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Lowest January Arctic ice on satellite record

Paul Hudson | 15:34 UK time, Thursday, 10 February 2011

One of the questions that I'm often asked is how can global temperatures have reached near-record levels, when here in the UK we have had record breaking cold? It's an issue that many people have great difficulty in accepting.

Of course the answer is that the UK represents a tiny fraction of the planet, and where we have been experiencing extreme cold, other parts of the world have been experiencing unusual warmth.

The Arctic is one such region where temperatures have been way above average again this winter. In fact temperatures over the Arctic region have in places been as much as 6C above normal.

The main source of this warmth has come from unfrozen areas of the ocean which releases heat to the atmosphere, and wind patterns which have brought warm air into the Arctic.

In fact Arctic sea ice in January was at an all time low according to satellite data, which first started in 1978, continuing the long term downward trend, shown below.



The most frustrating aspect of measuring sea ice comes from the fact that we have reliable data which only goes back to 1978. But the trend, even from this comparatively short data set, is clear for all to see.

This is one of the feedback mechanisms which would lead to more heat being added to the planet.

The more the ice melts, the more heat the unfrozen sea releases to the atmosphere. In addition, ice acts to reflect sunlight back out into space; without the ice, solar radiation is absorbed by the sea, causing it to warm more than it would if it was covered by sea ice.

It may come as a surprise to learn that many climate sceptics and mainstream climate scientists have more in common than people believe.

Most, but not all, agree that increasing levels of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere will cause an increase in global temperatures.

A very rough approximation would be that a doubling of Carbon Dioxide leads to a 1C rise in global temperatures. But from this point onwards, their views become increasingly polarised.

Most climate scientists believe that this initial warming will cause further warming by way of positive feedback mechanisms, such as the one described above whereby melting sea ice can lead to more warming, which leads to more melting ice and so one.

Climate sceptics question whether such feedback mechanisms will all be positive - and if some are negative, then the earth could naturally cool itself down.

One such climate sceptic, Dr Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama, is convinced that clouds will act as a negative feedback; as the planet warms, it will become cloudier, blocking the suns heat, and leading to a natural cooling of the earth.

The continued low levels of Arctic sea ice continues to confound forecasts made by some climate sceptics over the last few years of a strong rebound in sea ice.

As a result of falling global temperatures recorded in the last few months, they may yet be proved correct in the coming months and years.

But if the continued drop in Arctic sea ice is at least in part down to a positive feedback, then it's a cause for concern.

Comments

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  • 1. At 5:44pm on 10 Feb 2011, Gadgetfiend wrote:

    Are there any records of Arctic sea ice extent before 1978? On the face of it that does look like a worrying trend.

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  • 2. At 6:27pm on 10 Feb 2011, steveta_uk wrote:

    Paul, a contradictory report came out just yesterday, which comes to the conclusion that while in summer, less ice means more heat into the ocean, the opposite is true in winter: less ice cover means faster heat loss and re-freezing.

    It's a complex area, this feedback stuff.

    http://www.agu.org/news/press/jhighlight_archives/2011/2011-02-09.shtml#one

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  • 3. At 6:49pm on 10 Feb 2011, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    If temperatures in parts of the Arctic were up to 6c above normal, what does that make the absolute temperatures? Presumably above zero?
    Does anyone have a link to actual absolute arctic temperatures, as opposed to anomalies?

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  • 4. At 7:21pm on 10 Feb 2011, NeilHamp wrote:

    Unfortunately sea ice records only go back to 1979
    Climate4you is an excellent site for climate data
    It can be found here:-

    http://www.climate4you.com/

    If you click on "Polar Temperature"
    Then look under general you will see HadCRUT3 Arctic temperatures going back to 1900.

    Note that the Arctic temperatures in 1936/37 were just as high as they are today. I suspect if we had satellites back in the 1930's we would have seen January sea ice extents just as low as they are today.

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  • 5. At 7:30pm on 10 Feb 2011, cmdocker wrote:

    How can we believe all these statistics when the very methodology is in dispute, as in this case.

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/2/8/steigs-method-massacred.html

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  • 6. At 7:32pm on 10 Feb 2011, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    The NASA/GISS anomaly figures for January have now been published and are given below, followed by change since last month and adjusted to 1961-90:
    Global = +0.46c +0.06c +0.35c
    NH = +0.57c +0.05c +0.51c
    SH = +0.35c +0.07c +0.21c
    The adjusted global figure compares to the adjusted UAH global figure of +0.244c.
    Unlike UAH figures, those for NASA/GISS actually show a rise between December and January, which may suggest that temperatures may not be falling as fast as suggested by UAH.
    UAH do normally exhibit more extreme variations than the other anomaly figures.

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  • 7. At 7:46pm on 10 Feb 2011, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    4. At 7:21pm on 10 Feb 2011, NeilHamp wrote:
    "Unfortunately sea ice records only go back to 1979
    Climate4you is an excellent site for climate dataThanks, I should have checked Climate4you.
    I'll have a detailed look when I get time.
    Most of it still seems to relate to relative temp. however.


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  • 8. At 7:49pm on 10 Feb 2011, Feetinthesnow wrote:

    Paul -

    Lowest extent of ice in the Arctic since 1978. Prior to 2010 there were a couple of years where Summer sea ice was near the maximum in the same period. You will remember that warmists were forced to a make the claim that it was "bad ice!!!!. What does that mean? - nothing, it has all happened before.

    To say "All Time high or low since ........ 1978 is laughable". We know that the sea ice has been small in area in recent centuries before CO2 increases due to man. There were letters to The Times on the subject in the early 19th century and a number of journals written describing similar conditions as far back as the 18th century when CO2 was lower and so were world temperatures. See a related link here -

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/climate-scientists-about-250-years-behind-the-curve/

    Climatologists always flavour things in a statistical manner - coldest/warmest/average etc. and often show no realisation of the reality of weather, sometimes very little understanding of the meteorology involved and its variability.

    Your piece gives the impression (maybe as a deliberate strategy to provoke) that warmth in the Arctic is somehow unusual.

    As you will well know you cannot have a whole hemisphere either cold or warm - if, as we have had recently, you have very cold temperatures well south in the northern hemisphere Winter (minus 35c in Oklahoma in recent days - lowest on record) it is because polar air has been taken down there by the polar front (allied to a snow cover). This means that warm air will be taken further north than usual, by this higher than normal wave amplitude, somewhere else to compensate. It has all happened before and although a record for Oklahoma it only beats the previous low by a small margin.

    None of this is unusual on a longer scale and none of it is CO2 related.

    IMHO.

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  • 9. At 8:43pm on 10 Feb 2011, john_cogger wrote:

    Ice records go back much further than 1979. This data is mainly based on ice charts drawn up mainly for shipping. We therefore has decent reconds from the 1950's at least.

    http://nsidc.org/sotc/sea_ice.html

    Plenty of data there to show the retreat.

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  • 10. At 9:47pm on 10 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    John,

    There is also evidence that ice cover is now lower than at any time in the last few thousand years:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602193423.htm

    ...... and it is ice thickness as well as area that is falling.

    Paul

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  • 11. At 10:49pm on 10 Feb 2011, nibor25 wrote:

    US Navy PIPS Data shows increasing thickness.

    http://notrickszone.com/2011/01/31/arctic-adds-2000-cubic-kilometers-of-ice-despite-reports-of-accelerating-ice-melt/

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  • 12. At 11:15pm on 10 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    nibor25,

    I'm afraid I get an error message when I try to open your link.

    I think the following graphic from the Polar Science Center puts this in its proper perspective:

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/images/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrent.png

    The TREND in ice thickness is very definitely down.

    Paul

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  • 13. At 11:40pm on 10 Feb 2011, nibor25 wrote:

    Can't help you with the link Paul - works OK for me..perhaps you are going through some proxy server.

    You mean the trend.. for now...is down. I wonder when the trend turns around if this will also be down to AGW..bet someone will try.

    More good news though here - no "tipping point"

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010GL045698.shtml

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  • 14. At 00:52am on 11 Feb 2011, mailmannz wrote:

    Dammit Paul, I was just about to wade in to the other thread when I noticed it was closed.

    Oh well...you and I were so close to solving the riddle of cancer ;)

    Regards

    Mailman

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  • 15. At 01:14am on 11 Feb 2011, RobWansbeck wrote:

    The photographs shown here give some indication of how variable Arctic ice can be:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/26/ice-at-the-north-pole-in-1958-not-so-thick/

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  • 16. At 01:48am on 11 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    Cryosat2 data will be coming in soon, although by then it might already be too late

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2011/02/breaking-cryosat-ice-data-now-open-to-all.html

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  • 17. At 05:51am on 11 Feb 2011, AMcDhui wrote:

    Take care not to be confused by biased statistics: http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/arctic-ice-volume-has-increased-26-over-the-last-three-years/

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  • 18. At 07:55am on 11 Feb 2011, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ paul- i get the feeling the last blog was closed due to our off topic ramblings- needless to say i disagree with a number of your points- especially the peer review one- but perhaps best to let it lie.

    Re sea ice. I've been seeing contradicting info on this- it's probably due to how the statistics are being handled, but i'm not sure- anyone got a handle on the differences?

    Also- i find it hard to believe that the sea ice levels are the lowest in thousands of years- the shippping records (which i'd have to say are reasonably accurate) seem to suggest otherwise.

    There was a big hoo-har over the satellite measurments conlating melting pools of ice with open water- i presume that's been fixed now though. IT's certainly interesting data.

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  • 19. At 08:49am on 11 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    nibor25 @ #13

    "You mean the trend.. for now...is down."

    It is a 30 year downward trend!

    Paul

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  • 20. At 08:51am on 11 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    RobWansbeck @ #15

    You are, of course, correct to point out that there is a lot of internal variability. This is why it is so important to look at long term rather than short term trends.

    Paul

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  • 21. At 09:00am on 11 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    LabMunkey @ #18

    I think the moderators are simply trying to avoid any single thread getting to an unmanageable length.

    As I hinted at on the other thread, it is probably best for us to agree to disagree.

    It's off topic, so I won't post the link here, but if you haven't already done so, you really need to read Eric Steig's most recent post over at Realclimate, which puts a very different perspective on things.

    Paul

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  • 22. At 09:13am on 11 Feb 2011, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 21- i have, i still think he dodges the conflict of interest issue- something taht would never happen in industry and for good reason.

    He SHOULD have not reviewed the paper at any point it is a direct conflict of interest.

    re the 30 year trend, i don't find it suprising that the trend is warm, the world upto until very recently has been warming.

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  • 23. At 09:23am on 11 Feb 2011, timawells wrote:

    The UK maybe only a small part of the equation, but I have a friend who lives in Iowa. She tells me it is -16 degrees F at the moment in the daytime. I don't have a Russian friend at the moment, but I am sure they would tell me a similar story.

    People have a lot to loose by Global warming being proofed to be a myth and will just try and pull the wool over our eyes. A bit like the Titanic going down, you have to paddle hard to get away from it, otherwise it sucks you down with it.

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  • 24. At 10:08am on 11 Feb 2011, John Marshall wrote:

    According to the US Navy's PIPS data Arctic ice has increased in volume over the past 3 years by 26%. So someone is telling lies.
    The US Navy has a serious interest in Arctic ice cover due to the operation of nuclear submarines in this area so their data should be the most accurate.
    The Argo buoy system still shows cooling oceans. How we can have a warming planet when the oceans are cooling is a mystery to most people. The oceans top 3 meters holds more heat than the total atmosphere so ocean heat is very important for climate everywhere.

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  • 25. At 10:23am on 11 Feb 2011, john_cogger wrote:

    @23 timawells

    It was 10 degrees C in my town yesterday. Almost 6 degress above the average. There for the planet is burning up...

    Or does picking the temperature at a friends house make me look really really stupid...

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  • 26. At 10:29am on 11 Feb 2011, timawells wrote:

    John Marshall. The people who believe in Global warming, have too much to loose and appear to me, to have a lot of spin merchants or are just very incompetent in what they do. My whole view on Weapons of Mass destruction changed (I was undecided up to this point), when Robin Cooke resigned from government on principle and he was proofed right. A similar argument destroyed my view on Global warming, after seeing an interview by Nigel Lawson, in 2006.

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  • 27. At 11:17am on 11 Feb 2011, timawells wrote:

    John_cogger I understand that the average for this time of year is 8/9 degrees. But once another cold snap sets in, the temperatures will drop significantly.

    It looks like you missed the whole point of what I was trying to say. My friend happened to live on another continent and I was trying to say that the cold isn't just in the UK. America has been really suffering this winter and I suspect a lot of the rest of the world.

    It is your choice if you want to feel stupid or not, it depends how confident you are in yourself and what you are saying.

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  • 28. At 11:31am on 11 Feb 2011, nibor25 wrote:

    #19 - 30 years really! wow...so what?

    So I guess..

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

    this means we are entering a new ice age! Sorry no of course not..increasing sea ice in the South is entirely consistant with a warming globe. /sarc off

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  • 29. At 11:37am on 11 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    LabMunkey @ #22

    "i have, i still think he dodges the conflict of interest issue."

    There are 2 aspects to this:

    First, it is absolutely appropriate for the author of the earlier paper to be consulted to give his/her views on the areas of disagreement. Some editors choose to accomplish this by appointing the earlier author as a reviewer - this is NOT unusual. Nor is it inappropriate if, as in this case, the earlier author is balanced. There is no question that Steig, who is an expert in this field, made some valid points which improved the paper. He also acknowledged that the data handling of O'Donnell was very accomplished.

    Second, there are always at least 3 reviewers, so one reviewer holding views opposing those of the new author cannot impose them. If O'Donnell had felt that all of Steig's comments were unreasonable, he could have held his ground and appealed to the editor. Instead he agreed to a number of changes.

    Clearly, beyond a point the differences of opinion between Steig and O'Donnell could not be resolved, so a new reviewer was appointed for the fourth draft.

    Disagreements of this type are common in scientific research. The above is all in the nature of peer review across every scientific field. It is down to the individual editors to decide how to deal with such situations.

    "the world upto until very recently has been warming."

    ...... and as we've discussed at length elsewhere, the TREND is still a warming one.

    Paul

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  • 30. At 11:50am on 11 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Nibor25 @ #28

    Simply posting a graph showing a slow upward trend in Antarctic sea ice doesn't tell anything like the whole story:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice-intermediate.htm

    Paul

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  • 31. At 11:58am on 11 Feb 2011, Lazarus wrote:

    A good review of the current situation Paul.

    All the credible data shows a steep downward trend with no recovery in sight.

    nibor25 Message #11
    Your links works for me but appears to show just the last 3 years of data as an increase. This is hardly surprising coming on the back of 2007 the lowest anomaly on the record.

    What I can't understand is why you seem to accept this as credible but in Message #28 you say "30 years really! wow...so what?"

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  • 32. At 12:58pm on 11 Feb 2011, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ paul #29.

    Regardless of whether it is common practice or not, it is a blatant conflict of interest. Industry has significant checks and balances in place designed to avoid this kind of situation- because it causes problems. I believe that Steig (and incidentally ANY reviewer who works on a paper that critiques his own) has a conflict on interest.

    It is right and proper to consult the original author and to allow a right-to-reply prior to publication- this is all well and good, however it is not right to allow them to review said paper- regardless of who did the final draft as changes and influences will already have been had.

    The fact that it was anonymous makes it worse.

    Re- warming trend- actually i think there's insufficient data to say whether the warming trend is continuing or not- not saying either way- just highlighting that point- hence why i said 'up until recently'.

