« Previous | Main | Next »

Rest of July heading for a washout

Paul Hudson | 14:58 UK time, Thursday, 14 July 2011

Most parts of the country have enjoyed a fine summers day today, with plenty of sunshine.

But although it's the last thing the UK tourist industry wants to hear, the message is enjoy it while it lasts.

By the weekend low pressure will again be dominating our weather as the jet stream moves further south than normal, as it did for much of June.

The two charts below, the first for this sunday and the second for a week on sunday are typical of what we can expect for much of the rest of July.





The atmosphere will be stuck 'in a rut', leading to spells of rain, interspersed with brighter days, but with a risk of heavy, thundery showers.

During spells of weather like this it's not all doom and gloom. Two or three fine, dry days on the trot are possible, but rain bearing clouds will never be far away.

At least the rain will continue to alleviate the drought conditions in eastern areas.

As I indicated on this blog in May at the end of our gloriously warm and sunny spring, that although it was possible that the fine weather would last through summer, a more likely scenario based on historical weather records was for summer to turn unsettled.

Once more, so far at least, climatology has proved to be a very useful tool in predicting what summer is going to be like.

Climate records also indicate that should the rest of July turn out to be unsettled as expected, more often than not August remains changeable, although there are exceptions to the rule.

Let's hope this year August is one of those exceptions - if not, September could see a big improvement.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Just as the kids break up for summer, every fricken year.....

  • Comment number 2.

    1.At 18:23 14th Jul 2011, millennia wrote:
    "Just as the kids break up for summer, every fricken year....."
    I think that the original reason the school holidays are so late in the year was so that the children could help gather in the harvest. That was in the days when England was a more agriculturally based society. At least I am sure I heard that on a documentary once, although I can't find any supporting evidence.
    I suppose on that basis, there is an argument for changing the dates.

  • Comment number 3.

    millennia QV,

    It's an interesting point. The long summer break for children in the British school systems is a remnant of our previous planting and harvesting cycle.

    Quite what kids in the modern suburbs make of this is not yet clear. Though where I live I find that the kids are adept at directing their conserved energies in other directions.

    (For 'kids' read 'young people': political correctness at all times!)

  • Comment number 4.

    "...it's the last thing the UK tourist industry wants to hear..."

    I disagree with you there slightly Paul. I have a lot of relatives in Canada, and when they come 'home' (to Ireland in my case), the last thing on their minds is the weather. They sort of remember it, how changeable it can be.

    All the younger ones have heard the stories. They sort of *expect* the 'soft' Irish/British weather in summer. In sunny years they are a bit surprised. In fact, a bit disappointed. If they want relentless heat they can stay in Canada in summer.

    My uncle said to me one time "I don't come 'home' for the weather". Which sort of sums it up.

    Our weather in these British Isles is fantastic: always a talking point. The rich and famous can stay in their boring, cloudless tax havens.

    Give me a good old 'British Summer' any time.

    http://cloudappreciationsociety.org/

  • Comment number 5.

    #4. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "Our weather in these British Isles is fantastic: always a talking point. The rich and famous can stay in their boring, cloudless tax havens."
    I quite agree.
    I would hate to live in a country with blue sky from horizon to horizon.
    You will be pleased to know that I am a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society.
    Regarding school holidays, since the academic year, including examinations, is organised around the current pattern, it would presumably be very difficult to change.


  • Comment number 6.

    Surprise, surprise!

    Tomorrow is St Swithins of course. Like other old lore, if you take it literally it is nonsense. But read as the general character of the weather at the time it can have some truth in it: ie changable and at times wet this year- as Paul H says- it is likely to last through August (40 days or so).

    Re September - there is another rhyme. "All the tears St Swithin can cry - Bartholomew's mantle will wipe them dry". St B's is the end of August. This suggests a wet summer often picks up in September - just as the school hols are ending of course.

    How often we all remember and remark on this!

  • Comment number 7.

    Very tranditional English summer and autumn... but, but, but CO2, climate change, increasing temperatures..... this is unprecedented..... we have never had weather events like this before....... aaarrrh.... meltdown!

  • Comment number 8.

    Sorry, I meant to post this here, in case anyone didn't see it in the previous topic.

    According to the June "State of the Climate Report", issued by NDCD/NOAA, the global anomaly for June was 0.58c, compared to 0.50c in May. After adjustment to 1961-90, these are equivalent to 0.44c and 0.36c respectively.

    This makes June the 7th warmest on record according to NCDC/NOAA and this January to June, the 11th warmest on record.

    The NH anomaly was 0.68c (0.59c), compared to 0.576c (0.49c) in May, and the SH anomaly was 0.48c (0.30c), compared to 0.49c (0.25c) in May. Adjusted figures in brackets.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2011/6

    The figure adjusted to 1961-90 of 0.44c seems to be consistent with my estimate of 0.4c for HadCRUT3 as both would involve an increase of about 0.08c.

    The actual NCDC/NOAA data files don't seem to have been updated yet, so I can't find out if any previous figures have been changed retrospectively.

    At the risk of irritating some people, as a result of the June global figure, the 10 year linear trend as fallen from -0.2055c/century to -0.2297c/century, subject to possible revision if any figures have been changed retrospectively.

  • Comment number 9.

    QV I don't need your meticulous record keeping to tell me it's getting colder. I've been sleeping wi whippets this last week just to keep warm

    smoke me a kipper

  • Comment number 10.

    Heh, heh, true science in action:

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/europeans-evolved-drink-more-142745273.html

    Evolution is telling me that 8 pints and a lamb kebab on a Friday night means that I will survive the extreme cold this winter!!!!

  • Comment number 11.

    ukpahonta wrote:

    "Very tranditional English summer and autumn... but, but, but CO2, climate change, increasing temperatures..... this is unprecedented..... we have never had weather events like this before....... aaarrrh.... meltdown!"

    A spell of traditional local weather isn't much of an argument against all the science
    supporting climate change.

  • Comment number 12.

