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Deluge follows drought order

Paul Hudson | 14:52 UK time, Monday, 13 June 2011

Sunday saw the heaviest rainfall of the year across parts of Lincolnshire, only 48 hours on from the drought order issued by the Environment Agency for parts of Eastern England.

14.4mm of rain was recorded at Coningsby yesterday. This brings the total since Friday to 28mm of rain, more than half the monthly average rainfall of 54mm.

Across Yorkshire, Leconfield in the east of the county did even better, with 17.6mm recorded on Sunday, almost the same as Bingley in West Yorkshire, with 17.8mm.

Other drought hit areas measured useful rainfall too, with 9.4mm at Wattisham in Suffolk, and 8.4mm at Wittering in Cambridgeshire.

There is no doubt that parts of Eastern England are in drought, whether this is measured by rainfall deficit, or soil moisture deficit, and more will be needed over the coming weeks and possibly months to resolve the situation.

Yet the timing of the drought order was surprising, given the increasingly clear signal last week from all the main forecasting centres that rainfall totals looked set to increase sharply for the rest of the month compared with what was observed in Spring.

Low pressure is expected to dominate the UK's weather through June, with showers or longer spells of rain, some of which will be heavy. It won't rain every day, but stringing 3 or 4 dry days together this month will be difficult to achieve.

Those who lived through the drought of 1976 will remember that within days of the government appointing Dennis Howell as the Minister for Drought, the heavens opened, indeed September that year turned out to be one of the wettest on record.

It will be interesting to see if the expected rainfall this month will make the drought order issued on Friday as short lived as Mr Howell's then new ministry of drought was back in 1976.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    It never rains but it pours huh. Weather/climatic prediction, who'd do it...

  • Comment number 2.

    Just time for the heads of Seven Trent and Anglia water to get their pitch in for more money. Both on 5 Live last week - can't remember the exact words but Seven Trent guy said that 'this could be the start of Climate Change' and the Anglia guy 'in the coming future we will need to manage our diminishing waters better'.

  • Comment number 3.

    nibor25,
    I am not entirely sure whether "climate change" is supposed to increase or decrease rainfall, in the U.K. Probably just make it less reliable. It seems to change depending on whether we are having a drought or flooding at any particular time.
    I suppose the chap from Anglia was correct, even without "climate change", what with rapidly growing population, building on green fields and paving over gardens, we will have to manage water supply better.

  • Comment number 4.

    QuaesoVeritas - That did not appear to be his inference - but I take your point, perhaps I'm being too judgemental.

    In terms of rainfall - Severn Trent have a 'Climate Change Adaptation' page. It says....

    This highlighted that the threats we face include:
    • Hotter, drier summers will reduce the amount of water available for abstraction and will put increasing pressure on the ecology in the rivers and reservoirs across our region.
    • As water availability reduces during summer periods, there will need to be increased efforts to reduce waste, such as more leakage reduction activity. At the same time, summertime demand for water is likely to increase as customers water their gardens more frequently.
    • The anticipated increase in winter rainfall and the intensity of summer storms would increase the likelihood of flooding from sewers.

    .....all based on a UKCP09 document.

    http://www.stwater.co.uk/server.php?show=nav.6432

  • Comment number 5.

    More "climate change" propaganda to indoctrinate the children of the world.
    http://uk.climate4classrooms.org/
    No doubt partially paid for by U.K. taxpayers.

  • Comment number 6.

    QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    More "climate change" propaganda to indoctrinate the children of the world.

    Hey - we are the bees knees at that... I've a daughter currently taking her GCSE's - she regularly come home with work to complete and is scared to put her own thoughts down. Few weeks ago the class was given a chart showing co2 and temp - now apparently a few put their hands up and said it looked like co2 followed temp increase. The response from the teacher..."that's maybe what it looks like, but that's not the answer we are looking for".

  • Comment number 7.

  • Comment number 8.

    #7

    Maybe a start, but this topic has also featured heavily in English, Geography and RS. They can leave it in RS if they really want to.

  • Comment number 9.

    The title of this post is somewhat misleading. It is very unlikely that this 'Deluge' will be either enough or in the right areas to to correct the water deficit after the driest March since 1953. We can only hope.

    Parts of Scotland have actually had more rain than average but for much of the country and Europe particularity, it is well below what we need to remove the possibility of restrictions.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=europe-braces-for-serious-crop-losses

    Lazarus
    http://lazarus-on.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 10.

    you know, as much as I dislike wind turbines in general, this is one sector where they may (just possibly) be useful. Either for pumping fresh water from one area to another (okay major pipeline scheme required) or for seawater purification processes.
    Fortunately, I know nothing about engineering so this seems eminently feasible. Neither of these potential uses are particularly time critical, so the variability issue wouldn't come into play.

  • Comment number 11.

    I wondered how long it would be before the drought was linked to climate change. Read and weep.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/13/extreme-weather-flooding-droughts-fires

  • Comment number 12.

    sorry Gadgetfirend, couldn't make it past the first few paragraphs - needed to find a bucket pretty sharpish. Only just made it past the journo's portrait at the top of the article - had to check the precise definition of supercilious.

  • Comment number 13.

    @ Paul Hudson

    Paul looks like the sun may be in for a quiet time. I am sure you will wnat to investigate and report back to us.

    http://www.space.com/11960-fading-sunspots-slower-solar-activity-solar-cycle.html

    Oh yes thanks for a really nice day today. The weather was lovely

    Smoke me a kipper

  • Comment number 14.

    and according to Roger Pielke Sr

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/2011-update-of-the-comparison-of-upper-ocean-heat-content-changes-with-the-giss-model-predictions/

    there has been no increase in the heat content of the upper 700m of the oceans since 2003. That's 7.5 years with no global warming using the only metric that makes any scientific sense

    smoke me a kipper

  • Comment number 15.

    There was a 'Ministry of Drought' back in 1979?

    I was around back then, and I knew there was a 'Ministry of Funny Walks'.... but drought? I suppose that has morphed into the 'Ministry of Energy and Climate Change'.

    The problem with prolonged drought followed by intense rainfall is that run-off in the form of overland flow is very high. Because the land is so hard, much of what falls ends up in the tide within a few hours or days.

    Let's hope the farmers of East Anglia get the rainfall they require, but I wouldn't bet on it.

  • Comment number 16.

  • Comment number 17.

    Just checking if the Sol announcement made it to the BBC Climate Page...hmm not yet. Maybe tomorrow. Winter tyres anyone?

  • Comment number 18.

    16. brossen99:

    No immediate cause for concern. The overall trend in sun spots has been in decline since the 1950s, but the 11 year cycle appears to be proceeding as normal: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1900

    Despite the decline in sun spots, global temperatures since the 1950s have soared... no one knows why?!?!

  • Comment number 19.

    newdwr54 wrote : No immediate cause for concern..LOL

    If that is the advice being provided then I'm definitely off..Spain far enough South or are we looking at Africa?

  • Comment number 20.

    Paul, major breaking story: strong probability the sun has entered a new Maunder Minimum, with attendant cold decades. Catch it on WUWT.

    The Global Warming myth has generated a gigantic and unscrupulous industry. I hope that you personally will "catch the tide" on this story - doing a Peston so to speak - and contribute to the dismantling of the IPCC. Go get 'em, tiger!

  • Comment number 21.

    20. Brent Hargreaves:

    The thing to note about the WUWT piece is that it says nothing about the validity or otherwise of AGW theory. The sun may or may not be heading for a further cooling phase, but this does nothing to explain what caused the observed warming since the late 1970s.

    The implication of the WUWT article is that the sun is the current main driver of climate. They fear that any new period of reduced sunspots will therefore lead to 'global cooling'. This ignores the fact that the steady downward trend in sunspots over the past 40 years coincided with the four progressively warmest decades on record: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1971/normalise/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1971/trend/normalise/plot/gistemp/from:1971/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1971

    So does reduced sunspot activity warm or cool the earth? And if the sun wasn't driving the temperature rise this past 40 years, then what was? Anthony Watts, as so often, raises more questions than he has answers for.

  • Comment number 22.

    20. Brent Hargreaves:

    The thing to note about the WUWT piece is that it says nothing about the validity or otherwise of AGW theory. The sun may or may not be heading for a further cooling phase, but this does nothing to explain what caused the observed warming since the 1970s.

    Watts wonders "whether this slowdown presages a second Maunder Minimum". He overlooks the fact that the steady downward trend in sunspots over the past 40 years coincided with the four progressively warmest decades on record (1970s-2000s): http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1971/normalise/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1971/trend/normalise/plot/gistemp/from:1971/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1971

    The IPCC stated that solar activity dominated the climate of the early-mid 20th century, a period of high sunspot activity. But the past forty years of reduced sunspot activity has undeniably coincided with a period of sustained warm temperatures.