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  • 33. At 1:11pm on 11 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    Re 27. At 11:17am on 11 Feb 2011, timawells wrote:

    "It looks like you missed the whole point of what I was trying to say. My friend happened to live on another continent and I was trying to say that the cold isn't just in the UK. America has been really suffering this winter and I suspect a lot of the rest of the world."

    As cold as it was in Europe and the US, it was as anomonously warm in other areas of the globe, such as Canada and Greenland. We don't need to rely on anecdotes to determine how relatively warm or cold the Earth is overall, we have global satellite and surface records that provide an average figure.

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  • 34. At 1:57pm on 11 Feb 2011, timawells wrote:

    Quake

    Why do you think Greenland is called Greenland? How long have satellites being collecting information? Look at the cycle of the temperature of the earth over the last 1000 years, before industrialisation and it has been warmer.

    All the facts and figures available mean nothing, if context and common sense aren't used. People not thinking for themselves and following a religion blindly, is dangerous. I left the banking world for this reason and saw the crash 10 years before it happened.

    Once people believed in the earth being flat, anybody who said the earth was round would be considered a fool. Now anybody intelligent realises the earth is round and anybody believing the earth is flat, would be considered a fool.

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  • 35. At 2:04pm on 11 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    Re 34: "Why do you think Greenland is called Greenland?"

    I hope you aren't implying it was called greenland because it was covered in grass. It's always been, as long as humans have walked this Earth, covered in a thick ice sheet.

    An ice sheet of which is currently melting at an accelerating rate.

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  • 36. At 2:05pm on 11 Feb 2011, nibor25 wrote:

    #31

    What I can't understand is why you seem to accept this as credible but in Message #28 you say "30 years really! wow...so what?"

    ...Good point - accepted.

    But to be fair, people on both sides of the argument are pretty blinkered - I'm not the only one just seeing the stuff I want to see.




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  • 37. At 2:51pm on 11 Feb 2011, ukpahonta wrote:

    From Wiki

    'Association football is the national sport of Greenland. The nation is not yet a member of FIFA because it cannot grow grass for regulation grass pitches.'

    I think they should put in for the 2100 World Cup upon the expectation that there should be plenty of grass by then.

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  • 38. At 3:38pm on 11 Feb 2011, jackcowper wrote:

    I am surprised that no one has yet rolled out Chapmans chart as proof of a slow decline in arctic ice.

    I hope the next 2 links will not be subject to the usual rubbish. References are given but do show that in the past arctic ice has been in obvious decline.

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/changing-artic_monthly_wx_review.png

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/

    The next few years cshould be interesting.

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  • 39. At 4:12pm on 11 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    LabMunkey @ #32

    I don't want to keep going off topic here but.....

    Peer review has served science and humanity perfectly well for many years and has underpinned most of the great advances in science over the past century or so. It has only become an issue here because it suits one side of the argument to make it one in this case. It may have escaped your notice that in 2005 Steve McIntyre was appointed as a reviewer of the Wahl and Amman submission to Climatic Change - I don't hear anyone complaining about a conflict of interests there!

    Steig was appointed as a reviewer in this case primarily because his area of expertise was relevant. Even McIntyre accepts that having at least one such reviewer is important.

    The way the review process is set up guards against a conflict of interests - if a reviewer tries to impose their views (as McIntyre apparently did!) and does not reach an accommodation with the author, they actually end up with LESS influence over the outcome, as the views of other reviewers then take precedence. Also, most scientists are well used to having to remain professional and objective when criticised - if they are committed to the improvement of science they will rise above their differences and try to make the final paper better. This is undoubtedly what Steig attempted to do in this case.

    So your criticisms are unfounded.

    "actually i think there's insufficient data to say whether the warming trend is continuing or not"

    Agreed, but given the way the trend has been continuing upwards with fluctuations due to natural cycles, it is certainly far too early to suggest that warming has "stopped", as many sceptics are claiming.

    Paul

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  • 40. At 6:53pm on 11 Feb 2011, oldgifford wrote:

    35. At 2:04pm on 11 Feb 2011, quake wrote:
    Re 34: "Why do you think Greenland is called Greenland?"
    I hope you aren't implying it was called greenland because it was covered in grass. It's always been, as long as humans have walked this Earth, covered in a thick ice sheet.

    Hmm, how come the Vikings managed to bury their dead on Greenland if it was covered in a thick ice sheet. Why do you thik they colonised it, because they wanted ice for their gin and tonics. Daft comment.

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  • 41. At 10:24pm on 11 Feb 2011, mailmannz wrote:

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

  • 42. At 10:39pm on 11 Feb 2011, mailmannz wrote:

    Oh, and by the way Paul...in regards to McIntyre revewing Wahl and Amman;

    "In correspondence connected with my original review, Wahl and Ammann initially concealed the fact that their GRL submission had been rejected. Only when they were cross-examined on the date of the planned publication of the GRL submission did they confess that the GRL article had been rejected. They attempted to excuse themselves by saying that they intended to re-submit their article to GRL."
    http://climateaudit.org/2006/03/28/letter-to-climatic-change/#comment-47365

    And you attempt to link McIntyres review of Wahl and Amman to Steig reviewing O'Donnell's paper as if these examples were exactly the same.

    Very disingenuous of you.

    Mailman

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  • 43. At 00:19am on 12 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mailman @ #42

    You are, as always, simply repeating McIntyre's assertions as though they are proven facts.

    However, please, for once, look at the CONTEXT of the posts you are replying to. If you had done so you would have noticed that LabMunkey had said there was a clear conflict of interests with Steig being appointed as a reviewer of the O'Donnell et al paper. I merely pointed out that when the boot was on the other foot, with McIntyre reviewing Wahl and Ammann, nobody amongst the sceptic community complained about a conflict of interests.

    However, looking at what McIntyre is saying in more detail, Wahl and Ammann were under no obligation to state that their GRL submission had been rejected. Furthermore, McIntyre's insistence that they should "delete all arguments based on the GRL submission" is utterly ridiculous. On that basis, McIntyre and McKitrick should have deleted all of the arguments from their failed submission to Nature before subsequently submitting to another journal?!!

    A paper can be refused for submission for any number of reasons and Wahl and Ammann's failure to get published in GRL does not in any way indicate that their arguments were wrong.

    Start being more objective rather than accusing others of being disingenuous!

    Paul

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  • 44. At 00:57am on 12 Feb 2011, Mateybass wrote:

    19. At 08:49am on 11 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "It is a 30 year downward trend!"

    20. At 08:51am on 11 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "This is why it is so important to look at long term rather than short term trends."

    Could you just clarify whether you think thirty years is a short or long term trend please?

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  • 45. At 07:25am on 12 Feb 2011, PAWB46 wrote:

    With 4.5billion years of climate change, 30years is nothing. Can somebody tell me where the thermometers are that tell us the Arctic is warming? Satellites don't cover the far north.

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  • 46. At 07:30am on 12 Feb 2011, PAWB46 wrote:

    Paul:

    Your first graph is supposed to be Arctic sea ice extent. However a lot of that area is outside the Arctic Ocean (for example, a lot is in the Pacific) and a lot is outside the Arctic Circle. It is a meaningless graph as a lot of the area covered by ice in the graph is affected by ocean circulation and has nothing to do with the "warmth" of the air over the Arctic. Comment?

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  • 47. At 08:52am on 12 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mateybass @ #44

    "Could you just clarify whether you think thirty years is a short or long term trend please?"

    That's a fair question.

    When I talk about a "short" term trend, I am meaning one of a few years which is caused by natural internal variability (eg ENSO or solar cycles). The long term trends which the climate scientists study are ideally a minimum of 30 years, because with such a time period it is possible to see beyond the short term influences of the natural cycles, making it possible to properly ascertain the underlying trend caused by the energy imbalance (ie. the forcing due to greenhouse gases).

    I use the following video a lot, but I have never seen anything which explains things so clearly:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23iGJbkbzzE

    Paul

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  • 48. At 09:02am on 12 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    PAWB46 @ #45

    "Can somebody tell me where the thermometers are that tell us the Arctic is warming? Satellites don't cover the far north."

    As is so often the case, things aren't that simple. There is satellite data, but it has to be collected by a different method over ice (infra red).

    There are also thermometers in the high arctic. The problem is that where there is ice cover all year round the surface temperature is limited to a maximum of 0 Celsius by ice melt.

    There's a lot more information in this very detailed article:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/DMI-cooling-Arctic-advanced.htm

    Paul

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  • 49. At 09:25am on 12 Feb 2011, PAWB46 wrote:

    Paul Briscoe: Sorry, I never read the propaganda at skepticalscience. I only have to read their article about consensus to know that I prefer real science.

    What about the longer climate cycles that gives us the MWP and LIA, which are also caused by natural variability? My reading of the science is that we have entered another cooling period of at least 30 years duration but it could be a return to conditions akin to those of the LIA. Now that would be catastrophic climate change!

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  • 50. At 09:39am on 12 Feb 2011, timawells wrote:

    Quake. Greenland was colonised by the vikings because it was a lot greener than it is now. http://www.answers.com/topic/greenland. The UK was much warmer before 1000 AD than it is now. Looking at a 30 year period on earth proofs nothing, when you look over 2000 years. Global warming is Fear, False evidence appearing real.

    By the way I am all for a greener planet, built on sustainable communities and energy. But let us focus on the real danger, which is real pollution, not C02.

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  • 51. At 09:41am on 12 Feb 2011, PAWB46 wrote:

    timawells:

    Well said, I couldn't agree more.

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  • 52. At 10:16am on 12 Feb 2011, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    oldgifford wrote:
    "I have requested the method used by the Met Office to assess their accuracy and for the data used to produce their assessments. I'm told it may take 28 days. I would have thought they would have been able to lift two files and email by return. Method document and data table, but it seems not. We shall see - perhaps?"
    I am cross-posting this from another old blog entry.
    Did you ever get a reply on this from the M.O.?
    I have just reminded them of my query, and have pointed out that it shouldn't be a difficult question to answer.
    The more I think about this, the more I believe that they can't possibly know how accurate the local 5 day forecast are, since they don't have recording stations at those locations. Otherwise, they can't possibly claim any degree of accuracy.

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  • 53. At 10:31am on 12 Feb 2011, millennia wrote:

    Sustainable should also include the sustainability to afford it, because otherwise it can't work. I wonder what the future for sustainable energy development is now the green fraud currently surrounding it is beginning to unravel http://bit.ly/hmWg2O.
    This is the problem with the human race, greed for money and power always takes over and all the lofty ideals for saving the planet are soon swamped when people see they can make a fast buck out of it.
    The wind farm scam has been a perfect example of this, it could never provide useful energy returns on investment as it is surrounded by lies about it's efficiency, in order to attract subsidises that allow "green" investors to go running to the bank with their bags of gold.
    I think solar actually does have more of a future, but again corruption has caused too much investment in the wrong areas too fast and it will suffer for it, when given the correct investment and in the right locations it really could provide increasing contributions over the next few decades. In fact there could even be a possibility of a solar thermal collector being able to provide the input energy for a fusion reactor - but the technology will be latter 21st Century.
    For now we must concentrate on getting cheap energy to developing nations, because only by developing will their birth rate come down and finally cap the utlimate human population. It used to be thought we could go to 12 or even 15 billion, but latterly a peak of 8 billion has been mooted. 4 billion less people on the planet is far more important than piddling about with the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere at great expense and to no likely benefit.
    I have said it before and I will repeat ad infinitum: there is no way that humans will leave unexploited all the reachable hydrocarbon fuels in the Earth. As more green pressure pushes up prices even more hydrocarbons become economic, as we have now seen with shale gas - which has been known about for years but has not been worth persuing.
    Paradoxically the AGW scare and all the green pressure may actually increase the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere beyond anything we could have imagined.
    We are nowhere near peak fossil energy, and now the wheels are coming off renewables I see use of of fossil energy actually increasing, and if that means that ultimately there will be less humans than if we made the developing world stay poor, then ultimately the planet will be the winner.

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  • 54. At 10:49am on 12 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    PAWB46 @ #49

    "Sorry, I never read the propaganda at skepticalscience. I only have to read their article about consensus to know that I prefer real science."

    You asked where the thermometers are in the high Arctic and the article I linked to explained this in some detail (DMI), together with satellite data and how it all ties in to the GISS temperature data for the region.

    There are links both to the actual data sources and the scientific literature that back up what is being said - feel free to check that they tie in with what is being said. If you don't consider that "real science" then I would be very interested to know what you do consider admissible (ie what additional hoops the scientists would have to jump through before you would listen).

    I can't help you if you don't want to know what the real science is telling us.

    Paul

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  • 55. At 11:06am on 12 Feb 2011, John Marshall wrote:

    I have always said that 30 years of observation of Arctic ice is not enough. It now turns out that the Arctic ice cover follows an 80 year cycle. 2007 was a low in the cycle and, despite the graph in Paul's blog, is not the one to watch. The real ice cover graph, available on WUWT, shows ice cover increasing. There is more now than in 2007. I still believe the US Navy data showing a 26% increase in ice volume which is far more important than ice cover.

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  • 56. At 11:26am on 12 Feb 2011, john_cogger wrote:

    @55 John Marshall

    2007 was the lowest point. It recovered from that point slightly in 2008 and 2009 but nowhere near the average (for a full recovery you'd need to at least get near the average). You can even see on the graphs at http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

    2010 was a bad year. 2011 is currently looking worse than 2007. Even the graphs at WUWT show that clearly. How you can look at those graphs and say ice cover is increasing I do not know.

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  • 57. At 11:30am on 12 Feb 2011, john_cogger wrote:

    @55 John Marshall

    There is a 57 year graph here http://nsidc.org/sotc/sea_ice.html

    No sign of a 70 year cycle there? We should surely be seeing a big upturn to get back to the begining of the cycle?

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  • 58. At 11:43am on 12 Feb 2011, john_cogger wrote:

    @50 Timawells

    The UK was not warmer 1000 years ago can you show where it says it was?

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  • 59. At 11:55am on 12 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    Re 40.

    "Hmm, how come the Vikings managed to bury their dead on Greenland if it was covered in a thick ice sheet."

    Because just like today there are green areas in greenland, mainly low lying areas on the exterior and in the south. At no point in human history has the entire island been "green".

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  • 60. At 12:06pm on 12 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    50. At 09:39am on 12 Feb 2011, timawells wrote:

    "Quake. Greenland was colonised by the vikings because it was a lot greener than it is now. http://www.answers.com/topic/greenland. The UK was much warmer before 1000 AD than it is now. Looking at a 30 year period on earth proofs nothing, when you look over 2000 years. Global warming is Fear, False evidence appearing real."

    Looking at a 30 year period on Earth proves the Earth is gaining energy and warming. Which is the point. That must have an explanation, it's a definite phenomenon that must have a cause, unlike say a 5 year trend that could just be measurement noise.

    Looking at the last 2000 years for context is all very well, but it isn't a reason to not explain the last 30 years of warming.

    For context it isn't necessarily true that Greenland was warmer 1000 years ago. That may have been true a few decades ago but it is appearing more unlikely when the recent warming is taken into account:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/10000-years-warmer.htm

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  • 61. At 12:35pm on 12 Feb 2011, timawells wrote:

    PAWB46 Don't you ever think that you are banging your head on a brick wall! What concerns me is that there is very little consideration of prolonged cooling of the earth and that effect it will have on us. Didn't Scotland go through a mini ice age in the 17th/18th century? I think the whole Global warming spin is very dangerous and leading us down a dangerous road.

    When I worked for a Carbon Management company, everybody but me smoked. It made me laugh that they were worried about C02, when they were breathing in poisons Wrong priorities to me.

