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Nuclear power: Why the UK government may have little choice

Paul Hudson | 16:54 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

The news and pictures from the nuclear power station in Japan that has been badly damaged from last week's earthquake and tsunami have alarmed us all.

Nuclear power is seen almost universally around the world as being crucial in producing carbon free electricity, as countries start to decarbonise their economies.

But politicians are already sensing the potential for huge opposition from the general public who may conclude from events in Japan that nuclear power is just too risky.

Japan's nuclear crisis means Italy's plans to reintroduce nuclear power look dead in the water ahead of a June referendum on the issue, with opinion polls indicating a majority do not want nuclear power on their soil, amid much public opposition.

Many other governments around the world are now reviewing their policy on nuclear power development.

It comes at an enormously awkward time for the UK government. Faced with the world's only legally binding targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, it was relying on a new generation of nuclear power stations to help it reach its goal.

In autumn last year it gave the go-ahead for eight new nuclear power stations, at the same time turning its back on a proposal to build a tidal barrage across the Severn estuary.

It must have been a painful decision for the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, who in opposition was strongly critical of nuclear power.

But what are the alternatives, other than drastically reducing consumption? Most scientists agree that reducing carbon dioxide levels in the decades to come is crucial in order to prevent climate change.

The government are already committed to producing 30% of all our electricity from renewable sources by 2020, the majority of which will be generated by wind turbines - but, as we experienced in the cold in December, it cannot be relied on.

To a much lesser extent, solar power is being encouraged, but confidence in these plans have recently taken a big hit with the government ordering a review of the level of subsidies available, in particular to large scale 'solar farms'.

The large scale use of biomass is still not seen as a commercially viable option, as burning coal is currently much cheaper. The government is still working on the level and time frame of subsidies to encourage companies like Drax to invest.

Plans for carbon capture power stations continue to proceed at a painfully slow pace - it was way back in 2003 that the then Labour government announced there would be a white paper on the issue. Since then one demonstrator plant last year was given the go ahead in Scotland, but the decision as to where the three others are to be sited is not expected until the earliest late 2011. If the demonstrator plants show that carbon capture technology works, we are years away from carbon capture power generation.

Putting further pressure on the situation is the fact that two oil-fired power stations in the South of England will have to be shut by 2015 if the UK is to abide by EU emission regulations.

Of course many countries around the world have produced electricity from nuclear power stations safely for years, including France where over 70% comes from nuclear reactors. It could very easily be argued that the Japanese authorities were unwise to build such facilities in a country that is so prone to powerful earthquakes.

Because of where the UK sits geologically, nowhere near tectonic plate boundaries, it is impossible for us to suffer earthquakes anywhere near the magnitude that would cause problems at nuclear sites here.

So it is almost certain that despite any reservations that decision makers in the UK may have about the safety of nuclear facilities, the potential for a looming energy gap caused by ageing power stations being closed, coupled with their desire to cut carbon emissions, means they are likely to conclude fairly quickly that the we simply have no choice but to rely on nuclear power in the future.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Reducing consumption is out of the question and if renewables can only do so much then yes, short of any other non-carbon option nuclear plants will have to be built. Although while I don't think natural disasters and accidents are likely to cause much "nuclear trouble" in the UK, if the entire world goes down this route of de-carbonizing their economies using nuclear then the world will become so awash with buildings storing or using nuclear waste that terrorism involving nuclear waste may become a bigger threat than accidents/disasters at plants.

  • Comment number 2.

    This is a hard one. With the war on fossil fuels there is no other option to provide base load than nuclear, so to see Caroline Lucas on BBC QT on Thursday night try and square her battle with the dreaded CO2 and the evil nuclear was a sight to see. In the end she just looked like a naive idiot by banging on and on about renewables when even an 8 year old should have figured out by now that they cannot replace what we lose in base load providers like coal and nuclear.
    Nuclear technology has come a long way in the last 50 years, and the newest reactors do not even use water for cooing and cannot, repeat cannot meltdown. In an emergency they shut down and the operators can go for a cuppa while it cools down naturally - even Homer Simpson coud run one of these babies.
    However they still produce waste and this is what has always given me a problem with this type of power source. Leaving a legacy like that for future generations is a big worry.
    Therefore my bet is on the huge amounts of shale gas being discovered around the world. New finds seem to be materialising almost daily. The US is awash with it, deposits equally as large are present in Western Europe, China and even Israel, along with immense deposits of shale oil that thanks to over $100 oil are becoming economic again.
    The real big win for gas is that a power station can be built for around £1 billion in a few years, compared to £3 billion for coal and over £10 billion for nuclear. With people railing against the tens of thousands of wind turbines that would be needed to produce this kind of power, and then not even reliably, it is gas that should power the next technological revolution.

  • Comment number 3.

    "Most scientists agree that reducing carbon dioxide levels in the decades to come is crucial in order to prevent climate change. "

    Do they? I don't believe that for a minute, especially as thousands of scientists have now signed partitions against AGW.

    Well since it isn't happening and the models are all wrong so far - I think the CAGW scammers will find it more and more difficult to keep the line. There are signs already of exit strategies, both scientific (sic) and political.

    When someone gives me a forecast of anything, the economy, the price of bread and even the weather. I judge it on the outcome.

    Well James Hansen told us in the late 80's that we would have had 1.5 to 3.0 deg C temp rise by 2010. In fact we have had less than 0.3 deg C.

    25% of all man-made CO2 has been released in the last 15 years and the temp has not risen at all significantly in that time.

    Those that have a religious belief in CAGW will hang on, but I will remain as sceptical (that is not denial) as I always was of the Theory until we see some signs of skill in the predictions.

    As for the nuclear issue - it always was the best way forward and since we are not near fault lines, earthquakes shouldn't be an issue. Many experts seem to think the future may be gas. I don't know.

    I haven't much knowledge of electricity generation and its distribution, but a friend who spent his working life in distribution accurately told me the contents of this link 5 years ago. Especially the grid problems.

    http://www.thegwpf.org/uk-news/2657-britains-wind-power-gridlock.html

  • Comment number 4.

    Nuclear does cause me so many issues (cost, danger, waste, etc) but even I can't see another current viable solution. Renewables and reducing use can help, but we need that constant source.

    Shale gas brings a number of other issues including polluting water supplies. We still are arguing about where we store the nuclear waste we have already.

    However there is no golden solution....which one is the best of a bad bunch?

  • Comment number 5.

  • Comment number 6.

    Ultimately I don't think we have any choice but to continue with nuclear power, but it is essential that every effort is made to ensure that it is safe, by assuming the worst as far as risk is concerned.
    I also don't think we should dismiss curbing consumption as an option. A large part of the electricity currently being generated is wasted and another large part is being used in ways which are not essential. We should aim at introducing new technology which consumes less electricity, rather than more, as is the case with DAB radio and H.D. television.

  • Comment number 7.

    If you make the comparison of deaths per kWh of energy produced, nuclear is safer than wind power.

  • Comment number 8.

    It is far too early to be deciding on the future of development of nuclear power in Britain at the present time.

    The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan is not yet over and the lessons to be learned from this serious incident have to be evaluated prior to making any long-term strategic decisions about the future of this power source for our country.

    The reactors in use in Japan are not the same design as those in use in Britain now or proposed for future use.

    We should be considering the experience of France where 75% of electricity is generated by the nuclear power sector and the French industry safety record which is excellent.

    The first consideration will be for safety and whether we can learn from the mistakes made in Japan.

    It will be most unlikely that an 8.9-level Earthquake and massive tsunami
    will occur off the coast of the British Isles.

    Regrettably people like Caroline Lucas of the Green Party and many who support renewable energy sources will use this event in Japan as further
    justification for spending millions in subsidies to build new wind turbine sites. I have already seen and heard their pathetic bleating on TV.

    I suppose that this response is inevitable when a 0.01% increase in measurable CO2 levels in the atmosphere has generated widespread panic among many scientists who should be remaining objective and balanced in their published opinions over the last decade?

  • Comment number 9.

    The media is full of negative comments about the Japanese Nuclear crisis. Of course we are all concerned about the outcome.

    BUT if they do recover a 40 year old, out-of-date design, which suffered an extreme event, from a major radiation release, then it should be positive for Nuclear - we know it won't be, because fear and doom are the default modes for the world today.

    As others have already said, these are an old design and modern reactors do not need cooling in the way these do.

    For a somewhat more positive slant on the incident see these articles written by Lewis Page one on the 14th and the second yesterday.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/14/fukushiima_analysis/

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/18/fukushima_friday/

    Nice to know a bit about what is going on - nothing is worse than fear and misinformation.

  • Comment number 10.

    "3. At 9:37pm on 18 Mar 2011, Feetinthesnow wrote:

    "Well James Hansen told us in the late 80's that we would have had 1.5 to 3.0 deg C temp rise by 2010. In fact we have had less than 0.3 deg C."

    Hansen never made any such prediction. Where do you even get this stuff from? On the face of it it's nonsensical how you would even think he would have predicted that as 3C warming by 2010 would imply Hansen was pushing climate sensitivity over over 15C per doubling. Which obviously he never was and no scientist ever has.

    "25% of all man-made CO2 has been released in the last 15 years and the temp has not risen at all significantly in that time."

    Lets push it back a year then and look at the last 16 years. Temperature has risen significantly in that time period.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hansen's original prediction from his 1988 paper was ~1-1.25C by 2010 and by 2020 ~1.1-1.6C.

    Regardless of Feetinthesnow's error, that's way beyond any error margin. Even his scenario C (~0.6C) is well off the mark

    http://www.realclimate.org/images/Hansen06_fig2.jpg
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/1988/Hansen_etal.html

    Of course, that's not the spin you will get from RC, but then Gavin does state the rider that Hansen is his boss

    /Mango

    I don't deny climate change, I know climate changes

  • Comment number 12.

    "Lets push it back a year then and look at the last 16 years. Temperature has risen significantly in that time period."

    Cherry-picking stand and end dates again?

    Let's push it back 800 years. Temperatures have fallen significantly in that time period (except in your Mann made-up world of course).

  • Comment number 13.

    According to this GWPF article and the linked Real Science article, the actual figures were 0.5F to 4.0F (according to the Miami News), which converts to about 1.375c to 2.75c.
    http://thegwpf.org/best-of-blogs/2664-global-warming-alarmism-continues-to-backfire.html
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/hansen-1986-2-to-4-degrees-warming-from-2001-2010/
    However, there seems to have been some rounding up and it isn't clear to me whether the 2F to 4F by 2010 was really additional or total.
    On the other hand, in 1988 were around their peak in a cyclical pattern, and it was probably true that "if current trends continued", temperatures would have been at the predicted level by now. However, even a casual glance at the data confirms that "current trends" never do continue, which was probably the underlying problem with the predictions.

  • Comment number 14.

    James Hansen is on record as telling Congress that the greenhouse effect is responsible for global warming in 1988:

    Global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the geenhouse effect and the observed warming. Certainly further study of this issue must be made. The detection of a global greenhouse signal represents only a first step in analysis of the phenomenon.
    http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Environment/documents/2008/06/23/ClimateChangeHearing1988.pdf

    In 1990 Tom Wigley with contribution from Hansen predict that:

    The fact that we have not yet detected the enhanced greenhouse effect leads to the question when is this likely to occur?

    We take a conservative view as a starting point namely that the magnitude of natural variability is such that all of the warming of the past century could be attributed to this cause. (Note that this is not the same as denying the existence of an enhanced greenhouse effect. With such a noise level the past warming could be explained as a 1C greenhouse effect offset by 0.5C natural variability.) We then assume again somewhat arbitrarily that a further 0.5C warming (ie a total warming of 1C since the late nineteenth century) is required before we could say with high confidence, that the only possible explanation would be that the enhanced greenhouse effect was as strong as predicted by climate models.