    Since sunspots clearly didn't drive and sustain the temperature rise this past 40 years, what did? The question is not addressed in the WUWT article. Anthony Watts once again raises more questions than he has answers for.

  • Comment number 23.

    22 and 23: sorry about the double post - my computer locked out after I posted 22 and thought it had vanished into the ether. 23 was from memory.

  • Comment number 24.

    23: got that wrong too, didn't I. Bed time!

  • Comment number 25.

    13.At 20:16 14th Jun 2011, Spanglerboy wrote:
    @ Paul Hudson

    "Paul looks like the sun may be in for a quiet time. I am sure you will wnat to investigate and report back to us."

    I have been observing and photographins sunspots for about a year now, and this just looks like a temporary lull to me. In fact, there already seems to be another quite large sunspot coming round the limb of the sun which could herald the start of another period of high activity.


  • Comment number 26.

    #11. - Gadgetfiend wrote:
    "I wondered how long it would be before the drought was linked to climate change. Read and weep."
    Like lateintheday, I have so far been unable to bring myself to read beyond the first two paragraphs as I can only stand so much garbage at once.
    So it has been dry in England and wet in Scotland. So we had a cold winter and a warm spring. The journalist appears to have made absolutely no attempt to put these things in historical context. I am tempted to send him an e-mail, if I thought it would would do any good.


  • Comment number 27.

    "I wondered how long it would be before the drought was linked to climate change. Read and weep."

    Why wouldn't drought (a sign of increasing droughts being a key indicator of predicted climate change) not be linked to climate change? It's not as if climatologists haven't been predicting more weather extremes and records broken for more than a generation now. It's not as if such things haven't happened globally over the last few years. Time to get your head out of the sand and consider some science for a change methinks.

    http://downloads.climatescience.gov/sap/sap3-3/sap3-3-final-all.pdf
    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/extreme.html
    http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/USGS-Study-Finds-Recent-Snowpack-Declines-in-the-Rocky-Mountains-Unusual-Compared-to-Past-Few-Centuries.cfm
    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/06/14/245431/us-had-most-extreme-spring-on-record-for-precipitation/
    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2011/June/Global-Weirding-Whats-Behind-the-Wacky-Weather-/
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/severeweather/extremes.html
    http://www.clivar.org/organization/extremes/extremes.php
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/opinion/17friedman.html
    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/06/14/245431/us-had-most-extreme-spring-on-record-for-precipitation/

    Lazarus
    http://lazarus-on.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 28.

    "The IPCC stated that solar activity dominated the climate of the early-mid 20th century, a period of high sunspot activity. But the past forty years of reduced sunspot activity has undeniably coincided with a period of sustained warm temperatures."

    Missing the point again newdwr54 - this time by a country mile. We've disagreed on solar effects on temps recently so I'll not go there again for now. The big story here is about how solar prediction using 'best known solar physics' looks like being bested by the likes of Landscheidt and Charvatova etc etc. Scientists who have been routinely ignored or variously ridiculed as either astrologers, charlatans or pseudo-scientists. WUWT is no big fan of solar system barycentre/planetary theories and has resisted attempts to promote discussion of this topic. They've generally accepted Dr Svalgaard's view, that if the mechanism isn't identified, you can't run the numbers and therefore, it can't be discussed meaningfully.

    It's too early to tell of course whether the planets really do exert force/control over the solar cycle. However, if the predictions prove correct then it's back to the drawing board for astrophysics. Doesn't our host have some expertise in this field?

    The other big solar 'scare' story just a couple of days ago was how there could be a link between low sunspot numbers and massive, potentially destructive x class flares. Apparently, we're not well prepared for these events which can disrupt electricity supply and short out sensitive electronic devices.

  • Comment number 29.

    Having forced myself to read the Guardian article, I find that there is so much exaggeration, and so many misleading statements in it that it is hard to know where to start.
    However, having claimed throughout that it is all due to "climate change" and not El Nino/La Nina episodes, the article ends by sayin that because they are now fading:

    "The WMO concludes, tentatively, that global weather will now return to something approaching normal. The trouble is, no one is too sure what normal is any more."

  • Comment number 30.

    It appears that the NCDC/NOAA global anomaly for May has fallen from 0.578c to 0.499c. This is equivalent to a fall from 0.44c to 0.36c after adjustment to the HadCRUT3 base period of 1961-90.
    There have again been retrospective adjustments to past anomaly figures for both global and hemispheric anomalies, which I haven't had a chance to look at in any detail, but at first glance it does appear that NCDC/NOAA has fallen back into line (actually slightly lower) than the UAH anomaly figure.

  • Comment number 31.

    "The trouble is, no one is too sure what normal is any more."

    Not too hot, not too cold, this bowl of porridge was just right.

  • Comment number 32.

    Further to my previous post, after adjustment to 1961-90, the NCDC/NOAA NH anomaly is down from 0.643c to 0.486c, and the SH anomaly is almost unchanged at 0.251c, compared to 0.254c last month.
    As a result of the fall in the global anomaly, the NCDC/NOAA 10 year linear trend has fallen from -0.1719c/ century to -0.2055c/century, the lowest 10 year linear trend in this series since February 1979.
    There have again been retrospective adjustments in the entire NCDC/NOAA series, going back to 1880, but this time generally reductions between 1880 and 1902, increases between 1903 and 1959, and reductions between 1960 and now. However I don't think that the latest changes offset the previous ones.
    Based on the three anomaly series published so far this month, I think that a slight fall in the HadCRUT3 anomaly, to between 0.34c and 0.38c is possible.

  • Comment number 33.

    off topic but a very interesting read nevertheless. Mark Lynas (as green as they come) has some severe criticism of the IPCC on his blog - snippet below.

    "Here’s what happened. The 80% by 2050 figure was based on a scenario, so Chapter 10 of the full report reveals, called ER-2010, which does indeed project renewables supplying 77% of the globe’s primary energy by 2050. The lead author of the ER-2010 scenario, however, is a Sven Teske, who should have been identified (but is not) as a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace International. Even worse, Teske is a lead author of the IPCC report also – in effect meaning that this campaigner for Greenpeace was not only embedded in the IPCC itself, but was in effect allowed to review and promote his own campaigning work under the cover of the authoritative and trustworthy IPCC. A more scandalous conflict of interest can scarcely be imagined."

  • Comment number 34.

    lateintheday,

    My guess is that there is more of this to come out.
    Charities such as Greenpeace and Oxfam, are often quoted in "evidence" of climate change, even though they clearly have a vested interest in talking it up.
    In general I agree with the motives of both charities, but I stopped being a member of Greenpeace, and cancelled a standing order for Oxfam, after they both started using "climate change" as a marketing ploy.
    I recently got a letter from Oxfam, asking "was it something we said", but leaving no place for a reply, although there was a donation slip. So I am sending it back, without a donation, saying yes, it was something you said, i.e. the constant reference to "climate change", rather than "extreme weather".

  • Comment number 35.

    32. QuaesoVeritas:

    The trend using the whole NCDC data series is + 0.6 C per century. If you run the data from 1979, the to the present, then the trend is + 1.6 C per century. If you just wish to consider the last 10 years, then the trend is - 0.2 C per century.

    This amounts to a decline on average over the last 10 years of -0.02 C. NCDC does not, as far as I know, calculate a figure for Arctic, which may explain why this disagrees with the UAH trend, which rose by +0.03 per decade over the same period.

    If you calculate the 10 year trend from before the onset of the La Nina, then both NCDC and UAH trends are positive (around 0.1 C per decade for both, or 1.0 C per century if you prefer).

    That perspective makes things look rather different.

    This is why I think it is better to consider a period longer than a rolling decade ending at the latest month, and why a 'per decade' trend is preferable to a 'per century' trend when considering periods of a decade.

  • Comment number 36.

    28. lateintheday:

    It's just that I am at a loss as to what it is WUWT thinks it is on to.

    The story concerns a scare about possible reduced sun spots. The fear is that this will lead to a new Maunder Minimum and extreme cold. But sun spot activity and temperatures have been negatively correlated for over 40 years. The fewer sunspots there have been, the warmer it has become.

    If the sun is really the main driver of temperature then clearly this reduced sun spot activity will make things even warmer, not colder!

    The consensus view is that sun spots 'do' directly impact on temperatures; the more there are, the warmer it gets, and vice versa. The recent reduction in sun spots has likely played a role in minimising the impact of increased greenhouse gas concentrations.

    Temperatures have plateaued at a very high level since the solar cycle began to trough in mid 2000. In fact, since July 2000 the ten year trend in most of them has been quietly positive, not just neutral.

    As I've said several times now, once the La Nina effects all enter neutral conditions later this year, we should see a steady increase in temperatures due to greenhouse warming and the slowly increasing solar output. We'll see.