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  • 62. At 12:45pm on 12 Feb 2011, timawells wrote:

    Quake

    From 1940 to 1980 was termed to be a cool period. From 1980 to 2010 the reverse. This shows the temperature over the last 2000 years and was the convincer to me, that Global warming through C02 was a myth and just a cycle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age. Somebody seems to have added a hockey stick to the graph at the end, but we all know that isn't true.

    In 1976 when we had a fantastic summer, they were talking about us having a mini ice age. I think the mini ace age may come over the next 30/40 years.

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  • 63. At 1:13pm on 12 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    Presumably if the last 30 years had cooled or been flat you would also claim that showed global warming through CO2 to be a myth, and that the temperature change was just cycles.

    Just what would temperature have to do in the past 30 years that you wouldn't conclude global warming through CO2 was a myth?

    The link you provide suggests temperatures today may have already surpassed the medieval warm period.

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  • 64. At 2:23pm on 12 Feb 2011, John Marshall wrote:

    #57 Yes seen that but how they can claim to have data from before 1979 that covers 100% of the Arctic I do not know since before this year there were no satellites to provide any data. Only ship's logs will show any reports which,I am afraid, not 100% coverage.
    I did state that Arctic ice coverage followed an 80 year cycle not 70 year.
    Climate is cyclic, it will trend within half cycles but it is not scientifically correct to extent any trend beyond the cycle length which is what all the models do. No model accepts cycles as they are not designed to do so!
    Medieval Warm Period temperatures are shown by research reported in the CO2 science web site. It was warmer then than 1998 the year that temperatures on earth started to fall. Read Prof. Phil Jones statement on a BBC interview were he states that from 1998 there has been no statistically relevant warming. So the top of the cycle. The previous warm period, the Roman, was warmer still. There is direct evidence of grape vines growing north of York at this time. Those same varieties now grow south of Dijon in France over 300 nautical miles to the south.

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  • 65. At 6:25pm on 12 Feb 2011, Hudsonfan wrote:

    Att Paul Briscoe. Can you express for us 32 years of data to prove a "trend" as a percentage of time that climate change has been occuring?
    Shall I start you off again or can you do it on your own?

    When I see nonsense like this I despair for the future of mankind I really do!

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  • 66. At 6:57pm on 12 Feb 2011, mailmannz wrote:

    Paul@43,

    Speaking of context, here is some lovely information to put the Wahl and Amman debacle in to CONTEXT.

    http://climateaudit.org/2006/03/09/ammann-and-wahl-july-2005-review/

    And what do we see happening...again? Yes thats right...data not being provided as requested from the team. Funny how these things keep happening time and time again aye Paul.

    It is interesting though Paul that you see no problems with referencing or relying heavily on a rejected paper. Im just wondering...why isnt this setting alarms off for you? If a paper is rejected then it cannot be relied upon as evidence or support for any other paper.

    OR doesnt your science work like that?

    Mailman

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  • 67. At 9:03pm on 12 Feb 2011, john_cogger wrote:

    @64 John Marshal

    Sorry my mistake about the 70 years not 80. Misread it.

    However how do you know there is an 80yr cycle? You yourself have dismissed the date from ships logs etc. So how can you state there is an 80 yr cycle but dismiss a 57 record as inaccurate?

    You were doing well until you mentioned the wine...

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  • 68. At 10:37pm on 12 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mailman @ #66

    Having spent a little time reading the Climateaudit articles and then a bit of searching, I think I can see what has happened here.

    Papers get rejected from journals for all sorts of reasons. One common one is that there is simply too much competition for space in the most prestigious journals, meaning that a lot of perfectly good papers do not get accepted.

    In this case, it sounds as though the Wahl and Ammann paper was originally accepted for GRL, but was ultimately rejected for reasons of space when something else cropped up - ie. NOTHING to do with the scientific content or any technical issues - so the quality of the paper was not in doubt.

    Information provided by Wahl and Ammann to the Muir Russell review states:

    "The scientific content in Ammann and Wahl (2007) to which Wahl and Ammann (2007) point is unaltered and equivalent to the content in the ultimately rejected Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) manuscript. The initial manuscript submitted to GRL was neither turned down by GRL for its scientific content nor for technical issues, but rather for editorial purposes related to a sequence of comment-reply pairs. This information was fully reported by the editor of Climatic Change, when clarification on this point was requested of him in the past. As no new
    information was added in this process, only a change of reference, it was therefore considered appropriate to replace what was initially a reference to a GRL manuscript in Wahl and Ammann (2007) with a pointer to the Climatic Change Ammann and Wahl (2007) article."

    Even if he had not known the reason for the failed submission to GRL, McIntyre's insistence that Wahl and Ammann should delete all arguments based on it without even considering them was just plain silly. He was, in effect, rejecting the entire paper out of hand without even attempting to review it properly.

    Furthermore, in speaking to Wahl and Ammann about the failed GRL submission, McIntyre MUST have been told the reasons for it. Consequently, it's very strange that he made no mention of this in his blog articles at Climateaudit! It's also very strange that he persisted with his demands that all elements of it be deleted - frankly, he was being totally unreasonable!

    So not only did McIntyre make unjustified requests as a reviewer, but he also posted about it all on his blog, failing to tell his readers the REAL reason for the rejected GRL submission.

    The editor of Climatic Change tactfully told McIntyre that there was an impasse between him and the authors, but given the way he had behaved he almost certainly alienated the editorial staff and other reviewers as well!


    "And what do we see happening...again? Yes thats right...data not being provided as requested from the team."

    Except when you read it more closely, that isn't what is being claimed here, is it? McIntyre is NOT talking about data being witheld. He is talking about what information should be included in the paper itself - the latter is always open to different interpretations amongst different researchers.

    "It is interesting though Paul that you see no problems with referencing or relying heavily on a rejected paper."

    It's a shame that you didn't bother to research things a bit more carefully and instead blindly accepted what you read at Climateaudit. Also, I ask you again....... does this mean that McIntyre and McKitrick shouldn't be quoting their own 2003 paper which was initially rejected by Nature?!

    Paul

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  • 69. At 01:58am on 13 Feb 2011, RobWansbeck wrote:

    #68, Paul Briscoe wrote:
    “ …..
    Having spent a little time reading the Climateaudit articles and then a bit of searching, I think I can see what has happened here.
    ….. “

    Perhaps if you spent a little more time reading the Climateaudit articles and then a bit more searching you may be able to write a post that demonstrates some understanding of the issues.

    As it stands your post appears to have been written by someone who has ' spent a little time reading the Climateaudit articles and then a bit of searching'.

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  • 70. At 09:52am on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    RobWansbeck @ #69

    There were several issues here, Rob.

    The first was that once McIntyre had agreed to be a reviewer in this case, he had an obligation to review the paper in an objective manner, without preconceptions. The fact that the paper had ultimately been rejected from another journal should NOT have influenced his review. So arbritrarily stating that all of the arguments from the GRL submission had to be deleted was not constructive (that's an understatement!) - it was, in effect, a summary rejection of the entire paper.

    Once you take into account the real reasons for the paper's rejection by GRL, McIntyre's actions look even more questionable. Then add in the fact that he must have known those reasons and failed to mention them in his blog and you have precisely the reason why you are so ill-advised to accept everything you read at Climateaudit at face value. This is the reason why I normally do not bother with it.

    Of course McIntyre didn't agree with the paper's content..... but then he wouldn't, would he?! However, McIntyre does NOT hold a monopoly on being right. In this case reviewers at GRL had already accepted the Wahl and Ammann paper. Also, it's clear that the other reviewers at Climatic Change had no problem with it. By being obstinate, McIntyre left the editor with no option but to cut him free.

    By the obvious omissions from his blog posts, McIntyre clearly misrepresented this affair. I'll leave it to readers to decide if it was deliberate. However, it is certainly part of an obvious pattern. As Steig said in his recent blog post:

    "Sadly, attacking climate scientists by mis-quoting and mis-representing private correspondences or confidential materials appears now to be the primary modus operandi of climate change deniers."

    It's a shame that you are unable to see that. Hopefully, one day you will.

    Paul

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  • 71. At 09:57am on 13 Feb 2011, PAWB46 wrote:

    Paul Briscoe. I pity all those who suffer from cognitive dissonance. Examine the science, the evidence, not verbiage.

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  • 72. At 10:18am on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    PAWB46 @ #71

    "Paul Briscoe. I pity all those who suffer from cognitive dissonance. Examine the science, the evidence, not verbiage."

    It IS the scientific evidence that I base my own conclusions on. The fact that those attacking the science have to resort to above ought to tell you all you need to know!

    Paul

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  • 73. At 10:58am on 13 Feb 2011, PAWB46 wrote:

    Paul Briscoe. As a scientist, I base my conclusions on the evidence. We come to different conclusions. As a result of my examination of the evidence, I am one of those man-made global warming deniers.

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  • 74. At 11:17am on 13 Feb 2011, oldgifford wrote:

    52. At 10:16am on 12 Feb 2011, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    oldgifford wrote:
    "I have requested the method used by the Met Office to assess their accuracy and for the data used to produce their assessments. I'm told it may take 28 days. I would have thought they would have been able to lift two files and email by return. Method document and data table, but it seems not. We shall see - perhaps?"
    I am cross-posting this from another old blog entry.
    Did you ever get a reply on this from the M.O.?

    I did get a reply saying they were going to quote me for the job. I pointed out they must have the data and methods in a file somewhere otherwise how did they produce the figures.

    Nothing came back so I will now lodge it as an FOI request.

    Yesterday morning I looked at the local weather forecast for Bristol on BBC Freeview text. It said it would be fine until the evening. 5 Minutes later the weather forecast on BBC news channel told me it would be chucking it down all day. So one has to question the point of the weather forecasts.



    Becau59. At 11:55am on 12 Feb 2011, quake wrote:
    “Re 40. "Hmm, how come the Vikings managed to bury their dead on Greenland if it was covered in a thick ice sheet."

    Because just like today there are green areas in greenland, mainly low lying areas on the exterior and in the south. At no point in human history has the entire island been "green".”

    I didn’t say “the entire island been "green", but you did say in #35
    “It's always been, as long as humans have walked this Earth, covered in a thick ice sheet.”

    Not just some of it, you said ‘it’ was covered, that means 100% so you have contradicted yourself after having an incorrect poke at my comments.

    “Warming causes cooling.”

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  • 75. At 11:27am on 13 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    It wasn't you I was replying to. Another poster said:

    "Why do you think Greenland is called Greenland?"

    Implying that Greenland is so named because it was once very green. I pointed out that it's always been covered by an ice sheet.

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  • 76. At 11:31am on 13 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    "Medieval Warm Period temperatures are shown by research reported in the CO2 science web site. It was warmer then than 1998 the year that temperatures on earth started to fall."

    The CO2 science website doesn't present a global temperature reconstruction, but only regional ones, so it doesn't support the idea that the MWP was globally warmer than 1998.

    If they were to combine those regional reconstructions they'd find that a lot of the "MWPs" they have labelled on each reconstruction don't match up in time...

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  • 77. At 11:32am on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    PAWB46 @ #73

    "As a scientist, I base my conclusions on the evidence."

    Every truly objective professional scientist I have ever had dealings with is sceptical by nature and has based his/her conclusions on real scientific evidence from peer-reviewed scientific literature.

    Most of the "evidence" used to discredit the science of AGW has not been peer-reviewed, instead emanating from assertions on blogs run by individuals who are anything but experts in this field. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but it appears to me that you selectively accept these blog assertions over the real evidence from the experts. I find it troubling that someone who claims to be a scientist would behave in this way.

    As a consequence, I am not at all surprised to see you describing yourself as a "denier" rather than a "sceptic".

    Paul

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  • 78. At 11:36am on 13 Feb 2011, timawells wrote:

    Quake who said Greenland was totally green, but there was a lot more Green around when the vikings settled there. The reason for them calling it Greenland. Why didn't they call it whiteland?

    C02 and last 30 years are a total red herring, when you compare the temperature over the last 2000 years. How long have satellites been able to measure the temperature of the earth?

    I am sure that we are on the verge of a mini ice age and there has been no planning for it, as people have been hysterical about Global warming. All I will say is, I told you so.

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  • 79. At 11:42am on 13 Feb 2011, PAWB46 wrote:

    Paul Briscoe. You ought to know that peer review does not guarantee that a paper is correct. Far from it. Replication and verification are necessary, and when data and methods are hidden, lost or kept secret, then the peer reviewed papers are worthless; indeed thay are harmful since further work may be built on false papers.

    I have been a qualified scientist working for forty years in science/engineering in industry where everything is based on evidence; people's lives may depend on getting it right. As a result of my experience, colour me unimpressed by what many "climate scientists" publish as peer reviewed evidence or even claim to be settled science.

    I remain sceptical of most climate science and, until someone produces some evidence, a denier of AGW.

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  • 80. At 11:50am on 13 Feb 2011, John Marshall wrote:

    The IPCC has always claimed that its reports were based on peer reviewed papers. Far from it. A close look at their list of peer reviewed papers used for the reports showed that 58% of them were not peer reviewed at all but unfounded claims by environmental groups like WWF and Greenpeace.
    I concur with PAWB46 above.

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  • 81. At 12:01pm on 13 Feb 2011, John Marshall wrote:

    #77 PB. I am afraid that you are incorrect in your claim that the evidence disproving AGW is not peer reviewed is incorrect. Most of the anti-AGW papers are peer reviewed but are ignored.
    There are papers proving that GAT is not a concept that gives any meaningful answers. Papers that totally disprove the claims of the IPCC of a 200 year residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere, a cornerstone of the AGW theory. Papers that prove that global temperature is FOLLOWED by parallel changes to atmospheric CO2 levels by 1000-1500 years, which removes the possibility that CO2 drives temperature. Papers that prove that increased dissolution of CO2 into ocean waters does not increase acidity rather promote growth of all sea borne plant and animal life. Papers that prove that during the geological past there were ice ages with very high atmospheric CO2 levels. Seek and yea will find.
    And most of these papers are accepted by climatologists why not you?

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  • 82. At 12:02pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    PAWB46 @ #79

    I'm sorry, but your claims just don't stack up...... unless, by acknowledging that you are a "denier", you are also accepting that you are not being objective.

    I have worked in both scientific research and in industry, so I understand how both operate. Believe me, research is FAR more evidence-based than industry. In the latter, financial and commercial considerations almost invariably end up being paramount.

    Peer-review is not perfect, but it does at least offer a first line of defence against the utter nonsense that pervades much of what is written on the subject of AGW in amateur sceptic blogs.

    Paul

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  • 83. At 12:10pm on 13 Feb 2011, John Marshall wrote:

    #67 JC. Read the book 'Chill' by Peter Taylor a realistic environmentalist, where all the reference are listed or 'Climate: The Counter Consensus' by Prof Robert M. Carter, again with all references listed. Both readable and informative books based on real scientific observation not model outputs. In fact both books slate GCM's as producing anything you wish except the truth.

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  • 84. At 12:26pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    John Marshall @ #80 and #81

    "The IPCC has always claimed that its reports were based on peer reviewed papers. Far from it. A close look at their list of peer reviewed papers used for the reports showed that 58% of them were not peer reviewed at all but unfounded claims by environmental groups like WWF and Greenpeace."

    This doesn't tell the whole story, though, does it John? It may well be that a lot of the information used in the latter part of the IPCC reports is not peer-reviewed. However, here we are discussing the scientific evidence, which is covered in Working Group I. Working Group I DOES base its findings on the peer-reviewed literature.

