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A frozen Britain turns the heat up on the Met office.

Paul Hudson | 13:34 UK time, Saturday, 9 January 2010

It's been quite a week. Temperatures for the second time this winter in Yorkshire fell to -14C (7F), at Leeming in North Yorkshire on Thursday night. In Scotland -22C was recorded at Altnaharra in the Scottish highlands; and in Wales, the Met Office station in Trawscoed in Ceredigion recorded -14C while ice formed at the marina in Aberystwyth for the first time since the winter of1963.

Across the northern hemisphere extremes of cold have been reported, but It's important to point out that this pattern of weather is also leading to some areas of the world experiencing higher than normal temperatures too.

But what is causing it?

The main culprit is the little known Arctic pressure oscillation. It reversed sharply at the beginning of December and effectively shunted the jet stream much further south than normal, leaving us very much on the cold side of the jet, wide open to the influence of the Arctic and Russia.

So could we have forecast this severe cold spell of weather?

One long range forecaster I spoke to this autumn was convinced that this winter was going to be cold. His name is Joe Bastardi at Accuweather.com. Joe has a common sense approach to long range forecasting, an old fashioned style that has almost gone out of fashion in a meteorological world so dominated by powerful computers. He has an analytical mind second to none, and when I spoke to him he told me he was convinced that the weather patterns that we were having at the time reminded him of those which in the past had been followed by cold winters. He even went on to say that not only could this winter be cold across the USA and Europe, but it could be similar to those we used to experience in the 1970's. And this was way back in September.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I would be the first to admit that long range forecasting can be a mug's game. But there have been little clues along the way. Firstly, the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) went negative during September. This in the past has been a good indicator of a colder, more anticyclonic winter in years gone by. The current El Niño in the Pacific also offers clues. El Niño's in the past have affected Europe's climate late in the winter and into spring. In particular February and March are often colder than average across Europe during Pacific El Niño events. Interestingly the American model has consistently forecast a colder than average February. (And The El Niño could give us a good warm summer but don't quote me on that!)

So why, at the same time that Joe Bastardi at Accuweather.com forecast a cold winter did the Met Office issue a forecast saying that this winter would be mild, with the chances of a cold winter less than 15%?

Clearly there is the rest of January and February to go, but such has been the intensity of the cold spell, which next week will run into its 4th week, then it would take something remarkable during the rest of winter for the Met Office's forecast to be right. It's also worth remembering that this comes off the back of the now infamous barbeque summer forecast, and lets not forget last winter, which the Met Office said again would be mild, but turned out to be the coldest for over 10 years.

The answer may well be quite straight forward. It's likely that the all powerful and dominant Hadley centre supercomputer predicted very little chance of a cold winter, just like it did last winter, and that, as they say, was that.

Which begs other, rather important questions. Could the model, seemingly with an inability to predict colder seasons, have developed a warm bias, after such a long period of milder than average years? Experts I have spoken to tell me that this certainly is possible with such computer models. And if this is the case, what are the implications for the Hadley centre's predictions for future global temperatures? Could they be affected by such a warm bias? If global temperatures were to fall in years to come would the computer model be capable of forecasting this?

If you have time, read again my article called 'Could the sun cast a shadow on global temperatures predictions' that I wrote before Christmas. In particular, read David Archibald's paper, peer reviewed in Energy and Environment journal, where he discusses the prolonged solar minimum we have been in, and what happened to CET temperatures (the longest temperature data set in the world) the last time we experienced such a solar cycle, and the implications for the weather across America and Europe.

Of course the fact that the severe winter has coincided with the very unusual solar cycle could easily be a coincidence, the winter just part of nature's natural variability if you like. Don't forget global warming predictions don't say that cold winters will never happen again, just that they will become less frequent in time. And there's no doubt about it we have been long overdue a prolonged cold winter.

At the very least, though, it's food for thought on this bitterly cold January weekend.


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  • 1. At 3:08pm on 09 Jan 2010, EPF wrote:

    One small, tiny, almost no need to mention critique Paul



    I.e we have had some warm winters, so they largely expect a warmer one.

    The model is barely used. It says so on the relevent section of their website.

    If the Hadley Centre model is so warmly biased Paul, why have your regional and other national forecasts been incredibly accurate a couple of days in advance of the temperatures in this cold snap? It's the same model.

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  • 2. At 3:28pm on 09 Jan 2010, Gadgetfiend wrote:

    Paul, why is your blog not given more prominence within the BBC? Another thought provoking, balanced blog, in tune with what a lot of people must be thinking. What a shame its buried.


    You are clearly badly informed. Statistics do come into it, but heavy weight is placed on the computer model output which once again was wrong. What type of forecaster would say next year will be mild because last few years were? What nonsense.

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  • 3. At 4:23pm on 09 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    So far, I have been surprised at the lack of criticism of the Met. Office, for getting the original winter forecast so wrong. While the councils are being blamed for not having enough salt, hardly anyone (to my knowledge), is pointing out that the councils rely on the Met. Office forecast to plan supplies. They were told it would be a mild winter and they planned accordingly. In the interview with Andrew Neil, the head of the Met. Office admitted that the seasonal forecasts were not as accurate as the short-term forecasts or the long-term ones, although we have no way of knowing yet, whether the long-term ones are accurate. We will not know that until 2020 or 2050. Even the short-term forecasts may not be as accurate as the M.O. claims. It all depends on how you measure the accuracy, and if performance related bonuses depend on it, you can be sure that they will measure it in a way which maximises accuracy. In my experience, the short-term forecasts aren't particularly accurate at a detailed level. The M.O. also say that this winter's weather is unusual, but I don't think that can be used as an excuse. Anyone can forecast normal weather and get it right most of the time. With the staff and money at it's disposal, if the Met. Office can't forecast the unusual, then it's forecast are a waste of time and money and should be discontinued. Planning should be done on the assumption that the weather will be bad, even though it may not be for the majority of the time. That way, we won't get caught out. In order to avoid bias, the accuracy of all forecasts should NOT be measured by the Met. Office, but by an independent auditor.

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  • 4. At 4:38pm on 09 Jan 2010, EPF wrote:

    I think it is QV, I saw one recdently, Short term and long term projection the Met Office model is the best in the world at present, however seasonal and medium term (5 year) the European Model is better (ECMMWF ish i think is the acroynm).

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  • 5. At 4:59pm on 09 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    #4 If you say so, but having been involved myself with a performance related bonus scheme, albeit at a very minor level, in the private sector, I know how they can be manipulated. I still don't see how the accuracy of long-term forecasts can be measured, since we haven't yet reached the point at which the forecasts are aimed. By long-term forecasts, I mean the models on which the predictions of a 4-6 degree rise in global temperatures by the end of the century are based.

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  • 6. At 5:11pm on 09 Jan 2010, ScudLewis wrote:

    Very interesting post. I regularly watch Joe Bastardi on Accuweather.com and he has consistently made accurate forecasts. His 'winter warning' vlog posts (his 'December to remember') was posted on 6th and 8th of December, so no-one can say they were not warned.

    As for the coincidence of extreme cold with the solar lull for SC24 - this will be an interesting one to follow too.

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  • 7. At 5:13pm on 09 Jan 2010, HotorColdiDontmind wrote:

    I have been reading the Joe Bastardi blog on accuweather for a couple of years now and everything he says makes sense, most of his predictions about the long range weather are correct, including last winters cold this winters cold and the summer floods. The UKmet changes its mind so often to suit and then claims it was right at the end of each season, this year for winter the updated prediction has changed to a more cold winter which looks like it will be and they'll claim they were right, they wont mention their initial outlook for a mild winter. Ocean currents, solar activity, sun spots, the jet stream all have more of an impact on our climate than co2.

    Climate change is dead lets get over it and look at using the billions and billions of pounds currently being spent trying to control a climate that cant be controlled and help the people who really need it.

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  • 8. At 5:22pm on 09 Jan 2010, ThePIT wrote:

    Interesting questions which hopefully will start a debate.
    By the way Joe B always forecasts a cold winter so eventually will get it right one day.

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  • 9. At 5:42pm on 09 Jan 2010, HotorColdiDontmind wrote:

    And Joe Bastardi also admits when he is wrong unlike the UKmet.

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  • 10. At 6:11pm on 09 Jan 2010, EPF wrote:

    QV I am not sure about how the calibration is done, it involves what is termed as 'metrics' in climate modelling, but i don't know what these are.

    I am also not sure who does the comparison, it could be in house, or it could be externally peer reviewed. However, if it is inhouse, why admit a weakness to another model then claim superiority in other areas?

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  • 11. At 6:44pm on 09 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    I just saw Ewan McCallum, Chief Meteorologist at the M.O. describing criticism of the seasonal forecast as a "complete distraction" and "mischief making in the media". He also said that most of their customers used short-term forecasts for planning purposes, described seasonal forecasts as "experimental" and that they hadn't publicised their seasonal forecast for winter. The last part, at least, is true. If you didn't know where to look on the site, you wouldn't know they existed. However, it is really "experimental", why publish it at all?

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  • 12. At 6:52pm on 09 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "By the way Joe B always forecasts a cold winter so eventually will get it right one day."
    That's a good point, if true, but of course the same applies to the M.O., who usually forecast a mild winter. Since mild winters have, until recently, been more common, in theory that should be reflected in any evaluation of accuracy. It should be easy to check. Which takes me back to my original point, anyone can forecast normality with reasonable accuracy.

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  • 13. At 7:30pm on 09 Jan 2010, mailmannz wrote:

    I caught the thing that passed as an interview on Newsnight the other night, where the Met Office director and geezer from Oxford got a pretty easy ride by the BBC reporter.

    The thing that strikes me is this, perhaps the reason the Met Office DIDNT report the cold winter coming was because it couldnt. As soon as the Met Office came out with their "2009 is the hottest year in the history of the universe and everything in it" and then admitted the reason they came out with that claim was to influence Copenhagen...so how would it look if 30 seconds after that announcement they then turned around and said the coldest winter since William landed as an illegal immigrant in 1066 was about to strike the UK?

    Also, as already mentioned above. Councils would have been looking at the Met Office long range forecast to plan for their winters accordingly. Of course if all they are seeing is information saying winters are going to be hot and snow is a thing of the past, then why would councils spend money on grit?

    The Met Office, Hadley and CRU etc are all part of the same global warming (tm) cabal...these groups are so committed to global warming (tm) that they will purposely put lives at risk by NOT telling people that cold winters are coming simply because that will make their global warming (tm) predictions look as ridiculous as many of us already know they are.

    Also, the Met Office and the Oxford big brain continued the meme of the weather not being the same as the climate...funny how a couple hot days brings out all the alarmists and chicken littles who proclaim the heat as being proof of man made global warming (tm)...wonder why these same alarmists and chicken littles all scramble to proclaim that the weather is not the same as the climate when we get exactly the same thing happening with cold weather?

    So if the Met Office really wants the trust of the people, RELEASE all your data and all your code so we can see EXACTLY what it is you have been testing and how! Only then will we be able to see exactly how they are coming up with their guesses. BTW, Im not talking about releasing the adjusted data (as is already happening), but the raw data and all the code and models used because Im just not in the mood to take the Met Offices word for anything...let alone something as critical as weather forecasting.


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  • 14. At 8:10pm on 09 Jan 2010, Jack Frost wrote:

    At last, someone on the BBC who has the backbone to question.

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  • 15. At 8:24pm on 09 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    I agree that to issue a forecast of a very cold winter would have been embarrassment, immediately prior to Copenhagen, but I am inclined away from a conspiracy theory and towards plain incompetence. I think the M.O. spin machine could have handled it. In fact, they could have used it to their advantage by blaming it on "climate change". If the seasonal forecasts are really "experimental", I think they should withdraw them and not issue any more until they have proved their accuracy. By that, I don't mean 80% correct prediction of mild winters but 0% prediction of cold ones.
    Of course, it has also been very cold in Europe and other parts of the N.H. Does anyone know if any other national meteorological services have been any better at predicting this, or don't they bother?
    I also agree that they should issue raw data and model code, but I suspect that the latter might prove so amateurish that it would be an embarrassment. I also wonder if the fact that they are part of the M.O.D. means that the data and code are "official secrets".

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  • 16. At 9:03pm on 09 Jan 2010, Chris wrote:

    The Mess Office forecasts are all over the place. I guess this kind of weather system is not the norm, so their models won't have a lot if history data to work with. Over that past few days the short-term forecasts have been just as poor as their long-term ones. Yesterday the forecast at lunchtime said no snow in the afternoon or evening. By 3pm about 6cm of snow had fallen when I got a @metoffice flash saying snow was due soon. The flash was about 2 hours late and flatly contradicted the forecast from about 3 hours earlier.

    I'm not sure that councils would have bought in more salt if they had heard a long-term forecast for a cold winter from the Mess Office - they wouldn't have believed it.

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  • 17. At 9:05pm on 09 Jan 2010, Devonseaglass-on the shore wrote:


    A well balanced and considered post. No one knows what the climate will do, even with the latest and greatest models. We just need to be a bit more humble on what nature and man can do to the environment. I wonder if anyone will be betting on man soon?

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  • 18. At 9:37pm on 09 Jan 2010, FergalR wrote:

    How heartwarming that diligent study of past atmospheric conditions can outperform the latest technological gizmo. Uncomfortable as the weather is; a sustained negative AO might at least encourage the Beaufort gyre to produce some sturdier Arctic ice than we've been used to in recent times. Perhaps a flotilla of icebreakers should be dispatched to investigate?

    Please remember that the Meteorological Office's long range forecasts can give the best of them a run for their money, such as the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's scrying of Winter in the United States:

    "The forecast for the Northeast, the world's largest heating oil market, will have equal chances of above-normal, near-normal, or below-normal temperatures and precipitation."

    It's like having a time machine!

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  • 19. At 10:05pm on 09 Jan 2010, Eastvillage wrote:

    I am a big fan of Joe Bastardi. I use accuweather pro in my work and recreational life. His long range forecasts are excellent.
    Perhaps the Councils mentioned in the article would be better and more economically served with a monthly subscription($20!) to accuweather and JB's forecasts. I knew it was going to be cold and snowy in the UK this winter back in early October!

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  • 20. At 10:12pm on 09 Jan 2010, waynerga wrote:

    I have been reading Joe Bastardi's post on Accu Weather's professional site since he began years ago. He doesn't always forcast cold winters although admittedly he loves extreme events. His long term forcasts are based largly on detailed analysis of past patterns and a number of other variables. It is no suprise to me similar patterns produce similar results. At least he makes a real, verifiable forcast rather then using probability schemes where one will rarely be "wrong". The computor models are tools to be used - not gods to be followed.

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  • 21. At 11:18pm on 09 Jan 2010, Idusechickenentrails wrote:

    Re. 13: The Newsnight piece did no credit to the BBC or its reputation for impartial treatment.

    The fact that all the contributors (two from the Mess Office alone) were in agreement/ warmists with no-one offered to balance their tales was shameful. the science correspondent and lead presenter merely posited potential doubts which in the event might seem to have ended only as leading questions, suggesting challenge but ultimately giving the guests, the way in to make their points; a possible case of "feeding them the lines".

    The main issue is how easily they were able to disconnect the long term projections form the short term foul ups; ironically - given the resources and expertise thrown at the 'problem'- claiming that it is so much easier we should, by implication trust that they have got that side right!

    No reason to disbelieve it then if it isn't too difficult, especially given the earlier description of their resources and expertise; i.e. presenting a view that the science is settled.

    Using Met Office insiders and believers solely is iffy; I'm sure that any impartial viewer who has done no separate research would inevitably believe that they were correct and so that global warming is a fact.

    They must have been very pleased with the outcome; a powerful and convincing piece of propaganda. I wonder how many viewers, undecided before, now believe it's a done deal?

    But well done, again to Paul Hudson, for risking the wrath of his handlers.

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  • 22. At 00:08am on 10 Jan 2010, mailmannz wrote:

    QV, the night before the Newsnight article the BBC had another Met Office director on and made the claim that the weather we are experiencing right now would be WORSE if it wasnt for global warming (tm)!!!

    How the guy managed to make that statement without bursting out in laughter is a mystery to me! :)


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  • 23. At 03:03am on 10 Jan 2010, Simon H wrote:

    Thank you, Mr. Hudson. A very insightful and thought-provoking blog. I worry that you're going to catch flak for this, though. Questioning the veracity of Hadley's assertions does have a well-documented history of biting one on the backside, sooner or later, and Hadley is acutely sensitive to criticism right now. Heresy is heresy, these days no less in climate prediction as any other similar faith-based gnosticism, and questioning that Knowledge is not for the faint of heart.

    But the questions you pose are valid and wholly justified questions. They deserve exploration and ultimately they deserve qualified answers. You are indeed a brave man. You have my respect, Mr. Hudson, and you have my undivided attention.

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  • 24. At 09:50am on 10 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    When the BBC do put a "sceptic" up against a "warmer", the person is usually a non-scientist, or an eccentric. I don't know if this is deliberate or just that they don't look hard enough. I recently contacted the BBC to say that a recent R4 Any Questions was biased towards warming, they replied that they had wanted a sceptic but couldn't find one. When I suggested that in future they might have used Lord Monckton (admittedly not a scientist), they said that they "hadn't come across him before". Clearly they are making no attempt to identify a panel of "sceptics" to use on such programmes.

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  • 25. At 09:55am on 10 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    I am still trying to get my head round that one. Surely they are not suggesting that they actually want WORSE winters? Last year, it was estimate that there were over 36,000 "excess deaths" due the cold weather and that is likely to be even higher this year. That is rarely mentioned in discussion of the effects of climate change.

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  • 26. At 10:43am on 10 Jan 2010, Tony wrote:

    I suggest the MET change the middle E into an O and admit what they are: the Ministry Of Truth.

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  • 27. At 10:49am on 10 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    No, that's the BBC!

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  • 28. At 10:50am on 10 Jan 2010, Pierre Gosselin wrote:

    The joke in the meteorology industry is that the Met Office has become the mother of meteorological laughing stocks. And with its recent track record, that label is probably well-deserved.
    Joe bastardi's Accuweather is privately run. That means its survival depends on the quality of its forecasts. I very much doubt the MetOffice would still be in business if it were a privately run enterprise.
    And if I may be so bold, I'd say that its warming bias is a direct result of pressure exerted by the bodies that fund it. Call it science by brute authority if you wish.

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  • 29. At 11:43am on 10 Jan 2010, John Marshall wrote:

    Long range forecasting is reliant upon the correct data being used. If the Met. Office is using the corrupt HADCRUT data then they are bound to get it wrong.
    Nasa has just produced a Global temperature anomaly map that shows the Arctic as a warm area!!! They have not 'looked out of the window' have they. But this is from NASA so should be correct. It turns out that this map, like many others, relies on guesses and the Arctic anomaly is based on one reading from Eureka in Arctic Canada which is known to be a warm area due to geography. It always has been ever since it was founded. It is the position of the only working temperature station in northern Canada so this was used by NASA to produce the map of the Arctic. The same map has the same problem with Bolivia. Read the full explanation on www.icecap.us
    As regards complaints to the Met. Office. I have complained several times about their wild claims and wrong forecasts and got nowhere. The reply is always 'sorry you are not happy with the service' to 'we are the worlds leading authority on.....'. Usually what you have complained about. They then say that your complaint will be passed to a higher authority which is the rubbish bin I think because this is the last you hear. Complaints about a rubbish reply get the same treatment.
    They are a non accountable quango paid for by us. The idea that they should be paid so much for so little is a scandal.

