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An exceptionally dry March UPDATE

Paul Hudson | 13:04 UK time, Friday, 1 April 2011

UPDATE Tue 12th April

The provisional figures published by the Met Office at the end of March proved to be wide of the mark by quite a margin. After a wet end to the month, UK rainfall ended up at 49.9mm making it only the driest March since 1996 when 48.2mm was recorded, and not 1953 as was stated in the provisional figures mentioned in this blog.

ENDS

High pressure has dominated our weather for much of this month, with exceptionally low rainfall totals across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

At Coningsby in Lincolnshire only 4.8mm of rain fell, compared with the average which is 41mm. This makes it their driest March since records began at the RAF base in 1961.

Across Yorkshire, Church Fenton has a new record of sorts. 6.4mm was recorded in the month. The previous record was set in 1953 with 8.0mm, although there were a few years when the RAF base was closed so the data set is incomplete.

Leeming has had its fourth driest March on record, with 8.4mm of rain, compared with the average of 43.4mm.

According to the Met Office, the UK average rainfall total from 1 to 29 March was 39.1 mm - 41% of the long-term average for the whole of the month which is 95.9 mm.

This provisional figure makes it the driest March since 1953 when 41.6 mm of rain was recorded.

Follow me on twitter @Hudsonweather

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Agreed, an exceptionally dry month. I had to top up the garden pond the other week - the first time ever in March I think - and it needs doing again. (NB it doesn't have a leak!).

    The recent high winds have also added to the aridity. Yesterday and today there were widespread sandstorms on the light land hereabouts, where crop cover was absent. This is not particularly unusual but does illustrate how dry things are.

    Also pretty mild I would say. Sycamore trees were already breaking leaf in many places by the last week in March.

  • Comment number 2.

    Once again, the M.O. have jumped the gun in issuing a news release on rainfall figures before the end of the period in question.
    Back at the end of June 2010, they announced that the first six months of 2010 were the driest since 1929, i.e. over 80 years. Unfortunately, they added up the figures before the end of June and were caught out when it rained some more, which made it only the driest since 1953. As a result, they had to withdraw the original press release but didn't admit their mistake, changing the claim to "one of the driest starts for 100 years". By then however, the claim that it was the driest since 1929 had been broadcast across the media, including t.v. and the newspapers, and no doubt the claim still exists somewhere on the internet, and in people's memories.
    My point is, why don't they just wait until the final figures are available?
    In this case, there seems little chance that they will be caught out, and the latest news release covered in caveats and disclaimers, so they seem to have learned a bit of a lesson, but still, why not just wait?

  • Comment number 3.

    All this news gives me reassurance that I'm alive and all is very well. To know that the primeval saying "as changeable as the weather" is still the same for today as it always has been. Such comfort!!!!

    I live in California where 3 years of drought has just been declared ended with 160-200% above normal and reservoirs are overflowing. Australia has loads of the stuff as well after a few more years of drought. All very re-assuring that nothing has changed.

    My apology if I appear to gloat on the NE UK experience but please rejoice and dig deep into those wells of comfort……….

  • Comment number 4.

    #3. - Titus wrote:
    "All this news gives me reassurance that I'm alive and all is very well. To know that the primeval saying "as changeable as the weather" is still the same for today as it always has been. Such comfort!!!!"

    But you must realise that this is all conclusive evidence that the climate is changing due to "global warming". Prior to "global warming", we had exactly the same amounts of rain every month of every year and never had any droughts or floods. It rained on exactly the same days of each month and the same time of the day. In case anyone doesn't realise it, I am being sarcastic. Unfortunately, younger people and children, who haven't the experience or knowledge of past weather are increasingly being indoctrinated into believing that this is true however.


  • Comment number 5.

    oh dear looks like the hose pipe ban will be in effect soon then .

  • Comment number 6.

    Some other facts which the M.O. failed to mention:
    1. While the 1971-2000 average March rainfall is 95.9mm (actually I make it 92.8mm, but I will take the M.O. figure for now), the 1941-70 mean is only 70mm, the 1910-39 mean is 73.7mm, the 1910-2010 mean is 79.5mm and the 1910-2010 median is 75.5mm. So in fact, far from being "normal", the 1971-90 figure is actually above normal.
    2. The January to March 2011 total is 250.9mm, which is actually higher than last year (233.9mm), 2006 (236.3mm), and 2003 (217.2mm) and 29 other JFM periods in the 102 years of the series. Again, the 1971-2000 JFM average is 294.4mm, while the 1941-70 average is only 249.7mm, and the 1910-2010 median is 270.3mm.
    3. While March 2011 is the driest March since 1953, rainfall was actually higher than March 1944 (28.3mm), March 1931 (28.1mm) and March 1929 (17mm).
    I only make these points because whether they mention it or not, there is always a "climate change" agenda in the M.O. news releases. The news release is biased towards the assumption of "climate change" because it emphasises the fact that March 2011 was drier than usual, without mentioning that there have been much drier months, before "climate change" was thought of.

  • Comment number 7.

    Re #4/6 QuaesoVeritas

    Totally agree QV - the M.O. have become hopelessly politicised. I am convinced that their too mild winter forecasts for the last three years running are
    1. GIGO type programming based on the CAGW agenda
    2. Not wanting to 'dilute the warming message' before
    Climate Change Act November 2008
    Copenhagen December 2009
    Cancun December 2010

    There seems to be no thought whatsoever for the people actually affected by their inaccurate forecasts in the real world.

  • Comment number 8.

    Perhaps history is repeating itself:

    Whan that Aprill with his its shoures soote
    The droghte, dryness of March hath perced to the roote,

    Geoffrey Chaucer
    c. 1343 – 25 October 1400
    The Canterbury Tales
    The General Prologue

    New Little Ice age anybody?

    /Mango

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

  • Comment number 9.

    Joe Bastardi has recently posted a comment on the Roy Spencer blog, and his name on the post links to the following website:
    http://weatherbell.com/
    The site says that their forecasting team is led by Joe Bastardi and Joe D'Aleo.
    Actually in the Bio section, his job title is "Chief Forecaster" and it also goes on to say that he was "Formerly the Chief Long Range Forecaster at Accuweather", so I presume that he has only recently joined WeatherBell after leaving Accuweather.

  • Comment number 10.

  • Comment number 11.

    #10 RobWansbeck wrote:
    "@9, QV, some info here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/12/joe-bastardi-on-his-next-big-thing/"
    Thanks, I had missed that.



  • Comment number 12.

    To MangoChutney #8

    Interesting. Someone mentioned to me the other week that the expression "February Filldyke" did not originally mean what we assume it to mean today ; i.e. that the ditches will overflow with water. Apparently the original expression refered to the practice in mediaeval/ Saxon times of BLOCKING ditches to retain water - presumably because of the habitual lack of rain.

    I have no idea whether this interpretation has any academic historical backing, or indeed how any scholar would work it out from the evidence.

    Perhaps it has no more foundation to it than that eternal game of ping pong about whether "Cast naer a clout 'till May be out" refers to the month of May or to may blossom (which in either case in the north of the UK, is often about the same time anyway).

    Dare one even propose that such expressions have such depth of wisdom that their meanings are interchangable between the Mediaeval Warm Period (God rest its soul) and the Little Ice Age?!

  • Comment number 13.

    We've certainly had a good few April showers already this month.

  • Comment number 14.

    It looks like the weather is settling down again. Heavy rain was supposed to be a sign of global warming.

    April showers yesterday another sign that everything is OK. I haven't seen April showers for a while either.

  • Comment number 15.

    Regarding my post #6, it turns out that the official average rainfall for March is 95.9mm. It is apparently calculated using the gridded data set and not simply by averaging the monthly figures.
    Presumably this means that the other average figures I quoted are also not strictly correct, and re-calculating the correct figures sounds like a lot of work.

  • Comment number 16.

    Re #15. At 12:54pm on 4th Apr 2011, QuaesoVeritas

    Interesting point QV, so it concerns me somewhat that the Met.Office is using its own methodology to judge the accuracy of the forecasts of participants in the 'Weather Test'.

    I also rather agree with AM in his observations

    "there is another question to ask about the Weather Test, and that is how likely it is to provide any value. After discussions with some meteorologists a scenario has emerged that has the capacity to render the whole project worthless.

    In the UK there are typically around four or five major weather events per year. The problem with a project like Weather Test (if it ever sees the light of day) is how to weight the forecasts appropriately. If a competing forecaster was able to produce a forecast accuracy rate for, say, 75% of the days in the test period when there are no major weather events, but completely miss major events, how would that be weighted to demonstrate that when it comes to forecasts that really matter their accuracy was found wanting?

    Such weighting before any such test commenced would by definition be arbitrary – a bit like the adjustments and smoothing applied to temperature readings that always seem to increase the recorded temperature. So what is the real value of such a project?

    Perhaps a more effective guide to comparing the accuracy of forecasters would be to turn our eyes to the commercial sector and see who retains business because of their accuracy and who loses business for inability to pinpoint in good time what really matters – namely those major events that have the most bearing on commercial customers. Is there really any value to Harrabin’s little endeavour?"

    But then as commenter Dominic Alkins points out in response

    "Certainly looking at who retains their business would be a good measure – I’m a great believer that ‘the market’ will generally give a better understanding. This however introduces the possibility of political/ethical pressure (whether direct or indirect) being introduced. For example, did the MO retain the BBC contract because of their accuracy, political pressure or because the MO forecasts better fitted the narrative the BBC wanted to put across. Likewise, do the MOD retain the services of the MO because it’s part of their structure or because they are the most accurate."

    http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/the-possible-flaw-in-harrabins-bbc-weather-test/

    So I'm not sure what, if anything, the 'Weather Test' will prove.

  • Comment number 17.

    The M.O. data files for the 1910 rainfall series has now been updated and I really can't believe what I can see!

    The actual rainfall figure for March was 49.9mm, not 39.1mm. That made it 52% of the average figure, not 41% as stated in the news release. Yes, I know that the figure was provisional, but I think it proves my point about not publishing figures before the end of the month.

    As a result, far from being the driest month since 1953, it was only the driest since 1996, with 48.6mm.

    Also, the years 1973 (41.6mm), 1961 (42.6mm) and 1956 (45.3mm) had less rainfall than this March.

    Finally, according to the data files, the rainfall for March 1953 wasn't even 41.6mm, it was 34mm. It looks to me as if the figure of 41.6mm quoted for 1953 should actually have been for 1973.

    The rainfall figures can be downloaded from this location, in case anyone wishes to verify the above figures:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/datasets/

    Is it just me, or does this make the M.O. look like idiots?

    Get a copy of the news release before it is withdrawn, like the one in July 2010:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2011/dry-march

    By the way, I asked them why they published the figures before the end of the month and this was their reply:

    "As regarding your second point about timing of publication. There is always widespread interest in these kinds of weather figures, especially when they are likely to be of significant interest (Dry, Wet, Hot, Cold etc). This kind of information is available through the month and the media pick up on this in different ways which can, and has in the past, led to confusion.
    Therefore, to meet the demands of the public through the media, and to ensure that weather statistics are communicated in as clear a way as possible we feel that sometimes it is better to issue the data a little earlier, especially if the headline message is unlikely to change. This ensures that the figures are reported consistently across the media. The figures are clearly marked as provisional and full figures will be made available on our website shortly after the month end."

    If the objective of issuing the figures early was to "avoid confusion", it hasn't worked.

  • Comment number 18.

    Satallite data from UAH now ou
    March down to -0.1
    We await your comments Paul with interest

  • Comment number 19.

    QuaesoVeritas #17

    Yes, I quite agree, it does make them look like idiots - or at least, rather confused!

