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A few points about my article

Paul Hudson | 14:52 UK time, Monday, 12 October 2009

Thanks for all your comments. To answer some of the points raised directly:

1) Which was the hottest year?

From this table the Met Office clearly show 1998 as the warmest year on record. Temperatures have levelled out and fallen since then. In fact last year, as you can see, was much cooler than 1998.

Should we 'strip' 1998 of El Nino? I didn't think so for my article, because we have always have had El Ninos and La Ninas. Also - where would you stop? Would you get rid of PDOs and ADOs, too?

2) Did the models predict that temperatures would level off?

None of the climate models suggested that global temperatures would not rise any further for at least another 10 years, which is what we have observed. The Hadley Centre model does incorporate ocean cycles. But that doesn't alter the fact that the models did not predict this. So the question must be, will it/has it captured the negative PDO that some scientists say will last for the next 20 odd years - and if it hasn't, why hasn't it? I also know that the Met Office are currently conducting research into why temperatures have levelled off/fallen from their peak.

Mine is by no means the only recent contribution to the argument on the BBC site. Many other reports by a number of correspondents have been published. For example, as Richard Black explains here, knowing how our climate and C02 emissions have changed in the past is just as important as predicting what it's going to do in the future.

Comments

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  • 1. At 3:11pm on 12 Oct 2009, gimpyblog wrote:

    Hi Paul, as that met office points out "All the years from 2000 to 2008 have been in the top 14 warmest years on record.", the data from 1998 looks like a blip but there has been a constant warming trend over the last 20 years. It is misleading not to state this clearly.

    The met office data (figure 2) shows that the warming trend has continued since 1999. This suggests your statement "None of the climate models suggested that global temperatures would not rise any further for at least another 10 years, which is what we have observed." is factually inaccurate. The temperature has shown an upward trend.

    Also, could we have some explanation as to why Piers Corbyn was called a 'climate scientist' and his views considered uncritically when his peer reviewed publications are nil and his methods do not display predictive capability?

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  • 2. At 5:29pm on 12 Oct 2009, JDoddsGW wrote:

    Paul
    Some comments on your What happened to Global Warming Blog piece.
    1. adding CO2 does not add to global warming. See John Dodds Excess CO2 Scenario at www.scribd.com. The Greenhouse Effect requires added energy AND the availability of CO2. If you do not add energy you can NOT have a GHE, regardless of how much CO2 you have. The air has excess CO2. so adding MORE excess does NOT cause warming. It causes MORE excess CO2 in the air.
    Adding CO2 does not add energy to the Earth. You HAVE to add energy in order to create warming.
    2. The use of the PDO as an cause of warming is NOT valid. The PDO correlates to the warming cooling cycles. It is NOT the cause, it is a consequence. The PDO does NOT add energy to the earth. It is a measurement of how the energy in the ocean moves from north to south. You need to identify where the energy comes from.
    John Dodds Wobble Theory of Global Warming at www.scribd.com, identifies that the energy for the 30 year cooling and 30 year warming comes from the forces of gravity and planetary eccentricity caused by the planets, primarily Jupiter.
    Thus adding CO2 does NOT cause warming. Planetary eccentricity varies the force of gravity acting on the Earth, which results in variable incoming energies and variable Earthly potential energy (eg Gravity causes tides and currents in the ocean & liquid core, which result in friction and heat & warming and cooling.)

    (PS if you can't get copies of the papers at www.scribd.com send me an email & I will send a copy)

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  • 3. At 6:01pm on 12 Oct 2009, EPF wrote:

    Paul, a few points for you.

    1) Your writing style in your original blog was excellent and managing to twist a pro-CC point to an anti one. Terrible for the apparently unbiased BBC

    2) You are clearly struggling with the science here. Perhaps you should understand some of the concepts. Here it is

    3) CO2 (and others) are greenhouse gases, when they are present in high values they warm the planet (the natural effect is worth ~18C) The article you link (PROPER reporting there) is excellent, shows how wrong you are. Anyways, GHG's exert a warming effect, man releases more GHG's climate warms, Simples!

    Your blog here is almost as bad as the first, you are digging a very deep hole for yourself and you won't be able to get out of it. Do the honorable thing and take down your blog, leave journalism to the journalists and stick to your regional weather reports.

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  • 4. At 7:46pm on 12 Oct 2009, wlh197 wrote:

    I think its great to see a BBC article about Climate Change that has a balanced view with different scientific opinions represented. All debate is good debate.

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  • 5. At 9:11pm on 12 Oct 2009, ClaireLJ wrote:

    I was disturbed to find this article on the BBC website as it seems intended to encourage the views that climate change is not happening, that it is not a problem, and that there is no scientific consensus about its cause.

    Every serious analysis of the situation tells us that changes are occurring faster than predicted by previous worst-case scenarios, and there is little political will to take appropriate action to prevent the humanitarian catastrophe of irreversible climate change.

    Why then run a piece headed "What happened to global warming?", which promotes the views of climate change sceptics as of equal weight to the scientific consensus? As evolution-deniers in the US have shown, it is not necessary to provide weighty contrary evidence to create public doubt. It is sufficient to suggest often enough that scientific uncertainty exists. Most people will not read the article properly, and the headline will be what sticks in their minds, further reducing public support for the changes that need to be made

    Incidentally I was interested to read in one of the other comments that the 'solar scientist' quoted has no peer reviewed publications!

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  • 6. At 04:42am on 13 Oct 2009, WangaKiwi wrote:

    In #3. exiledportfan wrote:
    "Anyways, GHG's exert a warming effect, man releases more GHG's climate warms, Simples!"

    You wrote what you want to believe but not what is being observed. Your one mistake is key to this whole debate. A more truthful quote would have been:
    "Anyways, GHG's exert a warming effect, man releases more GHG's climate DOES NOT warm, Simple!"

    The hypotheses are disproved. Man has released more GHG’s in the last 10 years and the climate has not warmed. CO2 does not have a significant effect on the earth’s temperature. It never has and probably never will. Something else is causing the variations in climate. We don’t yet know what it is and the computer models certainly don’t know what it is. It is however, time to stop blaming carbon.

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  • 7. At 04:59am on 13 Oct 2009, NeilHamp wrote:

    Gimpyblog,

    I cannot understand your statement that "The met office data (figure 2) shows that the warming trend has continued since 1999." A cursory examination of Figure 2 does show a downward trend line in the last 10 years

    I note the Met.Office state that "After 1998 warming slowed significantly — trends over the past 10 years show only a 0.07 °C increase in global average temperature." This is based upon trend lines from the most recent HadCRU data.

    The HadCRU data can be analysed at the excellent Wood For The Trees site. If the following link comes through you will see trend lines plotted from 1998 to 2002. The ONLY trend line which shows a positive increase in global temperature is that quoted by the Met.Office.


    http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut3vgl/from:1990/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1999/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/to:2010/trend

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  • 8. At 09:03am on 13 Oct 2009, gimpyblog wrote:

    NeilHamp, a cursory exmaination does indeed show a downward trend, but only in three or four years since 2000. A more detailed examination reveals that the temperature since 2001 is indeed higher than 1999/2000 and at any other point, excluding 1998, in the last 150 years and approaches the levels of 1998. A more detailed examination reveals that on a year to year level the temperature does fluctuate but over the long term there is a consistent warming trend. I suggest you examine data in detail in future rather than briefly.

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  • 9. At 11:32am on 13 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    gimpyblog. It gets really interesting if you do an analysis since 2002
    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/trend
    The links for this particular web site don't seem to want to reveal themselves here so you have to paste the complete line in to your address bar.
    I know 2002 is only six years, but when you play around with the woodfortrees site (which provides ample evidence for historical warming) you clearly see something happen after 1998 and especially 2002. That 'happen' being a flattening or even a down-trend. It really is inescapable, temperature is NOT following CO2, and is NOT rising anymore.

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  • 10. At 11:34am on 13 Oct 2009, geobluejohn wrote:

    Met Office data is not 100% accurate as it is based on surface measurements. With a 2/3 dropoff of stations in 1990 there was a jump in average temperatures. Global Warming? well no because the bulk of the lost stations were in Canada, Russia, and southern South America not areas noted for their hot climates so the global average rose due to this. If North American data is viewed, which will be more representative due to size, then the hottest year was 1934. The NOAA web site actually shows the sparseness of surface stations now with many clustered in warm areas.
    Satellite data shows a drop in temperature since 1997/8 of 0.7C which wipes out the rise that had alarmists jumping up and down. Atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise, mainly due to natural production not fossil fuel use, which renders current climate models obselete to useless.

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  • 11. At 12:54pm on 13 Oct 2009, gimpyblog wrote:

    SmokingDeepThroat, anyone can cherry pick an extremely narrow set of data to promote their pet theory. This is why the study of long term trends are so important, the impact of noise and short term variables on short term measurements can present a misleading picture.

    You should ask yourself why no publishing climate scientist disputes that global warming is linked to anthropogenic CO2 emmissions? Could it be that these thousands of demonstrable experts are right, their non-expert critics wrong and the weight of evidence favours the experts theory?

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  • 12. At 1:33pm on 13 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    gimpyblog. No, you ask the wrong question - whether purposefully or not, I don't know. We all know the science behind carbon dioxide, but has temperature followed? NO! You may ignore it if you so wish, but it really is inescapable, temperature is NOT following CO2, and is NOT rising anymore. That's as much a fact as the fact that carbon dioxide is a 'greenhouse gas'. It's funny, I tend to find that it's Warmists who pick what they want to believe (or see) and what they don't. We can ALL only deal with facts. The facts are:
    There appears to be some warming.
    It isn't much.
    We don't have reliable data about the past.
    The warming stopped increasing 11 years ago.

    I can add more if you wish.

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  • 13. At 1:34pm on 13 Oct 2009, targetsea wrote:

    Gutsy of the Met to make a firm forecast for 2010 - 2015 for the number of hot years. And for a period short enough that we won't all grow old waiting.

    As I understand it, the nature of the forecast is in terms of justifying the Met's model.

    I think the Met's point is that the run of cool years has taken us away from their model with (was it?) a 66% probability that the model is wrong - but that no record years in the next five years would take us to a 95% confidence that the model is wrong. Since the model is not wrong, there have to be more record hot years coming up.

    Sceptic or advocate, let's respect climate scientists who are making a clear, bold, falsifiable prediction.

    We shall see what happens . . .

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  • 14. At 2:14pm on 13 Oct 2009, gimpyblog wrote:

    SmokingDeepThroat, you could start by referring to peer reviewed publications when making your points.

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  • 15. At 2:24pm on 13 Oct 2009, britononthemitten wrote:

    Dear Paul.

    I applaud you for your reporting of things as you see them. Ignore what your critics are throwing at you and take heart that the evidence is on your side. Your article might be remembered in history as the turning point of the mainstream media's handling of this whole debate.

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  • 16. At 3:34pm on 13 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    gimpyblog. Oh, come on, "peer reviewed" indeed! You want this peer reviewed:
    There appears to be some warming.
    It isn't much.
    We don't have reliable data about the past.
    The warming stopped increasing 11 years ago.
    You can look up all those facts yourself.

    You're side-stepping gimpy, and everyone reading this can see it. Refute any of the above, or contact Hadley and tell them that they're wrong. Here's their address: http://hadobs.metoffice.com/

    Like I said, we can only go by facts. That appears difficult for Warmists to swallow!

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  • 17. At 3:36pm on 13 Oct 2009, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    Paul Hudson is to be congratulated on raising these perfectly valid questions regarding global warming. He is quite correct that global temperatures have levelled out this decade, and that this was not predicted in advance by the climate modellers.

    It is the BBC's job to present both sides of the argument - indeed it is required to be balanced by its charter. I have been concerned in the past that the BBC has not been doing this on the climate issue, but perhaps now 'the climate is changing' on climate change! The other example is Richard Cable's "Blog of Bloom" which unfortunately seems to have stopped now (perhaps replaced by this blog).
    When the BBC interviews a politician, the interviewer generally raises difficult questions and presents the opposite point of view; the same strategy should also be employed on this issue.

    I look forward to seeing more interesting discussions and awkward questions raised here in future - keep up the good work.

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  • 18. At 4:47pm on 13 Oct 2009, Booftothemax wrote:

    I am no expert and don't profess to know much about the science behind the theories but it seems to me that when evidence of warmth is found, it is called global warming. When there is a period of cooler or extreme weather, it is called climate change. Is it just possible that nature is nature and rather than ram the whole global warming down peoples throats constantly, lets just get on with the important things in life? I believe it is accepted that mans influence over the climate is small compared to the natural world. After all, science has been wrong so many times in the past, what is to say they are right now?

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  • 19. At 5:20pm on 13 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    Boofto. Well it started out being called global warming, but then they found out that not all of the globe IS warming. In fact, it's almost all in the Northern Hemisphere. The warming in the Southern Hemisphere isn't significant (and not counting 1998, even the NH warming hasn't been significant since 1995). Anyways, they started to call it climate change, even though the climate has always changed and always will. In fact, it would be weird if it didn't. Odd world, isn't it? Back in the 1970s scientists told us we were all going to freeze. One of them was a scientist who now says we're going to fry. His name is Steven Schneider. Like I said, odd world!

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  • 20. At 6:35pm on 13 Oct 2009, lmc1722 wrote:

    Most of us in the U.S. know Algore for what he is. A scammer making billions off of his claim of global warming. All of his claims are tied to so-called experts that are employed at one of his enterprises. And his Nobel prize was almost as big of a farce as Obama's. You article was very good. Keep up the good work.

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  • 21. At 6:54pm on 13 Oct 2009, damionlw wrote:

    Didn't David Icke once work for the BBC?

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  • 22. At 7:02pm on 13 Oct 2009, DavidCOG wrote:

    1. Record Temperature

    HADCRUT3 / Met Office puts 1998 as hottest year. GISS / NASA tells us 2005 is - and GISS is more accurate because it includes Arctic data where most of the global warming is taking place.

    Regardless, picking out one outlier year and using that to determine a *trend* is plain dumb. It betrays someone who doesn't understand basic trend analysis, basic climate science - or that they have an agenda to distort the data.

    I note Hudson is only *now* mentioning the record-breaking El Niño that is responsible for the 1998 outlier. I'm pleased that he learnt something from my comments to his original blog post. Although, he still doesn't seem to understand the significance.

    2. Temperature trend

    This really demonstrates Paul Hudson's amazing ignorance - given his job title and responsibility to communicate the science - and his inability to grasp what is happening: he still thinks temperatures have "levelled off".

    The models did not predict that temperatures would level off - and they have been proven correct - temperatures are increasing, as every credible analysis shows.

    How many times does it need explaining before some people understand? Drawing a line from one abnormally high year due to a record-breaking warming weather event does not constitute a *trend* - it's simply misleading cherry picking.

    Also, the dozens of models being used are extremely accurate when combined, as intended - http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/

    I note that Hudson makes no mention here of the false equivalence he used in the original blog entry between unnamed 'sceptics' and the planet's climate scientists. A blatant tactic to make it seem as though there is some real controversy when there most certainly is not - it's the science on one side and a bunch of ignoramuses on the other.


    Here are a few words from the Met Office that gives some indication of how wrong and confused Hudson and his followers are:

    > The evidence is clear – the long-term trend is that global temperatures are rising, and humans are largely
    responsible for this rise. Global warming does not mean that each year will be warmer than the last. Natural
    phenomena will mean that some years will be much warmer and others cooler.

    > You only need to look at 1998 to see a record-breaking warm year caused by a very strong El Niño. In the last couple of years, the underlying warming is partially masked caused by a strong La Niña. Despite this, 11 of the last 13 years were the warmest ever recorded.

    > Anyone who thinks global warming has stopped has their head in the sand.

    From http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/warming_goes_on.pdf

    I think that Hudson has proved himself, at best, incompetent. He has clearly been getting his 'science' from Denier blogs instead of from real climate scientists. The BBC should prevent him from publishing any more misleading, distorted views on the state of climate science and thereby misinforming its readers.

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  • 23. At 7:24pm on 13 Oct 2009, NeilHamp wrote:

    Gimpyblog,
    May I suggest you copy the full woodforthetrees show below. Then paste the complete line in to your address bar, you will see trend lines for HadCRU data from 1998 to 2002

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut3vgl/from:1990/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1999/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/to:2010/trend

    In your discussion with SmokingDeepThroat, You said " anyone can cherry pick an extremely narrow set of data to promote their pet theory." If you take the time to copy and post the above link you will see that the Met.Office have followed your "cherry pick" instructions.

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  • 24. At 7:35pm on 13 Oct 2009, Inebriated wrote:

    I feel like I can clear something up here JDodds, you seem to have gotten the wrong end of the stick about the GHGs 'causing' heat.

    You are right. An inert gas cannot cause extra heat. The vast majority of heat on the Earth comes from the Sun. The radiation enters the atmospehere through wavelengths that CO2 is transparent too. This heats up the ground, and a lot of the energy is reflected as Infra-Red. Which CO2 is pretty opaque to. This gets reflected back to the ground, instead of escaping to space and so the Earth retains more heat. The system heats up as it can't radiate heat as effectively.

    As for why the Earth hasn't noticably heated up in the past 10 years - has anybody looked at the retreating ice at the poles?

    If you take a sample of ice, and add energy to it, the temperature will raise to 0 degrees, and it will begin to melt. The temperature will then not rise much further until most of the ice has melted. Perhaps the extra retained energy is going into melting the ice caps as opposed to raising the global temperature?

    You're going to be pretty hard pushed to find evidence that the Ice Caps are *not* melting.

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  • 25. At 8:24pm on 13 Oct 2009, ankhank wrote:

    Significance of trends depends on the length of time tested; for noisy data like global temperature, at least 15 years, preferably 20, and the standard is 30-year trends.

    Why?

    Because it's easy to fool yourself, your publication, and the people who read your column.

    http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2009/07/what-cooling-trend.html

    http://atmoz.org/blog/2008/01/29/on-the-insignificance-of-a-5-year-temperature-trend/

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2007/05/the_significance_of_5_year_tre.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/upload/2007/05/5-year-trends.png

    Is there an editor who checks this kind of thing there?

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  • 26. At 9:16pm on 13 Oct 2009, Tim Holmes wrote:

    Paul,

    One of the previous commenters on your article drew attention to this piece from the climate scientists at Realclimate:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/

    It makes the point, which you don't acknowledge, that this "pause" (actually just a slower warming trend) shows up in the Hadley centre temperature records, but not in the GISS records, in which the trends are entirely consistent with the IPCC models. The discrepancy between the two has been accounted for by the Arctic-shaped gap in the Hadley data.

    You also concluded your article with the words "One thing's for sure. The debate about what's causing global warming is far from over. Some would say it's hotting up."

    Now, this rather begs the question: given that the scientific consensus on the causes of climate change remains as robust as it has ever been - a level of consensus that is rarely reached in science - while the deniers remain as vocal as they have ever been, in what sense is the "debate" on the question of the causes of climate change "hotting up"? What exactly has changed that would justify conveying such an impression to your readers?

    I await your reply with interest.

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  • 27. At 9:17pm on 13 Oct 2009, James A wrote:

    It's very easy to argue the toss about specific technicalities, but it doesn't change the fact that the closing point of the original article - that the ongoing 'debate' about what is causing global warming is somehow 'heating up' - is quite simply wrong. Anyone familiar with the research scene would know that the sceptics are nothing but a fringe and the overwhelming majority of scientists working in the field (98% according to a recent AGU poll) now agree that human factors are the main cause of recent warming. My advice to anyone who seems to think different is to try reading the peer-reviewed literature instead of the bloggosphere.