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  • 30. At 12:02pm on 10 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    There have been suggestions that the Arctic is currently warmer than normal, which (even as a sceptic), I am prepared to believe, since if we are experiencing Arctic conditions, the warm air must be going somewhere. Also, we shouldn't forget the southern hemisphere, so I am not counting my chickens yet that the current cold weather here and elsewhere necessarily means that global temperatures will be lower. I think we have to be prepared to wait until the official figures are published. While I wouldn't go as far as saying that the HadCRUT data is corrupt, I would like to see more transparency on the data and methods used to "average" it.

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  • 31. At 5:01pm on 10 Jan 2010, John wrote:

    In spite of being fingered by the "Team", you continue to question the orthodox and lazy view incorrectly put forward as consensus. A brave and honourable man deserving of our appreciation.
    The great thing about "climategate" is that freed from the threat of the CRU et al mafia, many others are now starting to ask the obvious questions and looking for alternative explanations for what affects the climate.
    It may transpire that CO2 is warming the planet at an unprecedented and alarming rate, but in a new atmosphere of genuine scientific investigation, the truth will be uncovered.
    My money is riding on an alternative and altogether less alarming picture.

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  • 32. At 5:22pm on 10 Jan 2010, ManmadeupGW wrote:

    I agree with many of the posters above that the BBC are giving the MET Office an easy ride. Some exceptions such as Andrew Neil and Clive James.

    The various spokesmen from the MET have generally sung from the same hymn sheet, "our forecasts are based on probabilities and we do give percentages blah blah blah.

    Of course it is the MET's press office that releases the statements, that we will have a Barbecue Summer, mild winter etc. Which of course journalists then publicise. Along with statements such as another top ten year of warming?

    When any scientific organisation becomes wedded to a believe it then becomes not fit for purpose. One wonders whether the government are a controlling mind in all of this?

    The beauty of making predictions for 50 years ahead is that the proponents will unlikely be around.

    There is absolute no logic in th suggestion often made that climate forecasts for 10 20 or 50 years ahead will be more accurate than weather.

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  • 33. At 5:57pm on 10 Jan 2010, Space_1999 wrote:

    Spot on, Mailman (post 13)!

    I think this particular column is superb. I am surprised, given the Beeb's penchant for totalitarian mind control these days, that it is allowed.

    For example, every single weather event now gets someone from the Beeb and/or Met Office to reassure us that this is proof positive of global warming; every time something that seems to go against this happens, the same 'reassurance' takes place. They're even doing in on Newsround (CBBC) for heaven's sake! Here's the blueprint,

    (presenter: "Good evening, Britain is today gripped by floods/snow/heat/pestilence/plague)..."

    (then a piece about it, pictures of cars stuck, children sledging, women sunbathing, etc.)

    (presenter: "So how can this be happening given the warming of the earth; doesn't it contradict the science? Professor Ivor Grant from the Met Office/CRU/IPCC/Greenpeace is here to explain...")

    ('expert': "Well of course just because this is happening doesn't mean the science is wrong; indeed it only goes to prove its voracity. You see...}

    (long, rambling, woolly and highly tendentious science soundbites follow...)

    (then nobody to dispute it)

    Ermm, the end!

    It's good to know we're not being patronised/talked down to/wilfully mislead, isn't it?

    I am shocked to have to say this but I am now finding Pravda's English language site more illuminating on weather/climate change than the Beeb. They portrayed Copenhagen precisely for what it was, "the rich nations trying to tell the poor ones they can never become rich". Despite the sometimes iffy translation, the sentiment is spot on. Not one such thought articulated anywhere on the Beeb; indeed it was all about how Gordon Brown and Barrack Obama were going to 'save the world', with those evil Chinese the only ones to stop them.

    I am utterly sick and tired of the Beeb's handling of climate change; it is a sham, a scam and counter to any sort of Reithian notion, but even so praise be to them for at least having one critical (i.e. realist) voice, Paul
    Hudson, available. Shame his column is never flagged up on the site's front page, but methinks we should be grateful for small mercies!

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  • 34. At 7:31pm on 10 Jan 2010, GEWilliams wrote:

    Re; #33 You are mistaken, Auntie has two level headed voices. Phillip Eden regularly debunks the ever more sensationalist and fancyfull pronouncements of the bbc's news and weather departments - although you may have missed him, as his contributions have been largely restricted to appearances on Radio 5's "Up All Night" at half past one on a Tuesday morning.

    By the way Mr Hudson, I am old enough to remember when the current inclement conditions passed for a normal winter. As I may say are your Look North co-presenters, can we please have less of the doom and despair and we've never seen anything of the like before, oh how will we survive, presenting please. Especially when they are standing in what amounts to half an inch of snow.(Mr Gration you know who you are!) The move to metric with its higher numbers seems to have doubled the hysteria - perhaps a move back to English inches would bring a bit more perspective.

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  • 35. At 10:41pm on 10 Jan 2010, gildasthewise wrote:

    The ff figures indicate that the Met Office consistently over predicts temperature. In 9 out of the last 11 years they have done so. Which suggests that Paul's suggestion of a warming bias in their models may well be correct:

    year…forecast…actual Temp. Anomaly
    2006… 0.45(0.37?)……0.42
    2008……0.37…………0.28 (adj later to 0.32)

    (Predictions correlated to the HAD CRU 'actual' figures and courtesy of John M at http://goo.gl/6BIp.)

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  • 36. At 11:40pm on 10 Jan 2010, fjpickett wrote:

    I believe that Piers Corbyn (of WeatherAction) predicted a cold spell starting around January 4th. He forecast this in July, but presumably the MO couldn't bring themselves to believe it - either that, or they can't afford the £10/month he charges...

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  • 37. At 00:22am on 11 Jan 2010, BashfulPaperclip wrote:

    I'm having trouble getting my head round this, a balanced article with references to global warming on the BBC website. I'm so use to biased reporting of this subject from the BBC that I'm beginning to think that I might be dreaming, no I've checked it really is the BBC, wow what's going on.

    Poor old Aunty has done so much damage to itself over this subject, I'm sure more than they truly appreciate, people are not stupid and don't like being taken for fools and now thanks to their arrogance most people distrust them on this and so many other subjects.

    Full marks to Paul Hudson for going against the BBC norm and for having the strength of character to think for himself.

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  • 38. At 09:41am on 11 Jan 2010, John Marshall wrote:

    There are still some bloggers who believe that HADCRUT may have been a bit naughty but their data is still correct.
    I am sorry to tell you but their data is not correct and there is no way of getting to their raw data because they have destroyed that. This is admitted to in the Climategate emails.
    So the Official Figures will show that we have global warming because the officials will be working with the corrupted data sets not the unavailable raw data.
    Even the raw data will be incomplete because lots of the incommong data has been ignored because it showed a situation that HADCRUT were not willing to accept---- a cooling planet.

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  • 39. At 12:38pm on 11 Jan 2010, Paul Latham wrote:

    Several comments have been made about why more criticism has not been made by the BBC about the Met. Office errors in long-term forecasting in the last couple of years.

    May I suggest that the whole matter has become a political football with government climate change policy lurking in the background.The aim being to justify present and future green taxation policy.

    The debate about climate change is not yet over, indeed has it only really just begun in earnest?

    Vicky Pope, Head of the Met. Office Centre for Climate Change has stated that it is important not to allow scientists to sway the debate by stopping free discussion by refusing to allow alternative views to be expressed. In a democracy like Britain it is vital for this to openly take place.

    Professor Plimer of Adelaide and Melbourne Universities has been roundly criticised, unfairly in my view, for having an unpopular viewpoint by the 'pro-lobby'.

    Statistics are being widely used in computer models e.g. the RICE and DICE carbon cycle models to prove and disprove trends, however these models are themselves being constantly updated as the data changes.

    The Hadley Centre computer similarly has to have data constantly updated for climate change forecasting to be credible.

    The Stern Review [published 2007]is now widely criticised for being out of date and too extreme in its conclusions by the academic scientific community.

    This is not the time to have a closed mind on the whole subject. Paul Hudson's website is one of the few serious sites to permit open and free debate to take place.

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  • 40. At 1:13pm on 11 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    I have come to the conclusion that the BBC, the Government, and other political parties, have been reluctant to criticise the Met. Office, as to do so would also cast doubt on their predictions on climate change.

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  • 41. At 2:42pm on 11 Jan 2010, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    As you say, don't forget that the Met Office got it wrong last year as well, predicting a mild winter when in fact we had cold and heavy snow in February.
    Why do they never learn from their mistakes?
    When will they admit that they just can't do long-range forecasting?
    Yes there definitely is a warm bias, arising from their religious belief in climate change (see numbers in #35 for further evidence).

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  • 42. At 3:51pm on 11 Jan 2010, Boleslas_Broda wrote:


    One wonders.

    Did the Met Office always have this 'warm bias?'

    Does this same bias apply to its short-range forecasts?

    With under a dozen data points, though they were high on the same ten out of eleven ratio that solar-based forecasts are dead wrong --Interesting coincidence; how often does being wrong the same way ten of eleven times happen in forecasting and one is still taken seriously? -- it's not exactly conclusive evidence statistically.

    Why not go back thirty years? More?

    Is 1999 really the oldest year for long-range forecasting?

    One seems to recall years of lowball forecasts in the decades leading up to the millennium. Is that a (biased) misrecollection?

    One wonders if the more commonplace reporting bias may colour opinion.

    Most in the forecasting business do admit long-range forecasting is only slightly better than random guessing.

    They still proceed because there's value in the work to the public for other purposes than knowing whether to wear wooly underwear next March, poor as their chances of being seen as anything other than con men who fabricate answers out of delusion and dreamspin.

    Speaking of which, John Marshall, that's some nerve you have.

    "They are," you say, "a non accountable quango paid for by us. The idea that they should be paid so much for so little is a scandal."

    This coming from a coal-industry geologist in his Georgian manor?

    For decades you've profited from that cosy situation, and now you repay your industry benefactors with ceaseless mischief against their critics and those whose work informs against the industry?

    After all the centuries of favour with lawmakers and state subsidy that the coal industry has had on the backs of miners and taxpayers?

    Stop putting on the show of a coal-company shill, John.

    It ill becomes when it involves low attacks on civil servants who are in no position to defend themselves.

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  • 43. At 4:27pm on 11 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    #42 BB
    "Why not go back thirty years? More?
    Is 1999 really the oldest year for long-range forecasting?
    One seems to recall years of lowball forecasts in the decades leading up to the millennium. Is that a (biased) misrecollection?"
    Not sure what that would prove.
    If the previous forecasts exist and were too low, that demonstrates that the high bias has been introduced since 1999. On the other hand, if they were too high, that demonstrates that they have always had a high bias.

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  • 44. At 9:18pm on 11 Jan 2010, Lyndabee wrote:

    This is the second time within twelve months that the Met Office long term forecast has been proved wrong. We all know about the 'Barbeque Summer' blunder and now we are learning what a 'Mild Winter' feels like!

    I could almost believe that Nature is conspiring to make fools of Weather Forecasters - but then they seem to manage that all by themselves. All other branches of science judge a theory to be correct when it can be used to make accurate and reliable predictions, so why is Meteorology exempt?

    The saying is valid. If they can't get six months forecasts right why should we give credence to predictions 30 and 40 years hence?

    It used to be said that the average family in this country had 2.4 children. Although the maths was impeccable no one ever saw 0.4 of a child walking down the street. Forecasters regularly show us average temperatures for the time of the year. Although the maths is impeccable they conceal the fact that averages are calculated from a range of temperatures. Average calculations may be without error but we never actually see them 'walking down the street'.

    It's about time they gave up this global warming nonsense and give us all a break!
    Article appeared in Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph 11 Jan 10

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  • 45. At 00:51am on 12 Jan 2010, Mateybass wrote:

    Before we all get carried away, we must remember that Paul Hudson is not a sceptic, merely a weatherman who is following the charter of the BBC and giving a balanced and unbiased view point and I applaud him for it. For the advancement of science, all theories must be allowed to be subject to scrutiny and unfortunately we the general public are being denied the opinions of those scientists who have a contrary theory by biased coverage on the BBC. There has been too much of "The Emperor's New Clothes" syndrome concerning GW. It is remarkable that Paul has been allowed to voice concerns over the data on a BBC web site but at the same time I should expect no less from the BBC than to allow these most informative blogs to continue. How can we form an opinion unless we hear both sides of the argument? History tells us that when debate is suppressed it is bad for civilisation.

    If, however, Paul should suddenly go missing and a new snowman suddenly appears outside the Met Office building, especially if the snow has melted, we'll know what's happened to him.

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  • 46. At 10:42am on 12 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    Your comments on averages are correct. In fact, ALL of the averages published by the Met. Office are fundamentally flawed, since they are based on the calculation of daily averages based on the formula (min+max)/2. But this assumes that the temperature profile is symmetrical throughout the day, when it is not. From tests on my own temperature data, I have confirmed that "real" daily average temperatures (based on readings every 10 minutes) can vary from the simple average calculation by over +/- 1c (average about +/- 0.5c). The argument is that since averages have always been calculated in this way, the current figures are consistent with historical records. While this is true, I remain worried that the averages currently used for climate research are probably mostly inaccurate and that nobody really knows the real figures, given that in global warming terms, we are talking about rises of 0.2 to 0.6 degrees per decade. Clearly, until recently, the technology to calculate more accurate averages has not existed, but now that it does, we should be using the most accurate methods.

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  • 47. At 12:00pm on 12 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

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

  • 48. At 12:57pm on 12 Jan 2010, John Marshall wrote:

    BB #42, seems to think that I am a 'coal industry geologist'. I have NEVER worked for the coal industry as a geologist. As a plate layer during short term work experience month from university in 1960 yes. I have never received payment from any energy company for any work since then. I am an independant person with experience and a qualification in geology that is all. So BB get your facts right before you accuse anyone of any perceived crime of climate denial.
    Since CO2 has no input into climate coal is the cheapest and most supply efficient method of producing power especially for Africa which is desperate for developement to our expected levels of living. Supply of clean water, provision of health care and education, and everything else that we have come to expecton a daily basis depends on reliably electricity provision. That means coal sinse Africa has local easily extracted supplies. An increase in African developement levels can only be good for the planet.
    This also goes for the rest of the Third World.

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  • 49. At 4:42pm on 12 Jan 2010, Civil Servant wrote:

    For an alternative medium-term climate prediction visit bcc.cma.gov.cn, the Beijing Climate Centre. Begin at Climate Prediction (GPC) and experiment thereafter.

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  • 50. At 5:14pm on 12 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Many posters seem to be under the misconception that Paul Hudson is questioning the concept of man-made global warming. I see no evidence of this in his blog.

    He is, however, undoubtedly questioning the ability of the Met Office computer to accurately predict longer term weather trends. I don't think any of us would disagree with him on that! The problem, of course, is that no computer model can account for all of the variables........... such as conditions in the Pacific. It would probably be better if this was properly acknowledged and less reliance was placed on computer models for long term forecasting.

    In fairness, I suppose that the Met Office have come under a lot of pressure from government to make predictions.......... just as they were required to project how much the Earth would warm up before politicians would act to counter global warming. These things remain best guesses and I believe that honesty is the best approach.

    However, this particular blog has very little to do with global warming. Given the very uneven and ever changing distribution of heat across the planet, there is only one measurement which is really meaningful when talking about man-made global warming - and that is average global temperature. A cold winter here does not in any way indicate that the Earth as a whole is cooling.... any more than one warm summer suggests that it is warming up! The Earth MIGHT be cooling a little, but, as Paul said, this event could just as easily be due to normal variations in weather patterns.

    A number of Paul's blogs have indicated good reasons why the planet as a whole might be a little cooler at present, but these factors are only cycles which will ultimately go full circle, whereas the concentration of carbon dioxide will continue to rise.

    Further back up the thread, someone commented that the BBC said they could not find a scientist to speak against global warming. Has nobody considered the possibility that the BBC could be speaking the truth? The overwhelming majority of scientist have indeed reached consensus on this subject. They have done so not only based on data which the sceptics are still questioning, but also based on basic fundamentals of science and massive circumstantial evidence. It is when you look at the "big picture", rather than homing in on minutiae (as the sceptics continue to do), that you start to get a balanced view of what's really going on here......... and that requires an understanding of ALL the science, which only comes from years of study.

    This is why we now see professors of English and Economics now speaking on behalf of the global warming sceptics - by deflecting public attention away from that "big picture", they have been very effective at perpetuating public scepticism!


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  • 51. At 7:38pm on 12 Jan 2010, WicstunTomo wrote:

    #50 + anyone who can help me get the truth and make up my own mind with unbiased results to use!!

    I am in the process of reading the real global warming disaster book and while I appreciate that it may / is biased I think it asks many questions and throws light on many things with which I am uncomfortable with as a science teacher:

    1. Lack of debate - the media have decided GW is due to CO2 etc but when did we have the full and open debate? Mmany of the 'sceptics' are sick of being called names to enter a media debate! Science is not done by consensus, it is done by experiment, debate and peer review; How can this happen if certain parties are said to 'hide' their results so they cannot be properly reviewed! Circumstantial evidence is not really science - it can be interpreted either way, to suit your point of view! As I understand many of those who have 'forced' GW due to CO2 through by consensus are not even scienctists, the scienctists with the required expertise in the relevant areas who dared to question GW + CO2 where removed from the consensus group - so I am led to believe

    2. Something I have always be uncomfortable about is reliance on predictive temperatures from ice cores, tree rings etc used to forecast fractions of a degree temperature changes!!! I teach my pupils if you are using a metre as the unit of measure you can not really give your results to millimetre accuracy!!! I knwo I am not an expert in this field so could someone explain if this is a valid criticism?

    3. There are also very valid alternative reasons given for much of GW believers evidence - e.g. many other Glaciers esp in Greenland have increased in ice mass only a few have shrunk which are only ones ever shown - is that true?

    There are lots of other alternative explanations in the book; not going into others here, but can list if asked...

    As a member of the public / science teacher how do I know which is the real reason - I must say the sceptics reasons seem more reasonable in many cases!! Which version of the accuracy of the famous hickey stick graph should I believe - how am I to decide what data was used to plot it?

    In conclusion I am a 'big' sceptic (not an easy stance to take against the likes of David Attenbourgh and all the other celebrities, world leaders etc)- because of some of the reasons outlinned above, but would genuinely like to know the truth especially as reducing CO2 if we dont need to is costing us all a great deal of money!!!

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  • 52. At 9:25pm on 12 Jan 2010, FergalR wrote:

    Paul Briscoe,
    Mr. Hudson writes: "Could the model, seemingly with an inability to predict colder seasons, have developed a warm bias, after such a long period of milder than average years?"

    I don't want to put words into our honourable host's mouth, but perhaps the bias in question is the magnitude of the supposed warming effect of carbon dioxide. You say that IF the planet is currently cooler that that is only due to "cycles". Try replacing cooler with warmer in that sentence and you might gain a better perspective on the "big picture".

    The simple fact is that the Met Office, NOAA and others who are selling disaster scenarios completely failed to forecast the North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation going negative. The changes in heat distribution, albedo and increased Arctic ice thickness resulting will require modifications to their precious models. If the NAO has somehow qualitatively changed (perhaps due to man-made global warming?) and continues this behaviour in future years the climatological elite will start obsessing about positive feedbacks in the other direction.

    It would seem likely that the BBC is unable to find sceptical scientists because they are afraid to speak out; for daring to state factual information Mr. Hudson himself was dismissed by Michael Mann as a former "weather person" despite having first class degrees in Geophysics and Planetary Physics. At least it prompted Kevin Trenberth - the head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research - to opine "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." I'm sure that the astrophysicist Piers Corbyn - who Mr. Hudson quoted in his heretical article - would be delighted to appear on the BBC. If only to publicise his forecast of the current cold "snap" which was chillingly accurate.