    Lazarus wrote:

    "A spell of traditional local weather isn't much of an argument against all the science
    supporting climate change."

    Excellant choice of the word spell dear sir:

    a state or period of enchantment: She was under a spell.

    I do so think that the traditional English summer from my childhood was enchanting, such as the mid seventies when summer seemed to go on for ever and heatwaves lasted for longer than a day.

    But still the memories are real, empirical data, unlike some of the science supporting climate change.

  • Comment number 13.

    Lazarus wrote:

    "A spell of traditional local weather isn't much of an argument against all the science
    supporting climate change."


    so tell me kind sir where is all this science supporting climate change and by climate change I assume you mean global warming as any half wit who has spent more than a couple of days on this planet knows that the climate changes and moreover if we are talking about global warming rather than this mystical 'climate change' tell me how will global warming specifically affect the inhabitants of Rotherham or Cleckheaton to pluck just 2 of my favourite places out of the air?

    smoke me a kipper

  • Comment number 14.

    Seems like a normal British summer. I might add that your nightly forecast for the past few days stated 'sunny and warm'

    Unfortunately in the part of Lincolnshire where I live it has been cloudy and cold with some rain. Points to a quiet sun which nucleats low cloud, according to Svensmark.

  • Comment number 15.

    The NASA/GISS global anomaly for June, was 0.5c, up from 0.42c in May. After adjustment to 1961-90, these are equivalent to 0.39c and 0.31c respectively.
    The increase of 0.08c over the month is identical to that for the NCDC/NOAA anomaly and ties in well with an estimated HadCRUT3 figure of 0.4c.
    The NH anomaly was 0.67c, (0.606c), compared to 0.58c (0.516c) last month, and the SH anomaly was 0.34c (0.203c) compared to 0.27c (0.133c) last month.
    Figures adjusted to 1961-90 in brackets.
    As a result of this months global figure, the 10 year linear trend in the NASA/GISS anomaly has declined from +0.249c/century to +0.176c/century, and
    this is still on line for a negative trend by September or October.
    It seems that the official HadCRUT3 figure is going to be the last to be published again this month.

  • Comment number 16.

    Actually I was going to say, that July has not really been a wash out so far. In this area (East Yorks) at least, it seems to have been fairly dry. My lawn - which I use as a vague guage of soil moisture deficit - has stopped growing and has started to turn brown again after recovering in June following the long spring drought.

    July has certainly been changable and rather cool, but less commonly I would think with that type of summer weather, has not been wet. But it's early days and I gather the forcast for the next few days is pretty bad.

  • Comment number 17.

    Spanglerboy wrote:

    "so tell me kind sir where is all this science supporting climate change "

    Well I don't really want to turn this thread about the typical British summer into some rant for AGW deniers but at the risk of sounding glib, to answer your question;

    The standard scientific literature - It contains many thousands of pieces of research on anthropogenic global warming. So much so that every credible National Academy and Institute of Science on the planet has issued statements to the effect.

    Perhaps you know different and can supply information to the contrary? Maybe you want to share some blogs from somewhere that no doubt not only support your views but are also very likely to prove the Earth is flat and the Moon made of cheese?

  • Comment number 18.

    Lazarus @17 says:
    "anthropogenic global warming.........every credible National Academy and Institute of Science on the planet has issued statements to the effect".

    Now that is REALLY worrisome. Unprecedented I'd say. That simple statement tells all. The biggest fraud in human history. How do they do it????

  • Comment number 19.

    #17

    Tsk,tsk not the way to win friends and influence people.

    Still the garden is happy this morning, if others aren't, Great British summer shower, plenty of water for the vegetables to soak up, it's needed.

  • Comment number 20.

    Lazarus # 17

    ad hom, appeal to authority, arm waving and strawman all in one post. Are you a professional?

    smoke me a kipper

  • Comment number 21.

    A read for Lazarus @17. An interesting article on 'consensus':

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/16/manufacturing-consensus/

  • Comment number 22.

    As a result of some minor retrospective adjustments to the NCDC/NOAA monthly anomalies, in particular a reduction in the anomaly for April 2010 from 0.782c to 0.746c, the 10 year linear trend at the end of June was -0.2447c/century, not -0.2297c/century as stated in my earlier post.
    Not a lot of temporal stability in the NCDC/NOAA anomaly figures.

  • Comment number 23.

    22. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "Not a lot of temporal stability in the NCDC/NOAA anomaly figures."

    Nor in any of them QV. I have come to the belief that it is best to re-download the last 10 years' data from each provider every month.

    I don't say that this is a bad thing; it allows for corrections and updates - we all make mistakes. As long as the corrections aren't all biased in one direction then we can safely dismiss conspiracy theories.

    Both the NOAA and NASA figures consolidate 2011 so far as being either within or just skirting the top ten warmest years on record.

    While this is hardly an indication of a turn towards 'global cooling', (especially given that the La Nina only ended in mid May!) it still means that 'warming' has some work to do in order to fulfil Schmidt's prediction of "easily" within the top 10.

    Nail-biting stuff.

  • Comment number 24.

    #23. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "Nor in any of them QV. I have come to the belief that it is best to re-download the last 10 years' data from each provider every month."
    I actually try to update the full database if possible. While they all change, I think that NCDC/NOAA is the worst.

    "I don't say that this is a bad thing; it allows for corrections and updates - we all make mistakes. As long as the corrections aren't all biased in one direction then we can safely dismiss conspiracy theories."
    The problem is, it's difficult to tell, since the changes may go one way one month and the other the next. You need to look at them over a longer term to see the overall effect. According to the comparison graphs on Climate4you, NCDC/NOAA looks worst, and shows bias to increased temperatures since 1950. UAH seem to show the least changes, but I am not sure if that indicates reliability.
    The problem with NASA files is they are not in an ideal format for repeated download and comparison.

    "While this is hardly an indication of a turn towards 'global cooling', (especially given that the La Nina only ended in mid May!) it still means that 'warming' has some work to do in order to fulfil Schmidt's prediction of "easily" within the top 10. "
    I know you don't like the 10 year linear trend, but at least it excludes the 1998 La Nina and includes the 2010 one, so if anything it underestimates the recent cooling trend.