    "Most of the anti-AGW papers are peer reviewed but are ignored."

    This is utter nonsense. The following article explains why:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/meet-the-denominator.html

    Peer-reviewed papers may eventually be dismissed, but only if they are ultimately found to be flawed.

    "There are papers proving that GAT is not a concept that gives any meaningful answers. Papers that totally disprove the claims of the IPCC of a 200 year residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere, a cornerstone of the AGW theory. Papers that prove that global temperature is FOLLOWED by parallel changes to atmospheric CO2 levels by 1000-1500 years, which removes the possibility that CO2 drives temperature. Papers that prove that increased dissolution of CO2 into ocean waters does not increase acidity rather promote growth of all sea borne plant and animal life. Papers that prove that during the geological past there were ice ages with very high atmospheric CO2 levels."

    There may be papers making claims that the above disprove AGW, but they fly in the face of empirical scientific evidence and have long since been rejected by the scientific community. I know you keep quoting this so-called "evidence", but it is just plain wrong.

    Just a couple of examples......

    You claim that increased CO2 does not increase ocean acidity. With respect, John, this is utter nonsense. The chemical processes associated with CO2's solublity in sea water are very well understood and DEFINITELY increase acidity.

    Your point that there were ice ages in the past despite higher CO2 misses the equally important point that solar intensity was much lower.

    I could go on, but I'm not sure there is much point, because the fact that you are making these claims tells me that you don't understand basic science as well as you think.

    I'm sorry to have to say that, but it is true.

    Paul

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  • 85. At 1:50pm on 13 Feb 2011, PAWB46 wrote:

    Paul Briscoe. Show us the evidence linking human emissions of CO2 to global temperature rise. I've looked for the evidence for ages. I've asked learned bodies to tell me where it is to be found. I've even asked our Government to show me the evidence on which its policies are based (i.e the Climate Change Act 2008). But guess what? None of them has been able to tell me where I can find the evidence. The nearest any of them have come is to quote the opinions in the IPCC reports, as if opinions are evidence.

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  • 86. At 3:59pm on 13 Feb 2011, TJ wrote:

    Paul Briscoe @82. You say:

    “I have worked in both scientific research and in industry, so I understand how both operate. Believe me, research is FAR more evidence-based than industry”

    I have worked as a project/program/product manager and I’m an engineer. I can tell you from my own experience that I cannot wait to get products out research and start putting quality/measurements/process/metrics/standards/compliances in place. Research is a dangerous place to produce anything. We need scientist and we need them to be free thinkers. It’s all the other industry sectors that work from known ‘evidence-based’ knowledge. So from my experince I have to total disagree with you.

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  • 87. At 4:57pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    PAWB46 @ #85 (and Titus @ #86)

    "Show us the evidence linking human emissions of CO2 to global temperature rise. I've looked for the evidence for ages."

    As I have said more than once on this blog, the problem here is not with the quality of the science. Rather it is with people's unrealistic expectations of what is a very complex issue. When studying dynamic natural systems, the problems are very different to the ones you (and Titus) will encounter in industry. Science isn't always black and white and sadly certain factions determined to undermine the science play on this fact, just as they did when it came to proving the link between smoking and cancer.

    There is no single piece of evidence that proves AGW. Rather it is the huge weight of individual pieces that together build into a picture of somthing approaching certainty. Ultimately, it comes back again to this "settled science" argument which Mailman has called upon so many times. The science isn't settled, but this does NOT mean that scientists don't know enough to be very concerned:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/unsettled-science/

    First of all, we have all of the empirical science evidence:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-global-warming.htm

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Empirically-observed-fingerprints-of-anthropogenic-global-warming.html

    I think the following letter from David Mackay is for me one of the best summaries of the current state of understanding that I have seen:

    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/david-mackays-letter

    Paul

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  • 88. At 5:07pm on 13 Feb 2011, Feetinthesnow wrote:

    Paul Briscoe

    a. There are masses of peer-reviewed papers that do not support the AGW theory.

    b. As PAWB46 says above - there is no evidence that AGW exists at all (although it must have a marginal effect) and as we have many said many times before the IPCC predictions are not coming true. The current temperature remains well below the lowest predictions of the IPCC.

    There was warming before Man-made emissions were a factor and the current situation is totally consistent with a continued slow cyclical warming, which may now show a cooling trend for some years perhaps. Who knows? There is no evidence of unprecedented warming and certainly no evidence of catastrophic warming. 25% all man-made emissions have been released since 1995 and there has been no warming to speak of in that period. The theory has so far been unproven. We await further proof.

    c. CO2 obviously changes the pH of sea water, its effects are small, and CO2 in the atmosphere is historically (and I don't mean 30 years) fairly low and has been more than 10 times higher in the past - the sea (and its coral) will have survived much lower pH values in the past.

    There is no such thing as acidification of the sea, since sea water is alkaline and increasing CO2 would just make it a little less so.

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  • 89. At 5:45pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Feetinthesnow @ #88

    We've been through all of this before, haven't we?

    "There are masses of peer-reviewed papers that do not support the AGW theory."

    They are a tiny proportion of the total.

    "there is no evidence that AGW exists at all"

    I refer you back to my previous post.

    "and as we have many said many times before the IPCC predictions are not coming true. The current temperature remains well below the lowest predictions of the IPCC."

    Again, you're falling into the same old trap of only looking at short term trends that allow the effects of natural cycles to predominate. The long term trends, which look beyond the natural cycles, show a completely different picture. The first figure in this article makes my point perfectly - and this was before the big jump in temperature in 2010:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/updates-to-model-data-comparisons/

    So global temperatures are very close to the IPCC's central predictions.

    I can't make you look at the bigger picture, but as a scientist you should be capable of doing so.

    "There was warming before Man-made emissions were a factor and the current situation is totally consistent with a continued slow cyclical warming"

    As I have pointed out to you many times before, the reasons for the temperature rise prior to the last 40 years are well understood, but they cannot explain the most recent warming:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/coming-out-of-little-ice-age-advanced.htm

    "which may now show a cooling trend for some years perhaps"

    How many times have we been through this? The fact remains that there is a positive energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere, so the planet is unquestionably accumulating heat. Again, the only likely mechanism for this in the present conditions is due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The only reason why the rate of warming has slowed is that natural processes are currently moving some of the heat into the deeper parts of the oceans.

    "There is no such thing as acidification of the sea, since sea water is alkaline and increasing CO2 would just make it a little less so."

    Acidification refers to an increase in hydrogen ion concentration - it does not require that the water falls below pH7. You appear to be arguing on a technicality here!

    "CO2 in the atmosphere is historically (and I don't mean 30 years) fairly low and has been more than 10 times higher in the past - the sea (and its coral) will have survived much lower pH values in the past."

    The problem with this argument is that CO2 levels have been pretty stable for a long time now, meaning that sea organisms have become adapted to the present conditions. They are unlikely to find it easy to adapt quickly to a sudden change in ocean chemistry.

    If you check the link I gave to David Mackay's letter in my previous post you will see him making reference to mass extinctions when there were sudden increases in ocean acidity in the past.

    The following explains some of the problems faced by marine organisms with ocean acidification:

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/What+is+Ocean+Acidification%3F

    Paul

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  • 90. At 5:57pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Feetinthesnow

    Just to clarify my point about past cycles, the point I was really referring to was this one (see link to Usoskin (pdf):

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Solar-cycles-and-global-warming.html

    In other words, for well over 1000 years, climate tied in closely with solar activity. However, the relationship ended in 1975 as the effect of greenhouse gases started to assert itself.

    Paul

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  • 91. At 6:01pm on 13 Feb 2011, PAWB46 wrote:

    Paul Briscoe wrote "When studying dynamic natural systems, the problems are very different to the ones you (and Titus) will encounter in industry". I studied very complex dynamic systems in industry. They were bounded. That is one reason why I am very sceptical of the relatively cursory studies that have been made of the natural dynamic syatems of the climate a chaotic and non-linear dynamic system after all. We don't know how the complex climate system works, therefore we cannot claim it ia all down to CO2.

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  • 92. At 6:26pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    PAWB46 @ #91

    "I studied very complex dynamic systems in industry. They were bounded. That is one reason why I am very sceptical of the relatively cursory studies that have been made of the natural dynamic syatems of the climate a chaotic and non-linear dynamic system after all. We don't know how the complex climate system works, therefore we cannot claim it ia all down to CO2."

    Climate may be complex, but scientists will tell you that it is not chaotic in the way that weather is. It is also bounded. The scientists are also able to call upon a lot of empirical science to draw their conclusions.

    I think the most important thing to remember is this:

    There is a positive energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere which confirms that the Earth is accumulating heat. Given that both the lower atmosphere and the oceans have shown a long term warming trend, this excludes the ocean cycles as potential causes. The positive energy imbalance can only realistically be explained by either:

    (a) An increase in solar activity, or

    (b) Something else causing more of the sun's energy to be retained.

    It certainly isn't (a) at present, which only leaves (b). None of the known natural processes can actually cause this, which realistically only leaves greenhouse gases...... and since there is a known mechanism by which they cause a warming effect, confidence is very high that they are to blame.

    There are other signs as well, which were covered in the "fingerprints" artcile I linked to:

    Stratospheric cooling.

    Nights warming faster than days.

    Increase in downward infrared radiation.

    All of these are consistent with greenhouse warming.

    Of course, it is impossible to say for certain that ALL of the warming is due to CO2, which is why there are such wide confidence limits on the future rate of warming, but there is very little doubt that AGW is happening and most scientists agree that it represents a real threat.

    Paul

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  • 93. At 6:39pm on 13 Feb 2011, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #87

    There is no single piece of evidence that proves AGW

    Hi Paul,

    The IPCC tell us there is a unique signature of AGW. I can't link to it direct but it's Figure 9.1, in Section 9.2.2.1 on page 675. The 6 figures show the unique pattern that is expected if greenhouse gases were the cause of the warming shown in the temperature record towards the end of the 20th century.

    I would contend that this unique signature is a single piece of evidence that could prove AGW and discovery of the hotspot would be unequivocal.

    Despite searching for over 2 decades, this unique signature has never been discovered. I know that Santer (expading error bars) and Sherwood (wind shear) have claimed to find the signature, but in reality they didn't.

    I suspect in AR5, the hotspot will be quietly dropped.

    /Mango

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  • 94. At 6:48pm on 13 Feb 2011, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #92

    Hi again, Paul

    Do you not think that the "we can't think what else it could be, therefore it must be CO2", is the wrong way to approach science?

    CO2, as we should all be grateful for, is perfectly capable of raising the temperature, but, on it's own, is unable to raise the temperature significantly.

    It boils down to climate sensitivity. There are no empirical studies which includes clouds showing climate sensitivity to be high, whereas there are several empirical studies including clouds that show climate sensitivity to be low

    /Mango

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  • 95. At 7:22pm on 13 Feb 2011, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    I am currently reading "The Weather Machine (and the threat of ice), by Nigel Calder, which whas published in 1974, in connection with the BBC t.v. programme of the same name. I remember watching the programme but haven't read the book until now. At the time, "global cooling" was considered the main threat to the planet.
    Although I am still reading chapter 1, I thought that the following extract, related to the predictions of Willi Dansgaard (who coincidentally died only a few days ago)., based on analysis of ice cores, was of interest:
    "When the Copenhagen scientists offered their prediction in 1970, they contented themselves with the next 50 years and were careful to point out that pollution and other effects of human activities could alter the course of the climate. Nevertheless, the natural trend - if their cycles were real - was marked cooling continuing into the 1980s, reversing but not by very much until anout 2015, and then cooling again. Even at the peak of the reversal the climate wouild be much cooler than in the 1930's. On a longer time-scale, the cycles threatened several centuries of cooler conditions, similar to those that prevailed in recent centuries - in the period called the Little Ice Age."
    I am not sure of the current status of this 40 year old research, but while the detail of the prediction isn't correct, the general pattern seems to be, (it could be argued that there was a cooling period between the 1940's and early 1980's based on HadCRUT3). If one puts down the generally warmer than expected pattern to "pollution and other effects of human activitis", i.e. CO2, the question arises, will the prediction of a cooling period, starting around 2015 prove to be correct after all?

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  • 96. At 7:24pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mango @ #93 and #94

    Hello again Mango!

    You appear to be talking about the expected effect of AGW on lapse rate (ie reducing the lapse rate).

    There is good evidence of short term lapse rate change but long term records have relied on radiosonde temperature data which have been found to have a bias - if my memory serves me correctly this is due to the thermometers being inadequately screened from the effects of the sun.

    The following article provides a good summary of this:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-causes-the-tropospheric-hot-spot.html

    Regarding your second post, I understand what you are saying, but I think you are overplaying the uncertainties. I also think you are attaching too little importance to the empirical science I've mentioned above and the way it allows us to exclude certain possibilities.

    There is good evidence that CO2 has had a profound effect on global temperatures in the past, so the precedent is certainly there. The mechanism is also there, so increasing CO2 would be expected to result in increasing global temperatures, as well as the various "fingerprints" I mentioned above. So the evidence is actually quite compelling.

    This really leaves us, as you have hinted, with the main uncertainty being over climate sensitivity. Yes, clouds are a key uncertainty, but they would actually have to have quite a marked negative feedback effect to counter all of the positive feedbacks. Latest indications are that if anything they have a slight POSITIVE feedback:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/12/feedback-on-cloud-feedback/

    Paul

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  • 97. At 7:45pm on 13 Feb 2011, Simon H wrote:

    I've just caught up with this thread.

    Paul Briscoe, can you make any of your argument without referencing the two websites most widely identified as advocacy sites? skepticalscience is, as we have previously discussed, very much an advocacy site and realclimate, as you must surely know by now, does not allow dissent to pass moderation (recent hard-evidence examples available if a refresher is needed) and therefore cannot be described as a source of balance or integrity.

    I, myself, agree with others here that these sites offer tainted verbiage presented in a very specific way to support an ideology, rather than the balance of evidence.

    I feel it's important that you understand that, if you believe your arguments when supported by links to these websites are compelling, you are very much mistaken. For very good and very clear reasons, these sites are not broadly regarded as trustworthy by the very people with whom you're attempting to debate. Those arguments you make, as a result, genuinely hold no sway. I don't want to widdle on your bonfire but, if your interest is genuinely to make a compelling case, you need to do so using different sources.

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  • 98. At 9:00pm on 13 Feb 2011, RobWansbeck wrote:

    #70, Paul Briscoe wrote:
    “ …..
    The first was that once McIntyre had agreed to be a reviewer in this case, he had an obligation to review the paper in an objective manner, without preconceptions. The fact that the paper had ultimately been rejected from another journal should NOT have influenced his review. So arbritrarily stating that all of the arguments from the GRL submission had to be deleted was not constructive (that's an understatement!) - it was, in effect, a summary rejection of the entire paper.
    ….. “

    To suggest that a reviewer is being biased by asking that references to unpublished material be removed is nonsense.

    You continue: “ Of course McIntyre didn't agree with the paper's content..... “

    The dispute was not what was in the paper but what was left out.

    Your claim that the final published version was materially the same as the earlier rejected version is correct with one huge exception. Hidden away in the depths of the published version were the verification statistics that McIntyre had insisted be shown. I do not know but the best assumption is that this was made a condition of publication.
    These figures completely vindicated the findings of McIntyre and McKitrick.

    In Table 8.1 Wahl & Ammann give the R2 verification statistics to 3 decimal places. The most recent period (1820-1980) comes in with a lowly 0.189 for the verification period. Embarrassingly they had to use 5 decimal places for the 1700-1729 period to prevent it from appearing as zero; their quoted figure was 0.00003.