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  • 28. At 9:39pm on 13 Oct 2009, Jonathan Day wrote:

    This all seems extremely straightforward and I frankly don't see what people are getting into a tizzy over. First, it is possible to get a rise in heat without getting a rise in temperature. It happens in phase changes all the time. Second, the climate is a chaotic system and chaotic systems are non-linear. This means that a rise in heat can actually lead to a fall in temperature. Third, the ecosystem has all kinds of feedback loops - few of which are particularly well-understood - as described by James Lovelock's "Gaia Hypthesis". The models didn't predict it? Big deal. Computers aren't very good at systems that are sensitive to initial conditions, particularly when it's impossible to measure those conditions. Nor is it possible to model the climate at the molecular level. The models are therefore simplifications. So a simplification gives an answer that's too simplified. Happens all the time, which is why the weather forecast can be so screwy. But you only have to be right more than you're wrong to be of service. So why ask climate chance scientists to be perfect? An error of a few years over a few centuries is hardly a Michael Fishism. Would you want to be held to the standards you are holding the climatologists to? No? Then don't throw stones.

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  • 29. At 9:53pm on 13 Oct 2009, petewibble wrote:

    Timbird84, how's the scientific consensus holding up?

    NOAA State of the Climate Report Pages 23-24
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2008/ann/bams/full-report.pdf
    ****************************
    Observations indicate that global temperature rise has slowed in the last decade (Fig. 2.8a [ed.- above, caption below]). The least squares trend for January 1999 to December 2008 calculated from the HadCRUT3 dataset (Brohan et al. 2006) is +0.07±0.07°C decade–1—much less than the 0.18°C decade–1 recorded between 1979 and 2005 and the 0.2°C decade–1 expected in the next decade (IPCC; Solomon et al. 2007). This is despite a steady increase in radiative forcing as a result of human activities and has led some to question climate predictions of substantial twenty-first century warming (Lawson 2008; Carter 2008).

    El Niño–Southern Oscillation is a strong driver of interannual global mean temperature variations. ENSO and non-ENSO contributions can be separated by the method of Thompson et al. (2008) (Fig. 2.8a). The trend in the ENSO-related component for 1999–2008 is +0.08±0.07°C decade–1, fully accounting for the overall observed trend. The trend after removing ENSO (the "ENSO-adjusted" trend) is 0.00°±0.05°C decade–1, implying much greater disagreement with anticipated global temperature rise.
    ...
    Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.
    *************************
    So basically 4-5 years more of no warming and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has clearly stated that the models used by the IPCC will be proved wrong (with a 95% degree of certainty). Oops. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 30. At 9:58pm on 13 Oct 2009, Jason wrote:

    It's very easy to take two data sets and that represent two straight lines in parallel, and say, "ooh look there must be a correlation".

    Then it's even easier to make a computer model, and put in hundreds of variables each of which can be "tuned", to then confirm a so called correlation".

    This is all so easy to do when your data sets represent 100 years of half decent results from a system that is 4.5 billion years old that has (we believe, hence probably) had massive extremes of temperature. Effectively we're discussing experimental noise, and trying to work out if there is a meaningful correlation within it.

    All this is even easier when your future research grants are dependent on finding positive results.

    I don't deny we have a measurable rise in average temperature, over a decade or so but I'll need more than a half baked computer model to convince me that this is a direct correlation with human CO2 emissions.

    We have a responsibility to not test the hypothesis of a CO2 emission and temperature rise correlation, as we don't know either way if it's right and we only have one planet after all. I'd rather keep things in perspective and would hope that scientific journalism took more interest in the application of scientific technique in the field of climate change, as it used to be taught to 1st year undergrads in physics or chemistry. Reporting none confirmed theories as truths as they as spouted in the media and by our politicians helps no one.

    Anyone for what the exact weather will be in six days at your place? No I thought not, if we can't do better than a 5 day forecast at the met office, how do we expect academic computer models of climate for the next 50 years to be anything like accurate.

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  • 31. At 10:27pm on 13 Oct 2009, NonSheep wrote:

    DavidCOG,
    Your assertion that only the scientists Pro-Anthropomorphic Global Warming are peer-reviewed and the "Deniers" are head-in-sand ignoramuses sounds like an "AlGorythym" to me. Big Al took the IPCC report, reviewed the "Worst Case" conclusions for end-of century effects on the world, reduced the time frame by two-thirds, made a road show production of it,and set off on the road to riches. If he were a scientist, he would have been laughed off the stage. Instead, because he was an ex-vice president and one of the liberal "Greenies", he received an Academy Award, a Nobel Peace prize, and fortutiously started a company to invest in Green projects (Generation Investment Management) and has interests
    in the Chicago Climate Exchange. If Global Warming is belived and if
    public money is spent to counter it, Billions of Dollars (MANY $$$$$)
    will change hands, and some people will benefit greatly, (Blood and Gore) including scientists on the "Right" side of the issue.
    I have children and grand-children, and do not want them to live in a
    ruined version of Earth. I also do not want to saddle them with enormous debt incurred in an un-necessary and monstrous spending program to do
    such things as capturing and burying Co2, trading "credits" (which do
    harm in many cases to third-world countries). I also dislike the children in schools being "propagandised" about the AGW.
    You and Spud1000 should go to the website: http://www.globalclimatescam.com/ and read about the number of REAL
    Scientists who have differing (peer-reviewed) scientific studies,papers,
    opinions, facts,etc. The science is Not "In", but ongoing.

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  • 32. At 10:28pm on 13 Oct 2009, Notumbo wrote:

    I find it incredible that there is any "debate" on this question, for the following line of reasoning: Assume global climate is like the largest super tanker ever built, times ten. Stopping such a beastie will require considerable foresight - you have to know where you are, how fast you are going, and where and when you want to stop. Assuming you know all those things with certainty, you're good to go - er - stop. BUT. Let ONE of these variables stray into the "we aren't quite certain" region, and now you have a problem. Global climate is FAR worse an issue than that. There is one question I have for all the skeptics out there - what if you are wrong? How are YOU going to turn this boat around?

    When you can tell me that, then I'll be a bit more tempered in my response to such insanity. Until then, answer me this: What is more expensive - tackling this thing now with all we can spare, or waiting until everything has gone past the "fail-safe" point, and then playing disaster relief all over the planet?

    For more on this see http://endoftheworldetc.blogspot.com/2009/10/but-seriously-folks.html

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  • 33. At 11:06pm on 13 Oct 2009, super_stevie_f wrote:

    I'd say that we're likely to play "disaster relief" rather than prevention, we seem to be used to it.

    The one thing that bugs me on this current debate here is not the science, other people are arguing that, but it's this idea of a consensus. How much is a consensus? And do we know only of this group and consider them to be the consensus because this is the group that gets plenty of positive media coverage?

    I am a scientist and I am not a global warming denier, but an anti-anti global warmist because the AGWs put forward predictions like they're gospel truth, only to quietly forget about them when they're wrong and move straight onto the next prediction.

    I disagree, as do several other scientists I know - do we break the consensus? And I'm at one of the leading academic institutions, so clearly not all of them agree with the AGW line.

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  • 34. At 00:19am on 14 Oct 2009, dana1981 wrote:

    I have to say the article in question was absolutely terribly researched. The claims about Latif's study's predictions are wrong. The claims about no warming since 1998 are wrong. The majority of the article was simply wrong. Fortunately Joseph Romm at Climate Progress took the time to correct the many errors it contained.
    http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/13/the-bbc-hudson-what-happened-to-global-warming-hottest-decade-in-recorded-history/comment-page-1/#comment-158224

    It's disappointing to see a media outlet as normally accurate in its climate science reporting as the BBC allow such a shoddy article to be published.

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  • 35. At 00:25am on 14 Oct 2009, DavidCOG wrote:

    Another damning analysis of Hudson's error-strewn and misleading article: http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/13/the-bbc-hudson-what-happened-to-global-warming-hottest-decade-in-recorded-history/

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  • 36. At 00:43am on 14 Oct 2009, DavidCOG wrote:

    NonSheep,

    You should try and lose your obsession with Al Gore - it's very common amongst Deniers - very sheep-like.

    There's a good reason why you and your fellow Deniers can only link to sideshow blogs like 'globalclimatescam.com', run by people with no qualifications or abilities beyond being able to see conspiracy theories wherever they look. And there's a very good reason I can link to articles from NASA, The Royal Society, Science, Nature, MIT, BMJ and every other credible scientific organisation on the planet. It's because every credible source says the same thing - humans are dangerously warming the planet by release of GHGs.

    The science is in - it is settled - it has been for many years. You Deniers are now looking like creationists and flat earthers - and are taken just as seriously in the scientific and political community.

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  • 37. At 01:19am on 14 Oct 2009, ADMcLa wrote:

    Paul has produced the most accurate summary on current global warming issues I have ever seen from the BBC. He is a very suitable person to do this. His job does not depend on the existence of AGW.

    You don’t need to be a prominent peer reviewed climate scientist to comment on climate change. It is widely accepted that the peer review system for Climate Change is discredited. If the study doesn’t promote AGW it’s unlikely to get published. The sloppy statistical work of some prominent climate scientists, their unwillingness to engage in debate with their critics, and their unwillingness to tolerate any evidence contrary to any aspect of their pet theories suggests to me that they are not trustworthy scientists who objectively pursue the truth.

    It is patently obvious that climate science is not an exact science. There are far too many unknowns. Even on things we can accurately measure like temperatures and CO2 levels. At a global level we have inaccurate values. They are hugely dependant on time and location. Where and when do we take readings and how often. Even if we do have some good currents records we have very poor historical records to compare them with. I don’t accept that we can use a tree as an accurate thermometer.

    The time span of semi reliable data is very short and is not long enough to be used in an investigation of climate change. Only changes in global weather patterns. Another reason why Paul is an ideal person to comment on these things.

    I look forward to more sensible output from the BBC.

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  • 38. At 01:47am on 14 Oct 2009, ImranCan wrote:

    To DavidCOG :
    I have been reading some of your posts over the last few days and I find them quite disturbing. It is not the scientific debate ... although I disagree with many of your points I know that we could bat back and forth endlessly with claim and counterclaim. It would not be productive. What discturbs me however is the aparent condescension and even vitriol you display to those who disagree with your analysis. The anger and the use of words like 'incompetent' and 'denier' are strangely out of place in a scientific debate. The term 'denier' would be more appropriate for someone who either :
    a) does not believe in a historical or scientific truth which has become incontrovertible through multiple observations and usually though the passage of time. eg. those who think the world is flat or those that might still think that the sun orbits the earth. Or maybe those who for some reason doubt the Holocaust.

    b) those who diasgree with a position of faith - where no evidence exists - but most people belive in something anyway .. eg. God

    But the climate change debate does not fit into either of these. It is clearly not a matter of faith and also clearly not a incontrovertible scientific truth. Nobody debates such things. Nobody argues the toss about whether the world is flat or round. But here you use strongly emotive language like the term 'denier' and then proceed to argue the points. If it was truly incontrovertible you wouldn't be debating this. If you are debating then clearly the debate is not over.

    For me Paul Hudsons post has been like a long drink of water after a walk in the sesert - very refreshing - because he has articulated in the MSM thoughts and observations which many have also found disturbing - but have been unable to discuss because no one in the media wanted to or was allowed to. Its all about smple questions :
    - I struggle to understand how AGW can be 'getting worse' as the MSM constantly tells us .... when the observational data shows the opposite.
    - I would like to know why we should put any faith in 'models' when they have severely overestimated the temperature rises of the first ecade f this century. Paul Hudsons view on the data is basically correct - the observations show that temperatures have mot risen as precited by the IPCC 2001 report. The actual data falls below the entire uncertainty range whioch doesn't give a lot of credibility ot models.
    - I struggle to understand why the T rises over the last century have to be due to CO2. we know if was warmer in the past (eg. the Holocene from 10000 - 3000 years ago) was several degrees warmer. Why is todays warming so unsual ?
    - I struggle with the imagery - eg. the sight of the Malidivian government having a cabinet meetign underwater. The Maldives are a carbonate reef system - they are always at sea level. Hasn't anyone asked, why, if they managed to survive 130m of sea level rise in the last 13,000 years (approx 1m per century on average) why they will be drowned now ?
    - I stuggle witht he lack of balance - why is no one reporting the current rcords (since satellite data began) of the Antarctic ice extent ?
    - I struggle with the claim of consensus ... what about Sun-Ichi Akasofu, Ian Plimer, John Christie, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer etc etc. How can the science be settled if people of this stature say its all a load of rubbish ?

    And I could go on .. and on and on and on .... as Paul Hudson states .. the scientific debate is just beginning. .....

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  • 39. At 03:10am on 14 Oct 2009, DavidCOG wrote:

    ImranCan:

    > ...in a scientific debate.

    Is that what you think this is? You flatter yourself. Or do you think Paul Hudson's article was part of the "scientific debate"? You flatter him. This is nothing more than a regional BBC weather presenter demonstrating his ignorance of climate change science in a blog post and then having it promoted to the main BBC news site by a scientifically illiterate editor. That's all that's going on here - along with the usual gum flapping from the peanut gallery.

    The scientific debate took place in the same places that it always does: in laboratories, universities, field stations and in the peer reviewed literature. The 'debate' over the reality of global warming ended a long time ago - the answer was clear and unequivocal. Through burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and other human activity, we are dangerously warming the planet. The only scientific debate now is "How bad? How fast?" - your laughable list of discredited individuals does not change that:

    > A survey of all peer reviewed abstracts on the subject "global climate change" published between 1993 and 2003 show that not a single paper rejected the consensus position that global warming is man caused. 75% of the papers agreed with the consensus position while 25% made no comment either way (e.g. - focused on methods or paleoclimate analysis). http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm

    Nothing has changed - still no papers that reject the consensus position that global warming is anthropogenic. Maybe next week the hoax will be exposed, eh?

    The fact that some people cannot accept scientific reality is not unusual. A 'round' Earth, heliocentric solar system, evolution by natural selection - all of these were or are rejected by a number of people incapable of accepting reality. It has happened at every stage of human development, and is happening again with global warming. Some people cannot cope with the uncomfortable new information so they deny it - they are Deniers.

    There is a simple solution if you don't like being labelled a Denier: get a clue and read some real science from credible sources. For some reason, this relatively simple step is beyond many people and their self-rated 'scepticism' and expertise is actually proud ignorance and blind incompetence.

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  • 40. At 03:57am on 14 Oct 2009, Tim Holmes wrote:

    Petewibble,

    You write:

    "So basically 4-5 years more of no warming and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has clearly stated that the models used by the IPCC will be proved wrong (with a 95% degree of certainty). Oops."

    So after another 4-5 years, the warming trend will deviate for the first time from the IPCC projections. That hasn't happened yet. And that's simply using the Hadley data, which, as Realclimate point out, don't account for the much greater warming taking place at the poles.

    Of course, the recorded data has already deviated from models - most notably in the considerably accelerated Arctic melt. Models are a generally very good, but not infallible, guide - that's all. In recent years we've seen their higher-end predictions surpassed again and again.

    Incidentally, Joseph Romm has an in-depth dissection of what Latif has really predicted here - which is more idle speculation than prediction:
    http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/13/the-bbc-hudson-what-happened-to-global-warming-hottest-decade-in-recorded-history/
    http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/01/interview-with-dr-mojib-latif-global-cooling-revkin-morano-george-will/

    But how +any+ of that is supposed to change the uncontested fact of the consensus on the causes of climate change is beyond me.

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  • 41. At 04:02am on 14 Oct 2009, onewell wrote:

    Paul - Nice article...

    I notice that many meteorologists have a healthy skepticism of the doomsday scenarios produced by climate models. Presumably this is due to the fact that they work with models every day and are aware of the uncertainties associated with them. Geologists comprise another group that seems to include a significant number of skeptics, presumably due to a long-term mindset where climate change is the norm rather than the exception. Somewhere between meteorologists and geologists on the natural process timescale lie the climate scientists. They can be broken down into the observationalists (tend to be the older crowd) and the modelers, with the former generally being more skeptical, and the latter (not suprisingly) being more adamant that the models represent reality.

    I don't think this diversity of opinion (non-consensus?) is really new, just under-reported in the MSM.

    -Oliver

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  • 42. At 06:52am on 14 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    Paul,

    You wrote:

    "None of the climate models suggested that global temperatures would not rise any further for at least another 10 years, which is what we have observed."

    This is incorrect. Please read this link for an examination of individual climate model runs over such a time period.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/

    Of course, this is not really what we have observed if you do a reasonable statistical analysis (one that doesn't start in a pre-determined year), you get something like:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/

    So examining an individual year is not all that useful, but if we are to do so, we should look at other data sets as well, namely NASA:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

    and NOAA:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/anomalies/index.html#anomalies

    which indicates 2005 was the warmest year on record. Using the same logic used in your article, we'd get the "no warming" for only 3 years.

    Also, see the climateprogress link cited earlier, which reveals some misrepresentations of Mojib Latif's views from your article. I hope you will take some time to examine what the science says and make the appropriate corrections.

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  • 43. At 07:09am on 14 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    Paul,

    Another link regarding global climate models and what they really say...

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/12/2008-temperature-summaries-and-spin/

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  • 44. At 07:16am on 14 Oct 2009, AlchemyToday wrote:

    There has been global warming between 1998 and today. If you fit the monthly or yearly average data you find a warming rate of 1.3-1.5 degrees/century. This is lower than the warming rate in the 1990s and higher than the average warming rate over the past half century. Picking two endpoints and ignoring the intervening data is not a valid analysis.

    If you do this kind of analysis (ask, "what's the change in temperature over 10 years?") for the past 100 years, you'll see many decades with huge amounts of warming, many with apparent global cooling, and many showing no change at all. The amount of warming predicted over a decade is easily obscured by the noise in the yearly temperature average data.

    A question: Why is it OK to interpret this to mean that there's been no warming for the past decade, yet it would've been foolish to look at the difference between the 1998 and 1989 average temperatures and state that global warming is happening at an unprecedented rate?

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  • 45. At 09:48am on 14 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    MarkB2020. All due respect to you, but quoting realclimate is like a warming-sceptic quoting a website from an oil company. If you haven't learned what realclimate are all about then google it, you're going to be in for a surprise. I'll try and find it if I can. Trust me, realclimate is a useless tool for the climate debate. You only have to read the replies to understand that, but the fact that very many 'replies' (even by scientists) are never posted because they don't get past Gavin says it all.

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  • 46. At 10:04am on 14 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @ImranCan

    > The anger and the use of words like 'incompetent' and 'denier' are strangely out of place in a scientific debate.

    This is not a "scientific debate". Such things take place in peer-reviewed literature. This is, if anything, a "debate" about acceptance and understanding of scientific findings.


    > The term 'denier' would be more appropriate for someone who either :
    > a) does not believe in a historical or scientific truth which has become incontrovertible through multiple observations and usually though the passage of time. eg. those who think the world is flat or those that might still think that the sun orbits the earth. Or maybe those who for some reason doubt the Holocaust.
    > b) those who diasgree with a position of faith - where no evidence exists - but most people belive in something anyway .. eg. God
    > But the climate change debate does not fit into either of these. It is clearly not a matter of faith and also clearly not a incontrovertible scientific truth.

    You've built up quite a straw man there. It seems that your evidence for this position is your use of the word "clearly". Since you "clearly" don't consider AGW to be an incontrovertible scientific truth, nobody can be a denier of it - except that you set an impossible bar to reach. Evolution is not an "incontrovertible scientific truth", nor is relativity - yet someone can still be an evolution denier. As I say, you set up some false premises to support precisely the view you wanted to put forward.

    Incidentally, the sun does orbit the earth.

    > Nobody debates such things. Nobody argues the toss about whether the world is flat or round.

    You don't get out much, do you? Seriously - there are still flat-earthers around, as well as those that claim the sun is made of iron, those that are young-earth creationists, just as there are those that ignore 150 years of climate science and focus on 1998 like it's the holy grail - and there is an interesting overlap between these groups at times.

    > But here you use strongly emotive language like the term 'denier' and then proceed to argue the points. If it was truly incontrovertible you wouldn't be debating this. If you are debating then clearly the debate is not over.