  • Comment number 37.

    newdwr54,
    I think I have explained in the past why I chose to use decadal trends rather than longer periods, e.g. the whole series since 1880 in the case of NCDC/NOAA, i.e. because shorter period show up changes in trends more quickly than longer ones.
    You wouldn't measure the height of say, a young child over the entire period of it's life. You would want to know how much it had grown over the last month or year.
    Using the trend since 1880 would tell you virtually nothing about how things are developing but if you wish, you can continue to convince yourself that temperatures have continued to rise over the last 10 years.
    I don't think that it it makes any difference whether "per century" is used rather than "per decade", it's just the measure I find most convenient. After all, it is fairly easy to divide the number by 10. Whichever way you look at it, temperatures have fallen based on NCDC/NOAA over more than the last 10 years.
    And it isn't just NCDC/NOAA, all of the main series are showing a similar decline in decadal temperature growth.

  • Comment number 38.

    lateintheday @ #28

    I've had a quick look at this and newdwr54 is not missing the point at all. On the contrary, he has picked out the most important point.

    There are lots of scientists besides Landscheidt and Charvatova who have been looking for predictable patterns in the solar cycles and it is indeed an important line of work, as it may, in due course, allow scientists to predict future solar forcing with more accuracy.

    It may even be that the planets DO have an effect on the cycles (although I see that Charvatova's own predictions for the most recent cycle were no better than anyone else's!) but even if they do, they still exert their effect on global temperature through a change in TSI - something already taken into account by the scientists.

    I suspect that the IPCC has paid little attention to this to date for the simple reason that it's still far from an exact science - it's very unlikely that any of the current predictions of future solar activity will prove accurate enough for them to be incorporated into models with any confidence. So until scientists FULLY understand the solar cycles, the IPCC are far better simply monitoring TSI in the here and now and allowing for its effect.

    So yes, it's interesting and yes, it may improve our understanding of the climate in the longer term. However, it still doesn't change the fact that the Earth has continued to warm over the past 50 years despite static or slightly reducing TSI.

    Paul

  • Comment number 39.

    #36 - newdwr54 wrote:

    "The story concerns a scare about possible reduced sun spots. The fear is that this will lead to a new Maunder Minimum and extreme cold. But sun spot activity and temperatures have been negatively correlated for over 40 years. The fewer sunspots there have been, the warmer it has become.

    If the sun is really the main driver of temperature then clearly this reduced sun spot activity will make things even warmer, not colder!

    The consensus view is that sun spots 'do' directly impact on temperatures; the more there are, the warmer it gets, and vice versa. The recent reduction in sun spots has likely played a role in minimising the impact of increased greenhouse gas concentrations."
    You appear to be contradicting yourself in the above. First you say that the fewer sunspots there are, the warmer it has become. Later on you say that the consensus is that the fewer spots there are, the colder it gets.
    The fact is that there doesn't seem to be any constant relationship between sunspots and global temperatures. Between 1880 and about 1945, there "appeared" to be a positive correlation in the 10 year m.a. figures. However, between 1946 and 1956, temperatures fell while sunspots increased. Beween 1956 and 1965 they both generally rose, but after 1966, sunspot numbers fell while temperatures were stable.
    Between 1971 and 1989 sunspots and temperatures seemed to follow one another again, and of course since about 1990, temperatures have risen, while sunspots have declined.
    Personally I don't think that sunspots have any significant relationship to temperature trends, although there does seem to be a relationship between low sunspot numbers and extreme temperatures, both high and low.
    I think the situation is a lot more complicated than most people seem to think.

  • Comment number 40.

    QV @ #39

    "You appear to be contradicting yourself in the above. First you say that the fewer sunspots there are, the warmer it has become. Later on you say that the consensus is that the fewer spots there are, the colder it gets."

    I'm sure newdwr54 will correct me if I'm wrong, but I sense that he was being deliberately flippant with his first comment!

    Paul

  • Comment number 41.

    #40 - Paul Briscoe wrote:
    "I'm sure newdwr54 will correct me if I'm wrong, but I sense that he was being deliberately flippant with his first comment!"
    I did consider that possibility, but on balance I thought not.
    Is there an emoticon for being ironic?


  • Comment number 42.

  • Comment number 43.

    37. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "I think I have explained in the past why I chose to use decadal trends rather than longer periods, e.g. the whole series since 1880 in the case of NCDC/NOAA, i.e. because shorter period show up changes in trends more quickly than longer ones."

    You are converting only the 'last' decadal trend and projecting 'that' into a 100 year trend. This has the effect of multiplying the influence of a rather uneventful decadal trend by ten, obviously. This is not a useful way of projecting long term climate trends, considering that the decades immediately preceding the last one give a totally different outlook onto what is happening in the longer term.

    "You wouldn't measure the height of say, a young child over the entire period of it's life. You would want to know how much it had grown over the last month or year."

    Monthly temperature measurements are fine and useful, but they differ from measuring child development in that I would 'expect' a young child to grow month on month, year on year. Your analogy presumes change in one direction over time. That's fine; but in the climate system, assuming it is not being influenced unduly by any particular forcing, then we should not expect to see statistically significant trends in one direction only over the long term. That, however, is precisely what we 'do' see.

    "Using the trend since 1880 would tell you virtually nothing about how things are developing but if you wish, you can continue to convince yourself that temperatures have continued to rise over the last 10 years."

    No, I just said that according to UAH and NASA, both of which include Arctic data in their overall database, temperatures have continued to rise (very slowly) over the past 10 years to date. This is despite the natural downturn in the solar cycle and the latest La Nina event, which has not quite yet cleared. Do you accept or deny this?

    "I don't think that it makes any difference whether "per century" is used rather than "per decade..."

    It makes a difference of a degree of magnitude to the casual observer. By projecting NCDC values for the past 10 years onto a 100 year scenario you make a decadal trend of -0.02 C into a per century trend of -0.2 C. If you consider the last 30 years in the same way (which of course include those lower values of the past decade), then the equivalent per century trend is +1.7 C. So which is right? Do we go with the past thirty years, or ten years, or five years, or one year? I suggest we go with the average over the longer term, as all the major data sets do?

    "And it isn't just NCDC/NOAA, all of the main series are showing a similar decline in decadal temperature growth."

    This is simply not the case for the main series that include Arctic data, such as NASA or UAH:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2001.5/plot/gistemp/from:2001.5/trend
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2001.5/plot/uah/from:2001.5/trend

    Admittedly these rises are insignificant, but they come 'on top' of the warmest decade ever recorded. There is no sign yet of global cooling.

  • Comment number 44.

    40. Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "I'm sure newdwr54 will correct me if I'm wrong, but I sense that he was being deliberately flippant with his first comment!"

    You are correct Paul, I was being flippant, as I hoped my strategically placed exclamation mark and the immediately following paragraph would have made clear.

    Alas... :(.

    Clearly I should strive to avoid flippancy in future.

  • Comment number 45.

    #43 newdwr54 wrote:
    "You are converting only the 'last' decadal trend and projecting 'that' into a 100 year trend. This has the effect of multiplying the influence of a rather uneventful decadal trend by ten, obviously. "
    That is like saying you can't measure your speed in mph over a time period of less than 1 hour.
    "No, I just said that according to UAH and NASA, both of which include Arctic data in their overall database, temperatures have continued to rise (very slowly) over the past 10 years to date. This is despite the natural downturn in the solar cycle and the latest La Nina event, which has not quite yet cleared. Do you accept or deny this?"
    Of course I accept it but it won't be long before they show a negative trend as well.
    Also, you seem to be saying that UAH and NASA are the only reliable sources of global temperature anomalies, until of course, they are lower than the others.

    "So which is right? Do we go with the past thirty years, or ten years, or five years, or one year? I suggest we go with the average over the longer term, as all the major data sets do?"
    They are, of course all correct, it all depends what you want to know. A ten year linear trend tells us what has happened over the last 10 years. An average over the entire period of the data sets tells us virtually nothing about what is happening now.

    ""And it isn't just NCDC/NOAA, all of the main series are showing a similar decline in decadal temperature growth."

    "This is simply not the case for the main series that include Arctic data, such as NASA or UAH:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2001.5/plot/gistemp/from:2001.5/trend
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2001.5/plot/uah/from:2001.5/trend""

    I include your quote of what I said because we are talking about two different things. I said that they were all showing a DECLINE IN GROWTH, not a decline in temperature. What your "wood for trees" graphs show is a snapshot of what the current trend is, not how it is changing over time. Given time, your graphs will show a negative trend. I can predicted that because I am measuring the change in trend, which you are not. As far as I know, you can't see the change in the decadal trends using "wood for trees", you would have to calculate the figures yourself. Do it, you may be surprised.


  • Comment number 46.

    hello again Paul @38
    "It may even be that the planets DO have an effect on the cycles (although I see that Charvatova's own predictions for the most recent cycle were no better than anyone else's!) but even if they do, they still exert their effect on global temperature through a change in TSI - something already taken into account by the scientists."

