the existence of the problem?

No, I am not questioning the existence of a “problem”. What I am questioning is the cause of the problem – or if, indeed, it IS a problem. Is “global warming” a bad thing? By implication, if it is a bad thing, then “global cooling” is to be preferred. How much global cooling is “good” before it becomes “bad”?

Perhaps you want neither; things MUST remain the same. Sorry, but Mother Nature doesn’t seem to work that way; there always seems to be change, up or down, on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, annual, decadal, century, and millennia basis. While the Romans grew grapes around York, it still is not warm enough for us to do that; the Vikings had farms in Greenland, again, it is still not warm enough for us to do that, yet; there were ice fairs on the River Thames a little over 300 years ago, perhaps a return to that would be better. Perhaps stasis can be maintained by some sort of human control of the climate. Naturally, this is going to consume vast amounts of resources and money, but you obviously feel it must be worth it.

74. Radical Rodent

Oops, sorry. Can’t do those nifty little quotey things on here; why does every site have to be so different?

75. Radical Rodent

You’d better tell James Hansen he’s ignorant. He’s put out an article with a section on the global warming standstill.

Well, Sunny, you’ll have to fight it out with arch-warmer and XCAGW mentalist, James Hansen of GISS (NASA) on this one. James has this to say, here

http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c920274f2a364603849bbb505&id=caf18e122c&e=f4e33fdd1e

“Mean Global Temperature Has Been Flat For The Last Decade”

And this, from Phil Jones & Kevin Trenberth, 5 star warmers

Dr Phil Jones, July 5, 2005:
“The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. Okay it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”

From: Kevin Trenberth
To: Michael Mann
Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:xxx xxxx xxxx

Hi all
Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record.

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a
travesty that we can’t.

From: Phil Jones
To: Tim Johns , “Folland, Chris”
Subject: Re: FW: Temperatures in 2009
Date: Mon Jan 5 16:18:xxx xxxx xxxx
Tim, Chris,
I hope you’re not right about the lack of warming lasting
till about 2020. I’d rather hoped to see the earlier Met Office
press release with Doug’s paper that said something like -
half the years to 2014 would exceed the warmest year currently on record, 1998!
Still a way to go before 2014…..it would be nice to wear their(sceptics) smug grins away.

It seems they were all too right.

The Met Office has downgraded its forecast for global warming to suggest that by 2017 temperatures will have remained about the same for two decades.

And some more links to knock this ridiculous hype on its head

http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/01/global-warming-geological-perspective.html

(Which demonstrates that the Late 20th C warming period was a) to be expected (coming out of the LIA) & b) absolutely nothing to get in a froth about, with as warm and warmer periods occurring during the Holocene, with far less co2 about.

“The paper notes that if ‘the temp increase during past 130 years reflects recovery from Little Ice Age, it is not unreasonable to expect the temps to rise another 2 to 2.5 degrees C. to a level comparable to that ofMedieval Warm Period about 800 years ago’ & ‘Climatic changes measured during last 100 years are not unique or even unusual when compared with the frequency, rate, & magnitude of changes that have taken place since the beginning of Holocene Epoch’”

And – It’s the sun, stupid (who would have believed it) that controls climate (and which is why we are looking to a good decade and a half of cooling)

http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/01/paper-finds-sun-controls-climate-gives.html

“A paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research finds temperatures in the troposphere behave similarly to changes in solar activity over short timescales and a “cumulative negative [not positive as claimed by climate alarmists] feedback in the Earth climate system governing the tropospheric variability during the last 22 years.” According to the paper, “The result emphasizes a dominating role of the solar irradiance variability in variations of the tropospheric temperature and gives no support to the theory of anthropogenic climate change,” and “Increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth atmosphere appeared to produce too weak forcing in order to dominate in the Earth climate system.”

Your group-think crusade has hit the buffers, and even the arch warmers are backing off; why else do you think there is now a panic on about “black carbon”? It’s one false scare after another, as it has been for forty years – NONE of the apocalyptic predictions of the EcoFanatics have come anywhere near to happening – and yet you still carry on doing it.

Anthropogenic Chicken Licken. Tush.

Oh and by the way, climatologist and sensible, open-minded climatologist, Judith Curry, notes that David Rose’s Daily Mail article on the Met’s prognostications was correct. She knows a damn sight more than you and I, nor has she any axe to grind.

Go read

http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/21/sunday-mail-again/#more-10247

80. Robin Levett

@RedRat #73:

So you haven’t watched the video. Okay, good to know your mind is so open.

It is open – but not so open that my brain has fallen out. I have watched the first 5 minutes. I saw no reference for the temperature figures he was building his argument, such as it was, upon. Do you have a reference for it?

I was interested to see the old “it’s not warmed for the last 8 years” argument rear its head. The talk was delivered in September 2007. Do you really need me to tell you what is wrong with taking that point? Think El Nino/La Nina.

This was why I initially did not watch; because videos are good for polemic, for consciousnesss raising, but appalling for actually considering the science. I ask you again – what of his written work do you feel has the most merit? Let me have a reference; then we can discuss it.

<blockquote.Have you watched “An Inconvenient Truth”?

Nope. Should I have done? You do realise that the AGW hypothesis didn’t start with AIT, don’t you?

The point I was trying to raise was: at what point is the human-produced CO2 bad? All of it, or just that produced by burning fossil fuels?

That produced by burning fossil fuels is the major problem.

There is a thing called the carbon cycle; sources and sinks of carbon which are broadly in balance at a given atmospheric CO2. The carbon I breathe out as CO2 was plant matter not all that long ago, and the CO2 I breathed out will be breathed in by a plant in the relatively near future.

The carbon that leaves my exhaust pipe as CO2 was last plant matter deep geological time ago. There is a vast mass of fossil carbon that has been sequestered from the carbon cycle for that period. We are injecting it back into the carbon cycle, and it will eventually reside largely in the atmosphere in the form of CO2; with the effect of heating the atmosphere.

What I am questioning is the cause of the problem…

So what’s your candidate for a mechanism that both causes the observed warming and masks the effect of CO2-induced warming?