    Observed global-mean temperature changes (as in
    Figure 8 1) and extreme predictions of future change. If a further
    0.5°C warming were chosen as the threshold for detection of the
    enhanced greenhouse effect then this would be reached sometime
    between 2002 and 2047. In practice, detection should be based on
    more sophisticated methods which would bring these dates closer
    to the present.
    Detection of the Greenhouse Effect
    in the Observations
    T.M.L. WIGLEY, T.P. BARNETT
    Contributors:
    T.L. Bell; P. Bloomfield; D. Brillinger; W. Degefu; C.K. Folland; S. Gadgil;
    G.S. Golitsyn; J.E. Hansen; K. Hasselmann; Y. Hayashi; P.D. Jones; DJ. Karoly;
    R.W. Katz; M.C. MacCracken; R.L. Madden; S. Manabe; J.F.B. Mitchell; A.D. Moura;
    C. Nobre; L.J. Ogallo; E.O. Oladipo; D.E. Parker; A.B. Pittock; S.C.B. Raper;
    B.D. Santer; M.E. Schlesinger; C.-D. Schonwiese; C.J.E. Schuurmans; A. Solow;
    K.E. Trenberth; K.Ya. Vinnikov; W.M. Washington; T. Yasunari; D. Ye; W. Zwiers.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_chapter_08.pdf


    What is the current stated rise 0.74C?

  • Comment number 15.

    All

    The figures I was dragging from memory (a little defective now) were from a 1986 newspaper interview with Hansen who said then that 1990 to 2000 would see 0.5 to 1.0 F rise and that the following decade ending in 2010 would see a further 2.0 to 4.0 F rise, so totalling 2.5 to 5.0 F - which is not too far from the 1.5 to 3.0 C I quoted (actually 1.4 to 2.8 or thereabouts).

    I also except QV's comments at #13 regarding the 2 to 4 F rise, it was stated as "further" in the article, but who can trust journalists to get it right.

    Apologies if I exaggerated - Hansen would never do that!!!


    Also QV I fully agree with your closing paragraph. I think that is absolutely spot on.

    Many exaggerations were thrown around in the late 80's ( in fairness not all by Hansen )- remember that we supposed to see the perimeter road of Manhattan Island underwater in the next few years. I can't make up my mind whether this was just bad theory or deliberated exaggeration to get people's attention - especially politicians.

    I dislike adhomim attacks and have always been sceptical of those who questioned James Hansen's mental state, but his recent pronouncements against democracy, and his support for a book that suggests violent action in pursuit of his aims, are quite worrying.

    Then of course a few weeks ago he stated that what was needed in the democracies was a government like China forcing us to their will - you know the country that is still building a coal-fired power station a week.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/17/china-style-dictatorship-of-climatologists/


    It does lead one to wonder a bit at his grasp of reality.

  • Comment number 16.

    "11. At 07:35am on 20 Mar 2011, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    Hansen's original prediction from his 1988 paper was ~1-1.25C by 2010 and by 2020 ~1.1-1.6C.

    Regardless of Feetinthesnow's error, that's way beyond any error margin. Even his scenario C (~0.6C) is well off the mark"

    Well off the mark because the numbers you are citing are since 1960 but like Feetinthesnow (who cited the figure 0.3C) you seem to be comparing that with temperature rise since 1988..

    If you compare temp rise since 1988 with the amount of warming Hansen forecast since 1988 it's not well off the mark at all. Observations are riding higher but it's close. I wonder why Hansen's 1988 prediction has to fit perfectly anyway. We all know that if it fit perfectly you would all be claiming it was a coincidence...(which would be right)

  • Comment number 17.

    12. At 08:13am on 20 Mar 2011, PingoSan wrote:

    "Cherry-picking stand and end dates again?"

    Actually my post was intended as an argument against cherrypicking start and end dates.

    Afterall if there has been statistically significant warming (>95%) over the past 16 years, then what relevance does the fact that the last 15 years has slightly less significance have? (say 90%)

  • Comment number 18.

    15. At 10:55am on 20 Mar 2011, Feetinthesnow wrote:

    "I dislike adhomim attacks and have always been sceptical of those who questioned James Hansen's mental state, but his recent pronouncements against democracy, and his support for a book that suggests violent action in pursuit of his aims, are quite worrying.

    You should be skeptical of those who try to claim he supports a book suggesting violent action too, in that despite having read the writings of such people I haven't seen them quote anything from the book backing that up.

    Additionally:

    "Then of course a few weeks ago he stated that what was needed in the democracies was a government like China forcing us to their will"

    If he did indeed state such a thing why not quote his words rather than paraphrase him? Wouldn't that be just as good and more damning?

    Unless of course the paraphrase doesn't properly reflect anything Hansen has actually said.

    A lot of articles about Hansen accuse him of admitting to some kind evil act by providing, not quotes from Hansen, but "paraphrases" of what he said. On the off chance that I have seen quotes being supplied a fair dose of "interpretation" has been made in the paraphrases.

  • Comment number 19.

    The good news is that the rubbish windmills survived the earthquake and tsunami with out a scratch. Even the offshore ones.

  • Comment number 20.

    quake @ #10

    ""25% of all man-made CO2 has been released in the last 15 years and the temp has not risen at all significantly in that time."

    Lets push it back a year then and look at the last 16 years. Temperature has risen significantly in that time period."

    I've been through this with Feetinthesnow several times! He seems to have conveniently forgotten that prominent sceptic Lubos Motl admitted that the 15 years time period had been chosen deliberately (ie. cherry-picked) because it was the known to be the longest period over which the data would just fail to achieve the 95% confidence level for statistically significant warming. In fact, the warming was significant at the 92% level, even for 15 years!

    Feetinthesnow also appears to have forgotten to factor in thermal inertia, which means that most of the warming associated with the recent rapid rise in CO2 is still likely to be "in the pipeline".

    Paul

  • Comment number 21.

    I never cease to be amazed at the silliness of some arguments used by sceptics in their attempts to undermine the science of AGW. The constant references to Hansen's inaccurate forecasts in the 1980's fall into this category.

    I have been watching the excellent TV series from Professor Brian Cox about Man's understanding of the universe. Yet if the same programme had been made even 20 years ago, many aspects of the science would have been presented very differently.

    Does this mean that the scientists back then were incompetent? Does it mean that we can't trust Brian Cox's claims in the here and now? No of course not. Rather it means that Man's understanding of the science has moved on at pace over the past 20 years........ although I'm sure there will be some aspects of what Prof Cox is saying that will be revised somewhat in the light of future discoveries.

    Of course, if you're convinced that the entire climate science community, as well as the Geological Society and pretty well every national academy around the World, are part of some conspiracy to mislead, it's only a small step to assume that Hansen was trying to exaggerate the science. However, being truly objective, isn't it actually far more likely that he was simply basing his projections on the best understanding of the science at the time?

    In fact, Hansen made his 1980's projections without the benefit of a great deal of information the scientists now have at their disposal:

    Far more information from satellites, including direct evidence that CO2 is indeed selectively absorbing certain wavelengths of radiation formerly escaping to space and that the Earth is indeed accumulating heat even at times when surface temperatures are increasing more slowly.

    Direct evidence of more downward radiation in wavelengths specific to anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

    Far more detail from paleoclimate, providing strong evidence that CO2 has been a major driver of planetary warming in the past.

    Far more detailed temperature data, showing that nights are warming faster than days - something which can only be explained by greenhouse gas warming.

    A whole raft of studies indicating that climate sensitivity is around a third lower than was believed in the 1980's (but confirming that the net effect of feedbacks is positive and at least doubles the warming effect of CO2 alone).

    Once you take into account this last point, plugging modern IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity and actual greenhouse gas increases into Hansen's model, it projects global temperature rises extremely accurately - a remarkable achievement given that this was the first serious attempt to model the effect of greenhouse gases on climate.

    So those claiming that Hansen's inaccurate forecasts in the 1980's undermine the science now are simply missing the point. Science progresses!

    Paul

  • Comment number 22.

    @quake #16

    I'm using Hansen's own prediction based on his paper. The closest to current trends is scenario c, which is the drastic cut in CO2 emissions.

    Tell us quake, what is the current anomaly and what did Hansen's predictions say it would be for each scenario? Also tell us what %age is Hansen right, above or below.

    Here's help:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/hansenlineartrend.jpg

    /Mango

    I don't deny climate change, I know climate changes

  • Comment number 23.

    #21. - Paul Briscoe wrote:
    "So those claiming that Hansen's inaccurate forecasts in the 1980's undermine the science now are simply missing the point. Science progresses!"
    No doubt that will also be used as the excuse for why the current predictions are wrong.
    The problem is, we NEVER get as much publicity for the corrections as we do for the original predictions, in the mainstream media that is. So the public are left with the impression that the original predictions still stand. It also wouldn't matter if it were not for the fact that when predictions are made, there is always the implication that they are absolute catagorical fact and that anyone doubting them is an idiot. When the idiots are proved correct, the excuse is, "science has moved on", but the new predictions are absolute categorical fact, so anyone who doubts them is an idiot. Have you heard of the story of the "boy who cried wolf"?


  • Comment number 24.

    I am sure that this link, to the current and projected GFS 2m temp. anomalies, wasn't working a few days ago, but if so, it seems to be working now.
    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/%7Emaue/extreme/gfs/current/raw_temp.html
    One thing which puzzles me is what the anomalies for individual locations are relative to.
    A couple of days ago, the map was projecting anomalies of about -4c to -8c for parts of the U.K., which seemed unlikely. Now however the current and projected anomalies for the U.K. are mostly grey, i.e. a few degrees above normal.
    What I don't know is whether the anomalies for a specific location at a specific time are relative to the normals for that specific location at that specific time, or are they relative to some other normal figure, for example the NH Midlat figure for the day, or the month.
    I don't think the map makes this clear and without that info., it is difficult to draw any conclusions.
    Does anyone know any more about this than I do?

  • Comment number 25.

    Paul Briscoe and Quake

    You just make yourselves look silly by claiming warming in the last whatever years - even Phil Jones doesn't claim that. 95% confidence level for almost zero is not warming. The error bars are bigger. In the context of the Hansen claims being discussed it is laughable. Unprecedented? - I think not.

    I am not cheery picking - I am just looking at the last 15 years (you know the most recent ones). When I turn the tap off after running a bath, I have no need to measure how much water was coming out a minute ago or 10 minutes ago, just that there isn't any now.

    I think QV's comment at #13 in the last paragraph sums it up very well.

    Paul Briscoe

    Explain how CO2 has thermal inertia - it either absorbs energy or it doesn't. I know it is clever stuff CO2 but do you think it waits for a year or two before absorbing outgoing IR? Then it will jump up and shout at sceptics - "ah ah got you there!!!" We all know that energy absorbed elsewhere in the system, especially the oceans, will have releases on many time scales, but straw clutching is not an argument.

    Quake @#18 - denying Hansen said this or that is not worth a spit.

    He has endorsed the book "Time's Up!" by Keith Farnish. Some think he might not have read it all before he did, but the book incites violent sabotage, and promotes illegal activities to bring about an end to industrial civilization. Something many of us think might be a tad ill-advised.

    The link I provided to the Hansen China pronouncements wasn't paraphrase was it? It was a report from the Washington Times about an article he wrote for a Chinese newspaper, while he was in China late last year, followed by stuff on his own website.

    Other report here.

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/hansen-us-democracy-not-competent-to-deal-with-global-warming-calls-on-communist-china-to-%E2%80%9Csave-humanity%E2%80%9D.html

    He may be right that China will be the biggest CO2 producer in the coming decades, but they show no inclination to stop importing coal and building coal-fired power stations (and they have 300 years plus of their own). The recent TV programme about the rise of China around the world grabbing resources where they can and shipping it home highlights the reality.

  • Comment number 26.

    QV @ #23

    "The problem is, we NEVER get as much publicity for the corrections as we do for the original predictions, in the mainstream media that is."

    I think this comment underlines the difference between your approach and mine. As I said over on the other thread, it is only the peer-reviewed literature which accurately reflects the science and the uncertainties. If you rely on coverage in the media you will always end up being misled - this is true of every branch of science because of the way the media present the subject.

    The bottom line is that the original projections are in the literature and the IPCC reports and so are the corrections. It is NOT the fault of the scientists if the media only report the projections themselves. Also, as I pointed out on a previous thread, people who come online challenging the science have a responsibility to check up on what the scientific literature actually says before they start.

    I agree that there is a problem with the way that science is presented to the public and I think there needs to be far more consideration given to how to get the media to present it properly, but that problem is not peculiar to this subject.

    Paul

  • Comment number 27.

    Feetinthesnow @ #25

    "You just make yourselves look silly by claiming warming in the last whatever years - even Phil Jones doesn't claim that. 95% confidence level for almost zero is not warming. The error bars are bigger. In the context of the Hansen claims being discussed it is laughable. Unprecedented? - I think not."