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  • 99. At 9:34pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    RobWansbeck @ #98

    "To suggest that a reviewer is being biased by asking that references to unpublished material be removed is nonsense."

    No Rob. From my reading that is not what McIntyre was asking for at all. He specifically asked that all ARGUMENTS based on the failed GRL submission be deleted. The context of his letter to Schneider also ties in with this. Given that the GRL submission formed the basis of the Climatic Change one, McIntyre was effectively ruling out ALL of the arguments Wahl and Ammann had used previously. That was unreasonable.

    "Your claim that the final published version was materially the same as the earlier rejected version is correct with one huge exception."

    Except that I didn't make such a claim. I merely posted the evidence given by Wahl and Ammann to Muir Russell's enquiry. My purpose in doing so was to make it clear that the paper had not been rejected because of flaws.

    I did pick up the comment from McIntyre that you are alluding to. Without going and checking in a lot more detail, I can't comment on whether it really vindicated McIntyre and McKitrick. They will obviously say that it did.

    Clearly, the main consideration from Wahl and Ammann's point of view was that they were keen to get their paper in press in time for inclusion in IPCC AR4. I'm sure that if this hadn't been an issue they would have waited for another edition of GRL.

    Paul

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  • 100. At 10:16pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Simon H @ #97

    This has been discussed at length many times.

    With a few exceptions, I find myself greatly outnumbered here by people who would describe themselves as sceptics - people who are only too happy to link to articles and web blogs which are clearly not based on the scientific literature.

    These people may not like Skeptical Science and Realclimate etc., but they cannot realistically expect me to avoid using them when they are based on the peer-reviewed scientific literature that I consider the only reliable source of information. If you don't believe what Skeptical Science is telling you, all you need to do is follow the links in blue to see if the paper in question confirms it.

    As I've said to others, if you do find a problem, please let me know and I will pass on any real errors to John Cook - I know he would not want his site to mislead. So far, nobody has actually pointed out an obvious error to me.

    Given the number of individuals I am responding to, I have no option but to link to the arguments I'm using...... and frankly there would be no point doing otherwise because I would only make exactly the same points myself, except that it would take me far longer.... and people would STIll not accept them!

    Paul

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  • 101. At 10:45pm on 13 Feb 2011, Simon H wrote:

    Paul: "With a few exceptions, I find myself greatly outnumbered here by people who would describe themselves as sceptics - people who are only too happy to link to articles and web blogs which are clearly not based on the scientific literature."

    While I concede that you are indeed holding the minority view on the subject, my observation is that sceptics in the main don't link to websites that make their case for them or reiterate their point in a pseudo-authoritative way. Rather, sceptics tend to link to supportive data archives or graphics rather than interpretations thereon.

    If sceptics were to link as supporting their position to, say, an opinion-piece by James Delingpole, I think it would be reasonable for you to point out the fact that a political advocate is not, in and of itself, an authoritative voice. James Delingpole is the equivalent of realclimate - a place where a particular perspective is promoted with little to no regard for balance (although Delingpole's moderation policies are far from comparable to RC's - nevertheless, they are both effectively echo chambers).

    Is a post by Christopher Booker likely to change your view of climate policy imperatives? No, not at all, and neither should anyone hope or expect that it would. But ditto skepticalscience, Paul. Cook may paint his site in scientific colours but there is no mistaking the scent of ideological advocacy that pervades every page. Seriously. And Cook most certainly does intend to mislead. You can't write a site that misleading by accident.

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  • 102. At 11:18pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Simon H @ #101

    "Cook may paint his site in scientific colours but there is no mistaking the scent of ideological advocacy that pervades every page. Seriously. And Cook most certainly does intend to mislead. You can't write a site that misleading by accident."

    Sorry Simon, but I don't agree at all. That is why I use the site. It is intended as a resource to help explain the real science to a wider audience and I'm of the view that it does it especially well - you will not agree simply because you don't agree with most of the scientific arguments.

    I suspect that you would consider ANY site putting forwards pro AGW arguments to be exhibiting advocacy. I for my part would argue that Climateaudit, WUWT et al are clearly working to an advocacy agenda of their own, regardless of what they may claim.

    To be honest, all of us here know that our views are too divergent to agree on most important aspects of the science. So from my point of view it is all about giving others reading these blogs the opportunity to consider the other side of the argument from most of what is posted on here.

    Paul

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  • 103. At 11:42pm on 13 Feb 2011, mailmannz wrote:

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

  • 104. At 00:06am on 14 Feb 2011, Simon H wrote:

    Paul: "Sorry Simon, but I don't agree at all. That is why I use the site. It is intended as a resource to help explain the real science to a wider audience and I'm of the view that it does it especially well - you will not agree simply because you don't agree with most of the scientific arguments."

    It is not intended as a resource to explain the real science, Paul, it is designed to put a particular spin on the science, to misrepresent scientific papers' conclusions (WHILE LINKING THEM!!) and as a means to indoctrinate less well-read and less critical-thinking individuals. THIS it does indeed do very well, but my point remains - as I said at the outset - people contributing here are not so easily fooled by Cook.

    You should read some of the comments in response to Cook's misleading posts yourself, Paul. Often there is discourse, wholly unchallengeable by Cook, thoroughly debunking the nonsense he places in the head posts. If you were to actually read beyond Cook's biased posts at that favourite site of yours, you might actually think twice before linking. Very often the points WE are making are made abundantly at the link you're posting to refute our cases.

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  • 105. At 00:22am on 14 Feb 2011, john_cogger wrote:

    @101 Simon H
    Lets have a look at the data provided by skeptics on this thread...

    Post #2 A link to a paper at the AGU. Paper is a look at the effects of an ice free summer. Conclusion is that an ice free summer would not prevent ice returning.

    Post #5. Link to Andrew Montfords blog.

    Post #8. Link to Steve Goddards blog.

    Post #11. Link to PIPs data. Well no, its a link to a blog, which in turn links to another blog. And the PIPs data? No, its a guestimate based on 3 images. There is no real analysis of the PIPs data. No real data or science.

    Post #13 same info as post #2. Paper is not for or against climate change.

    Post #15. Link to Whats Up With That blog.

    Post #17. Link to Steve Goddard blog. No actual link to the PIPs data. A few more guestimates and a possible interesting graph, but no info on where its from or how it was made.

    Post #23. No link, but revelation thats is cold in Iowa.

    Post #24. No link but again another PIPs claim.

    Post #37. Wiki quote, Greenland doesn't have a grass football pitch.

    Post #38. 2 links to Whats Up With That blog.

    Post #42. Link to ClimateAudit Blog. Nothing to do with arctic but issues with peer review.

    Post #50. Link to answers website giving basic info on Greenland.

    Post #53. Link to climaterealists blog. Nothing to do with arctic but to do with political issues.

    Post #55. No links, but PIPs claim again. Suggestion to look at Whats Up With That for the 'real' info.

    Post #61. No link or data, but revelation that people smoke.

    Post #62. Link to wiki on Little ice age. Graph apparently shows a cycle, apart from the bit at the end which disproves the cycle bit, but the end bit is not true so the rest of the graph can be believed as long as we remember the end bit isn't true...apparently.

    Post #64. No links but date from CO2 science website. Lots of data on there regarding medieval warm period. A quick scan shows, some papers suggest it was warmer then, some warmer now. Though papers from 1976 might use a different figure for the now temperature...Website has received $100,000 from Exxon though...

    Post #66. Link to climaterealists blog. Nothing to do with arctic but to do with peer review issues.

    Post #80. No link but claim that IPCC has always claimed to be 100% peer reviewed info. It isn't, but it never actually claimed to be. So called 'grey' info was openly included.

    Post #81. No links but various claims to what papers show. Some of the claims don't disprove global warming but lets not let that get in the way...

    Post #83. No links or data, but its all in 2 books apparently.

    Post #88. No links or data but lots of claims.

    So 'sceptics tend to link to supportive data archives or graphics rather than interpretations thereon.' Not in this thread they don't. Unless you could point me towards some?

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  • 106. At 00:47am on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mailman @ #103

    Sadly, I can't link to the relevant document because it's a pdf, but Wahl and Ammann, in their submission to the Muir Russell review, completely reject the claims being made by yourself, which are in fact just a repetition of McIntyre's own claims. You obviously choose to believe the Climateaudit version of events, whereas I will always be far more convinced by the accounts given by the scientists. Let's leave it at that.

    You then compare McIntyre's approach to that of Steig. From my perspective, the difference was that Steig did at least attempt to suggest changes that O'Donnell could live with. O'Donnell did agree to go along with many of them, which indicates that he was not completely opposed to them..... and let's face it, he also went on record as saying that he was basically happy with the review process. McIntyre, on the other hand specifically said that the Wahl and Ammann paper would have to be completely re-written. I quote from his letter to Dr. Schneider:

    "Carrying out these tasks would require a completely re-written paper, and would reach quite different conclusions."

    That's somewhat at odds with your version of events, isn't it?!

    You claim that Steig is "in trouble". I think you are mistaken. You should be aware that he made it clear in the Realclimate discussion that he is considering legal action regarding some of the unfounded claims that have been made at Climateaudit. Once again, a very different perspective from the picture you paint!

    Sadly, it may take such a response from one of the scientists to finally expose the sources you quote for what they really are.

    Also, you should perhaps bear in mind that your unfounded and libellous allegations against scientists with regard to peer review etc. might one day come back to bite you!

    With regard to your comments about Skeptical Science and Realclimate, I would simply refer you back to my earlier reply to Simon H. How you can try to claim that McIntyre and McKitrick, both with close links to an organisation known as one of the main "cogs" in the denialist movement, are not guilty of advocacy themselves escapes me. At least John Cook's site is entirely self-funded and has no links to any other organisation.

    You talk about propaganda, yet anyone who reads your posts can see straight away from the tone and rhetoric that propoganda is your main currency. This is why I say that you do no favours to those you claim to support - your approach makes it impossible to accept anything you say at face value.

    Now finally I would ask that you specifically point me to the place where Steig said he wasn't reviewer A - I have certainly never seen it. In fairness to Steig, even if he had I wouldn't blame him, because the peer-review process is supposed to be entirely confidential and he should never have been put in the position where he had to answer that particular question. That brings us back to the far more important question of O'Donnell's integrity for:

    a) Asking Steig in the first place and

    b) Disclosing it on a public blog when he had promised not to say anything.

    For the benefit of other readers, I think it is now pertinent to link to Steig's account of all the above, which paints a very different picture from the one Mailman describes:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/02/odonnellgate/

    Paul

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  • 107. At 00:52am on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Simon H @ #104

    We are simply going to have to agree to differ on this!

    The fact that some individuals post objections in the discussions following each Skeptical Science article does not mean that those individuals are correct. You, of course, will agree with them because they are telling you what you want to hear. From my perspective, though, the individuals in question have their facts badly wrong.

    There is nothing more to say.

    Paul

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  • 108. At 01:39am on 14 Feb 2011, Simon H wrote:

    john_cogger:

    #2 AGU is the American Geophysical Union website - an organisation to which most climate scientists belong.

    #5 I agree needs updating. I recommend looking at John Neils Gammon's post, which is the more comprehensive: http://blogs.chron.com/climateabyss/2011/02/steig_this_is_not_complicated.html (JNG started out this journey vehemently supporting Steig. Not so much now, it seems)

    #8 makes a substantial point to Paul Hudson. The link to Goddard's site is inconsequential to the point being made - it's there for entertainment. Look again.

    #11 is linked for the US coastguard chart graphic, not for the verbiage. Do you dispute this data? Is the US coastguard a known/suspected sceptical organisation? You need a better reason to dismiss this.

    #13 The paper does not need to be "for or against climate change". It's a science paper. Some of us - specifically on the sceptical side of the debate - argue that politics and science should be, and remain, distinct.

    #15 is linked for the images, not for the verbiage.

    #17 linked for the PIPS graphics, not for verbiage. I agree that the data should be linked. Post and request it.

    #23 Your point?

    #24 contains an observation about PIPS that is not untrue. What is your objection?

    #37 I didn't hear that Wiki had become a "deniarrrr!!!!" website. After Stoat's extraordinary influence (fortunately now over, since he's been banned), I didn't expect the alarmist misinformation to be properly overturned for a few years. Good to know.

    #38 A link to an interesting historical from 1922 and our first "illegal" link to a "deniarrrr" blog post. We're up to comment #38.. I'm confident that my assertion about sceptics' links is playing out as I described.

    #42 That link is out of date and yes, it's a little off-topic for this blog, but heck.. it's interesting stuff! Parliament are launching an enquiry into the peer review process, by the way. Did you hear?

    #50 Wait.. are we claiming that answers.com's page on Greenland is a deniarrrrrr website? Have you forgotten what this is about? You seem to be wandering off track, john.

    #53 the link is not pivotal to the post, which I agree is itself off topic. This is 2 for 14.

    #55 No link, no foul. PIPS is a legitimate source of data analysis unless you can give substantive reasons to the contrary. Do you have reasons for discarding PIPS data as deniarrrr-biased?

    #61 does not support your argument.

    #62 as with #37, does not support your argument.

    #64 no links, so does not support your argument.

    #66 the link is to climateaudit, not climaterealists. The post was also in response to PB's request to analyse CA for context and therefore is entrapment. Still, since you're losing badly, I'll give you this one. 3 for 19.

    #80 no link, no foul. However, John Marshall's point is valid in that the IPCC chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, HAS INDEED stated that IPCC reports are 100% peer-reviewed. This claim is demonstrably false, as you confirm.

    #81 no link. Worthy of note, however, is that no papers prove anthropogenic global warming. The AGW hypothesis is unfalsifiable and so is not, in adherence with the Scientific Method, a scientific claim. Though I'm busting to get into this, you're clear on not wanting to. I will defer for now.

    #83 no links or data, thus defeating your argument. No foul.

    #88 ditto. This is about linking to advocacy websites for their verbiage as logically fallacious arguments from authority.

    Being generous (as indicated in the above), your claim scores a pretty poor 3 for 23. That's a score of 13%. Unlucky for some.

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  • 109. At 01:45am on 14 Feb 2011, Simon H wrote:

    Paul, you write: "The fact that some individuals post objections in the discussions following each Skeptical Science article does not mean that those individuals are correct. You, of course, will agree with them because they are telling you what you want to hear. From my perspective, though, the individuals in question have their facts badly wrong.

    There is nothing more to say."

    You seem closed to the possibility that there may be good reason for the posts challenging Cook's claims. That's your prerogative, of course, but I have to question a mindset that takes Cook's word as gospel to the exclusion of all the cogent arguments to the contrary. There is always more to say, Paul. The science is not settled. Not by a long shot.

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  • 110. At 02:17am on 14 Feb 2011, john_cogger wrote:

    #108 Simon H

    I think you are getting mixed up. It was YOUR arguemnet that the skeptics only used REAL data and graphics.

    None of the skeptical arguments listed (apart from the AGU link, which in turn is a link to a paper that proves nothing either way) show the data or are linked to data/papers.

    Take the PIPs 'data'. It isn't PIP's data, it guestimates taken from 3 images (or 2 in steve goddards case). The images themselves are perfectly legit, the 26% figure comes from comparing the 2 pictures and making an estimate of how much more of a particular colour there is. Yup thats it...26% figure is from comparing 2 graphics...not from analyzing the raw data over 2-3 years.

    PIPs data would be great. But done of the links above show it. Just lots of verbiage and a few nice pictures.

    I do like the notion that any skeptical links are either for entertainment or that we are to know which bits are verbiage and which bits we are supposed to be looking at.