    I think you're making the same error here as newdwr54 who says "It's just that I am at a loss as to what it is WUWT thinks it is on to".

    Maybe you've concentrated on the apples in the fruitbowl and not the oranges (maybe it's me). WUWT do not have a positive agenda of any kind with barycentrism - quite the reverse. If you'd been a regular visitor to that blog you would know they have tended to treat it very harshly, as indeed have most of the solar 'establishment' experts. Hathaway for example has repeatedly reduced his forecast for SSN over the last couple of years and Leif Svalgaard has been extremely condescending, if not downright rude to Vuk at times.

    For me this story is all about the grudging acceptance of the established solar physicists that actually, they may have got it wrong - big time. Their own predictions have come up short and they're now predicting what their 'inferiors' have been saying for quite some time.

    Yes, of course there may be high-fiving comments under the thread title assuming that this will kill AGW - it won't. At least, not in the forseeable future.

    You also say . .
    "(although I see that Charvatova's own predictions for the most recent cycle were no better than anyone else's!)
    Have you got a reference or link for that? I'm interested.

  • Comment number 47.

    QV says . . Personally I don't think that sunspots have any significant relationship to temperature trends, although there does seem to be a relationship between low sunspot numbers and extreme temperatures, both high and low.
    I think the situation is a lot more complicated than most people seem to think.

    There's certainly a lot of competing theories out there QV. Paul and nwdwr54 among others consistantly bang on about TSI as though that somehow covers solar effects. This is a complete nonsense, a 'strawman' argument and I'm pretty sure that they know it too. I'd recommend Tallblokes Talkshop for anyone who wants to learn more about solar system theories.

  • Comment number 48.

    oh and both PB and newdwr54 . . .
    you don't seem to have picked up on the Mark Lynas IPCC/Greenpeace story. Following our recent discussion a couple of threads ago, (propaganda etc) I thought you might like to defend the sacred IPCC from the accusations. I hope you will have time to comment and trust that it's not too 'inconvenient' for you both!

  • Comment number 49.

    # 15 - Let's hope the farmers of East Anglia get the rainfall they require, but I wouldn't bet on it.

    Just wondering what odds you were giving on that?

  • Comment number 50.

    This story actually made the news on Radio 4 this morning, although I am yet to find an article on the BBC website by Richard Black supporting it.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/14/ice_age/

  • Comment number 51.

    newdwr54 @18 said . .
    "No immediate cause for concern. The overall trend in sun spots has been in decline since the 1950s, but the 11 year cycle appears to be proceeding as normal:"

    Like I said before - missing the point. The reports are . .

    "The Sun normally follows an 11-year cycle of activity. The current cycle, Cycle 24, is now supposed to be ramping up towards maximum strength. Increased numbers of sunspots and other indications ought to be happening: but in fact results so far are most disappointing. Scientists at the NSO now suspect, based on data showing decades-long trends leading to this point, that Cycle 25 may not happen at all."

    This isn't a 'normal' prediction. This is very unusual indeed and a fantastic opportunity for physicists to learn more about what drives the solar cycles. If the prediction proves accurate, it will, over the next twenty years or so, help climate scientists to pin down solar forcings much more accurately. Not simply TSI, but all manner of things.

    How can the planets affect the solar cycle - according to the 'well understood' physics, that's impossible. For our climate, how will cloud characteristics change - low level or high? What will happen to SWV and OHC. Over time, might the thermosphere contract to form a (relatively) much more dense layer and if so, would that help or hinder thermal balance? Personally, I'd back handing solar physicists a wad of cash so that they can study this phenomena if it happens, as it happens.

    Climate science suffers from a lack of control over experimental conditions. This news should be welcomed by all - the conditions of laboratory Earth may be changing.

  • Comment number 52.

    50. At 07:56 16th Jun 2011, QuaesoVeritas wrote:
    This story actually made the news on Radio 4 this morning, although I am yet to find an article on the BBC website by Richard Black supporting it.

    Yes but he did state that the effect of AGW will be 3 to 9 times greater than any possible cooling. I have to admit that at that point I screamed at the radio and turned it off so I did miss any further comments.

  • Comment number 53.

    45. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "That is like saying you can't measure your speed in mph over a time period of less than 1 hour."

    Not quite. It is more analogous to a long journey through different driving environments. If you are driving from London to Edinburgh then you wouldn't use your average speed through London to gauge your total estimated journey time. You would be better to wait until you had experienced a range of driving conditions, from cities to towns, from A roads to motorways, before you could make a reasonably accurate assessment of total likely journey time.

    In the same way, it is unwise to use a relatively short period from a much wider temperature database, especially one that saw deeply reduced solar output and that ended with a La Nina cooling event, as an accurate gauge for predicting future temperature trends. The same would be true of periods of greatly increased solar input and El Nino events of course.

    What we need is data that covers a broader range of conditions. Decadal trends measured over periods of 30 years or more seem to be popular among scientists, including Dr Spencer at UAH.

    "...you seem to be saying that UAH and NASA are the only reliable sources of global temperature anomalies, until of course, they are lower than the others."

    No, I think all the data sets provide the best information they can and that between them they give a fairly accurate overall picture of the state of the climate. All show that temperatures have remained at their highest continuous level on record for the past 10 years, despite reduced solar input. Over the past 30 years, which appears to be the gauge used by most scientists in this field, the trend in all of them is around +0.14 C per decade.

    "I said that they were all showing a DECLINE IN GROWTH, not a decline in temperature."

    You're right there. Apologies for that, I misread your wording. There is no doubt that using the trend over the past 10 years only, temperatures have effectively flat lined at a very high level.

  • Comment number 54.

    48. lateintheday:

    The Lynas story seems to be centred on the allegation that the author of part of an IPCC report on energy production (nothing to do with the scientific case for climate change) is a member of an NGO.

    That is not really a problem unless it can be shown that the individual is not qualified to produce the work, or that the work itself is flawed. Several IPCC authors have been 'sceptical' scientists, for instance, including John Christy. This does not affect the quality of their scientific work.

    But if it turns out that the conclusions of this person's work are flawed, then the IPCC will lose a lot of credibility in its analysis of future energy requirements.

  • Comment number 55.

    lateintheday @ #46

    "I think you're making the same error here as newdwr54 who says "It's just that I am at a loss as to what it is WUWT thinks it is on to"."

    I was not attempting to criticise WUWT, as it is not claiming to be "on to" anything in this case. Frankly, it's far too early to draw any real conclusions as to which particular group of scientists will be proved right (or whether ANY of them have truly resolved the solar cycles!).

    The problem, as always, is that some individuals are attempting to paint a picture of a scientific community that is closed to new ideas, with the obvious inference that climate scientists too are dismissing other views without proper consideration. Charvatova appeared to be implying this in an interview here:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/interview-with-ivanka-charvatova-is-climate-change-caused-by-solar-inertial-motion/

    As you acknowledge yourself, this doesn't "kill" AGW and as I pointed out, the IPCC models cannot incorporate predicted future solar cycles until they are properly understood. So I'm not clear about where I'm making the "error" you attribute to me.

    You also say . .
    "(although I see that Charvatova's own predictions for the most recent cycle were no better than anyone else's!)
    Have you got a reference or link for that? I'm interested.

    You'll find the abstract of a paper by Charvatova here:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1384107608000559

    This predicts the solar minimum in 2007 (it actually came in 2008/2009) and the maximum in 2010 (it's unlikely to happen before 2012).

    Paul

  • Comment number 56.

    A couple of quite large sunspots on the sun at the moment.
    http://www.spaceweather.com/
    Remember that sunspot numbers measure only the number of spots, and groups of spots on the sun, not the size of those spots or the area covered.

  • Comment number 57.

    #53. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "Not quite. It is more analogous to a long journey through different driving environments. If you are driving from London to Edinburgh then you wouldn't use your average speed through London to gauge your total estimated journey time. You would be better to wait until you had experienced a range of driving conditions, from cities to towns, from A roads to motorways, before you could make a reasonably accurate assessment of total likely journey time."
    But if you were caught speeding over a short distance, it would be no defence to say that it was invalid to measure speed in mph over less than 1 hour - my average speed over the last hour was less than the speed limit.

    "You're right there. Apologies for that, I misread your wording. There is no doubt that using the trend over the past 10 years only, temperatures have effectively flat lined at a very high level."
    Not sure what you mean by "at a very high level". As I have pointed out, RSS, HadCRUT3 and NCDC/NOAA are currently falling over the 10 year period and GISS and UAH will follow soon. No doubt you will argue that the fall isn't statistically significant but it is, I believe real. Also, it has been part of a decline in temperature growth over a 10 year period since 2002.
    As I said, try calculating the rolling trend over 10 years yourself, I think it would be an eyeopener. I also calculate rolling trends over 20, 30 and 50 years and they all point to a downturn in the rate of temperature increase. You can see the 50 year rolling trend in HadCRUT3 on the climate4you website, under Global temperatures/cyclic air temperature changes.
    http://www.climate4you.com/
    Evidently Ole Humlum thought it significant enough to put it there.