    I thought you claimed to be a scientist, yet in the above statement you are betraying a complete lack of understanding of statistical analysis and how long term trends in dynamic systems are studied. The whole point of statistical analysis is that it compares the trend with the variance, so you can only achieve a 95% confidence level if there is indeed a substantial change in temperature over the period under study.

    Now, remember this (again!!):

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

    The above shows just how ill-conceived your argument is. If you choose a short enough period in a trend with other cycling variables built in, you will always manage to find a period where the trend is not statistically significant (if that is your aim!)........ but that's just plain BAD SCIENCE!

    "Explain how CO2 has thermal inertia - it either absorbs energy or it doesn't. I know it is clever stuff CO2 but do you think it waits for a year or two before absorbing outgoing IR? Then it will jump up and shout at sceptics - "ah ah got you there!!!" We all know that energy absorbed elsewhere in the system, especially the oceans, will have releases on many time scales, but straw clutching is not an argument."

    Again, you are betraying your ignorance here. It is not CO2 which exhibits thermal inertia. The point is that the oceans take a long time to fully respond to the warming effect taking place in the atmosphere. The full warming effect only manifests itself once ocean temperatures have caught up:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Change-The-40-Year-Delay-Between-Cause-and-Effect.html

    Paul

  • Comment number 28.

    Re 22. At 6:43pm on 20 Mar 2011, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "Tell us quake, what is the current anomaly and what did Hansen's predictions say it would be for each scenario? Also tell us what %age is Hansen right, above or below."

    This article is the most thorough look at the subject of Hansen's 1988 prediction that I have found:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-1988-prediction-advanced.htm

  • Comment number 29.

    Does anyone know how high the risk of the UK suffering an intraplate quake such as the one that struck the area around Bhuj, India in 2001? I don't have much knowledge of these things, but what might be possible is a hybrid approach, where renewables back up nuclear power. It is unrealistic to think that we can harness every single wave or gust of wind, and we can't keep putting up wind farms ad infinitum. For a nation the size of the UK, it is spatially inefficient.

  • Comment number 30.

    @quake #28

    No, quake, I asked you to tell us, not just point at (un)skepticalscience

    What do you think:

    "the current anomaly and what did Hansen's predictions say it would be for each scenario? Also tell us what %age is Hansen right, above or below."

    /Mango

    I don't deny climate change, I know climate changes

  • Comment number 31.

    Mango @ #30

    "No, quake, I asked you to tell us, not just point at (un)skepticalscience

    What do you think"

    This argument is very tired and frankly a red herring.

    This is a discussion about science and as such our opinions are irrelevant - it is the FACTS that count. So quake has correctly pointed you to an article which presents the facts with links back to the original sources..... ie. the way a real scientist would approach it.

    If you think the article is incorrect, perhaps you would care to tell me what is wrong with it.

    "I don't deny climate change, I know climate changes"

    Indeed it does..... and this video explains why:

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

    Paul

  • Comment number 32.

    There have to be many other ways of producing energy efficiently other than Nuclear Power. Wave power has to be a massive source around a country like the UK, much greater potential than Hydro electric schemes. Wind power could be made much more efficient and economical and every household could produce their own power. As well as the national grid providing power, we also have to look at every household providing as much of their own power as possible and feeding back into the national grid. There are ways and means, but Nuclear has a lot of costs not taken into account, such as cleaning a site up after use. What will be done with all the waste products and how long will the materials for Nuclear production last. Yes Nuclear may seem safer, but the potential for disaster from extremes of nature or a man made mistake, aren't worth thinking about. It is the last place on earth where I would want to work or live.

  • Comment number 33.

    Paul Briscoe

    I don't want to swap insults about statistics with you - it isn't worth the effort. Lets just says my understanding of statistics is considerable. I understand a fair bit about its use and abuse as well. I had forgotten that a few ago you appeared to think I had dug ditches for a living.

    As we have said before it obvious that there is no real trend in the last 15 years (admitte3d by Phil Jones that well known sceptic) and that from Hadcrut data the current warming trend is no steeper than the last two in the cycle.

    Satellite measurements of the atmosphere read off the upper troposhere, not the oceans. CO2 absorbs quickly - I already stated in my earlier comment that the oceans absorb and redistribute heat on different time-scales. It is vastly more complex than any of the fudge-factored models allow (I know a fair bit about them as well Paul).

    The thermal inertia argument comes from CAGW central who are struggling to keep up with the real atmosphere (actually the other way around). The idea being to keep catastrophe off in the future somewhere so we don't notice that it isn't happening.

    When any predictions of warming, other the slow cyclical warming of the last two hundred years, come true then I will put my hand up and say I am wrong. The trouble with warmists is they never are wrong. Even cold is warming now!!!

    At some stage the edifice will crumble - could be a while yet, too many people making too much money out of it, paid for by us mugs.

  • Comment number 34.

    The nuclear plant at Fukushima shut down as planned. The problem being the tsunami which swamped the diesel generators. These now need replacement. The portable generators initially brought in were not powerful enough, 6Mw being needed for pumping. They now have generators of sufficient power. According to the IAEA, who oversee global nuclear sites, proceedures are being carried out as planned and the only problem is cooling for the storage ponds. These, incidentally, contained more fuel rods than planned because of worries by the rabid environmentalists. Had these people been ignored the ponds would not have been so full of fuel rods and the problem would not be as bad as it is now.
    Reactors 5 and 6 are both ready to go back on line after being inspected and found undamaged.
    The news, according to the BBC, and others, is of a Chernobyl style failure. This is far from the truth as the IAEA will tell you.

    The UK has to go down the nuclear route, combined with coal/oil/gas. The natural disaster of a 9.0 earthquake will not happen here due to the geological setting of the UK. There is a tsunami problem, from edifice failure in the Canaries or Norway, as has happened before, but not to the scale of the Japanese case.

    A safer nuclear option is the Thorium reactor. We have an unlimited supply of thorium, compared to uranium at least, it produces far less of the radioactive fission products, like plutonium, and can be made much smaller thus needing far less backup power.

    I get no monies from Thorium Reactor Technology.

  • Comment number 35.

    OT, this is a very important issue and i think the MSM can be held solely to blame for any backlash that nuclear power recieves.

    Nuclear is our ONLY option for meeting the governments ridiculous co2 targets. If we don't go nuclear and BIG time at that we will be facing regular blackouts.

    I take the opposite stance from the MSM and (apparently-though we only have the fear mongering MSM to tell us this) the public; namely i see the japanese incident, should they finish in getting the reactors under control as a major success for nuclear power.

    A nuclear plant was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and THEN a 10 m high tsunami and STILL it didn't go critical and the effects (as of now- though things as ever can change rapidly) SEEM to be limited to the local area and of a relatively low seriousnes. Bearing in mind the age of these reactors and how technology ahs progressed from then i can't even see WHY we're having the debate.

    Further- when you take into account the site of the new reactors- i.e. blighty- then there literally is NO issue.

    It's safe (incredibly so), reliable and cheap (after initial set up-natch). It's a literal no brainer.

  • Comment number 36.

    33. At 09:42am on 21 Mar 2011, Feetinthesnow wrote:

    "As we have said before it obvious that there is no real trend in the last 15 years (admitte3d by Phil Jones that well known sceptic)"

    There is a positive trend in the last 15 years with over 90% confidence. That's not even evidence of a lack of warming. What Phil Jones meant by no statistically significant warming in the last 15 years is that confidence doesn't quite reach 95%.

    The noise might obscure the trend, but we are not helpless, we can remove some of it. Eg if ENSO is partially corrected for then there is warming in the past 15 years with over 95% significance.

    Phil Jones was asked a statistical question about the face-value of the numbers. If he had been asked whether the world had warmed since 1995, he would have said yes. Yes is the right answer.

  • Comment number 37.

    John Marshall

    I fully agree with your comment at 34.

    I gather that a wall of shame has been put up on the web to display the worst excesses of the MSM. Only a day or two back the New York Times was talking of last ditch attempts to cool the reactors.

    This event has been difficult but represents the least of Japan's problems after this Earthquake.

    Balanced reporting suggest as you say that the system is under control. If, as seems likely, the Fukushima plant is recovered from such a major event without a major release of radio-activity - then Nuclear should never really be a worry in modern day UK.

    These reactors are 40 years old and more modern reactors do not need such critical cooling.

    I also receive no renumeration from anybody connected to the Nuclear Industry (- all donations excepted though!!!)

  • Comment number 38.

    Quake

    Well if your happy to clutch straws that fine.

    Phil Jones - Asked last year in an interview for the BBC.

    There has been no statistically significant warming since 1995?
    He said "But, there has not been a statistically significant cooling since 2001 either."

    I tend to listen to the horses mouth

    Asked Is the debate over? (science settled)

    He said "Well, some scientists just said that, I’m not sure why, and it’s not really over."

    I await your comment saying he never said that, which is your usual reply.

    I keep telling you that exit strategies are slowly being put into place.

  • Comment number 39.

    actually phil jones exact words were:

    "I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods."

    he also said:

    "I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity."

  • Comment number 40.

    Well I'll happily throw my hat in the ring as well. Thorium, is really our only option for large scale medium term power generation. I'm also not in the pay of any nuclear related vested interests....... Though, I am in the Lobby ;-)

    Though, I'm happy to endorse more use of tidal/wave power(The decision to cancel the Severn Barrage in favour of more wind power, rates as one of the more seminally stupid decisions ever made)... The sooner we show the door to the purveyors of wind turbines the better. Plus, the idea of sticking one on every house is also bordering on the insane..... not sure which bright spark suggested that in one of the previous posts, but it won't take too much googling for you to find out why that's not a good idea(and that's without the problems that it would cause for the national grid)!

    Other than that large scale solar furnaces can be useful power sources providing that your country is of a sunny disposition, there's geothermal power(providing you don't mind the odd small earthquake), osmotic power (look it up)..... the list is almost endless....... My only plea, to those of you of bright green persuasion is no more wind turbines..... Even a certain Mr Lovelock doesn't think that they are a good idea.

    We could also look at distributing the power that we've already got and the more terminally curious of you, may want to google DC super grids.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 41.

    Feetinthesnow @ #33 and #38

    "I had forgotten that a few ago you appeared to think I had dug ditches for a living."

    As you well know, I never suggested this! The point I have made repeatedly, though, is that your modus operandi appears totally at odds with the way trained scientists normally work!

    Your claims regarding Phil Jones are a case in point. If you're going to quote someone, it's incredibly important to use the original source rather than one which cherry-picks phrases to suit its arguments. This is the original source and Phil Jones' answer to question B is the relevant one:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8511670.stm

    This confirms that quake's quotation is correct. There is no way that this can be misconstrued as suggesting that there has been no warming. Phil Jones also correctly points out the importance of looking at a longer period when studying trends.

    The main reason I keep linking to the video from Alden Griffith is that it elegantly shows how cyclic variables such as ENSO and solar activity can totally mask a long term upward trend if you look at too short a period - EVEN WHEN YOU KNOW THE TREND IS THERE! In fact, the longer the period you look at the better. So why would anyone (especially a scientist) arbitrarily choose to study a short time period when there is an established long term upward trend........ unless they were trying to "hide" that upward trend?

    As I said in a previous post, it's just BAD SCIENCE.

    "Satellite measurements of the atmosphere read off the upper troposhere, not the oceans. CO2 absorbs quickly - I already stated in my earlier comment that the oceans absorb and redistribute heat on different time-scales. It is vastly more complex than any of the fudge-factored models allow (I know a fair bit about them as well Paul).

    The thermal inertia argument comes from CAGW central who are struggling to keep up with the real atmosphere (actually the other way around). The idea being to keep catastrophe off in the future somewhere so we don't notice that it isn't happening."

    Now you're in denial over sound empirical physics!

    Do you deny that during a La Nina event, with cold water at the surface of the Pacific, there is a net cooling of the atmosphere with a corresponding rise in the heat content of the oceans? The opposite is true during an El Nino event. In other words, the heat contents of the oceans and atmosphere are inextricably linked.