    Note however the constant reference to "the media". Its another example in my view of a professional group being stampeded and bullied by this most ravenous of elites and their potential wrath. You get the same sense sometimes in hospitals and elsewhere. Everyone is frightened of getting a bad report and is driven by the need to "look good" rather than to actually be good.

    This comes about, of course, I believe, because politicians (sensing they have little left to offer in a global economy dominated by the rampant international marketplace) encourage the public to DEMAND performance and instant results from their professional "servants". This is dressed up as "choice and accountability" - and what politician who wants to survive can possibly deny that this is anything but a good thing?

    However there is a difference, I would suggest, between true accountability and inciting the use as a punchbag, of professionals, by a generalised public mob of what in some cases is made up of (lets be a bit brutal here) the woefully ignorant.

    I fear some sort of media lynching may develop around this proposed "weather test", so like other corresponents above, I have doubts as to its value.

    However, lets not forget that the media to a large degree claims to operate in the name of public opinion. So, in a sense, I would suggest, we get the met office we deserve.

  • Comment number 20.

    #18 - NeilHamp wrote:
    "Satallite data from UAH now ou
    March down to -0.1"
    Hmm, I had predicted -0.11c based on the AQUA CH5 anomaly of -0.23c, so it seems like that is a fairly good guide and -0.1c is well within the expected range.
    There will be some who will say that -0.1c isn't a very low figure, compared to previous patterns but the important thing is that it maintains the downward trend.
    The UAH figure of -0.1c, is equivalent to a HadCRUT3 figure of +0.153c. In fact, this is also in line with the 60 year cycle in the 50 year linear trend in global temperatures based on HadCRUT3. Temperatures don't even have to continue as low as this to maintain that trend. In fact, based on the trend, I expect this to be the LOWEST anomaly figure of the year, but that will still result in a 10 year linear trend of about -2.6c/century by the end of next year.

  • Comment number 21.

    jkiller56 #19

    The amazing thing is that the M.O. seem to get away with this, as the media seem to think this sort of thing is acceptable because the news release made it clear that the figures were "provisional". To me "provisional" would mean figures to the end of the month, which may require some minor adjustment, not using figures before the end of the month. Otherwise, not use figures at March 15th, and make the "drought" even more dramatic?
    The fact is, the BBC announced this and there are videos on their website about it:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/hi/news/newsid_9444000/9444088.stm
    It is all over the internet that this March was the driest since 1953 and in reality it was only the driest since 1996. I guarantee that Alex Deakin won't be on the News or putting out a video saying that the figures were all wrong! I bet the M.O. won't even be telling anyone they were wrong.
    The only way this news release was of interest was because it used the wrong figures. Would they have even bothered to put out a news release using the real figures?

  • Comment number 22.

    Re: #19. At 12:03pm on 5th Apr 2011, jkiller56

    I might have more sympathy for this line of thought if it wasn't for the fact that it is the Met.Office and IPCC that are feeding the media and are a great deal responsible for its 'ravenous' appetitie.

    Notice how Chris Landsea was forced to resign from the IPCC as he simply couldn't accommodate the distortions that IPCC Lead Author Trenberth was employing "to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity has been due to global warming".

    http://cstpr.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/science_policy_general/000318chris_landsea_leaves.html

    Notice too how it is the Met Office feeding the media with this latest report of a dry March

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2011/dry-march

    They don't appear to be in a hurry to retract that statement which as QuaesoVeritas correctly points out is very different from the figures they have actually published.

    Indeed with this comment

    "to ensure that weather statistics are communicated in as clear a way as possible we feel that sometimes it is better to issue the data a little earlier, especially if the headline message is unlikely to change".

    I feel it would have been a more accurate statement if it had ended "if the headline message is 'likely' to change" as I doubt the reality is considered so newsworthy !!!!

  • Comment number 23.

    #22. - Sparklet

    "I feel it would have been a more accurate statement if it had ended "if the headline message is 'likely' to change" as I doubt the reality is considered so newsworthy !!!!

    Of course, in this case, the headline remains perfectly accurate. It is only the figures which are mostly wrong. Meanwhile of course, people like Paul will have been duped into quoting those figures in their own articles and spreading the propaganda. Hopefully they will learn by this and in future not take anything the M.O. says at face value, without first checking the facts.
    I still can't work out whether the M.O. are being incredibly clever about this, or incredibly stupid. If the former then the M.O. is being extremely Machiavellian in it's methods.

  • Comment number 24.

    You can see the daily precipitation values for March in England and Wales here:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadukp/data/daily/HadEWP_daily_qc.txt

    Even though that's not the full UK, I am quite sure it is representive.

  • Comment number 25.

    Re. #23. At 15:52pm on 5th Apr 2011, QuaesoVeritas

    "Of course, in this case, the headline remains perfectly accurate. It is only the figures which are mostly wrong."

    Ha, well spotted QV, quite right - their headline "Driest March for years" was pretty vague!!! As you say it was the content that was wrong.

    And one thing we can be sure about is that the M.O. are not 'incredibly stupid' - they are simply working to an agenda. Indeed it was Dr (now Sir) John Houghton of the Met Office along with Sir Crispin Tickell of the UN that persuaded Thatcher to support the setting up of the IPCC

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5955955/Weather-records-are-a-state-secret.html

    (something she later came to regret as she "recognised how distortions of the science had been used to mask an anti-capitalist, Left-wing political agenda which posed a serious threat to the progress and prosperity of mankind")

    http://www.thegwpf.org/uk-news/1090-was-margaret-thatcher-the-first-climate-sceptic.html

    And of course it was the Met.Office that was partly responsible for the hype before Copenhagen in 2009 (along with the BBC of course, I still recall Richard Black's 'Copenhagen Countdown' and how the comments on his thread were suspended for 3 days when 'Climategate' broke!!) with the M.O. booklet they released
    Warming: Climate Change the facts claiming -

    "It’s now clear that the emission of man-made greenhouse gases is causing climate change. The rate of change began as significant, has become alarming and is simply unsustainable in the longterm" (complete with the infamous 'hockey stick' type graph)

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090909205058/campaigns2.direct.gov.uk/actonco2/home.html

    No mention there "that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming"

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



  • Comment number 26.

    #24 - quake wrote:
    "You can see the daily precipitation values for March in England and Wales here:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadukp/data/daily/HadEWP_daily_qc.txt
    Even though that's not the full UK, I am quite sure it is representive. "
    It is possible to estimate the whole UK figure from the individual HadUKP England, Scotland and N.Ireland, but you have to weight the regional figures according to the area of the regions. Based on that, I get a figure of 50.2mm from the HadUKP monthly figures. It looks like the high daily rainfall on the 29th and 30th must have caught the M.O. out. If you deduct the figures for those days from the EW and Scotland monthly totals (NI not available yet), you get 41mm for the UK.
    The M.O. must have believed their own forecasts of zero rain for the last two days of the month.
    What really annoys me about this is that the March rainfall figure was low, but wouldn't have warrented a news release based on the final figures. However, the media and the internet are now full of the "driest March since 1953" story, and it will remain there forever. Even this blog by Paul Hudson would probably not have happened if the M.O. had waited for the final figures.

  • Comment number 27.

    Re Sparklet 25:"No mention there that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming"

    They also don't mention the lack of significant warming between 1980 and 1995. You know, 1980 when global warming stopped.

  • Comment number 28.

    Calculating from [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] March 2011 is the 4th driest in England and Wales (dataset starts in 1931) behind March 1938, 1944 and 1961. March 1st - 29th 2011 is 3rd driest March 1st-29th in the dataset.

  • Comment number 29.

    Re: #27. At 22:05pm on 5th Apr 2011, quake

    "They also don't mention the lack of significant warming between 1980 and 1995. You know, 1980 when global warming stopped"

    Well you said that, Quake, not me!
    For temperature changes naturally!!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Sparklet @ #29

    "Well you said that, Quake, not me!"

    I'm pretty sure that quake was just being sarcastic! He was, of course, referring to one of the key points made in this video that we've discussed before:

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

    Pretty well ANY 15 year period just fails to reach statisitical significance at the 95% level simply because of the "noise" caused primarily by ENSO and solar activity.

    "For temperature changes naturally!!!"

    Well indeed global temperature CAN change naturally UNDER THE CORRECT CONDITIONS. However, a long-term warming trend of 30 years or more cannot be explained by any of the natural cycles (eg. ENSO, PDO). It can only be explained by a FORCING, leading to a positive energy imbalance at the edge of the atmosphere. In recent years, this positive energy imbalance has been confirmed by data from the CERES satellite (and this at a time when sceptics are telling us that global warming has stopped). The fact that the atmosphere and the oceans are warming at the same time also confirms this positive energy imbalance.

    So, given that:

    1. Both the atmosphere and the oceans are warming.

    2. There is a positive energy imbalance.

    3. Solar activity has been stable (or fallen slightly) over the past 50 years.

    4. Nights have warmed faster than days.

    Which natural process do you believe explains recent warming?

    Paul

  • Comment number 31.

    yes i wasn't being serious. I was pointing out that you can have two consequential 15 year periods without significant trend even though the total 30 year period does.

    Also a very important thing to my mind is that if you (at least partially) correct the temperature record for ENSO and the solar cycle (remove some of their influence), there is significant warming in the remaining temperature changes since 1995.

  • Comment number 32.

    Paul Briscoe @ #30

    “However, a long-term warming trend of 30 years or more cannot be explained by any of the natural cycles”


    So lets defend the hypothesis of cAGW! Forget about the lack of empirical evidence – I mean just because we don’t fully comprehend the complex and chaotic nature of climate systems shouldn’t prevent us from making this our default position. At the very least it will keep our political masters happy and then the whole AGW farrago can happily trundle along supporting those many thousands of scientists (whose very existence depends on there being a ‘catastrophic’ problem) in the style to which they have become accustomed.


    “Nights have warmed faster than days”

    You keep citing this as if it is evidence of AGW. The daytime temperature is much more representative of the deep atmospheric temperature where the warming due to the enhanced greenhouse effect should be evident (Christy et al. 2006, 2009, see also Walters et al. 2007, Pielke, Sr. 2008.) You really should stop believing all you read at alarmist sites like SkepticalScience!

  • Comment number 33.

    CessnaStream @ #32

    "Forget about the lack of empirical evidence"

    I'm not sure where you got that idea:

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

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

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Quantifying-the-human-contribution-to-global-warming.html

    Although you didn't mention it specifically, I think you were probably referring to the lack of a tropospheric hotspot, which is actually a predicted outcome of ANY warming (ie. NOT specific to AGW):

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

    I also note that you have taken a chunk straight out of John Christy's deeply flawed testament to the US Congress:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/christy-testimony.html

    The papers which Christy mentioned have NOT been widely accepted by the scientific community - other papers contradict their findings.

    "You really should stop believing all you read at alarmist sites like SkepticalScience!"

    The point is that Skeptical Science bases its articles on the scientific literature as a whole, whereas the claims you make are based on a small number of flawed papers which just happen to support your point of view. There are good reasons why the vast majority of scientists think John Christy is wrong.

    Paul

  • Comment number 34.

    The UAH global temperature figures are now in and show that March was one of the coldest on record.

  • Comment number 35.

    Re: #30. At 00:12am on 6th Apr 2011, Paul Briscoe

    "He was, of course, referring to one of the key points made in this video that we've discussed before:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23iGJbkbzzE "

    Indeed we have Paul and I've already told you how unimpressed I am by a video that provides it's 'evidence' by stating we should "leave the real temperature data behind and first make up some data" !!! (but isn't that rather appropriate in the Warmist camp!!!)