    You suggest that average global temperature is the only meaningful measurement worth talking about in relation to AGW. I have no idea how I could convince you otherwise. But perhaps you could use your years of study to analyse the unprecedented temperature anomaly in the South Pacific, which is currently the size of Australia; it will certainly raise the average global temperature, but doesn't all that warm water at the surface cool the ocean and therefore the Earth? What caused it?


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  • 53. At 11:32pm on 12 Jan 2010, Marcus Garvey wrote:

    Dear WicstunTomo,

    Healthy skepticism is to be encouraged. Why should we take anything on faith alone? However, you should be aware that a great many supposedly skeptical arguments are in fact easily disproven by evidence that is easily available. To answer your points:

    1. The debate that you speak of has been going on for a long time. For example, Arhenius propsed in the 1800's that increases in CO2 could increase the temperature of the earth. Plass was calculating how much warming CO2 increases could cause back in the 1950's. The radiative physics, chemistry, biogeochemistry etc underpinning our understanding of global warming is largely uncontroversial and has a massive theoretical and empirical base. That's why the consensus is accepted by all the national academies of science, the royal society, the met office, nasa etc. Debate is still raging, but has moved on from questions like "is the climate warming", and "is human induced increases in CO2 to blame". It moved on long ago. Yet the same arguments are trotted out time and time again. Check out the website skeptical science, and see how many of the common arguments they list you recognise from Bookers book. Follow the trail to see what the real evidence says.

    2. Sure there are problems with proxy reconstructions. The important thing is though, predictions (to fractions of degrees as you say) do not depend upon the proxies. The proxies main contribution, as I understand it, is that they show that this current bout of warming is unprecedented in recent history. Without exception, they show that the Northern Hemisphere is warmer now than at any time in the past 1000 years.

    3. That's simply not true. The World Glacier Monitoring Service has been studying the mass balance of glaciers since 1946, and whilst it is possible to find some glaciers that are growing, the overall trend is for strong shrinking. The rate of shrinkage has been accelarating since the 70's.

    If you are a science teacher you should know how to access good quality evidence. Why do you think you would find it in the writings of an anti-science, history graduate journalist? Try examining the primary literature if you think you're up for it. No matter how many times people try to discredit the IPCC, their 4th assessment report remains the best synthesis of all evidence relating to global warming to date.

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  • 54. At 04:27am on 13 Jan 2010, Boleslas_Broda wrote:

    @48 Wow.

    Indeed, I find myself red-faced.

    To have implied that John Marshall has worked for the coal industry any time more recently than 49 years ago (though he has noted his experience in the coal pits on this blog, so perhaps the problem is with the source of that data) is unforgiveable.

    While he has allowed to pass without challenge or comment allegations of fabrication of facts, plagiarism, flat out lying, claiming to speak for those whom he has no relation to, muddling and confusing his science, and many other errors or flaws, it appears that the imputation of having benefited from a connection to coal is too much, and I have crossed some line.

    Please, John, find it in your heart to forgive this transgression.

    Now, about your claims,

    "Since CO2 has no input into climate,"

    which would be a pure fabrication,

    "coal is the cheapest,"

    which is an overbroad generalization not nearly universally true,

    "and most supply efficient,"

    grotesque simplification and also not nearly universally true,

    "method of producing power,"

    except compared to:
    a) conservation (almost universally),
    b) hydroelectric and geothermal generation where conditions are optimal,
    c) natural gas where labour and transportation are expensive,
    d) wind where sufficiently remote,
    e) biomass where land and labour are especially low cost,

    "especially for Africa,"

    are you African now, too, John?
    When were you last there?
    How did you come by your expertise in Africa's needs?

    "which is desperate for developement to our expected levels of living."

    And one supposes eager to repeat our errors, suffer our problems, be exploited by our industries for their natural resources in new ways we have yet to inflict on their economies?

    "Supply of clean water, provision of health care and education, and everything else that we have come to expecton a daily basis depends on reliably electricity provision."

    Supply of clean water requires burning coal?

    Health care comes out of a coal pit?

    I thought, surely, that health damage came out of coal pits, surely?

    All those healthy pit miners and their healthy lungs lining up behind you with their long life expectancies.. oh, sorry, my bad.. no, that's the opposite of what coal does, still.

    And education? You've found a way to turn coal into knowledge, and coal mining into a knowledge industry? That is better than turning it into diamonds, I must say.

    "That means coal sinse [sic] Africa has local easily extracted supplies. An increase in African developement [sic] levels can only be good for the planet.
    This also goes for the rest of the Third World."

    Africa has easily extracted supplies of many things, which one hopes Africans would decide on when, how, and whether to extract for Africa's interests.

    It isn't a new concept in African cultures to think about what is best for the planet.

    What you have said on the topic, however, does not well match what I have heard from Africans.

    Maybe you ought listen more closely to the people you speak for?

    As a study in economic specialization, that Continent has many opportunities to develop on a different path than the technology of the West, as it has shown in the recent past.

    Take the case, again, of mobile phones. Without the West's sunk costs in a land-line infrastructure, much of Africa has become a thriving world force in cell phone use, far ahead of Europe and North America.

    Africa can certainly do the same in energy.

    However, at the current moment, Africa appears to have other pressing issues on its plate to deal with.

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  • 55. At 09:26am on 13 Jan 2010, WicstunTomo wrote:

    To Marcus Garvey

    Thanks for response - plenty of food for thought I have breifly checked out some of what you suggest and realsie how little I know even as a secondary science teacher once farmer!!! So how must the general public feel - if they care!!

    The fact remains it all leaves a nasty taste in the mouth - the way true debate is now stiffled and how the media (esp BBC) has 'jumped' into 1 camp be it correct or not - every weather anomaly is global warming!! The only comment you made which made me stop was about Mr Booker being 'anti-science' one of the problems with the whole debate is how each side is quick to try and discredit the other the Curry letter about deniers strikes a real cord! (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/28/the-curry-letter-a-word-about-deniers/)

    I personally think the real issue here is how science is now treated by the media and perceived by the general public - all these sensational scare stories that never happen as the 'scientists' say (BSE, Millenium Bug etc) do science no good! I don't know what the answer is as the media so like their headlines!

    I am currently producing a website about agriculutre for teachers to use in their classroom and I will take some of the lessons from this issue into this work - try and give the whole picture with out bias so that people can then make up their own minds!!


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  • 56. At 09:27am on 13 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    Marcus Garvey has already answered the questions you raised far more effectively than I could!

    My own Prof was warning about man-made global when I did my degree back in the late '70's. This was long before any politicians became "believers", so any talk of a conspiracy is utter nonsense! The truth is that the real debate, amongst properly informed and objective scientists, ended some time ago.

    For me, the most convincing evidence of this actually came from George W Bush in the US. A leaked memo showed that Mr Bush had an unofficial policy of talking down global warming and climate change - hardly surprising given his close links to the oil industry, which obviously has a vested interest in preventing anything been done to tackle the problem. However, in the final year of his presidency, Mr Bush finally changed his tune and his senior scientific advisor, Professor Marburger, stated that it was now "more than 90% certain" that the burning of fossil fuels was responsible for the changing climate. This statement slipped under the radar, but it was HUGELY significant considering where it came from!

    Science is supposed to be objective and the scientists who have presented the evidence for global warming have indeed been objective - why would they be otherwise - they don't want it to be true any more than you or I? However, not all science is equal and many of those arguing against global warming have been anything but objective - they have selectively chosen to "talk up" those small parts of the "big picture" where the data is incomplete. Their motive is clear - to maintain public scepticism and prevent meaningful steps being taken (steps which might damage the profitability of those backing them!).


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  • 57. At 09:54am on 13 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    I think you missed the point of my post.

    The evidence for global warming is not based on computer projections, it is based on actual measurements, strong circumstantial evidence and sound basic science. The projections are merely a necessary evil, as governments tend to require such things before they will agree to take action.

    The truth is that the scientists don't know exactly how fast or how far the Earth is going to warm up........ but they do know that it IS warming due to our continued burning of fossil fuels. The projections offer us some "feeling" for the way things could go.

    Of course, the "sceptics", many of whom are in denial simply because they find the steps which need to be taken unpalatable, will keep on returning to the unreliability of the projections, because it all serves to keep alive doubts in the minds of the public. What really matters, though, is that "big picture" I mentioned.

    With regards to your final paragraph, I think if you look more carefully at what you said, you'll realise that evaporation only transfers heat from one phase to another - heat is only lost from the global cycles if it is lost to space by radiation! Of course, warming of the oceans is indeed very worrying, as water expands as it warms up, raising sea levels.


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  • 58. At 10:12am on 13 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    Isn't there an official policy on what should be taught in schools on this topic? If so, you should be wary of deviating too much from that line, unless you wish to be the subject of another "monkey trial".
    You are unlikely to get any unbiased advice (one way or the other) from blogs such as this. Most people have fixed views on the subject and are unlikely to change.
    All I can suggest is that, where possible, you check the statements made by either side against the actual data, although in some cases it may be difficult to obtain that data.
    One thing I suggest you could do.
    1. Download the historical annual mean CET figures from the following location.
    (Monthly HadCET mean.txt)
    This is the longest temperature dataset in existence, going back to 1659.
    2) Load the file into Excel and plot the annual temperature figures on a graph.
    3) Note that while there is a consistent upward trend in temperatures, there have been frequent periods in the past of higher than average growth and lower than average growth.
    4) Ask yourself, for example whether there is any significant difference between the rise in temperatures between 1695 - 1736 and 1963 - 2008.
    5) Ask yourself, if you had been a scientist in 1736, what conclusions you would have drawn, especially, if you had access to modern computers.
    6) Look at what happened after 1736.
    7) Forget what you have been told and think for yourself.
    Of course, since I am a sceptic, the above advice is biased, so you must use your own judgement on the subject. Some may say that CET is not representative of global temperatures but there is a close historical relationship.

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  • 59. At 10:55am on 13 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    #57 - Paul Briscoe
    "The evidence for global warming is not based on computer projections, it is based on actual measurements, strong circumstantial evidence and sound basic science. The projections are merely a necessary evil, as governments tend to require such things before they will agree to take action."
    That may be true, but the theory that the major cause of warming is CO2 levels, and the whole of climate change policy is based on the projections, and the assumption that as CO2 levels continue to rise, then temperature rise will accelerate. So far, the computer projections have proved to be entirely incorrect.
    If it is true that the major cause of warming is CO2, can you (or anyone else), explain why (in simple terms, without waffle), global temperatures have not risen significantly for over 10 years, when CO2 levels continue to grow at a faster rate? The only possible conclusion is that CO2 is not the only, or even the major cause of temperature rise. The only way that the lack of any significant rise in temperature can be explained is by including other factors (which by implication must be more significant), not related to CO2 levels.

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  • 60. At 11:45am on 13 Jan 2010, John Marshall wrote:

    I made a statement about coal fired power production as being the most efficient for Africa. It is when coal is close at hand and easily extracted. BB has ideas that geothermal power is good. It is expensive to build a geothermal plant and maintenance costs are high, far higher than a standard coal fired plant. It is also confined to areas where heat flow is high, for obvious reasons. Average geothermal heat flow is 30 watts per sq. mt. so some form of close volcanic activity is necessary to get better than this if you want to reduce the depth from which you extract heat. One such plant in California uses a high local heat low but the water extracted is so corrosive that plant life is months and replacement costs high. Hydroelectric is not cheap either and only select places is it possible for such a plant to be built. They also have a life since the lake behind any damn will gradually infill with sediment thus reducing efficiency over time.
    It is true that you can't get owt for nowt and power production falls within this claim.
    Any form of power production has costs over and above the initial installation costs but coal is probably the cheapest.
    And BB claims that my belief that CO2 does not have any affect on climate as being untrue. Well he should look again at the recent research and all show that CO2 has no input into climate and proof comes down to basic science which the alarmists seem to have forgotten or ignored.

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  • 61. At 12:44pm on 13 Jan 2010, Marcus Garvey wrote:

    Dear Tomo,

    Cheers for your response. I certainly agree that the media representation of science is a thorny issue.

    Regarding Chris Booker, I'm sorry if my comment about him being anti-science came across as a crude insult based on his opposition to climate science. Well, yes I admit it is a crude insult, but is based on more than his stance on climate science. Check out his views on asbestos/cancer, passive smoking/cancer, intelligent design and Darwinism for expample. Theres a consistent theme of the rejection of science. I guess I'm being very guilty of attacking the man and not his ideas here, but all I'm trying to say is think twice before you consider him a credible source of information.

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  • 62. At 2:35pm on 13 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Nice to see the usual numerous comments from the usual agw apologists.. must be like a day job for some. I'm at home because my children are snowed off school.

    No answer, or response to an inescapable fact, ie the AGW theory doe NOT explain the following, therefore, cannot be correct...

    In the past when Total CO2 levels have been 500% higher, the earth did NOT have accelerated global warming, tipping points, Or any of the effect predicted by AGW computer MODELS, and scare stories.

    So how an increase of 3% of the current CO2 total levels cause such a predicted results now?

    It doesn't matter what timescale, 30, 200, 1000, 6000, 4,000,000,000 years.

    Or how it is made, hot air from polticians, exhaust of your car, out of your mouth, CO2 from oceans, animal, or volcanic...

    CO2 remains the same molecule, with the same chemistry, however it was produced, over whatever timescale...

    This, Alone, debunks AGW theory...

    Let alone the rest of it, including climategate scandal stuff..

    It only take ONE fact, that can not be explained, after investigation, to force the theory to answer it, or be abandoned.

    I look forward to the inevitable, spin, confusion and distortion.

    Anyway. It only matters what the russians, chinese think, if you are not bothered by the 'breathing' (sorry emmiting CO2 tax!) tax

    they are NEVER going to go along with it now... they will of course game it, to get billions of concessions out of the west, and build their own economies...

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  • 63. At 2:49pm on 13 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    Whilst government policy on climate change is probably determined by computer projections, the evidence for carbon dioxide causing global warming is certainly not - it is based on a combination of empirical science, actual temperature measurements from a variety of sources and the obvious circumstantial evidence.

    You will obviously know from the CET figures that global temperatures go through cycles, which are determined by factors such as solar activity. In fact, scientists who have studied these cycles closely have been able to tie them in very acurately with particular "events" in the Earth's history. The difference in recent decades is that the amount of warming has gone well beyond what would be expected from these normal cyclic events. The only new factor which can explain this is the steady rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (I shall presume that you understand why a known greenhouse gas has a warming effect on the planet).

    Paul Hudson has mentioned factors which are likely to be causing the Earth to be a little cooler at present. This does not mean that the warming EFFECT of carbon dioxide has gone away - it is simply being offset by other factors which have a negative effect on temperatures. Once the present cold cycle is over, that warming effect will push temperatures higher still. It's simple maths really!

    I appreciate that those who want to remain sceptical will always clamour for more evidence and home in on the unreliability of computer projections, but objective scientists can see the correlation between carbon dioxide and a warming planet. It is impossible to be absolutely certain, but as Prof Marburger said, scientists are now more than 90% certain. With the precautionary priciple in mind, I'd say that's close enough to absolute certainty to warrant taking action!


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  • 64. At 3:02pm on 13 Jan 2010, Marcus Garvey wrote:

    Barry, in the past when CO2 levels were much higher solar output was much lower.

    Furthermore, it's well accepted that CO2 is not the only driver of climate. And check your sums - pre-industrial CO2 concentration was around 280 ppm, currently we're at around 390 ppm. So where do you get you're 3% rise from.

    You are right though, it doesnt matter where it comes from a molecule of CO2 has the same properties. Which include the ability to absorb & emit infrared radiation.

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  • 65. At 3:06pm on 13 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    #63 - Paul Briscoe
    "This does not mean that the warming EFFECT of carbon dioxide has gone away - it is simply being offset by other factors which have a negative effect on temperatures."
    That is precisely what I said, i.e. that the other factors MUST be more significant than CO2.
    "I appreciate that those who want to remain sceptical will always clamour for more evidence and home in on the unreliability of computer projections"
    But it is computer projections that are at the heart of the argument, and the assumptions made in those projections which determine the projected increase in temperatures.

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  • 66. At 3:47pm on 13 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    Sceptics may well be trying to put computer projections at the heart of the argument, because, as we seem to agree, they are not very reliable. However, they do not form the basis of the argument in favour of the greenhouse effect, they are merely projections of where global warming may take us in the future.

    I suspect that most scientists would say that we shouldn't need the projections in order to take action (using the precautionary priciple), but governments who make policy insist upon them. In my opinion, the projections only serve to over-complicate the debate.


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  • 67. At 5:16pm on 13 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    of course the climate science is so accurate it has stripped out natural rises in CO2,

    what proprtion is man made, what is natural, etc

    Are you the last 100-200 years are you saying natural variation in CO2 has stopped? Where as it has varied contioulsy up/down..

    The 3% figure is quoted widley as man's current contribution to the atmospheric CO2, ie 3% of the 5% (i.e 0.15% annually)

    You are confusing Co2 rises over the last 100 years, start point 280 ppm.... AND NO one has actually any evidence that rise isn't 100% natural to 360 ppm...

    A number of papers say, the lifecycle of man made co2 is actualy shortlived, and does not contribute that much to the total...

    BUT lets leave that all aside...

    For the argument let us say man mad CO2,instead of a 3% rise, will cause a 100% rise in CO"...

    CO2 has still been manytimes higher in the past, and the doom/gloom/ scare stories, did not happen, them nor can they again...

    ANyway what ids the RIGHT level of CO2 in the atmosphere..

    off to by a 4x4, and I've just built an ingloo, in Readin!, with my children..

    Of course one extreme cold event does not prove disprove global cooling/warming..

    But please... the AGW enthusiasts, continually any Awarm event to prove AGW..

    We will wait and see.

    And I will enjoy, the carbon trading ponzi scheme collapsing around Al Gore (the real one) as he is forced to hand back his nobel prize..

    It is what China,and russia think that matter, and no one here is going to be able to spin them..


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  • 68. At 5:48pm on 13 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    #66 - Paul Briscoe
    "Sceptics may well be trying to put computer projections at the heart of the argument, because, as we seem to agree, they are not very reliable. However, they do not form the basis of the argument in favour of the greenhouse effect, they are merely projections of where global warming may take us in the future."
    I beg to differ. Up until now, it is the advocates of CO2 as the cause of warming who have relied on computer projections as part of their proof of the science. Of course as models are proved to be increasingly unreliable, that may change. I refer you to the following, published by the Met. Office, last year, as part of the pre-Copenhagen propaganda:
    At the time, Dr. Richard Betts claimed that he was surprised by these findings but that would suggest that he was being disingenuous or he didn't understand the way in which the model works. If you use a model which is based on the premise that temperatures rise as assumed levels of CO2 increase, then it shouldn't be a surprise if temperatures rise when you increase the assumed levels of CO2. This doesn't prove anything, but it is put forward as proof and politicians and the gullible tend to be convinced by it. I am glad that you agree that computer projections are unreliable but unfortunately those using the models do not admit that.

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  • 69. At 6:12pm on 13 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    With respect, simple chemistry dictates that when you burn fossil fuels in an atmosphere containing oxygen, carbon dioxide is going to be released into the atmosphere. Also, clearing large areas of forests, which represent one of the major "sinks" for carbon dioxide, reduces the Earth's capacity to remove the gas.