    A circular argument. There are two debates in reality - the one in scientific literature, and the one in public. In scientific circles, there is a healthy debate - over precise mechanisms, likely rises, how bad it could get, nitty-gritty details etc. There is *no credible debate in the scientific literature* over whether there is an anthropogenic warming trend. The *evidence* is *overwhelming*.

    In public, however, there is a so-called debate between those that choose to accept the scientific analysis, and those that do not. Those that do not will pull together a vast array of contradictory viewpoints, poorly researched opinion pieces, blogs, articles, polemics, vanity pieces, and occasionally misrepresented scientific papers in an effort to bolster their *prejudice* that AGW is not happening. The weight given to this "side" far outweighs its importance - and then people like you come along, see all the hubbub and assume "hey, there's a debate, the science must not be settled!". Many vocal denialists do not care about being right - all they care about is asserting that AGW is wrong as loudly as possible, and by spreading confusion and manufacturing a "debate" where none truly exists they shift public opinion away from the actual science.

    The IPCC summary combines decades of research by thousands of scientists. Pointing at 1998 in the HAdCRU dataset and saying *look, no global warming* is laughable in the extreme in the face of this work - and yet this lie persists. Its persisted ever since 1998, its recycled, repeated again and again in an echo-chamber of anti-science. It has no meaning, and yet here we have someone given prominent space on the BBC to promote a view that is completely at odds with established scientific reality.

    Seriously - if you want to take on AGW, start from first principles. Explain why the radiative physics that predicts CO2-induced warming is wrong, and explain why every single paper published in the last 150 years that you are contradicting is also wrong. Because - if you want to call this a debate - that is what you'll have to do. Pointing at the hottest year in a single partial dataset and thinking you've toppled AGW is just childish.

    Because - lest we forget - the HadCRU dataset is just one of several, and does not include the Arctic. Incidentally, this is the region which has experienced the fastest warming, and - lo and behold - if you look at a dataset that actually covers the entire globe, like NASA's GISS, 1998 has already been beaten out as the hottest year by 2005.

    Also - the internationally established period for assessing climate is 30 years. Short-term trends are interesting sometimes, but anything less thatn 30 years is too short to reliably separate the signal from the noise.


    > - I struggle to understand why the T rises over the last century have to be due to CO2. we know if was warmer in the past (eg. the Holocene from 10000 - 3000 years ago) was several degrees warmer. Why is todays warming so unsual ?

    Really? You want to go on record and say that it's been "several degrees" warmer in the last 10,000 years?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

    In any event, your position is horiffically simplistic. Aside from every other factor that affects warming now and in the past, do you not even stop to consider something as obvious as rate of change and how that can affect the biosphere?

    > - I struggle with the claim of consensus ... what about Sun-Ichi Akasofu, Ian Plimer, John Christie, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer etc etc. How can the science be settled if people of this stature say its all a load of rubbish ?

    Hah! All people that get far more air time than they deserve. What about the thousands of scientists who actually worked on the IPCC report that you've never heard of, and whose voice is only heard in the scientific papers you ignore? What about the extensive debunking and discrediting of every single piece of garbage these people come out with? That you name-check these people here without evidence (and without actually putting forward any evidence) is a badly-formed argument from false authority. Of course, the gambit is that by mentioning them you sow the seeds of confusion, knowing that it would take a whole book to thoroughly debunk those figures, and leaving me open to the much-misused (among denier circles) accusation of ad-hominem dismissal of their arguments. Let me just say in passing that - among the many, many other things he's wrong about - Ian Plimer is one of those that claims the sun is made of iron, and relied upon a doctored graph (that he knew to be fraudulent) and lied about the source when confronted. I'm not exaggerating for effect, it was a knowingly fraudulent graph, used to illustrate an exaggerated mid-20th century cooling period. This has been shown to be the case with damning evidence, and Plimer has avoided direct questioning on the subject.

    I find your post disingenuous, your arguments fallacious, your cherry-picking and ignoring of contrary positions dishonest, and the evidence for your position non-existent. Of course, that doesn't stop you giving the impression of a "debate".

    Your post is filled with slightly hysterical conspiracy-theory type smears about bias in the MSM or findings going unreported, claims that science putting forward a strong position is condescending, and assertions that by engaging in the "debate" there must be some truth in it. I suggest you look up the "overton window" for to illustrate why this last line of thinking is wrong. We tend to believe the answer lies somewhere between two extremes, but in actuality - particularly in science - this is rarely the case. More often, one "side" is correct, while the other is just plain wrong.

    As an aside, I note that one of DavidCOG's comments has been referred to the moderators. Interesting.

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  • 47. At 11:11am on 14 Oct 2009, Mike Haseler of SCEF wrote:

    Paul, two superb articles, and nice to finally see the BBC are giving both the evidence for and against manmade global warming. One point worth adding regarding forecasting is that I checked the Met Office's own yearly global warming forecasts for the last nine years and each and everyone was high (above 50% confidence interval). On the face of it, the probability for such a run of bad forecasts with an accurate model is 1 in 512 (less than 0.2%).

    Another point is the common misconception that it is difficult to predict short term and easy to predict long term. This clearly shows the lack of any understanding of noise in systems or at least only a knowledge of white guassian noise where short term variation dominates. In many systems (and climate seems to be one - iceages!!!), long term variation dominates over short term variation. This is called "pink noise" (honestly it is!) or 1/f^n noise. The characteristic of such noise is that long term random variation dominates, much like the randoms wobbles too and fro of a drunk across a dark beach. And if anyone wants to see a "real" prediction of climate change see it here: (http://www.tursiops.cc/fm/) under pink noise. (the first third is climate 1850-2010)

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  • 48. At 1:02pm on 14 Oct 2009, happy_red wrote:

    Why refer to scientists who oppose the MMGW scenario as 'sceptics' and those who support it as 'scientists'?

    They are both scientists with equal validity when their research is being displayed.

    You are absolutely correct in reporting that none of the models predicted the cooling over the last decade. That can only mean one thing - the models are wrong and should therefore be removed from any debate until they can successfully model the future (an easily provable thing to do).

    Using any opinions or reports from the Hadley Centre may be problematic - they only have one reason to exist, and that is to support the governments pro-warming stance. If they announced there was no problem ,they would be closed - simples.

    There has always been cooling and warming. Our trace amounts of CO2 are statistically insignificant and it's about time at least one BBC writer broke the current evangelical trend.

    Well done for sticking your head above the parapet. Now watch as the ecomaniacs declare you a heretic and call for your head! They will question your parentage, your sanity, your professional credentials - but none of them will present you with any evidence that you are wrong.

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  • 49. At 1:05pm on 14 Oct 2009, typicallistener wrote:

    I was a bit disappointed to read your original story. I realised I'd been looking forward to some warmer temperatures over the next few years. Clearly the current climate change models have to be worked on if they didn't predict this recent cooler period. Let's hope the Met office are right for once, and things start to warm up soon.

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  • 50. At 1:13pm on 14 Oct 2009, happy_red wrote:

    voidifremoved - stop quoting the IPCC (or its' thousands of unknown scientists). They are a political body, not a scientific one.

    Many of the contributing scientists are at odds with how their data has been used by the IPCC and some of the 'headline' report items (the Hockey Stick graph) have been completely and utterly discredited.

    There are many scientists who disagree with the MMGW scenario and many who agree. To dismiss the 'sceptics' simply because of their stance is rather pathetic.

    You also use wikipedia as a source of fact. That says it all to me and is a sad reflection of how the research carried out by scientists over the years has been completely undermined by an on-line encyclopaedia created by pretty much anyone who feels like contributing, but controlled by a few evangelists.

    The Antarctic ice is getting thicker, the climate is cooling and still people haven't woken up to the lie.

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  • 51. At 1:39pm on 14 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @happy_red

    > Why refer to scientists who oppose the MMGW scenario as 'sceptics' and those who support it as 'scientists'?

    Because the number of actual, publishing, active climate scientists who oppose AGW is vanishingly small.

    The amount of contradictory peer-reviewed research is practically non-existent.

    > They are both scientists with equal validity when their research is being displayed.

    Perhaps if there were some peer-reviewed research published in a reputable journal we could make a comparison. The last study showed something like 0% of papers published contradicted the AGW theory. Unless that changes, the situation is similar to creationists demanding equal standing with evolutionary biologists.

    > You are absolutely correct in reporting that none of the models predicted the cooling over the last decade.

    Wrong on both counts.

    > Using any opinions or reports from the Hadley Centre may be problematic - they only have one reason to exist, and that is to support the governments pro-warming stance. If they announced there was no problem ,they would be closed - simples.

    Again with the conspiracy theories...

    > There has always been cooling and warming.

    There have always been forest fires, therefore arson does not exist, right?

    > Our trace amounts of CO2 are statistically insignificant and

    Did you understand how the radiative physics behind CO2-induced warming actually works? How volume fraction is less important than total mass? Did you miss the part where CO2 concentrations are now higher than at any time in human history? Statistical significance has a meaning, and you are abusing that meaning. I imagine you'd use the same argument when it came to trace amounts of plutonium in a drink, right? "A few parts per million? That cannot do any harm..." - that's a disingenuous and simplistic argument to make.

    > it's about time at least one BBC writer broke the current evangelical trend.

    Smear the scientists and science reporting as "evangelical". Classy.

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  • 52. At 1:54pm on 14 Oct 2009, Friday wrote:

    Being rather unfit, I decided to take up running 6 months ago, running the same route every day and recording my times. I show the data to two friends.

    The first looks at the overall trend and notices that, overall, my times are gradually improving. He notes that I have good days and bad days - perhaps the weather was bad, or I wasn't feeling particularly motivated. So I don't always improve on my time, but he's happy to say that I seem to be getting fitter (hurrah!). As a bonus, he tells me that, on six days out of the last week, I recorded a 'top ten' time.

    The second looks for my best time, which was 11 days ago. He then states that I haven't improved over the last 11 days - hardly surprising! He suggests that perhaps the running isn't improving my fitness after all. In fact, he suggests I give up on the running, since my fitness levels have clearly declined!

    In this case, it would seem obvious that the second friend is being unfair, is not looking at the data as a whole and is, for some reason, choosing to interpret the data in a way deliberately selected to be as mean to me as possible!

    It is precisely the same situation with the interpretation of the Met Office data. The Met Office page to which Paul Hudson links interprets the data using the first approach, and I would suspect most climate scientists and most data analysts would do likewise. Yes, there are ups and downs but the overall trend in global temperature is upward. The article, however, places emphasis on the second approach. As a result, it can hardly be surprising when it is pointed out that the resulting interpretation is somewhat - skewed.

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  • 53. At 1:56pm on 14 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @happy_red

    > voidifremoved - stop quoting the IPCC (or its' thousands of unknown scientists). They are a political body, not a scientific one.

    Hah. The IPCC is a political body whose goal is to summarise the work of thousands of scientists, with their full participation and input into the process. Do you dismiss their work, and their research? All their papers?

    > Many of the contributing scientists are at odds with how their data has been used by the IPCC and some of the 'headline' report items (the Hockey Stick graph) have been completely and utterly discredited.

    For "many", read "a very small percentage". And of those, the *majority* complain that the reports are far too conservative - which they are, sticking as they do to all the least controversial findings. The hockey stick is not a headline item, it has not been discredited, and has been replicated dozens of times using different methodologies. Repeating lies does not make them true - especially when you can just go to the IPCC report, find the relevant papers, look up the rebuttals... its an open process, and the evidence is all laid out for you. Note: howling on anti-AGW blogs does not count as discrediting.

    > There are many scientists who disagree with the MMGW scenario and many who agree. To dismiss the 'sceptics' simply because of their stance is rather pathetic.

    Nice straw man - the "sceptics" are universally dismissed because of the content of their position and the poor science backing their claims, not because of the position itself. Debunking of incorrect claims and unsound science is widespread.

    The "sceptics" have very, very little published material in this regard. Hence, they are ignored as irrelevant. Perhaps you could direct me to the paper published in a decent journal that asserts there is no warming because it stopped in 1998, and that has not been torn to shreds by people that actually know what they are talking about?

    Also your use of "many" and "many" - are they equivalent, those two "many"s? No, they are not. And "scientist" does not equal "climate scientist".


    > You also use wikipedia as a source of fact.

    LOL. I use wikipedia as the first available link for an easily accessible graph that can be found elsewhere in peer-reviewed literature. You choose not to dispute the content of that graph, rather where it happens to be hosted. Go on - do you dispute the *content* of that graph?


    > The Antarctic ice is getting thicker, the climate is cooling and still people haven't woken up to the lie.

    Yup, just keep repeating it, ignore all that difficult "science", and claim there's a big conspiracy - that'll make it true. Well done, very rational.

    I'm still waiting for someone to start from the beginning and explain why 150 years of physics is wrong.

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  • 54. At 2:41pm on 14 Oct 2009, PLN wrote:

    There is a huge difference between sciences such as chemistry, or physics - where controllable, verifiable and repeatable experiments can be made to disprove conjectures and hypotheses - and those such as meteorology and climate science.

    Theories live or die by such experiments. The fact that experiments cannot be done means that anyone - and I mean anyone - can have an opinion based on selecting the facts to fit the theories.

    As has been pointed out before, in the 1970's we were told that we are due for an ice age. There is some reason to suggest this - namely that there is evidence of cycles of ice-ages in the past etc.

    But the problem for the ice-age hypothesis and the global warming hypothesis is that no experiment can disprove either of them.

    So we are left with hypotheses only. You can believe whichever you like.

    One other thing - the term 'denier'. What a sad world we live in. To call someone who doesn't agree with you a 'denier' does not improve your argument. It's a defensive term, used to try and put off dissent. It is also an attempt to associate such people with other kinds of denial. Sad indeed.

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  • 55. At 2:57pm on 14 Oct 2009, JackMaxDaniels wrote:

    voidifremoved wrote:

    "I'm still waiting for someone to start from the beginning and explain why 150 years of physics is wrong."

    The fact is Physics has NEVER been completely correct during all the 150 years you state. In fact physics is an ongoing process of trying to find out the truth of the universe and how it behaves. During all of the 150 years you note the assumptions and statements made have been changed, sometimes dramatically, over time. I note the CERN project to try and find the GOD particle to help explain universal gravity.

    I also note Gravity and Magnetics are two fields not explained by physics at all, other than measurement.

    Personally I think a lot of "climate science" seems based on statistics rather than anything solid.

    I don't pretend to know the truth but would kindly like to point out how hopelessly flawed the current weather models are.

    As a farmers son I have been monitoring the weather during this years harvest so I can plan when and where to harvest the crops.

    I can state, without doubt, that the MET's weather forecast has been utterly useless this year. There has almost been not one day I could rely on the weather forecast issued by the MET for the next day never mind the next few days.

    While I admit the movement of the gulf stream may be somewhat unpredictable - I will remain very much a sceptic - simply because if a model cannot forecast tomorrows weather, with what seems practically no certainty, I hold no doubts that forecasts for years to come will be completely hopeless.

    This remains a fact regardless of thousands of well paid IPCC scientists and reviewed papers. Perhaps before predicting global warming they should sort out the weather forecast !

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  • 56. At 3:36pm on 14 Oct 2009, Llafian wrote:

    "Global Warming" as it turns out is the wrong label to put on the future we are facing. To imagine that climate change is happening in a straight line shows a lack of understanding of the complex and multitudonous model that is the Earth. What we do know from current observations that the climate is changeing. I have been campaining for the last 40 years and have watched the subtle changes in the climate. Those on the denial side of the argument are confusing the issue focusing on the "warming" aspect. When surely the argument is to stop polluting the environment, damageing the health of man and to move away from unsustainable fossil fuels.This in the long run will be also be a cheaper option. Dont let the denyers blow smoke in your eyes.

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  • 57. At 3:43pm on 14 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @Paulnaj
    > There is a huge difference between sciences such as chemistry, or physics - where controllable, verifiable and repeatable experiments can be made to disprove conjectures and hypotheses - and those such as meteorology and climate science.

    ... this is such a casually sweeping statement of misinformation it beggars belief. You do know how much physics and chemistry goes in to climate science don't you? You do know how evidence and observation from diverse fields including biology, geology, astrophysics etc all point in the same direction? You do know that the basic physical principles of CO2-induced warming can be recreated in any secondary-school laboratory? You do understand that climate is a different thing to weather? You do understand that just because a system shows some chaotic behaviour, does not mean it is completely unpredictable over the long term, right?

    > Theories live or die by such experiments. The fact that experiments cannot be done

    Yes they can. And they are. No, we can't run the planet for a few decades to see what happens, but the idea that you can't use experimental data is ludicrous.

    > means that anyone - and I mean anyone - can have an opinion based on selecting the facts to fit the theories.

    And don't they just... see eg. this blog for some prime dishonest cherry-picking.

    > As has been pointed out before, in the 1970's we were told that we are due for an ice age. There is some reason to suggest this - namely that there is evidence of cycles of ice-ages in the past etc.

    An oft-repeated misrepresentation. Amazing how all the talking points get trotted out one after the other in threads like this...

    See here

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

    In fact, see the homepage for common arguments, read the rebuttals, and come back if you take issue with the papers cited:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    > But the problem for the ice-age hypothesis and the global warming hypothesis is that no experiment can disprove either of them.

    I cannot prove that when I jump out of a plane without a parachute I will slam into the ground at high speed and die - I can mathematically predict what will most likely happen using Newton's equations based on past observations and well-understood physical principles, but unless I actually do it, I won't *know* for sure. I mean, there are cases where people have survived, so it could happen. Plus, Newtonian mechanics has already been shown to break down in some situations and I wouldn't be accounting for unpredictable wind effects or thermals so how can I rely on it to be correct now? OTOH, the *overwhelming probability* is sufficient to convince me that running this experiment would be bad idea. And funnily enough, these predictions would still have been convincing long before we had planes to jump out of - because they're not based on *watching people jump out of planes to their death*, they are based on extrapolation of small-scale experiments to general principles. As I keep saying - to deny CO2-induced warming is to deny something that anyone with a lightbulb, a couple of beakers and a few hours to waste can verify for themselves (and we've had a century of much more sophisticated verification and atmospheric study than that).

    Current confidence levels for the *minimum severity* of AGW are at 95%. Yes there is uncertainty, but its not about whether it is happening at all - its about how bad it will be.

    > So we are left with hypotheses only. You can believe whichever you like.

    You believe what you like. Science doesn't care what you believe, and unfortunately it still all points in the same direction whether you believe it or not, and whether you choose to ignore the evidence or not.

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  • 58. At 4:45pm on 14 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    I read this comment from another reader on another site:

    "In a response to my complaint to the BBC I was told that they receive far more criticism about their coverage from “sceptics” (there’s a surprise) than from those who accept the IPCC position, so I wonder if this is an attempt to ‘redress the balance’ in their reporting. Does telling people what they want to hear now have a higher priority in the BBC news editorial policy than evidence?"

    I certainly hope that's not the direction BBC is taking. Certainly, there is a large media market for global warming denial, with many loud zealots complaining every chance they get when the media accurately reports on the science, presenting results at odds with their ideologies. BBC can appease this crowd or it can focus on presenting objective accurate information. The silent majority values accuracy. I certainly hope Paul will correct the inaccuracies in his article, some identified in my comment #42 and elsewhere by astute readers.

    Lastly, I wonder what prompted Paul to consider Don Easterbrook a climate expert. It seems his quotes are related to some shoddy unpublished work, discussed here:

    http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2008/11/11/easterbrook-and-the-coming-global-cooling/

    Easterbrook's scribble-graph mislabels the MWP and LIA by about 1000 years I might add.

    It seems that anyone with a heartbeat and a contrarian view passes as a climate science expert among media circles.

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  • 59. At 4:45pm on 14 Oct 2009, Redtaildd wrote:

    About 12 years ago I was at a party with two friends who worked for the National Weather Service (US) who commented that data showed that the atmosphere was cooling but that they weren't supposed to say anything about it.