  • Comment number 25.

    Spanglerboy wrote:

    "ad hom, appeal to authority, arm waving and strawman all in one post. "

    It is clear that you have no idea what 'appeal to authority' is. I suggest you look it up.
    http://grammar.about.com/od/ab/g/appealauthterm.htm

    So do you routinely ignore what experts who have researched and published on subjects say or just when it is something you don't want to hear?

  • Comment number 26.

    There is a good debate going on over at Judith Currys site:

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/16/manufacturing-consensus/

    All about the consensus of opinion on CAGW. Lots of activity by well known names, almost 400 comments at the moment. Well worth a read.

  • Comment number 27.

    I have been in touch with the UKMO and they say that at the moment there is no indication of when the June HadCRUT3 figure will be available.

  • Comment number 28.

    26. ukpahonta:

    I have to agree with some of the comments in the blog: what on earth does Judith Curry actually believe?

    On the one hand she is on record has supporting all the salient points made by the mainstream climate scientists: climate sensitivity of CO2 is around 3 C per doubling, etc...

    Her beef simply seems to be what she perceives as a lack of 'balance' in the credibility given to sceptical arguments as opposed to that afforded to 'mainstream' ones.

    Personally I think this is very easily explained by the fact that 'mainstream' arguments are 'mainstream' precisely because they are made in the peer reviewed literature, rather than in books or blogs. Naturally this means that they tend to carry more weight in a formal scientific discussion and with regulatory bodies.

    I'm sure that if the claims made by the sceptics could be phrased succinctly in the scientific literature, as opposed to the blogosphere, then this will naturally eventually happen.

    I don't see why a special case should be made for these arguments in the meantime. To my mind, the fit into the 'teach the controversy' claims of creationists and 'ID-ers', etc. First you have to show that there really 'is' a controversy.


    If you can do that - then by all means teach it.

  • Comment number 29.

    I found the discussion fascinating. There are undoubtedly elements of groupthink that can readily be associated with the way climate science has developed over the years. That's not to say it disproves the science - just that the science may not have reached the (possibly correct) consensus by the most objective route.
    As we all know, surveys can be designed to give almost any answer the author wants. Any study that seeks to find the true nature of the consensus would have to be very carefully worded indeed. It would also need to be transparent regarding the selection of those to be included in the survey but entirely discreet in the individual responses.
    Who knows what boxes Gavin Schmidt might tick if his career didn't depend on it. Peer pressure can be very difficult to dismiss in such circumstances.
    Not sure if there is any real value to conducting such a survey. The water is muddy enough as it is.

  • Comment number 30.

    28. newdwr54

    I totally agree with your statement:
    'I'm sure that if the claims made by the sceptics could be phrased succinctly in the scientific literature, as opposed to the blogosphere, then this will naturally eventually happen.'

    Which we now see happening as more and more papers are allowed to be published by authors not connected to the team. There has been a noticeable increase in Solar publications in the last year or so and it is also notable that as more non 'consensus' papers are reviewed that there is a change in the media stance to climate articles.
    Many journalists that were rampant with the 'mainstream' message are now tempered in their writings as they realise that the 'mainstream' was more an elite viewpoint than a majority.

  • Comment number 31.

    'Consensus' must be used with a different meaning than I suppose because I can't see what is the point those going on about by denying the 'consensus' are making.

    Science is not done by consensus, but by research and evidence. There is always more research that needs to be done. But there must come a point when the majority of those researching and publishing in a particular field agree the basic science (in this case that GHGs cause warming and more GHGs will cause more warming). This has happened to such an extent that every national institute and academy of science representing the wide spectrum of disciplines researching AGW make very specific statements about the science. I think it is fair to say that there is a consensus on the basic science.

    Of course science that is thought of as settled could be over turned by a single piece of credible research but it is only rational to base any actions or policies on what the science currently suggests, not what we hope it might do sometime in the future.

    But even if there is a valid argument, that I cannot see, about there being no consensus or that the science isn't settled then such an argument would apply to every aspect of science; age of the earth, evolution, Homeopathy etc. If people dismiss aspects of generally accepted climate science in favour of something else then their reasons will be just a valid for accepting that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. Which doesn't seem a vary rational position to argue from.

  • Comment number 32.

    Lazarus - did you actually read the JC link?
    It really is a fascinating piece and specifically questions some of the points you make above. The piece is about the way consensus has been reached and is more about philosophy than science. Of course, in reality the two are inextricably linked which inevitably makes it slightly more uncomfortable to read for those who share your views on AGW.

  • Comment number 33.

    #31. - Lazarus wrote:
    "Of course science that is thought of as settled could be over turned by a single piece of credible research but it is only rational to base any actions or policies on what the science currently suggests, not what we hope it might do sometime in the future."
    If the "science is settled", as is frequently stated by believers in AGW, why does the IPCC need between 15 and 22 separate climate models in each scenario, most of which give widely differing results?
    For example, in scenario A2, one model (ukmo_hadcm3) predicts a rise of 4.45c by 1999, and another, (ncar_pcm1) predicts a rise of only 2.45c, a difference of 2c.
    The scenarios seem to rely upon the errors in different models cancelling each other out, to produce a reasonably accurate mean forecast, although even that is too high.
    Surely if the science was so certain, only a single agreed model would be required to predict the outcome of each scenario?
    In my view, this represents credible evidence that even if the science is known in general terms, the detail is extremely uncertain.


  • Comment number 34.

    31. Lazarus

    You raise, unintentially, one of the main gripes about the consensus of opinion amongst scientists on the subject of climate change.
    If you were to rearrange part of your statement into a question then we could persue the matter within the confines of this blog. If you were to ask:

    Is it the case that GHGs cause warming and more GHGs will cause more warming?