    As of March 2009, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 387ppm, up from a fairly steady level of around 280ppm in the centuries leading up to the industrial revolution - that's an increase of nearly 40%. If this increase is really due to natural phenomena, I'd love to know where all of the carbon dioxide released due to fossil fuel burning and deforestation has gone! ..... and of course the rate of increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide is accelerating.... just as you would expect with more and more countries becoming industrialised.

    It is, frankly, irrelevant what the concentration of carbon dioxide was in pre-history. Mankind has come to prominence over the past few thousand years specifically because fairly stable climate has allowed us to develop agriculture and reliably grow crops. Warmer temperatures not only threaten us with higher sea levels. They are already leading to a far higher incidence of extreme weather events and if this trend continues it will become more and more difficult to feed a population rapidly approaching 7 billion - the Earth never had to support such things in the past. To me, this is the greatest threat posed by man-made global warming.


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  • 70. At 6:37pm on 13 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    I guess that we'll have to agree to differ! Personally, I think it's very important to separate the facts from the projections, as only empirical data is wholly reliable.

    With a background in science I have always endeavoured to be objective. From where I'm standing the available data (not the projections!), coupled with the underlying science and circumstantial evidence, is sufficient to convince me that carbon dioxide is indeed warming the planet. The science dictates that the same processes are likely to continue, leading to continued warming in the years ahead. Given the effect such warming has on climate, this is sufficient reason for me to believe that we need to do something about it.

    The computer models are just that....... models. I do not believe that they can accurately predict how quickly the planet is going to warm up. I think most objective scientists would admit that this is the case. However, very few scientists doubt that the Earth will continue to warm and that this will cause us all sorts of problems.

    The problem is that this issue has inevitably become political and there are powerful (and wealthy) forces undoubtedly at work behind the scenes trying to shape government policy. In the US, big business has been active for many years trying to discredit the whole idea of global warming and there has been much propaganda and nonsense put out along the way. It is therefore hardly surprising that those trying to convince government to act have started to resort to the same tactics themselves - I don't condone it and I believe it is misguided, but I can see why it is happening.

    Objectivity should always be at the heart of science........ otherwise it becomes meaningless. I fear that the politicisation of this issue has made many people lose sight of the real issues.


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  • 71. At 6:54pm on 13 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "I guess that we'll have to agree to differ! Personally, I think it's very important to separate the facts from the projections, as only empirical data is wholly reliable."
    Couldn't agree more, unfortunately that's not what the Met. Office and the media think.
    "They are already leading to a far higher incidence of extreme weather events and if this trend continues it will become more and more difficult to feed a population rapidly approaching 7 billion - the Earth never had to support such things in the past. To me, this is the greatest threat posed by man-made global warming."
    Do you have any evidence that "extreme weather events" are increasing, or is it just that a) they are being reported more, due to modern communications and b) the human and financial impacts are increasing due to increased population and urbanization?
    I agree that it will be increasingly difficult to feed the growing population but that is due to the growing population, not climate change. In fact, there is some evidence that the impact of warming may not be entirely negative, for example, the amount of arable land in Greenland will increase. In fact, the Greenland government is probably quite pleased about global warming. One more simple question, would you prefer to live in a world which was cooling or one which was warming?

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  • 72. At 7:34pm on 13 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    I'm sure others who post on here are far better placed than I am to provide statistics regarding changing climate and extreme weather events, but there is clearly little doubt amongst climatologists that the weather is becoming more extreme.

    Personally, I wouldn't want to rely on new areas opening up for agriculture - even if such things do happen, nations still have to cooperate together to maximise the benefits...... and that is certainly not guaranteed if food is in short supply.

    I'm also not sure that the people of Greenland will be happy if the marine ecosystem which they rely on is seriously altered.

    The bottom line is that we can't predict exactly what will happen with global warming and it would be very unwise to RELY on possible positive effects to save us.

    Finally, no, of course I wouldn't want to be facing an Ice Age - something which will probably come one day. However, that is something which obviously IS beyond our control....... and it is not what we are being threatened by at present.


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  • 73. At 9:53pm on 13 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Paul Brisco:
    It is difficult to have a scientific discussion with you based on your statements above!!!

    In Pre history, do the laws of physics, chemistry behave differently, in your view appently they do!!!!!!

    "It is, frankly, irrelevant what the concentration of carbon dioxide was in pre-history."

    The fact remains CO2 level have been 5 time higher in the past....

    What has been predicted, by the IPCC, CRU, of tipping points at VERY MUCH lower concentrations, accelerated global warming, etc.

    They NEED to EXPLAIN HOW, and BY what Mechanism, their predictions DID NOT occur before, because obvioulsy, CO2 went through the current levels,all the way up to 5 times, without this occuring!!!!!!

    How does the AGW theory explain this!!!!!!

    if you simply dismiss this as pre-history, well I'm at a loss.

    Me, I've a BSc Chem, MSC Information Systems Engineering.
    (in a proper comp science/cybernetics department that understands the limitations, unlike the average climatetologists with a bit of fortran - CRU)

    I know more than a little about carbon chemistry, and the impossibility of develping computer models, of non-limear complex chaotic system is the weatoher?!

    Even the IPCC do not deny this issue (you cannot just throw more expensicve faster computer at this type of problem, it just will not work)

    "In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system�s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential. "

    They recognise the problem but they do not get, non linear chaotic systems, however much processor you throw at it, you will simply end up with the same result. A model that cannot be used to predict. Go investigate a bit of physics / computer science for yourself. if you are unwilling to accept this.

    The very same issue, and frankly better paid cream of the rocket scientist crop, came undone with attempting to model finacial risk, a similar non linear model. (this even had the added benefit of positve feedback external to the model. ie bought/sold on the basis of - ) Credit crunch, weapons of mass finacial desctuction result (with lots of warning on there computer models to) competing models trained on historical data, used to predict future. Until a factor/trend changed, or assumption missed, etc,etc,etc

    You are a AGW believer obvioulsy in the true sense of the word.

    Do you acknowledge my figures then. 3% annually.

    Of that 40% rise what proportion is man mad vs natural!

    How do you know these figures IF they are avaiable.

    OR Has NATURAL CO2 variation/contribution stopped!! (it has varied constantly throught the atmsopheres history.

    If you say it has stopped, why? How?

    What has been predicted, used to scare the public..

    An example of the ridulousness of the IPCC.
    and the partiality of the BBC

    Even a 2.0m rise in sea level in the next 90 years (used to be 59 cm - exactly - IPCC). Hardly justifies the copehagen opening video. Repeated clip, uncritically on the BBC, and elsewhere, of sea level/tide rushing in to engulf a small child..

    When I told my 5 year old daughter,actually, even IF this is true.
    The rate of Tidal wave.
    0.02222222 m a year
    0.0000608 m a day
    0.0000025 m a hour


    0.000000025 km/h

    plenty of time to get out of the way.

    None of what is predicted to happen by a relative to the past TINY % rise in total CO2 (man mad, whatever reasion, produced - it is the same molecule howeve it is produced)) can be reasonably credible believed, if no explanation provided of the past..

    If they do not agree with that, I do not know what we are discussing, it certainitly is not science.

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  • 74. At 10:03pm on 13 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    remember the science is settled: !!!!

    And finally...open letter from IPCC Expert Reviewer Prof A Kellow, referee for Impacts Chapter, AR4 IPCC 2007

    This chap IS one of the quoted 2500 scientists!!!!!

    Prof Aynsley Kellow said:
    "I was a referee for Chapter 19 in the Report on 'Key Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment', and made in essence the criticism...that the whole exercise fails to take account of the increases in wealth that give rise to the emissions that drive the climate models, that drive the impact models.

    It is nonsensical to suggest that vulnerabilities will be as they would be if the projected climates impacted upon present developing countries. The Report persists in this nonsense in the face of at least this reviewer drawing it to their attention, so the persistence is quite wilful.

    It is, of course, such a fundamental criticism that it virtually renders the whole report invalid, so it was not likely to be well-received. I also added that the chapter exaggerated the hazards of climate change and almost totally ignored any benefits. I put it that the First Order Draft read as if (in a warmer, and therefore wetter, world) no rain would fall in any form that would be in any way useful to anyone: there would be only floods and droughts.

    The Second Order Draft included some language to the effect that this was because the Committee had decided that it should be so, to which I responded that they should not then represent their analysis as a risk assessment, since any sensible risk assessment must include benefits as well as costs. I'm not holding my breath for this criticism to be taken on board either, which underscores a fault in the whole peer review process for the IPCC: there is no chance of a Chapter ever being rejected for publication, no mattter how flawed it might be.

    But then I'll be counted as one of the 2,500 experts who agree with this nonsense!"

    Put the last sentence in bold if you use it with your MP

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  • 75. At 00:27am on 14 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    You have raised a lot of points. It is now very late and I'm therefore not going to even attempt to tackle them all in detail.

    However, if you burn fossil fuels and release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it has to go somewhere. Given that its concentration was pretty stable for hundreds of years until the start of the industrial revolution and then started rising, I'm frankly amazed that you cannot accept that the rise is due primarily to the burning of fossil fuels. As I said before, if this was really due to natural processes, where did the carbon dioxide derived from the burning of fossil fuels go? I simply do not accept that it is a coincidence that this change started when it did.

    If you've read my other posts, you will see that I do not accept the models any more than you do. The difference is that I have separated the models, which are clearly flawed, from the actual data and other evidence which in my opinion point to the greenhouse effect being a real and present threat.

    There are undoubtedly those on both sides of this argument who are using exaggerated claims and dirty tricks in an attempt to influence policy. We all need to be mindful of this and make our own decisions in a more objective manner.

    Good night!


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  • 76. At 10:28am on 14 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    CO2 stable, over what time scale, who say, whereis the evidence....

    Again, IT is Irrelavnt.

    BUT, the point (the inconveient truth, if you like) above remains...

    However CO2 gets into the atmosphere, the AGW theory model, HAS to explain, why what they have predicted to happen.

    DID not happen when CO2 level rose much higher in the PAST...

    Alternate theories, solar activity, cloud, ocean (all natural) much better explain the cooling warming over the last 20, 30, 50, 100, 500, etc years...

    AGW theory does not, therefore must revised to explain, or abandoned...

    this is science, whatever you believe, like to believe, etc does not matter.

    AGW theory need to explain this, or be abandoned.....

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  • 77. At 10:37am on 14 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Paul you do not respond to my points,
    and I'm quite franky amazed that you dismiss a fact with discredits AGW theory.. without comment.

    How do you know, that natural process play a part in increae CO2..

    ie it is a known FACT that warming oceans, (release CO2) ie warming due to the natural solar activity.....
    this has recenly reversed and the oceans are cooling, lag into the atmosphere..


    that is science,

    AGW CANNOT explain the historic past, (whowever CO2 is produced) it is false.

    We have had periods last century where it warmed, 20's-30's cooled 70's warmed 80's -90's, etc.

    are you saying the natural CO2 mechanism have stopped.!!!

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  • 78. At 12:55pm on 14 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    I did not respond to all of your points last night because it was long past bed time!

    In fact, though, I have responded to many of the points you raise in previous posts further up this thread and I didn't especially want to repeat myself.

    You, for your part have failed to address the key question I asked regarding carbon dioxide - there's no question that burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So if the sudden rise that started with the industrial revolution (and continues exponentially) is a natural process, where has all the man-made carbon dioxide gone? My understanding is that even key global warming sceptics acknowledge that the rising levels of carbon dioxide we are seeing at present are largely man-made.

    I fully accept that the Earth has been warmer in the past and that carbon dioxide levels have been higher - and yes, this was due to natural processes. However, I still insist that this is totally irrelevant when dealing with the current problem, for the reasons previously stated. Man was not living at those times in the past and we cannot know that Man would have been able to survive in those conditions. Man is living in the here and now and has become dominant because of stable climate. Certainly, natural processes COULD change the climate quite dramatically, but I, like most scientists, am convinced that Man IS changing the climate in the present. It might well be a small effect in historical terms, but it is way larger than anything Man has had to endure. With Man's history of conflict and looking after No 1 in times of hardship, I don't think it will take a huge change in climate to cause our civilisation serious problems.

    I have reached my conclusion based purely on physical data, sound fundamental science and the strong circumstantial evidence and NOT based on any models which some claim can forecast what will happen next.

    Yes, there MIGHT be a tipping point, but nobody knows that for sure, so I am unmoved by the claims and counter claims!

    Personally, I believe that the models simply muddy the water and draw peoples' attention away from the actual raw data which shows real changes over time.

    With respect to your point about warming and cooling cycles in the last century, I have addressed that above. There are plenty of other purely natural cycles going on, all of which have an effect on global temperature. The greenhouse effect is just that - it has a warming EFFECT, which increases as the concentration of greenhouse gas increases. However, as the concentration only rises gradually, it is entirely possible for other cycles to cause a temporary cooling effect over a period of a few years, even though the greenhouse effect is slowly increasing. As I said above, it's simple maths - NOT a cop-out!

    What matters is that the NET direction of global temperatures has been upward since the industrial revolution began and the greenhouse effect is the only process which can convincingly explain this.


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  • 79. At 1:35pm on 14 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    #78 - Paul,
    "Man is living in the here and now and has become dominant because of stable climate. Certainly, natural processes COULD change the climate quite dramatically, but I, like most scientists, am convinced that Man IS changing the climate in the present. It might well be a small effect in historical terms, but it is way larger than anything Man has had to endure."
    I don't think that is actually true. The notion of a "stable climate", in the past, is a myth. The recent CH4 documentary "Man on Earth", showed that man has faced massive changes in the climate in the past, none of which were caused by man, and which have on occasions brought man to the verge of extinction. Admittedly this was only a t.v. documentary but there were climate scientists involved. While the doc. didn't say so explicitly, it was made clear that man is at the mercy of the climate and does not control it. While this series wasn't ostensibly sceptical on the subject of AGW, in practice, it was. Maybe CH4 has learned it's lessons from "The Great Global Warming Swindle".
    You can still watch this series here:

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  • 80. At 1:48pm on 14 Jan 2010, John Marshall wrote:

    Lots of comments about the effect that CO2 has on the atmosphere. My opinion is that CO2 has no input regardless of claims that it is a greenhouse gas. So what! This theory is dead in the water because it violates laws that cannot be violated, ie., the Laws of Thermodynamics.

    But let us look at the problem from the IPCC point of view using their assumptions, all of which are true, apart from the greenhouse warming bits.
    CO2 is a greenhouse gas. So is water vapour. The greenhouse warming is 95% driven by water vapour. The other 5% is driven by CO2, CH4, NOs etc.
    According to the US Dept of Energy, and agreed by IPCC, we humans produce only 3% of the total annual global CO2 budget. So the problem is our 3% of the 5%. which is 0.15% as our input into climate change.
    So even using IPCC figures, or those that they agree upon, there is a 0.15% chance that we affect the climate. Some problem for us to spend trillions of pounds/dollars on to mitigate. What a waste of money and all from our pockets!

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  • 81. At 2:02pm on 14 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    While searching for information on "The Great Global Warming Swindle", I came across the following website for the programme, which has some useful looking links:
    I naturally haven't had the opportunity to check out all of the links yet, but the following document by Richard S Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, is worth a look.
    Admittedly, this goes back to 2005, but I am sure that it remains relevant.

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  • 82. At 2:09pm on 14 Jan 2010, John Marshall wrote:

    Paul Briscoe has made some assumptions that may be based on dodgy ground.
    Global temperatures have risen since the start of the Industrial Revolution. True as far as it goes but we were enduring the little Ice age way back then, depending when your Industrial Revolution started, mine in the 1700's. Since that time temperatures have risen, though in waves not a straight line. Temperatures in the 20th cent. are lower than those of the Medieval Warm and Roman Warm periods. So Paul please qualify start point. Alarmists always start at a point of low temperature!
    So 20th cent temperature rise is not out of the ordinary so why is AGW to blame? If the alarmist theories were correct we should be warmer, we are not.
    Yuo are correct about stability in the climate. There is very little over which we have no control whatsoever. Climates change. It is the nature of the beast to change so we have to learn to live with whatever change comes about.

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  • 83. At 3:11pm on 14 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    I was not intending to suggest that climate has been totally stable - obviously, it has not. The key point I was making was that in recent history, it has been sufficiently stable for mankind to become established all around the planet and able to produce enough food to sustain a huge increase in population. A less stable climate would almost certainly threaten this.

    My own suggestion of a TV programme for everyone interested in this debate to see would be Dr. Ian Stewart's "The Climate Wars". Sadly, the fact that it came out firmly in favour of Man-made global warming means that many might prefer not to see it! The key thing this programme brought home to me was the extent to which big business interests, which see global warming as a threat to their profits, have tried to influence proceedings!



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  • 84. At 3:56pm on 14 Jan 2010, Boleslas_Broda wrote:

    @74 above, Barry cites Dr. Aynsley Kellow, an eminent and respected professor with established credentials in the political science of environmental activities.

    Dr. Kellow's criticisms as a referee of a specific chapter of a specific report went outside of the particulars of the chapter and report as, in his (very well-established) opinion, the entire exercise inadequately accounted for the pol-economic conditions of the developing world and ignored some significant economic interactions and feedbacks.

    Which, though it could well be true and is serious, means what, outside of that particular context?

    Dr. Kellow is a subtle and complex student of a subtle and complex field of how human beings interact with the environment, and tends to focus on that particularly intractable Gordian knot.

    Barry, are you saying that because one past analysis of AGW was found inadequate and to not go far enough to account for economics in an esoteric sense, that all analyses of AGW are therefore wrong?

    That would be a) leaping to a conclusion contrary to the evidence, and b) applying the specific to the general, a mistake in logic.

    Or do you mean to cite this particular (somewhat routine) academic dispute between a referee and publishing body as somehow discrediting the entire field?

    Also, you repeat the conceptual problem of pre-human climates having high CO2 concentrations, as if this is relevant to the current world.

    Pre-human climates, if you go back far enough, lacked free oxygen and the chemical basis of respiration was sulphur. How is that relevant to today's climate, either?

    The difference isn't one of physics or chemistry, but of mathematics. The rate of change is faster under the currently best-supported graphs of CO2 concentration, temperature change, climatic variability, ice loss, etc. The correlations are somewhat persuasive. The mechanical explanation of the AGW theories are sensible and well withstand experimental and simulated challenges -- far better than alternative theories.

    The science isn't settled. Science shouldn't settle, ever. It is a dynamic field of scepticism and changing understanding.

    The mathematics of the decision matrix, however, fairly well is settled. There's a compelling theory, with strong evidence, alerting us that we can behave in different ways with different likely outcomes.

    We'd be acting against our mathematical interest to ignore this.

    It would be betting on a longshot, with no significant payoff, to ignore AGW and fail to act.

    And really, even if it weren't, the fact remains that the world's CO2 budget is a shared resource; those who use more than their share trespass without consultation. It's immoral, it's free riding, and it violates the principles of free market economics.

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  • 85. At 4:05pm on 14 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    #83 - Paul,

    I have seen "The Climate Wars". I tend to watch any programme related to the climate, whether or not they are pro or anti man-made climate change. In fact, I actually had some e-mail correspondence with Dr Stewart, in which I pointed out that obsession with climate change was distracting attention from "real" environmental issues, such as deforestation and destruction of habitat, more related to population growth than the climate, to which he actually agreed. The other good point in that programme was that it pointed out that some of the scientists who now believe in AGW, used to believe in cooling, and were blaming that for the same increase in extreme weather events which are now being blamed on warming. I wasn't impressed by his "proof" of CO2 as a cause of warming, by putting some in a glass case and shining a lamp in it (if my recollection is correct). You shouldn't let the fact that "big business" influence your views on this subject. I have no truck with "big business", or the oil industry or "petrol heads", such as Jeremy Clarkson (I have never owned a car). It is unfortunate that by being sceptical over climate change that I am in the same camp as them, but I don't let that influence my views. What has influenced my views are the obvious exaggerations and downright lies, told by the proponents of climate change.