  • Comment number 58.

    This peer reviewed paper addressed the likely effects of a new Maunder Minimum: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL042710.shtml

    They found that temperatures by 2100, assuming either A1B or A2 scenarios, would be "offset of no more than −0.3 C".

    In other words, they found that a Maunder Minimum in the next 20 years would be nowhere near sufficient to offset the warming effects of AGW.

  • Comment number 59.

    57. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    But if I wanted to drive from London to Edinburgh, or from Belfast to Dublin in my case, I wouldn't drive from my house to the motorway (about 2 miles at 30 miles per hour in traffic and over speed bumps = about 5 mins. on average) and calculate from that that my total 100 mile journey would take me over four hours! Of course I will speed up because it's all motorways and dual carriageways between Belfast and Dublin now. The journey takes less than 2 hours (obeying speed limits!).

    My point is that it is not appropriate to use a sub-set of data from a larger set if there are factors within than sub-set that are not necessarily representative of the data as a whole. This applies whether or not the particular data are the latest (or earliest) in the set. Short term fluctuations will be averaged out if you use an appropriately lengthy reference period.

    Re my claim that temperatures over the past 10 years have effectively flat lined at a very high level: this is manifestly true. The fact that the trend is (slightly) downward in some data sets (and slightly upwards in others) shouldn't mask the fact that the last 10 years have been by far the warmest on record in terms of absolute temperatures.

    The top 100 rolling average 120 month consecutive periods all terminate within the past 10 years according to the UAH set. By any standard temperatures have been extremely high for the last decade.

    Also, I don't see why you are so sure that the UAH and GISS trends will become negative 'shortly'? I calculate that it would take a sustained period (over 2 years) of lower than average monthly temperatures, based on the last 10 years, to do this in the case of UAH at least.

  • Comment number 60.

    @Paul Briscoe

    Just want to congratulate you, on the branching out of some of your reading materials(linking to tallbloke's blog - wonders will never cease).

    Keep it up, and you never know you might change your mind little, as per a certain Mr Lynas.......

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 61.

    We get rain in the season called summer. In fact,as Philip Eden's book on British weather shows, August can be a very wet month. This is not climate change but weather, and since climates always change we have to live with it and the weather produced.

    From a farming point of view early summer rain can be good to swell those ears of grain, and bean crops giving better yield. But new grain varieties have been produced to survive drought, to comply with error filled model forecasts. Will these still produce the yields as advertised? I have no idea.

    I do not understand why the Met. Office insist on starting 'Summer' on 1 June when there is still 21 days of spring to run. Answer please Paul!

  • Comment number 62.

    blunderbunny @ #60

    If you'd checked the context of my comments, you would probably have realised that I was using that particular link as an example of all that is wrong with the arguments used by "sceptics"!

    Perhaps it is your failure to take account of such context that causes you to have so many misconceptions regarding the science!

    Paul

  • Comment number 63.

    @Paul Briscoe

    I know exactly what you were doing, but I was pleased that you're apparently now reading sources outside of a certain skeptical website, and I was hoping that this small but important broadening of your reading materials might, over time, have a similarly broadening effect on your mind, but I am ever the optimist.

    Would you like to shoot for a particular scientific misconception that I'm apparently holding?

    Personally, I think you'd be on safer ground having a go at my punctuation and spulleng ;-)

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 64.

    newdwr54 wrote:

    "My point is that it is not appropriate to use a sub-set of data from a larger set if there are factors within than sub-set that are not necessarily representative of the data as a whole. "

    And a good point it is. This is essentially cherry picking and has been used to drive the 'global warming stopped in 1998' type memes.

    The bad news is it started up again in 2006;
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2008/to:2010/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2008/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/to:2010/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/last:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/to:2010/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/to:2010/trend

    And you are right that short downward trends shouldn't be used as a mask for what is clearly a long term warming trend;
    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/to:1987/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1987/to:1995/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1990/to:1997/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend

  • Comment number 65.

    #58. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "In other words, they found that a Maunder Minimum in the next 20 years would be nowhere near sufficient to offset the warming effects of AGW."
    So that must be true then.
    Is that in addition to the 0.13c that temperatures are already behind the A2 scenario MMM, after only 10 years?

  • Comment number 66.

    #59. newdwr54 wrote:
    "My point is that it is not appropriate to use a sub-set of data from a larger set if there are factors within than sub-set that are not necessarily representative of the data as a whole. This applies whether or not the particular data are the latest (or earliest) in the set. Short term fluctuations will be averaged out if you use an appropriately lengthy reference period."
    I won't pursue the speed analogy any more as we are clearly not getting anywhere.
    But, I would argue that whether you use deg/year, deg/decade or deg/century, makes not difference, they are all just rates of change expressed over different periods. It seems that because you can't dispute the fact that temperatures are declining, you are arguing about what period should be used to measure it.

    "Re my claim that temperatures over the past 10 years have effectively flat lined at a very high level: this is manifestly true. The fact that the trend is (slightly) downward in some data sets (and slightly upwards in others) shouldn't mask the fact that the last 10 years have been by far the warmest on record in terms of absolute temperatures.
    The top 100 rolling average 120 month consecutive periods all terminate within the past 10 years according to the UAH set. By any standard temperatures have been extremely high for the last decade."
    If you turn the thermostat up in a room, the temperature goes up until it reaches the specified level then stops. The fact that the room is now at it's warmest doesn't mean that the temperature is still going up.

    "Also, I don't see why you are so sure that the UAH and GISS trends will become negative 'shortly'? I calculate that it would take a sustained period (over 2 years) of lower than average monthly temperatures, based on the last 10 years, to do this in the case of UAH at least."
    That is precisely my point, you wouldn't see it becuase you are not looking at what I am looking at. At the present rate of decline, UAH will be negative by January 2012 and GISS by October 2011, possibly earlier. We shall see who is correct.

  • Comment number 67.

    Lazarus,
    You warmists do love your "woodfortrees" graphs don't you, for all of their limitations.
    Using a single trend over a fixed period of time is like trying to learn the plot of a movie by looking at a single frame.

  • Comment number 68.

    blunderbunny @ #63

    "I know exactly what you were doing, but I was pleased that you're apparently now reading sources outside of a certain skeptical website, and I was hoping that this small but important broadening of your reading materials might, over time, have a similarly broadening effect on your mind, but I am ever the optimist."

    It would be a serious mistake to presume that I do not read other sites. It's just that I tend to rely on peer-reviewed literature in order to draw my conclusions. That certain website you so despise relies on the scientific literature, which is why you will continue to find me linking to it. Talking of which............

    "Would you like to shoot for a particular scientific misconception that I'm apparently holding?"

    The most obvious example which immediately springs to mind is your repeated attempts to discredit the aforementioned website using the example of its coverage of the recent Mann et al paleoclimate papers. You presented a list of links to papers (some of which were peer reviewed), confidently proclaiming that they disproved the statement that the MWP was not global. However, a close inspection of the papers revealed that NONE of them provided any data which contradicted Mann et al's finding that some parts of the World were actually colder than usual.

    Paul

  • Comment number 69.

    According to this New Scientist article, there seems to be scientific support for the view that recent droughts were not caused by climate change
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028173.100-global-warming-not-to-blame-for-2011-droughts.html
    I might send a link to this to the author of the Grauniad article.

  • Comment number 70.

    65. At 14:40 16th Jun 2011, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "Is that in addition to the 0.13c that temperatures are already behind the A2 scenario MMM, after only 10 years?"

    Not sure about A2, but didn't you recently calculate that temperatures are currently within the range of computer projections used by the IPCC for A1B? It's true they are below the mean estimate, and that some of the models have proved to be more reliable than others.

    Even at the lower end of the scale, according to Feulner and Rahmstorf (2010), the current global temperature rise of 0.14 C per decade should be more than sufficient to offset the maximum cooling impact of a new MMM.

  • Comment number 71.

    #70. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "Not sure about A2, but didn't you recently calculate that temperatures are currently within the range of computer projections used by the IPCC for A1B? It's true they are below the mean estimate, and that some of the models have proved to be more reliable than others."
    What I said was that current temperatures were below 86% of the model projections in scenario A1B, and in the case of A2, they were below 88%. So just within the range and about to fall totally outside the range in the next couple of years.