    Then you would probably find the consensus of answers of people blogging here would be yes, which you could use as a basis to state that the consensus opinion of bloggers on the Paul Hudson weather blog are convinced that the theory of man made CO2 is detrimental to the climate of the planet.

    The statement is not incorrect, but it is not really a true statement either, it is a misdirection, smoke and mirrors.

    I would gladly answer yes to the question, but add the caveat that the amount that GHGs affect the temperature is an insignificant amount in relation to other stronger influences and any increase is generally the result of increased temperature, and not the cause of it.

    So your simple question allows you to misrepresent my understanding of the science to produce a politicised statement attributed to me, something that a growing number of climate scientists are now recognising as a cause of concern within the field.

  • Comment number 35.

    According to this report on the GWPF website, but originating in The Telegraph, the BBC Trust is to rule that less coverage should be given to the views of opponents of "climate change".
    http://www.thegwpf.org/uk-news/3473-green-smokescreen-climate-sceptics-to-get-less-coverage-rules-bbc.html
    I wouldn't have thought that was actually possible.

  • Comment number 36.

    lateintheday wrote:

    “Lazarus - did you actually read the JC link?
    It really is a fascinating piece and specifically questions some of the points you make above."

    Yes but I don’t have time to read all the replies by mostly unqualified people. If they do address my questions perhaps you could point me to the answers or summarise them?


    QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    “If the "science is settled", as is frequently stated by believers in AGW, why does the IPCC need between 15 and 22 separate climate models in each scenario, most of which give widely differing results?”

    I think you have misunderstood the tone of my post. I do not believe the ‘science is settled’. (I do suggest that the IPCC used different scenarios because they don’t claim to predict the future).

    And who are these ‘believers in AGW’ who frequently state that it is settled? The only time I see it is when those who deny some aspects of the science tell me that those who accept that science do. I doubt very much if many let alone the majority of researching scientists – in any scientific discipline – would say such a thing. Perhaps some have said something like it at some time but in what context? I would think it can only be in terms of a majority of those doing the research reaching some broad conclusion about the basics like you suggest – and as I have said, that can be applied to any scientific endeavour.

    “In my view, this represents credible evidence that even if the science is known in general terms, the detail is extremely uncertain.”

    Can’t the same be said for evolution?


    ukpahonta wrote:
    “ If you were to ask:

    Is it the case that GHGs cause warming and more GHGs will cause more warming?”

    Ok…

    “Then you would probably find the consensus of answers of people blogging here would be yes, which you could use as a basis to state that the consensus opinion of bloggers on the Paul Hudson weather blog are convinced that the theory of man made CO2 is detrimental to the climate of the planet.

    The statement is not incorrect, but it is not really a true statement either, it is a misdirection, smoke and mirrors.”

    I’m not sure how you think it is misdirection if a majority accept it – or is it the bit that you yourself have added about it being detrimental?

    “I would gladly answer yes to the question, but add the caveat that the amount that GHGs affect the temperature is an insignificant amount in relation to other stronger influences and any increase is generally the result of increased temperature, and not the cause of it.

    So your simple question allows you to misrepresent my understanding of the science to produce a politicised statement attributed to me, something that a growing number of climate scientists are now recognising as a cause of concern within the field.”

    But what is your belief that the “amount that GHGs affect the temperature is an insignificant amount in relation to other stronger influences” based on? Are you claiming that there is more or equal scientific research supporting your position or is it just what you believe is the case? If it is the former you are wrong. If it is the latter then it is you that has produced a politicised statement that is not supported by the scientific evidence.

    *******

    My points remain unanswered; If you find no scientific reasons ("there isn't a consensus as I chose to understand it" etc) but still dismiss the opinion of the majority of scientists who research and publish in the field then your 'logic' is just as valid as those who choose to believe Homoeopathy works, or the Earth isn't Billions of years old, or living things didn't evolved.

    Now you might actually believe all of those things so there is no contradiction but I suspect that most of you do believe at least some things that are held to be 'settled' science so I do not understand how you can dismiss others if not because of political, idealogical or religious beliefs.

  • Comment number 37.

    Lazarus,

    "I think you have misunderstood the tone of my post. I do not believe the ‘science is settled’. (I do suggest that the IPCC used different scenarios because they don’t claim to predict the future). "
    I wasn't referring to different scenarios. I can understand why different scenarios would be required to project the effects of differing variables, such as greenhouse gas emissions. What I was referring to was the need for a multiplicity of different models, within each scenario.

    "And who are these ‘believers in AGW’ who frequently state that it is settled? The only time I see it is when those who deny some aspects of the science tell me that those who accept that science do. "
    Interesting. It is a phrase which I am convinced I have heard repeatedly from believers in AGW, but when I google the phrase, the first reference on Wikipedia, and others, seem to back up what you say. However, even though that precise phrase may not have been used, words to that effect have been. More research required.

    "Can’t the same be said for evolution? "
    I didn't know we were discussing evolution, but I don't agree. At least in the case of evolution we understand the underlying mechanism, even if we can't predict individual outcomes. In any case, there are no other alternative scientific explanations.




  • Comment number 38.

    Lazarus,

    #36

    "But what is your belief that the “amount that GHGs affect the temperature is an insignificant amount in relation to other stronger influences” based on? "

    Surely the fact that global temperatures have not increased, and by some measures have fallen, over the last 10 years, while GHGs have continued to increase, is proof of this?
    Even believers now seem to accept that there has been no increase in temperatures recently and are frantically searching for explanations, e.g. solar output, increased levels of aerosols due to China burning more coal etc.

  • Comment number 39.

  • Comment number 40.

    As Lazarus said in one of his excellent (imv) posts earlier, the phrase "the science is settled" has not issued from the lips of any climate scientist, and it is the antithesis of the scientific method in whichever discipline.

    So even we 'warmists' agree that the science is not settled, ok? (It never will be.)

    The phrase is only and ever used by 'climate sceptics' to build up a straw man of the prevailing consensus opinion, which they hope is easier to attack than the real consensus opinion itself.