    So when an external forcing is applied to the atmosphere alone, making it slightly warmer, this causes an energy imbalance, leading to a warming of the oceans too. The problem is that the huge bulk and high specific heat capacity of the oceans makes them very slow to heat up, so the full warming effect only manifests itself after many years. This is NOT in doubt and it is estimated that if we were to stop emitting CO2 today, global temperatures would continue to rise a further 0.6 Celsius before stabilising. I put it to you that you are only denying this because it makes a mockery of one of your favourite arguments!

    Paul

  • Comment number 42.

    Thank you Paul and Quake

    Phil Jones also said "Natural forces could have caused some of the recent warming, but I’m 100% confident that the warming was due to carbon dioxide, even though I’ll admit that the natural forces thing is a bit outside my area of expertise."

    Allow me a paraphrase here - It was CO2 to blame, because I don't understand anything else that might have done it.

    Asked about the three last warming cycles 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998.

    “They are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other”.


    I am not denying anything about Atmosphere/Ocean interactions though I am a little concerned that your EMPIRICAL physics needs an estimate. The physics is not in question but your estimate might be.

    But your biggest gap is in providing an answer as to why all this has happened before without man-made CO2 and as Phil Jones says at exactly the same warming rate without any possible CO2 forcing.

    None of this disproves AGW gentlemen - it just proves that those who postulate this theory do so without a full grasp on the factors at play.

    It is known as one club golfing.

    As an aside - I watched the TV programme last week with Lenny Henry and Angela Rippon in the Kibera slums. If you want to spend £bn of my money spend in places like that, instead of asking me spend it on curbing a naturally occurring gas without which nothing grows.

  • Comment number 43.

    the gas might be naturally occuring and without it nothing grows, the issue though is this:
    http://www.actingtogether.co.uk/images/CO2graph.gif

  • Comment number 44.

    Feetinthesnow @ #42

    "Phil Jones also said "Natural forces could have caused some of the recent warming, but I’m 100% confident that the warming was due to carbon dioxide, even though I’ll admit that the natural forces thing is a bit outside my area of expertise.""

    Why have you placed in quotation marks something that Phil Jones didn't actually say? I thought only Christopher Monckton did such things! For the record, Jones did not mention CO2 once in the interview.

    In fact, even as a paraphrase, your quote is not accurate. Jones did indeed acknowledge the fact that natural forces are not part of his area of expertise. However, he is doing himself a disservice as he certainly knows a great deal more about the subject than you or I!

    Although he commented that natural influences could have CONTRIBUTED to the change over the period under question (1975-1998), he actually gave sound reasons why the 2 natural influences with the greatest capacity to affect global temperatures (the sun and volacanoes) would actually have had a COOLING effect if anything.

    Jones specifically stated that he was "100% confident that the climate has warmed." When it came to the question of whether the reason was anthropogenic he merely pointed to the evidence presented in IPCC AR4 from scientists who ARE experts in that area. Based on this he stated that "there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity."

    All of this may seem like nitpicking to you, but it IS important because by "paraphrasing" Jones' comments you have subtly changed their meaning - something I see all the time in the sceptic blogs.

    So this sentence is a gross misrepresentation of what Jones was saying:

    "It was CO2 to blame, because I don't understand anything else that might have done it."

    On the contrary, the scientific community are highly confident that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are primarily responsible for recent warming because they have looked in great detail at all of the other options and ruled them out.

    "Asked about the three last warming cycles 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998.

    “They are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other”."

    In fact, I don't think Jones really did justice to question A, as a look at ALL of the available data (bearing in mind that HADCRUT ignores the Arctic) shows a different story, with the most recent period showing a substantially faster rate of warming:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Monckton-Myth-2-Temperature-records-trends-El-Nino.html

    ........ and this despite the fact that during earlier warming periods, solar TSI was increasing and can explain most of the warming.

    "I am not denying anything about Atmosphere/Ocean interactions though I am a little concerned that your EMPIRICAL physics needs an estimate. The physics is not in question but your estimate might be."

    It's not MY estimate, it's the IPCC's.

    "But your biggest gap is in providing an answer as to why all this has happened before without man-made CO2 and as Phil Jones says at exactly the same warming rate without any possible CO2 forcing.

    None of this disproves AGW gentlemen - it just proves that those who postulate this theory do so without a full grasp on the factors at play."

    I believe that I've covered this above - recent warming has indeed been faster whilst the earlier periods of warming can be explained largely by changes in TSI (as represented by sunspot numbers) - recent warming can not.

    The bottom line is that the scientists have a far better handle on the variables than you give them credit for.

    Paul

  • Comment number 45.

    @Paul Briscoe #31

    This is a discussion about science and as such our opinions are irrelevant - it is the FACTS that count.

    Agreed

    So quake has correctly pointed you to an article which presents the facts with links back to the original sources..... ie. the way a real scientist would approach it.

    And I have also provided a link back to the original source with links to the original article .... i.e. the way a real scientist would approach it.

    The real facts Paul, as borne out by the data, is Hansen's predictions have been proven wrong. His paper stated 3 scenarios, none of which are correct and at best are at least 30% higher than reality. That is not good science, is it?

    I see Quake doesn't know enough to explain himself, but blindly follows the religion

    /Mango

    I don't deny climate change, I know climate changes

  • Comment number 46.

    Paul - I just love it.

    Now you are even saying Poor old Phil Jones wouldn't mention CO2. It is a direct quote from a BBC interview. That's why its in "".

    The litany of failed predictions grows everyday. The AGW theory (especially in its GAGW incarnation) will slowly wither on the vine.

    You seem to like empirical data Paul - so do I. There is little of it to support the AGW theory. I mean proper empirical data not models. And there isn't any that supports the models.

    As we have agreed before - we will have to agree to disagree Paul.

  • Comment number 47.

    Quake @#43

    And your point was?

    There is no evidence that atmospheric temps are sensitive to CO2. In fact the opposite has been the case many times in the past.

    Over Earth's history the levels of CO2 have been 20 times higher than they are today and there is the no evidence of a runaway GH Effect, but the Earth went into an ice age while CO2 was several times higher than today.

    The climate is dominated by the water cycle and not the carbon cycle and probably changes in the solar output that we don't fully understand.

    The climate models have not been able to model the warming and cooling of the past and only produce the answers they do for the future by forcings that don't appear to be natural up to now. Models with poor skill don't impress.

    We just see it different ways - that's the way it is.

  • Comment number 48.

    Mango @ #45

    "And I have also provided a link back to the original source with links to the original article .... i.e. the way a real scientist would approach it."

    I don't dispute this at all. The point I was making was that you were asking quake for his OPINION when it is the facts that count.

    "The real facts Paul, as borne out by the data, is Hansen's predictions have been proven wrong. His paper stated 3 scenarios, none of which are correct and at best are at least 30% higher than reality. That is not good science, is it?"

    Nobody disputes that the Hansen projections proved to be wrong, but the article at Skeptical Science provides the important additional CONTEXT that you appear to have ignored. This is NOT about point scoring or face saving. Rather it is about the way science progresses. Scientists learn by testing hypotheses and an experiment that fails frequently tells you just as much as one that succeeds.

    If you want to score points, ridiculing Hansen's first ever attempt at computer-based projections and baldy stating that they were wrong, you learn nothing. However, if you use the proper scientific approach, considering WHY they were wrong, the message that comes out of it is very different. In this case the model itself was very effective once programmed with the correct greenhouse gas levels and modern estimate of climate sensitivity. This bodes well for the models being used today.

    In other words, the sceptics are simply out to prove the scientists wrong, which achieves nothing (unless your only goal is negative propaganda). Meanwhile the scientists themselves are well aware of the uncertainties in their work and adapt and learn based on what has gone before.

    Are you REALLY only interested in proving Hansen's old projections wrong, Mango?!

    Paul

  • Comment number 49.

    Feetinthesnow @ #46

    "Now you are even saying Poor old Phil Jones wouldn't mention CO2. It is a direct quote from a BBC interview."

    Not according to the transcript I've seen. Please point out where Phil Jones actually said what you claim.

    Prof Jones actually chose his words VERY carefully and unless you have seen another BBC interview with him, you are misquoting him. I have explained above why the words you are attributing to him are subtly different from what he actually said.

    "The litany of failed predictions grows everyday. The AGW theory (especially in its GAGW incarnation) will slowly wither on the vine.

    You seem to like empirical data Paul - so do I. There is little of it to support the AGW theory. I mean proper empirical data not models. And there isn't any that supports the models."

    If I could see any convincing evidence that you have actually READ the scientific literature you ridicule, your arguments might have a little more credibility. If you HAD read the literature you would know that much of what you claim is completely false.

    For the record, the science underpinning AGW does NOT rely on models (although there is nothing inherently wrong with using models to increase the amount of number crunching that is possible) and is heavily supported by empirical physics. The reason why you do not appreciate this is that the empirical science undermines the arguments used by the pseudo-scientific sources you rely on......... so your sources quietly brush it away under the carpet and pretend it isn't there!!

    Paul

  • Comment number 50.

    Feetinthesnow @ #47

    Yet again you are simply proving that you are ignorant of the scientific literature. The following video explains where you're going wrong:

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

    The scientific papers cited are listed in the information.

    Paul

  • Comment number 51.

    Here are the facts on UK electricity generation:
    http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp.php
    (towards the page bottom)

    Gas 38%
    Coal 35%
    Nuclear 22%
    Wind is 3.3%
    Hydro 0.9%

    You can forget wind and hydro and solar cells. And tidal is a non-starter as well (think about the 4 periods during the day called 'slack water' when tidal flow is nearly zero).

    If you want to reduce CO2 then nuclear is the only option.

    Don't forget that some of the constraints are the laws of physics - but ogthers are arbitrary man-made problems like the EU regulations or optimistic targets that politicians have invented.

    Carbon sequestration is also a non-runner: the only commercial-scale trial planned in Norway was abandoned after toxic chemicals leaked from the plant.

  • Comment number 52.

    @Paul Bristoe #48

    Are you REALLY only interested in proving Hansen's old projections wrong, Mango?!

    Now, now, Paul, put your claws away.

    Of course it matters, Paul. The current anomaly is running closer to Scenario C - that's Hansen's projection for emissions pegged at 2000 levels. What conclusion should we draw from that?

    Nobody disputes that the Hansen projections proved to be wrong

    Clearly Quake thinks they were correct

    /Mango

    I don't deny climate change, I know climate changes

  • Comment number 53.

    @ Paul #48

    bit wary to dip into this argument again but i have to pick you up on this:

    "the sceptics are simply out to prove the scientists wrong"

    There is nothing wrong with this in scientific research- it's healthy and promotes good work. In fact i spend half my life (sucessfuly) defending my work against clients. If you cannot defend your work against hostile analysis, then your work is not worth a fig.

    Also- @blunderbunny- i wouldn't write of tidal just yet- lets see how the new indian plant does first.

  • Comment number 54.

    @LabMunkey #53

    Draw a sine wave to represent tidal speed. Now tell us how to generate power when it goes through zero 4 times per day.

  • Comment number 55.

    @54 i am aware of the difficulties- which why i said 'let's see how the new indian plant does first'....

  • Comment number 56.

    "Clearly Quake thinks they were correct"

    No they weren't correct, it turns out that 3C per doubling of CO2 fits the data better than the 4C per doubling that Hansen predicted with.

    But what I don't get is how 3C per doubling means AGW is wrong.

    It's a bit like a speeding driver. The police initially thought the equipment measured him at 70mph in a 30mph limit. Subsequent analysis shows he was actually travelling 60mph. "The police were wrong!" shout the man's supporters.

  • Comment number 57.

    @ 56. Quake

    it matters hugely as we're trying to identify a (potentially) small anthropogenic signal ontop of a natural one (as the world was already warming prior to industrial co2 levels rose).

    Therefore an error of 25% (from 4 to 3 C) is very significant.

  • Comment number 58.

    "47. At 10:47pm on 21 Mar 2011, Feetinthesnow wrote:
    There is no evidence that atmospheric temps are sensitive to CO2. In fact the opposite has been the case many times in the past."

    There is a plethora of evidence that atmospheric temps are sensitive to CO2. CO2 makes up a significant amount of the greenhouse effect (2nd largest contributor behind water vapor) which elevates atmospheric temps. The big bite in Earth emission spectrum at the wavelengths absorbed by CO2 implies CO2 has a significant effect on atmospheric temperature. And radiative transfer models calculate a 3.7wm-2 forcing from doubled CO2, a significant imbalance. There is also GCM evidence that atmospheric temperatures are sensitive to CO2, and evidence based on past climate changes. Even simple calculations done by scientists over 100 years ago found that atmospheric temps are sensitive to CO2.