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  • 86. At 4:09pm on 14 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    Sorry, that should have read:

    You shouldn't let the fact that "big business" is opposed to AGW influence your views on this subject.

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  • 87. At 4:16pm on 14 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    Sorry, what I should have said in the final sentence of #85 was:
    What has influenced my views are the obvious exaggerations and, occasional downright lies, told by the proponents of climate change.
    I didn't intend to give the impression that all statements by proponents of climate change are lies.
    (I'm surprised the moderators didn't pick that up).

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  • 88. At 4:24pm on 14 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    The picture is nothing like as simple as the one you are painting. There are a number of different sources of data, all of which yield slightly different results.

    First of all, the Little Ice Age and the Medieval and Roman Warm periods are believed to have been regional rather than global climatic phenomena and as such they cannot be directly compared to the global data from more recent times.

    The Industrial Revolution may have started in the UK in the 1700's. However, across the wider World it started in earnest rather later and the concentration of carbon dioxide only started to rise significantly after about 1850. Significantly, the various sources of temperature data, which had previously shown somewhat divergent patterns, all started to climb at around this same time! This is very unlikely to be a coincidence, given that carbon dioxide is a known greenhouse gas.


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  • 89. At 4:40pm on 14 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    As I've already said, I don't condone the exaggerations made by some of the proponents of global warming. Sadly though, the same is at least equally true of the sceptics..... the "Great Global Warming Swindle" programme that you mentioned was perhaps the classic example of this at work.

    My own mind was made up before "The Climate Wars" programme. However, I still think it is important to point out the vested interest of those who have been financing the campaign against global warming..... whilst most of the scientists who are proponents do not have this same vested interest!


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  • 90. At 5:15pm on 14 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "However, I still think it is important to point out the vested interest of those who have been financing the campaign against global warming..... whilst most of the scientists who are proponents do not have this same vested interest!"
    You imply that all opponents have "vested interests", while proponents don't. Many jobs now depend upon the "climate change" industry. Scientists who speak out against AGW have more at risk than those who support it. I am not saying that is their motive but it is a consideration. I am more inclined to believe a scientist who denies climate change, at the risk of possible censure, than one who supports it and who gains financially.

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  • 91. At 5:46pm on 14 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    I'm not implying that ALL opponents have a vested interest and there may be some truth in what you say at this present moment in time - much of it relates to computer projections - which, as you know, I have little time for myself!

    However, this was certainly not the case in the past, when parties with a clear vested interest spent a lot of money on trying to discredit global warming. I firmly believe that this is at the root of most ordinary peoples' scepticism. I'm also sure that many scientists have become frustrated by misleading information coming from the other side (much of it repeated here). Some have now stepped over the line in their attempts to counter it. However, this does not in any way diminish the validity of the correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide that I referred to above.


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  • 92. At 6:00pm on 14 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:


    "However, this was certainly not the case in the past, when parties with a clear vested interest spent a lot of money on trying to discredit global warming. I firmly believe that this is at the root of most ordinary peoples' scepticism."
    Speaking personally, my scepticism arises from checking the facts myself. I started being a believer but was increasingly annoyed by the blatant propaganda. From my experience, a lot of other sceptics fit into this pattern. Always this or that was caused by climate change and .... (insert real cause here). The proponents and the media only have themselves to blame for the increased scepticism, by constantly crying wolf. If they are so certain of the facts, why is there any need to exaggerate? A typical example was the film of at the start of the Copenhagen conference, of the girl running from a tidal wave and saying in a cutsie voice, "pleath help to save the planet". For the record, the planet is not at risk. The human species is not at risk. Polar Bears are not at risk, (they are more at risk from rich American hunters than climate change). Many species are at great risk, but NOT from climate change.

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  • 93. At 6:25pm on 14 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    As I said earlier, I think the entire process has now become political and that has actually undermined the case - exaggerated claims give the impression that all of the science has been sexed up, which is simply not the case.

    However, I think there is a far more powerful process at work here. With the exception of a small number of individuals who stand to benefit financially from global warming, few of us actually WANT it to be true. That provides a very powerful incentive for individuals and the public at large to sieze on anything which appears to cast doubt on the science. The sceptics have been very effective at exploiting this.

    I strongly suspect that the recent posturing and exaggerated claims have been an attempt to counter this. Instead it has merely played into the sceptics hands!


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  • 94. At 7:30pm on 14 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    Let's call it a draw!
    Only time will tell who is correct.
    My money is on 2010 not being the hottest year ever.

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  • 95. At 8:10pm on 14 Jan 2010, bandythebane wrote:

    Your point about whether David Archibald could perhaps be right is interesting and I did look back at your December posting to try to get both sides of the argument.

    Unfortunately the anti information was mainly an unsigned cotribution in EOS attemptng to demolish Christianson and Lassen by claiming errors in their work. That seemed scarcely believable and lacked anything on how Lassen replied to these attacks or what the subsequent papers of which there are many have said. Also the fact that Svensmark changed his mind about which kind of cloud cover was important is not as I see it a weakness. That is how science and the genuine research works.

    The supporting information I found impressive was from the likes of e.g. Butler of Armagh, Kirby of CERN or Hathaway of NASA ,but I am no expert and would love to see a crit by someone less obviously biased than EOS.

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  • 96. At 9:24pm on 14 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    The fact remains CO2 level have been 5 times higher in the past....

    What has been predicted, by the IPCC, CRU, of tipping points at VERY MUCH lower concentrations, accelerated global warming, etc.

    They NEED to EXPLAIN HOW, and BY what Mechanism, their predictions DID NOT occur before, because obvioulsy, CO2 went through the current levels,all the way up to 5 times, without this occuring!!!!!!

    How does the AGW theory explain this!!!!!!

    this cannot be dismissed or ignored:

    It is one of many inconvenient truths about AGW theory..

    I was a few months ago mildly sceptical, but the blantant hystericla propoganda, the bbc's partiality, the 50 days to save the planet, gordon flat earther bron, and climate sabatoeur milliband. And od course climate gate, which I have had a detailed look at myself... harry read_me.tx, and the emails, and the code..

    And the final insult to my intelligence that made my 5 year old daughter cry: that clip, with the sea engulfing a child....

    An example of the ridulousness of the IPCC.
    and the partiality of the BBC

    Even a 2.0m rise in sea level in the next 90 years (used to be 59 cm - exactly - IPCC). Hardly justifies the copehagen opening video. Repeated clip, uncritically on the BBC, and elsewhere, of sea level/tide rushing in to engulf a small child..

    When I told my 5 year old daughter,actually, even IF this is true.
    The rate of Tidal wave.
    0.02222222 m a year
    0.0000608 m a day
    0.0000025 m a hour


    0.000000025 km/h

    plenty of time to get out of the way.

    None of what is predicted to happen by a relative to the past TINY % rise in total CO2 (man mad, whatever reasion, produced - it is the same molecule howeve it is produced)) can be reasonably credible believed, if no explanation provided of the past..

    If they do not agree with that, I do not know what we are discussing, it certainitly is not science.

    my personal bs meter is off the scale, i will not be spun any more, or passively be called a Deniar, an appaling attempt to close down debate on an unproved, scientific theory, o very shakey ground now, which is just one of many, much better theories of climate around ( ie actuality - the planet - matches history, and has predicted outcomes, ie solar, ocean)

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  • 97. At 9:41pm on 14 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    of course that glass jar cooling experiment:

    What %CO2 in the jar:40-50% (more?)

    in the atmosphere 380 parts per MILLION..
    You do the percentage...

    They lost the argument when they started using 'sceptic' as a dirty word...

    then a few years later it got really nasty.


    then losing the debate a bit

    Flat earther.
    Anti science.
    Richard black - question peoples childhoods, whether damged phycologically...

    climate sabatouer - very sinister - with labours anti terror laws

    Monbiot's increasing hysteria (even though He from day one - damage limitation - called for Phil Jones - to resign, and said climategate was terrible damaging..)

    The hysteria, on the BBC leading up to Copenhagen.
    50 days to save the planet from the poiticians...

    Is it 50 days yet?

    I will not be spun anymore..

    Thanks to Paul Hudson.
    For the original: whatever happened to Global Cooling Item (oct 09)
    It may have been a big factor in the kicking of of the climate gate Scandal (CRU whistleblowing)
    and for continually posting these articles, in the bbc where AGW is a mantra, and where Richard Balck works. Allthough the blog is very buried away in the BBC.

    Like: remember the glaciers are all melting by 2035 (himilayas)hysteria. Lots of clips for weeks on prime time.
    a few weeks later, actually a typo says lead author (actually 2350 - and only then if the trend since the little ice age continued 0.29c a century - oh that has stopped plateaud and cooling coming)

    Where was that BBC correction.. science environment, follow up on copenhagen, GOOD news. It was buried away somewhere in the south east asia section of the website...

    I and many have made complaints the the BBC trust. About that clip, and the bbc's uncritical treatment of it.

    time to sign of, and let the agw apologists, usual suspects, spin begin.

    Historically the BIGGEST sceptics of the most important new scentific theories. HAVE always been the AUTHORS of that theory..

    because one Unexplained (scientific )fact, would DEMOLISH it.

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  • 98. At 10:17pm on 14 Jan 2010, Marcus Garvey wrote:

    Barry - it's really quite amusing to hear you accuse others of hysteria.

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  • 99. At 10:25pm on 14 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    Barry Woods,
    You are correct of course on the Copenhagen video.
    The situation is put into perspective by the situation in Haiti.
    There we have a REAL disaster, which the world seems unable to respond to. Instead of wasting time discussing hypothetical disasters at Copenhagen, world leaders should have been developing an international response system, to deal with real disasters. Climate change has been a massive distraction. I hope the campaigners are happy.

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  • 100. At 10:31pm on 14 Jan 2010, Marcus Garvey wrote:

    QV - are you really implying that the humanitarian catastrophe in Haiti is in any way the fault of climate campaigners? That's pretty low.

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  • 101. At 10:47pm on 14 Jan 2010, Marcus Garvey wrote:

    Sorry Barry for taking a cheap shot, I'm tired and cranky and should go to bed. I just want to ask though - why do you think that AGW theory has not considered that CO2 was higher in the past? Have you looked in to it? It's really not the major problem that you think it is. Even with my limited understanding of it, I know that CO2 is not the only driver of climate. If CO2 was higher in the past, what was the climate like? What was the influence of other climate drivers? I'll give you a hint - what was the solar output?

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  • 102. At 11:42pm on 14 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:




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  • 103. At 00:00am on 15 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    #100 - Marcus Garvey.
    "QV - are you really implying that the humanitarian catastrophe in Haiti is in any way the fault of climate campaigners? That's pretty low."
    Not the catastrophe as such but the fact that time and effort has been wasted on the complete "red herring" of climate change and exaggerated fear of global disaster, when many real problems are ignored. It's all a question of priorities. Long-term problems should be dealt with in considered manner. Copenhagen was a fiasco and it achieved nothing.

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  • 104. At 00:07am on 15 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    We are going around in circles, which is pointless!

    Myself and others have made it clear that we do not accept your assertion that prehistoric data is even relevant to the present day situation. You obviously cannot be persuaded of this, so I guess we'll have to leave it at that.

    I don't think there is sufficient detail in data from prehistoric times to tell whether there was a tipping point or not........ but, in any case, models are based on the recent data rather than what might have happened in the past.

    Regarding our earlier discussions, I refer you to the following:


    As you will see from my previous posts, I agree that recent developments have been unfortunate and don't do anything to help reasoned discussion. However, once you take out the rhetoric, the underlying science hasn't changed at all. Who knows...... the models might even prove to be correct.... but I'm not holding my breath!


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  • 105. At 03:43am on 15 Jan 2010, Boleslas_Broda wrote:

    Barry's point about high prehistoric CO2 levels should be addressed, repetitive and outworn though it is. He's made enough interesting new relevant points that .. oh, sorry, wrong thread.


    When CO2 levels have been globally higher by five times or more their current concentrations, so far as we may be certain, was before the time of mammals or birds.

    We have no reliable data to draw on about weather in regions, or globally.

    We have no reliable way of knowing if, in those times, temperatures were stable or varied wildly in the course of a day.

    We do not know if the average windspeed was zero or hurricane-like.

    We do not know if average wave height was nil or tidal.

    We don't know if it rained 24x7, or if droughts lasted for centuries.

    Were cyclones multi-generational? Waterspouts?

    The conditions of the world, it's weather realities, were alien to us and are largely unknowable.

    Probably, we would find the weather conditions unendurable, so different is what we do know from our current climate.

    What reason do we have to expect that conditions would be like our current parameters, "except with high CO2"?


    So, while the concentrations are almost certain to have been in the 5x or higher range, it's not as if it makes for a friendly or desireable world.

    And we do not know, likewise, reliably and without a doubt, what triggered each stage in each global change over the millennia since then that led to our current era.

    The modern atmosphere has been much like it now is for the better part of half a million years or more, through ice ages and heat waves and mini-ice ages and warming periods and glacial advances and meltbacks and things that are more or less knowable and imagineable.

    And that's all with a relatively stable CO2 level not much changed except briefly when volcanic activities peak.

    With a drastic rising CO2 concentration, increasing by almost 40% globally in about 150 years, which is at least five times faster than any other previously tracked CO2 concentration rise in the ice record, and to levels already at least 25% higher than the peak CO2 level of the past half million years, we are on a track to uncertainty and variability in weather we cannot anticipate, plan for, or be ready to face.

    Which, while some will 'win', perhaps, and most of us will be dead long before it reaches a point of crisis, is a legacy for our grandchildren's grandchildren that is shameful to willingly risk leaving.

    Even if the science were under ninety percent confident, given how relatively cheap and easy the alternative of CO2 emission reduction, we'd be criminally negligent to continue our current slopp and needless habits.

    Even if the science were only ten percent confident, the mathematics of decisions under uncertainty would still deem reducing CO2 emission the right course of action.

    And even if it weren't, we still face a situation of a self-interested minority generating far more than their share of the world's CO2 emissions and using up far more than their share of the world's renewable CO2 budget, trespassing against an unconsenting world majority without compensation.

    How is that right?

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  • 106. At 10:21am on 15 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    No respnse then on that VERY misleading CO" in a jar experiment then.
    Thought not..

    It is that sort of propogand that gets a lot of people annoyed, and that clip, amongst others.

    5 times as many polar bears now, as the 50's for example.

    Just pay your CO2 taxes them..
    While russia china laugh at the west, and expolit the AGW religion.

    It is good to be Green. (it is a shame, everything else that could be achived, is going to be sqaundered)

    oh by the way, FOI requests have shown that GISS have been fiddling the data too..

    Date Released: Thursday, January 14, 2010
    Source: KUSI-TV

    Climate researchers have discovered that NASA researchers improperly manipulated data in order to claim 2005 as “THE WARMEST YEAR ON RECORD.” KUSI-TV meteorologist, Weather Channel founder, and iconic weatherman John Coleman will present these findings in a one-hour special airing on KUSI-TV on Jan.14 at 9 p.m. A related report will be made available on the Internet at 6 p.m. EST on January 14th at www.kusi.com
    Climate gate scandal is unravelling..

    Annoyed is not hysterical.... And as the previous poster says, we don't know a lot, about all those mechanisms above....

    So how does AGW theory take these into account?

    I guess time will tell...

    The scientists predicting doom and gloom in the 70's.
    Were caught out when the cooling trend, turned into a warming trend (naturally), lot's of alternate theories, by very eminent people, say we are in for a cooling trend...

    Just see Paul Hudson's earliar articles, or is Paul too much of a sceptic for you

    Whatch those carbon billionaires squirm.

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  • 107. At 1:50pm on 15 Jan 2010, John Marshall wrote:

    Paul Briscoe suggests that Dr. Ian Stewart's series presented a fair assessment of AGW. Well if you ignore the severe editing then yes yuou are correct. His final program was a farce and obviously overseen by BBC AGW zealots.
    BB states that it is impossible to assess climate in the past. No it is not. The answer is in the rocks and it is fairly easy to state what climate was present back when particular rocks were deposited. Storm deposits are a case in point. Examintion of these show no greater frequency now compared to those of past warmer periods. In fact it is the colder periods that produce more storm deposits.
    What we can state without much argument is that back in the Archaean, 3.8 Ba ago, the CO2 content of the atmosphere was 20%. It was the evolution of cyanobacteria that started the conversion of this to oxygen and was accelerated later when plants evolved and photosynthesis got into full swing. Oxygen is far too reactive a gas to have been present when the earth was formed. It had to have been produced later when conditions improved.

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  • 108. At 4:47pm on 15 Jan 2010, Boleslas_Broda wrote:

    Sorry, Barry.

    Catching up with your hypercaffeinated multiposting pattern is much more work than you give credit for.

    And I notice that you haven't point by point addressed opposing views of others in the manner you demand of them.

    Please, be my guest, and go back to the start of the posts in the blogs and put in the work you expect of those who disagree with your opinions by showing them the same respect you assume they must give you.

    Experiments, to address the 'very misleading jar' are just that.


    They provide a model of some other situation changed in some way to make observation clearer and more useful.

    They are intended, therefore to be different from the actual, needing to remain the same only so far as is relevant and effective studies of the common elements between the model and the actual.

    In the case of the jar, the intention is to show to a confidence level that differing CO2 concentrations can, in principle, affect temperature levels. The jar experiment achieves this.

    Does it prove anything else?

    Not so much.

    As John Marshall points out, from within his own field of expertise in which I defer to his experience and training entirely, sometimes indirect observations in isolation from the actual can reveal to us much about that actual thing.

    In this case, he cites the example of frequency of storm deposits in the geological record -- a useful proxy if carefully read by specialists using valid methods -- to test a specific claim and establish confidence in, or reject to a degree of confidence, a stated hypothesis.

    While I was attempting to make a more wooly point about limits on human imagination than claim a total lack of the power of science to penetrate the veil of time about prehistoric weather, I accept that John's field of geology can lift the edge of that garment to allow some peeks into the weather picture. How little the peek draws into sharp focus how much the picture is a cipher.

    So, the jar itself merely confirms that changing CO2 levels has a correlation in changing temperature levels.

    The atmosphere, unlike the jar, is kilometers thick, and covers the entire globe. Two properties experimenters are unlikely to be able to construct in a lab. The expectation is that the higher CO2 concentration balances somewhat for the smaller size concerned.

    The mechanisms are expected to tolerate this scaling factor, based on our understandings of Thermodynamics.

    Which, as John can tell you, can under some circumstances tell us useful things about laboratory conditions involving temperature.

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  • 109. At 5:29pm on 15 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Sorry Barry, but I didn't see the gas jar experiment you refer to, so I'm in no position to comment on its validity. However, without full details and context, it's surely a bit of a "leap of faith" to presume that it was deliberately designed to mislead.

    What I do know, however (as you presumably do, too, given that you're a chemist), is that carbon dioxide's solubility in water obeys an equilibrium (albeit a complex one). So the oceans have the capacity to absorb SOME, but by no means all of the carbon dioxide released by Man's activities. As the concentration of carbon dioxide in water rises, the pH falls and calcium and magnesium carbonates start to break down, whilst higher sea temperatures also reduce solubility. Therefore, as the amount of carbon dioxide produced by Man's activities increases, so the capacity of the oceans to absorb more starts to fall off.