    I do however agree with the statement that -
    "the problem is that fifteen years is a very short period of time when we're thinking about climate"

    Indeed it is but haven't the Climate 'scientists' done exactly this over the last 30 years, after all weren't they talking about 'global cooling' in the 1970s. It seems to me that they certainly don't mind short term trends when it comes to pushing their Catastrophic Anthropogenic global warming theory at us!!

    By all means let us look at some long term trends -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOLkze-9GcI

    Nor am I persuaded by your argument that

    "Well indeed global temperature CAN change naturally UNDER THE CORRECT CONDITIONS. However, a long-term warming trend of 30 years or more cannot be explained by any of the natural cycles (eg. ENSO, PDO). It can only be explained by a FORCING, leading to a positive energy imbalance at the edge of the atmosphere".

    Simply because your preferred Climate 'scientists' simply don't know enough to explain it by natural cycles does not mean that the tiny anthropogenic part of CO2 emissions is responsible for Catastrophic global warming. You need to get out and about more Paul, stop burying your nose in Warmist self-confirming blogs and stop taking everything 'Sceptical Science' tells you as gospel!!

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

  • Comment number 36.

    "after all weren't they talking about 'global cooling' in the 1970s"

    And they were talking about global warming due to human greenhouse gas emissions in the 1970s. In fact most papers published in the 1970s that predicted future temperature trends predicted warming, not cooling. Scientists were even talking about human greenhouse gas warming as far back as the 1950s.

    There were two global cooling stories in the 70s, but only one is justified as "scientists said" and that was a minority theory, not the "consensus". The first was based on human aerosol emissions which have a cooling effect and was promoted by a few scientists. The cooling effect was overestimated. Turns out that greenhouse gas emissions will have a bigger warming effect than aerosols will have a cooling effect, so that theory is now dead.

    The other was based on the eventual end of the 10,000 year interglacial due to orbital changes. When scientists couldn't pin down exactly when it would occur the media were happy to speculate it had already begun, just as they are happy to speculate about a giant asteroid hitting us tommorow even though one isn't actually likely to do so for millions of years. So that particular global cooling story was never really a scientific theory. Now we know the current interglacial isn't likely to end any time soon anyway.

    What wasn't happening in any case are scientists just blindly extrapolating recent trends independent of cause (oh look its cooled in recent years, we blindly extrapolate that to last another 30 years). Only skeptics seem to do that. Climate scientists in all the above cases were making predictions based on quantifiable physical mechanisms (aerosols, orbital changes, greenhouse gases)

  • Comment number 37.

    Re: #36. At 14:23pm on 6th Apr 2011, quake

    "In fact most papers published in the 1970s that predicted future temperature trends predicted warming, not cooling".

    Hmmm, well that is the view of 46 year old 'Hockey Team' member William M. Connolley who'd be around 10 when the CIA report "A Study of Climatological Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems" was written. Their views were somewhat different!!

    "It is as if climate scares had to follow a set pattern. Back in 1974 the usual disasters were projected: the ‘new climatic era’ was said to be bringing famine, starvation, refugee crises, floods, droughts, crop and monsoon failures, and all sorts of extreme weather phenomena. The Sahara would expand. World grain reserves, already at less than a month’s supply, would be depleted. A list of past civilisations brought down by ‘major and minor’ cooling episodes was given, which included the Indus, Hittites, Mycenaean, and the Mali empire of Africa. Any possible benefits to climate change were barely mentioned.

    More parallels can be drawn. According to the CIA report, in 1974 climate science was developing ‘a successful climatic prediction model’, as indeed it still is. Government intervention had brought together eminent scientists who had previously been at odds with each other then had established a ‘scientific consensus’ on ‘global climate change’. The scientists claimed this pattern of cooling would cause ‘major economic problems around the world’. Dealing with this would, of course, require the creation of several new government agencies. The media at the time seized on all of this, just as it is doing now. Newsweek and the New York Times described the global cooling threat.

    How is it that the parallels between that 1970s panic and today’s have been so little remarked upon? And it doesn’t stop there. There have even been recent attempts to label the ‘global cooling consensus’ a ‘myth’, most notably in a well-publicised article by Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck published by the American Meteorological Society in September 2008".

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/all/5592803/part_2/the-cias-global-cooling-files.thtml

    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/world-exclusive-cia-1974-document-reveals-emptiness-of-agw-scares-closes-debate-on-global-cooling-consensus-and-more/

    Indeed the 'Team' need to be a little more thorough in their research!!

    And perhaps this explains why so many today are so cynical as to "what scientists say" ie experience rather than the 'ageist' type reasons that George Monbiot seems to profer.

    [But then of course it's nothing new for politicians and the media to listen only to a favourite few of preferred scientists they refer to as 'the consensus' and ignore the many, many that dissent. The CAGW agenda has been an excellent example of that!]

    But I do so like your phrase "scientists just blindly extrapolating recent trends independent of cause" - yes, that fits the bill quite nicely, thanks Quake.

    (The 'team's hockey sticks' immediately come to mind!!!)

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/29/keiths-science-trick-mikes-nature-trick-and-phils-combo/

  • Comment number 38.

    #34. - John Marshall wrote:
    "The UAH global temperature figures are now in and show that March was one of the coldest on record."
    It sounds like you are adopting UKMO tactics!
    Actually I make it the joint 12th coldest March, along with 1980 & 1999.
    As I said above, I expect this to be around the lowest anomaly figure of the year, but that is consistent with the start of a 30 year downturn in the 50 year linear trend.
    We currently seem to be in the position of warmer than average temperatures in the U.K. but cooler than average globally. Even so, it's only a matter of time before someone blames our warm weather on "global warming".

  • Comment number 39.

    Sparklet @ #35

    "Indeed we have Paul and I've already told you how unimpressed I am by a video that provides it's 'evidence' by stating we should "leave the real temperature data behind and first make up some data" !!! "

    That is self-evidently a misrepresentation of the facts! The video did indeed use a hypothetical set of data including a gradual upwards trend and a number of cyclic variables. As you well know, the purpose of this was to prove that there will always be periods when the trend APPEARS to slow or reverse, even though it is KNOWN that the upwards trend is continuing all of the time. This hypothetical example graphically explains why it is foolhardy to draw conclusions about the upward trend in global temperatures based on a period of a few years.......... indeed, only someone trying to "hide the incline" would use such an approach!

    "......after all weren't they talking about 'global cooling' in the 1970s."

    No, the overwhelming majority of scientists were already talking about the threat of AGW. I think this video explains where the myth developed:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU_AtHkB4Ms

    You then link to a presentation by Bob Carter. You'll find that the following article explains most of what is wrong with Carter's claims:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/crux-of-a-core2.html

    Carter doesn't get off to a good start by presenting the GISP2 ice core data as though it is a global temperature record. He also fails to point out that the GISP2 data actually ends in the 1850's - well before the recent warming trend.

    "Simply because your preferred Climate 'scientists' simply don't know enough to explain it by natural cycles does not mean that the tiny anthropogenic part of CO2 emissions is responsible for Catastrophic global warming."

    Let's look at the facts, shall we? All of the following are backed up by sound scientific research:

    It was established around 60 years ago that CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas.

    More recent studies (satellite and ground based) have confirmed that CO2 is acting as a greenhouse gas in the real World.

    Then we have all of the other "fingerprints":

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

    Once the gradual increase in solar intensity is taken into account, during the past 500 million years CO2 has correlated well with global temperature (see Royer et al (2004)).

    So scientists have established beyond doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that AGW IS happening in the here and now. They have also been able to calculate the forcing - something that even genuine sceptics such as Lindzen and Spencer don't challenge. This leaves the sole point of serious contention being the net effect of the various feedbacks........ yet the most recent scientific literature is indicating that this too is likely to be strongly positive. Further evidence for significant positive feedback comes from the fossil record.

    There is no question that the planet is warming at present (as shown by the increase in both ocean and surface temperatures and by the positive energy imbalance at the edge of the atmosphere). The scientists have provided a proven mechanism by which this is happening.

    You appear to be claiming that the scientists don't know enough about the natural cycles to properly exclude them. However, you are mistaken. The scientists have been able to exclude the sun for reasons explained previously. They have also been able to exclude ocean cycles because they don't have the capacity to warm both the atmosphere and the oceans at the same time. Nor do they have the ability to produce a positive energy imbalance. The scientists have also been able to show that the effects of global brightening and GCR's can't explain the warming either.

    So with respect, Sparklet, if you are claiming that the recent warming is due to natural processes, the onus is on YOU to disprove the huge body of evidence presented above AND prove that any of the natural processes can account for the recent warming.

    Finally, you link to a video from another contrarian who has repeatedly got his facts wrong:

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

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

    "You need to get out and about more Paul, stop burying your nose in Warmist self-confirming blogs and stop taking everything 'Sceptical Science' tells you as gospel!!"

    On the contrary, I rely on sources which reflect the scientific literature as a whole and express views supported by the vast majority of experts studying this topic. It is you who consistently call upon a small number of contrarians whose claims are seriously flawed.

    Paul

  • Comment number 40.

    Paul,
    shame our last discussion got cut off- you had a lucky escape there i feel.

    "So scientists have established beyond doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that AGW IS happening in the here and now."

    2 parts to this statement- the first is 100% right and as far as i am aware not up for debate. The second- as usual for you is misleading.

    The world is (was- i'm still unclear on what the current trend is doing) warming- we DO NOT know it is anthropogenic- or rather we do not know the degree. You are assigning far greater signifcance to the poor evidence that suggests a larger impact.

    "You appear to be claiming that the scientists don't know enough about the natural cycles to properly exclude them. However, you are mistaken. The scientists have been able to exclude the sun for reasons explained previously. They have also been able to exclude ocean cycles because they don't have the capacity to warm both the atmosphere and the oceans at the same time. Nor do they have the ability to produce a positive energy imbalance. The scientists have also been able to show that the effects of global brightening and GCR's can't explain the warming either."

    As usual i barely know where to start. Suffice to say this paragraph is junk.


    OT- the much drier march is very interesting- i've often thought we've been seing a gradual shift in the seasons (summer earlier, winter later etc)- which of course are perfectly natural (orbital variations etc).

    I wonder- if we plotted the average rainfall patterns for the months for say, the last 50 years- would we see a gradual shift in the dry spells across the months?? or is it literally that march is quite the outlier??

    interesting either way.

  • Comment number 41.

    Re 37. Sparklet wrote:

    "Hmmm, well that is the view of 46 year old 'Hockey Team' member William M. Connolley who'd be around 10 when the CIA report "A Study of Climatological Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems" was written. Their views were somewhat different!!"

    Connolley has published a peer reviewed paper on the subject. That's one step further than anyone else. He did a literature review of papers published in the 70s and and found more papers were predicting warming than cooling. Do you really believe there are a whole swathe of papers in the 70s predicting cooling that Connolley has missed and noone else has bothered to point out?

    The silence is telling. All we have is repeated gestures towards reference lacking non-scientific sources. If there was a scientific consensus about global cooling in the 70s then where is the scientific collatoral that would exist? THe papers the conference notes?

    "According to the CIA report, in 1974 climate science was developing ‘a successful climatic prediction model’, as indeed it still is. Government intervention had brought together eminent scientists who had previously been at odds with each other then had established a ‘scientific consensus’ on ‘global climate change’. The scientists claimed this pattern of cooling would cause ‘major economic problems around the world’. Dealing with this would, of course, require the creation of several new government agencies. The media at the time seized on all of this, just as it is doing now. Newsweek and the New York Times described the global cooling threat."

    If the CIA report is so convincing why has it been paraphrased and not quoted? Why are no references given to the implied scientists and scientific reports? This is very suspicious and looks like more myth making than any attempt to track down facts. afterall it claims government intervention and eminent scientists but does not name any of them.