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  • 60. At 5:08pm on 14 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    If anything Paul you need to clear up why you failed to mention the record high extent in Antarctic sea ice, the growing Arctic sea ice (against all "expert" predictions of Thermageddon), the 2c fall in Central England temperatures, etc etc. We can't just ignore data because it doesn't fit the prejudice of "carbon advisors" and other assorted non-jobbers.

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  • 61. At 5:11pm on 14 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    MarkB2020,

    "BBC ... can focus on presenting objective accurate information."

    Yes, I agree. I'm still awaiting their report on the Yamal tree-ring fraud where trees were chosen from a large subset purely to support a hypothesis the author backed.

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  • 62. At 5:12pm on 14 Oct 2009, ronbreen wrote:

    I do not recall seeing mention made of the fact that many of the "scientist's" comments, as well as lay supporters of the global warming paranoia, frequently use words such as "belief", and "anecdote" to in some way support their view of the future for the planet.
    It appears to me to be more a stand on a religious or cult manifesto than repeatable scientific experiment.
    Something as robust as Newton's observations relating to gravity would be far more acceptable. Yes, he had it easy, he could repeat his experiments whereas the global warming camp, like so many other niches in the scientific community, cannot reproduce a single experiment - they can only hypothocate, postulate and provide prose which is intended to make the "uneducated" drool with admiration, cower in fear and find solace in knowing that help is surely on the way.
    While it is also useful to interrogate the actual scientific data presented by global warming proponents, I believe a broader brush would help sweep the nonsense away and allow more focus to be applied on facts that can be examined.

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  • 63. At 7:19pm on 14 Oct 2009, tegan_l wrote:

    Here is an interesting paper that you and some of your readers may like. It is about the scientific principals of forecasting and how this relates to what the IPCC has done.

    If I don’t trust my weather man about next week, how am I going to trust a model making predictions 10 to 50 years in the future? These models couldn’t even predict the current situation without "adjustments" being made after the fact. Doesn’t sound very reliable!

    http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st308

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  • 64. At 8:13pm on 14 Oct 2009, oneplace wrote:

    Dear Paul Hudson:

    Thank you for your post. I have a comment and a challenge.

    Although this is not a peer-reviewed journal, and you are not a climate scientist, you are a climate correspondent. As such, I think you have an obligation to pursue the truth, and to convey your pursuit as fairly and reliably as possible. I don’t think you have done so. I think that has been the cause of much rancor from your readers.

    For you to assert that, “it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures,” and not acknowledge the disagreement from credible, transparent and scientific sources is irresponsible to the citizens who deserve accurate and verifiable information on this topic, which generates more than its fair share of disinformation.

    Those who have criticized your article based on your omission of a large body of credible sources, in favor of a small number of dissenters—whether credible or not—is cause to put you on notice that you might be distorting the landscape of the discussion, that the proportionality of your arguments leads to a less accurate sense of the debate. Those who defend your article based on valid and persistent questions about climate data have done more than you have done.

    Finally, while it is your further role to provide a forum for public discourse, I believe you have set a poor tone for this conversation. By taking less care than your readers to be accurate, you may contribute to a climate tolerant of inaccuracy. If you do not pursue a comprehensive explanation, you encourage debate that leaves out facts contrary to one’s argument, instead of a debate that pursues the facts wherever they may lead. Your first loyalty should be to the citizenry, not to your opinion, and certainly never to those who would seek to obfuscate the issues for personal gain.

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  • 65. At 9:32pm on 14 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @ biopingo1

    > Yes, I agree. I'm still awaiting their report on the Yamal tree-ring fraud where trees were chosen from a large subset purely to support a hypothesis the author backed.

    Wow, you owe several people an apology for that one sentence - so many misrepresentations its difficult to know where to start.

    1. Steve McIntyre - a statistician - analysed work done on tree-ring temperature proxies which form one of the many sources of data used to produce (among others) the famous "hockey-stick" graph. His claim is that a subset of sampling sites are left out, and that Keith Briffa (one of the principal authors) spent the last 10 years "stonewalling" and refusing to provide data so his findings could be verified.
    2. Rather than publish a scientific paper critiquing the work by Briffa et al, McIntyre posted his findings on his blog and - very strongly implied wrongdoing on Briffa's part through cherry-picking.
    3. This implication has been picked up throughout the usual anti-AGW channels, and turned into strident accusations of fraud, calls for resignations, and yet more claims that AGW is a fraud, that the "hockey-stick" is discredited and that the whole IPCC report lies in tatters. Unfounded accusations you are only too happy to repeate here.
    4. McIntyre distanced himself from these accusations somewhat in the comments to his blog, claiming that he never went that far in his original post.
    5. McIntyre's findings do not actually alter the shape of temperature reconstructions (ie. even if he's right, the hockey stick is completely unaffected). This makes this work pretty well irrelevant, especially as the Mann Hockey Stick is one of a dozen or so independent reconstructions, all using different methodologies and all with the same findings.
    6. Several dendrochronologists (who know far more about tree-rings than McIntyre) have weighed in and countered McIntyre's findings, claiming his analysis is unsound in the first instance.
    7. The accusations of "stonewalling" over data have been proven unfounded when it turned out that after originally being approached for the data many years ago, Briffa cordially pointed out that it wasn't his to provide, and that it was obtained from Russian colleagues, to whom he would pass on the data request. As it turns out, McIntyre has had the data in question - received from these Russians - since 2005.

    What it comes down to is: the trees were omitted because they were not good proxies for temperature. McIntyre wants them included because they don't show warming when thermometers show there was in fact warming - and because attacking that upward curve in the "hockey stick" is his Quixotic life quest, he's convinced that leaving them out proves... something. That's the whole point - we are trying to use tree-rings to determine what the temperature was back in time when we don't have direct measurements. These trees overlap with a period when we do have direct measurements and the calibration process would indicate that these trees represent bad data, and should not be used. What McIntyre should do is *publish* rather than making baseless personal attacks in a public forum.

    So there you have it. Never let facts get in the way of a good smear, eh? Your one sentence led to several paragraphs trying to explain why precisely you are so offensively, casually wrong. This is the entire problem with this "debate" - it takes maybe 5 seconds for you to muddy these waters, and it takes me a good half an hour to try and restore clarity. And I'm willing to bet money that not only won't I change your mind, but that some passing reader will see this exchange, and be left thinking there is a "controversy". Either way, no matter how vast the weight of science that disagrees with you I cannot win.

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  • 66. At 10:11pm on 14 Oct 2009, Mr-Mxpixit wrote:

    Paul,

    Splendid work with your groundbreaking story. Keep in mind that skeptics and minority skeptical views are the very thing that has ended flat-earth mentality in the past. Today the media functions as an enthusiastic cheerleader for global warming. Their core message is man-made CO2 causes environmental catastrophe. There are good reasons for the message. The best is to wean populations off of unsustainable fossil fuel and adopt alternative energy. But underneath this green story is another agenda, entirely political, aimed at downsizing western market-based economies and distributing the revenues from green taxes to third world developing countries. This is the likely reason for the vehemence that the alarmist camp fights their battles with. They believe they deserve what the western world has built, (not without exploitation BTW.)

    So, the global warming debate is not really about science or CO2 or climate trends on Earth. It's about social bias and philosophy. The developing nations want reparations from the West under the guise of environmental damage. But were it just about science it can be answered very quickly.

    Simply read a major proponent of climate change, NASA's acknowledgment of what's happening in Antarctica. Antarctica contains 90 percent of the Earth's ice - 90 percent. It also contains 80 percent of Earth's fresh water. Since satellite measurement of the Antarctic ice pack began in the early 70s - there has been about a 5 percent INCREASE in ice extent. That is, the Antarctic representing by far and away the vast majority of fresh water and ice on Earth - is GROWING. NASA scientists have three theories as to why this is happening. But the toady AGW media refuses to publish this fact for obvious reasons. It pretty well puts to bed the whole theory of anthropogenic global warming. Check it out for yourselves. And remember NASA's scientists seem to qualify even under alarmist demands as fully "qualified" expert opinion.
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/antarctic_melting.html

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  • 67. At 10:17pm on 14 Oct 2009, oneplace wrote:

    Dear voidifremoved: "I cannot win"

    I'm assuming there is no winning. Only that we express our opinions and the reasons for forming them, and by so doing, deepen the conversation.

    But we cannot do that with incendiary rhetoric. When I scan through the posts and see words like, "fraud," "nonjobbers," "offensive," "cult manifesto," "Deniers," and "Warmists," and other ad hominem language, I think it undermines the credibility of the argument, rather than making the stronger statement that the writer intends.

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  • 68. At 11:06pm on 14 Oct 2009, PeterHN wrote:

    Pingo

    "Yes, I agree. I'm still awaiting their report on the Yamal tree-ring fraud where trees were chosen from a large subset purely to support a hypothesis the author backed."

    It's a disgrace that the BBC let you posts such slanderous nonsense.





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  • 69. At 11:13pm on 14 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    Voidifremoved,

    Only one tree in Siberia led to the hockey stick shape in the Briffa (2000) study. The only other hockey stick proxies are the equally flawed Bristlecone Pines and Finnish lake sediments. Without these three "proxies" (given enough monkeys typing on a typewriter, you'll find one making sense), historical temperature reconstructions would show that we have seen absolutely nothing unusual in our climate in recent times. McIntyre has shown this repeatedly at Climate Audit and is understandable by anyone who has a decent grasp of statistics. You don't need to be a dendro expert.

    Cherry picking individual proxies out of many thousands, just because they match recent temperatures, is poor science. If you do not understand this then I can not help you. You have to decide before you look at the data what your selection criteria is. This is basic statistics.

    There are very serious questions to be asked of the likes of Mann, Briffa, Steig, Jones and Hansen as to why they let confirmation bias affect their studies. This story has been told on the internet, and will form a fascinating story to be told on this period of scientific misadventure.

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  • 70. At 11:30pm on 14 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    Mr Mxpixit writes:

    "Keep in mind that skeptics and minority skeptical views are the very thing that has ended flat-earth mentality in the past."

    True. There was a time when just a few scientists were hypothesizing that human-induced greenhouse gases would warm the planet. Through observations leading to a preponderance of evidence, that has grown stronger each decade, scientists (generally cautious and skeptical by nature), began to accept the theory.

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

    "Today the media functions as an enthusiastic cheerleader for global warming."

    The media does tend to promote erroneous claims that global warming is a good thing from time to time. But they spend much of their time recycling the same dubious skeptical views from the same handful of scientists and non-scientists (mainly the latter), many of whom are practically household names by now, in search of "balance". When one examines the views of the major scientific academies and organizations, the balance of conclusions found in the peer-reviewed literature, and the surveys of individual qualified scientists, the consensus is overwhelming, and the mainstream media coverage on the whole appears woefully disconnected.

    The so-called climate change "skeptics" tend to ironically be quite the opposite of what good skeptics are. I hope their behavior doesn't turn the public off from skeptism in general years down the road, because there's always a necessary place for honest skeptism in science.

    "It pretty well puts to bed the whole theory of anthropogenic global warming."

    This is a good example of how a scientific finding often gets spun by media. Hint: you might want to read the first line of your cited reference: "Global temperatures are increasing."

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  • 71. At 11:37pm on 14 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    bioPingo (#61),

    Voidifremoved's post #65 provides a good summary. I think it's revealing that "skeptics" spend more of their time slinging mud at scientists, insinuating fraud, hiding data, general misconduct, demanding attention, etc. than doing actual science and submitting their blog work for review. Since global warming denial is motivated by politics, with the target audience being the unsuspecting layperson, it's not a big surprise.

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  • 72. At 11:51pm on 14 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @oneplace

    > I'm assuming there is no winning. Only that we express our opinions and the reasons for forming them, and by so doing, deepen the conversation.

    I'm afraid that is a pointless exercise. Is evolution a more accurate representation of verifiable science than creationism or not? Where does the preponderence of evidence lie? Perhaps we should all just talk about it and meet somewhere in the middle, yes? That's the way we end up with teach-the-controversy in school science lessons.

    Such an approach lacks any intellectual rigour.

    And when I refer to "winning" I mean in terms of shaping and expanding public awareness.

    Those that have accepted the science are generally convinced that action needs to be taken to prevent serious and readily avoidable consequences for humanity in our lifetime.

    Those that have not, are generally convinced that no action is needed.

    By not explicitly accepting the scientific case, but instead "deepening the conversation" all you really do is fall firmly in the "no action needed" camp. All too often, the loud anti-AGW proponents care not for the rightness of their own position, only for the apparent wrongness of those they see as their opponents. You don't have to believe them for them to "win" - you just have to have unwarranted doubt about the AGW case. This is why characters such as Ian Plimer can spout hundreds of mutually contradictory talking points - they don't have to be right, they just have to muddy the waters (a rhetorical technique called the Gish Gallop, the irony of Plimer employing which is more than a little sad).

    By rights it should be enough for me to point at the mountain of evidence and say "there you go, make up your own mind", or the nice helpful synthesis reports from the IPCC. Increasingly, I'm finding this is not the case, and that the anti-AGW case is made ever stronger by unconvinced doubters in the middle.

    And don't get me wrong, there is uncertainty in the AGW case as there is in all things scientific - its just that the uncertainty is in the detail, the scale, the effect, the timing - not the overall thesis. Just as there is in evolutionary biology.

    The parallels between anti-AGW sentiment and anti-evolution sentiment are striking, unsurprising, all-too depressing and very, very hard to combat.

    And no-one here has yet shown the basic radiative physics of CO2-induced warming are wrong, yet they feel free to spout fallacy after fallacy to show it is not happening, while ignoring the basic principles that lead us to look for warming in the first place.

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  • 73. At 00:19am on 15 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    "And no-one here has yet shown the basic radiative physics of CO2-induced warming are wrong"

    In a chaotic system, it is folly to assume a single variable's laboratory effects will manifest through all the chaos and appear unmodified. We have to look at the empirics, and the empirical data suggest that CO2 does not drive temperatures. (That's the real world, not fantasy computer models). Such a shame, huh?

    Why do I get the impression warmists are disappointed when presented with evidence that we have Apolocalypse Postponed yet again? It seems perverse.

    Why does CO2 not drive temperatures? Well hopefully climatologists will get round to answering this question; that is once they have finished:

    i) pre-adjusting data to fit their hypothesis,
    ii) mining tree-ring data for one special tree that can divine world climate for centuries (on the basis of fluking a match with 20th century temperatures)
    iii) ignoring the hundreds of horrendously sited weather stations,
    iv) acting like lobbyists for policy rather than scientists.

    It's a shame science has stooped so low in recent history that AGW is still accepted and taught in classrooms. I fear for the whole of science when the scam is exposed in the mainstream as it has already been done on scientifically advanced internet discussion forums. I hope there won't be collateral damage to other sciences. We'll see.

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  • 74. At 00:38am on 15 Oct 2009, RyanT521 wrote:

    This material appears to represent a typical misunderstanding of the science. Since climate is about long-term averages, how can we justifiably pick a single base year for making comparisons, when individual years are highly subject to variability in ocean-atmosphere heat exchange (like the strongest el niño of the century in 1998)? Trend vs. variability:
    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/smooth.jpg

    We shouldn't "strip" ENSO or anything from the record, but if you're going to use an analysis that determines anomaly based on a 30-year baseline average, you can't just pick a single year. Just as it'd be invalid to quantify CLIMATE warming based on the coolest year on record. And there is a difference between projecting macro-climatic trends and trying to predict shorter-term internal variability. It's well-acknowledged that annual to decadal projections remain a challenge. There's actually more confidence in the longer-term projections, since much of the "noisy" fluctuation cancels out in the averages. Persistent CO2 forcing and it's feedbacks don't.

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  • 75. At 00:40am on 15 Oct 2009, oneplace wrote:

    Dear voidifremoved:

    I agree with you, and with all the evidence-based opinions you have stated here. I do explicitly accept the scientific case.

    I appreciate all the folks who have taken the time to comment. Even those I think are wrong. Even those who I think focus on a small gap in evidence as a reason to overturn an overwhelming preponderance of evidence. Even those who I think have paid no attention to a football-stadium-sized group of experts discussing the subject in favor of the guy standing outside the stadium and couldn't get a ticket.

    I didn't mean to suggest that we should "meet in the middle" when I say we should deepen the conversation. I don't think my approach lacks rigor. I only meant to say that sometimes you can close minds in an effort to change them. Worse, I've seen people get more entrenched in their unfounded opinions, more unwilling to inform themselves because of a vitriolic countervailing opinion, no matter how well researched (I'm not accusing you of that).

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  • 76. At 00:47am on 15 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    bioPingo1 writes:

    "Why does CO2 not drive temperatures? Well hopefully climatologists will get round to answering this question"

    That question is no more easily answered than "Why is the Earth flat?", "Why didn't the Moon landing happen?", "why is evolution theory false?" and "why are aliens abducting humans and the government covering it up?" although there are "advanced internet discussion forums" filled with zealots supremely confident that they've exposed such "scams".

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  • 77. At 01:48am on 15 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    MarkB2020,

    So why do CO2 changes not precede temperature changes in history? They only follow them by around 800 years, due to ocean outgassing. Another inconvenient truth that one.

    Surely if it is a dominant factor we ought to be able to see this in historical temperatures, but we clearly don't.

    (Of course, the likes of Mann and Briffa have tried to re-write the science using "novel" statistical methods with a pre-determined conclusion in mind, but we can ignore this sorry state of affairs thanks to the noble efforts of Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.)

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  • 78. At 02:07am on 15 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    "So why do CO2 changes not precede temperature changes in history? They only follow them by around 800 years, due to ocean outgassing. Another inconvenient truth that one.

    Surely if it is a dominant factor we ought to be able to see this in historical temperatures, but we clearly don't."

    Actually, we do. You appear to be referring to the periods in and out of ice ages, of which CO2 acts as an amplifier.

    "The sequence of events during this
    Termination is fully consistent with CO2 participating
    in the latter ~4200 years of the warming.
    The radiative forcing due to CO2 may serve
    as an amplifier of initial orbital forcing, which is
    then further amplified by fast atmospheric feedbacks
    (39) that are also at work for the present day
    and future climate."

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Discussion with a variety of peer-reviewed references linked on the topic:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

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  • 79. At 02:45am on 15 Oct 2009, ImranCan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 80. At 02:54am on 15 Oct 2009, ImranCan wrote:

    To DavidCOG and Voidifremoved
    And I'm not sure why you are so averse to listening to the scientific opinions of real earth and climate scientists. Why do you call them 'discredited' ? ... if they are so 'discredited', how do they hold the positions they hold ?

    Syu-Ichi Akasofu : founding director of the US Arctic research center, Univ. of Alaska. He has published over 550 books and papers (for gods sake)
    John Christie : Professor of Atmospheric Physics, Univ. of Alabama and IPCC lead author (for gods sake)
    Ian Plimer : Chair Professor of Earth and Environmental Science at Univ. of Adelaide and Emeritus Professor at Univ. of Melbourne
    Richard Lindzen : Chair Professor of Atmospheric Science MIT (for gods sake)
    etc etc.

    The only reason you state they are discredited is because you don't like what they say. Sorry .... but get over it.

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  • 81. At 03:14am on 15 Oct 2009, ImranCan wrote:

    To DavidCOG and Voidifremoved :
    And to address 1 more point from your diatribes .... you stated : "Really? You want to go on record and say that it's been "several degrees" warmer in the last 10,000 years?"

    I won't, but there are an abundance of scientific papers that say so - all can be found from the link below. The Holocene Optimum is a fact - a bit like the earth being round.

    http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/dont-panic-the-arctic-has-survived-warmer-temperatures-in-the-past/

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  • 82. At 05:38am on 15 Oct 2009, RyanT521 wrote:

    Somebody needs to do a bit more in-depth research on people like Plimer, Lindzen, and Christy (with a "y"), and the gaping flaws associated with their arguments.