    Moving on to your comments about the NASA temperature data, closer inspection suggests to me that it is less clear-cut than you suggest. The tone of the report you quote certainly takes your stance that it is a conspiracy. However, as I understand it, what NASA have apparently done is change the method used to calculate global temperatures, averaging data from adjacent sites. This is very unlikely to significantly affect the final figures. Again, it is a "leap of faith" to presume, without full facts, that this was a deliberate attempt to deceive anyone..... and it does not even prove that the data is flawed. I'd say that the jury is still out. As I understand it, even the so-called "Climategate" is still under investigation.

    There are other important points to remember here:

    This is just one data point on one of a number of graphs, all of which show a gradual rise in global temperatures in line with rising carbon dioxide levels.

    There have, over the many years this debate has been rumbling on, been a number of occasions when those sceptical of global warming have presented "science" and made statements which don't stand up to close scrutiny...... I think you need to ask yourself whether you have been so indignant when the case for the sceptics has been overstated!

    Finally, I see no evidence from his blogs that Paul Hudson is a sceptic - he is merely reporting facts, which is his job........ and as I pointed out above, not everyone sees question marks over computer models as evidence that the science underlying global warming is flawed.


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  • 110. At 5:47pm on 15 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    I am disappointed that you appear to be falling back on the conspiracy argument to discredit "The Climate Wars". It is very easy to dismiss everything which doesn't fit in with your own point of view if you always work on the priciple that it has been fabricated! It is surely far more constructive to look objectively at what has been said.

    I seem to recall Dr Stewart saying that he, like me, didn't WANT global warming to be true, so why would he want to overplay the evidence?

    I think what BB was saying was that there is insufficient DETAIL in data from prehistoric times to tie them in with the types of models currently used. In any case, I fail to see how a time when carbon dioxide concentrations were at 20% is remotely relevant to the current situation (especially given that it is toxic at 1%!).


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  • 111. At 10:25pm on 15 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    As usual the AGW supportes turn on the messenger , asking inconvenient questions, a commomn divertionary tactic.

    The jar experiment was designed to mislead the general public...

    ie propoganda (as the clips, etc)

    Would the public been impressed (ie scared) if the experiment, had shown CO2 being heated in a jar at TRUE atmospheric proportions?

    Would they perhaps have thought the only hysteria, is coming from people promote the AGW theory, as the wheels started coming off the bandwagon.

    The general public do notice things like the constant media blitz, 50 days to save the planet, doom, gloom, scare (don't forget the plar bears)

    and then, post copenhagen.... Nothing
    Gordon Brown, David Cameroon, Obama are hardly running around saying we must do something.. it was all spin, for a political agreement.

    The only science that is settled as far as the IPCC is concerned is the 'political science'

    oh and 3rd runway at Heathrow is carbon neutral (based on all sorts of assumptions and breakthroughs in the future)

    IF you are trying to establish a scientific theory, it is NOT up to the people sceptical to disprove it.
    The onus is ALWAYS on the person promoting the theory.
    If a sceptical scientists, says how does your theory explain this, or account for that, or that this piece of information discredits it...

    Then the proposer MUST satisfy this

    the agw crowd are fond of simple physics experiment...

    ie heat up a bar of metal, in a bowl of water , bring it the the boil.
    measure the temperature at the extreme end, demonstrates heat transfer.

    A complex syestem with many factors producing equilibrium.
    A'sceptical' might scientists say, put your feet in the same bowl of boiling water, bring to the boil...

    Measure the temperature at your head.

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  • 112. At 00:21am on 16 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "As usual the AGW supportes turn on the messenger , asking inconvenient questions, a commomn divertionary tactic."


    If you are referring to my recent responses, my questions are surely only "inconvenient" if you don't have a satisfactory response!

    As BB pointed out, you have asked a lot of questions, which we have attempted to address (pretty comprehensively, as far as I can tell). I have seen no such attempts from yourself.

    The only common theme I have picked out from your posts is that you believe anything which disagrees with your viewpoint is diversionary and fabricated. Such an approach is not conducive to rational discussion and reasoned argument.

    Yes, there has been a lot of political manoeuvring in recent months around Copenhagen. However, as someone who did an Environmental degree and then a PhD in chemistry and microbiology, I have been following this debate for around 30 years now. Over that time I have seen plenty of exaggerated claims made on the other side of the argument too. Sadly, this is what happens when large sums of money are potentially at stake. I still treat the arguments put forwards by sceptics with respect - I then go and investigate as objectively as I can and try to uncover the truth - most of the time things are nothing like as simple as they appear.

    I have stated as clearly as I can the basis of the science underlying Man-made global warming and I don't intend to repeat it again. This debate continues because it is impossible to directly measure the amount of additional energy trapped in the atmosphere by carbon dioxide. It is also impossible with current models to reliably predict what the long term effects will be. Therefore, those who are sceptical will always be able to argue that the case for global warming is "unproven".

    The bottom line is that the overwhelming majority of scientists (most of whom have no vested interest) accept that the weight of evidence in favour of global warming is now sufficient. The precautionary principle dictates that it would be unwise to ignore this.



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  • 113. At 11:33am on 16 Jan 2010, Paul Latham wrote:

    It is important to keep an open mind and to be up to date on the climate change debate as the latest research indicates that many of the claims made only 2 or 3 years ago are now obsolete.

    The IPCC has revised many forecasts in response to the latest data.

    People such as Al Gore now appear foolish however professional his climate presentations may have been. The alarm and concerns created around the world now appear to be unjustified.

    A new text published in paperback form this month is 'Cool it' by Bjorn Lomborg a Professor of Copenhagen Business School who examines the data from today's perspective. He is neither a denier of climate change or an extreme advocate.

    Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State, has committed the USA to spending vast sums of money to reduce CO2, wasted money if it is spent.

    Our resources would be better spent addressing many of the other important issues in the world: combating diseases such as malaria, HIV/Aids awareness and assisting countries such as Bangladesh combat storm surges in their low lying country with better sea defence.

    The politicians have seized the agenda and made a ham of it as usual.

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  • 114. At 12:09pm on 16 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    Even if you don't agree with the principle of Man-made global warming, money to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is not necessarily wasted (although I suppose you could argue that it is if they tackle the problem by pumping the gas underground rather than by reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned). Supplies of fossil fuels are not limitless, although Man has certainly been behaving as though they are!

    I feel honour-bound to point out, though, that Professor Lomborg, like so many of those still arguing against global warming, has no formal qualifications in climatology or the physical sciences - he makes this clear on his website. His "political science" seems to rely on statistics, which is fine as far as it goes....... but much ultimately depends on choosing the most appropriate data and then properly interpreting the analysis once it complete. In 2003, Professor Lomborg was also found guilty of "scientific dishonesty" by a Danish goverment committee, which concluded that he had fabricated data.

    Incidentally, I should have said that I do agree with Barry Woods and others that there are plenty of other issues besides global warming which need to be addressed. I also agree that this debate rather overshadows some of those other important issues. It is certainly hypocritical to suggest that extensions to airports can be "carbon neutral".


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  • 115. At 12:26pm on 16 Jan 2010, John Marshall wrote:

    The Greenhouse Experiment, at least the one thjat BBC says 'proves' this much vaunted theory, shows two bottles being heated by lamps of the same power, one containing a higher concentration of CO2 than the other. The temperature of each gas inside each bottle is measured and, heavens forbid, that with th eelevated CO2 levels gets hotter.
    What they do not measure is the temperature at the opposite side of the bottle to the lights. This would show that less energy was exiting the bottle with the elevated CO2 levels because of the energy expended on heating the CO2. If this energy was to be reradiated then the energy balance would be the same for each bottle. ie., energy in must equal energy out as per our friends the laws of thermodynamics.
    What we must also remember is that anything that heats up quickly will loose heat faster. this will apply to solids as well as gasses. So atmospheric CO2 may heat up quickly but it will impart this energy to other molecules quickly die to its increased motion supplied by the heat energy. (Heat measurement, temperature, is only a measurement of the excited motion of an atom or molecule.This energy is in fact Kinetic energy and is moved from an excited atom to one less excited by conduction. Thought of in this way it is easy to understand why a cold item cannot give energy to a hot one.).
    To digress- it would now seem that the NOAA. NASA, GISS have also been altering data to exclude the cold temperatures so bump up the global temperature average. So who taught who to do this? HADCRUT would seem to be working hand in glove with these US agencies to ensure a consistant lie.

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  • 116. At 1:11pm on 16 Jan 2010, Paul Latham wrote:

    The response (114)to my own blog message (113).

    I have not said that I do not believe in global warming, like many comments made on this site people are making invalid assumptions and making unfair accusations about the comments.

    What I believe is that the whole scientific community has being making assumptions and adopting inflexible positions when the subject is still open to wide debate.

    What is certain is that you do not have to be a climatologist to have a critical viewpoint. Bjorn Lomborg is a widely respected intellectual of world renown with some best sellers to his credit.He can interpret data most effectively, rather better than those of the scientific community who have adopted extreme positions, and he presents a cogent argument.

    I suggest that his book 'Cool it' is worth a read and may help a little with objectivity.

    The 60 or so academic papers that have been published about climate change together with the many media reviews that have distorted and exaggerated the effects global warming. Alarm sells news !!

    I went back to University in 2008 to research the subject and soon realized that much of these publications were third rate and narrow in their conclusions. Time is now showing how poor some of this stuff really is.

    Lets hope that the BBC does not continually screen out of date documentaries on the subject,report incorrect conclusions and thereby distort the facts and continue to alarm the public at large about climate change.

    Many of the the politicians are out of date and are still advocating new and increased green taxes. I suggest they read, research and understand the data before jumping to invalid assumptions.

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  • 117. At 6:59pm on 16 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    I appreciate that Bjorn Lomborg has attempted to put forwards what he sees as a balanced view of the available evidence and as far as I can see he is not claiming that global warming is not happening (although I think the earlier investigation in Denmark was spawned by concerns that he was being far too selective in choosing which data to analyse, giving the impression that global warming was of negligible importance).

    My point about him not being a qualified scientist was as much intended as a general remark. The science underlying climatology and global warming is hugely complex, with lots of different but interrelated processes going on side by side. This makes interpretation of data extremely complex (and is probably one of the chief reasons why this debate is still going on) and well nigh impossible for someone who does not have a really good grasp of the science as a whole. Far too many of the people who are currently trying to influence this debate are not truly qualified to do so.

    I too am unhappy at the way the debate is developing. I suspect it is largely a response to the "politicisation" which has occured since Al Gore started his crusade. I felt at that point that the case for global warming was basically proven and that a commonsense approach would prevail, but the drive towards sensationalism and exaggeration in order to get the message across has backfired....... and badly!


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  • 118. At 7:39pm on 16 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    Thanks for the description of the jar experiment. I agree that it sounds a bit simplistic, but then I didn't see the context in which it was presented.

    The only experiment I have seen on the BBC actually measured the energy passing through a tank with and without carbon dioxide. However, the most telling evidence that carbon dioxide is enhancing the greenhouse effect probably comes from satellite data.

    My own understanding is that greenhouse gases absorb IR radiation and then re-emit it in all directions in the same form (ie IR radiation), thus reducing the amount of IR radiation being lost from the Earth back into space. This then causes the Earth to warm a little until a new higher equilibrium temperature is reached where IR radiation emitted to space again equals the energy coming in.

    Personally, I think you need to be far more certain of the facts and context before you accuse NASA and others of deliberately fixing their data.


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  • 119. At 10:48pm on 16 Jan 2010, mailmannz wrote:


    The evidence is already in front of you, all you have to do is open your eyes.


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  • 120. At 00:09am on 17 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    As I said, from what I've read so far the jury is still out.

    If the scientists have indeed selectively removed stations with colder temperatures then maybe you are correct, but I haven't seen any evidence of that as yet. Indeed, it is possible that reducing the number of stations could actually reduce the calculated average global figure, depending on which were chosen. Similarly, averaging figures across 2 adjacent stations does not necessarily distort the results. If the scientists are at all professional, they will have done some investigations to see if reducing the number of stations used would significantly skew the results and will have determined that it does not......... part of a drive to cut costs maybe?

    The bottom line is that until we have heard the full explanation and the justification given for making the change, it is too early to draw firm conclusions..... and certainly far too early to suggest that this is a conspiracy!

    It's also worth pointing out that John Coleman is a noted global warming sceptic, so you would perhaps expect him to talk up something of this type as much as he can!


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  • 121. At 11:05am on 17 Jan 2010, yellowbelly wrote:

    Interesting article in The Times which blows yet another hole in the warmists claims about AGW, following hot on the heels of the Met Office and its lack of accurate long-term forecasting.

    Apparently glaciers in the Himalayas are NOT melting after all!

    "Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

    In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC's 2007 report.

    It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

    Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change."


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  • 122. At 12:50pm on 17 Jan 2010, John Marshall wrote:

    Paul B #118 states that satellite data proves the greenhouse effect of CO2.
    The only satellite data that I have seen disproves the greenhouse effect theory.
    Radiosonde and drop sonde data sets also show that this reradiated heat has no effect to the overall atmospheric temperature in the troposphere that ALL the models say will be there. No such warming has been found. This little bit of science has been ignored by alarmists like all the other data sets that do not go the warming way.

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  • 123. At 6:51pm on 17 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    No one is trying to disprove green house theory...

    just alarmist effect of the man made co2, at such low (an additional pa 0.15% of CO2) levels. Natural CO2 being only ~5% of green house gases..

    The Times went with the glacier story today....

    BBC knew about it around copehagen time.. (Dec 5th)
    Himalayan glaciers melting deadline 'a mistake'

    And lost, sure a GOOD NEWS story in the south east asia section of their website.. (surely worth a mention in the copenhagen, blanket coverage, or at least science and environment)

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  • 124. At 8:57pm on 17 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Note the date:
    the wall street journal regarding the glaciers:
    Note the date 3 Dec 9, 2009:


    "Mr. Pachauri's actions speak even louder than his words. Last month, he branded the Indian environment minister "arrogant" after his office released a study that called into question whether climate-change is causing abnormal shrinkage of Himalayan glaciers. The IPCC's line is that Himalayan glaciers could be reduced by 80% or disappear entirely by 2035—but for this factoid, it cites no scientists, only the activist group, World Wildlife Fund. Now, the meteorologist and expert IPCC reviewer Madhav Khandekar says on Roger Pielke Sr.'s blog that the 2035 date may have been derived from a typo, based on a 1996 paper on snow and ice edited by V.M. Kotlyakov, which estimates the glaciers could be severely depleted or gone by 2350."

    For some reason, this did not get much coverage here in the uk, just copehagen hype of climate change (used interchangeably with man made climate change), of gordon brown, saying 'anti science' flat earther, if you were sceptical:

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  • 125. At 00:53am on 18 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    The comparison of data from satellites launched by NASA (Iris) and Japan (IMG) showed a clear fall in the amount of IR radiation of the relevant wavelength for carbon dioxide emitted to space between 1970 and 1996 (Harries 2001) - this is the closest scientists can get to making a direct measurement of the amount of energy which the gas is retaining in the atmosphere. If you have satellite data which contradicts this, I'd be interested to know what it is.

    Also, I'd be interested to know which data from balloons shows that heat re-radiated by greenhouse gases has no effect on the air temperature in the troposphere - do you have a reference to this? I also seem to remember that air temperatures in the US fell quite significantly after 9/11 when all of the aircraft were grounded..... it's anecdotal, I know, but it does rather contradict what you're saying.


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  • 126. At 01:05am on 18 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    So they got the timescale wrong........ maybe deliberate, maybe not.

    Surely what matters, though, is that glaciers ARE receding all around the World - not just in one or two locations. It's just one more small piece of that "big picture" I mentioned way back up this thread!


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  • 127. At 11:25am on 18 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    paul that is not correct...

    Some are receding some are growing.

    Artic sea ice has been growing significantly since 2007...
    Check all the sources, not just those wedded to AGW theory.

    December 5th - south east asia section. (copenhagen time)


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  • 128. At 1:18pm on 18 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    I think that if you read the news items more carefully, they do not say that the Himalayan glaciers are not shrinking - they are merely shrinking more slowly than the original report implied.

    Also, it has been well documented (and discussed above) that the Earth is in a cooling cycle at present, but there has self-evidently been a significant TREND towards reduction in the Arctic sea ice over the past 30 years - which is surely a far more reliable indicator of the effects of AGW.


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  • 129. At 2:42pm on 18 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    in the 70's the scientists were getting excited about CO2 (man made) causing globall cooling... doom and gloom about ice age etc..

    If you'd like I quote the exact Nature article for you...

    Most people of a certain age, will remember the media at the time ice age scare stories.

    Then they got caught out by the planet warming for the next 30 years.
    peaking late 90's and plateaued the last ten years or so, (ocean cycles give up their heat, now cooling)

    Have you even stopped to think that the AGW theory may just be wrong.

    and now the astro physicist say natural cooling trend...

    and of course since the 1650's the palnet has been coming out of the little ice age. ie the last 300plus years the planet has been warming up! (as a trend) cold and hot cycles within that period as well.

    The reporters say that glacier has shrunk 0.5 km in a hundred years..
    (must be climate change - (meaning man made) used interchangeably with natural climate change).

    Go back another hundred years - oh, it shrunk 0.5km that century as well.
    but the one the other side of the mountain is advancing!

    When the media dig a bit deeper, they will look at historical reports of where and what the glaciers were doing, in the 1800's and 1700's

    As yet we have not seen ANY evidence of climate change specifacally identified to be due to man made climate change. and after 30 years of AGW theory we should by now.
    Serioulsy, not it must be, I believe it to be, but, stripping out the natural element of climate change, and showing a man made signature...

    And not by computer model predictions.

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  • 130. At 4:32pm on 18 Jan 2010, Marcus Garvey wrote:

    Barry, re: cooling predicted in the 70's. Most talk about cooling was in the media not it the scientific literature. When you examine the literature from the time what you find is that in the 70's, a total of 7 published papers predicted cooling. Meanwhile over the same period 42 predicted warming due to increasing CO2. The main point here isn't that the 7 were wrong, it's that even 30-40 years ago the process of piecing together how climate change works was well underway with some scientists focusing on the cooling effect of aerosol pollution, and others looking at the radiative forcing of greenhouse gases.

    You've not seen any evidence of climate change specifically identified to be man made? That's a shame, maybe you're just not looking in the right places. Here's a starter for you: go read Harries et al (2001), Nature 410: 355-357.

    Now I know that you like a good rant, and that you have at no time demonstrated a willingness or ability to take on board new evidence that people have presented to counter your clumsy arguments. But please understand that none of your points are either original or profound. They are bog standard sceptic/denial arguments that have been doing the rounds for years, and are easily countered by evidence. Please, just as you implored us - have you ever stopped to consider that your understanding of AGW theory is wrong?

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  • 131. At 8:35pm on 18 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    I see belittle, shoot the messenger, rant, clumsy, sceptic denial!
    Standard pro AGW theory behviour it seems.

    A major part of my concern is the media (like the 70's)

    Who here supports the use of CGI tidal waves engulfing the land and small children. (used at the OPENING of copenhagen) and widely, uncritically presented by the BBC and media..

    ie comparing projected sea level rises over 90 years to a tidal wave caused by earthquakes.

    when these images are totally unsupported by ANY science.

    This is just propogand driving a message...

    Is Paul Hudson, a deniar, sceptic, clumsy, ranting, for having these articles...

    I wonder if Gordon 'flat earther' Brown (phd history) would like to repeat those comment to Paul...