    Looks to me this is just the same old rubbish, falling back on the NYT and Newsweek (which in turn do not contain references to scientific papers either)

  • Comment number 42.

    The RSS global anomaly figure for March is -0.026c, which is (I think), equivalent to a HadCRUT3 figure of +0.129c. That compares with +0.052c (unadjusted) and +0.198c (adjusted), for February. Last year, UAH and RSS tended to be well above HadCRUT3, after adjustment to the same time base, but this year, so far, they have been closer, so I don't know what that signifies. RSS tends to be relatively lower than UAH after adjustment to the same time base.
    There seems to have been a significant downward revision to the RSS December 2010 anomaly since last month, but I seem to recall there was an upward revision last month, so it may have been an error. I will have to check that out.

  • Comment number 43.

    #40 - LabMunkey wrote:
    "OT- the much drier march is very interesting- i've often thought we've been seing a gradual shift in the seasons (summer earlier, winter later etc)- which of course are perfectly natural (orbital variations etc)."
    Do you mean "On Topic"?
    Remember that March was NOT as exceptionally dry as the title of this blog would suggest, since the M.O. was again premature with it's figures. It was only the driest March since 1996. Please see my previous comments on the subject.

    "I wonder- if we plotted the average rainfall patterns for the months for say, the last 50 years- would we see a gradual shift in the dry spells across the months?? or is it literally that march is quite the outlier??"
    I have done some analyis of rainfall patterns in the U.K. and what I can say, is that as far as the longer rainfall data series is concerned (HadUKP), going back to 1766, the long term trend for England & Wales is up, and until about 2008, the 30 year m.a. was ABOVE the trend. Since then however, the average has fallen below the trend. It still remains well above the average in the late 1700's however and I believe that recent figures are a short-term return to normal. As far as E & W is concerned, the March 2011 figure is well within the normal historical range of low rainfall figures. The lowest E & W rainfall figure for March which is on record, was 5.6mm in 1781.


  • Comment number 44.

    QV- mea cupla of course i meant On Topic.

    Thanks- that's interesting infromation- much appreciated.

  • Comment number 45.

    Re: #39. At 18:25pm on 6th Apr 2011, Paul Briscoe

    "The video did indeed use a hypothetical set of data including a gradual upwards trend and a number of cyclic variables. As you well know, the purpose of this was to prove that there will always be periods when the trend APPEARS to slow or reverse, even though it is KNOWN that the upwards trend is continuing all of the time".

    "even though it is KNOWN that the upwards trend is continuing all of the time"????

    'All of the time'? what nonsense is this Paul, you obviously didn't view Professor Carter's video showing how temperatures have changed naturally both up and down over time and we're now coming towards the end of an inter-glacial. He is after all a geological expert discussing geology and as I've said before it's amazing what history can tell us !!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOLkze-9GcI

    "This hypothetical example graphically explains why it is foolhardy to draw conclusions about the upward trend in global temperatures based on a period of a few years"

    which was precisely my point Paul and which is why I reference Bob Carter's video.

    And we know all about 'myths' of consensus in Climate 'Science' don't we?

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/01/03/lawrence-solomon-97-cooked-stats/

    And your comment -

    "No, the overwhelming majority of scientists were already talking about the threat of AGW. I think this video explains where the myth developed"

    So the usual type of link that proves to be a complete waste of time as it doesn't answer the specific point made (so often the case with your links - you seem to have a menu of links that relate to a general theme) But you have simply avoided the fact that the CIA report was concerned with Global cooling and clearly reflected the concerns of the time by the 'preferred' cabal of climate scientists.

    And as usual your posts hinge on circular arguments (as others have pointed out previously) and are simply a reiteration of links (mostly from Scepticalscience).

    As for the rest of your post - well it starts off OK

    "So scientists have established beyond doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that AGW IS happening in the here and now"

    (hardly anyone who has looked at the science disputes that co2 is a greenhouse gas albeit utterly dwarfed by water vapour, the anthropogenic part of CO2 emissions is a tiny fraction anyway and that there may be other small anthropogenic effects on climate, UHI for example, but that some of these have a cooling effect!)

    but then don't you realise the rest of your post simply degenerates into advocacy -

    "There is no question that the planet is warming at present (as shown by the increase in both ocean and surface temperatures and by the positive energy imbalance at the edge of the atmosphere) ...The scientists have been able to exclude the sun ..."

    And interesting to see how much the reality differs from those 'scientists' projections

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/25/argo-era-nodc-ocean-heat-content-data-0-700-meters-through-december-2010/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/06/stratospheric-water-vapor-may-have-contributed-about-a-third-of-the-warming-1980-2000-but-now-is-in-decline/

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/march-2011-lower-tropospheric-global-temperature-analysis-from-the-university-of-alabama-at-huntsville/

    If there is one thing we can be certain about it is there is a great deal of uncertainty in climate science!!

    And much respect must be given to those scientists who are prepared to run the gauntlet of smears, innuendo and ad.hom. attacks that are such a Modus Operandi in the warmist camp as has been testified to by so many scientists, and is so evident in many of your posts.

    Many of us are well aware of the methods used to silence those who question the advocacy

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/politically-incorrect-prof-may-lose-his-job/

    And the 'fast tracking' of those prepared to report 'on-message', as 'Lead authors' several of whom may not even have obtained a PhD before being feted as the 'worlds top scientific experts'

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/the-ipcc-insiders-club/

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/ipcc-nobel-laureates-lack-scientific-credibility/

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/more-grad-student-expertise/

    I think one blogger had it absolutely right when he said

    "government 'science' is the deceitful tool of government propaganda"

    One simply needs to FOLLOW the MONEY -

    http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/43291

  • Comment number 46.

    Re: #41. At 09:47am on 7th Apr 2011, quake

    "If the CIA report is so convincing why has it been paraphrased and not quoted? Why are no references given to the implied scientists and scientific reports? This is very suspicious and looks like more myth making than any attempt to track down facts. afterall it claims government intervention and eminent scientists but does not name any of them".

    So... the typical claims of a warmist, if it's not fed to him by his favourite scientific cabal he doesn't believe it.... do the research, quake, follow the links and read the paper, you obviously haven't bothered to track down the facts, (not unusual in those who slavishly follow the CAGW advocacy)!!!

    "“The western world’s leading climatologists have confirmed recent reports of a detrimental global climaticic change ... the earth’s climate is returning to that of the neo-borial era (1600-1850) an era of drought, famine and political unrest in the western world”

    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/world-exclusive-cia-1974-document-reveals-emptiness-of-agw-scares-closes-debate-on-global-cooling-consensus-and-more/

  • Comment number 47.

    LabMunkey @ #40

    "2 parts to this statement- the first is 100% right and as far as i am aware not up for debate. The second- as usual for you is misleading."

    Perhaps you should check out the papers by Harries (2001), Wang (2009), Philipona (2008) and Evans (2006), which between them confirm that CO2 is indeed acting as a greenhouse gas in the real world. If it is retaining more IR radiation in the atmosphere then it is by definition also having a warming effect - as Scotty would say "You canna change the laws of physics"!

    So perhaps you can tell me how my statement is misleading.

    "The world is (was- i'm still unclear on what the current trend is doing) warming- we DO NOT know it is anthropogenic- or rather we do not know the degree. You are assigning far greater signifcance to the poor evidence that suggests a larger impact."

    Given that it has clearly been shown that CO2 is acting as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, we can say with certainty that at least SOME of the warming is anthropogenic. The next paragraph from myself indicates that it is very likely to be MOST of the warming:

    "The scientists have been able to exclude the sun for reasons explained previously. They have also been able to exclude ocean cycles because they don't have the capacity to warm both the atmosphere and the oceans at the same time. Nor do they have the ability to produce a positive energy imbalance. The scientists have also been able to show that the effects of global brightening and GCR's can't explain the warming either."

    You claim that this is "junk", but you are COMPLETELY mistaken. Perhaps you would like to point to evidence (with peer-reviewed references) that the sun can explain recent warming (even though its output has been steady for around 50 years). Perhaps you would like to explain how physics has changed to the extent that ocean cycles can lead to both the oceans and atmosphere warming at the same time and lead to a positive energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere. Perhaps you'd also like to point to scientific evidence which refutes the work of Pinker et al regarding global brightening and point to evidence that GCR's are really capable of explaining the recent warming trend.

    In other words, simply dismissing something as "junk" without providing supporting evidence is unscientific. You're going to have to do far btter than that, LabMunkey.

    Paul

  • Comment number 48.

    @ Paul.

    Here we go again.

    I was under the direct impression that the IR work has a a number of issues- not least the missing trophospheric hotspot.

    BUt on your papers-
    -Harries (2001), covers ALL GHG's not just co2- and doesn't assign a percentage of number to the actual contribution from c02.

    -Wang (2009)- i don't have access to this journal, so am relying on the abstract here- but it seems to yet-again, apply to ALL GHG's (especially water) and then makes a tenuous link to co2.

    -Philipona (2008) can you be more specific on this paper- i all i can find is one on light interactions with retina's.

    -Evans (2006), again can you be more specific.

    The first two papers weren't very relevant- so i'm hoping that the other two actually prove your point- else you're just doing your usual trick of linking peripheral work.

    "You claim that this is "junk", but you are COMPLETELY mistaken. Perhaps you would like to point to evidence (with peer-reviewed references) that the sun can explain recent warming (even though its output has been steady for around 50 years)."

    Sigh- i will prepare a proper response to this when i have time, needless to say i disagree.

  • Comment number 49.

    Sparklet @ #45

    Given this response from you, I could be forgiven for thinking that you didn't even read my previous post, or check on the links I included in it.

    I'm sorry if you don't understand the significance of Alden Griffith's hypothetical temperature series. In the real temperature series there are various natural cycles superimposed on a long-term warming trend. By constructing a hypothetical series which is KNOWN to include a gradual upwards trend, Griffiths has been able to demonstrate that there will always be periods where the trend slows or even reverses............ EVEN THOUGH GRIFFITHS HAS INCLUDED A VARIABLE WHICH IS INCREASING YEAR ON YEAR. The point of this is that it shows that it is extremely BAD SCIENCE to look at a short period in such a series and presume from it that warming has stopped. Yes, a short period of no warming COULD indicate that the trend has stopped, but no professional objective scientist would presume that it had unless the warming trend failed to resume in the longer term. This is why all of the arguments regarding short term falls in global temperature are silly.

    The above was the sole purpose of Griffith's hypothetical series. However, there are plenty of other points in the video which relate directly to the real temperature series. You may not wish to confront the inconvenience that these represent to sceptics such as yourself, but hopefully more objective readers will take the trouble to watch and inwardly digest what the video is saying:

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

    Now, regarding Bob Carter, did you not read the article I linked to? It explained how Carter had presented a single Greenland ice core (GISP2) as though it was a proxy of GLOBAL temperature over time (which it is not) and failed to mention the fact that the series terminated in around 1850. He presented a graph which he claimed had come from Grootes et al (1993) but which didn't appear in that paper. Carter's claims about periods of clear warming during the Holocene were also totally contradicted by the findings of the original paper. Carter also failed to mention that many of the "blips" in the GISP2 ice core data are believed to be due to physical events such as snow drifts rather than genuine large-scale fluctuations in temperature (Alley 2000).

    So, in summary, Carter was making unsupported claims about past trends in global temperatures based on a single proxy from Greenland...... so please don't try to present this "study" as though it is credible scientific evidence.

    "And interesting to see how much the reality%2

  • Comment number 50.

    Re: #47. At 15:18pm 7th Apr 2011, Paul Briscoe

    ""2 parts to this statement- the first is 100% right and as far as i am aware not up for debate. The second- as usual for you is misleading."