    "Even at the lower end of the scale, according to Feulner and Rahmstorf (2010), the current global temperature rise of 0.14 C per decade should be more than sufficient to offset the maximum cooling impact of a new MMM."
    To say that the "current" global temperature rise is 0.14c per decade is misleading in the extreme. Do you really think that most people would define the last 30 years as "current"? Of course, it depends on your definition of "current", but I suspect that most people would not even accept the last 10 years, which makes the rate about zero, as "current".
    The fact remains that global temperatures are "currently" not rising by anything like the rate forecast by the vast majority of the computer models in the IPCC scenarios and if that remains the case, any "maunder minimum" really would put us into "mini ice age" territory. That said, I don't personally believe that we are going to enter a "maunder minimum" situation anyway.

  • Comment number 72.

    Just saw an item on the BBC News channel about the suggestion that we were entering a period of quiet solar activity, including an interview with Dr. Marek Kukula of the Greenwich Observatory. It was quite clear that the announcers hadn't the slightest idea what was being talked about. Also lots of irrelevant images on the screen with no explanation what they were. A simple image of the sun with sunspots would have been useful, but there wasn't one. The general impression I got from Kukula was that everything was uncertain and there wasn't sufficient data yet. He didn't actually mention the MM but when prompted by the announcers, he was very non-committal.

  • Comment number 73.

    66. At 14:54 16th Jun 2011, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "It seems that because you can't dispute the fact that temperatures are declining, you are arguing about what period should be used to measure it."

    But if I use a trend period of my choice, which you seem to regard as legitimate, then anyone can make it look as though temperatures are not declining, but rising quickly.

    Sorry about the WFT graph, but it is a useful tool for illustrating this point. Here is UAH data since Jan 2008 - present: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2008/plot/uah/from:2008/trend The rate of rise shown in this graph equates to a trend of 1.2 C per decade, or 11.8 C per century if I wish to extrapolate it out.

    Do you agree that this is a legitimate use of the UAH data?

    I don't. It is a clear cherry pick, because it takes its start from the beginning of a recovery from a La Nina event and it covers far too short a time scale to give an accurate picture of the real trend.

    It is the equivalent of me gauging the time it will take me to travel from Belfast to Dublin by using the time it takes me to negotiate the four speed ramps, three roundabouts and 30 mile speed limit I need to use before I reach the motorway as my base reference period for the whole trip.

    In my view the very same can be said about using a decade to measure the trend in global temperatures. Several of the factors influencing climate regularly operate on scales of over a decade (PDO, the solar cycle, etc), so a decade really tells us very little about the true direction of the long term trend.

    "The fact that the room is now at it's warmest doesn't mean that the temperature is still going up."

    But we have no evidence that temperatures have peaked at a maximum level. In the past there have been a series of temperature 'steps', as shown in Lazarus's excellent graph (@ 64), to which I have added the long term trend: http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/to:1987/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1987/to:1995/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1990/to:1997/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/trend I see no reason to conclude that the present plateau isn't the prelude to yet another upward step.

    Re UAH and GISS: you must again be referring to the 120 month trend which tells us very little about the direction of travel of the long term trend. I see that re GISS it is possible that the trend may be flat by October 2011 because of the relatively high temperatures 10 years previous. This illustrates that high temperatures have remained constant over the past decade, not that the long term trend is in decline.

    You know yourself that UAH use a decadal trend beginning at Dec 1978. This is currently sitting at +0.14 D/decade and is in no danger of going negative in the foreseeable future.

  • Comment number 74.

    Of course, it's only a matter of time before someone, probably John Vidal of the Grauniad, says that the change in the solar cycle is also CAUSED by "climate change".

  • Comment number 75.

    #73. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "Sorry about the WFT graph, but it is a useful tool for illustrating this point. Here is UAH data since Jan 2008 - present: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2008/plot/uah/from:2008/trend The rate of rise shown in this graph equates to a trend of 1.2 C per decade, or 11.8 C per century if I wish to extrapolate it out.
    Do you agree that this is a legitimate use of the UAH data?"
    Under some circumstances it might be legitimate, but this is another single frame in the movie. What you seem to fail to recognise is that I am calculating
    a rolling trend over 10 years, so the actual data used goes back to the start of the series. One reason I use a 10 year period is because it happens to coincide roughly with the start of the IPCC global temperature predictions, or at least it did when I started calculating the rolling trend, but as I said, I also use 20, 30 and 50 year periods.
    "I see no reason to conclude that the present plateau isn't the prelude to yet another upward step. "
    Neither do I, but I also see no reason to conclude that it is.
    "Re UAH and GISS: you must again be referring to the 120 month trend which tells us very little about the direction of travel of the long term trend. "
    True, a single calculation of the trend tells us nothing, but the rolling trend tells us a great deal.

    "You know yourself that UAH use a decadal trend beginning at Dec 1978. This is currently sitting at +0.14 D/decade and is in no danger of going negative in the foreseeable future."
    No, they calculate the trend over the entire series, i.e. over 33 years and express it in terms of degrees per decade.
    I agree, there is no chance that the trend over 33 years will go negative, but there is every chance that the ROLLING 10 year trend will go negative.
    I think we are talking at cross purposes and that you will not understand what I am talking about until you have yourself calculated the 10 year rolling trends.
    In the case of UAH, this involves calculating the linear trend over the period January 1979 to December 1988, then February 79 to January 89 and so on and so on, until you reach the current period.
    It isn't surprising that you don't understand what I am talking about, since as far as I am aware, I am the only person calculating rolling linear trends.

  • Comment number 76.

    @Paul Briscoe

    Mann's own data contradicted Mann's findings as Tamino, so helpfully, but accidently pointed out ;-) In fact each iteration of Mann's various attempts at salvaging his original work have been comprehensive and repeatedly(ad nauseum) torn apart.

    As to the papers and studies that I provided links for you to, many moons ago, they all show a corollary with the supposedly local to Greenland MWP. Combine that with the anecdotal records from Europe, the actual farmhouses in Greenland and you've got a fairly global coverage.

    Plus, it's in all of the oxygen isotope studies as well - if you’ve got one that doesn’t included it, then I’d greatly appreciate the link to it.

    As I said to you when we originally went over all of this, exactly how do you define “global”, what spread or coverage is required?

    Both Hemispheres - Check
    Multiple Continents - Check

    Sadly, neither the CRU or NASA GISS existed back then and access to those pesky medieval earth science satellites was a tad intermittent ;-)

    That’s without all of the other problems (pca, tiljander, bristle cone pines) with both his work and the whole of the dendroclimatology field in general…..

    With regards to those pesky sediment proxies in particular, I quite liked this from, Dr. Atte Korhola, professor of environmental change at the University of Helsinki, who is an expert in lake sediment studies and said this:

    “Some curves and data have been used upside down, and this is not a compliment to climate science. And in this context it is relevant to note that the same people who are behind this are running what may be the world’s most influential climate website, RealClimate. With this they are contributing to the credibility of science – or reducing it. And in my opinion this is alarming because it bears on the credibility of the field, and if these kinds of things emerge often – that data have been used insufficiently or even falsely, or if data series have been truncated or they have not been appropriately published (for replication), it obviously erodes the credibility, and this is a serious problem.”

    You’re really doing your cause a great disservice and you could at least pick a slightly more sensible battleground, might I suggest you add “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” to your apparently expanded reading list – it really couldn’t hurt.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 77.

    QV - for what it's worth, I think you've made this abundantly clear on a number of occasions. Perhaps blogs just encourage more skim-reading than other, more formal methods of communication?

  • Comment number 78.

    lateintheday,

    Thanks, (I think!)
    I'll shut up about it for a bit now.
    At least until the HadCRUT3 figures are published.

  • Comment number 79.

    For those worried about "climate change, here is an example of something which is really happening and is causing real environmental damage.
    A Russian multi-millionaire, making even more money by building huge dams to supply electricity to China, and in the process destroying the environment and people's homes. Officially hydro-electricity is considered to be "sustainable", but what is the real cost? This is the sort of thing you should really be concerned about.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13786515

  • Comment number 80.

    blunderbunny @ #76

    Your cockiness won't cut any ice with me, blunderbunny. On the contrary, it simply serves to make me more certain that on close inspection your claims will prove to be built of straw. So let's take a look, shall we?

    First of all, "global" means exactly that - not "parts of both hemispheres" or "parts of continents that span half the globe" - it means ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD. If you go back and check the Mann et al papers you will see that they identified a number of regions which were cooler than normal in the medieval period. If you are to justifiably claim that they were wrong, the onus is on you to find data which shows those areas were in fact warm rather than cool - you have failed to do so.

    With respect, warmer conditions in Greenland are NOT indicative of a global phenomenon, just as the Little Ice Age seems to have manifested itself primarily in Europe. Furthermore, even isotope studies do not prove that all parts of the planet were warm – they simply prove that certain key areas were warm.

    Paul

  • Comment number 81.

    blunderbunny (continued)

    "Sadly, neither the CRU or NASA GISS existed back then and access to those pesky medieval earth science satellites was a tad intermittent"

    EXACTLY - which is why it cannot be claimed on the basis of the available data that the MWP was global - indeed the available data indicates that it probably wasn't.