    This alone should be enough to ring alarm bells among the many who contribute to this blog who are genuinely interested in debate, but who themselves hold (perfectly legitimate) sceptical views on AGW.

    Why would an advocacy position make things up? It would cause me to consider their motives.

  • Comment number 41.

    #39. - nibor25 wrote:
    "Meanwhile... the BBC is still up to it's tricks."
    It's strange that the Mail headline says that the report will say that sceptics should be challenged more vigorously, while the actual text of the article says the BBC will challenge groups such as Greenpeace more vigorously.
    Last time I checked, Greenpeace were not climate change sceptics.


  • Comment number 42.

    #40. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "As Lazarus said in one of his excellent (imv) posts earlier, the phrase "the science is settled" has not issued from the lips of any climate scientist, and it is the antithesis of the scientific method in whichever discipline.

    The phrase is only and ever used by 'climate sceptics' to build up a straw man of the prevailing consensus opinion, which they hope is easier to attack than the real consensus opinion itself. "

    Actually, it was Lazarus himself who referred to it as "science that is thought of as settled". I never actually said that it was climate scientists who used the term, but believers in AGW, and there is evidence of that:
    http://heartkeepercommonroom.blogspot.com/2010/02/who-said-science-is-settled.html
    The use of the phrase was probably started by Al Gore, not as far as I know a sceptic, yet.


  • Comment number 43.

    QV
    I believe you are quite correct in the origin of the statement

    The science is settled, Gore told the lawmakers. Carbon-dioxide emissions — from cars, power plants, buildings and other sources — are heating the Earth's atmosphere.
    March 21, 2007
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9047642

    Although not a climate scientist, definately a key figure influencing global policy.

    Thanks for your #38 I might add that all still await the empirirical confirmation of the effect of CO2 on global temperature even after 30 years of modelling by the elite of climate science.

    I believe that CLOUD results will be released shortly which 'should' provide empirical data on the theory of cosmic rays in the formation of clouds. Something trivial in the current climate. Pun intended.

    Lazarus

    'I’m not sure how you think it is misdirection if a majority accept it'

    Surely even you would agree the question is too open ended, vague. It would lead to those who answered either not connecting the conclusion with their personal answer or those that do connect the two starting to make their opinions clear as is now becoming apparent.

    Further to your reply to my comment you quote my understanding but state my belief, What are you waffling about?

    Homeopathy, age of the earth, sorry but you either digress by choice or lack of reasoning.
    If you cannot accept that there are other theories to explain the recorded temperature history then your's is a belief rather than a theory. I'm afraid that I can't put it any simpler than that.

  • Comment number 44.

    As you say, Gore is not a climate scientist. No one can point to any statement made by any reputable climate scientist in any formal capacity stating that the 'science is settled'.

    This means it remains a 'straw man' argument made by 'sceptics'.

    If other legitimate theories exist to explain the observed warming, then they remain absent from the scientific literature. If galactic cosmic rays turn out to be the main driving influence on climate since the mid 20th century, then it will be truly astonishing.

    What evidence is there that GCR influence has increased in recent decades?

    We would also require a completely novel theory to explained why the rapid build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused a much more minimal increase in surface temperatures than all the physics-based models predict (especially if GCRs are such a warming influence also).

    My own view is that those who are expecting great things of the CLOUD project results are likely to be left very disappointed. Time will tell.

  • Comment number 45.

    #44 newdwr54

    'This means it remains a 'straw man' argument made by 'sceptics'.'

    I'm a sceptic, I still state that the political influence that the science is settled has been maintained since the decision in 2008 to put the climate change act into law.

    If you agree that the science is not settled then you will be interested in overturning the act that presides in Brittish law led by politicians believing that there is no reason to doubt of the influence of CO2 in increasing global temperatures.
    You could add your name at the following site:
    http://www.gopetition.com/petition/43914.html

    I await your confirmation

    'If other legitimate theories exist to explain the observed warming, then they remain absent from the scientific literature.'

    What like natural cycles, you know the null hypothosis, until there is proof that natural cycles cannot represent the warming from 1900's to 1940's, cooling from 1940's to 1970's, warming from 1970's to 2000's, cooling from 2000's to present then I suppose you are looking at theory that only sees' the upward trend of GHG induced warming and ignores the cyclical nature.

    Oh wait the GHG warming is hidden by natural cooling periods, but the natural warming periods are overrun by GHG warming, hhmm right ok. You go where you want to with this.

  • Comment number 46.

    45. ukpahonta:

    Surely it is the job of politicians to act on best scientific advice, given the potential seriousness of non-action? Scientists didn't say everything was "settled" when they alerted governments about AGW. They said it was "very likely" the main cause of the observed warming, and that steps should now be considered to mitigate the 'likely' future impacts.

    In my view it would be folly to overturn the Climate Change Act, as it would be folly to stop childhood vaccination, for instance. Both are examples of governments acting on best scientific advice. The government has shown in the past that it is willing to act on updated scientific advice and change policy accordingly. The ending of public funding to the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital is a good example.

    So I'm all for 'scepticism', as long as it sticks to the scientific process. If AGW theory is wrong, then there must be an alternative explanation for the continued observed effects of warming. Once this alternative explanation (whatever it may be) is established, we should amend the CCA, but not before then.

    There is no doubt that climate has natural cycles and oscillations that run over periods of a few years to a few decades (ignoring the longer term orbital cycles). But if these are purely natural, then over a period as long as 162 years (the HadCRUT3 database) we should expect to see these balance out into a more or less 'flat line' trend.

    Instead, what we see are the natural oscillations underlain by a statistically significant upward trend over time. And that's only using surface temperatures. We also need to consider thermal expansion of the oceans and ice melt, all of which use excess heat energy absorbed by the atmosphere (http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png%29.



  • Comment number 47.