– or if, indeed, it IS a problem. Is “global warming” a bad thing? By implication, if it is a bad thing, then “global cooling” is to be preferred. How much global cooling is “good” before it becomes “bad”?

We have built a civilisation that is now very highly dependent upon global temperatures broadly staying the same over human timescales. Slow change, such as we normally see (when not entering or leaving an ice-age) our civilisations have been able to accommodate; but fast change, such as we are now beginning to see with AGW, we cannot within our current civilisation. The effect of increased global temperatures upon our food-growing belts could on its own severely disrupt our civilisation.

While the Romans grew grapes around York, it still is not warm enough for us to do that…

Two points on that; firstly, Tacitus (paraphrasing) tells us that you couldn’t grow either grapes or olives in Britain worth a damn – and Roman Britain imported vast quantities of both wine and olive oil. Secondly:

http://www.ryedalevineyards.co.uk/vineyard.html

Oh, and thirdly; despite the LIA, grapes were grown both north of London and in Greenwich while pepys was alive.

the Vikings had farms in Greenland, again, it is still not warm enough for us to do that, yet

The Vikings had (some) dairy farms in Greenland, in the sheltered fjords. Modern-day Greenland has sheep-farming, reindeer herding, and both vegetable and fruit farming.

there were ice fairs on the River Thames a little over 300 years ago,

The last ice fair on the Thames was in 1814, just short of 200 years ago; there had been 23 occasions during the previous 4 centuries when the Thames froze over; as a result of slow shallow flow (the Thames wasn’t embanked until Victorian times, and London Bridge acted like a dam) combined with cool temperatures.

81. Robin Levett

@Jeremy Poynton #76:

Ignoring the out of context quotes from the stolen emails…

Well, Sunny, you’ll have to fight it out with arch-warmer and XCAGW mentalist, James Hansen of GISS (NASA) on this one. James has this to say, here

http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c920274f2a364603849bbb505&id=caf18e122c&e=f4e33fdd1e

“Mean Global Temperature Has Been Flat For The Last Decade”

Have you read the paper? It’s at:

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2013/20130115_Temperature2012.pdf

Interesting quote:

Indeed, the current stand-still of the 5-year running mean global temperature may be largely a consequence of the fact that the first half of the past 10 years had predominately El Nino conditions,
while the second half had predominately La Nina conditions (Nino index in Fig. 1). Comparing the global temperature at the time of the most recent three La Ninas (1999-2000, 2008, and 2011-2012), it is apparent that global temperature has continued to rise between recent years of comparable tropical temperature, indeed, at a rate of warming similar to that of the previous three decades. We conclude that background global warming is continuing, consistent with the known planetary energy imbalance, even though it is likely that the slowdown in climate forcing growth rate contributed to the recent apparent standstill in global temperature.

So background global warming is continuing at the same rate as for the previous three decades.

82. Radical Rodent

…not so open that my brain has fallen out.

Hmmm. Is this an indication of your knowledge of biology, or of your wit?

I was interested to see the old “it’s not warmed for the last 8 years” argument rear its head. The talk was delivered in September 2007. Do you really need me to tell you what is wrong with taking that point?

Please do. Let me help: the UKMO is now saying that the temperatures have not risen since 1996 (even though 1998 is claimed to be the warmest on recent record – though NASA say that 1934 was the warmest of the 20th century). Let’s take the latter of the two years, and let me do some sums: 2007 – 1998 = 9. Yes! You are right! He only said 8! What a numpty, eh?

So, this AGW problem is all the fault of fossil fuels. Okay, let’s accept that. Which means that the only way to counter the problem is to remove the source of the problem – stop using fossil fuels. Have you stopped using fossil fuels? I suspect not, as you later refer to “…the carbon that leaves my exhaust pipe…”, which implies that you own and drive a car (unless you meant…? No. Too rude.). In this cold weather, is your heating turned off? Is the electricity you use from a totally fossil-free source? (Actually, I suspect that we all know the answer to that.)

Now, as a global warming alarmist, you seem to be admitting that you are NOT doing anything to counter the threat; why do you think someone as unconvinced as myself should listen to you? Perhaps you think that it is “the government” who should be telling, nay, demanding me to stop burning fossil fuel; if so, do you really think that they will allow you to continue unhindered just because you’ve been a long-term believer? Have you any idea what the cost of “government” ideas is likely to be? (Clue: look at the “wind farm” bird-mincers.)

Tell me how a temperature that has flat-lined over 16 years can be considered to be rising at a catastrophic rate?

@RobinLevett

Regardless – temps still lower than all three preceding Holocene warm periods (Minoan, Roman, Mediaeval – all periods in which civilisation flourished – during the LIA, one third of the population of Northern Europe perished). Warm is GOOD. And of course, co2 levels were far lower in the other warm periods. No correlation. None. Nada. Zilch. False flag group think. AND – the biosphere loves co2, which is why we are seeing the re-greening of the Southern Sahel.

Co2 GOOD
Warm GOOD
Cold BAD
Greens ENEMIES of humanity and the planet

http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0120a75431d3970b-pi

http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0154356c57fa970c-pi

I might just just just take some notice of the climate crazies if they changed their lifestyles to match their crazy prognostications. Instead, we have Al Gore. If you talk the talk, walk the sodding walk or STFU. Please.

85. Robin Levett

@RedRat #82:

Let me help: the UKMO is now saying that the temperatures have not risen since 1996

Really; this page suggests to the contrary:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/monitoring/climate/surface-temperature

(even though 1998 is claimed to be the warmest on recent record

Nope; that would be 2005 or 2010, depending on which product you look at; only HadCRUT3 says to the contrary.

– though NASA say that 1934 was the warmest of the 20th century)

…for the lower 48 states of the USA.

As our US cousins would say, you’re 0 for 3 so far.

Yes! You are right! He only said 8! What a numpty, eh?

Nope; he was clearly referring to 1998, since in September 2007 he wouldn’t have had the 2007 figures – he’d have been working to the 2006 figures, which makes the 8 years correct if we was referring to 1998.

But 1997-1998 was a very strong El Nino – the strongest on record. El Nino elevates global temperatures significantly; removing the ENSO effect results in adjustments of up to +/-0.25C.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/07/global-trends-and-enso/

2006, by contast, was ENSO-neutral.