    When you say no evidence surely you mean no proof. Perhaps you don't find the evidence conclusive, but when we are deciding whether to go ahead with this...

    http://www.actingtogether.co.uk/images/CO2graph.gif

    ..why should we need conclusive proof that CO2 causes disaster, rather than be demanding evidence that such a CO2 rise is safe?

    Factoring in both the magnitude and rate of change, there is no known parallel in Earth's entire history for the changes we are making to the atmosphere today. There's a big difference between doubling CO2 over millions of years and doing it in just 200 years.

  • Comment number 59.

    Mango @ #52

    "Of course it matters, Paul. The current anomaly is running closer to Scenario C - that's Hansen's projection for emissions pegged at 2000 levels. What conclusion should we draw from that?"

    I think you're missing the point I'm making. I'm not saying it isn't SIGNIFICANT that Hansen's projections proved too high - far from it. What matters, though, is that it is known WHY they were too high, meaning that the same model run with a modern estimate of climate sensitivity would have fared much better.

    Of course, the scientists cannot hope to precisely predict how greenhouse gases will rise in the future, as this is dependent on policy, economic factors etc., but modelling the likely impact of different scenarios does at least give policy makers something to work with.

    Paul

  • Comment number 60.

    LabMunkey @ #53

    "There is nothing wrong with this in scientific research- it's healthy and promotes good work. In fact i spend half my life (sucessfuly) defending my work against clients. If you cannot defend your work against hostile analysis, then your work is not worth a fig."

    Genuine scepticism is indeed a positive trait in a scientist. Equally though, a truly objective scientist, committed to furthering scientific knowledge, criticises others' work in a CONSTRUCTIVE way, considering the positive as well as the negative aspects. As I stated above, you can frequently learn just as much about science from experiments that fail as you can from those that succeed.

    However, there is nothing constructive about the way the so-called "sceptics" attack the science of AGW. Instead it's all about highlighting any flaws whilst quietly ignoring the huge volume of evidence supporting the consensus view. That's not scepticism, it is denialism.

    As quake pointed out, what Hansen's 1980's models actually confirmed is that climate sensitivity is likely to be around 3 Celsius - well above the unrealistically low value claimed by Lndzen. I don't see the GWPF, Steve Goddard, WUWT and co. highlighting that!

    Paul

  • Comment number 61.

    @Labmunkey and Jack Hughes

    Whilst Tidal power is not a constant, it is predictable and therefore it slots quite nicely into the national grid. With regards to Severn Barrage itself it could have produced 5% of the UK's power requirements on it's own.....

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 62.

    I was sat looking at some wind turbines today, which I think add to the land scape. I was wondering if they could give them telescopic fins, that could be made longer or shorter dependent on the wind speed. So that they could be used more often and be made more efficient.

  • Comment number 63.

    timawells@62
    Finally, an area in which I am qualified to speak!
    If you think turbines add to the landscape you must live in a god-awful, ugly place. In assessing visual impact you assume we are all born equal and that beauty is simply in the eye of the beholder - tosh!
    Think of it this way. One turbine can contrast with the landscape and create an uneasy, yet stimulating experience. It's 'out of place-ness' can, under the right circumstances add to the vista. Two turbines however, are unbalanced. They neither start nor stop, point or lead the eye in any direction. Three, works much better - visualise it.
    Over three and you're verging on industrialisation.
    One car can be beautiful - twenty is a car park. One mona lisa can be enigmatic - twenty is cheap print shop.
    Wind turbines are a good idea that don't really work once you've looked into it. They may have some use in remote areas where grid connection is expensive and can be backed up by small thermal generators. Other than that they are a complete waste of money. The wrong technology in the wrong place, like trying to power your house on AAA batteries.
    Nuclear is the only serious option for the future and we'll all have to get used to that, no matter where we stand on CO2 emissions.

  • Comment number 64.

  • Comment number 65.

    @Quake and Paul Briscoe

    "As quake pointed out, what Hansen's 1980's models actually confirmed is that climate sensitivity is likely to be around 3 Celsius"

    Sorry, but that is simply untrue. Hansen's figres and models, even his very lowest estimate was quite plainly wrong.... And you've then got the cheek to criticize Lindzen, who actually went and measured stuff.....

    I quite simply dispair, you're bordering on delusional.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 66.

    The DOE chief scientific advisor, Professor Bob Watson of the CRU appeared on BBC R4 "Today" programme this morning, in advance of a speech he is to make tomorrow about how to convince people that there really is a threat from "climate change".

    During the broadcast, he used the term "climate denier" two times, and I wondered if this was accidental or a deliberate attempt to associate sceptics with "holocaust deniers" in the public mind.

    While he did admit that "climategate" had raised doubts in the minds of the public as to whether the scientific community was being honest and telling the truth about climate change, he said it was important to convince the public that "climate change" was real and probably man made.

    He said he thought that many people believed scientists when they said that "climate change" could have serious consequences, but when we get cold winters and heavy snow, such as that experienced in December, but that the scientific community had to explain the difference between variable weather and the long-term effects of human activities on the climate. So we seem to be back to the "if it's hot it's climate change, if it's cold it's weather" argument.

    He also said "the average person is confused, if they see me debating on television, quite often there's a sceptic or a climate denier, so they see two points of view".
    It sounded like he was advocating removing the sceptical viewpoint entirely, to allow scientists to get across the scientific evidence more clearly.

    Obviously this is the start of a new propaganda campaign to try and swing the balance back in favour of the theory of "climate change". I am not sure, however,
    that using terms such as "climate deniers", and browbeating us with the "evidence", will work any more this time than it did in the past.

    The interview on "Today" can still be heard on the BBC website, at about 07:51.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zm4wy

    Can't wait for the speech.

  • Comment number 67.

    #65 - blunderbunny wrote:
    "Sorry, but that is simply untrue. Hansen's figres and models, even his very lowest estimate was quite plainly wrong.... And you've then got the cheek to criticize Lindzen, who actually went and measured stuff....."
    Don't forget, it's not that the models were wrong, just that the assumptions made were incorrect!
    In case it's not clear, I am being ironic.


  • Comment number 68.

    blunderbunny @ #65

    "Sorry, but that is simply untrue."

    No it isn't! As I stated above, the fact that the projections proved to be incorrect does NOT mean that nothing can be learned from them. Determining climate sensitivity may not have been one of the original aims of Hansen's early modelling work, but it is one of the positive outcomes.

    Hansen's "B" scenario proved closest to actual greenhouse gas forcing and using this plus a modern estimate of climate sensitivity (3 Celsius), Hansen's model accurately projects the temperature trend:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-1988-prediction-advanced.htm

    Where does the 3 Celsius figure come from? Figure 4 in the following article (reproduced from Knutti and Hergerl (2008)) summarises all of the many studies which have estimated climate sensitivity:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity-advanced.htm

    You will note that the estimates are NOT, as so often claimed by sceptics, all based on models (not that it should really matter!). The bulk of the studies are in broad agreement that climate sensitivity lies in the range 2 to 4.5 Celsius, meaning that the actual figure is most likely to be around or just over 3 Celsius.

    There are, of course, one or two "outliers". There are a couple of studies which found very high climate sensitivity (around 10 Celsius), but of course it would be entirely bogus to claim that the figure is so high when the bulk of the studies are in broad agreement on a much lower figure. Equally, there is one study which comes up with a very low figure, but it would obviously be equally bogus to accept that ahead of the far greater number of higher ones..... now I wonder whose figure that low one could be?!

    Setting aside for a moment the fact that Lindzen's figure is so much lower than anyone else's, there are several other reasons why it should be considered unreliable.

    First of all, Lindzen based his claim on a study of the tropics alone, even though this is clearly not representative of the planet as a whole. Subsequent work by others also revealed that Lindzen's claim for low sensitivity was heavily dependent on the start and end points of the studies.

    Ultimately though, Lindzen's claim is based on the hypothesis that clouds exert a strong negative feedback - ie. warming causes a build up of low-level cloud, increasing albedo and hence offsetting the warming. There are several problems with this:

    Over the past 20 years cloud cover has actually FALLEN slightly as global temperatures have risen.

    Clouds have a positive feedback effect too, as they also reflect heat back to Earth (the reason why cloudy nights tend to be warmer than cloud-free ones). Recent studies indicate that if anything the NET effect of clouds is likely to be a slight positive feedback.

    Paleoclimate studies have revealed times in the past when there has been a sudden increase in CO2 (almost certainly due to mega-volcanic activity), with an associated large rise in global temperature and mass extinction from the fossil records. This could not have happened if clouds exerted a strong negative feedback and climate sensitivity was low.

    So the bottom line is that Lindzen was clearly incorrect. Meanwhile Hansen, through his 1980's models, has inadvertently provided yet more evidence that climate sensitivity is as high as the IPCC claim.

    "I quite simply dispair, you're bordering on delusional."

    It strikes me that you are simply too eager to dismiss anything from the AGW scientists which isn't quite perfect whilst uncritically accepting the flawed work of one man whose claims happen to fit in with your beliefs!

    Paul

  • Comment number 69.

    QV @ #66

    I will be interested to see how Bob Watson's speech is reported.

    I must, though, pick you up on one point:

    "......that the scientific community had to explain the difference between variable weather and the long-term effects of human activities on the climate. So we seem to be back to the "if it's hot it's climate change, if it's cold it's weather" argument."

    That is neither fair nor justified. The scientific community has never, to my knowledge, claimed that hot weather events are a direct consequence of climate change. Rather, I think such claims stem primarily from misconceptions within the media.

    I posted a link to this on a previous thread, but it is certainly relevant in the context of your comments:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaKQCY5ybMY

    Paul

  • Comment number 70.

    Re#68 Paul Briscoe

    Ah.... still here I see Paul, and still linking to scepticalscience ad nauseam..... why don't you read the link posted by brossen99 @64 and see what a real scientist has to say

    http://activistteacher.blogspot.com/2011/03/on-gargantuan-lie-of-climate-change.html

  • Comment number 71.

    Sparklet @ #70

    I gave up reading Denis Rancourt's article pretty quickly, as the first few paragraphs were so riddled with basic errors that it didn't warrant further consideration!

    For example, he claims that 50% of human CO2 emissions are unaccounted for........ he has forgotten about the OCEANS (although he mentions CO2 in the oceans later in a different context)! Then he goes on to make the basic schoolboy error of pronouncing that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are negligible alongside the natural carbon cycle......... forgetting that the latter is in balance and cannot remove the extra added by Man. He is even in denial about the greenhouse effect, claiming that it is "hotly debated by planetary physicists"......... yet it is accepted by sceptic and pro AGW scientists alike (as well as every major scientific body around the World).

    Prof Rancourt may have been a scientist of some repute in his own field (not AGW) in the past, but this article is certainly not worthy of a university professor......... although it seems that he has fallen out with his institution:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_Rancourt

    Paul

  • Comment number 72.

    Denis Rancourt is not alone. There are a lot of scientists out there who are not climate experts but wade into the subject anyway and proceed to make really bad arguments. The bulk of skeptic lists of scientists are made up of such individuals.

    To argue that human CO2 emissions are somehow too insignificant to matter, Denis Rancourt argues:

    "The present (2010) global rate of CO2 production from fossil fuel burning is approximately equal to the present global rate of CO2 production from anthropogenic animal breathing [8]"

    This is a very odd line of thought. Wouldn't it have been better to address the actual positive evidence that the recent CO2 rise is caused by human emissions. Things like this:
    http://www.elmhurst.edu/%7Echm/vchembook/images/lawdome.GIF

    What is his explanation for that sudden lurch upwards in CO2 if it isn't human emissions?

    As for his CO2 production from anthropogenic animal breathing argument, it's a schoolboy error. The carbon in the CO2 we breathe out comes from the plants we eat and that carbon was taken out of the atmosphere by those plants, perhaps as little as a year earlier. So when we breathe out, we are just putting back CO2 that was only recently taken out of the atmosphere. The carbon in fossil fuels though is locked away outside the cycle. That's why suddenly introducing it can raise atmospheric CO2 levels.