    Perhaps you should check out the papers by Harries (2001), Wang (2009), Philipona (2008) and Evans (2006), which between them confirm that CO2 is indeed acting as a greenhouse gas in the real world".

    Paul, why oh why do you employ tactics such as these. Where did LabMunkey say it was not acting as a greenhouse gas, indeed he confirmed that bit was a 100% correct.

    It was the second part he queried ie "that AGW IS happening in the here and now" in his response
    "The world is (was- i'm still unclear on what the current trend is doing) warming- we DO NOT know it is anthropogenic- or rather we do not know the degree. You are assigning far greater signifcance to the poor evidence that suggests a larger impact"

    [And as Professor Carter showed so ably in his video the up or down trend depends purely on what period of time you're talking about!!]

    Your reply to him - "Given that it has clearly been shown that CO2 is acting as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, we can say with cetainty that at least SOME of the warming is anthropogenic" is not disputed by what he said

    What is it about LabMunkey's statement -

    " You are assigning far greater signifcance to the poor evidence that suggests a larger impact" that you fail to understand????

    And how can you possibly claim with such certainty that -

    "The scientists have been able to exclude the sun ...they have also been able to exclude ocean cycles"

  • Comment number 51.

    #44. - LabMunkey wrote:
    "QV- mea cupla of course i meant On Topic."
    Actually, I apologise. From what I recalled of my usenet days, I had thought that O.T. meant "Off Topic", but I see from Wikipedia that their definition of O.T. is "On Topic", so maybe any confusion is only in my own head.
    Incidentally, the M.O. hasn't changed it's "Driest March for Years" news release, despite the fact that most of what it said in it was rubbish.
    I have been looking at the long-term trends in rainfall for April, and again, the long-term trend is up, although not as fast as for March, and the 30 year m.a. is above the trend. However, it seems that we are due for a downturn, and the last couple of years have been below the trend, so I would expect this April to be below normal.

  • Comment number 52.

    LabMunkey @ #48

    "Harries (2001), covers ALL GHG's not just co2- and doesn't assign a percentage of number to the actual contribution from c02."

    Yes, but it looks at the change over time and registers a reduction in the amount of IR radiation in the frequencies specific to CO2 leaving the atmosphere. So it does provide confirmation that increased CO2 is having an effect.

    Wang showed a substantial increase in downward longwave radiation in the period from 1973 - 2008. It didn't attempt to look at specific wavelengths, so it was only estimating the overall increase rather than that specific to CO2............ although it is hardly unreasonable to conclude that CO2 would be responsible for most of it.

    Philipona drew similar conclusions to Wang. However, Evans did take the final step of looking at the specific wavelengths of IR and attributing them to the relevant greenhose gases. Evans states:

    "This experimental data should effectively end the argument by skeptics that no experimental evidence exists for the connection between greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere and global warming."

    "The first two papers weren't very relevant- so i'm hoping that the other two actually prove your point- else you're just doing your usual trick of linking peripheral work."

    I don't agree, because if less IR radiation is escaping to space and more is returning to the Earth's surface, it is by definition having a warming effect on the atmosphere........... although I think the paper by Evans is probably the most significant one.

    "Sigh- i will prepare a proper response to this when i have time, needless to say i disagree."

    So you disagree with the following then?

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming-advanced.htm

    There's a lot of scientific work and some fairly problematic empirical science that you'll have to refute first.

    Paul

  • Comment number 53.

    Sparklet @ #45

    For some reason, the rest of my last response to you didn't get posted. So to continue......................


    "And interesting to see how much the reality differs from those 'scientists' projections"

    The scientists' projections are only expected to project the average conditions over the longer term, so they are very unlikely to accurately project short term fluctuations of the type covered by Griffith's video. Yet again, it is how the actual data tracks compared to projections IN THE LONG TERM that counts........ and the long term trend, for both surface and ocean temperatures, is upward. Plus, there is the not so small matter of the significant energy imbalance at the edge of the atmosphere, which Roy Spencer claims is actually LARGER than can be explained by greenhouse gases alone....... could this be evidence of significant positive feedback effects?

    You then link to several articles from a blog you have used before.

    Here's the other "side" to the first story on James Entrom:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=James_E._Enstrom

    It seems that Enstrom previously accepted funding by the tobacco industry to contradict the science linking smoking to seriuous disease. His more research, described in your link, was funded by The Electrical Power Research Institute, with industry trade groups now using his research to argue against tighter standards......... so who was REALLY being guilty of advocacy in this case, I wonder?

    The second is also not quite what it seems. The article states:

    "The media, taking the accompanying press release at face value, told us the report had the blessing of “Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist Osvaldo Canziani."

    So the blogger is simply taking the media's word for this is she?! My understanding is that Canziani was ill and wasn't the person responsible for the mix-up. What matters, though, is that the entire scientific community was very quick to correct the error.

    The final "offering" is frankly just mischief-making. No single individual acts alone in writing sections of the IPCC report - you only need to read some of the Climategate emails to see how much different scientists interact over the details. So a PhD is probably less important than the ability to write reports accurately......... especially in this case, as Kovats was an author for WGII (ie. NOT the scientific basis).

    Finally, I would srongly advise against trying to play the "money" card over the scientists researching AGW, as it was just recently that Pat Michaels admitted to rec

  • Comment number 54.

    49. At 17:08pm 7th Apr 2011, Paul Briscoe

    "The point of this is that it shows that it is extremely BAD SCIENCE to look at a short period in such a series and presume from it that warming has stopped"

    which is exactly the point I was making but it hasn't stopped the Climate 'scientists' from using a short time period to claim their is global warming - as Professor Carter states whether it is warming or cooling is based purely on the time period selected!!

    And how ironic your paragraphs on Professor Carter - how much more meaningfully and accurately these kinds of statements can be applied to the 'Team' in much of their 'science'.

  • Comment number 55.

    Hmmmmmm! It seems that there is a serious problem with my connection at present, leading to incomplete posts being registered.

    My last post should have read:

    Finally, I would strongly advise against trying to play the "money" card over the scientists researching AGW, as it was just recently that Pat Michaels admitted to receiving around 40% of his money (several million dollars) from the oil industry. Meanwhile, just look at the list of sceptical scientists with links to the oil-funded George C Marshall Institute:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=George_C._Marshall_Institute

    It costs an awful lot of money to run a research programme........... and you rarely see a scientist running an expensive car!!

    Paul

  • Comment number 56.

    Sparklet @ #50

    "Paul, why oh why do you employ tactics such as these. Where did LabMunkey say it was not acting as a greenhouse gas, indeed he confirmed that bit was a 100% correct."

    This is not tactics, Sparklet. It is a scientific FACT that if CO2 is reducing the amount of IR radiation escaping to space and leading to more being returned to the Earth's surface, CO2 IS having a warming effect on the planet - ie. AGW.

    "And how can you possibly claim with such certainty that -

    "The scientists have been able to exclude the sun ...they have also been able to exclude ocean cycles""

    Quite easily actually!

    The former is excluded by all of the work detailed here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming-advanced.htm

    The latter is excluded because it is a PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY for cycles such as ENSO and PDO to cause long term warming of both the atmosphere and the oceans.

    Paul

  • Comment number 57.

    Sparklet @ #54

    "which is exactly the point I was making but it hasn't stopped the Climate 'scientists' from using a short time period to claim their is global warming - as Professor Carter states whether it is warming or cooling is based purely on the time period selected!!"

    I've already explained twice why Bob Carter's claims are wrong. Also, even when there have been genuine warming and cooling trends in prehistory, there will have been genuine scientific reasons for them and it is reasonable to assume that if scientists had been around at the time they would have been able to provide detailed explanations for them (they can for some even based on proxies).

    Regarding the recent warming trend, though, it is well understood what the various cycles are and a 30 year period extends beyond them, so your criticism doesn't stand.

    Paul

  • Comment number 58.

    Sorry Sparklet. I missed this bit...........

    "And how ironic your paragraphs on Professor Carter - how much more meaningfully and accurately these kinds of statements can be applied to the 'Team' in much of their 'science'."

    Please can you provide examples of where scientists have presented a proxy for a single location as though it was a global temperature record?

    Please can you provide examples of where scientists have attributed a graph to a paper when that graph did not actually appear in the paper?

    You make lots of accusations against the scientific community, Sparklet, but you don't provide credible evidence.

    Paul

  • Comment number 59.

    Sparklet (again)

    In a previous post, you linked to some extraordinary claims by Lawrence Solomon. It turns out that these too were not what they seemed:

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/06/15/mike-hulme-sets-lawrence-solomon-and-marcmorano-straight/

    Paul

  • Comment number 60.

    Re: #59. At 18:13pm 7th Apr 2011, Paul Briscoe

    "In a previous post, you linked to some extraordinary claims by Lawrence Solomon. It turns out that these too were not what they seemed"

    then read what some of the IPCC 'insiders' actually say about the process, Paul

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/ipcc-nobel-laureates-lack-scientific-credibility/

    (Unfortunately I'm having problems posting some of my other replies (perhaps because they're somewhat longer!!)

  • Comment number 61.

    Re: #53. At 17:33pm 7th Apr 2011, Paul Briscoe

    "Here's the other "side" to the first story on James Entrom"

    "It seems that Enstrom previously accepted funding by the tobacco industry to contradict the science linking smoking to seriuous disease. His more research, described in your link, was funded by The Electrical Power Research Institute, with industry trade groups now using his research to argue against tighter standards......... so who was REALLY being guilty of advocacy in this case, I wonder?"

    So again the slurs and innuendo, the nonsense about the 'tobacco industry' when I thought we were talking about climate change and the usual distortions.

    But thanks for pointing this article out Paul because it contains startling parallels to what we have already seen in Climate Change 'Science' such as when James Emstrom published a paper on active and passive smoking in the BMJ.

    James Enstrom lists some of the methods used against him -

    "-violation of the strict BMJ press embargo in order to poison the press coverage of the paper and "silence" its finding"
    "-unsubstantiated and erroneous claims by the ACS that my paper is "fatally flawed" and meaningless"
    "-attempts to discredit me and the paper by misstating my dealings with the tobacco industry"
    "-a "peer-reviewed" journal article that contains nine pages of malicious libel about me and my co-author, Dr. Geoffrey C. Kabat"
    "-gross mischaracterization of my research in an attempt to get the University of California to refuse tobacco industry funding"

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=James_E._Enstrom_in_his_own_words

    Oh and interesting to note that the EU parliament abandoned the smoking ban in its own buildings that it has so successfully imposed elsewhere

    http://sadireland.com/euro_parliament_abandons_smoking_ban.htm

    (and by the way I'm a non smoker)

    To be cont...

  • Comment number 62.

    Sparklet @ #60

    Have you actually read the comments for yourself, Sparklet?

    From the first submission:

    "A main task of the IPCC Chair should be to immediately (within 24 hours) step in between attackers and the IPCC process or authors. The fact that this hasn't been fixed is inexcusable. This started in 1995 when lead author Ben Santer was personally attacked in the media for meddling with the IPCC SAR process. These were all spurious charges that were motivated solely to discredit the IPCC assessment conclusions, but Ben became a casualty when no one stepped in to defend him or the process he was a part of."

    From the second:

    "In my experience, the procedures were outstanding. If there is a shortcoming, it is that the skeptic agenda is overemphasized, and the conclusions reached are conservative, tending to understate the risks of climate change."

    From a little further on (sorry, I lost count!):

    "I have found the range of views in my area to be handled with great respect. Any viewpoint including viewpoints that are different from the mainstream and heard and addressed (although in the end not necessarily agreed to). In my chapter, we have never had anyone complain about their views not being heard."