So he selected a period of 8 years because it was the period which would give him a static trend, purely because of the strong El Nino. Going back 10 years, to 1996, would have given him a rise of c0.3C; going back 5 years about .05C. The word for this is cherrypicking. It is also invalid reasoning. There is always inter-annual variability, even with a rising trend. Comparing two individual years can give you virtually whatever answer you want – if you cherrypick the years. What matters is the background trend – and that is still rising.

So, this AGW problem is all the fault of fossil fuels.

Did I say that? I don’t think I did. Deforestation is another anthropogenic cause, since it reduces the sinks in the system, thereby increasing the atmospheric concentration.

No, I don’t fully offset my lifestyle. UK society isn’t organised in a way which makes this possible absent a considerable cash-pile. I drive a diesel to increase fuel-efficiency; I have insulated my home; I have both PV and hot water solar panels on my foor. How does all that change the science?

And more on the CAGW trash. Hot of the presses today, a paper on the MWP in China. Michael Mann of course insists the MWP and LIA were both little local difficulties in Europe, so should be ignored. Michael Mann is an ass

http://www.c3headlines.com/2012/12/chinese-scientists-unequivocally-establish-that-medieval-warming-was-unprecedented.html

Oh – the MWP WAS world wide as well.

http://pages.science-skeptical.de/MWP/MedievalWarmPeriod1024x768.html

87. Radical Rodent

Robin Levett:

As for grapes, I knew that grapes have been introduced back to England quite a few years back, but only by careful selection and breeding to cope with climate. There have been varying degrees of success, mainly in the south. Good to know that viniculture has moved north again. However, I suspect the Romans merely brought their own plants with them, and the yield and resulting wine are likely not to have been the quality they were used to, hence Tacitus’ criticism. As for vineyards in Pepys’ time, I had never heard of before – how productive were they?

I do notice that there was no mention in the global news of the unprecedented snow that Australia experienced in October last year (2012); however, I feel that you and others of your ilk will merely dismiss that as “weather”. However, the high temperatures – though not record-breaking – of their present summer are yet more “proof” of global warming. This conveniently forgets that Australia has always been known for its high summer temperatures, and the present forest fires, though devastating for the population, are necessary for the ecosystem; some plants depend upon fire to germinate (which is probably why, in the much-publicized pictures of that family hiding under a jetty – though the dog didn’t seem too bothered – the aftermath glimpsed in the background during subsequent interviewing was not quite the devastation expected; hence, I suspect, the camera did not linger over the scene, as it would no doubt have done had there only been blackened stumps).

Going back to snow – apparently, the snow coverage of the northern hemisphere is the highest for 130 years. Who would’ve thunk it?

I agree with you about the humans damaging the environment; excessive pollution and wanton destruction of habitats – one irony is that the wholesale burning of huge tracts of rainforest in the Far East, which enveloped huge areas around Singapore in smoke in the late 1990s was to plant a monoculture of oil palm for the production of “biofuel”! Very “Green”. Another irony is lead-free “green” petrol – the lead being replaced with the more carcinogenic benzene; and, before you get too smug, diesel is a main source of highly carcinogenic particulates.

p.s. I am more of a mouse than a rat, but thank you.

88. Robin Levett

@RedMouse #87:

As for grapes, I knew that grapes have been introduced back to England quite a few years back, but only by careful selection and breeding to cope with climate.

We’re growing grapes for French champagne houses on the North Downs. That’s two Pinots (Noir and Meunier) and Chardonnay. We were growing Pinot Noir in Cambridgeshire 30-odd years ago (I know, I tasted some on my honeymoon). Cooler climate grapes obviously do better, but what makes you think that the Romans were growing Ialian grapes here?

Ryedale vineyards are growing Pinot Noir and Gris, and Chardonnay (both champagne grapes), northeast of York.

Oh, and the Norwegians (where the world’s most northerly vineyards are located, in Telemark) are growing Pinot Blanc and Syrah.

As for vineyards in Pepys’ time, I had never heard of before – how productive were they?

Look in his diary; 1 May 1665 he went to Greenwich, and 11 August 1667 he went to Hatfield House. Lord Salisbury tasked Tradescant with procuring 2,000 vines for that vineyard.

And his wife made red wine – although it’s not clear that was grape wine.

Before we leave the topic – what’s your evidence for wine vineyards around York in Roman times?

I do notice that there was no mention in the global news of the unprecedented snow that Australia experienced in October last year (2012)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-19932805

however, I feel that you and others of your ilk will merely dismiss that as “weather”

Rather extreme, but weather. How do you describe the 11-year drought that preceded it?

@ Jeremy Poynton

You say the ‘medieval warm period’ was global, and link to a map of the world with various graphs purporting to be temperature records for each. Yet all of them are differently organised, and their scales cannot be read. It would be helpful if there were links on each graph to the original scientific paper it came from, and whether they are peer reviewed (peer review is not ‘groupthink’ it is looking at raw data by a variety of mutually independent scientists – even repeating experiments if necessary to confirm/deny the validity of whatever is submitted)

Otherwise there is not much use to it.

You also state that warm is good, cold bad. Wow, such a simplistic statement is ever so convincing. Do you realise that in many parts of the world’s breadbasket zones, that harvests are down because of thermal stress? In parts of the world where there has been little thermal stress lately – like the UK – harvests are down because of excess rainfall. Both predicted by aAGW models. A combination of reduced harvests and speculators has increased food prices dramatically. How long can that continue? How many people have ended up starving because of that rise? How many more people will starve if they continue to rise?

Thermal stress doesn’t just affect plants. The European heat wave of 2003 killed thousands of people. Before you claim that’s just weather, isn’t it strange how we keep getting record breaking heat waves worldwide?

I also clicked on your name, just to see where it leads. Once again, wow, I had no idea Man City Football Club was a world renowned centre of excellence on the basic science behind AGW…

@ Radical Rodent

At least you are stating that the liquidation of biomes that keep us alive & rampant pollution is a cause for concern. There is hope for you!!