    But the point regarding the BBC article in question is that despite what the author has apparently gleaned from non-climatologists, all of this (including the recognition of annual to decadal variability related to the oceans) has been covered before, by those who understand what the mainstream science has been saying all along:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/

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  • 83. At 06:36am on 15 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    Ryan, people distrust climatologists for the same reason they distrust car engineers (despite them knowing more about cars) or estate agents (who know more about the local housing market). It's because the vested interest they have means they have an incentive not to be honest, instead maximising personal gain. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas, and climate scientists or the IPCC won't come out and say "oops, we now don't have a problem - I'm not needed any more".

    This is why cross-discipline review is of far higher importance than peer review in cliquey disciplines like climate science. Statisticians, engineers, econometricians and geologists all come to the same conclusion when they investigate the AGW claims: it's a load of hot air.

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  • 84. At 07:09am on 15 Oct 2009, RyanT521 wrote:

    BioPingo1, I distrust unsubstantiated, broad-brush statements like "Statisticians, engineers, econometricians and geologists all come to the same conclusion". But there are plenty of them making it clear that they completely lack expertise in climatology. It appears that even the BBC's "climate correspondent" has some brushing up to do:
    http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/13/the-bbc-hudson-what-happened-to-global-warming-hottest-decade-in-recorded-history/

    It's also worth considering that many researchers are tenured, that science and notoriety associated with it is often about novelty and falsification, and that scientists would still be refining regional projections and our understanding of climatic details regardless. And the peer review and assessment process certainly doesn't lend itself to the kind of outright worldwide fraud that would be required to corrupt the science for so long. That's conspiracy theory nonsense at it's finest.

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  • 85. At 07:44am on 15 Oct 2009, RyanT521 wrote:

    I should add that I wouldn't trust a petroleum geologist or economist to interpret ocean-atmosphere trends and dynamics any more than I would trust a drug company rep to interpret medical data.

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  • 86. At 09:29am on 15 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @ImranCan

    > The Holocene Optimum is a fact - a bit like the earth being round.

    You do know the earth isn't round, right? Thats a simplification of a much more complicated shape.

    In similar fashion, you simplify the Holocene Optimum event which affected the *Arctic* - as such, "global" temperatures were barely affected by this period. You've singularly failed to back up your statement that it was "several degrees warmer" in the context of global temperature - which is of course what's under discussion.

    Also, referring to these things as "fact" is simplistic black-or-white thinking, and unscientific. There is strong evidence for the Holocene Optimum - on the balance of evidence, it took place and we have a good idea of what the temperatures were, and some of the effects on the climate during that period. Why is it that this level of certainty is "fact" when you mistakenly believe it aligns with your prejudices, whereas similar work by largely the same group of people is garbage when you don't like the findings?

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  • 87. At 11:29am on 15 Oct 2009, ADMcLa wrote:

    happy_red

    You were right to criticise voidifremoved for using wikipedia as a source of fact.

    (Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.)

    However his excuse was plausible.

    However there was no excuse for the United Nations using it to find an image to replace the broken Hockey Stick in the UNEP CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE COMPENDIUM 2009 and then accredit it to an anonymous “Hanno 2009” but provide no further reference to this in the document.

    What happened to the peer review process? Or does this not matter as long as the graph has the right shape?

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  • 88. At 11:41am on 15 Oct 2009, ImranCan wrote:

    To Voidifremoved :
    Indeed, I guess the earth isn't perfectly round ... so fair point. But I guess I was trying to make a comparison as per "it isn't flat..." .. so apologies if that was lost you.

    And you are also right ... the papers I provided all refer to the Arctic temperatures during the Holocene specificaly .... maybe the rest of the earth was comparitively cooler - I don't know. But given how much emphasis is placed on polar regions as a 'leading indicator' for global warming I'm struggling with that one. Or maybe it is possible to have it both ways ...eg. in the past the polar tmperatures are not indicative of global temperatures (convenient)... but they are now (convenient)...

    Does anyone out there have references for a cooler earth (global average) during the Holocene optimum ?

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  • 89. At 2:15pm on 15 Oct 2009, PLN wrote:

    @voidifremoved

    First of all, you seem to be making assumptions about my opinions in this matter. Try not to, please.

    In response to my statement ...
    >> There is a huge difference between sciences such as chemistry, or physics - where controllable, verifiable and repeatable experiments can be made to disprove conjectures and hypotheses - and those such as meteorology and climate science.

    ... you say: "... this is such a casually sweeping statement of misinformation it beggars belief."

    Er, no it's not. In fact, you later go on to say "we can't run the planet for a few decades to see what happens".

    That's exactly what I meant. This is what distinguishes physical theories such as Newtons Laws from statistical theories such as global warming.

    In response to my note ...
    >> As has been pointed out before, in the 1970's we were told that we are due for an ice age. There is some reason to suggest this - namely that there is evidence of cycles of ice-ages in the past etc.

    ... you say: "An oft-repeated misrepresentation. Amazing how all the talking points get trotted out one after the other in threads like this..."

    An 'oft-repeated misrepresentation' of what? There were stories of this in the media - I was actually pointing out that this a reasonable HYPOTHESIS based on experimental data (that is, cycles of ice-ages in the past). Whether it's 'true' or not wasn't the point I was making.

    In response to my statement ...
    >> But the problem for the ice-age hypothesis and the global warming hypothesis is that no experiment can disprove either of them.

    ... you say: "I cannot prove that when I jump out of a plane without a parachute I will slam into the ground at high speed and die ... etc."

    Well yes, you are of course correct. But you are trying to compare two very different things now. On the one hand, we have Newtons Law of Gravity, which is still used hundreds of years later to send ships to Mars and beyond. This theory is tested thousands and thousands of times daily. We DO use it to predict many things and, apart from some minor corrections made by Einstein, is essentially correct.

    I think my original post is reasonable, and doesn't make me someone who 'denies'.

    Paul

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  • 90. At 2:21pm on 15 Oct 2009, tegan_l wrote:

    Please read, and not just the executive summary but the entire paper!

    http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st308

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  • 91. At 2:37pm on 15 Oct 2009, NeilHamp wrote:

    Paul,

    I have just checked out your complete archive. I see you only have 2 blogs. Did you realize your views would give rise to all these comments when you first put pen to paper.

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  • 92. At 3:45pm on 15 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @Imrancan

    > Or maybe it is possible to have it both ways ...eg. in the past the polar tmperatures are not indicative of global temperatures (convenient)... but they are now (convenient)...

    How do you think they figured out what arctic temperatures were in the past? Proxies, like ice core sampling and tree ring growth. The same kind of proxies that can be used to determine global temperature elsewhere during this period of time, and that show that this was a local phenomenon.

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  • 93. At 4:10pm on 15 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @paulnaj

    > Er, no it's not.

    Er, yes it is. Of course you snipped the part of my post where I went on to state that there is sound physical, experimental, repeatable science underlying AGW theory.

    > This is what distinguishes physical theories such as Newtons Laws from statistical theories such as global warming.

    Again, ignoring the physical basis for the theories.

    > An 'oft-repeated misrepresentation' of what? There were stories of this in the media

    Precisely. There is a misrepresentation by false equivalence that there was a scientific consensus that there was global cooling in the 70's, when in fact there were a couple of newspaper articles. And we know how reliable science reporting

    > But you are trying to compare two very different things now.

    No, I'm trying to steer you back to the fact that there are basic physics in question here, and that saying AGW is false is akin to saying Evolution is false - both are very large ideas that emerge organically from - and are supported by - a huge mountain of evidence pointing in the same direction.

    So, rather than dismissing it as a "statistical" theory, will you please just answer whether or not you understand that CO2-induced warming can be verifed under experimental conditions.

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  • 94. At 4:18pm on 15 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @Imrancan

    FYI, here's an NOAA page on the Holocene Optimum:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/holocene.html

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  • 95. At 5:06pm on 15 Oct 2009, PLN wrote:

    @voidifremoved

    So, according to you, climate science and meteorology are on the same footing as, say, Newton's Law of Gravity.

    Ho-hum.

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  • 96. At 5:17pm on 15 Oct 2009, DavidCOG wrote:

    @ImranCan:

    Here, I'll do the research for you:

    1. Syu-Ichi Akasofu - retired, seems to believe that CO2 has little impact on temperature rise contrary to all established science. He's one, old contrarian who, for some reason, disagrees with the established, peer-reviewed science. So what? http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Syun_Akasofu

    2. John Christy - he now admits humans are responsible for global warming so you may want to take him off your list, but he has made many scientifically flawed statements in the past - he has no credibility in the conversation as a result: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/personfactsheet.php?id=903 + http://climateprogress.org/2008/05/22/should-you-believe-anything-john-christy-or-roy-spencer-say/

    3. Ian Plimer - a mining executive not a climate scientist, utterly discredited for his error-strewn book on climate science and his dishonesty and cowardice with regards a debate with George Monbiot - http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/04/23/ian-plimer-heaven-and-earth/ + http://tbp.mattandrews.id.au/2009/06/06/debunking-plimer-heaven-and-earth/ + http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/08/plimers-homework-assignment/

    4. Richard Lindzen - in the pay of big oil, occassionally makes statements that run counter to the accepted science. He has been proven wrong on many occasions - e.g. about satellite data not showing warming. Just another contrarian on the take. http://www.logicalscience.com/skeptics/Lindzen.htm + http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Richard_Lindzen

    Here's something to think on: science is not determined by voting or petitions with names on. It's done in the scientific literature and there is no credible argument against the accepted theory - the planet is warming due to human GHGs.

    Compare your four flaky individuals to the massive consensus amongst all credible organisation and individuals - http://www.logicalscience.com/consensus/consensus.htm

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  • 97. At 5:22pm on 15 Oct 2009, DavidCOG wrote:

    @bioPingo1:

    > people distrust climatologists for the same reason they distrust car engineers ... or estate agents ...

    Hilarious. He's comparing the planet's climate scientists to estate agents. All of those PhDs are nothing more than money-grubbing liars. They're all lying to us - in a massive, global, coordinated conspiracy - so they can get research funding! Tighten that tinfoil hat!

    > Statisticians, engineers, econometricians and geologists all come to the same conclusion when they investigate the AGW claims...

    Drivel. They don't *all* deny the established science - but isn't it funny that the only people who do tell you what you want to hear are not climate scientists? You're getting your 'science' from people with no qualifications, training or experience with the science.

    Presumably you'd get a consultation from a plumber about having a heart transplant?

    Here's part of the definition of denialism:

    > Almost every denialist argument will eventually devolve into a conspiracy. This is because denialist theories that oppose well-established science eventually need to assert deception on the part of their opponents to explain things like why every reputable scientist, journal, and opponent seems to be able to operate from the same page. In the crank mind, it isn't because their opponents are operating from the same set of facts, it's that all their opponents are liars (or fools) who are using the same false set of information.

    The shoe fits so perfectly.

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  • 98. At 7:51pm on 15 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    Thanks to DavidCOG for pointing out this amusing claim:

    "Statisticians, engineers, econometricians and geologists all come to the same conclusion when they investigate the AGW claims it's a load of hot air."

    Substitute "AGW claims" with "Earth is not flat claims" and you end up with an equally inaccurate statement.

    American Statistical Association Statement on Climate Change:

    "The ASA endorses the IPCC conclusions."

    International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences:

    "As reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), most of the observed global warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to human-produced emission of greenhouse gases and this warming will continue unabated if present anthropogenic emissions continue or, worse, expand without control.
    CAETS, therefore, endorses the many recent calls to decrease and control greenhouse gas emissions to an acceptable level as quickly as possible. "

    Geological Society of America

    "The Geological Society of America (GSA) supports the scientific conclusions that Earth’s climate is changing; the climate changes are due in part to human activities; and the probable consequences of the climate changes will be significant and blind to geopolitical boundaries. Furthermore, the potential implications of global climate change and the time scale over which such changes will likely occur require active, effective, long-term planning."

    Many geologists are petroleum geologists, who have a higher degree of skeptism than your average scientist. Understandable. You don't bite the hand that feeds you. Nonetheless, many of them still can't deny reality.

    Here is a list of scientists sorted by climate-related publications. Very few are contrarians. The ones who are get covered repeatedly by media, and only a scant few have published anything disputing human-caused global warming. Most of those with a scientific background who examine them find their claims to be dubious and scientifically invalid.

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table_by_clim.html

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  • 99. At 8:20pm on 15 Oct 2009, coolitnow wrote:

    I may be joining this discussion late in the day but like others I welcome an honest debate on a subject as important as climate change; and the BBC could come to represent an impartial platform where views for and against could be aired and discussed. So, well done Paul Hudson.

    It has been clear for some time now that this issue attracts some extreme opinions from both sides. Anyone asking to examine the evidence can be denounced as a ‘climate denier’, with all the racist connotations of that description. We must stick to facts and not be overwhelmed by media hype.

    The global warming effect of carbon dioxide derives from a theory which, when inserted into a model assuming positive feedback, is almost guaranteed to show a rise in temperature. The theory that warming will increase in a linear way – more CO2, more warming - has been challenged by many good scientists of the calibre of the Professor of Physics at the University of Princeton. It is a theory (so far) with little supporting observational evidence – always a danger in science.

    We know that satellites have measured a rise of around 0.6 C degrees during the 80s and 90s. There has been no increase over the last decade. Such a modest rise is well within the range of natural temperature fluctuations. The rise in sea level varies over the globe as you might expect, but the total average rise since measurements began 18 years ago is 2” (~5cm).

    The satellite record also indicates that, if anything, the Greenland and Antarctica ice caps have increased slightly, apart from a few local anomalies. Any melting of Arctic ice (which has reversed this year) makes no difference to sea level since the ice floats on water. Hurricane frequency, contrary to press reports, has not increased.

    All the rest is down to predictive models of complex interactions which carry a large degree of uncertainty. You probably need no reminding that all previous doomsday scenarios, based on conjecture, failed to materialise. I am old enough to remember the most recent of 35 years ago when leading scientists of the day argued we were heading for a period of global cooling.

    I think this argument should now be cooled. History shows that it is evidence not consensus that advances science (think Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein and many others). In any case consensus works both ways - and name-calling is seldom helpful, although possibly not new.


    Coolitnow


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  • 100. At 8:23pm on 15 Oct 2009, Al wrote:

    What puzzles me about Climate Change,Global Warming, Greenhouse Gases is that most people seem to concentrate on CO2 and totally ignore the biggest GreenHouse Gas of all - Water Vapour. CO2 (while being a pollutant) actually has very little effect as a Greenhouse Gas when water vapour is taken into account. One other cause of Global Warming is the distance between the earth and the sun which has a 100,000 year cycle.

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  • 101. At 11:15pm on 15 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    What some lack in scientific understanding they can make up for with repetition and rhetoric. Blogs allow those without a rational basis for their arguments to make claims without feeling the need to support them with reliable sources. Let's put on our skeptic glasses and examine some of coolitnow's claims and see if they are supported by what the science indicates:

    "when inserted into a model assuming positive feedback"

    It's not an assumption. Both direct observational and paleoclimatic evidence supports a net positive climate feedback. Example:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL035333.shtml

    "It is a theory (so far) with little supporting observational evidence"

    Those who haven't taken the time to examine the evidence might come away with this poor impression. There's a multitude of lines of both primary and secondary evidence. Example:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-do-we-know-CO2-is-causing-warming.html

    "We know that satellites have measured a rise of around 0.6 C degrees during the 80s and 90s. There has been no increase over the last decade."

    Covered well on this thread.

    "The rise in sea level varies over the globe as you might expect, but the total average rise since measurements began 18 years ago is 2” (~5cm). "

    Sea level rise has gradually accelerated in the 20th century (Church 2008) and has risen substantially this decade.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise.htm

    "I am old enough to remember the most recent of 35 years ago when leading scientists of the day argued we were heading for a period of global cooling."

    Good thing others are old enough too. Reality:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    "Anyone asking to examine the evidence can be denounced as a ‘climate denier’, with all the racist connotations of that description. "

    The term "denier" doesn't have racist connotations that I'm aware of ("denier" is used to describe those arguing against well-supported theories or facts like evolution, the Earth revolving around the Sun, or the Moon landing). It seems some of those claiming "denier" is a demonizing term are ironically attempting to falsely demonize those using it.

    "think Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein and many others"

    Think Arrhenius, Revelle, Hansen.

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

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  • 102. At 00:53am on 16 Oct 2009, Lloyd wrote:

    Environmentalism can be a force for good, unfortunately the eco-facists have hijacked all that is good with environmantalism and are slowly but surely turning mainstream opinion against the good which proper Green policies can achieve. How about Greens - the majority of whom are good, honest people - reclaim your policies and objectives from the facists in your midsts?

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  • 103. At 05:30am on 16 Oct 2009, ImranCan wrote:

    To DavidCOG
    Thanks for our reply. I named a few climate scientists (off the top of my head) who disagree in one way or another with the AGW theory and you seem to think they aren't credible - for one reason or another. They certainly hold (or are retired from) academic positions of credibility. I suspect that you do not think they are credible because you don't like their opinions.

    So I ask you - can you please give me the name of one scientist or academic or researcher who disagrees with the theory of manmade global warming and who you find credible ? There must be at least one.

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  • 104. At 10:04am on 16 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    > So I ask you - can you please give me the name of one scientist or academic or researcher who disagrees with the theory of manmade global warming and who you find credible ? There must be at least one.

    Ths is a poorly constructed question, and invites or implies some level of ad-hominem. Generally, it matters not the credibility of the individual, rather their views - eg. individuals who have credibility in some areas can advance views on global warming that are unsupported or unsubstantiated, and therefore lack credibility in this regard. Not knowing much about Syu-Ichi Akasofu, I would put him in this category based on past work and the flimsiness of his statements on climate change. OTOH, serial contrarians such as Roy Spencer or Richard Lindzen, with strong ties to similar campaigns of disinformation are much further down the "personal" credibility scale. None of these people have put forward an argument that has not been shown to be very, robustly, wrong - yet they persist in putting forward the same arguments, and take no account of contradictory information... as if they were in denial.

    To throw it back at you, I'd say that someone like Chris Landsea has a lot of credibility and is often cited by contrarians, simply because he resigned as an IPCC author. However, he does not dispute climate change, he disputed the representation of his work and the strength of the argument for effects on eg. hurricanes. That's entirely standard dispute, frankly - disagreement over the *details*, but in no way the overall *theory*. You get precisely the same kind of thing in evolutionary theory as well - disagreements over specific mnechanisms, and new exciting breakthroughs in specific areas that overturn previous understanding - but none of which invalidate the overall theory, just advance our understanding in a large body of science.

    Off the top of my head I can think of no academic that has advanced credible opposition to evolution either.

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  • 105. At 11:15am on 16 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    Over 100 responses so far Paul - it's very clear the science is far from settled isn't it?

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  • 106. At 11:18am on 16 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    "All of those PhDs are nothing more than money-grubbing liars. They're all lying to us - in a massive, global, coordinated conspiracy - so they can get research funding!"

    No conspiracy (why the strawman?), just a meeting of self-interest that goes against the principles of science.

    Obtaining a PhD does not suddenly make you act more honorably than the rest of us.

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  • 107. At 12:52pm on 16 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    > Over 100 responses so far Paul - it's very clear the science is far from settled isn't it?

    And that's the dishonest tactic in a nutshell - manufacture a controversy, then use it to justify your position.

    Of course, the *science* is settled, given that *scientific studies* have shown that disagreement with AGW in peer-reviewed publication is 0%. Opinionated, repetitive, closed-minded and ill-informed blog comments are far from representative of "the science".

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  • 108. At 1:19pm on 16 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    > Only one tree in Siberia led to the hockey stick shape in the Briffa (2000) study.

    Completely untrue, and McIntyre's analysis does not back this assertion up at all.

    > McIntyre has shown this repeatedly at Climate Audit and is understandable by anyone who has a decent grasp of statistics. You don't need to be a dendro expert.

    Then I urge him - yet again - to publish his work so that *actual scientists* can scrutinise it and make comment, rather than just laymen posting gushing comments on his blog and repeating utterly unfounded smears here.