    "Do not let the criticism of IPCC lead to a more bureaucratic process. If that happens, many of the most outstanding participants will likely be discouraged from active participation as they have in the past or even being participants in the future. That would ultimately spell the end of IPCC as an outstanding contributor to and synthesizer of knowledge relevant to climate change."

    "Because the skeptics have such direct effect on the public's knowledge and opinions on climate change, I think the report needs to provide more factual information targeting the public. The public knowledge is greatly driven in the U. S. by the talk show conservatives and not by carefully crafted statements by the National Academies. I would like to suggest that there should be a section in the next assessment that takes on say the top 10 or so issues raised by the skeptics. Of course this is buried in the IPCC documents and it is indirectly addressed in the policy makers summary. I give many talks to the public and the same questions come up all the time. Maybe a separate document should be prepared for specifically for public."

    "The limited number of errors identified this year underscores that the existing process is mostly successful in catching errors. On the other hand, the few mistakes that slipped through demonstrate the need fo

  • Comment number 63.

    Re: #62. At 21:50pm 7th Apr 2011, Paul Briscoe

    Indeed Paul and I suspect comments such as these may well have come from some of the 'lead authors' but interesting you don't comment on the others -

    IPCC works hard for geographic diversity. This is one valuable criterion, but it is not sufficient to choose a lead author. The result is that some of the lead authors (generally although not always from developing countries) are clearly not qualified to be lead authors and are unable to contribute in a meaningful way to the writing of the chapter. (page 16)

    …two [lead authors] on our chapter (one from a developing country and one European) never wrote a word or contributed much to discussions – nevertheless they remained credited. I felt this was unfair on those that actually wrote the text. (p. 35)

    …it is clearly noticeable that the [author nomination] process occasionally brings authors with poor knowledge or poor motivation into [lead author] positions. p. 46)

    The need for geographic and gender balance in selecting the bureau and [working group] Chairs is a problem. The [working group] Chairs from developing nations do not carry half the load – most are incapable of doing so. (p. 50)

    The problems caused by requiring geographic and gender balance are equally important at the lead author level. The developing nation participants on my Chapter team had limited understanding of developments outside their region and limited resources to obtain better understanding. (p. 50)

    The calibre of the participants has been declining. For the Second Assessment Report, the WG III policy chapter had a Nobel Laureate in economics (Kenneth Arrow) and a future Laureate (Joseph Stiglitz). For the Third Assessment Report, the WG III policy chapter had full professors of environmental economics and law from three prestigious universities – Peter Bohm, Stockholm; Thomas Heller, Stanford and Robert Stavins, Harvard. For the Fourth Assessment Report this had fallen to one full professor of environmental economics – Charles Kolstad, UC Santa Barbara. (p. 71)

    Since I have been selected for several IPCC reports, I have no personal prejudice (or grouse) on the process. However, regarding the selection of Lead Authors, I am more worried since the distortions, opaqueness and arbitrariness that is lately creeping into the process seems alarming. It seems that knowledge and scientific contributions are increasingly at discount in selection of authors compared to the personal connections, affiliations and political accommodations. (p. 78)

    In the

  • Comment number 64.

    Re: #62

    From IPCC INSIDERS -

    In the present process, there are four meetings where the IPCC Authors primarily meet. Many authors are absent and also some hardly contribute. The report therefore is finally prepared by a few… (p. 79)

    In WGI AR4, my judgment is that about 20% of the authors did very little, but the 80% who actually wrote the report were excellent. The 20% included some lazy people who just wanted the honor of being [a lead author] without the chore of actually doing the work. (p. 83)

    The selection of lead authors is based on a mix of competence and politics. The result unfortunately is usually a chapter team that has 3-5 people who do most of the work… (p. 117)

    There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter in AR4 we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent. (p. 138)

    The predominant concern appears to be geographic, gender…balance rather than making sure that the best [lead authors] are chosen… (p. 160, first ellipsis in the original)

    I have made a suggestion above to…improve the process of selecting co-chairs and authors more based on merit and less on politics. (p. 162)

    The need to have a geographical balance enforces to select some authors, mostly from developing countries, which do not have the necessary expertise…Some authors do not deliver any work at all, or their work is untimely and/or of poor quality. (p. 233)

    Sometimes, [lead authors] recommended from developing countries are bureaucrats with little scientific background…I recommend strongly to emphasize more academic background of [lead authors] in selecting them… (pp. 261-2, first ellipsis in the original)

  • Comment number 65.

    Re: #62

    …lead authors, especially from developing countries, are approached to participate (or be nominated) and often have their “arms twisted” to participate. They then battle to meet the work load…Their names are included in the list of authors and hence add to the credibility of the output – but the input has been limited. Secondly I have experienced the addition of lead authors or [contributing] authors during the process who often seem to come with a political mandate – generally from developed countries and as such they can be very disruptive – let alone the dubious nature of the science they contribute! (p. 277)

    The role of gender and geographic factors in selecting authors/lead authors/review editors should be suppressed. Scientific quality and background should be the main criterion…(p. 288)

    …the necessity of a political spread of the working group chairs, makes that not always the most competent people are there. (p. 295)

    …half of the authors are there for simply representing different parts of the world. This makes author groups very large, and often not effective where two or three authors per chapter still do all the work. Also countries nominate, and sometimes nominate not pure scientists, but people also involved in [Conference of the Parties] negotiations. (p. 296)

    The team members from the developing countries (including myself) were made to feel welcome and accepted as part of the team. In reality we were out of our intellectual depth as meaningful contributors to the process.) (p. 330)

    The repetitive process of an entire review at five year intervals has become burdensome to the key scientists, many of whom would prefer to remain doing science rather than sitting in committees. One result is that eventually the B-team or C-team are nominated to serve, while the A-team stays at home to do the work. (p. 332)

    Typically, in an author team of two [coordinating lead authors] and seven [lead authors], three of the [lead authors] will be non-performers… (p. 333, ellipses in the original)

    Developing country expert “tokenism”: While not always true, at times the developing country authors are chosen more to boost diversity and legitimacy than for substantive input. (p. 364; underscore in original)

  • Comment number 66.

    Sparklet

    "(Unfortunately I'm having problems posting some of my other replies (perhaps because they're somewhat longer!!)"

    No longer than some of your epics, Sparklet! I have had some connection problems this week and for some reason this is now causing me problems here. It seems my last post was cut short too.

    I'll try again later.

    Paul

  • Comment number 67.

    Re: #62


    From IPCC insiders commenting on the IPCC process -

    given that [lead author] roles are pre-assigned there is no leverage…to induce adequate contributions from the entire team. Some [lead authors] simply did not contribute enough but because they were nominated by their governments, nothing could be done to induce them to contribute. (p. 365)

    Many scientists are [selected] by their political position and not by their competence. (p. 373)

    The most important problem of the IPCC is the nomination and selection of authors and Bureau Members. Some experts are included or excluded because of their political allegiance rather than their academic quality. Sometimes, the “right” authors are put in key positions with generous government grants to support their IPCC work, while the “wrong” authors are sidelined to draft irrelevant chapters and sections without any support. (p. 542)

    The whole process… [is] flawed by an excessive concern for geographical balance. All decisions are political before being scientific. (p.554)

    I tried very hard to engage my [Working Group 2] bureau…only one out of six was really helpful. Two others meant well, but didn’t know the science well enough to be constructive, and the other three were simply unprepared to help in any meaningful way. (p. 587)

    "To sum up, therefore, a significant number of IPPC insiders believe many of their colleagues possess inferior scientific credentials. They believe these people’s participation in the IPCC is a result of concerns that have nothing to do with science."

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/ipcc-nobel-laureates-lack-scientific-credibility/

    And these are only some of the ones that were published, many remain unpublished despite frequent requests to do so.

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/the-missing-questionnaires/

  • Comment number 68.

    Sparklet

    Sadly, main point of my post at # 62 that was that anyone can "quote mine" in such a way as to give an unrepresentative picture of what respondents actually thought. I wasn't suggesting that my selection was a true reflection either........ just as yours aren't!

    The IPCC, like any intergovernmental body, is not perfect, but the report was not a damning indictment of it. Nor did the responses of contributors as a whole reflect any bias or lack of professionalism.

    Now I'd better leave it and hope my computer works better tomorrow.

    Paul

  • Comment number 69.

    Re: #66. At 22:20pm 7th Apr 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:
    Sparklet

    "(Unfortunately I'm having problems posting some of my other replies (perhaps because they're somewhat longer!!)"

    No longer than some of your epics, Sparklet! I have had some connection problems this week and for some reason this is now causing me problems here. It seems my last post was cut short too.

    I'll try again later.

    Paul
    ----------------------------------

    Unfortunately so many of the distortions can't be covered in a simple post, Paul - such is the misfortune of responding to CAGW proponents!!!

  • Comment number 70.

    Re: #68. At 22:33pm 7th Apr 2011, Paul Briscoe

    The main point Paul, is that these quotes are from people that form part of the IPCC process itself, they are INSIDERS so their comments are very relevent and their criticisms should not be ignored. It is also of great concern that so many comments were NOT published. This can only lead to speculation that other comments are even WORSE!!

  • Comment number 71.

    Re: #53 PB

    James Enstrom was actually employed by the University of California when his study on diesel particulates was done , the point you made Paul was like accusing Phil Jones of working for BP

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/

    but interesting you state that Enstrom's research

    "was funded by The Electrical Power Research Institute, with industry trade groups now using his research to argue against tighter standards"

    From the article I linked to -

    "When Dwayne Whitney started his trucking business decades ago he had only one truck. Today he has eighteen and 20 employees. But that's about to change.

    "The State of California says my trucks are killing people," says Whitney. "What do you say to that?"

    In a few years, new air quality regulations approved by the California Air Resources Board will render Whitney's entire fleet illegal.

    "New CARB rules are putting me out of business," he says.

    CARB claims that diesel particulates, a type of pollution emitted from buses and trucks, contributes to 2,000 premature deaths in California each year. But UCLA epidemiologist Dr. James Enstrom says the number should be closer to zero.

    In 2005 Enstrom authored an extensive study that found no relationship between diesel particulates and premature deaths. He says his study, as well as other evidence that agrees with it, have been ignored by an agency bent on passing ever more stringent regulations regardless of their effect on California's economy.

    Enstrom blew the whistle on CARB for, among other things, failing to publicize that the lead author of the study that was used to justify the new regulations falsified his education history (he purchased his PhD from an online diploma mill).

    But UCLA didn't come to Enstrom's defense. In fact, officials informed him that, after 34 years at the university, he was out of a job.

    "The environmental regulation machine in powerful in California," says Adam Kissel of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which is defending Enstrom in the fight to keep his job. "When Dr. Enstrom went up against that machine he was retaliated against." "

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/03/31/reason-tv-the-green-regulation

    And by the way it is interesting to note that 'Sourcewatch' that you link to was previously know as 'Disinfopedia' (a more apt name I feel) and has surprisingly little on the promoters of CAGW such as Sir John Houghton and Steven Schneider compared to scientists such as James Enstrom who dare to query the so-c

  • Comment number 72.

    #39 - Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "That is self-evidently a misrepresentation of the facts! The video did indeed use a hypothetical set of data including a gradual upwards trend and a number of cyclic variables. As you well know, the purpose of this was to prove that there will always be periods when the trend APPEARS to slow or reverse, even though it is KNOWN that the upwards trend is continuing all of the time. This hypothetical example graphically explains why it is foolhardy to draw conclusions about the upward trend in global temperatures based on a period of a few years.......... indeed, only someone trying to "hide the incline" would use such an approach!"