In answer to your question about lifestyle choices. I gave up driving in 2006. Commuting to work involves either cycling or using public transport. Still use gas for central heating, but it is an über-efficient modern boiler, also insulation of my home has been upgraded significantly, and the windows are the most thermally efficient double glazing units I can afford. I have also dramatically reduced my consumption of meat etc… Overall, my carbon footprint has dropped from the UK average of 9 tonnes a year to more or less the long term ‘sustainable’ level of 1 tonne. If the roof of my home was oriented north-south I would also have both solar photovoltaics and solar thermal fitted. Like hundreds of people have done locally…

91. Radical Rodent

Dissident:
Are ad hominem attacks really necessary?

One thing that puzzles me about this AGW theory is that it appears to be unfalsifiable; whatever happens, it fits the theory, so proving it. Do you remember the doom and gloom after the heat wave of March last year in the UK? Dire predictions that, as this fitted the models, do not put any hope in rain – it will just get soaked up by the plants, and evaporate away; the prediction last year was for a drought in the UK. It did break one record – the wettest drought ever! But now you say that the floods were predicted…

What will have to happen before you could accept that the theory that you cleave to so dearly is faulty, if not outrightly wrong? Icebergs in the English Channel? Summer skiing holidays in Benidorm? The first snowmobile crossing of the Atlantic? Or are all those yet more proof?

The atmosphere is a complex and vast mechanism, which we have only been able to study in the depth needed – it is a science that is basically still in its infancy. And don’t bleat off about it being studied for more than a century – even if we had been doing so to the degree that we have been for the last two decades, it is too vast to really begin to understand; we will probably need to study it as we are doing now for centuries. Let’s face, the human body is considerably more accessible for study than the Earth’s atmosphere, is arguably at least as complex as the atmosphere, and has been studied in depth for far longer, yet there are still areas of poor understanding and contention within us.

Please let us know what events or occurrences are needed for you to doubt the alarmist theory of the end of the world by global warming.

BTW, what are biomes? As for your efforts, well done. My home, too, is heavily insulated, but I cannot find any reason for solar panels, yet – the costs far outweigh any benefits. Have you seen the damage that extraction of the rare earth metals used in PV panels is doing to the environment in China?

@ Radical Rodent

Which ad hominem attacks? Bob Carter’s funding? Remember people like him attack the integrity of climate scientists worldwide, then you discover he is funded by big oil. Do they have a good track record worldwide regarding the environment in general, or do they think F*** the environment, there’s a quick buck in that there oil (ironically petrochemicals are far more profitable if you don’t burn them, but that’s another subject)

It is actually the media that portrayed last years spring drought as ‘proof’ of climate change. Unfortunately we’re far too close to both the Atlantic and the Arctic for us to have a Mediterranean type climate, even when things get warmer than they are now. We are much more likely to have ever higher precipitation.

The reason why last summer was so soggy incidentally is because the jet stream is getting a little sluggish – most of the time. It is driven by a combination of the earths rotation and the difference in temperature between tropical and polar zones. That difference is less, as the arctic is warming 3 times faster than the tropics. A useful analogy is a river flowing to the sea. On a steep slope, it tends to flow fairly straight to the sea. On a flat plain, however, it meanders all over the place.

The same thing has happened to the jet stream – it’s meanders have become more extreme and those meanders have developed a nasty habit of stalling – last year USA was to the south of it most of the time, resulting in warm air masses, relatively low in humidity as they came from subtropical zones (where you find deserts) Britain however was either directly under the jet stream or to the north of its meanders for months on end. Since the jet stream is the boundary between polar & tropical air masses, there is naturally a lot of condensation along the front between them – resulting in rain & storms.

The relative lack of sea ice in the arctic also resulted in more insulation been absorbed in the arctic, increasing the energy available to push polar air masses south (the void filled by tropical air flowing north)

The upshot is, more rain for us anyway… And I hope you are following this!

You asked what the word ‘biome’ means. That’s simple, grassland is a biome, temperate broad leaved forest is a biome, coral reefs are another kind of biome. Basically it is a distinct ecosystem of plant and animal species adapted to the environmental factors of whatever region you are looking at.

There is only one reason we are using oil & other fossil fuels as an energy source. In the short term it was easier. Yet even if their burning caused absolutely no problems for the earths climate, they are still a finite resource. You cannot sustain a modern civilisation by burning a finite resource. Yes total depletion is still decades away, yet we are ingenious enough to find better ways of generating the energy our civilisation requires, and there are a lot of different technologies up to the task. Materials scientists have even developed polymers that can be used as photovoltaics instead of silicon+rare earths… That’s right polymers. Petrochemicals, converted into a form that can generate electricity from light – indefinitely, instead of burnt just once!

It is like the Easter island syndrome. When the Polynesians first settled, there was a rich forest of giant palm trees and fertile soils. The first inhabitants no doubt thought they were in paradise… Then at some point the chieftains of the island started getting into a competition to build the biggest statues etc. what happened as they depleted the forest in their collective ego trip? Maybe they were totally ignorant of their fate, or maybe their own version of intellectuals were raising concerns about their future – in the process going up against an entrenched hierarchy that saw big statues as symbols of their wealth. What might have happened? (Incidentally I have no way of confirming the truth of such a thought experiment, but do you get the gist of it?)

A reliance on big oil (& other fossil fuels) simply isn’t the smartest thing to do.

Btw minor typo – I meant INSOLATION, not insulation…

94. Robin Levett

@RedMouse #91:

Please let us know what events or occurrences are needed for you to doubt the alarmist theory of the end of the world by global warming.

Are the deliberately provocative insults really necessary?

One thing that puzzles me about this AGW theory is that it appears to be unfalsifiable

Wrong – what you mean is it hasn’t been falsified.

There are any number of ways in which AGW could have been falsified; for example: failing to observe a terrestrial surface temperature eleveated from that expected of a “black body” with albedo c0.3; observing that CO2 does not absorb and reradiate IR radiation; observing that there is no CO2 in the atmosphere; failing to observe rising CO2 levels; failing to detect the isotopic signature of CO2 from fossil carbon; failing to observe warming (not monotonic warming – that would be most unlikely).