    Even more ridiculously he later compares the heat emitted when fossil fuels are burnt with the energy coming from the Sun, as if global warming has anything to do with heat generated from burning oil.

  • Comment number 73.

    @ Paul # 60

    "criticises others' work in a CONSTRUCTIVE way"
    True, when the scientist being criticiesed is open, honest and shares their data and methodology freely.

    When they do not they project the image of one with something to hide and then gain extra, very harsh scrutiny.

    Think of a typical audit; hard work and intimidating at times yes- but fair, open and balanced. Try to hide something from one though and you're in a world of hurt. Such as climate science finds itself now. Lets not forget that the majority of the skeptical arguemnts stemmed from attempts to hide and obfuscate data / methods (the 'proper' skeptical questions-not the tin-foil hat lot).

    "Instead it's all about highlighting any flaws whilst quietly ignoring the huge volume of evidence supporting the consensus view"

    Tiny flaws are often very significant- especially when they pertain to the data that the whole edifice is supposedly built on. You should know that full-well being a scientist. Similarly, you should know that in science a consensus means Jack. Paul- you're arguments are usually FAR better than this.

    Also, you're being deliberatly misleading if you think there are only tiny flaws in the theory.

  • Comment number 74.

    @ paul #68

    I agree that his hansens scenario 'B' is MUCH closer to the observed trends than the 'touted' failed prediction. It certainly has a believable fit (despite the subtle differences), though i am still unclear to just WHAT it is he is modelling.

    Correct me if i'm wrong, but these models all rest on the assumption that there are no natural drivers at play (an erroneous one at that- not that there aren't/are natural factors at play- but that we KNOW either way), allowing the sensitivity wrt C02 (though of course including other factors) to be implied.

    Taking that into account, here's a few questions:

    1- how do we discern the co2 sensitivty from the FULL sensitivity (to use a poor term) for the planet? To say we have a climate sensitivty of 3C is to take into account ALL the forcings (as your links state)- it doesn't attribute the actual co2 forcings though- so how do we get that?

    2- if we cannot rule out natural variation (given the level of uncertainty specifically over the reconstructions i think you'd be hard pushed to argue this), again, how do you assign the sensitivity to co2.

    Given the above- how is co2 a problem again given this data?

    additionally:
    "There are, of course, one or two "outliers". There are a couple of studies which found very high climate sensitivity (around 10 Celsius), but of course it would be entirely bogus to claim that the figure is so high when the bulk of the studies are in broad agreement on a much lower figure. Equally, there is one study which comes up with a very low figure, but it would obviously be equally bogus to accept that ahead of the far greater number of higher ones..... now I wonder whose figure that low one could be?!"
    ---Dismissing a figure that is 3 times higher than the 'average' is not the same as dismissing one that is ~ half as small (+/- 2x SD mate)

    "Over the past 20 years cloud cover has actually FALLEN slightly as global temperatures have risen"
    --the problem with this statement is that it assumes internal control of cloud cover- GCR research shows this not to be the case. Flawed example imo.

    "Paleoclimate studies have revealed times in the past when there has been a sudden increase in CO2 (almost certainly due to mega-volcanic activity), with an associated large rise in global temperature and mass extinction from the fossil records. This could not have happened if clouds exerted a strong negative feedback and climate sensitivity was low"
    --Depends on the cloud composition. Add significant amounts of sulphur and ash to the clouds and you have a completely different dynamic. Again, you should know that.

  • Comment number 75.

    @Paul Briscoe

    "It strikes me that you are simply too eager to dismiss anything from the AGW scientists which isn't quite perfect whilst uncritically accepting the flawed work of one man whose claims happen to fit in with your beliefs!"

    That's an Interesting point. So, Lindzens work was 1) Peer-reviewed, which I know you're keen on ;-) and 2) The Result of Direct Measurements

    I fail to see where the word "Belief" becomes applicable

    Hansen's work on the other hand was 1) Speculative 2) Based on Assumptions 3) Modelled 4) Wrong..... In all cases !!! 5) Alarmist 6) and just for extra emphasis.... Wrong !!!

    Yep, you've really got me there..... It's clear that I'm the believer in this discussion and that this is really clouding my judgement....

    Seriously, mate. You should pick your battles, defending Hansen is always going to be a difficult job and conflating that with an attack on Lindzen is just making it worse.

    When you peel everything away and ignore the poor scientific practices the debate really all comes down to signal to noise ratio and C02 sensitivity. Currently, there's little evidence that your lot 1) understand the former and 2) have any actual proof of the latter being high.

    Sort those things out and we can all go off and be happy little scientists....

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 76.

    LabMunkey @ #73

    "True, when the scientist being criticiesed is open, honest and shares their data and methodology freely."

    We're discussing here the way scientists interact with other scientists (as opposed to those whose only aim is to undermine the science). In the context of the scientific community even CRU openly shared their methods and data.

    "When they do not they project the image of one with something to hide and then gain extra, very harsh scrutiny."

    I don't want to get dragged back into Climategate again. All I will say is that the scientists in question clearly felt very aggrieved at the tactics of those attacking them and reacted accordingly. It is also clear that attempts are being made to get all data freely available (the vast majority of it already is).

    "Lets not forget that the majority of the skeptical arguemnts stemmed from attempts to hide and obfuscate data / methods (the 'proper' skeptical questions-not the tin-foil hat lot)."

    I don't agree with that at all. The majority of arguments employed by sceptics pre-date Climategate by many years. Indeed many of them are the same ones that were used by the Global Climate Coalition back in the 1990's. Meanwhile the sceptic arguments used by real scientists relate to climate sensitivity, feedbacks and the like - these have nothing to do with data availability.

    "Tiny flaws are often very significant- especially when they pertain to the data that the whole edifice is supposedly built on."

    That would a fair point if they were flaws in the true sense of the word. However, what the sceptics point to as "flaws" are in fact just a normal part of the scientific process. Do you not think there have been "teething problems" with models used in other fields? Of course there have, indeed there always are.

    The problem here is that the sceptics have arbitrarily placed unrealistic expectations on the early climate models....... as though they are utterly useless and should be discarded if they don't work correctly straight away. This is utter nonsense and isn't how science works in the real world.

    "Similarly, you should know that in science a consensus means Jack."

    I couldn't disagree more! Consensus certainly doesn't PROVE a particular line of science. However, when the level of consensus has grown steadily (as in this case) as the volume of evidence has grown, when only around 3% of those actively researching the field still doubt the consensus view (and when those individuals' arguments are clearly seriously flawed) and when most of those still attacking the science clearly have no expertise in the field and are not using sound science to back up their claims, it's time to accept that the consensus view is correct.

    "Also, you're being deliberatly misleading if you think there are only tiny flaws in the theory."

    It all depends on what you mean by flaws, doesn't it? You give the impression that there are major holes in AGW science - there are not! Ultimately, it comes down to the "settled science" argument, dealt with very effectively by Gavin Schmidt here:

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

    I also think the following letter from David Mackay lays out my understanding of the science very clearly:

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

    Paul

  • Comment number 77.

    LabMunkey @ #74

    I don't claim to be an expert on modelling and the best source I have seen is a couple of FAQ articles by Gavin Schmidt (who certainly IS an expert):

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/faq-on-climate-models/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/01/faq-on-climate-models-part-ii/

    Clearly, the idea of the models is to get as close as possible to modelling the climate of the real world. Based on what Schmidt said in the articles above, natural factors do indeed seem to be built in, but the models clearly cannot allow for them behaving in unexpected ways (eg. if the sun fell into a new "Maunder" type minimum or if there was a sudden increase in volcanic activity).

    Regarding your questions, I think the scientists have a far better handle on the different processes and their effects than you give them credit for. Also, the basic forcing due to CO2 is well established (even Spencer, Lindzen and Christy appear to agree on it), so we are actually discussing FEEDBACKS rather than forcings with respect to climate sensitivity. So, as long as other forcings do not come into play during the period under study, the response of the climate must by definition the combined affect of the greenhouse forcing (which is known) and the net effect of all the feedbacks.

    Obviously, if other forcings DO unexpectedly come into play, that will obviously result projections being wrong, but the scientists are able to measure such things, so they can make adjustments to allow for them.

    I confess that as recently as a year ago, I had exactly the same reservations regarding the models that you appear to have. However, I eventually realised that I was missing the point - the scientists are NOT claiming that the models will precisely predict future climate. After all, even if the models were perfect representations of the climate system, accurate predictions would still rely on knowing exactly how fast greenhouse gases will rise (which the scientists have no control over) and no unexpected changes in other forcings (eg solar or volcanic). So instead, the scientists apply their models to pre-agreed scenarios to give policy makers some idea of what to expect. The wide confidence limits on the central projection reflects the uncertainties.

    "Dismissing a figure that is 3 times higher than the 'average' is not the same as dismissing one that is ~ half as small (+/- 2x SD mate)"

    With respect, there are TWO outliers suggesting a figure 3 times the mean and just one suggesting a figure of less than a third (I think Lindzen's figure was actually 0.8 Celsius). Either way, it would be folly to accept any of these outliers as more reliable than the central figure of 3!

    ""Over the past 20 years cloud cover has actually FALLEN slightly as global temperatures have risen"
    --the problem with this statement is that it assumes internal control of cloud cover- GCR research shows this not to be the case. Flawed example imo."

    I wasn't making any sort of comment regarding the CAUSE of the fall in cloud cover. I was merely pointing out that Lindzen's (and Spencer's) claim for low climate sensitivity is dependent on an INCREASE in cloud cover with warming - in fact cloud cover has fallen.

    "Depends on the cloud composition. Add significant amounts of sulphur and ash to the clouds and you have a completely different dynamic. Again, you should know that."

    Yes, but as you should know, sulphur and ash are only temporary phenomena. They are also known to reduce global temperatures, yet temperatures were not pegged back, meaning that even the combined effects of clouds, sulphur and ash were not sufficient to counteract the warming effect of greenhouse gases.

    Paul

  • Comment number 78.

    blunderbunny @ #75

    "That's an Interesting point. So, Lindzens work was 1) Peer-reviewed, which I know you're keen on ;-) and 2) The Result of Direct Measurements"

    Direct measurements are only reliable if the assumptions used in the study are correct. In the case of Lindzen's work, he incorrectly assumed that the tropics were a completely "closed" system - clearly they are not. He also incorrectly assumed that it was possible to accurately measure climate sensitivity due to a long-term forcing from CO2 using a short-term change due to El Nino - this is wrong because it makes no allowance for the much slower warming of the oceans. Add to that the fact that Lindzen selected start and finish points which "proved" his theory and you get a picture of a massively flawed study. It may have passed peer-review on the basis of being an interesting study, but as a means of calculating climate sensitivity it was meaningless.

    "Hansen's work on the other hand was 1) Speculative 2) Based on Assumptions 3) Modelled 4) Wrong..... In all cases !!! 5) Alarmist 6) and just for extra emphasis.... Wrong !!!"

    First of all, let's remember that Hansen's work was described in a peer-reviewed paper which clearly described the assumptions made (and why). It was based on the state of scientific knowledge at that time. You obviously work on the assumption that models are just worthless, but I have clearly laid out above why I totally disagree with you. Hansen's was an entirely valid and valuable first step towards the more sophisticated models used today. Bearing in mind the points made by quake and myself above, it also proved extremely valuable for the wider scientific community. So your bald dismissal of it as a complete failure is just plain silly.

    I think your post actually tells us a lot more about your attitude (a lack of objectivity) than it does about the science. If you were genuinely interested in progressing the science, you would not simply be ridiculing Hansen's work. Instead, as a scientist, you would be trying to understand WHY his projections failed - in other words, your attitude is anything but constructive.

    "Seriously, mate. You should pick your battles, defending Hansen is always going to be a difficult job and conflating that with an attack on Lindzen is just making it worse."

    I disagree. Hansen's projections may have proved wrong, but his work was based on sound science and benefitted the scientific community. Lindzen's work was not based on sound science!

    "When you peel everything away and ignore the poor scientific practices the debate really all comes down to signal to noise ratio and C02 sensitivity. Currently, there's little evidence that your lot 1) understand the former and 2) have any actual proof of the latter being high."

    The Skeptical Science climate sensitivity article I linked to above makes a mockery of your claims.

    Paul

  • Comment number 79.