    I have recently been looking at the factors needed to adjust other data sets to the HadCRUT3 base period of 1961-90.
    If you look at the individual data sets, it is necessary to deduct 0.067c from NASA/GISS and 0.11c from NCDC/NOAA, to compare them with 1961-90, whereas, if you compare them to the HadCRUT3 figures for the period, it is necessary to deduct 0.11c and 0.138c respectively.
    It turns out that the mean anomaly for HadCRUT3 itself, for the period 1961-90 is -0.028c, which accounts for the differences in the above figures.
    This may seem a small amount, but the average anomaly for NASA/GISS and NCDC/NOAA over their base periods is effectively zero.
    Also, an average anomaly of -0.028 over a 30 year period is equivalent to having increase an individual month by about 10c, or an individual year by about 0.78c, to produce a zero mean anomaly. For example, it would be necessary to increase the anomaly for the cold year of 1964 from -0.316c to +0.47c, to produce an approximately zero mean anomaly for 1961-90.
    In fact, the period over which the HadCRUT3 30 year mean anomaly appears to be approximately zero, is December 1964 to November 1994.
    The above seems to be the case whether UKMO or CRU annual and variance adjusted figures are used, although the mean anomaly figures are slightly different.
    This is so odd that I feel I must be missing something obvious, but I can't think what.

  • Comment number 48.

    newdwr54 said
    "If AGW theory is wrong, then there must be an alternative explanation for the continued observed effects of warming. Once this alternative explanation (whatever it may be) is established, we should amend the CCA, but not before then."

    Not your best line of reasoning. Firstly, the 'observed effects' are what precisely? Do you mean ice melt, sea level rise? Whatever, you attribute them to warming - that's fine for now. Be careful not to conflate issues, there is a veritable chasm between effects of warming and cause of warming.

    Secondly, you argue that a better theory needs to be in place before amending policy. That doesn't follow - the prevailing theory simply needs to be shown as erroneous. There is no point in continuing policy against a failed theory, even if you don't have a better one to hand.

  • Comment number 49.

    Re #46 newdwr54 - so the Government act on best scientific advice do they? Pull the other one! Is spending a fortune on ridiculous windfarms the result of best scientific advice?
    H2SO4

  • Comment number 50.

    49.
    At 16:35 20th Jul 2011, H2SO4 wrote:
    Re #46 newdwr54 - so the Government act on best scientific advice do they? Pull the other one! .

    LOL Yeah...its similar to our Government taking us war on the best intelligence advice. Got some more sexed up Peer Reviewed docs for us newdwr54?

  • Comment number 51.

    48. lateintheday wrote:

    "the 'observed effects' are what precisely?"

    The increase in sea level rise due to thermal expansion of the oceans. The continued melting of the Arctic sea ice. The continued melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets. The sustained high air temperatures observed in the lower atmosphere.

    All of these things require an explanation. They require a sustained input of heat energy. Where is this energy coming from? What is its cause? It is not sufficient to just say 'natural variation' and have done with it.

    "...the prevailing theory simply needs to be shown as erroneous"

    I accept that.

    Now show that it is erroneous.

  • Comment number 52.

    49. H2SO4:

    I didn't say that governments act on best scientific advice; I said it is the job of politicians to act on best scientific advice.

    Whether or not they do is a different question.

    Personally I wouldn't vote for someone, or for the representative of a party, who adopted an anti-science stance.

    I live in N Ireland (home of golf!), and I suppose I am a unionist (small 'u') but hell will freeze over before I vote for the DUP: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/10/sammy-wilson-climate-change

  • Comment number 53.

    50. nibor25:

    That's an interesting point you raise.

    You may recall that a UN inspectorate found that there was 'no evidence' for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq pre the coalition invasion?

    Despite this, we invaded anyway. Best to be sure, eh? The 'precautionary principle'.

    Yet here we are living at a time when a UN inspectorate is specifically telling us that climate change is posing a real and present danger, on many levels.

    What do we do? We ignore it, as we did in Iraq.

    I see this as an inconsistent approach by governments to risk.

  • Comment number 54.

    I see this as an inconsistent approach by governments to risk.
    I'm sure you are not so silly to think the war had anything to do with risk mitigation.

    OK - with your argument that we need to do something - can you tell us the cost of the actions you propose and what benefits we will gain - (monetary)

  • Comment number 55.

    I haven't got time to look at newdwr54's points i'm sure someone will.

    "the 'observed effects' are what precisely?".
    The increase in sea level rise due to thermal expansion of the oceans. The continued melting of the Arctic sea ice. The continued melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets. The sustained high air temperatures observed in the lower atmosphere.

    On increased sea level - newdwr54 - when did sea level begin to increase?

  • Comment number 56.

    newdwr54 @51
    "...the prevailing theory simply needs to be shown as erroneous"
    I accept that.
    Now show that it is erroneous."

    I can't. Perhaps for the same reason that I can't prove that god doesn't exist. The slippery nature of AGW theory makes it almost impossible to disprove. Whether this 'untouchable' quality has happened by accident or design is another matter.

    Proponents often point to the multitude of scientific papers which apparently support AGW but neglect to say how often they contradict each other. Recently we've seen the 'aerosols' (careful how you say that) argument used to explain the lack of warming since around 2000. Others point to the solar minimum, the cold pdo etc. Solar forcing has routinely been dismissed by climate scientists as insignificant until recently. All of a sudden, it's back on the agenda.

    Sea level rise has not changed significantly over the course of hundreds of years. That is, unless you've read Kemp et al (from memory) which drafted in Michael Mann to help with the statistics. The paper sought to examine global sea level rise from a local study in perhaps the strangest place possible. Location location location.

  • Comment number 57.

    newdwr54 said
    "You may recall that a UN inspectorate found that there was 'no evidence' for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq pre the coalition invasion? Despite this, we invaded anyway. Best to be sure, eh? The 'precautionary principle'. Yet here we are living at a time when a UN inspectorate is specifically telling us that climate change is posing a real and present danger, on many levels.
    What do we do? We ignore it, as we did in Iraq."

    My memory could easily be playing tricks here but didn't Blair (and others) testify that the lead inspector Hans Blick, had not been able to rule out the possibility of WMD as opposed to finding 'no evidence'.