Unfortunately for the deniers, those tests were passed. We do have a greenhouse effect (misleading name, but it’s the one we’re stuck with) operating on Earth to elevate the surface temperature by c33C. We can detect anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere, enough to account for the rise in CO2 levels since pre-industrial times; and we have observed warming.

95. Radical Rodent

Robin Levett:
Bit of a “straw man” argument there, I feel. No “denialist” I know of is questioning what is observable fact; NASA tells us that without an atmosphere, the surface temperature would be about -18°C (they actually state 0°F in the presentation I saw) which implies that all gasses in the atmosphere are “greenhouse” gasses (and I accept that some will be better than others); all molecules absorb and reradiate radiation, in one form or other; if there was no CO2 in the atmosphere, I doubt life as we know it would, or could, exist; CO2 levels are rising – so what? They have been a lot higher in the past, often when it was a lot, lot colder. CO2 is not the only gas with isotopic signatures used for determining rates of change of atmospheric temperatures; those studying the Vostok ice-core samples use oxygen isotopes. These studies indicate that the present rate of temperature change is only unusual in that it is marginally slower than many other times; they also indicate that the present-day climate has been remarkably stable.

None of that list gives sufficient evidence that the present-day (probably short-term) warming is caused by the rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. How will your argument go if this much-dismissed temperature “plateau” actually proves to be a peak, and global temperatures start to plummet? While I may be seriously lacking in education, knowledge, qualifications and skills, there are many others who are not who concur. Oh. Sorry. Forgot. They are all in the pay of “Big Oil”. Silly me…

Dissident:
Have you told big oil that they are just burning their money away? Bet they didn’t think there were other ways to use their black gold…

As we progress, we learn, and we then apply that learning. It is evolution in engineering. Your average, present-day, 1600cc car is more powerful, faster and a lot more fuel efficient than those of the 1960s, and when you compare them to the 5 litre monsters of the 1930s… Yes, there is a limited supply of “fossil” fuels on Earth; what the limit is, we have no idea; however big oil, and business in general, is continuing to explore for more, to be more efficient with what we do have, and continuing to search for alternative energy supplies. Like it or loathe it, “Big Oil” has given us the world that we live in today. Take a look around you; I doubt there is anything you can see that is not there, directly or indirectly, because of “Big Oil”.

Yes, there are many people who are making quick bucks out of oil; there are also a lot who are doing the same out of the AGW scare.

96. So Much for Subtlety

94. Robin Levett

There are any number of ways in which AGW could have been falsified; for example: failing to observe a terrestrial surface temperature eleveated from that expected of a “black body” with albedo c0.3; observing that CO2 does not absorb and reradiate IR radiation; observing that there is no CO2 in the atmosphere; failing to observe rising CO2 levels; failing to detect the isotopic signature of CO2 from fossil carbon; failing to observe warming (not monotonic warming – that would be most unlikely).

That is painfully dishonest Robin. You ought to be ashamed. But you probably won’t be. These are basic scientific facts. They are not specific to MMGW. Nor are they proof of MMGW. You may as well have said that the fact 2+2=4 also backs it up.

And of course we have failed to observe warming. They have to massage the data to get any warming at all.

We can detect anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere, enough to account for the rise in CO2 levels since pre-industrial times; and we have observed warming.

Well we have yet to be have solid proof of warming. But apart from that, this is not enough. Because you have no ruled out a natural cycle. The IPCC is being forced to admit that the sun may have a role to play. Good. It may be there is nothing to worry about. Certainly nothing we have seen is unusually or unnaturally warm.

So it remains a fact – MMGW is pretty much unfalsifiable. Whatever happens, Greenies and warmists claim it as proof of Global Warming. If it snows, if it doesn’t rain, if it rains too much, if the glaciers retreat, if they don’t. It doesn’t matter. Whatever happens is deemed proof. Because at its base, it is not a scientific issue. It is a religious one.

*sigh* SMFS claims AGW is a religion…

I don’t know whether to be exasperated or amused! Good ol SMFS, here to save the religion of AGW denial…

the overwheing majority of the heat is currently going into the worlds oceans and ice caps. Only a tiny fraction stays in the atmosphere to trigger heat waves! Over the last few years La Niña conditions in the Pacific have pushed a lot cold sub polar water into the tropics, where it has acted as the mother of all heat sinks, literally absorbing terra joules of heat energy that would have otherwise stayed in the atmosphere, making 1998 look cold. Even though we had La Niña conditions, they were still much warmer globally than even strong El Niño conditions of the rest of the 20th century…

http://www.aussmc.org/documents/waiting-for-global-cooling.pdf
http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/Nuccitelli_Fig1.jpg

98. Robin Levett

@RedMouse #95:

More to come, but I thought this deserved special mention:

Oh. Sorry. Forgot. They are all in the pay of “Big Oil”. Silly me…

Do a quick search on this page for the words “vested interest” and “AGW scam (for scam it certainly is)”; and check where they appear relative to the mentions of the trillions of dollars that fossil fuel companies have invested in ensuring that the world can continue to burn their inventory. You and Tyler raised the question of who pays whom; don’t blame me for the fact that the fossil fuel companies are motivated to throw more money at the issue than governments.

@ Radical Rodent
You have stated that CO2 was much higher in the past. I take it you are talking about the late Ordovician glaciation, when CO2 was much higher. Yet the sun was also dimmer 400 odd million years ago, and the earths continents were clustered around the south pole. Here’s a couple of papers about it. I hope they help…

http://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/PhanCO2(GCA).pdf
http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/CrowleyBaum1995.pdf

100. Robin Levett

@SMFS #96:

These are basic scientific facts. They are not specific to MMGW. Nor are they proof of MMGW.

As you say, they are basic scientific facts.

We have the climatological equivalent of a victim with a bullet wound to the heart, with the bullet still lodged inside the heart. The ballistics experts tell us that the bullet came from the gun that was found in the hands of person A, who was found in the room where the victim was found, and on which no fingerprints other than person A’s are found. No-one has produced any evidence that the gun was fire by someone else and then placed in person A’s hands; or that there was any other possible cause of death; or that the victim isn’t in fact dead. Yet the denialists routinely make all three claims.