    Paul Briscoe @#78

    "I think your post actually tells us a lot more about your attitude (a lack of objectivity) than it does about the science. If you were genuinely interested in progressing the science, you would not simply be ridiculing Hansen's work. Instead, as a scientist, you would be trying to understand WHY his projections failed - in other words, your attitude is anything but constructive."

    I find that comment amazingly lacking in reality - we are talking here in Hansen of a man with an utterly closed mind. Even getting it totally wrong doesn't faze him at all. As it becomes more obvious that it ain't happening he becomes more strident and desperate. It ceased to be science a long time ago for James Hansen.

    I think most sceptical scientists (that's not denial remember) would meet him half-way but his language becomes more objectionable every day. Sceptical science is on the increase - and as Phil Jones says - the debate is not over.

  • Comment number 80.

    Feetinthesnow @ #79

    "we are talking here in Hansen of a man with an utterly closed mind."

    No, we are talking here about a man who knows an awful lot about climate science and who speaks his mind! If you really think that Hansen's early model projections were of no value then you, like blunderbunny, are simply missing the point.

    "Sceptical science is on the increase - and as Phil Jones says - the debate is not over."

    I think you're misinterpreting Phil Jones' comments. It comes back once again to the "settled science" I mentioned above (see the links at the bottom of post #76). The scientists' view of what the remaining debate is about appears to be very different to yours!

    Paul

  • Comment number 81.

    @Paul Briscoe

    First things first, I use and help develop models a lot.... they are very useful things, I wouldn't be able to do what I do without them... but that also means that I understand both their usefulness and their limitations with regards to representing complex and chaotic systems.

    So, much as we might use models, we also make use of physical experiments/observations(when allowed) as well.

    The models on their own are simply not enough, but they are cheaper/safer and easier to play with. Depending on the availability of the required runtime and capacity of the box, you can maybe approximate a reasonably constrained chaotic system, but they are, to re-iterate and put it as simply as I can, no substitute for actual observation ;-)

    They are also, very sensitive to starting conditions, parameter tweaks, boundary conditions and the number of degrees of freedom (coupled or otherwise) that are allowed within the system that's being modelled.

    You don't like Lindzen's work and I don't like Hansen's, so lets leave that there for the minute.

    If the points I was making in the post above were so easily subject to mockery, then the debate would truly be over and IPCC, the team et al would have already very happily delivered said information to the world at large.

    So, do you want to just take point 1) from the post above and explain how you've derived the signal to noise ratio, without using a model?

    I won't be holding my breath.

    If you think the current set of global climate models are sophisticated, beasties then I recommend a little trip over to Lucia's or Judith Curry's blogs.... failing that you could invest in a few mathematical modelling text books, then you could perhaps study computational fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics for a bit, then maybe we could talk about modelling.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 82.

    Talking of Thorium, some people might actually find this interesting:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928053.500-thorium-reactors-could-rescue-nuclear-power.html

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 83.

    @ paul # 76 and 77

    Right we'll get the combative stuff out of the way first :-)

    "In the context of the scientific community even CRU openly shared their methods and data"
    ---I disagree, as do many people who have tried to gain access to their data. As to do the 'courts' who ruled they broke FOI laws.

    "scientists in question clearly felt very aggrieved at the tactics of those attacking them and reacted accordingly"
    ---Not an excuse. They're proffesionals and should act as such- if not they're not fit to hold their positions.

    ""Lets not forget that the majority of the skeptical arguemnts stemmed from attempts to hide and obfuscate data / methods (the 'proper' skeptical questions-not the tin-foil hat lot)."

    I don't agree with that at all."
    ---I actually agree with YOU here- not sure why i put that there!

    "However, what the sceptics point to as "flaws" are in fact just a normal part of the scientific process. Do you not think there have been "teething problems" with models used in other fields? Of course there have, indeed there always are."
    --- I wouldn't agree with the first part, you don't present a theory as 'complete' and 'beyond reasonable doubt' or claim your conclusions have 'high probabilities' if you are still WORKING on the theory on such fundamental aspects.

    I'll cover the model bit in a second.

    "The problem here is that the sceptics have arbitrarily placed unrealistic expectations on the early climate models....... as though they are utterly useless and should be discarded if they don't work correctly straight away. This is utter nonsense and isn't how science works in the real world."

    UNfortunatley the models were used as 'evidence' that cAGW was real. They've also been used to produce data for subsequent models (which is frankly criminal).

    These models are what the majority of this 'scare' story are based on. they are unvalidated, un tested (to an engineering level) and are completely unreliable.

    You CANNOT compare climate models to models of other fields because of the massive inherant gaps in our knowledge over models.

    If STRONGLY suggest you look into model validation before you argue this point further, you're arguing from a point of ignorance here mate (with all kindness).

  • Comment number 84.

    @ paul continued :-/

    now the good stuff.

    Ok- so you're saying that the models are basically used as 'what if' scenarios and are not meant to actually reflect reality right?

    But then doesn't this pose an inherant danger that the models AREN'T actually modelling the climate, but only the programmers/climate scientists IDEA of the climate?

    If the models aren't validated against the real world (which they aren't), or fully validated and qualified (which they aren't), or include all the known forcings in a way that is reproducable and accurate (which they can't) how can we have ANY confidence in their results??

    Even taking into account the 'they're only a guide' line, a guide is only as useful as it's accuracy, and if the models have little to none, then surely the 'guides' are useless too?


    Re- co2 sensitivity. I think i get you now, the co2 forcing is implied from the direct laboratory measurements and it's the feedbacks that are infact the point of contention. I think i actually already knew that but got myself muddled in the asking, as it were.

    Then i guess my next question would be similar to blunders- if we can't identify all the forcings (+ve and -ve) we cannot ascribe a REAL WORLD affect to co2- i.e. the touted 'doubling' figures.

    As with blunderbunny, i'm used to engineering quality models and cGMP procedures- this is why i struggle to reconcile the climate science work.

  • Comment number 85.

    blunderbunny @ #84

    I get the impression that amateur sceptics think the science of AGW stands or falls on computer models. This is simply not the case. If you've read my other posts in detail you will note that I too was "bothered" by the models until fairly recently. However, that didn't stop me from accepting the underlying scientific consensus, which is based on sound observations and empirical physics.

    Have you read IPCC AR4 or the articles from Gavin Schmidt that I linked to? In this article, Gavin Schmidt even includes a section on how to prove that the models are wrong and discusses the signal to noise issue you mention:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/faq-on-climate-models/

    Taken from the discussion section, Schmidt states:

    "........ First, how well do we know the forcing into the future? We can't do a very good job at estimating the future trajectory of technology for instance, or economic development, and so regardless of how well we understand climate, our ability to predict exactly what will happen is limited. Secondly, we don't have full information about the current conditions, and so, like for weather forecasts, if there are aspects of climate change that are chaotic, we can't predict those over the long term. However, it is worth pointing out that the statement does not imply that we can't know anything about the climate system in the future. We know that if there is a big volcano, the climate will cool - and many aspects of the resulting changes will have been predictable. The same is true for increasing GHGs - the climate will warm. Models can't tell you exactly what will happen where, but there is a lot they can say."

    ...... but what's this? Climate scientists actually acknowledging that the models have shortcomings?! Well yes! Contrary to the impression given by the denial movement, they NEVER claimed otherwise.

    So Schmidt openly admits that the models are never likely to precisely predict future warming in response to GHG's. However, this doesn't mean that they are not useful and they do allow scientists to test lots of different conditions far more quickly than would otherwise be possible.

    As I stated above, the science itself does not rely on the models. Indeed, even climate sensitivity has been estimated without models, so the IPCC's ballpark figures of where temperatures are likely to be by the end of this century, based on the various scenarios, can all be arrived at without models.

    As for signal to noise ratio in the actual data, the fact that the warming trend over 30 years is significant at the 99.9% level, coupled with the empirical science and other observations, is more than sufficient to convince most scientists and pretty well every major scientific body around the World to accept the consensus view.

    Paul

  • Comment number 86.

    Paul

    "As for signal to noise ratio in the actual data, the fact that the warming trend over 30 years is significant at the 99.9% level, coupled with the empirical science and other observations, is more than sufficient to convince most scientists and pretty well every major scientific body around the World to accept the consensus view."

    The only problem with this assetion is that it is also wholly consistent with the null hypothesis.

  • Comment number 87.

    @LabMunkey

    That'll teach me to go and get some coffee..... Well said!

    It's apt to point out that the Team (Trenberth et al) are (not sure how to phrase this) let's just go with "Not keen on the Idea" of a Null Hypothesis ;-)

    Plus, Paul, it should also be pointed out that every attempt at direct measurement of climate sensitivity indicates that it's low. Only the inferred and modelled ones start to enter the IPCC's (C)AGW ranges ;-)

    Anyways, gotta get back to work, play nice

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 88.

    "every attempt at direct measurement of climate sensitivity indicates that it's low"

    Well no, here's one that found it high:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/an-even-cloudier-outlook-for-low-climate-sensitivity.html

  • Comment number 89.

    LabMunkey @ #83 and #84

    I have to go out, so I'll have to be brief.

    "I disagree, as do many people who have tried to gain access to their data. As to do the 'courts' who ruled they broke FOI laws."

    My recollection is that it was never established that UEA had in fact broken FOI law. It was intitially claimed but then retracted.

    "Not an excuse. They're proffesionals and should act as such- if not they're not fit to hold their positions."

    Personally, I think you're being unrealistic here. We are talking about human beings and your view pre-supposes that those attacking them were being entirely professional....... which they were not.

    Regarding the models, I'll simply refer you back to my points in my previous post. I think you're overstating the reliance of the scientists on the models....... and this is where I was going wrong too. They are simply being used as tools.

    Climate sensitivity is only estimated. It is an interaction of the basic greenhouse gas forcing (which appears to be widely accepted) and feedbacks, which are still disputed. However, based on the most recent research, climate sensitivity lies somewhere between 2 and 4.5 Celsius, which is a very wide range - so the "uncertainty" in the feedbacks is already built in to the IPCC's projections. It is entirely possible to use "back of the envelope" type calculations to project where future temperatures will lie with the different emissions scenarios. Models just make life easier and mean that some attempt can be made to break down climate sensitivity into its various constituent feedbacks.

    That Hansen's projections proved wrong has nothing to do with the fact that he used a model. Rather they were wrong because the scenarios were inaccurate (a problem which Schmidt openly acknowledged in the post I presented above) and the 1980's climate sensitivity figure was too high. So even if Hansen had not relied on a model for his 1980's projections, they would still have been too high.

    So this constant attack on climate science because of its use of models is frankly a red herring. The only real remaining issue is sorting out the various feedbacks, although confidence that the NET effect of all the feedbacks is strongly positive is now very high.

    "UNfortunatley the models were used as 'evidence' that cAGW was real."

    As stated above, the fact that the data presented was derived from a model is not actually the point. Based on scientific understanding at the time ANY attempt to project future temperatures would have been equally unsuccessful!

    "They've also been used to produce data for subsequent models (which is frankly criminal)."

    I don't agree with you here. You are coming at this from a background where tolerances are very fine. By the very nature of climate science, tolerances are never going to be fine and scientists are only ever going to achieve ball park figures for individual variables. It is in the weight of different studies that confidence starts to grow. This may seem like an alien concept to someone used to laboratory precision, but studies of real world dynamic systems require a completely different approach. Having studied such systems myself, I can assure you that the approach being used by the scientists is the right one - in fact it is the only one available.

    In the light of the above, using models to derive things from past data is NOT criminal, especially when you could do much the same thing long-hand by calculation. Remember, we're takling here about climate sensitivity being 3 Celsius plus or minus 50%! However, once you start to get a whole range of studies showing the same thing, confidence grows.

    "But then doesn't this pose an inherant danger that the models AREN'T actually modelling the climate, but only the programmers/climate scientists IDEA of the climate?"

    That's exactly what I'm saying! I think it's also what Gavin Schmidt was saying in his articles....... but again, it doesn't mean that the models have no value, because the scientists have a far better understanding of the climate system than most sceptics give them credit for.

    I think the real problem here is that you are used to models being used with precision, whereas climate scientists are using them in a completely different way to get to their ballpark figures - I'm quite sure that a confidence limit of plus or minus 50% would be unthinkable in your field, but it is the reality of AGW science.