    You toss in the comment about PCA and bristlecone pines as though it is established fact that their use is flawed – IT IS NOT! Certain individuals ASSERT that they should not be used. However, I would draw your attention to the US EPA’s very thorough Climategate review which addressed these points. The EPA noted the NRC’s detailed report, which had already upheld the central findings of the proxy reconstructions. The EPA also questioned many of the criticisms you allude to:

    “We also note that there have been a number of peer-reviewed critiques and discussions of the McIntyre and McKitrick analyses (e.g., Rutherford et al. 2005, Juckes et al. 2007, von Storch and Zorita 2005, Huybers 2005, Wahl and Amman 2007). These papers question the validity of some aspects of the McIntyre and McKitrick critiques and find that correcting for other valid aspects of the critiques have “no significant effects on the reconstruction itself” (Wahl and Amman, 2007).”

    Meanwhile Wegman, whose review was closely linked to a sceptical Republican administration, is now under investigation.

    I would also draw your attention to a paper by Salzer et al (2009), which not only shows unprecedented recent growth in bristlecone pines, but also finds no significant difference between the results for “strip bark” and non strip bark.

    Paul

  • Comment number 82.

    blunderbunny (continued)

    That just leaves Tiljander. Yes, it does appear that Mann et al may have plotted it upside down…… but it certainly wasn’t for the reason claimed by Climateaudit:

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/tiljander/

    So all you really have going for your claims is that Mann et al made an honest mistake in their handling of the Tiljander data. They should obviously correct this, but does it invalidate the rest of the findings? No! Does it falsify the statement that the warmth in the MWP was not global? No!

    Is all of the above important? In truth, it makes NO difference to our understanding of AGW science at all:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/what-if-the-hockey-stick-were-wrong/

    Paul

  • Comment number 83.

    Apparently, I've annoyed you so much, that you've stopped reading stuff - You quoted my rather finely crafted (if I do say so myself) bit of humour:

    "Sadly, neither the CRU or NASA GISS existed back then and access to those pesky medieval earth science satellites was a tad intermittent"

    And responded with this:

    EXACTLY - which is why it cannot be claimed on the basis of the available data that the MWP was global - indeed the available data indicates that it probably wasn't.

    Well..... there...... you got me..... looks as if I'll have to throw away all of the "Medieval” Satellite data... darn that data was so key to my case.

    Actually, your rather rabid response did contain some interesting words “it probably wasn't”

    Only probably?

    So, you’re saying that multiple warming events over multiple continents, in both hemispheres are “probably” not indicators of any kind of global event..... are you sure you’ve talked to the rest of the Warmist Collective about that, only I don’t think they’d be too happy about that, as that would mean that if certain thermomenters we’ren’t, lets say, currently warming/playing ball then the current warming events couldn’t possibly be global.....

    You're really, really not very good at this!

    I'll have a look at the rest of your ramblings tomorrow, time for bed, said zebedee

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 84.

    blunderbunny @ #83

    "Only probably?"

    To be strictly correct, yes. There is an element of uncertainty over ALL proxy reconstructions........ including those showing anomalous warmth!!

    "So, you’re saying that multiple warming events over multiple continents, in both hemispheres are “probably” not indicators of any kind of global event..... are you sure you’ve talked to the rest of the Warmist Collective about that, only I don’t think they’d be too happy about that, as that would mean that if certain thermomenters we’ren’t, lets say, currently warming/playing ball then the current warming events couldn’t possibly be global....."

    First of all, I'm a scientist, NOT a "warmist". I may agree with the scientific consensus, but that is a conclusion I have drawn for myself. So please stop the silly propaganda stuff - it does your cause no good at all.

    If the proxy data shows that substantial parts of the Earth were cooler during medieval times, it cannot be claimed that the warmth was global. Similarly, during the LIA, not all parts of the Earth were cold. Remember, proxy data is indicative of mean temperature over a longer period and does not reflect short term variations.

    In the here and now there is evidence of significant warming right across the planet. The "signature" is completely different.

    "You're really, really not very good at this!"

    The inference of which is that you are better - only in your eyes, blunderbunny.

    Paul

  • Comment number 85.

    QuaesoVeritas wrote:
    “Lazarus,
    You warmists do love your "woodfortrees" graphs don't you, for all of their limitations.
    Using a single trend over a fixed period of time is like trying to learn the plot of a movie by looking at a single frame.”
    Firstly I’m not sure you are doing yourself any credit by calling people who accept the position of the worlds scientific academies ‘warmists’, because if they on evidence concluded a coming ice age I would also accept that. A rationalist would be an accurate description.
    Secondly I can’t see what you have against a site that allows the easy graphing of data to present a point other than you have little answer to that point.
    Thirdly I can’t really accept your movie analogy when it seems to me to be a more accurate representation of your position than mine. To make conclusions about short trends while disregarding the long is like cherry picking a frame, or more like a sort scene, to judge the whole movie. It seems as valid as when I said global warming continued in 2006 with a graph to prove it.
    The graphs I presented show the whole picture. They also show that negative trends over short periods are common but what conclusion should a logical person make when each of these negative trends starts from an increasingly higher point?
    Your rolling average method is a valid way to look at trends. Climatologists have done it, usually for a 5 year mean;
    5 years; http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.gif
    But also 13 months,
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Nov_10.gif
    And of course 120 months;
    http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/global-annual-average-temperature-deviations-1850-2007-relative-to-the-1850-1899-average-in-oc-the-lines-refer-to-10-year-moving-average-the-bars-to-the-annual-land-and-ocean-global-average-1
    None of this suggests we should expect anything other than a continuing increasing trend.

    Lazarus
    http://lazarus-on.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 86.

    #85. - Lazarus wrote:
    "Firstly I’m not sure you are doing yourself any credit by calling people who accept the position of the worlds scientific academies ‘warmists’, because if they on evidence concluded a coming ice age I would also accept that. A rationalist would be an accurate description."
    Which is just as insulting to me, since it implies that I am not rational!
    I think that "warmists" is better description of your stance than calling me a "climate denier". I am not suggesting that you have personally done that bit it is one of the common pejorative terms used to describe those who are not gullible enough to accept everything that is claimed about "climate change".
    "Secondly I can’t see what you have against a site that allows the easy graphing of data to present a point other than you have little answer to that point."
    I have nothing against it, as far as it goes. All I am saying is that it has it's limitations.
    "Your rolling average method is a valid way to look at trends. Climatologists have done it, usually for a 5 year mean;"
    Except that I didn't say "rolling average", I said "rolling linear trends", which demonstrates that you still haven't understood what I am talking about. It's probably my fault for not explaining it properly. All of the examples you quote are of rolling averages, not rolling linear trends. Do you not think that I know the difference between a rolling average and a rolling linear trend? What I am talking about shows how the linear trend changes with time and that is something I don't think you can do using the "woodfortrees" site. It may be that you are having difficulty in understanding the concept of a "rolling linear trend" because it isn't commonly used. However, I think that "lateintheday" seems to understand what I am talking about, so please take the trouble to read what I have said earlier, without pre-conceived ideas of what I am saying.




  • Comment number 87.

    Lazarus,
    I notice that you regularly seem to use the term "climate denier" in your blog, so I appear to have been too easy on you in my above post.
    What does "climate denier" mean?
    I don't know of anyone who denies there is a climate.
    Is the use of the term "climate denier" an attempt to associate those who question some aspects of "climate change" with "holocaust deniers"?

  • Comment number 88.

    Well PB, your claim to only read peer reviewed papers has lead you to the statement that the LIA, and MWP ?, were a local European problem. Sorry to contradict but they were both global in extent. There are many peer reviewed papers available that confirm their global nature. I mean properly peer reviewed not the claptrap from realclimate.org, or whatever it is called, pioneered by Mann et al.

    A good dose of reality is fast approaching in a possible Maunder Minimum. Both NASA and NOAA have come out with data showing that the sun is going into a quiet period. We will soon find out that warm is far better than cold.

  • Comment number 89.

    @ Paul Briscoe

    Okay, lets look at this bit first:

    “If the proxy data shows that substantial parts of the Earth were cooler during medieval times, it cannot be claimed that the warmth was global. Similarly, during the LIA, not all parts of the Earth were cold. Remember, proxy data is indicative of mean temperature over a longer period and does not reflect short term variations.”

    So, first things first do you have any oxygen isotope proxies that don’t show a period analogous to the MWP and how many proxies are we talking about from your end that don’t show it (Hopefully, you’re not trying to use anything in either Mann or Kaufman’s work)?

    We’ve not really started talking about the LIA, so I’ll ignore that point for the moment, and move on to the end of that little quote above:

    “Remember, proxy data is indicative of mean temperature over a longer period and does not reflect short term variations”

    That normally makes them better than thermometers in the Climate Science Arena, but unless you’re trying to state the MWP was a transitory (short term) variation then the point is moot.