And of course we have failed to observe warming. They have to massage the data to get any warming at all.

Make your mind up. Either there are natural cycles or not. If there are, then to establish the effect (f any)of anthropogenic CO2 it is necessary to cancel out the effect of the natural cycles. It is only denialists that refuse to do so. At a Skeptics in the Pub meeting a few years ago, S Fred Singer produced a graph unequivocally showing, he said, that there was no warming since 1998. When I asked whether any adjustments had been made for ENSO, he admitted – nay insisted – that none had been made; but still insisted that the graph was good evidence that there was no warming.

101. Radical Rodent

Robin Levett:

…fossil fuel companies have invested in ensuring that the world can continue to burn their inventory.

You are aware of the difference between “investing” and “throwing money at”? Business invests by investigating (clue there) ways in which their products, services or resources are better managed. No-one is forced to purchase any of their products or services; if no-one wants their services or products, they either adapt so that people do spend money in their direction, or die. Because of this, business is aware that investment is essential, be it product awareness (advertising), business culture (reputation, logo, advertising), resource sourcing (search & exploration), or resource management (research and development; product creativity – i.e. “How can we improve what we are already making?” or, “How can we make the same while using less?”). Successful business has successful investment – their profits exceed the money invested.

Government, however, has no constraints. You have no choice about giving them the money; if you don’t give, they will send the big boys round to persuade you otherwise. The bigger the government, the less accountable it seems to be. As a result, they can happily squander huge quantities of other people’s (the tax-payers’ – i.e. yours and mine) money on la-la-land ideas. If the ideas don’t work – then make them bigger! Spend more money! (Mr. G. Brown encapsulated that nicely; to paraphrase: “We are in these dire straits because of too much borrowing. I shall solve it by borrowing more.” Doh!). As Thomas Paine said: “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.

So Much for Subtley (96) said it so well:

MMGW is pretty much unfalsifiable. Whatever happens, Greenies and warmists claim it as proof of Global Warming.

As I noted earlier (70):

…even if the temperature drops as if off a cliff by 2020, the alarmists have already covered all bases: “In October 2003 U.S. Pentagon released a controversial report, ‘An abrupt climate change scenario and its implications for United States national security,’ that explored how global warming could lead to rapid and catastrophic global cooling.”

You will no doubt find this utterly bizarre, but I am not saying that you are wrong. What I (and probably almost any other “denialist”) am saying is that the evidence so far presented does not convince me that you are right. Where I am saying that you are wrong is your refusal to consider that you could be wrong.

@ Robin
The true believers will rather we were silenced, impoverished and starved – but mostly silenced ;)

Btw this is what I’m on about – most of the time Rupert’s press etc claim AGW Is a scam etc, yet right wing extremists – like that, er, inheritor of daddy’s newspaper – claim otherwise, nay, pay for claiming otherwise (with money from advertisers like big oil) And since most people pay to read ‘what they think is their’ newspaper it must be true, and most people choose to be ignorant anyway, which is why denialists get away with lying so much…

http://consortiumnews.com/2012/07/09/the-silence-on-global-warming/

104. Radical Rodent

Nice to see you like a totally balanced point of view, Dissident. Anyone who believes all that they are told by the main-stream media is a sad person indeed. Let’s look at a (slightly amended) quote:

…anyone who got too much in the way could expect to be subjected to systematic smears and professional deconstruction. With so many [left]-wing voices willing to say almost anything, it wasn’t hard to intimidate people.

I suppose I should have realised that there is a clue in the title of this particular blog. The reason I amended the quote was because I suspect that you will whole-heartedly agree with this blog:

http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/01/15/whats-up-with-that/

Now, will you sully yourself by checking the facts?

To repeat myself: I do not say that you are wrong; what I do say is that the evidence so far presented does not convince me that you are right. Where I am saying that you are wrong is your refusal to consider that you could be wrong.

Another small point of agreement Radical Rodent – both of us think the mass media a liars!!!! Even if there are differences about why. (i think it is, shall we say, manipulated to benefit the highest bidder/biggest advertiser)

You state that you are yet to be convinced about AGW, fair enough – I was , about 15 years ago, after initial naive acceptance, I thought along the lines of all the classic arguments helpfully listed on http://www.skepticalscience.com/

Look at the thermometer icon with the various arguments, and all the other icons above it (Monkton Myths etc). Difference is, while once skeptical about AGW, the actual effects I have lived through, and read about in actual science publications (not in Rupert/Rothmere’s blatantly pre fascist crap) have eroded that skepticism. Trust me, I would prefer it to be a scam, I hope it is, but year after year the extreme weather we are getting worldwide, with endless records being smashed, is precisely what the scientists discovering AGW have predicted…

btw Radical Rodent I have ‘sullied myself’ with reading the latest link you posted – all I can say is, I am rolling about the floor laughing :D

107. Radical Rodent

No, Dissident, I do not think that we are in agreement; I do not think that the mass media are all liars. They may be wrong; they might reach odd conclusions; they may have different emphases on stories; there may be some who DO lie (though, interestingly, those that have been caught out lying have tended to be of the left-wing persuasion); but I do not think that makes them ALL liars.

Oddly enough, 15 years ago, I had little interest in the whole “global warming” thing; not moving in scientific circles, I was just content to get on with my own life. Then I saw the Al Gore film, and was swept up into it; I found it a very alarming film. Eager to find out what was going on, and what I could do to help counteract the looming catastrophe, I began investigating.

What I did find was that, where I raised questions, those sites that were “pro” the argument could get very nasty very quickly; those sites which were sceptical – note, not “anti”, merely questioning the “consensus” – tended to be more polite. Perhaps the best thing to arise, as far as I am concerned, is my discovery of Richard Feynman.

108. Radical Rodent

Dissident,
Perhaps you need to do a bit more reading; “extreme” weather occurs on a rather regular basis, in some form or other, around the world. The situation in Australia is not new – Australia has long been known to have hot, dry summers; this summer, there have been no records broken. As for the “frankenstorm” that hit the east coast of the USA, it was not the first time that had happened, it had not been a particularly powerful hurricane, and it hit the coast at the high spring tide. Despite the warnings, no-one had made any preparations for it; no wonder it made such a mess. Someone a lot more cynical than I am might believe that that was precisely why there had been no preparations made.