    The point is that even if climate sensitivity is "only" 2 Celsius, it is still a serious cause for concern. However, it likely to be much higher than that..... which is why most scientists believe it is time to take action. Ultimately it doesn't actually matter if the scientists don't know the exact magnitude of each feedback, just as long as they know how each one operates and the net effect of them when they work together. This is where the confidence over the "doubling figure" comes from.

    Anyway, I've managed to take far longer than I should, so now I must stop!!!

    Paul

  • Comment number 90.

    Paul,
    You seem to be missing the point. ALL you have posted is STILL consistent with the null hypothesis.

    "My recollection is that it was never established that UEA had in fact broken FOI law. It was intitially claimed but then retracted"
    ---No it was established 100%- they just avoided prosecution due to a loophole. Hence they could not be charged and the issue was 'dropped'. The breach of that law is not in quesiton.

    "Personally, I think you're being unrealistic here. We are talking about human beings and your view pre-supposes that those attacking them were being entirely professional....... which they were not"
    --- hmmm. Most were- the 'fringe' nut jobs can always be dismissed, but there were MANY legitimate requests that were ignored and out right denied.

    I guess the difference between them and i is that i regard myself as a proffesional scientist and act accordingly with a high level of accountability in mind. They think they can get away with anything.


    Ok- on the models- you agree that they are 'guides' and not wholly representative, yet you've fallen into the trap of thinking more models giving you the same answer = more acuracy. It does not, all it shows is that the underlying assumptions (that co2 is a primary driver) are consistent- it says nothing on reliability of the results.

    You're giving the 'data' a false weighting due to the apparent agreement in the general spread- but when this spread is based on near identical assumptions (with wildly different 'fudge' factors to meet this assumptions dependant on the criteria used) this agreement actually doesn't tell us anything new. Other than the assumptions are consistent.

    You see the issue there? The models aren't actually telling you what you THINK they are, they are meerly confirming the similarity of the assumptions, nothing more.

    This is actually a large issue in science proper (even in industry) and great pains have to be taken to avoid this kind of confirmation bias (it slips in very easily and can be EXCEPTIONALLY hard to spot- believe me).

    "it doesn't mean that the models have no value, because the scientists have a far better understanding of the climate system than most sceptics give them credit for."
    ---i never claimed otherwise. They will know a lot of the mechanisms in very good detail, i have no doubt in that. However, this is an entirely different thing to saying they can model the situation accuratley.

    it takes ONE variable missing/out to make the entire set of models wrong. That's it.

    This is another reason why validation is SO SO important. Industry and engineering don't validate their models to hell and back for fun you know- they do it because of the inherant dangers of NOT doing so.

    I understand your general point, that given the inherant complexity and difficulty in modelling the climate that an engineering-level of accuracy is unrealistic. However, taking this into account you shouldn't just say, "oh well lets just use them as they are"- you SHOULD go "they're not good enough, let's stop making conclusions off them until they're better".

    As for the 50% + off the 3C target for sensitivity- this ASSUMES that the underlying mechanisms are understood and that the range ITSELF is accurate. the 50% accuracy is meaningless without understanding the underlying mechnisms. You could have an acuracy of 5%, but STILL be wrong.

    :-)

  • Comment number 91.

    @Quake

    Sorry no prizes for that one, mate, as Dessler's work counts as "inferred" from microwave satellite data.

    It's not a direct measurement :-(

    What will you do, as that one came off the advanced tab.....

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 92.

    then roy spencers and lindzens work count as inferred too.

    If you are going to define direct observation so strictly then there are no climate sensitivity estimates based on direct observation full stop.

  • Comment number 93.

    #69 - Paul Briscoe wrote:
    "I will be interested to see how Bob Watson's speech is reported."
    Well, if this speech was ever made, I can't find any reference to it on the BBC website or the internet in general. The last reference I can find on the BBC website is dated 19th October, 2010.
    I wonder what's the point of him making a speech, only to keep it a secret?


  • Comment number 94.

    LabMunkey @ #86

    "The only problem with this assetion is that it is also wholly consistent with the null hypothesis."

    You're going to have to explain that one to me LabMunkey. My understanding is that if a positive trend is statistically significant at the 99.9% level (it's actually more than that - I just can't remember how many 9's it is!) then the null hypothesis that the trend could be due to natural variability is rejected.

    Paul

  • Comment number 95.

    LabMunkey @ #90

    "You seem to be missing the point. ALL you have posted is STILL consistent with the null hypothesis."

    As I said, you're going to have to explain how a warming trend with a statistical significance of over 99% is consistent with a null hypothesis that the trend could simply be due to chance variability.

    "No it was established 100%- they just avoided prosecution due to a loophole. Hence they could not be charged and the issue was 'dropped'. The breach of that law is not in quesiton."

    Again, I repeat, UEA challenged the claim that there had been a breach of FOI law and the final statement on the subject stated that it was not possible to conclude that FOI law had been broken without a detailed investigation....... none was ever done.

    "..... but there were MANY legitimate requests that were ignored and out right denied."

    I would be interested to know what you think constituted a "legitimate" request and whether it would really have met the criteria laid down in CRU's confidentiality agreements.

    "I guess the difference between them and i is that i regard myself as a proffesional scientist and act accordingly with a high level of accountability in mind. They think they can get away with anything."

    No LabMunkey! The scientists felt (correctly in my view) that they were under attack from people whose agenda was anything but about getting to the truth. Also, there were some individuals who claimed that data was being witheld when it was in fact freely available to them! I wonder how you or I would have reacted in the same situation?

    ".....you've fallen into the trap of thinking more models giving you the same answer = more acuracy. It does not, all it shows is that the underlying assumptions (that co2 is a primary driver) are consistent- it says nothing on reliability of the results."

    Here I think it is YOU who are missing the point. That CO2 exerts a forcing is not in doubt. In the absence of other forcings (discounted by observations and empirical science), the warming HAS to be due to CO2. Consequently, it is entirely reasonable to construct models based on that assumption.

    Of course, if you don't agree with the empirical scientific reasoning, you aren't going to accept models that are based on it! However, the overwhelming majority of scientists do, so it is you who are out on a limb here.

    Now regarding incorporating the details of the various processes, I'm no expert, so you'd be far better challenging Gavin Schmidt if you think you know better than he does. However, my understanding is that the models are ultimately "tuned" against real data so that the net feedback built into the models ties in with the real world - this should allow them to respond correctly to a forcing even if all climate processes are not included in detail.

    Now, turning to the question of "weight of numbers", unless there is an obvious bias in the construction of models (which I very much doubt), the outcome is just as likely to underestimate warming as it is to overestimate it. Consequently, if you run multiple models multiple times the mean of all the outcomes should tend towards the real world mean.

    The same also applies to using simple models to help in estimating climate sensitivity, so I reject the idea that models can't be used for such things.

    "As for the 50% + off the 3C target for sensitivity- this ASSUMES that the underlying mechanisms are understood and that the range ITSELF is accurate. the 50% accuracy is meaningless without understanding the underlying mechnisms. You could have an acuracy of 5%, but STILL be wrong."

    ....... but, as I've stated before, the underlying mechanisms ARE understood. The only real question mark has been over the net feedback effect of clouds. With the exception of Lindzen and Choi's flawed study, all others indicate that clouds do NOT exert a strong negative feedback effect. As I pointed out above, even if all of the studies into climate sensitivity lack precision, as long as there is no bias built into them, the average of all of them should tend towards the real climate sensitivity figure.

    In the final analysis, though, neither you nor I are really experts at this. Even if the climate scientists themselves were not approaching this in an objective manner, that still cannot explain why all of the science academies are apparently entirely comfortable with the science of AGW, despite its use of models that are known to be less than perfect. The chances that they are all wrong whilst yourself and blunderbunny are correct is very remote indeed!

    Paul

  • Comment number 96.

    blunderbunny (various)

    I'm not at all impressed by your dismissal of any evidence which is "inferred". Such an approach is frankly dogmatic and irrational - EACH NEW PIECE OF EVIDENCE SHOULD BE ASSESSED ON ITS MERITS. You are, in my opinion, exhibiting one of the classic "sceptic" traits of constructing arbitrary and unrealistic hurdles that you expect scientists to clear before you will accept their work.

    If you are going to reject a particular line of reasoning in science, you must do so on the basis of sound science of your own.

    Although I don't agree with Trenberth's suggestion that the null hypothesis should be reversed for AGW science, I have a fair idea of what he was really getting at. The approach of people such as yourself is not constructive. You are basically using "spoiling tactics" rather than coming up with reasoned alternative arguments that can be tested.

    This is the real problem - you say that the explanation for recent warming given by the scientists is not convincing. Yet, good scientists know that if they cannot come up with an alternative hypothesis that stands up to close scrutiny their claims count for nothing.

    Paul

  • Comment number 97.

    "Yet, good scientists know that if they cannot come up with an alternative hypothesis that stands up to close scrutiny their claims count for nothing."

    Which still stands for natural cycles.

  • Comment number 98.

    Re #71. At 10:45pm on 22 Mar 2011, Paul Briscoe

    Paul,
    Hardly surprising that you don't want to read Professor Rancourt's well-considered article when it so roundly debunks your preferred CAGW views based as they are on the 'science' that uses upside down Tiljander and prefers to 'hide the decline' - and 'repeat the delete' as a commenter described the latest revelations in this sorry saga

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/23/13321/

    Simply manipulating data to fit or ignoring data that doesn't tie in with preconceived theories is not good science and just remindes us yet again that Climate 'science' is merely a composite of other real sciences and that Climate 'Scientists' tend to exemplify exactly the 'jack of all trades, master of none' epithet' though even the term 'jack' could be considered to be overstating their abilities!.

    But really Paul surely you could have come up with a better argument than
    "Then he goes on to make the basic schoolboy error of pronouncing that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are negligible alongside the natural carbon cycle......... forgetting that the latter is in balance and cannot remove the extra added by Man". !!!!!!!!

    Indeed Professor Rancourt displays a lot of sound common sense, anathema to CAGW proponents -

    "The most often cited reconstructed global average temperature curves (themselves somewhat tenuous, see below) show increases in global mean temperature of approximately 0.5-1 C in the last 100 years.Let us compare this to the extremes of temperature to which humans routinely adapt. Humans have thrived in every possible ecological niche on the planet, from deserts to tropical forests to the North Polar Regions, since well before present technological advances. These environments show mean temperature differences of as much as 50 C or more. Many of these environments also show day to night and seasonal differences of as much as 20-50 C. A sudden 0.5-1 C increase in mean annual temperature (not spread over 100 years) would be imperceptible to any human and indeed could barely be detected using all of the methods of the modern scientific enterprise.

    In addition, whereas there is evidence of negative consequences to populations from sustained regional cooling (e.g., Europe’s Little Ice Age, 1300-1850 AD) and whereas global ice ages (occurring every 40-100 thousand years or so) clearly have significantly affected human populations, there is no known case of a sustained warming alone having negatively impacted an entire population. If it where not for the global greenhouse effect, the planet would on average be 33 C colder and inhabitable. As a general rule, all life on Earth does better when it’s hotter: Compare ecological diversity and biotic density (or biomass) at the poles and at the equator.

    Humans have already adapted to dramatically different regional climates occurring in every corner of the planet and the alleged future global changes are very small compared to these existing variations. There are more displaced refugees from wars and from economic aggression than there will ever be displaced inhabitants from rapid climate-induced habitat transformations. In both cases, the solution is to accommodate those loosing their homes and communities, not to attempt to control planetary processes and unpredictable events."

    http://activistteacher.blogspot.com/2007/02/global-warming-truth-or-dare.html

    CAGW alarmism is far more to do with political control than any actual Science.

  • Comment number 99.

    One of the benefits of witnessing the death of CAGW is that you get introduced to good scientists:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IG_7zK8ODGA&feature=player_embedded

  • Comment number 100.

    ukpahonta @ #97

    ""Yet, good scientists know that if they cannot come up with an alternative hypothesis that stands up to close scrutiny their claims count for nothing."

    Which still stands for natural cycles."

    No it doesn't!

    You can only put recent warming down to "natural cycles" if you can specifically demonstrate a physical mechanism by which they can cause a positive energy imbalance. Even if you could do that, you would still need to demonstrate that it actually happened in practice.

    Paul

 

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