    I have complained about some commenters in the past, and some comments have been removed. Let them stay this time. And let the vast majority of people who read this make up their own minds..

    I have relatives very involved in the green party, and friends involved in the IPCC, they all have the very best intentions, and we managed to discuss these topics politely..

    After all we all live on the same planet (as do my children) so what are all our motives.

    When even the IPCC/UN projections

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  • 132. At 9:17pm on 18 Jan 2010, Mark Taylor wrote:

    One of my new year's resolutions was to stay away from this blog but...

    "Of course the fact that the severe winter has coincided with the very unusual solar cycle could easily be a coincidence"

    That would be the severe winter where, globally, December was 0.59 C above the long-term average, would it?

    "peer reviewed in Energy and Environment journal"

    I do like a larf. That really is pushing the boundaries of peer reviewing. Though I'm sure the next one'll be in Science or Nature. Or maybe it'll be from The Proceedings of My Mate Down The Pub.

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  • 133. At 10:28pm on 18 Jan 2010, Marcus Garvey wrote:

    That's a shame Barry, yet again you completely failed to acknowledge any of the evidence presented to you that shows your previous posts as incorrect.

    I don't give a hoot about CGI graphics, lets stick to discussing the science please.

    Like for example the fact that NASA GISS place 2009 as the joint 2nd hottest year in 130 years of records:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 134. At 10:49pm on 18 Jan 2010, Marcus Garvey wrote:

    Let's try a link to the same info, but from another source then:


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  • 135. At 08:15am on 19 Jan 2010, Gadgetfiend wrote:

    Mark Taylor: writes in #132

    The latest global temperature anomoly for December is +0.59C. I am assuming you are quoting NOAA on this?

    Really? According to satellite data on the UAH measure it was +0.28C

    So NOAA are double the UAH measure. The breakdown of the UAH measure shows that the average has been pulled down because of the northern hemisphere cold, which makes sense. So why is NOAA so high? Which to believe?

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  • 136. At 10:22am on 19 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Unfortuanetly it is very difficult to discuss the science with discussing the political science...

    Do you approve of scare tactics Ie the tidal wave stuff being used uncritically to manipulate the general public.

    Juts to be clear, I do not.

    The IPCC itself has ben criticised repeatedly by ITS own scientists as being politicised, with pronuciations and agenda NOT based on the science.

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  • 137. At 12:13pm on 19 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    more serious than the glacier 'mistake'


    "As a long time science policy analyst, let me note that such conduct is reprehensible. Expert comments on the Second Order Draft of the SPM (see Items C and D on page 32 of linked document) had explicitly warned that: “It is disingenuous to report the population ‘new water stressed’ without also noting that as many, if not more, may no longer be water stressed (if Arnell’s analyses are to be trusted).” Despite that, the SPM chose to report the increase but ignored the decline.

    This was clearly undertaken consciously, as opposed to being the result of a blunder. It is, therefore, more insidious than the Himalayan error."

    Water stress is increasungly used in the IPCC debate..

    of course massive increases in population, ibn stressed areas is not at all relevant, either..

    watts up is a 'DENIAR' (shameful use of the word, isn't it) website. so many people will not even look at it.

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  • 138. At 3:53pm on 19 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    Just one or two things to point out.

    Anthony Watts of "Watts Up With That" is a self-confessed global warming sceptic. There's nothing wrong with that, apart from the fact that he may well put a certain "gloss" on things.

    If you refer to the original scientific paper he cites (Arnell, N.W. (2004)):


    you actually get a rather different message.

    The reason why the data shows some large populations as being under reduced water stress is because large areas of SE Asia (with huge populations) are forecast to have increased rainfall. The problem is that pretty well ALL of this rain comes in the form of the monsoon...... which, of course, poses the risk of increased flooding. Consequently, any increase in rainfall is unlikely to be at all welcome. In practice, therefore, the extra rainfall is very unlikely to be of real benefit to the populations affected because of its very seasonal nature.

    This is why it is so important to look very carefully at the detail.


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  • 139. At 5:29pm on 19 Jan 2010, Marcus Garvey wrote:

    You're right Paul. Another example is in the projections for precipitation change in Europe over this century. Mediteranean regions are expected (although no clear trend observed yet) to get reduced precipitation. This would lead to increased drought stress on crops, and reduced yields, amongst other effects. It's also worth pointing out that even if there is no change in precipitation but increased temperature, this leads to higher drought stress. This has been observed already, for example in the Montseny mountains in Catalonia, where an increase in temp of 1.6C since the 1950s has led to measurable changes in forest ecosystems as some species become unable to compete with more drought tolerant species.

    Of course there are parts of Europe predicted to get wetter. For example, Scotland. Just where it's not needed.

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  • 140. At 9:51pm on 19 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    I wonder if it is at all possible that the likes of real climate, and the bbc, might put a certain spin/gloss on the pro side of the debate?

    Surely not...


    Have you heard about the IPCC glaciers mistake?
    The IPCC supposed experts at looking at the detail!!!

    Today on the bbc website:
    UN climate body admits 'mistake' on Himalayan glaciers

    Newspapers at the weekend:

    UN report on glaciers melting is based on 'speculation'
    An official prediction by the United Nations that the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035 may be withdrawn after it was found to be based on speculation rather than scientific evidence

    Sunday Times
    World Misled over Himalayan Glacier meltdown

    UN report that said Himalayan glaciers would melt within 25 years was all hot air


    Given that their was excessive TV coverage of the glaciers, long tv news articles, with journalists pointing at glaciers in the himalayas and chatting to locals.

    Do you think there is going to be as much TV coverage reporting this (ie GOOD climate news)

    Of course this is the SECOND time the BBC re-(someother word)-ported this story.....

    They had this story on the 5th of December 2009 here:


    Wonder why it was buried away, in the south east asia section of the website.
    NOT reported in the main news, tv or otherwise
    Not reported on the Science section
    Not reported in the Copenhagen section
    surely this was GOOD news.

    might one of scpetical people think it was because it was the WEEK BEFORE Copenhagen.

    No one might think that maybe, the slightly (shall we say) pro AGW theory BBC think that they hid something that might damage the BBC belief in the man made climate change. And quite probably impact on Copenhagen.

    After all a mere 6 weeks later, this is quite big NEWS

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  • 141. At 00:20am on 20 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "I wonder if it is at all possible that the likes of real climate, and the bbc, might put a certain spin/gloss on the pro side of the debate?"

    The difference between the guys at Realclimate and the bloggers who you seem to use as sources is that Realclimate sticks to using properly validated scientific papers and tries to present information in its proper context. As for the BBC, in my experience they tend to allow their editorial to be led by the real science, but they do still report the sceptic arguments.

    You still keep falling back on that conspiracy argument, Barry. My guess is that the BBC, like me, felt that whilst the mistake over the RATE of decline in Himalayan glaciers was unfortunate, the important message was that they were shrinking at all. Personally, I find the total misrepresentation of the facts by "Watts Up With That" far more disturbing!


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  • 142. At 3:08pm on 20 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    no conspiracy.. much more mundane than that.. and very much human nature. Just lots of vested intersts that havbe never really questined the science as they shoul have..

    Even 'climate sabatouer milliband, I notice, has started using the phrase, I'm not a scientist, but they tell me"..

    Where previously, he did not..

    It was a good theory!!!

    Worth investigating...

    Yet so many band wagons lept on it in the last 30 years, that have got their own momemtum..

    I'm sure most people either side of the debate, will agree that a carbon trading economy, is no solution, even if you believe in the problem..

    Ie you pay to pollute, massive oportunity for fraud (as all ready witnessed) , and you just line the pockect of mega corporation, carbon funds, an al gore, and lots of third world dictators, get to buy a new fleet of mercedes.. That is what is/will happen in the political world...

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  • 143. At 3:12pm on 20 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    phase 2 of the cresit crunch will be the carbon crunch..

    When will depend on events, and who decides the emperor has new clothes first..

    At some point some hedge fund is going to test the market, and sell short something carbon related.

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  • 144. At 00:39am on 21 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    You seem to have quickly forgotten David Michaels' book "Doubt is their Product", which I refered to in the newer thread.

    Any vested interest amongst a small number of global warming scientists is miniscule when compared to the multi-billion dollar industries which have been funding the "professional sceptics" I referred to!

    You need to start asking yourself which side of the debate REALLY stands to lose most it loses the argument!


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  • 145. At 11:12am on 21 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    You seem to have forgotten I can and (for the moment - despite some politicians call for laws! against denial) allowed to think for myself, and make my own judgements. There is equally good book I could quote you on risk..
    Ie who benefits from the scare stories, bse, sars, swine flu, weapons of mass distruction, politics through creating a fear,etc,etc.

    But I won't patronise anybody by saying read this, it will change your mind. Just it might give a few ideas to think about.

    What tends to happen is:
    the poor old scientists, says, yes this is a new flu, yes it is highly infectious and could become a pandemic (ie in the technical sense) journalist just think ebola!, yes it COULD mutate, yes it could be bad, but actually it seems mild in most people. Being a scientists, they do tend to say could, but journo's want definites, so choose the most 'newsworthy' element, ignoring the caveats.

    The media hype it to death, pointing out one or 2 deaths (whereas 'normal flu' kills many more people every winter anyway) demand to know on behalf of their readers of course, what the politicians are doing about it (brave politico, not much it seems quite mild)
    they sell a few more papers and their editors are happy.

    Experts demand more reseacrh, demand action, - people who ask sensible questions, are called ignrant sceptics who are dangerous, and would kill us all. (their motive and allegiances are questioned (but never the experts)

    The politicians go into panic mode, must do something, the lobbyists scare them along, lots of swine flu vaccine is baught. A little later on, a billion pounds worth is being sold of to anyone who will take, it, and various politicians retire at the next election, to the saftey of a pharmaceutical company that used to lobby then...

    Vested Interests!

    Yes, UN (global tax, start of world gov) EU, (rompey says, the start of global management, and talks CO2 taxes - first speech - see it on youtube) the big corporations, big finacial instititions, lots of tax for lots of governments (who need a tax - and we are only doing this to SAVE the planet, is a good stick for the public to be hit with), lots of western 'guilt' money going to corrupt regimes. Do you think a penny will be spent on reducing co2..

    The 'professional sceptics' if their is such a beast (why the quotes) are the poorly funded ones... I'm 'just' a home dad with a part time business at the moment. (whht am I an 'ignorant' memeber of the public, a sceptic, a deniar, or something else, to be dismissed - I'm far better qulaified scientifically, and in computer modelling than either , Brown, Miliband, Al Gore, sting or bono))

    The sceptics (apparently 50% of the public, as well) are after all going up against the EU, and the majority of greenwashed polticians around the world (after 20-30 years of lobbying - especially the tories, the former nasty party, can't be seen to be called nasty by the green crowd))

    A quote from the spectator:

    "I'd really like to Gordon Brown call this man a "flat-earther" to his face


    a physicist at CERN shows strong correlation between solar radiation and climate variations"

    From why the maldives are NOT sinking article:


    Who stands to lose. Well it is either MONEY or POLITICICS.

    Money has no shame, it will change it's mind in an instant, and 'follow the money'

    Poltics: Loss of face!

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  • 146. At 11:17am on 21 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    It might be of interest to get a Freedom of Information request.
    To see how much the NHS and councils have spent so far on, Carbon offsets, carbon credits, etc.

    and what projected budgets for the next 5 -10 years are to meet the government target...

    Whilst in Bedford last week, I noticed an article about locals objecting about a wind farm (and some green groups!?) but the council was more concerned about LOSS of government funding, if it did NOT meet it's CO2 targets.

    I will have to buy a carbon credit (do you get a certificate?) asa a historical novelty.
    It will probably last longer framed, than a 17th century Dutch tulip bulb


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  • 147. At 11:31pm on 21 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    Jasper Kirkby's work on cosmic rays looks interesting and it is the one area of research I have seen you link to which the scientific community is not questioning. However, I think even Dr Kirkby himself would admit that there is still a lot more work to do before he will be able to prove a link between cosmic rays, clouds and global temperatures...... and even then it will not preclude other factors.

    Turning to Dr. Morner. His views on sea level rises seem to be at odds with those of every other scientist and most recent data points to an incremental increase in sea levels approaching 3mm per year...... which will not be any comfort to the people of the Maldives.

    It's also worth pointing out that Dr Morner's former colleagues at INQUA did not share his views.


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  • 148. At 10:09am on 22 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    "Vested Interests!

    Yes, UN (global tax, start of world gov) EU, (rompey says, the start of global management, and talks CO2 taxes - first speech - see it on youtube) the big corporations, big finacial instititions, lots of tax for lots of governments (who need a tax - and we are only doing this to SAVE the planet, is a good stick for the public to be hit with), lots of western 'guilt' money going to corrupt regimes. Do you think a penny will be spent on reducing co2.."

    The key point here is that the physical and chemical evidence underpinning AGW was built up long before any governments accepted the concept. It is simply a nonsense to discredit the science based on any vested interests which politicians may now have. Meanwhile, the oil companies must have realised all along that measures to combat AGW would cost them billions........ hence the reason why they have been funding the sceptic campaign for so long.

    I think the recent review of the entire debate by the New Scientist gives the best summary I have yet seen and explains why so many of the points raised on these blogs by the sceptics have no scientific basis:



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  • 149. At 3:15pm on 22 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    new scientist - amongst most scientits has the reputation of being the most poltically correct publication going. Ebven more evangelical than the BBC (if that is possible) regarding the AGW religion (theory)

    Also, the real world data, keeps showing the models to be wrong.

    IF you believe that last year was the warmest on record, it was by only 0.02 C! (since 1998). and 1934 keeps getting the honour and losing it again, depending on which scientist you personally believe in!

    Which as histirucal data shows temp data, can have a natural variablity of 2.5c year o year, this is just the noise, on the noise..

    That's IF you still belive the data has not been massaged and cherry picked to death.
    If you belive it, it show the temp FLAT since 1998, despite ever increasing CO2 .

    The thoery is totally discredited.
    Ie even have the same degree as good old Margaret T, remember, she wanted to get coal out of the picture, for shall we say other reasons (cough - unions - cough) so I wonder how hard she looked at the science.

    Shall we call a truce, and let others comment. I could swap quotes with you forever.

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  • 150. At 6:26pm on 22 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    As someone who subscribed to the New Scientist for many years, I am confident that it is objective rather than politically correct. The important thing is that it relies on proper peer-reviewed scientific literature. As far as I can tell, the BBC science editorial does the same.

    I'm happy to call a truce to our exchanges, but I'll leave you with one final link to another section of the New Scientist feature. This one tries to help people assess the available evidence in an objective manner. Hopefully some readers will find it useful:



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  • 151. At 7:59pm on 22 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    peer review again...

    Like th epeer review the IPCC use to beat every sceptic.
    but the glacier 'incident' slipped thorugh..

    Ofcourse the cherry pickingo f russian, american, new zealan and australian data..

    and the unexplained, hence un peer reviewed, assumptions, reason for certain adjustemnts in the temp data of stations..

    we could go on and on...

    I subscribe to a number of journals as well..

    I do not however treat everything as gospel.
    Mistakes, agendas, politics, inter journal, scientific groupthink, can occur anywhere...
    Also there is an element of trust in science, I imagine very many scientists , that use the 3 datasets in question, are taking a look at any of there work based on them.

    In light of the CRU investigation: presumably as this is a press release and their are interested parties here, the following can be reproduced:

    The UK Science and Technology Committee today announced an inquiry into “THE DISCLOSURE OF CLIMATE DATA FROM THE CLIMATIC RESEARCH UNIT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA” with the full text of the press announcement as follows:
    The Science and Technology Committee today announces an inquiry into the unauthorised publication of data, emails and documents relating to the work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The Committee has agreed to examine and invite written submissions on three questions:
    — What are the implications of the disclosures for the integrity of scientific research?
    — Are the terms of reference and scope of the Independent Review announced on 3 December 2009 by UEA adequate (see below)?
    — How independent are the other two international data sets?
    The Committee intends to hold an oral evidence session in March 2010.
    On 1 December 2009 Phil Willis, Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, wrote to Professor Edward Acton, Vice-Chancellor of UEA following the considerable press coverage of the data, emails and documents relating to the work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU). The coverage alleged that data may have been manipulated or deleted in order to produce evidence on global warming. On 3 December the UEA announced an Independent Review into the allegations to be headed by Sir Muir Russell.
    The Independent Review will:
    1. Examine the hacked e-mail exchanges, other relevant e-mail exchanges and any other information held at CRU to determine whether there is any evidence of the manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific practice and may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes.
    2. Review CRU’s policies and practices for acquiring, assembling, subjecting to peer review and disseminating data and research findings, and their compliance or otherwise with best scientific practice.
    3. Review CRU’s compliance or otherwise with the University’s policies and practices regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act (‘the FOIA’) and the Environmental Information Regulations (‘the EIR’) for the release of data.
    4. Review and make recommendations as to the appropriate management, governance and security structures for CRU and the security, integrity and release of the data it holds .
    The Committee invites written submissions from interested parties on the three questions set out above by noon on Wednesday 10 February:
    Each submission should:
    a) be no more than 3,000 words in length
    b)be in Word format (no later than 2003) with as little use of colour or logos as possible
    c)have numbered paragraphs
    d)include a declaration of interests.
    A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to ccitechcom@parliament.uk and marked “Climatic Research Unit”. An additional paper copy should be sent to:
    The Clerk
    Science and Technology Committee
    House of Commons
    7 Millbank
    London SW1P 3JA
    It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals submitting written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
    Please supply a postal address so a copy of the Committee’s report can be sent to you upon publication.
    A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at: www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm
    Please also note that:
    —Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
    —Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
    —Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
    —Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

    ie. This would appear that the ISSUE (climate gate is being taken very seriously>

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  • 152. At 10:43pm on 22 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "This would appear that the ISSUE (climate gate is being taken very seriously>"

    ........ and so it should be! Of course, if someone has done something genuinely wrong, we need to know about it - I wouldn't approve of that any more than you. However, it is also the only way to restore confidence in the science.

    This is the New Scientist's take on it all:


    Personally, though, I think Realclimate's response is rather better and explains the way research scientists operate:


    I just hope that if the enquiry finds that nothing improper has happened people will accept it...... and maybe some might realise that the hacking was just part of the continuing efforts to discredit the science.


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  • 153. At 08:54am on 24 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    real climate is a PR machine for AGW. Not very much science there.


    Might be accused of the ant PR, but very much more science going on (lots of techy types talking error bars etc)..

    Let the public decide!
    Watts up is more layman


    of course today: IPPCC sicentists have been criticising the IPCC statements

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  • 154. At 11:32pm on 24 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    "real climate is a PR machine for AGW. Not very much science there."

    That's simply not true. Realclimate clearly agrees with AGW, but every article they write is based on sound peer-reviewed papers! The truth is that they have drawn their own conclusions based on sound science.

    Consider the following from Realclimate:

    "Advocacy vs. Science

    The advocate will pick up any piece of apparently useful data and without doing any analysis, decide that their pet theory perfectly explains any anomaly without consideration of any alternative explanations. Their conclusion is always that their original theory is correct.

    The scientist will look at all possibilities and revise their thinking based on a thorough assessment of all issues – data quality, model quality and appropriateness of the the comparison. Their conclusion follows from the analysis whatever it points to.

    Which one is which?"

    In my experience, the second statement appears to fit Realclimate very well, but the first definitely applies to Anthony Watts!

    I've already commented on the final article elsewhere and won't repeat myself here.


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  • 155. At 12:27pm on 25 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    in your opinion...