Not too long ago, one hot, summer in the UK, the BBC (not known to brook any argument contrary to your own about global warming) had one reporter striding over a cracked and dry river bed, foretelling that “this was the future for British summers.”

Last year (after a few cool, wet summers), when the March heat wave broke and we had rain, they were warning that it would be a brief respite from the heat, and we were going to have a drought-ridden summer. Most of the records I heard of over the past 12 months have been for the COLDEST.

109. Robin Levett

@RedMouse #108:

The situation in Australia is not new – Australia has long been known to have hot, dry summers; this summer, there have been no records broken

Really? So Sydney hasn’t just recorded its hottest day ever?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21072347

You still haven’t told me how you describe the Big Dry; or the 2011 rains (third wettest year on record, wettest since 1970) that allowed the Government to declare it ended in 2012.

Perhaps you need to do a bit more reading; “extreme” weather occurs on a rather regular basis, in some form or other, around the world.

But getting more frequent as we inject more and more energy into the climate system. See the Hansen paper referred to in this RealClimate article:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/08/extreme-metrics/

And you might want to consider what the scientists (whom you continue, insultingly, to call the alarmists – didn’t someone on this thread make claims about relative frequency of insults launched by those who acknowledge AGW and those who deny it?) think about atribution of extreme weather events:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/09/why-bother-trying-to-attribute-extreme-events/

#107:

What I did find was that, where I raised questions, those sites that were “pro” the argument could get very nasty very quickly; those sites which were sceptical – note, not “anti”, merely questioning the “consensus” – tended to be more polite.

Cites please for both propositions. Just a couple of threads on each side. While you’re at it, tell me whether you’ve ever seen a scientist who accepts the AGW position suggesting that all denialistss should be put in the electric chair? And what you’d do should such a comment be made in a thread in which you are participating?

110. Robin Levett

@Radical Rodent #95:

Bit of a “straw man” argument there, I feel. No “denialist” I know of is questioning what is observable fact

Then your experience is narrower than mine. Even in this thread, SMFS is denying that there hes been warming. You have been known to say that you “have difficulty accepting that such a change [40%] in what is a very small proportion of the atmosphere of a gas [CO2] upon which all plant life depends can have such huge effects”

NASA tells us that without an atmosphere, the surface temperature would be about -18°C (they actually state 0°F in the presentation I saw) which implies that all gasses in the atmosphere are “greenhouse” gasses (and I accept that some will be better than others);

It implies no such thing.

all molecules absorb and reradiate radiation, in one form or other

My apologies – I should have specifically referred to IR (looks back) – oh, I did.

Only a small fraction of the constituent gases in the atmosphere absorb IR at the wavelengths at which it is radiated by the Earth’s surface. It is that that matters.

if there was no CO2 in the atmosphere, I doubt life as we know it would, or could, exist

Because of temeprature, or because of its biological significance; because at -18C, life as we know it would have real difficulty.

CO2 levels are rising – so what? They have been a lot higher in the past, often when it was a lot, lot colder.

Dissident has already pointed out the dishonesty of this claim, if the Ordocician period is that referred to; the dishonesty is in deliberately ignoring the differences in the solar constant and configuration of the land involved, and the literature on whct effect that could have.

It is also relevant to point out that the issue was not global average temperatures, but glaciation of Gondwanaland sitting on the South Pole.

More importantly, perhaps, recent papers by Seth Young have apparently shown that CO2 was dropping when the glaciation occurred; and as it rose again,the ice melted.

There is also some indication that the glaciation started not when the CO2 levels were at their peak, but when they were not too different to today’s levels.

CO2 is not the only gas with isotopic signatures used for determining rates of change of atmospheric temperatures; those studying the Vostok ice-core samples use oxygen isotopes. These studies indicate that the present rate of temperature change is only unusual in that it is marginally slower than many other times; they also indicate that the present-day climate has been remarkably stable.

Vostok cores would be the ones that show that CO2 and temperature are indeed linked strongly?

And what “other times” are you referring to?

None of that list gives sufficient evidence that the present-day (probably short-term) warming is caused by the rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

The problem is that we do know – it is scientific fact, as SMFS concedes, albeit unwittingly – that adding CO2 will, all other things being equal, increase surface temperatures. Your task is to explain why the warming we observe is not the result of the increased CO2 we observe; and, if it is not the CO2, what is causign the warming, and what is masking the warming we expect from the CO2.

How will your argument go if this much-dismissed temperature “plateau” actually proves to be a peak, and global temperatures start to plummet?

Let’s wait and see how it pans out, shall we? At present, that question is similar to “What will your argument be if apples start to fly sideways rather than drop to the ground?”

111. Radical Rodent

Robin Levett:

“have difficulty accepting that such a change [40%] in what is a very small proportion of the atmosphere of a gas [CO2] upon which all plant life depends can have such huge effects”

Erm… What is wrong with that? Is it a PROVEN fact that CO2 IS causing the increase. Answer: no.

NASA tells us that without an atmosphere, the surface temperature would be about -18°C (they actually state 0°F in the presentation I saw) which implies that all gasses in the atmosphere are “greenhouse” gasses (and I accept that some will be better than others);

It implies no such thing.

Erm… yes, it does. Read it again: the statement reads that NASA states quite clearly, “…without an atmosphere…” They do not state, “…without CO2 in the atmosphere…” Therefore, what they meant is how I read it.

all molecules absorb and reradiate radiation, in one form or other

My apologies – I should have specifically referred to IR (looks back) – oh, I did.

So, you are saying that CO2 is the ONLY molecule that absorbs IR. Hmm, must remember that on a sunny day as I walk across the tarmac barefoot.

if there was no CO2 in the atmosphere, I doubt life as we know it would, or could, exist

Because of temperature, or because of its biological significance; because at -18C, life as we know it would have real difficulty.

Here, you are saying that the ONLY greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is CO2. If that were true, I would have to agree that any increase will cause the temperature to rise. However, I do not think that many in the scientific community would agree with you; much as I have my suspicions with a “consensus”, my instinct in this case is to side with them.