    WUWT, Goddard, CO2 science, etc are all advocacy blogs or websites, so by your rational are not to be linked to.

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  • 111. At 02:34am on 14 Feb 2011, john_cogger wrote:

    The wikipedia link on the LIA is a good one.

    We are told that there is no global warming and its all just cycles.

    A link to wiki shows the warm bit, a cold bit, another warm bit but then goes quite a lot warmer at the end. But we have to ignore the end bit.

    So wiki is used to back up a particular argument but only if you ignore the full graph...yup theres logic in that I'm sure!

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  • 112. At 03:39am on 14 Feb 2011, Simon H wrote:

    john_cogger: "It was YOUR arguemnet that the skeptics only used REAL data and graphics."

    My point, to which you responded at length and in detail, was: "[..] sceptics tend to link to supportive data archives or graphics rather than interpretations thereon."

    Your post-by-post analysis of this thread does not make a compelling case against my argument. To the extent that you attempted to make a point at all, I already made your point for you where I said at #101: "If sceptics were to link as supporting their position to, say, an opinion-piece by James Delingpole, I think it would be reasonable for you to point out the fact that a political advocate is not, in and of itself, an authoritative voice."

    You write: "WUWT, Goddard, CO2 science, etc are all advocacy blogs or websites, so by your rational are not to be linked to."

    I did not state or imply that any site is not to be linked to. My point was to be mindful that links to advocacy sites for their verbiage as a means of underpinning your position with apparent displays of authoritative writing is likely to be ineffective, because it is well known that they are not authoritative, are not balanced and cannot be depended on to represent the summation of prevailing scientific knowledge. Sceptical or alarmist, I make no distinction.

    My point was to Paul Briscoe regarding his frequent links to skepticalscience and realclimate. You, meanwhile, missed most of the point that I made and the half of the point you did make, that might actually stick, is one I already made to Paul Briscoe at #101.

    I haven't bothered to perform an analysis of the number of posts that Paul makes with links to skepticalscience or realclimate compared with those that are stand-alone discussion posts, and juxtaposed that against the proportion of sceptical posts with links to advocacy sites but, courtesy of your analysis and mine, I believe my point stands: sceptics tend to link to supportive data archives or graphics rather than interpretations thereon. My point was directed at Paul Briscoe, and was comparative to Paul Briscoe's posts.

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  • 113. At 04:18am on 14 Feb 2011, john_cogger wrote:

    'I believe my point stands: sceptics tend to link to supportive data archives or graphics rather than interpretations thereon.'

    Yet no skeptic in this thread has linked to supportive data for evidence that AGW is not happening (or signs of, results of), they all link to blogs or industry funded websites.

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  • 114. At 07:18am on 14 Feb 2011, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #96

    The bottom line from skeptical science:

    if it turns out the long-term hot spot is not as strong as expected, the main question will be why do we see a short-term hot spot but not a long-term hot spot?

    In other words, scientists have tried to find the hotspot for decades without success

    This really leaves us, as you have hinted, with the main uncertainty being over climate sensitivity. Yes, clouds are a key uncertainty, but they would actually have to have quite a marked negative feedback effect to counter all of the positive feedbacks. Latest indications are that if anything they have a slight POSITIVE feedback

    I'll see your Dessler and raise you a Spencer:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/01/new-results-on-climate-sensitivity-models-vs-observations/

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/01/update-further-evidence-of-low-climate-sensitivity-from-nasas-aqua-satellite/

    @john_cogger #113

    Yet no skeptic in this thread has linked to supportive data for evidence that AGW is not happening (or signs of, results of), they all link to blogs or industry funded websites.

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

    /Mango

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  • 115. At 09:06am on 14 Feb 2011, john_cogger wrote:

    @114 Mango

    You have looked at the papers in that list? It's a list of papers that either refute AGW, or support AGW but not the extreme environmental aspects or support AGW but not the socio-economic aspects.

    So from the start its not a list of 850 papers that refute AGW.

    It also classes papers published in Energy & Environment as per review (it's not peer review in the same way as nature etc does it.)

    It includes papers that the authors have publicly said don't support a skeptical argument against AGW.

    It includes papers that are only submitted to journals and weren't deemed good enough to publish.

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  • 116. At 09:16am on 14 Feb 2011, LabMunkey wrote:

    can i just say that although i don't agree with Paul Briscoe(especially on peer review!) i DO think he's getting a bit of a bum deal off people here- he at least is trying to engage and explain his position.

    Paul- you tend to write and link exceptionally long pieces which take quite a while to go through (with the associated links)- though as these are in response to questonis i can understand why.

    I would suggest you, and the skeptics arguing against you, pick a single point and discuss that- otherwise the discussion will get dragged too wide and be impossible to follow.

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  • 117. At 09:21am on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Simon H (Various)

    As I said, we are going to have to agree to differ here.

    I have frequently looked at posts by sceptics over at Skeptical Science and have not found them at all convincing. I think perhaps the difference is that at Skeptical Science the relative proportion of pro AGW to sceptical posts is very different from the norm for the internet as a whole. Scientists tend to congregate at places such as Skeptical Science and Realclimate because most of them can't be bothered with the nonsense that pervades most blog sites. Consequently, any sceptical posts, which tend to be ill-informed, stick out like a sore thumb!

    You for your part have over time clearly shown yourself to have a close allegience to Climateaudit. You will have gathered by now that I have far less confidence than you in its reliability, so it works both ways.

    For the record, I will not be changing my modus operandi just because you don't consider my sources acceptable. I note that, for all of your complaints about Skeptical Science, you have never actually come up with an example of it getting its facts wrong. You may not AGREE with it, but that is an entirely different matter. You don't agree with the arguments made by the scientists either........ which are what John Cook bases his articles on!!

    Paul

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  • 118. At 10:05am on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mango @ #114

    Roy Spencer's argument hinges on ENSO being driven by clouds, which is at odds with the mainstream view. That doesn't prove that Spencer is wrong, but it is certainly unlikely.

    Spencer has also recently claimed that a "cloud forcing" process (a large decrease in low level cloud) is the main driver of the Earth's present energy imbalance. This too looks very flimsy, mainly because such a mechanism is at odds with the observations that the stratosphere is cooling and that nights are warming more quickly than days. It is also at odds with Spencer's main argument regarding clouds representing a large negative feedback - if his original assertion was correct, we should actually be seeing an INCREASE in low level cloud, causing an increase in albedo and hence a COOLING effect.

    So, there are a lot of inconsistencies in Spencer's arguments. There are also other studies which suggest that cloud feedbacks are unlikely to be of much help in mitigating against AGW. They are described here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/a-cloudy-outlook-for-low-climate-sensitivity.html

    Regarding the lack of a long-term tropospheric hotspot, there is a link in this article to a PDF document from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (co-authored by UAH's John Christy), which provides an explanation of why evidence for the hotspot remains inconclusive:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot.htm

    I can see that John Cogger has addressed your final point and made all the pertinent points. All I would add is that even if all of the papers linked to did indeed cast doubt on AGW (which they don't) and even if they were all peer-reviewed to a high standard (which they aren't), they still represent a tiny proportion of the total output by scientists in this field.

    Paul

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  • 119. At 10:41am on 14 Feb 2011, mailmannz wrote:

    Paul,

    Are you claiming that Wahl and Amman did not include links to a rejected paper in the paper that was reviewed by McIntyre?

    Just so we are clear thats all.

    Mailman

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  • 120. At 10:44am on 14 Feb 2011, mailmannz wrote:

    Paul said "You should be aware that he made it clear in the Realclimate discussion that he is considering legal action regarding some of the unfounded claims that have been made at Climateaudit. Once again, a very different perspective from the picture you paint!"

    Like what? Which claims is he going to take action over? The claims that he was Reviewer A?

    Steig can make all the claims in the world but the sad fact for him is that he is his own worst nightmare. Somehow I very much doubt that Steig will go anywhere near a court :)

    But, again, so we are clear...which unfounded claims are you referring to? McIntyre has posted a very detailed account of what games Reviwer A got up to in SteigGate. Therefore somehow I doubt Steig will risk going anywhere near a court room.

    Like the rest of the Hockey Team, Steig can never be wrong therefore he continues to dig his hole deeper and deeper.

    Mailman

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  • 121. At 11:02am on 14 Feb 2011, oldgifford wrote:

    118. At 10:05am on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:
    "Regarding the lack of a long-term tropospheric hotspot, there is a link in this article to a PDF document from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (co-authored by UAH's John Christy), which provides an explanation of why evidence for the hotspot remains inconclusive:"

    I had a quick look at the link and one of the papers. It seems to me that what we have is the IPCC predicting an event and when it doesn’t happen, the warmists blaming everything else for the reason it doesn’t, satellite orbits, sensor calibration etc.

    Funny though how the warmists dismiss the terribly bad condition of the network of measurement stations as irrelevant and pay no attention to the possible calibration errors

    One of the links is most informative:

    “This has resulted in many sudden changes (inhomogeneities or breakpoints) within the long-term time series. The challenge is to remove these breakpoints and re-cover the large-scale trends, ………”

    Now when WUWT find inhomogeneities or breakpoints in the data, the warmists dismiss it because it’s not peer reviewed. The recent illustration of the jump in temperatures when a large number of observation sites were deleted is a clear example, yet we are still asked to believe in the global temperature rise shown by these stations, whose data must now be clearly suspect.

    An excellent observation on the IPCC and AGW is this by Professor Vincent Courtillot when he was attacked for his thoughts:

    “It is the very mechanism of the IPCC which I criticise, not the people. I maintain that even with large numbers of qualified scientists, this type of system does not guarantee anything about the "scientific truth" at any given instant in time. After all, scientific truth is not decided as a result of a democratic vote... A single opposing view may turn out to be ultimately correct. The twentieth century is replete with such instances: in my own area of expertise, for example, the controversy about continental drift, the equivalent of IPCC would have arrived at the truth only sixty years late (the time between Wegener's founding paper and acceptance of the plate tectonics theory by more than 90% of scientists in the '70s)!”


    He also writes:
    “If the solar connection we propose is right, and as the Sun may have entered a particularly quiet period after several decades in a high mode (see the work by de Jager and Duhau), the temperature decrease of the past decade could continue for one or two more decades and one would then be far away from the IPCC predictions. On the other hand, the curve may turn upwards again: only the future with hard observations will tell us. Another strong recommendation is that data should be widely accessible, including raw data in non-processed format, in case one team would find errors in the processing scheme of another. This is exactly the kind of refusal we faced some years ago, when we started working on the subject. We were denied access to CRU raw data. We now know we were far from being alone... I recall that in the cases of Europe and the US, which we recalculated, we find mean temperature curves for the 20th century that are rather significantly different from the IPCC curves and that are not fit well by the available numerical climate models.”

    Again we see CRU being secretive to a fellow distinguished scientist so how can we trust these ‘scientists’ that have sullied the reputation of science perhaps for a generation to come.

    The science is far from settled and the constant reinventing of AGW theories to account for a lack of predicted events makes me suspicious.

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  • 122. At 11:08am on 14 Feb 2011, mailmannz wrote:

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

  • 123. At 1:38pm on 14 Feb 2011, Simon H wrote:

    john_cogger writes: "Yet no skeptic in this thread has linked to supportive data for evidence that AGW is not happening (or signs of, results of), they all link to blogs or industry funded websites."

    Ahh yes, of course. The content of one cherry picked thread, used to draw conclusions on over a year's worth of discussion. I'm familiar with this technique. Besides, as I pointed out, your argument is a non sequitur. Nobody made the point you countered.

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  • 124. At 2:05pm on 14 Feb 2011, Simon H wrote:

    Paul, you write: "Scientists tend to congregate at places such as Skeptical Science and Realclimate because most of them can't be bothered with the nonsense that pervades most blog sites."

    There's nothing to substantiate this, anywhere. I'm sure this is what you'd like to believe, but skepticalscience's traffic stats suggest that nobody "congregates" at skepticalscience, with almost 2/3rds of visitors hitting a single page and leaving - probably 90% of which is courtesy of your links there, so Cook can make your argument for you. The 1/3rd of lingerers could feasibly be accounted for in large part by the significant number of sceptics commenting on the bias of the pages, and by the activists, rather than scientists, seeking an echo chamber.

    Where scientists tend to hang out seems to be at the heretic's website, judithcurry.com.

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  • 125. At 2:41pm on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

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

  • 126. At 5:08pm on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    oldgifford @ #121

    "I had a quick look at the link and one of the papers. It seems to me that what we have is the IPCC predicting an event and when it doesn’t happen, the warmists blaming everything else for the reason it doesn’t, satellite orbits, sensor calibration etc.

    Funny though how the warmists dismiss the terribly bad condition of the network of measurement stations as irrelevant and pay no attention to the possible calibration errors"

    The one I mentioned was in fact co-authored by John Christy, a leading sceptic!! The warming bias in earlier radiosonde data (from the 1980's) WRT temperature has been well understood for some time - there's no doubt that it existed and that it has had the effect of hiding some of the increase in temperature higher in the troposphere.

    "“This has resulted in many sudden changes (inhomogeneities or breakpoints) within the long-term time series. The challenge is to remove these breakpoints and re-cover the large-scale trends, ………”

    Now when WUWT find inhomogeneities or breakpoints in the data, the warmists dismiss it because it’s not peer reviewed. "

    I think you'd find that they would do a properly validated peer-reviewed assessment, oldgifford!

    "The recent illustration of the jump in temperatures when a large number of observation sites were deleted is a clear example, yet we are still asked to believe in the global temperature rise shown by these stations, whose data must now be clearly suspect."

    We looked at that in a recent thread. Presuming that we're talking about the GISS data, first there was a temporary downwards adjustment to compensate for an error from year 2000. Subsequently, a completely new dataset was released which removed the need for an error correction. Then an adjustment was applied to compensate for a cooling bias found following the Surfacestations.org study.

    I think it needs to be pointed out that Professor Courtillot is a climate change sceptic. It is quite common for sceptics, whose views do not hold sway within the IPCC, to grumble about it! In fairness, though, I don't think even the scientists whose science it supports are completely happy with the IPCC.

    Without knowing the details of what data he was after from CRU, it's impossible to say whether they were those covered by confidentiality agreements....... although of course, the vast majority of the raw data used by CRU is in the public domain anyway.

    Regarding Courtillot's comments that they found different temperature curves, I wonder whether they actually allowed for the various corrections which are so important to get results which are truly representative of the trends - in other words, we don't have anything like enough detail to say whether their methods were comparable to say HADCRUT or GISS.

    What surely matters is that all of the three main surface temperature datasets AND the satellite data all produce the same basic trend.

    Paul

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  • 127. At 5:18pm on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mailman @ #119 & #120

    I've already told you where the information is. Ultimately, it's up to you whether you choose to read it.

    Wahl, Ammann and Steig are all in effect saying that the information you have picked up from Climateaudit is not accurate.

    It all comes down to who you believe!

    Paul

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  • 128. At 5:47pm on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Simon H @ #124

    I'm not sure why you're still trying to argue with me over this. You know that I will not agree with you.

    I think you are rather overstating my contribution to Skeptical Science's web traffic.... although perhaps I should be flattered! The site is linked to at pretty well all of the sites which base their arguments on the scientific literature. I also know that I'm far from the only person who uses its resources to help explain the science.

    You say that John Cook is making my arguments for me. I say why reinvent the wheel? LabMunkey has already commented on the length of my posts (thanks for your comments LabMunkey!) and he does have a point.... but my posts would be far longer still if I didn't link to Skeptical Science. In any case, I can assure you that I give a great deal of thought to everything I write.