    > Cherry picking individual proxies out of many thousands, just because they match recent temperatures, is poor science.

    ... are you crazy? This is a total misrepresentation of the state of proxies, reconstructions, and McIntyres analysis. Plus, please spell out in very simple words why a *proxy used to estimate historic temperature* that does not match *far more accurate data from thermometers* should not be discarded because it is *obviously a bad proxy for temperature*? What part about that is hard to understand? This is *not* cherry picking - unlike certain bbc bloggers who, say, cherry pick one year (1998) in one temperature dataset (hadcru) and use that to make a paper-thin argument about cooling trends.


    > If you do not understand this then I can not help you. You have to decide before you look at the data what your selection criteria is. This is basic statistics.

    ... again, what on earth are you wittering about? Have you even *read* the papers that McIntyre is "analysing"?

    > There are very serious questions to be asked of the likes of Mann, Briffa, Steig, Jones and Hansen as to why they let confirmation bias affect their studies.

    Wow, total smear, based on falsehood and bald assertion. Give titles and dates of papers from all these people that have confirmation bias, and names and dates of the papers (published in reputable journals) that provide substantiated evidence for these claims - or apologise.

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  • 109. At 1:52pm on 16 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    "And that's the dishonest tactic in a nutshell - manufacture a controversy, then use it to justify your position."

    No, the AGW scammers' tactic is manufacturing a scare and attempt to benefit from the unnecessary policies designed to counter the scare. Are you an investor in "green" energy by any chance.

    You can tell the AGW scare is just a solution gone in search of a problem - that's why all the AGW scammers hastily backtrack into the "well we need to get off oil anyway" when they inevitably lose the scientific battle. There is quite an amusing correlation between the dupes who fell for the AGW scam and are now backtracking, and those who have fallen for the Peak Oil nonsense.

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  • 110. At 1:58pm on 16 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    "Then I urge him - yet again - to publish his work so that *actual scientists* can scrutinise it and make comment"

    It's quite clear scientists already scrutinise Climate Audit judging by the speed with which they respond when McIntyre exposes their errors. Even Briffa responded within a day from his sickbed when he had been shown to be cherry-picking in Yamal, and had kept his cherry-picking hidden for a decade. Completely unscientific that, and this is a lead author for the IPCC.

    I suggest anyone who wants the truth of Yamal get over to Climate Audit and read about it there.

    The internet is changing the way a lot of things are done, and is improving the speed with which science is corrected thanks to the websites of Mcintyre and Anthony Watts.

    Real-time review is preferential to the slow method of publishing in journals, especially when the science impacts so quickly on to policy.

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  • 111. At 3:04pm on 16 Oct 2009, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    McIntyre HAS published his work, most recently a comment in PNAS exposing how Mann et al used a proxy in upside down form, converting a downspike to an upspike. The reason he has not published more is that 'the team' of the climate science clique referee his papers and do everythng they can to get it rejected.

    It is perfectly true that the Briffa 2000 hockey-stick is based primarily on one tree, see the graphs in McIntyre's post "YAD06 - the Most Influential Tree in the World".

    If you don't understand, voidifremoved, why the process of 'proxy selection' amounts to cherry-picking and is bad science, read the latest post at Lucia's blackboard ("Tricking yourself into cherry picking") where she explains it clearly, showing how it imposes a hockey stick on the results.

    Thanks to coolitnow for one of the best comments. It is quite right that the positive feedback used to generate the scary predictions is an assumption. As Mark says you can find papers saying it is positive, but you can also find papers saying that it is negative (see papers by Paltridge, or Lindzen). The IPCC acknowledges that there is a lot of uncertainty over cloud feedback.

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  • 112. At 4:20pm on 16 Oct 2009, JayWesley wrote:

    Paul:

    Thanks for this fair-minded story. It's very hard to find dispassionate reporting on this subject, so it's heartening to those of us who follow the debate to see straight reporting.

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  • 113. At 5:00pm on 16 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @SamuelPickwick

    > McIntyre HAS published his work, most recently a comment in PNAS exposing how Mann et al used a proxy in upside down form, converting a downspike to an upspike.

    That would be this PNAS comment:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/6/E10.full

    Which - if you actually read it - has a followup from MBH rebutting the criticisms.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/6/E11.full

    This is how science works people - publish, discuss, dissect, but do it in peer reviewed, refereed journals, not in unchecked unverified blogs where smears and empty allegations are rife.

    > The reason he has not published more is that 'the team' of the climate science clique referee his papers and do everythng they can to get it rejected.

    Ah, so it's a *conspiracy*... of course.

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  • 114. At 5:48pm on 16 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:


    "I'd say that someone like Chris Landsea has a lot of credibility and is often cited by contrarians, simply because he resigned as an IPCC author. However, he does not dispute climate change, he disputed the representation of his work and the strength of the argument for effects on eg. hurricanes."

    I don't think he disputed the representation of his work. He just wasn't happy that other views on hurricanes were being considered. I really don't see the merit to his complaint. The IPCC summary is appropriately cautious on the subject and certainly includes his views. Nonetheless, I consider him to be a credible scientist also, since he's given no reason to think otherwise.

    Roy Spencer? It doesn't help his case that he's a creationist

    http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=080805I

    and in close communication with Rush Limbaugh.

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  • 115. At 5:52pm on 16 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    "The reason he has not published more is that 'the team' of the climate science clique referee his papers and do everythng they can to get it rejected."

    Or (could it possibly be?) perhaps most of McIntyre's claims are not scientifically robust or credible. There are dozens of credible peer-reviewed scientific journals to chose from, usually several reviewers on each submission, chosen independently. If arguments aren't complete obvious bunk (not always clear to the laypersons reading blogs), it's not that hard to publish something.

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  • 116. At 9:22pm on 16 Oct 2009, Cardthumper wrote:

    Studies of ice cores and trapped air in them shows that carbon dioxide changes followed, rather than preceded climate changes. This makes me skeptical about attributing global climate changes to human activity.

    For more details, see Ice cores, temperature vs carbon dioxide

    www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap01/icecore.html
    http://spedr.com/3bw8g

    www.sciencebits.com/IceCoreTruth

    www.newscientist.com/article/dn11659

    noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/explaining-ice-core-co2-lag/
    http://spedr.com/xay7

    As a computer model builder since the early 1960s, I am very skeptical
    about model future predictions. Remember the "Limits to Growth" fiasco?

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  • 117. At 11:02pm on 16 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:


    Revealing story from The Guardian:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/oct/13/bbc-blog-or-news-climate-change-denial

    "By yesterday, the story had been linked to on dozens of websites popularised by climate sceptics and had even been blessed with a prominent trail on the Drudge Report. As a result, it has remained the most popular story on the BBC News science and environment site for the past four days."

    There's obviously a strong media market for global warming denial. There are large numbers of fervent individuals who want to believe global warming isn't a problem. Journalists and media outlets are rewarded for providing feel-good talking points to this crowd. The best science journalists will resist the temptation to score points with provocative headlines and stories, and unsupported claims, but instead take time to fully understand what the science says, perhaps sacrificing some popularity and web traffic in the process. I hope Paul will reconsider some of the erroneous statements made, identified here and elsewhere, and make the appropriate corrections.

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  • 118. At 11:30pm on 16 Oct 2009, Researcher 14175758 wrote:

    So - after years of blocking and ignoring the fact that the science IS NOT SETTLED, the BBC unleashes a real person from their muzzle and we hear from them that there is another viewpoint about global warming!

    What a shock! Of course they are just using him to try and say, "No, we haven't abandoned our neutrality over these past 15 years, we haven't become political and joined governments in fooling the populace that by breathing out carbon dioxide they are killing the planet!" "Although you are actually killing the planet by breathing out carbon dioxide - could you stop breathing please?"

    Unfortunately for dear auntie beeb and her masters the science has decided that it is far from settled, as any real scientist knows that SCIENCE IS NEVER SETTLED. Reality is catching up with the wanting to control governments and their pet so called climate scientists and BBC environmental correspondent acolytes.

    The "scientists" thought that they had funding for life. They would never have to draft another CV. Sorry, but you based your lies upon the notion that as carbon dioxide emissions by humans increased, so would the temperature of the world. Boo hoo hoo for you - IT DIDN'T!

    And so the global warming myth has been torn apart and is only kept alive for the moment by "environmental correspondents", and "climate scientists" (who should be ASHAMED to attach the word scientist to themselves), who need time to find a new position before abandoning the position that most humans would have taken to provide their families with an income and a way to survive - they were only trying to give their offspring the best chance they could to keep their DNA carrying on through the generations, as all humans are.

    But upon reflection that does not excuse them. They are so twisted. They feed their poison to children in school via teachers! How terribly sick is that?

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  • 119. At 01:44am on 17 Oct 2009, ADMcLa wrote:


    MarkB2020

    Your Quote

    “What some lack in scientific understanding they can make up for with repetition and rhetoric. Blogs allow those without a rational basis for their arguments to make claims without feeling the need to support them with reliable sources.”

    The most repetition and rhetoric, mainly cut and pastes, have come from people promoting AGW. If everybody gave a large list of sources for every opinion made a blog would be very tedious and unusable.

    Your Quote

    “Let's put on our skeptic glasses and examine some of coolitnow's claims and see if they are supported by what the science indicates:”

    Providing a few hyperlinks doesn’t constitute “the science”. For every source you provide, I could provide one which does not support your argument. Because Climate Science is not an exact science this is inevitable.

    Your Quote

    “Sea level rise has gradually accelerated in the 20th century (Church 2008) and has risen substantially this decade.”

    Your Source

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise.htm

    You might have included comments at the end of this article by Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner (head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden, past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, and leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project. He has been studying the sea level and its effects on coastal areas for some 35 years. His job does not depend on the existence of AGW.

    He talks about the IPCC misrepresentation of sea level data.

    “Then, in 2003, the same data set, which in their [IPCC's] publications,... was a straight line—suddenly it changed, and showed a very strong line of uplift, 2.3 mm per year, the same as from the tide gauge... It was the original one which they had suddenly twisted up, because they entered a “correction factor,” ... I accused them of this at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow —I said you have introduced factors from outside; it's not a measurement. It looks like it is measured from the satellite, but you don't say what really happened.

    And they answered, that we had to do it, because otherwise we would not have gotten any trend!

    That is terrible! As a matter of fact, it is a falsification of the data set. ... So all this talk that sea level is rising, this stems from the computer modelling, not from observations. The observations don't find it! I have been the expert reviewer for the IPCC, both in 2000 and last year. The first time I read it, I was exceptionally surprised.”

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  • 120. At 02:24am on 17 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:


    ADMcLa,

    See DavidCOG's post #97, which describes how "skeptic" arguments eventually devolve.

    "Almost every denialist argument will eventually devolve into a conspiracy. This is because denialist theories that oppose well-established science eventually need to assert deception on the part of their opponents to explain things like why every reputable scientist, journal, and opponent seems to be able to operate from the same page. In the crank mind, it isn't because their opponents are operating from the same set of facts, it's that all their opponents are liars (or fools) who are using the same false set of information."

    There's a sort of combined high level of arrogance and ignorance that seems to motivate this crowd, along with a quest for attention. To illustrate, let's examine a claim by Morner. "Specifically, he [Morner] mentioned a tree he had discovered growing close to the shoreline as evidence to support his claim that sea level had actually fallen rather than risen." Morner then went on to claim that some folks destroyed his "evidence" deliberately to cover up his devastating smoking gun, and he intended to include that in a new television program. "And we came to launch this film, “Doomsday Called Off,” right after, and the tree was still green. And I heard from the locals that they had seen the people who had pulled it down. So I put it up again, by hand, and made my TV program. " Within a single set of quotes, we have a combination of conspiracy charges, a bizarre claim about being able to determine that sea level had fallen over 50 years based on a single tree at one location and dubious uncontrolled observations (this after oddly admitting that sea levels have increased), and then hyping up a self-produced TV program where he intends to broadcast his claims of a conspiracy. Oh, and of course, all those sea level experts are lying and fabricating their evidence. Credible scientist? You decide. What I do know is there is a large crowd of people who love to uncritically digest this stuff, not much different from folks disputing the U.S. Moon landing, or claiming the government is covering up alien abductions.

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  • 121. At 08:23am on 17 Oct 2009, maninthesky wrote:

    I have watched events on both Paul Hudson's blog and this one unfold. I was going to post my thoughts, and thought the article in the Yorkshire Post summed up my and lots of my friends thoughts very well below. How can something so complex as the planet by accurately modelled by computers? Paul Hudson is right, none of the computers did predict whats happening. You can argue however much you like: but its either a slowdown in warming, a levelling off of temperatures, no warming since 1998, global cooling: fact remains noone told us, ordinary members of the public. So congratulations to the BBC. We pay our licence fee to hear all arguments. Ignore the nonsense by the warming mafia who simply put down anyone who thinks differently to them. Doesn't anyone find it a little unsettling what their reaction has been like? The science is and never can be settled despite whats thrust down our throats day in and day out.

    And lets not forget what's happening on the ground. Yes arctic ice is disappearing. But isn't there a lag of years, and that melt could be down to warming that has now stopped? The summers of 2004, 2007,2008 and 2009 were wet. I thought we were told by these brilliant models that summers were going to get drier and hotter? The Met office forecast a bbq summer. And yet its the same computers that we are supposed to trust for 2080! The general public are not fooled.

    Bill Carmichael: Weathering a climate of hate. Yorkshire post Fri 16th Oct

    Poor old Paul Hudson. The inoffensive cheeky chappy, who presents the weather on the BBC in Yorkshire, has found himself a hate object among the fringes of the environmental movement.
    Hudson's crime? Well, to borrow a phrase, he told "an inconvenient truth" – that global warming has stopped.

    In an article headlined "Whatever happened to global warming?" on the BBC website, Hudson noted that the warmest year of recent times wasn't 2007 or 2008, but 1998, and global temperatures have not increased at all in the intervening 11 years, despite increasing carbon emissions.

    Ignore the provocative headline, for Hudson's piece was, in fact, scrupulously fair. In measured terms, he explored the theories of what could be behind the present period of global cooling, including the ideas of so-called "sceptics", who believe the sun's energy or the oceans' currents, and not man's activities, are primarily responsible for periods of cooling and warming.

    But he also quoted scientists who reckon the dip in temperatures is just a temporary blip and that man-made global warming will return with a vengeance in the near future.

    No one really knows. In climatic terms, a 10-year trend proves nothing –it, as many scientists argue, could be a mere variation on the graph showing an inexorable rise in average temperatures.

    But interestingly, Hudson pointed out that none of the climate models beloved by meteorologists forecast the present temperature trend. It is sobering to note that environmentalists are demanding that we damage our economy and make the poor poorer on the back of climate models that have been proved, in the short term at least, to be wrong.

    But even an ace forecaster like Hudson couldn't have predicted the reaction his article would provoke. It was picked up in the US by the influential Drudge Report website and from there to numerous climate sceptical blogs who gleefully reported on the BBC's U-turn on global warming.

    This, in turn, caused a hysterical counterblast from those who see global warming as a matter of religious faith, rather than scientific debate.

    Hudson was denounced as a denier and a heretic. The Guardian demanded to know why the BBC had allowed his article to be published, and the journal Nature was apoplectic with rage.

    Hudson's mistake was to concede there were differing views on the climate, for we live in a society where, for the first time in modern history, we are told "the science is settled" and "there is no room for debate".

    "Sceptic" has become a dirty word – yet the whole basis of modern science is built precisely on scepticism and inquiry by people brave enough to challenge entrenched views.

    In contrast today, anyone who questions the quasi-religious scientific orthodoxy on global warming will be denounced as not just wrong, but positively evil.

    Paul, keep your head down until this storm blows over.

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  • 122. At 10:54am on 17 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    "I hope Paul will reconsider some of the erroneous statements made, identified here and elsewhere, and make the appropriate corrections."

    Welcome to 1984.

    What happens when you have no global warming and hundreds of thousands employed in fighting it? This blog shows many are prepared to lie in order to keep science earning them a dishonest crust.

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  • 123. At 11:12am on 17 Oct 2009, ADMcLa wrote:

    MarkB2020

    That’s the most worst reply I have ever seen to any of my blog comments. If you have nothing to say then say nothing.

    You tell me to look at a relevant section of a previous post by another blogger, then reprint it. All of which is totally irrelevant to the points I made. Then you add to this another section clearly copy and pasted from another website, but you don’t acknowledge the source. Again totally irrelevant to the points I made or points any other blogger made. ( If you want to make these points then do so, but use your own words and don’t include my name on it.)

    Which is all very ironic considering the first issue I raised in my post was about your quote:

    “What some lack in scientific understanding they can make up for with repetition and rhetoric. Blogs allow those without a rational basis for their arguments to make claims without feeling the need to support them with reliable sources.”

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  • 124. At 11:26am on 17 Oct 2009, ADMcLa wrote:

    #123 Sorry about grammatical error not spotted "most worst reply"

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  • 125. At 6:31pm on 17 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:


    ADMcLa,

    "You tell me to look at a relevant section of a previous post by another blogger, then reprint it. All of which is totally irrelevant to the points I made. "

    Actually, it's quite relevant. The argument of the person you're quoting devolves into the usual conspiracy theory, right in line with expectations.

    "Then you add to this another section clearly copy and pasted from another website, but you don’t acknowledge the source."

    Ironic. Your quoting of Morner in #119 provided no source. I had to look it up to verify. So what are you complaining about? It's also quite relevant, since it casts serious doubt on his story and forces one to choose between believing a loony conspiracy theorist with comically flimsy evidence producing a TV program or the scientific community (which the conspiracy theorist claims is lying in unison).

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  • 126. At 6:39pm on 17 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    Paul Hudson writes:

    "None of the climate models suggested that global temperatures would not rise any further for at least another 10 years, which is what we have observed. "

    Aside from the fact that there's been a warming trend over the past decade (any linear regression indicates this), it's simply wrong to say that no climate model runs have shown a flat trend over a 10-year period. Some even show cooling.

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/cool-spells-in-a-warming-world/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/

    If you want to verify this yourself, you can download model output here:

    http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/ipcc/about_ipcc.php

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/02/ipcc-archive/

    Accuracy in journalism is important. Clearly, your statement above is a misrepresentation of the science. Perhaps you could write a new post on global climate models to clear things up.

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  • 127. At 6:58pm on 17 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    A model created in 2009 showing potential for 15 years of cooling is not a prediction for the last 15 years of cooling. It is a backtracking, a lie, a fraudulent make-up to try to create the image that this was all predicted. It wasn't predicted, and it is a disgraceful lie to act as if it was.

    The warmists will go to any length to create confusion about the lies they are perpetuating.

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  • 128. At 7:05pm on 17 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    bioPingo1 writes:

    "A model created in 2009..."

    The models used in the IPCC reports were not created in 2009.

    "The warmists will go to any length to create confusion about the lies they are perpetuating."

    Are you trying to be ironic?

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  • 129. At 9:44pm on 17 Oct 2009, ADMcLa wrote:

    MarkB2020

    “Ironic. Your quoting of Morner in #119 provided no source. I had to look it up to verify. “

    I told you specifically where it was.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise.htm

    “You might have included comments at the end of this article by Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner””

    In Comments 1 , line 7 there is a hyperlink to the site with the full interview with Dr. Nils-Axel Morner.

    http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Calen7/MornerEng.html

    Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner was

    • Head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden,
    • Past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution,
    • Leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project.
    • Lead author and Expert reviewer for the IPCC

    And had 35 years experience studying sea level and its effects on coastal areas.

    He and many others quit the IPCC because of their dishonest tactics.

    It is stereotypical of AGW fanatics behaviour to think that anybody who doesn’t agree with them is a loony conspiracy theorist. Even if the topic of discussion is global sea levels and that person probably has more expertise of global sea levels than anyone else on the planet.