…if the Ordocician period is that referred to; the dishonesty is in deliberately ignoring the differences in the solar constant and configuration of the land involved, and the literature on whct [sic]effect that could have.

And what you are saying here is that, okay, there were times when the CO2 levels were higher, and the temperatures were lower, but there were other factors involved. Obviously, that does not apply now, of course. Though it must have applied during the mediaeval warming period (MWP), when it was warmer than today, and the CO2 levels were a lot lower (280ppm). But that definitely does not mean it applies today, oh no, no… Or do you insist that there was no MWP? Just who IS the “denialist”, here?

…it is scientific fact, as SMFS concedes, albeit unwittingly – that adding CO2 will, all other things being equal, increase surface temperatures.

Okay. So why are the temperatures not soaring wildly away today, in line with the soaring CO2 levels? Oh, of course, there are other factors involved… Silly me. To repeat myself, just who is the “denialist”, here?

112. Radical Rodent

From the Vostok core analysis (Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, CPUT):

Thus there is about a 2:1 chance that the temperature may vary by up to 1°C per century from natural causes, but only about a 1 in 10 chance that it will vary by more than 1.9°C naturally. Between 1900 and 2000 it varied by about 0.9°C, which is, therefore, within the range of natural variation. And that, in simple terms, is why there is scepticism about the thesis that carbon dioxide is causing global warming – there is no clear signal of any such warming effect.

More here.

113. Radical Rodent

Dissident and Robin Levett:

Out of interest, after you have exhausted yourself fighting for the CO2 argument, perhaps you may want to turn you hand to find out how to fight the nitrogen threat.

Whatever happens, whatever the problem, you can always blame global warming.

114. Robin Levett

@RedMouse 111:

Very quickly:

So, you are saying that CO2 is the ONLY molecule that absorbs IR. Hmm, must remember that on a sunny day as I walk across the tarmac barefoot.

Try to stay honest in your argument. I have repeatedly accepted that CO2 is not the only moleculse that absorbs IR. I have said that not all gases in the atmosphere absorb CO2; and the last I looked, there wasn’t much tarmac in the atmosphere.

The point, which I am sure you actually understood, is that while most molecules absorb IR, there is only a subset of gaseous molecules present in the atmosphere that absorb and re-radiate IR at the wavelengths present in the radiation from the Earth’s surface (read all those words). I even said so, explicitly, in the post to which you are replying; indeed, in the sentence immediately following the one you quoted.

115. Radical Rodent

Robin Levett (108):

It is not all the scientists whom I am calling alarmist, though am surprised that you do not consider the constant reference to the catastrophic global warming as an alarming reference. There are a few scientists who are “alarmists”, but it is a term more directed to those like yourself, who will resolutely cling to your belief, denying that there could be any alternative, and we are all doomed if we do not do what we are told – which, ideally, seems to be a return to living in caves and eating raw food; oh, and massive depopulation, which is the dream of quite a few of the more extreme “Greenies”. You obviously do not consider the title of this blog – “Global warming NOT stalling despite ignorant claims” – a little contentious, another poke at the fire to keep it burning, keep the hysteria bubbling. (Though, to be fair to Sunny Hundal, contentious headlines are a good way to get people’s attention.)

Would you consider this quote: “If Earth was your mother she’d hold you under water in one rocky hand until you no longer bubbled,” just a little alarming, and an endorsement to murder?

It was made by a “philosopher” during her speech to the Nobel Conference 48, where it was loudly applauded by the audience, and lauded by the scientist hosting this site.

To expand on what So Much for Subtlety said: whatever happens, whatever the problem, you can always blame global warming.

As I have said before, climate change is happening – climates will always change; global warming has been happening – but I do not think that 1°C of a century to be alarming; CO2 in the atmosphere is rising – though have yet to be convinced that this is causing the rising temperature. (I have heard the Mars is also heating up; is the CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere that effective?)

So, what I have seen and heard, and what you have told and shown me so far has not convinced me that we are heading for a global climate catastrophe caused by human stupidity in scientific, engineering and social progression. However, this does not preclude that there might be other catastrophes looming of human making…

116. Robin Levett

@RedMouse:

Stop trying to Gish gallop me. Answer the points already made, before going on to start new hares.

For example (but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing) please explain to the audience (if any) exactly what you did when, in a thread to which you contributed, Ljubos Motl stated that all those holding to the AGW piosition should be put to death in the electric chair (I paraphrase, but accurately).

@ Robin Levett

Is Ljubos Motl an example of how unfailingly polite & courteous denialists are in their blogging and comments about AGW Radical Rodent mentions repeatedly? Something that does contradict what you see on many blog sites…

Just did a quick google search & apparently he was forcibly resigned from Harvard for his conduct in the blogosphere…

118. Robin Levett

@RedMouse #112:

From the Vostok core analysis (Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, CPUT):

Thus there is about a 2:1 chance that the temperature may vary by up to 1°C per century from natural causes, but only about a 1 in 10 chance that it will vary by more than 1.9°C naturally. Between 1900 and 2000 it varied by about 0.9°C, which is, therefore, within the range of natural variation. And that, in simple terms, is why there is scepticism about the thesis that carbon dioxide is causing global warming – there is no clear signal of any such warming effect.

More here.

This is a blogpost by a chemical engineer with no climatological expertise or experience, who consults for the petrochemical industry and whose major academic involvement seems to be to teach a course at CPUT intended “to give a complete overview of the petroleum industry, from crude oil in the ground, via refining, to products delivered to your local filling station. As such, it offers an opportunity for recent entrants to obtain the widest possible view of the industry in the shortest possible time.”

http://active.cput.ac.za/energy/public/index.asp?pageid=715

I was hoping for something with a little bit more scientific standing, which isn’t awash with schoolboy errors/debunked denialist talking points.

As a general comment; are you familiar with the proviso “at equilibrium”?

Here’s an interesting PDF I have come across, which talks about the pernicious influence of big corporations – especially big oil/coal/gas have had on the public debate about AGW. The Heartland Institute is but the tip of the (melting) iceberg…

http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/scientific_integrity/a-climate-of-corporate-control-report.pdf


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