    And further, that the lack of openness from Iraq was highly suspicious and that other intelligence supported the theory that WMD existed as a real threat.

    Sounds to me very much like AGW. Can't actually prove it nor disprove it. However, you can present the inconclusive findings in whichever way suits your political aims.

  • Comment number 58.

    54. nibor25 wrote:

    "can you tell us the cost of the actions you propose and what benefits we will gain - (monetary)"

    The cost of keeping global CO2 concentrations below 550 ppm by 2050 is estimated to be in the region of 2% of global GDP between now and then.

    The perceived benefits of this will mostly be reduced loss of agricultural areas at lower latitudes, reduced coastal damage globally, reduced water stress and reduced negative impact on human health. These benefits will be felt primarily in developing countries, even though developed countries such as ours will be picking up most of the bill.

    Just to cap it off, even if we achieve 550 ppm by 2050 there will still be major consequences caused due to the increase in temperatures even at that ambitiously low level of CO2 (over 2 C above today's global average).

    I get a sense, writing this, that I am not selling to you. Am I right?

  • Comment number 59.

    @ Paul Hudson

    Paul you have no doubt spent the last 24 hours or so digesting the report of Steve Jones for the BBC Trust relating to the BBC's science coverage. Given that he recommends that sceptics be given less time rather than more and given that, as far as I am aware, you are the only voice within the BBC who currently airs views that could in any way be considered out of line with the strict CAGW orthodoxy that we have rammed down our throats day in and day out by your colleagues, am I to assume that your days as a loose cannon blogger are numbered?

    Hope not. For one reason, debate is healthy. For another, people like newdwr54 with their unshaking faith in the one true God that is CO2 need to be heard as they convert more people to scepticism than sceptics could ever do on their own.

    Keep up the good work (both of you) and

    smoke me a kipper

  • Comment number 60.

    56. lateintheday:

    I don't think anyone would deny that there are uncertainties in climate science, and various disagreements even among 'consensus' scientists.

    However all are pretty much agreed on the basics re the climate sensitivity of CO2 and the fact that more heat energy is being recirculated within the atmosphere and surface, etc.

    Where I see great levels of disagreement is among the 'sceptical' arguments. Virtually no two 'sceptics' agree on the cause of the warming. Their sole area of agreement seems to be that AGW is 'wrong' - no matter what.

    Some say there is no warming; others that there is warming but it's not CO2; others say there is warming, and it is CO2, but it isn't serious. Others say it's clouds, or it's inter galactic rays, or it's long term ocean oscillations, or it's magic pixies on Mars!

    (I made that last one up, sorry.)

    So while there is widespread consensus among mainstream scientists about the basics of what has caused the recent warming, if not the details, there appears to be virtually no consensus whatsoever among the dissenters, other than in their dislike of AGW.

    I think that's a problem for sceptics that is rarely considered by them.

  • Comment number 61.

    QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    “What I was referring to was the need for a multiplicity of different models, within each scenario.”

    Why shouldn’t there be? Model accuracy is one of the uncertainties – the average output of many models and model runs and similarities between their outputs add to confidence.

    “However, even though that precise phrase may not have been used, words to that effect have been.”

    Not by any scientific group I know off. Would suggesting that it is really only used by AGW skeptic groups as a Straw Man argument sound paranoid?

    In any case it is extremely unlikely to have ever been used by any one qualified to represent the scientific community en mass nor in the context that the science is really settled. If it or similar has ever been used I suspect it was used by a politician – possibly American Liberal – to promote some policy. In any case it certainly isn’t a valid argument to use against the science.

    “I didn't know we were discussing evolution, but I don't agree.”

    I assumed we were discussing the use of such argument in climate science being fallacious as it can apply to any science that is publicly debated – eg evolution.

    “At least in the case of evolution we understand the underlying mechanism, even if we can't predict individual outcomes. In any case, there are no other alternative scientific explanations.”

    But can’t the same be said for AGW?

    I'm not being trite, the similarities are horrifyingly similar. Skeptics of AGW and evolution both have people with scientific qualifications or claimed qualifications on their side. Both claim to have valid alternative theories that are often contradictory and are not accepted by the science mainstream or even soundly supported by evidence. Both publish lists of ‘scientists’ who reject the ‘consensus’ and both positions are sometimes adopted by exactly the same groups;
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Freedom_Alliance

    You, personally might not see credible alternative explanations for one but do for the other, but logically I can see no difference between both groups and any others that reject mainstream science.

    “Surely the fact that global temperatures have not increased, and by some measures have fallen, over the last 10 years, while GHGs have continued to increase, is proof of this?”

    You present this as a fact but how do you rationalise such a statement against the fact that the last decade by any acceptable measure has been the hottest in the instrument record?

    Besides where in the theory of AGW does it state that temperature must always increase in line with emissions? There are natural cycles that affect temperatures that are longer than this period. You know that emissions are not the only driver of temperature and in the instrument record temperatures really have declined over periods longer than this while emissions have increase in a fairly linear way. This wasn’t considered something that didn’t fit the theory before so why do you think your very questionable statement of no increase over the last 10 years should be valid now?

    “Even believers now seem to accept that there has been no increase in temperatures recently and are frantically searching for explanations, e.g. solar output, increased levels of aerosols due to China burning more coal etc.”

    This just sounds like sour grapes from someone who has seen research that does not fit their preconceived bias. Have you any evidence at all that during their frantic publishing of this research they did not follow the scientific method? That the research is flawed? That their modest conclusions cannot be determined form the evidence the present? Perhaps you should look at the actual papers or how they were reported in the science press rather than some media outlets.

  • Comment number 62.

    ukpahonta wrote:

    “Surely even you would agree the question is too open ended, vague.”

    Sorry I’m not sure what question you mean – perhaps it was too vague.

    “Further to your reply to my comment you quote my understanding but state my belief, What are you waffling about?”