    In post #114

    Your Quote

    “Roy Spencer? It doesn't help his case that he's a creationist”

    Why is it necessary to be a follower of Richard Dawkins to have credibility in Climate Change issues?

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  • 130. At 10:45pm on 17 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 131. At 11:06pm on 17 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    > Why is it necessary to be a follower of Richard Dawkins to have credibility in Climate Change issues?

    Are you serious?

    You are holding up the views of someone who genuinely believes that evolutionary theory is false *on religious grounds* as evidence that climate change theory is false, and that people who believe it are liars or blinkered, unscientific religious fanatics.

    When confronted with this contradiction, you dismiss it as if evolutionary theory is itself a religion, with Dawkins (of all people) at its helm?

    Is no science safe from your arrogant dismissals? Seriously. I can only hope that anyone of sound mind reading this thread, and who is as yet undecided on the weight of evidence on this issue, reads your comment and sees through the hypocritical accusations you've been throwing around.

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  • 132. At 11:24pm on 17 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    Also, on Mörner.

    Here is the letter from the president of INQUA complaining about him misrepresenting himself as being involved with the organisation when he no longer was, thus lending undeserved weight to his fringe beliefs. It's an interesting read, and gives an insight into his credibility and honesty.

    http://secure.environmentaldefense.org/documents/3868_morner_exposed.pdf

    But most importantly, at least four separate expert studies have comprehensively rebutted his findings, none of which have subsequently been refuted. Again, that's how science works.

    As an aside, he is also a famous believer in dowsing. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 133. At 11:50pm on 17 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:


    "“You might have included comments at the end of this article by Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner”"

    The comments were not from the article. Since articles don't endorse every random reader comment written on them, why would I include it? I'll note, though, that the same link provided in that comment is the same one that supports the Morner quotes that I posted, which leads me to believe you haven't read the link.

    "Lead author and Expert reviewer for the IPCC"

    Not an author or lead author as far as I can tell. Feel free to support this claim.

    Let's examine some other Morner claims:

    "I am a sea-level specialist. There are many good sea-level people in the world, but let's put it this way: There's no one who's beaten me. "

    This high level of arrogance kind of explains why he thinks everyone's a fraud.

    "I have been the expert reviewer for the IPCC, both in 2000 and last year. The first time I read it, I was exceptionally surprised. First of all, it had 22 authors, but none of them— none—were sea-level specialists. They were given this mission, because they promised to answer the right thing. Again, it was a computer issue. This is the typical thing: The metereological community works with compu-ters, simple computers. Geologists don't do that!"

    The IPCC has over 600 authors. He's off by about 30X. Perhaps this is an innocent mistake and he's referring to just the chapter on sea level. In this case, he's still way off. More scientists for him to denigrate:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter5.pdf

    Next, he seems to think all authors are meteorologists and not sea level experts. Wrong again. Here is the list of IPCC authors for you to browse.

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/AR4wg1_authors_table_by_clim.html

    One of many examples of those he claims are frauds with no expertise:

    http://www.pol.ac.uk/home/staff/?user=WoodPhil

    "It is stereotypical of AGW fanatics behaviour to think that anybody who doesn’t agree with them is a loony conspiracy theorist. "

    On the contrary, Morner is essentially saying that anyone who doesn't agree with him is a fraud. Objective observers would find that a bit loony and fanatical. It is stereotypical of global warming deniers to uncritically prop up these sorts of views and then complain when someone dares to critically examine them. Being a good skeptic requires critical examination of all arguments, not just ones someone would prefer not to agree with.

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  • 134. At 00:09am on 18 Oct 2009, ADMcLa wrote:

    voidifremoved

    Ok I accept that evolutionary theorists don't all worship Dawkins but many do.

    "You are holding up the views of someone who genuinely believes that evolutionary theory is false *on religious grounds* as evidence that climate change theory is false, and that people who believe it are liars or blinkered, unscientific religious fanatics."

    How you deduce this nonsense from a simple question is hard to imagine.

    I will rephrase the question.

    Why are Roy Spencer's religious beliefs relevant when considering if he is a credible climate scientist who does not believe in man made global warming?





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  • 135. At 12:45pm on 18 Oct 2009, climateunsceptical wrote:

    As a journalist you are granted the power to change reader's views of the world. With this power comes a corresponding duty not to mislead the public, yet that is exactly what you have done with this article, by giving the impression that the climate debate is balanced - the IPCC Report is about as near to scientific consensus as there has ever been on a real-world problem.

    Specifically regarding your scepiticism in light of recent cooling, you're about 6 months behind the rest of the pack. Peer-reviewed academics have discussed and dismissed this point with a minimum of fuss:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL037810.shtml

    Furthermore, a brief check on Piers Cobyrn reveals him to be an incredibly flimsy source on which to base your arguments. His group WeatherAction deals with annual predictions (you are making claims about the decadal scale). As an individual "scientist" he is unpublished on the topic of this debate.

    Please be more responsible in the future.

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  • 136. At 1:14pm on 18 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    Climate unsceptical,

    Science is not done by consensus. Everyone should be sceptical in science. It is the lack of scepticism from the likes of Mann and Hansen that led to confirmation bias affecting their studies.

    I also would have liked Paul to have spoken to the likes of Roger Pielke and Steve McIntyre before penning this article.

    I look forward to further articles from Paul detailing why he changed his mind over AGW, as the impression I got from local TV was he in the warmist camp. Perhaps he examined the science more closely and found what the majority in this blog have realised - that the evidence for AGW is very flimsy.

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  • 137. At 1:20pm on 18 Oct 2009, spectrum wrote:

    Great to see some balance on the BBC. The reason of course was Richard Black's refusal to acknowledge the Geneva conference in which scientists, freed from IPCC manipulation gave (more) honest assessments of current work.

    What I find disturbing about British governemnt / BBC / Guardian propaganda is the violence we are seeing at the coal power station carried out by very gullible youngsters who have swallowed it whole.

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  • 138. At 2:02pm on 18 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    As ever, the yawning chasm between the average member of the public (and indeed, vociferous blog commenters spitting hypocritical anti-science venom) and people that *know what they're talking about* is stark and depressing.

    Interesting graph highlighting the true nature of the "debate":

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/The-growing-divide-between-climate-scientists-and-public-opinion.html

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  • 139. At 2:27pm on 18 Oct 2009, bioPingo1 wrote:

    Likewise a majority of homeopathists believe that diluted water can cure... Should we listen to them as they are the "experts"?

    Turkeys don't vote for christmas and you'll never get an AGW scientist tell us he is no longer needed.

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  • 140. At 4:04pm on 18 Oct 2009, iamracm wrote:

    As a scientist but non climatologist, I would like to express my thanks to people like DavidCOG, MarkB2020, voidifermoved who take the time to put the evidence again and again in response to the same points. It must be frustrating in the extreme. It is very hard work doing good science which may be why the people who do it tend to be outnumbered by those who don't on blogs like these. The idea that scientists are "well-paid" for what they do is amusing; they do it because they want to find out the truth. If there really was good evidence against the current dogma, it would be published in the scientific literature and if it turned out to be correct the authors would win huge respect. (The oft-repeated idea that good evidence can be suppressed in science by reviewers not liking the conclusions is just rubbish). The fact that this has not happened for man-made climate change means that we outsiders should accept it as true. In my view, the original article was misjudged, particularly the last sentence, and reflects again on the lack of high quality scientists at the BBC.

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  • 141. At 6:44pm on 18 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @bioPingo

    > Likewise a majority of homeopathists believe that diluted water can cure... Should we listen to them as they are the "experts"?

    False comparison. it would be more appropriate to ask "medical researchers who have actually published peer-reviewed work on the efficacy of homeopathic medicine". I'm willing to bet money that the resulting survey results form a very similar graph to the ones provided for climate scientists.

    > Turkeys don't vote for christmas and you'll never get an AGW scientist tell us he is no longer needed.

    Hint: climate scientists will always be needed. In fact, someone publishing something proving conclusively there is no AGW would make them the most saught-after climate scientist in the world, and would pretty well guarantee a Nobel.

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  • 142. At 8:37pm on 18 Oct 2009, Faustino wrote:

    You note that "Both sides have very different forecasts. The Met Office says that warming is set to resume quickly and strongly. It predicts that from 2010 to 2015 at least half the years will be hotter than the current hottest year on record (1998). Sceptics disagree. They insist it is unlikely that temperatures will reach the dizzy heights of 1998 until 2030 at the earliest. It is possible, they say, that because of ocean and solar cycles a period of global cooling is more likely."

    So the Met Office model will be tested over the next five years. If it fails - if temperatures do not rise quickly - then we know that there is no basis for anthropgenic global warming alarmism, which is dependent on such models. Why not hold off on anti-warming measures until this evidence is in? At present we are trading-off real economic costs against model-projected possible warming costs. I think that the precautionary principle favours restraint rather than drastic action at this stage.

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  • 143. At 10:59pm on 18 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    Faustino,

    Since global mean temperature did reach and surpass 1998's super el Nino year in 2005 when factoring in the Arctic (NASA, NOAA global mean temperature records), by your logic, the skeptic argument you defined has already failed.

    The Hadley model is just one of many GCMs. If it is off in one direction or the other beyond statistical significance, it only means the model is off, not anthropogenic global warming. Nice try, though.

    In all seriousness, "skeptics" have been using this argument for a few decades now. When cherry-picking a high starting point, there are multiple 10-year periods that show a smaller trend than the last decade. Over a 30-year period, global mean temperature has risen rapidly, largely in line with models. In 1998, when global mean temperature rose well above model predictions for a single year, scientists were careful not to spin this as being meaningful. In 2008, when it dropped below model predictions largely from a la Nina event, scientists were similarly careful. The political crowd, of course, has not been so careful recently. It's all part of a mad dash to prevent policy initiatives from advancing.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 144. At 09:05am on 19 Oct 2009, Haggisdragon wrote:

    In physical chemistry, ice cubes dropped into a glass of water hold the water cold until they have completely melted, given adequate circulation. This is due to a property that ice has; melting consumes energy.

    Is it possible that the "cooling" we see is due to ice falling off the poles and keeping polar water at near-zero (and the rest of the ocean and weather stabilised), until most or all of it is gone?

    Could a test be that wimter temperatures per hemisphere, but not summer temperatures, continue to climb, as there won't be ice melting to lower the temperature?

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  • 145. At 4:14pm on 19 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    iamracm. Have you looked at what has happened over at Climate Audit - I don't mean the tree ring data (which was funny and sad enough) I mean the upside down graphs reported five days ago? You just cannot believe a single thing Warmists say - even when it's been peer reviewed!!!

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  • 146. At 11:00pm on 19 Oct 2009, voidifremoved wrote:

    @SmokingDeepThroat

    > the upside down graphs reported five days ago

    This is not new. McIntyre was revisiting an old complaint against MBH from many months ago.

    In fact, this has already been mentioned in this thread, with links to the original PNAS comment + reply. McIntyre may not like the reply, but that's hardly surprising.

    I'd also like to point out I love the double-standard in this thread where "denialist" is a loaded term that invalidates your argument, whereas "warmist" is quite obviously perfectly acceptable and even-handed.

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  • 147. At 09:58am on 20 Oct 2009, maninthesky wrote:

    Hadcrut data clearly shows temperatures have levelled off (even fallen) from this graph.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/nhshgl.gif

    So what's all the fuss about Mr Hudson's article? Sound's to me like its hit a raw nerve. Like a previous commenter says, its 'we told you so when temperatures warm'; but when they dont you hide behind this very convenient natural variability/noise line (which means you dont know but you dont want people to know you dont)

    And yes Nasa's data is warmer, but why would anyone believe Nasa's data after the fiasco this summer? To chose Nasa's data over Hadley's is cherry picking in the extreme. Talk about double standards.

    http://www.agiweb.org/geotimes/aug07/article.html?id=WebExtra081607_2.html

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  • 148. At 12:49pm on 20 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    void. "Warmist" doesn't have any connotations of practices during WW2. I find that when Warmists aren't allowed to get the 'denial' word in then they just resort to associations to 'flat-earthers' or 'Creationists', as exiledPortfan has just done to me on the Polar thread. It's quite amsuing, and allows us sceptics to play Warmist Bingo.

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  • 149. At 10:15pm on 20 Oct 2009, Spanglerboy wrote:

    Are temperatures going up or down or levelling off? Depends where you start (and finish) and which dataset you use. Personally I think the RSS and UAH sets are more likely to be error free but this seems to be an area where you can pick your datset and pick your start and finish dates to show whatever you like. see
    http://masterresource.njidev.com/2009/10/a-cherry-pickers-guide-to-temperature-trends/

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  • 150. At 06:56am on 21 Oct 2009, NeilHamp wrote:

    We are still waiting for HadCRU3 September figures, but they will no doubt show further warming.
    Earlier in the year the UK Met.Office claimed "2009 will be the fifth warmest year since records began"

    HadCRU3 annual temperatures since 1998 have been: -
    1998 0.54*
    1999 0.29
    2000 0.28
    2001 0.41
    2002 0.47*
    2003 0.47*
    2004 0.45*
    2005 0.48*
    2006 0.42
    2007 0.41
    2008 0.34
    2009 0.44 (9months)
    So far this year 2009 is heading for the sixth warmest year since records began.
    Compared to their "Barbecue Summer" forcast it looks like the Met.Office have called this one about right.

    Their UK winter forcast for this year is "temperatures near or above average and milder than last year"
    I think this may cause them as much embarrasment as the "barbecue summer"

    They also predict "at least half of the years after 2009 will exceed the warmest year currently on record."
    This means five of the next ten years must exceed 1998 which HADcru recorded as 0.54

    Although I think this unlikely the anticipated period of "global cooling" predicted by the extended solar minimum and the reversal in the PDO is taking a long time to appear.
    We haven't seen any WARMING in the past 10 years, but we haven't seen any significant COOLING either!

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  • 151. At 10:35am on 21 Oct 2009, Donald Broatch wrote:

    Your first point is so much of a common misconception that the Met Office has a page devoted to dealing with it.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20080923c.html

    Your second point is also wrong. All of the models produce outputs which have periods where temperatures drop from year to year in the course of a warming trend. Again, your point is a common misconception, which has been addressed by climate scientists.

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/cool-spells-in-a-warming-world/?ref=science

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/

    This would have been confirmed had you actually gone and checked what Mojib Latif actually said on the subject. He said warming is not monotonic- we can expect periods where temperatures drop. Instead you reproduced a claim that he was predicting a couple of decades of cooling.

    The misinterpretation of Latif's statement appeared in a usually-reliable source (New Scientist, 9 September), but the error in this story (and Latif's actual words) were pointed out well before your article was published. (The Way Things Break, 11 September, your article 9 October.)

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327254.000-world-will-cool-for-the-next-decade.html

    http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/of-moles-and-whacking-mojib-latif-predicted-two-decades-of-cooling/

    Mojib Latif's actual words on the subject can be heard in this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khikoh3sJg8

    So we have two basic factual errors on global warming, and a factually incorrect quote from Mojib Latif, which anybody taking an interest in global warming and climate science should have known to be incorrect well before your article was published.

    I think the honourable thing would be to do the research, check the facts, admit you were out of your depth and got it wrong and retract the article.

    There is also the issue of the weight you gave in your article to two climate sceptics, the first of whom has never published anything on climate science, and the second of whom claims a casual effect for AGW (PDO) that is rejected by most climate scientists- for good reason.

    The views of a small minority of sceptical scientist, whose theories have been addressed and rejected by the majority of climate scientists on the basis of very strong evidence, do not deserve to be given equal weight in a story about global warming.

    I'm frankly astonished to see the BBC claiming in support of your article "the point the article is making is that views about climate change are hotly contested".

    Scientific views about climate change are not highly contested. There is a consensus that it is down to man's influence, and an emerging consensus, as reported by BBC environmental correspondents who follow the science more carefully, that it's not an overstated influence as you claim, but an understated one.

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  • 152. At 09:20am on 23 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    Donald. Your first link, re: HadCRUT3. I wouldn't put too much faith in the Met Office's graphs my friend. The Met Office are, shall we say, economical with the truth? Fortunately you can input the data yourself, and guess what? You have to wonder where and how the Met Office gets that incline on that blue bar!!!
    (paste this entire line into your browser if it doesn't come out as a link)
    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/trend

    Now there's a shock! Warming is NOT continuing! You provide many (too many) links in your piece. Rather than relying on what others say, do the research yourself and see if they are telling the truth. As I said, the Met Office are not. And PLEASE don't provide links to realclimate, or I'll start pasting links to oil companies web pages on cooling. Both have equal validity!

    As far as I am aware, models show warming interspersed with small periods of flattening or cooling. However, to my knowledge, not ONE has 11 years of no warming. If you have one then please provide the link. I'll be waiting a long time, won't I Donald?

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  • 153. At 8:54pm on 23 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    Smoking (#152),

    Now change 1998 to 1999, noting the trend...

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1999/trend:1999

    Also note NASA's data, which includes the Arctic:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1999/trend:1999

    An exercise for you: try starting in 2000 or 1997 as well.

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  • 154. At 09:38am on 24 Oct 2009, Donald Broatch wrote:

    @ SmokingDeepThroat.

    Just by "eyeballing" the HadCrut data, it's easy to confirm what the Met Office says.

    http://i34.tinypic.com/1t0j6w.jpg

    The noughties were warmer that the nineties, even with the record warm year in 1998.

    The La Nina of 2008 was warmer that that of 2000 (green).

    The moderate El Ninos of the noughties were warmer that those of the previous decade (red).

    The warming trend (blue) is obvious over this longer period.

    There hasn't been a super El Nino since 1998, so we have nothing to compare that year to.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/

    What will happen is that there will be another super El Nino and the 1998 HadCrut record will be broken, or moderate El Ninos will continue to get warmer and eventually a moderate El Nino will be enough to break the 1998 record.

    The GISS temperature record already shows the 1998 temperature exceeded, and is likely to show a new record in the coming year or two:

    "Given our expectation of the next El Niño beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance."

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/

    "As far as I am aware, models show warming interspersed with small periods of flattening or cooling. However, to my knowledge, not ONE has 11 years of no warming."

    The probability of waiting 11 years for an unambiguous record temperature is about 80%, according to the models- that is to say, it's not an exceedingly improbable event.

    The models say you would have to wait 18 years for a 95% probability of seeing an unambiguous record temperature.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/

    11 years without a record temperature does not mean warming has ended- and this is before thinking about the fact that HadCrut does not reflect the extraordinary warming happening in the Arctic.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/

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  • 155. At 10:21am on 24 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    Donald. Why would you want to use a different time-frame? It was you who provided the Met Office link. I pointed out that the last blue bar of theirs was incorrect and could be recreated on the woodfortrees site. You have then provided the tinypic link showing a DIFFERENT time-frame - from 1990! So "eyeballing" seems to give you different years to choose!

    As I said before, you again provide three realclimate links. These are of no value Donald. realclimate doesn't allow debate, so anything they write is worthless as it cannot be properly challenged.

    11 years with no warming does not mean warming has ended. However, as I said, no model gave any such period of flattened or cooling temperature - rendering them useless. You can live in hope of your El Nino.

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  • 156. At 10:26am on 24 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    MarkB2020. Why would I change it from 1998 to 1999 when the Met Office were talking about 1998? Please explain. Why is 10 years a "trend" to quote you, but 11 years is not? Would a trend of 10 years be better than a trend of 11? Please think next time Mark.

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  • 157. At 11:40am on 24 Oct 2009, Donald Broatch wrote:

    @SmokingDeepThroat

    A longer time period is necessary to show the long term trend.

    The Met Office graph is not incorrect: it uses data up to 2007.

    The point of the graph is to illustrate that a long term-warming trend may contain apparent periods of slower warming, no warming, or even no warming. The graph shows a negative trend for 8 years from about '78 to '86.

    To see the longer trend, it is necessary to look at a longer period- 15 years or more.