    Inasmuch as climate scientists do frequent blogs, most of them will inevitably gravitate towards those which rely on the peer-reviewed literature........ unless, of course, they have a bone to pick!!

    Perhaps with regard to Skeptical Science I should have qualified my statement - a lot of the people who post there are clearly scientists such as myself who are not researching the area but still have enough knowledge of science to know that what is said there makes sense. There is also a core group of scientists there who contribute the various articles - the output is now far too large for John Cook to undertake it all himself.

    Now please let's agree to differ.

    Paul

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  • 129. At 6:13pm on 14 Feb 2011, oldgifford wrote:

    126. At 5:08pm on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "I think it needs to be pointed out that Professor Courtillot is a climate change sceptic."

    I disagree. He is a distinguished scientist that is trying to find out what is really happening. His observations of anomalies led him to believe all is not well in the reporting of global temperatures, that's science and that's why he tried to get the raw CRU data, which they refused to give him.

    He was labelled a sceptic when published this paper:

    Are there connections between the Earth's magnetic field and climate?

    Just because he dared to suggest something other than AGW the warmists went to town on him, not because of his science.

    They didn’t do that on the other 150 plus scientific papers he published.

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  • 130. At 9:35pm on 14 Feb 2011, mailmannz wrote:

    No Paul, it comes down to who is more creditable.

    Read the reply to comment 84 by Steig;
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/02/west-antarctica-still-warming-2/comment-page-2/#comments

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  • 131. At 9:37pm on 14 Feb 2011, mailmannz wrote:

    Dammit...I got all excited and clicked on post before I was ready to post! :)

    Lets try that again!

    No Paul, it comes down to who is more creditable.

    To answer your question on where Steig had claimed he wasnt Reviwer A, read the reply to comment 84 by Steig;
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/02/west-antarctica-still-warming-2/comment-page-2/#comments

    Those are Steigs own words right there.

    Regards

    Mailman

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  • 132. At 10:05pm on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Oldgifford @ #129

    It appears that Ray Pierrehumbert at Realclimate disagrees with you:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/11/les-chevaliers-de-lordre-de-la-terre-plate-part-i-allgre-and-courtillot/langswitch_lang/in/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/les-chevaliers-de-l%e2%80%99ordre-de-la-terre-plate-part-ii-courtillots-geomagnetic-excursion/

    There's more detail here on his claims about Phil Jones' temperature trends. So it isn't just Courtillot's views on the effects of magnetic fields that have caused him to be labelled a sceptic.

    Paul

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  • 133. At 10:31pm on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mailman @ #130 and #131

    From where I'm looking at this, you are completely mistaken. You are taking Steig's comments out of context.

    As we now know, Steig had already told O'Donnell that he was the reviewer. So O'Donnell's comments about that were not an allegation. Rather they were a statement of fact. Therefore, it is absolutely clear that Steig's comments related only to other claims by O'Donnell, which were most certainly allegations and not to the fact that he was the reviewer.

    Apart from anything else, it simply wouldn't make sense for Steig to deny this once he had told O'Donnell. It made far more sense for him to do what he did - ignore that particular comment.

    So your allegation is without foundation.

    Of course, Steig will have been hugely disappointed that O'Donnell had identitified him as reviewer A. He had every right to be. It was bad enough that O'Donnell put him on the spot by asking him, knowing full well that he had little option but to be honest. However, for O'Donnell to first promise not to say anything but then post it all over a public blog was an unforgiveable breach of confidence.

    I'll leave it to other readers to decide for themselves who is really more credible.

    Paul

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  • 134. At 10:48pm on 14 Feb 2011, mailmannz wrote:

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

  • 135. At 03:39am on 15 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    121. oldgifford wrote:

    "Now when WUWT find inhomogeneities or breakpoints in the data, the warmists dismiss it because it’s not peer reviewed. The recent illustration of the jump in temperatures when a large number of observation sites were deleted is a clear example, yet we are still asked to believe in the global temperature rise shown by these stations, whose data must now be clearly suspect."

    That is a clear example of WUWT failing to analyze a subject properly, making mistakes and being immune to corrections from both warmists and their own side.

    The source of the failing and their immunity to correction lies in the nature of WUWT not sticking with or pressing any particular argument, but flitting between different topics so fast that it misses any correction and so people get bored trying to correct it in general because by the time they do no-one is listening anyway.

    The stations-being-deleted-causes-warming argument based on a certain graph has been around for yonks and the major problems with the argument have similarly been around for yonks. The reason the argument still exists at all is that the flaws are only obvious with some background knowledge of the temperature records. That's a background most people don't have, so the argument sounds convincing to most people and spreads.

    What those people need is a source of information that can both provide the necessary background knowledge and/or at least steer them away from the bad arguments (eg by not repeating them without corrections)

    What those people get instead is WUWT which raised the discredited station deletion argument in a post last week, not to warn readers off it, but to actually make the argument.

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  • 136. At 08:40am on 15 Feb 2011, oldgifford wrote:

    132. At 10:05pm on 14 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Oldgifford @ #129

    “It appears that Ray Pierrehumbert at Realclimate disagrees with you:”

    That’s fine, it’s a science based argument, but the press went to town on him just because his research suggested CO2 was not the main driver.

    Still doesn’t alter the fact that CRU refused to give him the data. What else are they and their friends trying to hide?

    Quake
    “That is a clear example of WUWT failing to analyze a subject properly, making mistakes and being immune to corrections from both warmists and their own side.”

    Please identify what is wrong rather than just a load of words.

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  • 137. At 09:14am on 15 Feb 2011, oldgifford wrote:

    Paul this is a part of one of your links, hardly scientific is it so why are you as a scientist, quoting this stuff?

    “In a paper entitled "Are there connections between the Earth’s magnetic field and climate?" published recently in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Courtillot and co-authors attempt to cast doubt on carbon dioxide as a primary driver of recent (and presumably future) climate change; he argues instead that fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic field (partly driven by solar variability) have an important and neglected role. Like most work of this genre, it is carried out in an intellectual void — as if everything we know currently about physics of climate had to be set aside in order to make way for one new (or in fact not-so-new) idea.”

    “authors attempt to cast doubt on carbon dioxide as a primary driver of recent (and presumably future) climate change;”

    then; “— as if everything we know currently about physics of climate had to be set aside in order to make way for one new (or in fact not-so-new) idea.”

    They didn’t set out to cast doubt. Courtillot and other members of the academy have been noticing a link between climate and changes in the earth’s magnetic field for a long time and they are not the only ones. They followed up on their observations and produced their paper.

    There are concerns about the paper which are fully discussed by either side, again that is science in action.

    What you see here from your link is not science, but a religious fervour reacting against anyone who dares to question their beliefs and if you keep quoting stuff like this your credibility is shot. Perhaps it already is?

    Courtillot was trying to understand why the climate was apparently varying so differently in many different parts of the globe. That led him to ask CRU for their raw data so he could understand if the data was at fault or his ideas. To me that’s a scientist, always questioning the hidden mysteries of nature and science not some blogger with a fixed ideology.

    As Courtillot said previously
    “the controversy about continental drift, the equivalent of IPCC would have arrived at the truth only sixty years late (the time between Wegener's founding paper and acceptance of the plate tectonics theory by more than 90% of scientists in the '70s)!””

    One scientist said to me he would have failed his degree had he embraced the new science of plate tectonics as his professor thought the theory was bunkum.

    I can give you lots of peer-reviewed papers linking climate observations and the earth’s magnetic field for references if you want them.

    Please let’s have some scientific arguments here not ramblings of religious fanatics. We have enough trouble in the world from them as it is. 7-11, 7-7, we don’t need more.

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  • 138. At 09:52am on 15 Feb 2011, bandythebane wrote:

    It took a bit of a stretch for Paul's graph to manage to get 2010 looking lower than 2006, but that said I do not really understand why there is so much comment on this Arctic Ice issue.

    Everyone agrees the Arctic ice has been on retreat for the past 30 years. What no one appears to know is why the Antarctic is doing the opposite (though some would link it to a 60 year cycle). If you add the two together, there is no significant trend either way.

    Move on. There are aa lot more interesting topics to debate.

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  • 139. At 10:22am on 15 Feb 2011, John Marshall wrote:

    #84 PB. Paul if you took time to actually read any text book on ocean chemistry you would find that solubility of CO2 is determined mainly by temperature and in part by partial pressure. True, in the laboratory, dissolving CO2 in water will reduce its pH, ie turn the water acidic. But, in the sea there is a feedback loop called the bicarbonate loop which drives the pH up so maintaining the balance at between 7.9 and 8.3pH. This range is in the alkali band not acid.
    The band of 7.9-8.3pH is where measured in the surface waters. where the pH has been measured at depth and near the ridge system of volcanic vents, the figure is as low as 4.5. This is very acid and not actually due to CO2, despite it being one of the gasses produced, but to HCl, HF,and SO2. This acidic water has been produced for billions of years but the oceans persist in remaining alkali. There are coral reefs where CO2 is bubbling up from the sea bed and the corals are not affected.
    Geological history tells us that during times of high atmospheric CO2, 8000ppmv for instance, corals grew at much higher rates than they do today. Increasing atmospheric CO2 today will not have any acidifying affect on the oceans.
    All claims as to the contrary are alarmist and not based on any observation or measurement.
    Get reading Paul.

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  • 140. At 10:33am on 15 Feb 2011, John Marshall wrote:

    #105 John_Cogger. Yep in two books. Do you want me to list over 100 references? just go and buy the books. Amazon has a deal going at the moment.
    I do not wish to clutter this blog site with endless lists easily obtained from elsewhere.

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  • 141. At 1:02pm on 15 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    Re 136. At 08:40am on 15 Feb 2011, oldgifford wrote:

    "Please identify what is wrong rather than just a load of words."

    One thing wrong with it is the wording you used, and many others use, that the stations had been "deleted", which implies a purposeful act. You are blameless as you are just relaying what you've read - and I've seen the skeptic blog posts that claim, or imply, that scientists deleted the stations. If you consider those skeptic blogs a reliable source of information you of course have no reason to doubt what you are told.

    Yet those blogs are not reliable, because they are churning out posts so quick and only touching issues lightly that they don't commit sufficient investigation before they emit such strong conclusions. I doubt many, if any, of these blogs are deliberately making an argument they know is untrue or baseless, but they aren't researching the matter sufficiently to avoid careless mistakes. There is no incentive for them to do so, their readers don't demand it. In fact in so far as such careless mistakes lead to more implied fraud by scientists the readers avidly lap it up so there is in fact incentive against investigating such a claim.

    As it stands they never provide any evidence for their assertion that the stations were purposefully deleted, rather than the alternative that the stations dropped off due to some non-purposeful reason. It's not even really a mystery because the documentation of the dataset discusses the station dropoff and provides a non-purposeful reason why it occured. But this documentation is never brought up. Which implies skeptics are so disinterested in resolving the question, or investingating it fully, that they haven't even bothered reading the manual to find answers. Or they read it but can't be bothered to correct others who haven't. Shouldn't WUWT have a responsibility to be on top of matters and convey it? Perhaps not, the aims and goals of WUWT might be to just get more page hits for all I know.

    Another thing that's wrong with it is that scientists don't just crudely average temperature station data as done in the graph presented. Yes if you crudely average absolute temperatures then removing a load of stations in the colder upper latitudes will cause a jump in temperature. But that's exactly why scientists don't do that - instead they average anomalies not absolute temperature and they also area weight the data. So the graph does not properly depict actual temperature records. Blogs that cite the graph, including WUWT, rarely make this clear so leave plenty of readers thinking that global temperature actually correlates with station count and that the station dropoff had a large warming effect (which reinforces the appealing fraud narrative that scientists "deleted" the stations to create the warming)

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  • 142. At 1:07pm on 15 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    "139. At 10:22am on 15 Feb 2011, John Marshall wrote:
    #84 PB. Paul if you took time to actually read any text book on ocean chemistry you would find that solubility of CO2 is determined mainly by temperature and in part by partial pressure. True, in the laboratory, dissolving CO2 in water will reduce its pH, ie turn the water acidic. But, in the sea there is a feedback loop called the bicarbonate loop which drives the pH up so maintaining the balance at between 7.9 and 8.3pH. This range is in the alkali band not acid. "

    Ocean acidification is the direction of ocean pH dropping. It doesn't have to reach pH of acid, just be in that direction. Similar to how something warm can nevertheless be described as cooling without requirement that it's temperature drops below a certain threshold.


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  • 143. At 1:12pm on 15 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    Re 138. At 09:52am on 15 Feb 2011, bandythebane wrote:

    "It took a bit of a stretch for Paul's graph to manage to get 2010 looking lower than 2006, but that said I do not really understand why there is so much comment on this Arctic Ice issue.

    Everyone agrees the Arctic ice has been on retreat for the past 30 years."

    That's why there is so much comment, because the arctic doesn't have much further to go until summer sea ice minimum reaches zero and there is the possibility this could be very rapid. This is a state change, we go from an arctic that is largely ice covered all year round to an arctic that is ice free in summer in a matter of decades, with many knock on effects.

    "What no one appears to know is why the Antarctic is doing the opposite (though some would link it to a 60 year cycle). If you add the two together, there is no significant trend either way."

    Antarctic is less topical because the rate of increase is less than the rate of the arctic increase, but more importantly there is no state change being approached.

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  • 144. At 4:50pm on 15 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Oldgifford @ #137

    I appreciate that this is an area close to your heart, oldgifford and I don't want to offend you!

    On balance, though, I would tend to accept Pierrehumbert's views. Regardless of what others here may think, the guys at Realclimate don't tend to use terms such as "sloppiness" and "ignorance" without a very good reason.

    It's easy to see why if you read the points made in response to the Courtillot et al paper by Edouard Bard and Gilles Delaygue. Some of the reasoning and data handling by Courtillot were very strange, especially given the experience of the man.

    As you and I have discussed in the past, the biggest problem for the theory of a magnetic field effect on climate is the lack of an obvious causal link. Meanwhile, there IS a proven mechanism by which greenhouse gases exert their effect, it is measurable and the various "fingerprints" I've linked to elsewhere provide compelling evidence that it is happening in practice.

    I certainly wouldn't exclude the possibility that magnetic fields do exert some type of effect on climate, but a lot more work will be required to be certain about it...... and of course solar activity has remained relatively stable over the last 30 years, yet Courtillot seems to make little reference to this fact.

    Paul

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  • 145. At 5:16pm on 15 Feb 2011, oldgifford wrote:

    144. At 4:50pm on 15 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Oldgifford @ #137

    I appreciate that this is an area close to your heart, oldgifford and I don't want to offend you!

    Paul it would be hard for you to offend me.

    The bits I object to are not the scientific arguments/discussions but the way the warmists dismiss any scientific discussion that challenges their beliefs. That’s what the church did to the early scientists, though they tended to throw in a bit of torture as well. The modern day version of that is trying to pressurise children to conform to the CO2 beliefs by producing videos that show it is quite reasonable to blow up any of their dissenting school chums.

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  • 146. At 6:06pm on 15 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    John Marshall @ #139

    "Paul if you took time to actually read any text book on ocean chemistry you would find that solubility of CO2 is determined mainly by temperature and in part by partial pressure. True, in the laboratory, dissolving CO2 in water will reduce its pH, ie turn the water acidic. But, in the sea there is a feedback loop called the bicarbonate loop which drives the pH up so maintaining the balance at between 7.9 and 8.3pH. This range is in the alkali band not acid. "

    John, chemistry made up a large part of my PhD and I also studied the carbon cycle in some depth as part of my degree, so I do have a fair idea what I'm talking about here.