    I take it from the above that you mean that it would be foolhardy to conclude that the upward trend had stopped based on a few years?
    Of course, that is true, but it works both ways. It is equally foolhardy to assume that the trend is increasing based on a few years in which temperature rise
    is above the trend.
    I am sure that you will agree that it is important to get the start and end points correct when calculating trends. Care must be taken not to calculate trends using an unusually low start point and/or an unusually high end point. This is why calculating a trend at the moment would produce spurious results, like calculating a trend for ice cream sales with a starting point in winter and an end point in the summer, no matter over how many years the trend was calculated. But how is one to know the most "neutral" start and end points over which to calculate trends?
    The work I have done on the variation in the 50 year linear trend in the HadCRUT3 series, suggests a peak in those trends approximately every 60 years, and we are currently at or approaching a peak. The last peak before this was around 1950, and the last trough was around 1980, and the one before that was, around 1920. If this pattern holds true into the past, there would have been a trough round about 1860, which is 10 years after the HadCRUT3 series starts. This means that the best period of time over which to calculate the long-term trend would be between about 1935 and 1995. When this is done, (July 1935 to June 1995), the long-term trend works out at about 0.4c per century, compared with about 0.75c per century over over the period 1911-2010 and 1.61c per century over the period 1990 to 2010.
    Consequently, this demonstrates that the recent short term warming trend is significantly above the long term trend and any conclusions drawn from that%

  • Comment number 73.

    For some reason my last post has been cut short!
    Similar problems to other people, so I guess the problem is with the BBC!
    Are they setting a post limit now?
    Rather than post the whole thing again, here is the end of the above post:

    Consequently, this demonstrates that the recent short term warming trend is significantly above the long term trend and any conclusions drawn from that are likely to be equally as wrong as assuming that warming has stopped over then next 20 years. It seems to me that this is probably why most of the IPCC climate model temperature predictions in scenario A2 have proved to be excessive. Unless those models are recalculated to a more "normal" upward trend, they are likely to continue to be excessive.

  • Comment number 74.

    Paul @ #52

    Re: Harries (2001),

    Your point is only half right-it shows co2 has an effect on the escaping IR (at that one sampling point) but also shows that methane by far dwarfs it's signal and water is not represented.

    Additionally it assumes a blackbody.

    Re-Wang: your statement "although it is hardly unreasonable to conclude that CO2 would be responsible for most of it"

    ... is erroneous. As is shown by your previous link, methane vastly outweights co2's impact and water vapour vastly outweighs both- as even the IPCC admit.

    The other two i cannot comment on as i've not read them- but specifically on Evans- can you give me the title of the paper so i can read it please, i am still unable to locate it (poor search string on my behalf no doubt).

    " because if less IR radiation is escaping to space and more is returning to the Earth's surface, it is by definition having a warming effect on the atmosphere........... although I think the paper by Evans is probably the most significant one"

    This shows, quite nicely that your distraction into co2 IR absorption is only a distraction (not necesserily on purpose) as it actually, regardless of the outcome, doesn't support the cAGW theory. It adds weight to some of the claims of course- but completely omits all the feedbacks and assumes they don't exist.

    It's interesting to debate- but frankly, irrelevant.

    Re your perennial skeptical science link: It's almost painful. The number of massive assumptions and unwarrented conclusions actually started to give me a headache (though not to say that it is all wrong-there are some good bits in there). I frankly do not have time to sit down and pick the entire thing apart for you- especially as others have already done this.

    Further it's clear that even if i did put the considerable time required to cataloging all the issues, that you'd dismiss it out of hand as it was not 'pal reviewed'. As such i'm reaching the point where i'm questioning the merit of even debating with you further.

  • Comment number 75.

    Temperature through 2010 is compatible with the background warming trend that has been going since around 1970. So far there is no sign that the background temperature trend has gone flat, let alone that the Earth has started cooling.

    To clarify - if background temperature had gone flat since say 1995, the 2010 global temperature should have been quite a bit below 1998, given that 1998 had a stronger El Nino and 2010 had lower solar output. There are more examples like this, comparisons between ENSO events now and ~10 years ago which show the background temperature state is now higher than it was back then. To the degree that the background temperature state has increased this is in line with it's overall rate of warming since 1970. We've already had the PDO switch and the deep solar minimum has passed. So far these events have failed to stop the background warming trend.

  • Comment number 76.

    @ 75- quake.

    You seem to be making an assumption that the background warming was flat- in fact we've been in a long warming trend (pre potential AGW), so it is entirely likely that the 2010 signal will be higher than the 1998

    What we need to do is identify this approximate warming trend (natural) and subject that from all the data to give the 'normalised' data (which should be a flat line across the x axis, with any anthropogenic (or unexplained) warming showing up as a slope).

    This will then give us better information- simply saying that 2010 is warmer (which is debatable) than 1998 doesn't actually tell us anything.

    Additionally- there has to be an effect of longer warming at higher output on the climate- i'm not sure you can expect the climate to respond as it did in 1945 say (which iirc was the last large cycle pre 1998), now. There's been an extra 30-50 years solar warming which has increased the energy in the system significantly.

    I agree that the information is pertinent- however i'm not sure how safe the conclusions drawn are.

  • Comment number 77.

    If the objective is to determine the background temperature state then I think the first step should be to remove ENSO from the temperature records. Afterall no-one thinks the background temperature state suddenly jumped up in 1998, everyone accepts that the warm ENSO spike was a temporary glitch above the background warming state we are actually interested in. So some effort should be made to adjust years like 1998 downwards so the actual warm state signal is easier to see from the temporary noise.

    ENSO is the biggest source of decadal uncertainty and it's also fairly well measured and even if ENSO was only partially corrected (eg 1998 spike is slightly lowered rather than completely removed) it would help.

    It would be good if all global temperature records published ENSO adjusted versions. There should be an ENSO adjusted HadCRUT, ENSO adjusted UAH and ENSO adjusted GISTEMP, etc. And everyone should then be looking at those ENSO adjusted records to see what's happening to climate trends.

    ENSO unadjusted graphs are only be useful for looking at shorterm trends which have no relevance to teh topic of climate change. I think scientists could clear up a lot of misconceptions by publishing ENSO corrected versions.

  • Comment number 78.

    Found the link finally, below is a link to some efforts to adjust for ENSO in hadcrut and gistemp. Although it's over 2 years old now so it's missing recent years. This is why it would be nice if such an enso adjusted record was being maintained with monthly updates like the rest:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/07/global-trends-and-enso/

    It doesn't settle the "what's going on question", but a record like which is at least somewhat corrected for ENSO is a much better basis to discuss what's going on than records which have all the ENSO noise getting in the way.

  • Comment number 79.

    Quake-
    i'td certainly add another dimension to the data, which i think is a good thing.

    My only qualifier would be that if there were to be an anthropogenic affect manifesting itself thatwas detectable this way, then the reduction post-enso data WOULD actually be quite useful to have (by keeping the enso non-corrected if you follow).

    HAving both methods i think's the best way and i agree i'd like to see a more updated version also.

  • Comment number 80.

    #75 - quake wrote:
    "Temperature through 2010 is compatible with the background warming trend that has been going since around 1970. So far there is no sign that the background temperature trend has gone flat, let alone that the Earth has started cooling."
    What does "through 2010" mean?
    The last 20-30 years have been ABOVE the background trend and the next 20-30
    years will be below the background trend. Yes, there is an upward trend in global temperatures but not as fast as recent temperatures would suggest.

  • Comment number 81.

    Sparklet (various)

    I take it from your curtailed posts that you too fell foul of the technical issue….. so you were perhaps a little premature to mock me over the length of my posts! I’ll treat your other related comments with the contempt they deserve.

    It is also disingenuous of you to accuse me of “slurs and innuendo” when it is invariably you who turn discussions away from the science with unwarranted slurs on the integrity and professionalism of scientists. In this thread you started your innuendo as early as post #22.

    It is also striking how the frequency of such attacks from yourself increases as you run out of scientific arguments!

    Paul

  • Comment number 82.

    Sparklet (various)

    Now, returning to the question of James Enstrom………. it was you (at post #45) who introduced this (together with yet more unjustified slurs on the scientific community) as though it somehow reflected badly on scientists as a whole. You were relying solely on the testament of blogs, presuming (as you always seem to) that those blogs had all of their facts correct and had no agenda of their own which might lead them to put their own gloss on things.

    I merely pointed out that there is another side to this story which you and your sources have simply brushed under the carpet. I don’t claim to know all of the details. Frankly, neither of us do. It is likely that the truth lies somewhere between the two. So please don’t attempt to use this type of stuff to implicate climate scientists. The ONLY similarity is that Enstrom’s research appears to be as much at odds with the scientific consensus as say Spencer or Christy’s!

    “The environmental regulation machine is powerful in California”

    ……….. and so is the right wing lobby ideologically opposed to ANY environmental regulation – could it not be that the blogs you have quoted fall into this category?

    Paul

  • Comment number 83.

    Everyone is talking about solar now.
    Fresh from the Chiefio:

    'Sun takes a break and UV plunges.
    Lower UV means a colder mesosphere and thermosphere, and lower ozone in the Stratosphere.
    Lower Ozone means the 11 micron IR window “opens”.
    Stratosphere cools as well (and the whole upper atmosphere gets more compressed) so heat transport will be more effective.
    All the cooling cuts water vapor as it makes rain / freezes into noctilucent clouds.
    Troposphere convects a bit more rapidly (the “gustier” and “blustery” quality I’ve noted) and we have a net large increase in heat flow out, or cooling.

    CO2 cools damp air. CO2 cools the stratosphere. The sun cools the stratosphere, mesosphere, and troposphere when the UV level drops
    (and thus must also warm them when UV rises…)'
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/

    Freeman Dyson also talking about UV dropping
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTSxubKfTBU&feature=player_embedded

  • Comment number 84.

    Sparklet @ #70

    “The main point Paul, is that these quotes are from people that form part of the IPCC process itself, they are INSIDERS so their comments are very relevent and their criticisms should not be ignored. It is also of great concern that so many comments were NOT published. This can only lead to speculation that other comments are even WORSE!!”

    Only you would assume that the other comments would be worse!!!

    As I stated above, it is so easy to find comments to back up a particular agenda in a document that large. From skimming through the comments myself, the basic thrust of them all taken together is NOT what you suggest. Yes, there are problems with the IPCC, just as there are in national governments, the Civil Service, the EU……. What I have not seen anywhere is a suggestion of an institutional bias within the IPCC. Also, I suspect that a lot of the comments you have drawn attention to relate to Working Group II. The lead authors I have seen listed for Working Group I are undoubtedly leading scientific experts in their fields.

    Paul

  • Comment number 85.

    QV @ #72

    "I take it from the above that you mean that it would be foolhardy to conclude that the upward trend had stopped based on a few years? Of course, that is true, but it works both ways. It is equally foolhardy to assume that the trend is increasing based on a few years in which temperature rise is above the trend."

    I totally agree. It does work both ways. It's just that we all need to get away from looking at short timescales here. Having said that, short timescales can be interesting on occasion - for example when there has been a volcanic eruption.

    On the basis of the problems we've all been having, I think it best to keep individual posts quite short for now (hooray they cry!).

    Paul

  • Comment number 86.

    LabMunkey @ #74

    "Your point is only half right-it shows co2 has an effect on the escaping IR (at that one sampling point) but also shows that methane by far dwarfs it's signal and water is not represented."

    I'm no expert on this, but I don't think it is correct to assume that the depth of the trough is necessarily equivalent to the amount of potential warming. There is a little more on this at Realclimate (see Step 2):

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/the-co2-problem-in-6-easy-steps/

    ..... with a link to another figure which includes water vapour:

    http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/sndprf/spectra.gif

    It is implied that this comes from Harries too. Of course, if CO2 and methane are warming the Earth, it would be expected that the absorption of IR by water would increase as well (ie. the water vapour feedback). This figure shows 2 distinct bands of increased absorption for CO2.