    The Met Office has a more up-to-date analysis here:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/policymakers/policy/slowdown.html

    It quite clearly states that decades of no apparent warming are produced by the models:

    “We found one in every eight decades has near-zero or negative global temperature trends in simulations. Given that we have seen fairly consistent warming since the 1970s, the odds of one in eight suggest the observed slowdown was due to happen.”

    You dismiss the analysis of the people who actually run the models, just as you dismiss the analysis of the people who collect the temperature data.

    The world's meteorologists and climate scientists tell us that warming continues; a poster in the comment section of a blog tells us it's all a conspiracy.

    The sad thing is that the BBC posted an article which reflects a view common on internet blogs, forums and comment sections rather than the opinions of the people who actually do the science.






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  • 158. At 12:53pm on 24 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    Donald. No, you and the Met Office have made a mistake. I'm not claiming any more than that. This was your reply to the poster:
    "Your first point is so much of a common misconception that the Met Office has a page devoted to dealing with it. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20080923c.html"

    In that link the Met Office quite clearly write of "10-year periods". My point to you (I'll repeat) is that the last blue bar of the 10-year period which is meant to show that global warming has not stopped - is incorrect. At the time this particular Met Office's page was presented I wrote to the Met Office explaining that they had made a mistake. I clearly showed them from their own data that, far from being flattened (which I'm claiming now) the blue bar should actually be declining! This was because this page was written AFTER HadCRUt had released the latest data showing a sharp drop. Yet they chose to show it up until 2007 only. Why? This drop actually pulled that blue bar down. If you ran the same analysis now it would be flat (woodfortrees). So I cannot put it any clearer than that. Your reply was a mistake on your part because you relied on that Met Office page without checking to see if that page was/is correct. And it isn't. This is why I made the point to you to go and check the data (their data) yourself and compile your own graph.

    And I didn't say that it is a conspiracy either. Please do not say things I haven't said. I said that the Met Office is economical with the truth. I know, because of the reply I had when I wrote to them. Even when their own data shows they're wrong, they continue regardless. They are STILL saying that "temperatures are continuing to rise". This is disingenuos as they can only say that if they ignore their own "10-year periods"! They skip in and out of their own phrases whenever it suits the occassion!

    Donald. "the people who do the science" only tell you what they want you to hear. Compile your own graph from their own data. If they only go up to a certain date, ask yourself why! You may (or may not!) notice that even in the "up to date" link you give, they don't show a graph of the flattening - because this harms their belief system. Instead they go on about 'warmest years'. They will not show a graph that shows the flattening, even though they are always publishing graphs showing rising trends. Why won't they do that Donald?

    Even though I'm classed as a sceptic, I don't listen to either side directly. I do my own research if I can. I strongly advise that you do the same. You could start with never bothering to read realclimate. It's so biased that it's laughable.

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  • 159. At 1:00pm on 24 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    Donald. Just to emphasise the point. Look again at your Met Office link. They say "1975-2007". They talk of 10-year periods and the lack of warming since 1998. They even say, "The blue lines show the varying rate of the trend over 10-year periods." That last blue bar is a 9-year period! Why would they do that Donald, when they had the 2008 data (not the complete year but enough to go from mid 1998 to mid 2008)? I know why, you apparently do not.

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  • 160. At 1:58pm on 24 Oct 2009, Donald Broatch wrote:

    "I clearly showed them from their own data that, far from being flattened (which I'm claiming now) the blue bar should actually be declining!"

    Wood For Trees shows a positive trend for 1998-2007 in the HadCrut data:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2007/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2007/trend

    Wood For Trees carries the following caveat:

    "I am not an academic researcher and hence have no need for formal references. However, if you've found this site useful, an informal 'mention in dispatches' and a Web link wouldn't go amiss.

    This cuts both ways, however: The algorithms used on this site have not been formally peer reviewed and hence should not be used unverified for academic publication (and certainly not for policy- making!). This site is only intended to help find interesting directions for further research to be carried out more formally."

    The simple trend analysis may or may not produce the same results as the trend analysis carried out by the met office. There are different statistical methods used for trend analysis.

    There is a graph on the Met Office page which shows the dip in temperatures over recent years; so your claim that the Met Office is hiding something does not stand up.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/images/policymakers/global.gif

    Most "sceptics" would like people not to read the real science; I don't share your mistrust of the Met Office or RealClimate.

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  • 161. At 3:03pm on 24 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    Donald. I can't believe you're not reading what I wrote!
    1. The Met Office had the data for a 10-year period - yet they chose to end the graph in 2007.
    2. The Met Office says (on that page) that the blue bars are 10-year periods - yet the last blue bar is a 9-year period!
    3. The whole point of the Met Office page was to stem the belief that warming hadn't stopped 10 years after the last peak - yet they chose 9 years, not 10. At the time the page was published there was much in the media of "10 years with no warming". By choosing 9 years they could have that blue bar inclining.

    So why do you continue to talk of (such as the woodfortrees) 1998-2007 when I quite clearly pointed out that the data was in for 2008?

    The Met Office DOES NOT show any graph for the period 1998 to now (the flattening that I wrote of). Yet again, you twist the words that I wrote to suit an explanantion that no one has stated.

    I am a sceptic who DOES want people to read real science. That's why I wouldn't read realclimate - it's a blog and forum, not a science site! The fact that you are a supporter of it speaks volumes about you Donald. I read the Met Office's site, but I read it with a science eye - I go to their data and see it for myself. You accept what they write, and as I have pointed out, you're having the wool pulled over your eyes.

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  • 162. At 3:08pm on 24 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    I’ll have to bow out of this debate as it’s taking up my time, and people don’t properly read what I write, so I cannot justify the time spent. But I would like to leave you with what I believe - based on much thought and investigation.

    Humans like to elevate themselves. If you are on £25k a year you’ll probably tell people you’re on almost £30k. If you beat 75 people in a competition, it was 100. It’s not lies as such, it’s that we simply like to elevate ourselves above others, above the truth. Similarly, as a species we like to elevate ourselves. We say we’re smarter than a pig. A pig doesn’t do irrational things, it only ever does stuff for a reason. A pig doesn’t believe in a superpig, above the clouds, that once sent its own piglet down from the great pen in the sky. A pig doesn’t think that it will go to a supersty when it dies. We like to be in control. We like to think we’re in control. We like to think that when something bad happens, it happened because we lost control - and we must get control back. Such is the scare over climate change.

    You can tell a person from the things they say. If anyone says, “The evidence is in. It’s settled.” You immediately know that the person isn’t a scientist. Because a scientist would never say that unless it’s about something fundamental like the Earth going around the Sun. The primary need of a scientist is to be sceptical. It’s what drives us to discover the truth, not an explanation, but the truth. And it’s what sets religion apart from science. If we stumble, and we do that so easily, back to the stance of a religious belief, then we get an explanation that we’re happy with. We don’t necessarily get the truth.

    I did once believe in global warming - until I looked for the evidence myself and discovered that there isn’t any. There are explanations for events, explanations for how it might work, but actual evidence is conspicuous by its absence. You could come to me and say, “If I give you 100% oxygen for five minutes then you’ll die.” We could test that and conclude that it’s true. We would have carried out an experiment to ascertain the truth. Not only do we not know that humans are causing warming, we don’t even know if the warming is real, that it’s any different from the past. The proxies we use to tell us past temperatures aren’t really good enough. Tree rings might tell us the temperature of the air the year the tree grew that ring, or it could be telling us what the rain and sunshine was like. Rain and sunshine isn’t any indication of temperature.

    Choosing 1998 to take stock of subsequent-year global temperatures is contentious. However, it is, after all, the last peak, and thus acceptable. For the past 11 years the warming (that we all thought would continue - even most of the sceptics) hasn’t continued. Indeed, if you use satellite data there’s actually been a drop in temperature. We can deal with that by looking again at what we know, and rearranging our experiments and methods to give us a better understanding, or we can go blindly on with unscientific and ridiculous statements like, ‘the cooling is masking the warming‘. When computer models haven’t predicted 11 years of flattened or cooling temperature then it’s time to take a serious look at those models and conclude they are worthless. I say it’s time we looked even past that. What if the scientists are wrong? There’s very little in science that we know for certain. If scientists are wrong about climate change then not only would we have wasted trillions of dollars, we will have set science back almost to the Dark Ages.

    I say that we stop spending any more money on trying to alter climate change for a period of five years. If the temperature rises then something may well be going on. If it stays flat or even cools then we forget the whole sorry idea. Five years isn’t long. In five years, so the Met Office tells us, we will witness at least two years that will be globally hotter than 1998. At present, only a few countries are attempting anything like an effort to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. At present, those countries are merely harming themselves economically while the rest of the world carries on. It’s a sobering thought that if all the cars in the world were taken off the roads tomorrow forever, there would be no discernable drop in global temperatures EVEN IF they are a causation. That’s quite a thought. Let’s give it five more years, that’s all I’m asking.

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  • 163. At 4:05pm on 24 Oct 2009, NeilHamp wrote:

    Donald and SmokingDeepThroat,

    I have followed your discussion with interest because I too have had cause to write to the Met.Office regarding their claim that "warming slowed significantly — trends over the past 10 years show only a 0.07 °C increase in global average temperature."

    In looking at the data over the past ten years I could not understand how they could make such a statement. They advised me that they used a trend line starting in 1999. I checked all trend lines starting from 1999 to 2004 using the Wood for the Trees site. The ONLY trend line which shows a temperature increase is that starting in the La Nina year of 1999. ALL others show no change or a COOLING trend.

    I think it is a somewhat disingenuous of the Met.Office to claim warming when only ONE trend in the past 10 years shows a warming trend

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  • 164. At 4:25pm on 24 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    Smoking (#156),

    "Why is 10 years a "trend" to quote you, but 11 years is not?"

    Linear trend analysis starting in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000 reveals strong positive trends. Only starting in 1998 do you get a slight negative trend. This reveals that 1998 isn't a representative data point and starting from this year is clear cherry-picking. A more robust analysis would be to compare the 5-year mean centered around 1998 (1996-2000) with the recent 5-year mean. This is Exercise 2 for you, but I take it you're still working on Exercise 1.

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  • 165. At 5:16pm on 24 Oct 2009, NeilHamp wrote:

    Mark,
    If we are taliking about HadCRUT3 data I don't think you could describe the 2000 trend line as "strongly positive"

    If you check out 2001/2/3/4 you will see that they all show a cooling trend. If anyone should be accused of "cherry picking" it is the Met.Office for chosing 1999 as their start year. (see my comments #163)

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  • 166. At 6:28pm on 24 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 167. At 7:47pm on 24 Oct 2009, Donald Broatch wrote:

    @ SmokingDeepThroat

    I would suggest the simplest explanation is that the Met Office produced the graph in 2007, and reused it in 2008.

    If they had updated the graph in 2008, it would still have shown a warming trend.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2008/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2008/trend

    You are really looking for a conspiracy that is not there.

    The purpose of the 2008 was to show that there can be periods of flat or even cooling temperatures in a warming trend, but that they do not mean the trend has ended.

    You then insist that they use a period you have picked from the data to show that global warming has ended.

    I think the answer to your question is there somewhere.

    The trend from any one year to the present is highly influenced by short-term variability until enough time has passed for the warming trend due to global warming to be larger than short-term variability. The trend from 1998 started as "cooling" with the La Nina of 2000, became "warming" with the consistently was El Nino years of 2002-2006, and became "cooling" again with the La Nina of 2008. The trend is now flat as we move into an El Nino year, and will become "warming again" as the El Nino effect increases.

    As time goes on, the global warming trend will dominate and the trend from 1998 will become increasingly positive. Sooner or later we'll have another record warm year even in the HadCrut record which will dispel the "global cooling" myth once and for all.

    In fact, in the GISS temperature record, the 1998 record has been surpassed. And temperatures in 2010/2011 look to set a new record, as mentioned in a previous post.

    @ NeilHamp

    "..trends over the past 10 years.."

    I assume they meant a period of ten years. "The trend over the past 10 years" is probably what the author should have written, but I don't speak for the Met Office.

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  • 168. At 9:36pm on 24 Oct 2009, Donald Broatch wrote:

    @ SmokingDeepThroat (Comment 162)

    The problem with your analysis is your mistaken conclusion that global warming ended in 1998. The evidence just doesn't support it.

    This decade was warmer than the last one (even with the record warm year in 1998), which was warmer than the one before that, which was warmer than the one before that, which was warmer than the one before that.

    Maybe this graph will bring it home.

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/warming_by_decade.png

    If that doesn't, consider the fact that ocean temperatures have hit a new record.

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/09/16/second-warmest-august-on-record-and-warmest-june-july-august-for-the-oceans-deepest-solar-minimum/

    The science says we have already delayed too long, which makes the "global cooling" myth- and inaccurate articles like Paul Hudson's- so dangerous.

    The science says global warming continues, and we need to act within the next decade. Not to prevent global warming- we're already committed to about 2 degrees- but to prevent even riskier warming, possibly up to 4 degrees.

    Temperatures will not stop rising until many years *after* we cut emissions.

    Waiting five years for new record temperatures would mean a big increase in CO2 emissions- A new generation of coal fired power stations in the US, and the rest of the world taking its lead from the US and putting off action.

    In five years time, it will be even harder to achieve the cuts needed, and we'll be committed to even more warming.

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  • 169. At 5:43pm on 26 Oct 2009, Spanglerboy wrote:

    Readers of this blog might be interested to know that not only can you argue endlessly about what the trend in recent temperatures is but there also seems to be some doubt as to how reliable the temperature datasets might be
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/thermometer-years-by-latitude-warm-globe/

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  • 170. At 6:53pm on 26 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    NeilHamp (#165),

    "If you check out 2001/2/3/4 you will see that they all show a cooling trend. If anyone should be accused of "cherry picking" it is the Met.Office for chosing 1999 as their start year. (see my comments #163)"

    We're not really talking about "a decade" or "since 1998" then, are we? If we start in 2007 or 2008, we see a large warming trend. This is why using one year as a starting point is hazardous on these sorts of timescales, as variability is high. Comparing 5-year means is a better representation. Or we could go back at least 30 years.

    Note that existing data doesn't include the pending upward correction to sea surface temperatures. SSTs measurements have been gradually moving from ship to buoy. Buoys have a demonstrated cool bias relative to ships, thus skewing the data downward over the past decade. It will be interesting to see how that pans out, although I don't expect it to be more than a few hundredths.

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  • 171. At 8:20pm on 26 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:


    Pretty good article on this topic:

    http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/ap-impact-statisticians-reject-174088.html

    It also exposes a claim by Don Easterbrook, who Paul Hudson cited in the earlier post.

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  • 172. At 11:27am on 27 Oct 2009, ElliottCB wrote:

    QuaesoVeritas - (True cheese?) Sorry, I've been distracted with creationists over on the Amazon forum.

    "I have calculated the 10, 20 and 30 year moving average figures for global temperatures (HadCRUT3). Here they are for the last 4 years :"

    No, QV. They are NOT there for the last 4 years. The last point for which a 10-year moving average can be calculated is 2003/2004.

    "That is, the 10 year MA fell in 2008 for the first time since 2000 (actually the largest fall in a single year since 1955) and even the 20 year MA rose only 0.008c."

    Whatever it is you have calculated, it is not the 10-year MA for 2008, as we do not yet have the data for 2009-2014. However, the valid question still arises: to what level of statistical significance?

    While we're on the subject of HadCRUT3, might I draw attention to the graphs on the top right of the download page: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/ What appears to be a five-year MA is plotted on these graphs. I count 9 points since 1910 at which the 5-year MA showed "cooling", adding up to an increase of about 0.8°C across the entire period.

    That's where just grabbing the most recent peak and hoping for the best gets you.

    If the Deniers are so confident in this "cooling", then you ought to have some confidence in its robustness. Certainly enough that you would not be dependent on a single data point. Who would care to do a regression analysis for us and demonstrate a trend here with 1998 excluded as an outlier?

    This might come in handy: [Broken URL removed by Moderator] Don't bother trying to start with 1998, by the way - even if it were not a stupid way to try to rig the result, the gradient STILL comes out as +0.007161.

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  • 173. At 11:37am on 27 Oct 2009, ElliottCB wrote:

    Hmph. Try that broken URL again: http://www.co2science.org/data/temperatures/hadley.php

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  • 174. At 11:47am on 27 Oct 2009, ElliottCB wrote:

    It looks like that URL was not broken - I got a mail form the BBC saying that it contravenes house guidelines, although I can't for the life of me imagine how. If you search in Google for "HadCRUT3 CO2Science" you should find a trend calculator for the HadCRUT data. I hope that is acceptable to the moderators.

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  • 175. At 1:36pm on 27 Oct 2009, ElliottCB wrote:

    MarkB2020 - That article was a nice, clear popularisation. I would take issue with the last statement that a cooling trend will never be heard of again, however. Noise in the signal will guarantee that either the year immediately after or one pretty soon after will again be cooler. So probably before the new figure is even settled the debate will just start up again with a new "cooling trend" from a baseline of about 0.2°C higher. They'll just pick the new record a plot a "cooling" from that as soon as it is over.

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  • 176. At 8:19pm on 28 Oct 2009, MarkB2020 wrote:

    ElliottCB (#175),

    Dr. Schmidt clarified that comment:

    "I actually meant that a cooling trend from 1998 wouldn’t be talked about again. Obviously, if 2010 is a record year then the talk will turn to a cooling trend from 2010 as early as summer 2011. These people, unlike the climate on a year to year basis, are extremely predictable"

    Still, I disagree with that. 2005 was a record in 2 of the datasets that include the Arctic, but the political crowd ignores these. If 2010 is a record, they will just deny or ignore the data and claim that snowfall in [some_city], [some_country] on [some_date] invalidates it.

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  • 177. At 01:08am on 31 Oct 2009, DrDweeb wrote:

    Real science is about to detonate the AGW hypothesis once and for all. It was predictable, and a tribute the inquiring minds of scientists. Hopefully Nature and Science will redeem their tarnished reputations and a lot of poor scientists will find useful future employment in some other profession.

    Start here and do just a few days research, and you will discover that the AGW hypothesis and the climate modelling industry are now hoplessly in tatters, on the basis of real instrumental observational evidence by scientists whose careers are not vested in the CO2 hypothesis.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xos49g1sdzo&NR=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpFk0zTW-ik&feature=channel

    I might also point out that the recent dismantling (yet again) of the Hockey Stick and the entire tree ring temperature proxy is happening in real-time, and along with it I would hope a lot of bad extrapolations based on bad methodology. We should thank the august institution, The Royal Society for this.


    I give the CO2 causes AGW hypothesis about 5 years of kicking and screaming before it gets buried along with the phlogiston theory and a huge number of other scientific ideas scrapped for want of evidence.


    Dweeb

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  • 178. At 9:11pm on 31 Oct 2009, DrDweeb wrote:

    Whoops, another nail in the coffin
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL039628-pip.pdf

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  • 179. At 7:08pm on 01 Nov 2009, loopylegin wrote:

    Paul a great blog. lots of comments here by believers and non belivers. I have done a lot of reading and it is clear to me that a lot or truth twisting was done to get to world to think there is global warming. Billions has been and will be spent... for nothing....? I suggest that everyone ready Christophen Bookes's book - The Real Global Warming Disaster. Sub titles 'Is the obsession with Climate Change turning out to be the most costly scientific blunder in history?'

    It is simply a history book reporting the 'warts and all' story of how curruption got into the IPCC and the scienfic truth got hidden

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  • 180. At 01:51am on 10 Nov 2009, Daniel Taylor wrote:

    You have a container the earth with atmosphere and oceans and icecaps. CO2 more effectively seals the container, so that radiated heat can't escape as well.
    The increase in temperature is 'used up' (as James Lovelock noted) by increases in ocean temperature and melting of ice. So you do not notice the increase in air temperature.
    Your articles lack a wholistic view and are very anthropocentric and blinkered. Hubris is stating a half truth as the truth. This is unfortunately what you have done.

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