    You stated that the “amount that GHGs affect the temperature is an insignificant amount in relation to other stronger influences” but you give no other support or evidence for something you clearly seem to think is a fact. Almost all the peer review literature on this matter reaches the opposite conclusion. I was asking how you supported your belief in light of the majority of the published science.

    “If you cannot accept that there are other theories to explain the recorded temperature history then your's is a belief rather than a theory. I'm afraid that I can't put it any simpler than that.”

    The have been other hypothesis but all have now been rejected by the large majority of scientists researching and publishing in the field because they do not explain the evidence and data as well as the accepted theory of AGW does.

    Do you have a pet ‘theory’ that you think can explain 20th-21st century warming better than the body of published science based on the physics worked out by Fourier, Tyndall, Arrhenius and Chamberlin?

  • Comment number 63.

    Sorry ukpahonta but I missed this, you wrote:

    " I might add that all still await the empirirical confirmation of the effect of CO2 on global temperature even after 30 years of modelling by the elite of climate science."

    What about 36 years?
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/lessons-from-past-climate-predictions-broecker.html

    "Broecker's 1975 prediction was within 0.2°C of the observed global temperature in 2010, while Easterbrook's, last made in December 2008, were off by 0.3 to 0.5°C. This illustrates the importance of basing future predictions on solid physical footing, and also shows that climate scientists understand the inner workings of the global climate much better than the "skeptics" would have us believe. In fact, in the 1970s, climate scientists understood how the Earth's climate works better than many "skeptic" scientists do in 2011!"

    "I believe that CLOUD results will be released shortly which 'should' provide empirical data on the theory of cosmic rays in the formation of clouds. "

    I think the primary data has now been collected because AGW deniers sites are already calling 'foul' and 'cover up' because apparently CERNS director has gaged the scientists from talking about them. What's the betting when they actually publish, it will be another anticlimax and more conspiracy for them.

  • Comment number 64.

    lateintheday wrote:

    " the 'observed effects' are what precisely?"

    As well as the list newdwr54 gave, what about the evidence that night temps have risen more than day time ones? The opposite should be true if it was the Sun but exactly what should happen with increased GHGs.

    What about satellite measurements now showing that IR emitted from the earth is reducing in exactly the wavelengths that increasing CO2 would restrict?

    What about the lack of any theory as to why rising GHGs aren't affecting the 'climate in the wild' in the way they do in the lab? Increasing GHG are expected to increase temperatures because the physics and lab experiments determine that they should (and have done for well over a century). Temperatures have been recorded as rising so if it wasn't the increasing GHGs then what natural or even un-natural process prevented or reduced this expected effect?

    On top of that we have clear measurements and evidence showing Ocean acidification caused by CO2 which is predicted to become a serious environment problem in it's own right.

    I can think of any other theory that accounts for all the things now listed.

  • Comment number 65.

    #61. - Lazarus wrote:
    "Why shouldn’t there be? Model accuracy is one of the uncertainties – the average output of many models and model runs and similarities between their outputs add to confidence."
    If model accuracy is one of the uncertainties, that means that the science is uncertain. You wouldn't run several models and take the average result, to predict, for example the orbits of the planets. That can be predicted with almost total certainty, with a single model.

    "I'm not being trite, the similarities are horrifyingly similar. Skeptics of AGW and evolution both have people with scientific qualifications or claimed qualifications on their side. "
    You appear to be attempting to classify climate change sceptics along with "creationists". The two things are not similar. The latter do not use science in any shape or form. Any similarity is entirely in your own mind.

    "You present this as a fact but how do you rationalise such a statement against the fact that the last decade by any acceptable measure has been the hottest in the instrument record?"
    It's really quite simple. It is possible for the last decade to have been the hottest on record, and at the same time for temperatures to be falling. The two are not mutually exclusive. Assuming a HadCRUT3 anomalyof 0.4c for June, the linear trend over the last 10 years will be -0.078c/decade. That will be the fastest rate of fall in temperatures over a 10 year period since March 1977. That is a fact, whether or not you chose to believe it.




  • Comment number 66.

    Lazarus # 64

    "I can think of any other theory that accounts for all the things now listed."

    Aahh the cherished argument from ignorance. Devastating in its ability to create sceptics. Are you fresh out of the seminary?

    smoke me a kipper

  • Comment number 67.

    #63. - Lazarus wrote:

    "What about 36 years?"
    I don't agree with the interpretation that Sceptical Science puts on these figures, i.e. that:
    "As you can see, Broecker's prediction has matched the net global temperature change quite closely over the past 35 years."

    According to the graph, a large part of the rise in temperatures has been between 1975 and 1990, when according to Broeker there would be little rise, and recently, when Broeker predicted that the rise would accelerate, it has slowed down.
    I am not impressed.

  • Comment number 68.

    This post at the Blackboard separates out the individual models used in the multi-model mean:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/surface-temperatures-cooler-than-multi-model-mean/

    It is clear that some of the models are almost certainly predicting too high a temperature rise and should be disregarded. This also indicates that the multi-model mean itself is almost certainly too high.

  • Comment number 69.

    #68. - RobWansbeck wrote:
    "It is clear that some of the models are almost certainly predicting too high a temperature rise and should be disregarded. This also indicates that the multi-model mean itself is almost certainly too high."
    Interesting.
    At first glance, this looks very similar to my own work on IPCC model predictions and that is exactly what I said in my previous posts on the subject, although I obviously couldn't post any charts.
    I will have to have a look and see how they compare in detail.

  • Comment number 70.

    66. Spanglerboy:

    "...the cherished argument from ignorance"

    So there 'is' a theory, other than AGW, that explains the observed warming patterns?

    Good.

    What is it?

  • Comment number 71.

    68. RobWansbeck wrote:

    "It is clear that some of the models are almost certainly predicting too high a temperature rise and should be disregarded. This also indicates that the multi-model mean itself is almost certainly too high."

    I'd agree with that in general. If the models are running contrary to observations then they need to be revised.

    I would hope that this would be a 'given' among climate scientists working on modelling.

 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.