    In my opinion the opposite...

    Of course bbc website readers are intellgent to go and look at both for themselves.
    Or will the poor dears get all confused, if they dare to look at sceptical scientists views....

    Of course, it used to be the biggest sceptic of a theory, etc., used to be it's own author.
    As they knew it would one day have to be put into the 'bear pit' of peer reviewed science... If it survived, then it only live to fight another day...
    The IPCC climate science peer review process seems to operate slighlty differently, allowing pinch un reviewed articles from wwf, and publish it..

    The scandal deepens – IPCC AR4 riddled with non peer reviewed WWF papers

    China has 'open mind' about cause of climate change
    China's most senior climate change official surprised a summit in India when he questioned whether global warming is caused by carbon gas emissions and said Beijing is keeping an "open mind".

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  • 156. At 1:04pm on 25 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Well it depends on whether you value proper scientific reasoning and truth or not!

    The point Realclimate were making in relation to Anthony Watts is that he has a habit of cherry-picking data and then presenting it totally out of context so that it appears to support his argument. The article you linked to earlier in relation to water resources was a classic case in point. No competent scientist would have missed the massive flaw in that article........ unless he chose to! No site that would post such mischievous nonsense and pass it off as fact has any credibility at all in my humble opinion.

    Now turning to the "deepening scandal" you mention, detailed on "Watts up with That", that too is a nothing story. From what I can see, none of the literature mentioned pertains to the core science - it is effectively just additional information included for the sake of completeness. There is nothing unusual in attaching such information to a scientific report of this type. What matters is that the basic science underpinning AGW IS peer-reviewed.


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  • 157. At 2:27pm on 25 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    It is going to be what china thinks that matters!

    I know, I know, communists dictatorship, one coal fired power station a week, etc. They would say that wouldn't they!!!!

    Notice you glossed over that bit...
    they haveheard of the climategate scandal too..

    Words of an old sceptic
    BBC link: so should not scare anybody to sensitive.

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  • 158. At 11:04pm on 25 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "Notice you glossed over that bit..."

    I'm not sure which bit you're referring to there, Barry!

    They certainly couldn't help but hear about "climategate" with people like you active on the internet! However, they have probably also realised that the leaking of 3 year old emails around the time of Copenhagen was no coincidence! They may also have realised that it's rather premature to call it a "scandal".


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  • 159. At 09:41am on 26 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    The bit about CHINA. In the sentence above!(ie open mind about the science - diplomatic speak for we do not believe AGW)

    Three year old emails?, that is just spin....

    (emails 1996 -November 2009 (less than ONE month before copenhagen)

    One particular email, (very relevant in Paul Hudsons blog) was in OCTOBER 2009.

    Criticising the bbc for a Paul Hudson article. (where are we commenting?)
    Whatever happended to Global Warming..

    in the emails they say:
    And maybe they should talk to the usual person at the BBC, because they are on side.
    Oh, and get realclimate to do something about it (their propoganda website)

    Why pretend the emails are all old?

    You say: 'people like you' (resorting to? )

    Play the message, Paul, not the messenger

    You say: 'no coincidence' (resorting to inuendo?)

    I say - WHISTLEBLOWER - who had a conscience and leaked it all..

    links to verify the above:


    climategate emails: (type Paul Hudson - into search)

    There are a number of other website with all the climategate documents, email, code listed, very easy to find (all verified to be absolutly from CRU)

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  • 160. At 10:32am on 26 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Telegraph View today: (THe Telegraph were as Pro AGW as everyone else, you can hear the teeth gritting,as they ave written this)


    Look atthe comments....

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  • 161. At 4:39pm on 27 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    I swore to myself that I wasn't going to make another post on this particular blog!

    However, last night I was googling a topic totally unrelated to AGW when I came across one of our exchanges above which you had copied and pasted into a forum you are a member of called "Pistonheads":


    There's no law against this, obviously, and I have nothing at all against "pistonheads" (in fact, the BBC's Top Gear is one of my favourite TV programmes). However, I couldn't help but wonder how much your love of cars contributes to your apparent animosity towards pro AGW scientists!

    In my experience, scientists who are confident of their facts don't need to rely on rhetoric and propaganda to put across their point of view - most of them appreciate that the best way to convince others is to present science in a measured and balanced way.


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  • 162. At 10:41am on 28 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Hi Paul you are getting desperate... (what are your vested interests?)
    Play the message, not the messenger.

    As the IPPC relelations have just shown, IT IS the IPCC who, to quote your insinuation:

    who have had to 'rely on rhetoric and propaganda to put across their point of view' glacier, sea level, amazon, artic, african, extreme weather events. the IPCC's own scientists, have ha dissues with scare annoucements being used against their scientific advice.

    I haven't been on a plane for 9 years!

    What is your carbon footprint, before you get all conspiracy theorist.
    A return trip to new york (per passenger) is the same as driving a FreeLander for a 12,000 MILES for example.

    And what is wrong with copying and pasted something you have typed out once, before, that is the joy of a word processor.

    A fact is a fact, questions, remain questions..

    Are you cyberstalking me, do I need to wait for a knock on the door from the 'green' police?

    Am I saying anything incorrect no, so just try to spin the messenger standard pr parctice, for someone trying to spin the story away

    What are your connections to AGW theory (I'm just a member of the public - do you work for a green orgnaisation, Ipcc, someone who depends on CO2 for their job? etc,etc)

    It has been noticed on a number of public forum, that their are AGW 'trolls' trying to close down debate.

    It is pretty much a running joke on the Telegraph website, that a prolific poster, on all things agw, that just posts spin and decepetion, is in fact a profesional in the world of media managemnent, with a number of guardian clients. He has been outed a few times, you'll find the story on pistonheads. You will also find a number of reasonable people getting increasingly frustrated with the media, politicians (of all parties) and particularly the BBC, for treating the public as the 'ignorant' masses

    Pistonheads was where I found out about the story...
    No one in the mainstream media was touching it...

    Actually for anyone who wants to see how far the media was behind the story on climatgae, IPCC scandal etc. it is a good place to see the story develop... The 'revelations' in the press recently were known weeks ago here.

    Climate change cat out of the bag
    Climate change the big debate.

    In the news, politics, economics section:

    Their is a good crossection of people that have been using this site for years, (owned now by Haymarket - one of the biggest websites in the UK) If the Times, wall street journal, telegraph, hundreds of websites around the woprld can talk about it, why can't car ownwers, who are also parents, grandparents, etc. EVEN a lot of sceptics in the Guardian comments section now.

    I only got angry about this topic, because my 5 year old came home from INFANTS school one day, saying the polar bears are dying because of humans, AND CRIED. a few days after climategate hack, and at the time of all the copenhagen SCARE/DOOM - 50 days to save the planet - propoganda.

    And I got annoyed.....

    I know this to be a complete LIE from Al Gore. (5 times as many of polar bears as the 50's.) and started finding out for myself...
    I an concerned for my childrens future, AGW is false.....

    The UN even have a global warming song, and we have had a 'climate', where appalling language, like DENIAR, 'FLAT-EARTHER', SCPETIC (as if that was bad), 'ANTI_SCIENCE', 'CLIMATE_SABATOUER', is being used to close down dabate from OUR politicians.

    Who are as we can see in the Times today, back peddling like mad, as are the IPCC. ( do you think they would have done this by themselve. The glacier mistake, has been known about for YEARS, yet the IPCC did nothing to stop the sacremongering, lots of BBC journalists, running around the Himilayas, as an example, copenhagen time)

    Richard Black, questions peoples physcology, blaming childhood trauma.... (what next AGW DENIARS are terrorists?)

    IF you actually read the threads the majority of people are pretty genuine. Who believe climate is what the planet does..

    As various green organisations say, the greenest car is the one you allready own, keep it well maintained (25-50% of co2 is in cars manufacture, depending on complexity of the car. (mine is
    Get the government encourages 'scrappage' to keep the car industry going, people in jobs, etc. I just see AGW hypocracy!

    Just like the third Heathrow runway, seperate private jets for gordon and prince charles.. 1400 limos, 170 private jets, huge entourages on a jolly. Head of IPCC giving a green award to Toyota (lithium mining for all those hybrid car batteries, is extremely damaging to the environment) at the ONLY 7* HOTEL in the world IN DUBAI........
    Why not just post the award, who nEEDS a jolly, save that CO2,
    what is Dubais CO2 footprint, the arrogance sense of entitlement to these people is appalling.

    I also believe in saving the rainforests, preventing pollution (non co2 kind), saving endangered species, encouraging bio-diversioty, actually prety much all things green. I recycle re-use, have though all the above for years.

    I just dispear that this AGW theory, has been hijacked the green movement, think of all the good that could be done with al that money, that is just going to line the pockets,of the carbon traders, massive corporations, and greedy governments..

    I am extremely angry about AGW, beacuse I HAVE seen the code, the data manipulation, the programming methodology.

    I have a 10 years plus in the IT industry, an MSC from a cybernetics dept. I have worked on complex, non linear computer models.

    I can see everything behind the computer models (climategate hack) is just rubbish.. As have very many IT proffesinal around the world...

    Go and read Harry_read_me.txt for yourself (a non IT layman should be able to see whatt has been going on for yourself..

    Demonstrated recently, by the New Zealand, Australian, Nasa/Giss, Russian data cherry picking. ALL now reported in the main stream media.

    As I am just a memeber of the public, a self employed, part time homedad. Who just got fed up with being called a DENIAR, etc, by MY 'scientifically' ignorant minsters of state.

    Brown - PHD history (labour poltics)
    Miliband - philosophy, politics,economics
    Me - BSC Applied Chemistry, MSC Informations Systems


    You now know where I am coming from - Paul.. I don't know who you are..
    Lets just discuss the evidence shall we.....

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  • 163. At 12:08pm on 28 Jan 2010, Greg wrote:

    I think it was QuaesoVeritas who asked why the BBC don't have scientists on to argue the "sceptic" case and then strangely suggested Monckton who clearly isn't a scientist. The answer is in his his own suggestion of Monckton and must in any case be self evident and was shown in one of Roger Black's articles in which he emailed all the climate scientists he could find that appeared to argue against AGW for their arguments, but could none able to say anything more damning than that they thought current funds would be better spent on more immediate problems.
    We seem to have an unqualified "sceptic" feeding frenzy about a complex scientific matter.
    So it was a good question, where are the anti AGW scientists, do they exist?

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  • 164. At 12:11pm on 28 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    looking back at the last 50 or so comments.

    It's looks like it's just Paul and I talking to ourselves!!!!

    Maybe we should both just go down the pub. And leave it for posterity to sort out

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  • 165. At 1:22pm on 28 Jan 2010, YAD061 wrote:

    They exist Greg, they just don't get the airtime

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  • 166. At 2:14pm on 28 Jan 2010, YAD061 wrote:


    to be going on with in the meantime, btw the 4000 'experts' at the IPCC?
    more like 62

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 167. At 6:07pm on 28 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    "Are you cyberstalking me, do I need to wait for a knock on the door from the 'green' police?"

    No, of course not! As I clearly stated in my post, I stumbled across "Pistonheads" whilst running a search regarding something totally different!

    "5 times as many of polar bears as the 50's".

    This is yet another of the popular misrepresentations of the facts used by sceptics. In the 1950's polar bears were being hunted towards extinction!


    A perfect example of how data presented without full context can deceive!

    "Am I saying anything incorrect no, so just try to spin the messenger standard pr parctice, for someone trying to spin the story away"

    In my opinion it is you who are "spinning"...... although it may just be the sources you choose to use.

    "What are your connections to AGW theory (I'm just a member of the public - do you work for a green orgnaisation, Ipcc, someone who depends on CO2 for their job? etc,etc)"

    I worked in scientific research up to about 20 years ago (but not AGW). These days I am self-employed and have no connection to any of the organisations listed!

    Having learned about AGW at university in 1980, I started to take more interest again after I saw "The Great Global Warming Swindle". I smelled a rat straight away and it later emerged that key data had deliberately been left out to fit the story...... and mislead the public. You list examples of where someone supporting AGW has allegedly misrepresented data, yet much of the sceptic argument is based on misrepresentation of the facts - you only need to look at the type of language used by many sceptics to see that it's hype!

    Having worked in scientific research I understand better than most how it operates and having reviewed scientific literature I am probably better qualified than most to spot the flaws, where they exist.

    One of the most important things I learned was the huge importance of proper discussion in any scientific paper. The discussion section is the part of a paper where the authors are supposed to place their own findings in the context of ALL other available work in the field........ without this it is so easy to reach misleading conclusions. This is the area where so much of the literature used by yourself and other sceptics falls down.

    "It has been noticed on a number of public forum, that their are AGW 'trolls' trying to close down debate."

    My analysis is very different! The AGW scientists are certainly getting very frustrated at having to defend themselves against cooked up and spurious arguments (many of them very old) which have no basis in science. As pointed out above, another common tactic used by sceptics is to present existing data out of context (also remember the water resource data you posted about)....... this undoubtedly explains why the UEA were so reluctant to allow data to be given to someone who would almost certainly have used it in this way!

    Meanwhile, the oil companies, which have backed the sceptic campaign to the tune of millions of dollars, have their own army of "trolls" as you call them in the form of members of the public who lap up their propaganda and then spread it all over the internet like a virus!

    I think Greg's comments at #163 sum it up perfectly:

    "We seem to have an unqualified "sceptic" feeding frenzy about a complex scientific matter."

    Incidentally, it should be pointed out that most of the 800 plus scientists who contributed scientific papers to the 2007 IPCC report are wholly independent of it and receive no financial backing from it for the work they do. Indeed, many of them forego lucrative sponsorship to continue their AGW research....... vested interests? .....clearly not!

    Perhaps you would point this out to the member of the Pistonheads forum who felt the scientists contributing to the IPCC should be named and shamed so that they could never work again.


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  • 168. At 8:11pm on 28 Jan 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    I wonder what the casual reader would think of this discussion Paul.

    The story is out in the open now....

    And I can see all those scientists, that were sceptical are now feeling emboldened not to back down in face of abuse. Sceptic, Deniar, flat earther, arrogant, voodoo, anti science, climate sabatouer.. All used by those promoting AGW.. Who I don't think have reaised that those tactics are now having the opposite effect to that intended (closing down the debate)

    "Having worked in scientific research I understand better than most how it operates and having reviewed scientific literature I am probably better qualified than most to spot the flaws, where they exist."

    I wonder what field.. Do you follow the Phil Jones approach to peer review?

    I have stated my scientfic qualifications for the reader, to form an opinion. Will you state yours, and the field?

    I await the next IPCC report with interest. (2014?)

    I'm usually acused of being a pessimist, glass half full, etc..

    But this is a GOOD news story for me, I'm now TOTALLY convinced that my childrens (and all their childrens children) future is secure, for them man made global warming is not going to be an issue.

    So shall we to leave it at that?

    It is enough for me.....

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  • 169. At 10:49pm on 28 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    I think you must have missed it...... I did say elsewhere in these blogs that my research field (to PhD and beyond) was in the area of chemistry and microbiology. My original degree was an environmental one.

    With respect, even what Phil Jones said in his private emails doesn't offer any evidence that he actually USED the approach to peer review that you are implying. Like many scientists, I'm sure he was hugely frustrated and this was clearly reflected in his choice of words.

    For my part I have made it clear that I believe science should remain objective and balanced - I have only allowed myself to become involved in this online debate because I have seen strong indications that much of the "evidence" offered up against AGW has been manufactured - like you I got angry!!

    Although we may not agree, please give me some credit, as I have tried to be balanced: I have made it clear that I do not feel comfortable with the politicisation of AGW..... and the problems caused by this are now coming home to roost; I also don't believe that the models are capable of accurately predicting future temperatures.......

    ...... but what I REALLY object to is the mischievous attempts to discredit ALL of the science (much of it established long before the IPCC even came into existence) based on the failings of so few - that is an insult to a lot of scientists, totally independent of the IPCC, who have shown decency, integrity and professionalism throughout their careers. They, like me, have concluded that AGW is a real problem based on an objective examination of all available science.

    I appreciate that you don't agree with these scientists, Barry, but please afford them some respect!


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  • 170. At 12:19pm on 29 Jan 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    #163 - Greg
    "So it was a good question, where are the anti AGW scientists, do they exist?"
    Are the of the people in these videos not scientists?
    No doubt you will dismiss them as cranks or in the pay of the oil industry.
    I think the point that I made was that the BBC couldn't find anyone to represent the sceptical view on "Any Questions" and I suggested Lord Monckton, whom they hadn't heard of. I admitted that he wasn't a scientist but I don't think the BBC would have been interested in putting a U.S. scientist on the programme. For some reason there don't seem to be many UK scientists who admit to being sceptical (although that may change). Maybe scientists in the US have a more open mindeed approach to the subject.

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  • 171. At 3:50pm on 31 Jan 2010, Greg wrote:

    YAD061 wrote:
    They exist Greg, they just don't get the airtime

    So who are they and what have they to say? I mean actual scientists, not the likes of Monckton.

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  • 172. At 6:16pm on 31 Jan 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:


    Two recent polls revealed that around 97% of climate scientists now accept AGW. There are one or two who don't, certainly, and the sceptic campaign ensures that their views get a disproportionate amount of coverage in the media.

    As I see it, the key difference between the 2 sides of the argument is as follows:

    If you look at the science underpinning AGW, it is based on papers in scientific journals. Such papers undergo a process known as "peer review" - they are sent out to a number of different independent scientists who review the methodology and arguments to ensure that the science is sound. The review also ensures that the papers discuss the findings in the context of all other available information in the field.

    In sharp contrast, the arguments put forwards by the sceptics typically appear on internet blogs or in the media. What is striking is that there are precious few peer reviewed papers backing up what the sceptics are saying.

    QV mentioned "cranks in the pay of the oil industry". I can't say whether the individuals in the videos actually fall into that category, but such people certainly do exist. A couple of days ago, I came across the following article from the New York Times, which described how the "Global Climate Coalition", set up by the Oil Industry (and others) to campaign against AGW, used tactics similar to the Tobacco Industry to confuse the public:


    You'll note that the coalition continued to use such tactics even after its own scientists told it that AGW "could not be refuted"!

    Although the coalition has now been disbanded, you'll also note that the American Petroleum Institute (of which all major oil companies are members) and the National Association of Manufacturers still continue to fund the same types of activities. There is also some suggestion that previous US administrations gave the Global Climate Coalition their tacit approval.

    This type of campaign has obvious appeal to the sceptics, as there is no need for their arguments to stand up to close scientific scrutiny....... just as long as they look convincing to the average man in the street - it's all about manufacturing public doubt.


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  • 173. At 06:42am on 07 Feb 2010, Feet2theFire wrote:

    This is brilliant stuff. Coming into this 4 weeks after this was written (and with the terrible weather that's been impacting the UK and the continent), Paul Hudson is asking all the right questions. My hat is off to you, Paul.

    I especially liked this:

    "Could the model, seemingly with an inability to predict colder seasons, have developed a warm bias, after such a long period of milder than average years? Experts I have spoken to tell me that this certainly is possible with such computer models. And if this is the case, what are the implications for the Hadley centre's predictions for future global temperatures? Could they be affected by such a warm bias? If global temperatures were to fall in years to come would the computer model be capable of forecasting this?"

    With no thought to pat myself on the back, I've been wondering for a long time if such questions had been seriously asked. It has appeared that the modelers and the "warmists" have gotten a pass on proving their logic and methods, in spite of the fact that not one of the models is able to "predict" recent past climate history worth a diddly. And if the models are inadequate, what does that say about the underlying premises?


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