    So we return to what is required to say that something is Global in Nature, I thought that both hemispheres and most continents would do it for you, but apparently not. I’ll dig the references that I gave you out later, when I’ve got a little more time, but I think I gave you around 10 different ones with a fair geographic spread (see previous comment on hemispheres and continents), if I’m not mistaken a prominent warmist once said he could tell you/prove that the planet was warming with just 12 stations, so how many do you need/what is geographical spread that is required?

    Given the sparseness of the available data, I think that I managed to cover most of the globe. I didn’t have a European proxy in my little collection that I gave you, but there’s tons and tons of anecdotal evidence. Plus, there’s always Moberg et al. (2005) (not that I’m a really big fan of that particular paper), but if you’re going to take Mann’s word for anything, then I’ll happily include it.

    With regard to the Tiljander sediments specifically, taking Tiljander’s own data and using an interpretation that’s diametrically opposed to her own, to try and discredit her argument that the MWP was a relatively warm and snow free period in Finland is really beyond the pale and then once caught doing it, to start spouting some garbage about multivariate analysis… Well, I’m really lost for words

    Oh, and

    “The inference of which is that you are better - only in your eyes, blunderbunny”

    Maybe, it’s only in my eyes, I guess we’d have to leave others to judge that, but I certainly respect your commitment to the whole thing. I just wish you’d read a little more and that you didn’t always resort to the same lame brained website. Though I do note, and take small heart from the fact, that you’ve not used it in these recent responses :-)

    Have to get back to work now, I’ll pick the rest of your points up later and I’ll try and reign in the sarcasm in future, I just get a little tetchy when people try to erase whole periods of history just because they are tad inconvenient to them.


    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 90.

    Re 88:

    You omit to mention that those studies find the LIA was only - in terms of global temperature - a drop in temperature of a few tenths of a degree.

    Even if a maunder minimum happens again, this time round no cooling will occur because the rate of greenhouse gas rise will overwhelm it.

    We've been here before. Skeptics were predicting coming cooling as early as 2007 due to a negative PDO switch and a deep solar minimum. That cooling didn't materialize and in fact 2010 tied for the warmest year on record, the 2011 la nina bottomed out very warm for a La Nina and even now we are approaching neutral ENSO temperatures comparable with temperatures during the el ninos of last decade.

  • Comment number 91.

  • Comment number 92.

    quake says . .
    "You omit to mention that those studies find the LIA was only - in terms of global temperature - a drop in temperature of a few tenths of a degree."
    According to your preferred sources that is. There are others that would disagree with your numbers as I think blunderbunny points out above.

    "Even if a maunder minimum happens again, this time round no cooling will occur because the rate of greenhouse gas rise will overwhelm it."

    Well that's a statement and a half! David Archibald, Ian Wilson and John Casey among others have said that a drop of between 1-1.5 C could be expected from a maunder type minimum.

    "the 2011 la nina bottomed out very warm for a La Nina and even now we are approaching neutral ENSO temperatures comparable with temperatures during the el ninos of last decade"

    well . . . duh! For temps to show anything else would require a massive, dare I say it, unprecedented plunge. The upward step changes in temps (over the 20thC) which have occurred around the time of solar maxima will need to be 'unstepped' first.

  • Comment number 93.

    "Well that's a statement and a half! David Archibald, Ian Wilson and John Casey among others have said that a drop of between 1-1.5 C could be expected from a maunder type minimum."

    David archibald predicted May 2009 UAH anomaly would be -0.4C.

    "well . . . duh! For temps to show anything else would require a massive, dare I say it, unprecedented plunge. The upward step changes in temps (over the 20thC) which have occurred around the time of solar maxima will need to be 'unstepped' first."

    You miss the point. There's another step change happening right now. 2010 tied with 1998. 2010 was in a solar minimum and had a weaker El Nino. The recent La Nina is higher than expected and temperatures are approaching, during ENSO neutral, temperatures of last decades El Nino periods. Temperatures since 2007 haven't even stopped let alone started falling, they are going up.



  • Comment number 94.

    nibor25 links to an interesting article which puts 20thC solar activity in perspective.

    Monthly SSN numbers for the maunder minimum barely got above zero. 18thC SSN increased to 50 or so and climbing. 19thC levels were up and down a bit, but one might eyeball average them around 120 - 130 over the century. Now 20thC levels even higher still - eyeball average around 170 for the period.
    In fact, the WFT site shows early 1980s with a SSN of 190, rising to SSN of 200 in the early 1990's peak. The last solar peak, 2000/1 which by the way, is commonly mis-represented by some on this blog, shows an SSN of 170.
    So yes, on the one hand, claims that solar activity has been in decline are factually correct in a 'jobsworth' sense. On the other hand, when compared with historic levels, solar activity around 2000/2001 was extremely high. Further, the averaged consecutive cycle maximums from the 1940s - 2000 is easily the the highest on record. And further still, 4 of the top 5 solar max peaks occurred in this period.

    Hey, maybe that's all just a coincidence with regard to temps.

  • Comment number 95.

    "You miss the point. There's another step change happening right now."
    I can see your point - I really do.
    My contention is that the step changes can be seen at solar maximums. These maximums have all had high SSN associated with them - between say 150 - 200.
    The new solar predictions may prove to be wrong. Here, I'm saying what if they're right. There's a big difference between a 2013/14 solar max at SSN 50 and the 2000/1 max at SSN 170. Even SSN 50 might be an exaggeration - the sun isn't playing very fair.

    In the event that solar cycles 24/25 are 'maunder' like, I would expect to see the 'unstepping' of temps gradually picking up pace so that by 2020, a new estimate of solar forcing will be in place. Maybe even a mechanism that folks on your side of the fence can live with.
    If solar cycle forcing is really limited to the apparent 2 year and 11 year signal, then once this max is out of the way, the next one (early/mid2020s) will be starting off with a clean sheet.

  • Comment number 96.

    @ Paul Briscoe #80 et al, I see you still haven't understood the Hockey-stick problems.

    You mention Wahl & Ammann stating “no significant effects on the reconstruction itself”.
    Yes, this included the lack of any statistical validity. 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.

    You mention Salzer et al (2009). They rescaled and re-centred recent data to improve the fit but lost all historic agreement. Not good.

    Your link criticizing McIntyre over the Tiljander proxies merely shows that neither you nor the writer of the post you linked too have any understanding of the issues. McIntyre's first use of the word 'flipping' was:
    “ By flipping the data opposite to the interpretation of Tiljander et al, Mann shows the Little Ice Age in Finland as being warmer than the MWP, 100% opposite to the interpretation of the authors and the paleoclimate evidence. The flipping is done because the increase in varve thickness due to construction and agricultural activities is interpreted by Mann et al as a “nonlocal statistical relationship” or “teleconnection” to world climate. “

    100% correct. Sorry that it is beyond your understanding.

  • Comment number 97.

    Quake says . .
    "David archibald predicted May 2009 UAH anomaly would be -0.4C."

    well he's clearly an idiot then! Such remarkable insight and nuance on your part. I take it all back immediately. I feel 'umbled' by the sheer quality of your argument. Never shall his name pass my lips again for he, he who can no longer be referred to, is eternally shamed.

  • Comment number 98.

    75. QuaesoVeritas:

    I'm not sure what you are achieving by calculating a rolling 10 year linear trend. Using this method, all you effectively get at every point is the trend of the last 120 months of data, sitting there by itself in isolation.

    Finding the linear trend of the whole 33 year monthly dataset and multiplying it by 120 enables the important long term trend to be identified.

  • Comment number 99.

    May I offer a challenge? To warmists: "What future evolution of the GISS temperature series would cause you to abandon the global warming hypothesis?" And to sceptics: "What, similarly, would cause you to accept it?"

    I propose GISS as the standard even though I have greater confidence in UAH but, as a sceptic, I'd be happy to "play an away match" so to speak.

    Here's my offer: I note that the GISS has spiked four times over the 0.8C mark (in 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2010). If four further such spikes occur in the next decade, all over the 1.0C mark, with at least one of them over the 1.2C mark, then I will join the ranks of the warmists.

    I hope that warmists here will see the fairness of an adversary offering to capitulate. I don't doubt the AGW story out of sheer cussedness; rather from a grasp of scientific method which compares measurement to prediction.

  • Comment number 100.

    99. Brent Hargreaves:

    As someone with an environmental science background (but not a specialist in atmosphere by any means), I accept the scientific consensus on climate change for purely scientific reasons (I don't know what a 'warmist' is). For me, a sustained drop in global surface temperatures over a period exceeding 6 months in ENSO-neutral conditions would definitely cause me to hesitate.

    If we enter ENSO-neutral conditions, which we soon should, then, all other things being equal, AGW theory suggests we should expect to see a gradual rise in global average surface temperatures - certainly not a fall.


 

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