    When CO2 dissolves in water, it forms carbonic acid. This is a weak acid because it is only partially dissociated. The first dissociation step forms bicarbonate and the second forms carbonate, with a hydrogen ion being released at each stage. Bicarbonate is the predominate form. Consequently, adding CO2 to any solution, including salt water, has the effect of reducing pH.

    There is certainly some buffering capacity in the oceans due to the presence of both carbonate and bicarbonate. However, as more CO2 is added, it uses up some of the carbonate, producing yet more bicarbonate and producing a slight fall in pH. This reduction in carbonate, more than the associated fall in pH, is the key concern for ocean ecosystems as calcium carbonate is important to many organisms. So yes, the oceans are likely to remain above pH7, but this does not mean that there is no threat to marine ecosystems.

    You mention the fact that ocean pH in the past was very similar to today, despite far higher CO2 levels. This is almost certainly the case, because the weathering of calcium carbonate-based rocks restores the buffering capacity of the oceans and mitigates against a fall in pH. However, it is a red herring with regard to anthropogenic CO2 because rock weathering is a very slow process and cannot hope to keep up with the much steeper rise in CO2 in this case. There have been similar events in the Earth’s past where sudden increases in CO2 (probably due to major volcanic activity) have led to sudden drops in ocean pH and mass extinctions.

    Paul

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  • 147. At 7:30pm on 15 Feb 2011, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    The NCDC/NOAA global anomaly figure for January was 0.38c. which is
    equivalent to a HadCRUT3 figure of 0.242c, up slightly from 0.236c last month. The N.H. figure was 0.382c, equivalent to 0.293c, down from 0.312c and the S.H. figure was 0.389c, equivalent to 0.203c, up from 0.182c.
    This makes the three main anomaly figures published so far, after adjustment to 1961-90:
    UAH 0.244c
    NASA/GISS 0.350c
    NCDC/NOAA 0.242c
    Past RSS figures seem to have changed a lot since last month, and I haven't worked out whether the adjustment factor is still valid.
    I think it is interesting that NCDC/NOAA is actually slightly lower than UAH after adjustment but is slightly higher than last month, whereas UAH fell dramatically. Recently HadCRUT3 has tended to be very close to the NCDC/NOAA figure.

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  • 148. At 03:18am on 16 Feb 2011, Simon H wrote:

    quake #141: What John Marshall asked was "Please identify what is wrong rather than just a load of words."

    I'm quite sure he didn't mean "Please replace a load of words with a load of different words." But this is all you've done.

    And just to try to add some value (since you're not doing), what is meant by "delete" is to "remove" from the record. That is to say, to DROP/DITCH/IGNORE/EXCLUDE a very large number of reporting STSs from the temperature record.

    Now that this is clear, instead of entering into some puerile and completely unsubstantiated attack on a very very popular blog, why don't you go ahead and try to justify or even explain these deletions/exclusions/ditchings/droppings/whatever of STSs from the temperature record.

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  • 149. At 03:59am on 16 Feb 2011, Mateybass wrote:

    84. At 12:26pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "Your point that there were ice ages in the past despite higher CO2 misses the equally important point that solar intensity was much lower."

    90. At 5:57pm on 13 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "In other words, for well over 1000 years, climate tied in closely with solar activity. However, the relationship ended in 1975 as the effect of greenhouse gases started to assert itself. "


    I'm trying to follow your stance but this seems a little contradictory. Could you clarify how higher CO2 levels and lower solar activity can cause an ice age but lower CO2 levels and higher solar activity (relative to the aforementioned ice age) cause warming? As far as I understood your argument, CO2 was the climate driver, not the sun.

    144. At 4:50pm on 15 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "I certainly wouldn't exclude the possibility that magnetic fields do exert some type of effect on climate, but a lot more work will be required to be certain about it...... and of course solar activity has remained relatively stable over the last 30 years"

    So if the solar activity is stable and CO2 levels are rising, using your comment at post 84, this would imply cooling?

    I would also point out that whether or not the magnetic influence of the sun has been stable for the last 30 years, Earth's magnetic poles have been steadily shifting. Interestingly, the graph on the following link of annual magnetic north pole shift for the last 420 years shows an uncanny resemblance to the "hockey stick" graph!!

    http://www.shiftoftheage.com/2011/01/26/alarming-noaa-data-rapid-pole-shift/

    Finally, you keep mentioning that the science of AGW is sound, yet research is needed for so many other factors, solar activity, magnetic fields, water vapour etc... are you completely sure that it is definitely CO2 even though science is still, and always SHOULD be, in discovery phase?

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  • 150. At 08:17am on 16 Feb 2011, oldgifford wrote:

    149. At 03:59am on 16 Feb 2011, Mateybass wrote:
    "I would also point out that whether or not the magnetic influence of the sun has been stable for the last 30 years, Earth's magnetic poles have been steadily shifting. Interestingly, the graph on the following link of annual magnetic north pole shift for the last 420 years shows an uncanny resemblance to the "hockey stick" graph!!"

    Mateybass, take a look here at my humble contribution which shows an interesting correlation between the pole drifts and climate. Correlations does not prove cause and effect but it is interesting and there may be a cause for it.

    www.akk.me.uk/Climate_Change.htm

    Raw data and calculations available to anyone who wants it [unlike CRU ]

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  • 151. At 09:32am on 16 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mateybass @ #149

    "Could you clarify how higher CO2 levels and lower solar activity can cause an ice age but lower CO2 levels and higher solar activity (relative to the aforementioned ice age) cause warming? As far as I understood your argument, CO2 was the climate driver, not the sun."

    Here we were discussing ice ages from millions of years ago rather than those of more recent pre-history. For instance, there was an ice age at the end of the Ordovician period, most of which had been characterised by high global temperatures. It turns out that there was a sudden fall in CO2 towards the end of the Ordovician, almost certainly related to accelerated rock weathering, which, coupled with the position of the continents at that time, initiated an ice age.

    It's very important to note that CO2 is definitely NOT the only factor determining global temperature. Rather, global temperature is determined by an interaction of different factors. Over the long term, CO2 and solar activity have undoubtedly been the main ones. The following video provides probably the clearest explanation of this that I have seen. It is based on scientific papers listed at the bottom:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5hs4KVeiAU

    Over the millennia, levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have gradually fallen, whilst solar irradiance has gradually increased. The most recent ice ages were caused by changes in the Earth's orientation relative to the sun (Milankovitch cycles). Changes in solar activity can also explain most of the climate fluctuations in recent times such as the Little Ice Age as well as the warming that has occured since. However, solar activity has been pretty steady (in fact decreasing slightly) since 1960, so it cannot explain the most recent warming trend. The rise in CO2 levels can.

    "So if the solar activity is stable and CO2 levels are rising, using your comment at post 84, this would imply cooling? "

    No. In percentage terms, the changes in solar irradiance in recent times have been very small, whereas it has risen several percent over the past 500 million years. As solar activity is presently fairly stable, the warming effect of CO2 becomes the key factor.

    I think oldgifford has answered your other point. Correlation does not prove causality. Personally, I would not be at all surprised if there is some kind of link between magnetic fields and climate. However, my own instincts tell me that it is likely to be small relative to the effect of CO2.

    Paul

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  • 152. At 1:18pm on 16 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    Re 148. At 03:18am on 16 Feb 2011, Simon H wrote:

    "Now that this is clear, instead of entering into some puerile and completely unsubstantiated attack on a very very popular blog, why don't you go ahead and try to justify or even explain these deletions/exclusions/ditchings/droppings/whatever of STSs from the temperature record."

    I pointed out that the documentation of the dataset discusses and explains the station dropoff.

    The target of the claims, the GHCN temperature dataset, was produced in the 90s and by collating station data from many other existing datasets (like world weather reports for past decades). Obviously those other datasets did not contain data after the 90s.

    After the GHCN temperature dataset was published futher updates relied on stations that would automatically report monthly values using the global CLIMAT messaging system. But not all stations do that. And so in the early 90s there is a large drop in the station count in GHCN. A drop not caused by somone deliberately removing stations, but caused by the nature of the stations themselves.

    And amazingly enough this explanation is given in the GHCN record documentation quite clearly. It even contains the graph of station count that skeptics use to show station count has dropped. But the explaination in the documentation is rarely, if ever, mentioned by "very very popular" skeptic blogs. Instead we are treated to insinuations that scientists deliberately removed stations to create a warming effect.

    Oh and somehow it's my job to explain this. The "very very popular" skeptic blogs can just get away with ignoring the explanation and passing their readers bogus conspiracy theories.

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  • 153. At 5:10pm on 16 Feb 2011, timawells wrote:

    Snow in every state other than Florida across in the US. Some states have been having the worst snow for a 100 years. I would expect at some time for this heavy snow to appear across here.

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  • 154. At 5:10pm on 16 Feb 2011, lateintheday wrote:

    Paul Briscoe 151
    "As solar activity is presently fairly stable, the warming effect of CO2 becomes the key factor."

    My understanding was that solar activity had been extremely high from around 1960 - 2000, falling slowly at first and then quite dramatically more recently. So much so, that predictions for maxima of the present solar cycle have been revised downwards a number of times.

    Related, but a bit off topic - do you happen to know (or can point link to) the correlation of solar and dendrochronology. Measured temps obviously diverged from Dendro around 1960, but I wondered if the flattening out and gradual fall of solar was reflected in the tree ring data.

    Quake and Simon H
    Can't help thinking that you're arguing about nothing here. Sure, temps have gone up and whilst GISS tends to be warmest, the other players get similar results - by and large. The newest player (Mueller?) intends to use an enormous database (result due in a month or so) but most of the respectable voices over at WUWT think it's unlikely to produce anything startling.

    The ice is melting because the world is warmer - at least for now. A tenth of a degree here or there isn't the point - the trend is. The temp trend has flattened out and it is too early to say if the ice melt trend will do the same. I'm willing to give Bastardi a shot on this - his prediction of a slight recovery this summer is now being echoed by others who expect the la nina lag to shorten the melt season.

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  • 155. At 6:12pm on 16 Feb 2011, Paul Latham wrote:

    According to US Government data it is primarily the Pacific Decadal Oscillation that causes ice melt in the Arctic Ocean.

    During the 1950s statistics show that large parts of the Arctic seas were free of ice.

    This is worthy of special study and I would like to see a paper prepared on this particular subject.

    While we are at it CO2 continues to take the blame for AGW. Three other gases can lay claim to having a radiative forcing equivalence many times more than CO2. For example the Global Warming Potential[GWP] of Methane CH4 over 100 years is 25 whereas that of Nitrous Oxide N2O is 298. This means that 1 million metric tonnes of Methane and Nitrous Oxide respectively is equivalent to 25 and 298 metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide. 278ppv is the pre-industrial atmospheric concentration of CO2, the radiative forcing [Relative to 1750]of CO2 equals 1.46 today.

    The IPCC advises the most potent green house gas yet evaluated is Sulfur Hexafluoride SF6 [their spelling], which has a GWP of 22,000 times that of CO2 over a 100 year period. The average concentration of SF6 is increasing slowly but it is inert in the troposphere and stratosphere. The uses put to this gas by man are experimentally as a tracer gas in testing ventilation, for certain medical procedures and in oceanography to measure air-sea gas exchange.

    Despite Professor John Beddington, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, telling us we should accept AGW-climate change hypotheses today I find myself believing that a great deal more detailed research is still required before any general acceptance can be given to this assertion. Surely science itself has always kept an open mind to new ideas and theories, let alone scientific facts.

    Returning to the question of sea ice levels in the Arctic Ocean. This I believe may very well be due to factors entirely unrelated to AGW and CO2
    levels in the atmosphere. The research must continue and has to be adequately funded to permit this to take place.

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  • 156. At 6:24pm on 16 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    lateintheday @ #154

    "My understanding was that solar activity had been extremely high from around 1960 - 2000, falling slowly at first and then quite dramatically more recently. So much so, that predictions for maxima of the present solar cycle have been revised downwards a number of times."

    I suppose the graphs I've seen are maybe a bit out of date. I agree that the recent solar minimum has been longer and a little deeper than expected. Of course, this makes the high global temperature of 2010 even more worrying.

    Paul

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  • 157. At 6:35pm on 16 Feb 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Paul Latham @ #155

    It's probably worth linking to the IPCC report regarding the radiative forcing caused by each of the various greenhouse gases:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-3.html

    Table 2.1 shows the various greenhouse gases and their estimated forcing based on their concentration in the atmosphere. Certainly, CO2 is not the strongest greenhouse gas, but by virtue of its much higher concentration relative to say CH4 and N2O, it is the largest contributor to greenhouse forcing.

    Of course, methane in particular is a major worry because of its presence in the permafrost and in clathrate on the ocean floor. Both of these sources have the potential to greatly amplify the warming.

    Paul

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  • 158. At 09:18am on 17 Feb 2011, lateintheday wrote:

    If Trenberth's 'missing heat' can be accounted for/discovered in sub 500m ocean depths then 2010 temps are not so much of a worry, especially with the strong el nino kicking in during the first half of the year. Accumulated heat over the latter part of the 20th Century could account for the high temps relative to solar.
    Low arctic ice is not just a sign of warming - surely it's the responsive process of Earth cooling. Sea ice acts as an insulator reducing heat loss from the ocean to the atmosphere. Set against this is the albedo effect which reduces energy gain. I've not seen this calculated as an overall net heat loss or gain - but I'm sure someone must have written a paper on it.
    As the screen name suggests - I've got a bit of catching up to do.

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  • 159. At 11:26pm on 17 Feb 2011, jheath wrote:

    Many thanks to Paul Briscoe for his information and patience. I have learnt much.

    Not being a scientist I am haapy to be corrected by any of the scientists.

    One or two points, if I may. Paul Briscoe says

    "In other words, for well over 1000 years, climate tied in closely with solar activity. However, the relationship ended in 1975 as the effect of greenhouse gases started to assert itself."

    Given the level of uncertainty recognised in the IPCC commentaries this is a remarkably certain comment. Observing websites proffering information on the sun it is very clear that there is no real consensus on the level of solar activity. There are doubts as to how it can be measured. If the assumptions in the models are wrong, then something has to give.

    "Of course, it is impossible to say for certain that ALL of the warming is due to CO2, which is why there are such wide confidence limits on the future rate of warming, but there is very little doubt that AGW is happening and most scientists agree that it represents a real threat."

    Surely the "threat" is a matter for politicians and economists, or for me as an adviser on energy policy issues in three countries. This is the real issue as Dr Schmidt rightly points out. And policy issues, especially energy policy issues, need to take account of many other objectives (human prosperity, environmental protection, etc.). The levels of temperature rise projected (not predicted) are not necessarily catastrophic when one looks at how life has survived the last 10,500 years of a slightly cool interglacial when most of the time the climate has been warmer.

    Policy issues must also take account of the points made on this blog very effectively by "millenia" re energy choices. CO2 mitigation under the UK's Climate Change Act is costing a fortune and delivering virtually nothing in terms of CO2 reductions. The economics of the Stern report are best described as strange - never seen discount rate profiles like them. The catastrophes predicted from 1988 onwards by the activists (and unfortunately some scientists) are not occurring - so to my simple mind advising Governments and corporations on energy policy - the risks are not as great as predicted, while the costs are more than the world economy can stand at present.

    To this extent the scientific debate is, and should be, academic. The uncertainties need to be as explicit as possible, so that they can be factored into the policy decisions, and subsequently adapted as certainty emerges. In the meantime can we all agree to correct the policy errors made that were based on the certainty of catastrophic threats?





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