    "Additionally it assumes a blackbody."

    I think that is simply the way the brightness temperature is expressed and it doesn't invalidate the results. What matters in this case is the reduced emissions to space over time - something which has apparently been confirmed by subsequent studies (Griggs (2004) and Chen (2007)). Sadly, I'm unable to access these papers.

    Paul

  • Comment number 87.

    So far, the Positive Weather Solutions forecast for April hasn't proved to be very accurate!
    http://www.positiveweathersolutions.co.uk/UK-Eire---Month-Ahead-Forecast.php
    I am beginning to get a sneaking suspicion that this summer is going to be hot, with possibly a record high annual CET figure for the U.K. This, of course will be blamed on "global warming", despite the fact that global temperatures will be relatively low. Recently there seems to have been a negative correlation between U.K. temperatures and global temperatures.
    But again, I may be being over-influenced by the current sunny & warm weather.

  • Comment number 88.

    #85 - Paul Briscoe wrote:
    "On the basis of the problems we've all been having, I think it best to keep individual posts quite short for now (hooray they cry!)."
    Maybe we should follow twitter's example, 250 characters or less!


  • Comment number 89.

    LabMunkey @ #74

    "Re-Wang: your statement "although it is hardly unreasonable to conclude that CO2 would be responsible for most of it"

    ... is erroneous. As is shown by your previous link, methane vastly outweights co2's impact and water vapour vastly outweighs both- as even the IPCC admit."

    As I stated above, your assumption that methane vastly outweighs CO2 based on Harries is not correct. The Realclimate article I linked to provides references to papers which have done the calculations and it is clear from these that the effect of CO2 is actually far larger. Water vapour is a different matter. However, its concentration in the atmosphere is directly dependent on temperature, so it is a feedback rather than a forcing. There is much more on this and the net contribution of each greenhouse gas in IPCC AR4.

    I do agree, though, that the papers of Philipona and Wang make it impossible to determine how much of the additional IR radiation returning to Earth is due to CO2 and how much is due to water - they simply provide non-specific evidence of an enhanced greenhouse effect.

    However, the paper of Evans was different in that it separated the effects of the various greenhouse gases. The Skeptical Science article links to this page, which has a further link to an "extended abstract", which is actually fairly detailed:

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

    Paul

  • Comment number 90.

    LabMunkey

    Just as an aside to the above, I recently read a paper by Gavin Schmidt which pointed out that even though CO2 is the main forcing, the increase in water vapour as a response to this forcing will result in the percentage contribution of CO2 and water vapour to total greenhouse warming remaining roughly constant. In other words, water vapour will always remain far and away the largest single contributor to greenhouse warming. However, because CO2 concentration is independent of temperature whilst water vapour is not, it is still CO2 and not water vapour that is the "forcing".

    I linked to this paper in a recent thread. I'll see if I can find it.

    Paul

  • Comment number 91.

    LabMunkey @ #74 (continued)

    "It adds weight to some of the claims of course- but completely omits all the feedbacks and assumes they don't exist."

    No it doesn't assume that the feedbacks don't exist. Any non-specific measurement of increased IR radiation returning to the surface by definition includes water vapour feedback as well as the anthropogenic fraction. It is when you take the whole set of evidence together that it starts to make sense - it's that "bigger picture" I keep asking you and others to consider.

    The problem is that you keep looking at each paper in isolation and trying to find the weaknesses so that you can dismiss it. That is not how scientific research works. ALL papers have strengths and weaknesses, which is why you need to look at all of the scientific evidence taken together to get a complete picture.

    I suggest that you have a read of the full article at Realclimate by someone who is an expert in this field:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/the-co2-problem-in-6-easy-steps/

    Also, as I've pointed out to you before, you need to bear in mind that even sceptics such as Lindzen and Spencer don't challenge the basic calculation of a forcing from CO2 of 3.7 W/m2 for a doubling of CO2. It is only the magnitude of some feedbacks that they disagree over.

    Paul

  • Comment number 92.

    LabMunkey @ #74 (continued)

    "Re your perennial skeptical science link: It's almost painful. The number of massive assumptions and unwarrented conclusions actually started to give me a headache (though not to say that it is all wrong-there are some good bits in there). I frankly do not have time to sit down and pick the entire thing apart for you- especially as others have already done this."

    We've been through all of this before. Contrary to what you claim, I have never seen anyone pick apart a Skeptical Science article and they are unlikely to because the articles are based on sound science. I think a large part of the problem is the point I mentioned in my last post - like so many sceptics, you are looking at the science piecemeal and trying to refute each piece when you need to consider the complete body of evidence.

    "Further it's clear that even if i did put the considerable time required to cataloging all the issues, that you'd dismiss it out of hand as it was not 'pal reviewed'."

    The Russell inquiry made the point that sceptics should be using the normal scientific channels of peer-reviewed literature if they wish to challenge the science. If the arguments are sound, the papers WILL be accepted and the scientific community WILL accept the findings. Any claims to the contrary are mischievous nonsense. All that is lacking from the sceptic side is sound science........ which is why there are so few peer-reviewed papers which question the consensus.

    Paul

  • Comment number 93.

    quake @ #78

    Tamino has recently done a lot of work attempting to remove the effects of natural cycles, including solar and volcanic influences:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/how-fast-is-earth-warming/

    Paul

  • Comment number 94.

    93. - it hasnt actually warmed since 1998 some agencies even record a slight fall - before that it warmed from 1976 to 1998 a 22 year period - before that we had a cool period from 1940 to 1976 a 36 year period

    Its a con, its about control, its about being able to increase taxation without provoking revolution - after all who can argue against steps being taken to save the world!

  • Comment number 95.

    To Paul Brisco

    Where DO you find the patience?

    If it is any comfort, since I first started reading this blog (maybe 6 months ago) you have converted me steadily towards your side of the argument.

    All the best.

  • Comment number 96.

    Re: #81. At 16:28pm 8th Apr 2011, Paul Briscoe

    It is also disingenuous of you to accuse me of “slurs and innuendo” when it is invariably you who turn discussions away from the science with unwarranted slurs on the integrity and professionalism of scientists. In this thread you started your innuendo as early as post #22

    It is also striking how the frequency of such attacks from yourself increases as you run out of scientific arguments!

    Paul
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Interesting Paul, Perhaps you could quote the 'unwarranted slurs on the integrity and professionalism of scientists' that you accuse me of (specific quotes please, not your preferred generalities when it comes to this!) - you have tried this tactic before with others, as I've pointed out on a previous thread when you are the one who makes unwarranted and unsubstantiated attacks on others. I shall happily provide examples of any activities I have criticised, I usually do.

    And unfortunately many of us have day jobs/businesses to run and simply can't devote the same amount of time that you obviously can.

  • Comment number 97.

    Re: #82. At 16:32pm 8th Apr 2011, Paul Briscoe wrote:
    Sparklet (various)

    Now, returning to the question of James Enstrom………. it was you (at post #45) who introduced this (together with yet more unjustified slurs on the scientific community) as though it somehow reflected badly on scientists as a whole. You were relying solely on the testament of blogs, presuming (as you always seem to) that those blogs had all of their facts correct and had no agenda of their own which might lead them to put their own gloss on things.

    I merely pointed out that there is another side to this story which you and your sources have simply brushed under the carpet. I don’t claim to know all of the details. Frankly, neither of us do. It is likely that the truth lies somewhere between the two. So please don’t attempt to use this type of stuff to implicate climate scientists. The ONLY similarity is that Enstrom’s research appears to be as much at odds with the scientific consensus as say Spencer or Christy’s!

    “The environmental regulation machine is powerful in California”

    ……….. and so is the right wing lobby ideologically opposed to ANY environmental regulation – could it not be that the blogs you have quoted fall into this category?

    Paul
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paul, another one!! - kindly identify 'the unjustified slur' - and please specify which of the statements you believe to be wrong. It is of note that again you resort to generalities without quoting specifics. Your statement is also rather ironic considering you spend so much of your time quoting from many of the blogs that you do!

  • Comment number 98.

    jkiller56

    Thanks for your words of encouragement.

    I first posted here on a blog discussing wind farms, because I seriously doubt that they are as green as many believe. Nor do I believe that they are a realistic "solution".

    However, in subsequent blogs I was appalled at the way the science of AGW was being misrepresented. Consequently, when I have time (I try to make time), I endeavour to provide a sense of balance which frequently hasn't been present in the posts on this blog. It is a lot of work and sometimes I get very frustrated by things that I read here, but I try to retain a level head!

    Thankfully, it seems that I am not entirely alone!

    Paul

  • Comment number 99.

    Sparklet @ #96

    At post #22 you repeat an assertion that we have discussed before, claiming that Chris Landsea was “forced to resign” (which is simply untrue) from the IPCC due to “distortions” by Kevin Trenberth. Landsea was certainly upset, but once you consider Kevin Trenberth’s account (he is actually entitled to have his version of events heard!), it is very clear that Landsea over-reacted:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/01/forbes-rich-list-of-nonsense/

    From the above article:

    "We doubt that Landsea went so far as to claim that “no research had been conducted to support that claim” but if he did he is certainly incorrect. This topic goes back at least to 1987 with a paper in Nature by Kerry Emanuel. Kevin Trenberth offers some salient points about the controversy from his point of view:

    I was not an IPCC spokesperson and I was not advertised as such. Landsea claimed otherwise.

    I did not call the press conference, it was called by Harvard university (Paul Epstein and Jim McCarthy), I participated.

    There was a ton of research including my own on changes in the hydrological cycle that were pertinent but not specifically Tropical Storm based, as well as Kerry’s work.

    Landsea did not notify IPCC once, let alone repeatedly. He called a press conference and resigned from IPCC but he was not even part of IPCC. He had been asked by me to write something as a contributing author. It (the Forbes article) was a horrible distortion of many facts."

    My concern is that you appear to extract details from such events which fit your argument and fail to provide the full facts to balance things. This may not be deliberate on your part, but rather a consequence of your reliance on blogs which are under no obligation to report things accurately.

    Paul

  • Comment number 100.

    Sparklet (continued)

    At post #45 you state:

    “And much respect must be given to those scientists who are prepared to run the gauntlet of smears, innuendo and ad.hom. attacks that are such a Modus Operandi in the warmist camp as has been testified to by so many scientists…….”

    ……….and then proceed to provide an example from a medical field (Epidemiology) as “evidence”.

    You have never provided credible evidence to support your claims that “warmists” routinely resort to smears, innuendo and ad hominem attacks. Again, all of your so-called “evidence” emanates from blogs which are under no obligation to report the facts accurately.

    If you are referring to me specifically, it is not my style to resort to such tactics. I only criticise individuals when there is clear evidence to back up what I’m saying and even then I choose my words with great care. On a number of occasions you have made serious allegations regarding the integrity of scientists based on claims made by certain blog sites. I have pointed out that those sites are not reliable sources of information and have provided plenty of examples to back up what I’m saying.

    Finally, my reference to right-wing lobbies is based on detailed investigations by Naomi Oreskes (“Merchants of Doubt”) and David Michaels (“Doubt is Their Product”). There is also considerable evidence of denial within the US Republican party in Congress:

    http://skepticalscience.com/Climate-myths-at-the-US-House-Hearing-on-climate-change.html

    I am NOT saying that the sites you quoted were definitely part of this movement. Nor am I saying that they were definitely wrong. However, I was pointing out that it is entirely conceivable that they could be guilty of advocacy, so it is foolhardy to PRESUME that their claims are reliable.

    Paul

 

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