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'Indian summer' on its way by middle of next week

Paul Hudson | 13:59 UK time, Friday, 23 September 2011

Following another disappointing summer, and an unsettled September, at long last a spell of warm weather will be on its way by the middle of next week.

A plume of warm air from the continent looks set to move northwards across the UK reaching many areas by Wednesday; with a good degree of agreement between all the main forecasting centres.

The meteorological chart shown below for friday of next week is called a 'thickness chart', and allows us to calculate temperatures. The lime green line, labelled 564dm, indicates the thickness of the atmosphere between 1000millibars and 500millibars. To have this line, and warmth, so far north is very unusual for this time of the year.



If this chart is correct, then temperatures in London, for example, could reach 27C (81F) by the end of next week.

High Autumn temperatures in late September/early October last occurred in 2006, and before that in 1995. Locally 1st October 1985 was exceptional, with 27.5C recorded at Leeds weather centre.

Such autumnal warmth is often described as an Indian summer, but technically speaking an Indian summer is a term to describe a warm spell of weather much later in the season, usually late October into early November.

The maximum temperature chart shown below, based on the American model for Wednesday gives an idea of the extent of the warm weather by that time, with many areas enjoying temperatures in the low 70's Fahrenheit.



This compares very favourably to the average temperature for the end of September in Leeds, for example, which is around 16C (61F).

Although in some areas mist and fog could be slow to clear during the mornings, this 'Indian summer' could last in some areas into the following weekend, if computer predictions are correct.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Since the five day forecast for Manchester on the BBC website is rarely accurate after thirty six hours, I'll be interested to see what it's like in seven days.

  • Comment number 2.

    This could be good news of us with solar power. I have been monitoring mine and despite a poor August it is tracking above expected, which is good news!

    Link to my graph of actual vs expected performance: http://www.gregh.co.uk/solar/display_graph.php?year=2011&month=0

  • Comment number 3.

    @2 Greg, not sure what temperature has to do with solar power. The day length won't change just because it is warmer and higher temperature air doesn't mean more direct sunshine.

  • Comment number 4.

    I was quite surprised to see that CET is currently 1c above normal, since at least in the NE, it seems to have been quite chilly for most of the month.
    I was also surprised to find that according to Wikipedia, the term "Indian Summer" has it's origins in North America. I had always assumed it was something to do with our old colonies in East India, rather than America.
    It is also interesting that recognition of the phenomenon, with various names, goes back several hundred years, so is nothing to do with "climate change", although there will doubtless be some who attribute it to that cause.

  • Comment number 5.

    Good!
    I well remember October 1st 1985 (that Paul mentions). Not only was it unusually warm for October - but even more remarkably - in many places- was actually the warmest day of the YEAR if I remember correctly (1985 being a pretty dismal summer). This must be one of the latest warmest days on record I would guess.

    Regarding "Indian Summers" - I understand it to be derived from the New England/Virginia settlements, where at this time of year,compared to the UK, warm, sunny, settled weather is the norm, during which time the native "Indians" made busy by harvesting and storing up their corn and squashes for the coming winter.

    Also we have "St. Luke's Little Summer"- around the middle of the month, when (fairly consistantly) there is often an unexpectedly warm settled spell of weather. This is generally summer's final gasp but when blended with autumn colour and mellow light, is extraordinarily beautiful.

  • Comment number 6.

    well isn't that typical. warm weather on the way just when I have booked to fly to the tropics

    wax my tash

  • Comment number 7.

    Following another disappointing summer... What a load of cobblers. Its not been that bad at all. I can't stand the boiling hot weather. When it is boiling hot there is complains from people out there saying its too hot get over your selfs. I really do hope this hot weather that they are all predicting for next week it better not come as its late September it should be cooling down ready for winter. Around 5 to 20 degrees is good enough for me.

  • Comment number 8.

    I see after the Indian summer, we are going to get a very bad winter. I heard yesterday, that sub atomic particles travel faster than the speed of light, which will dispute much of what Einstien said. I would say there will be an advance in weather research, that will throw the Global warming myth into a spin. But again, the orbit of the sun and its temperature already proof to me that Global warming is conducted by God (nature) and not man.

  • Comment number 9.

    saga1066,
    I tend to agree with you that this summer hasn't been too bad, at least where I live, although most of the warm weather was technically in the spring.
    I find it strange that despite the dire warnings of "global warming", that most people, including I suspect those who demonstrate in favour of taking measures to lower the Earth's temperature, still think of warm weather as "good" and cold weather as "bad".
    I recently heard an edition of "Costing the Earth", on R4, in which several scientists were seriously putting forward geo-engineering proposals to reduce the Earth's temperature to more "normal" levels and "stabilise" the climate. These (IMHO) deluded and dangerous individuals actually seemed to be convinced that such measures would end floods and droughts and other extreme weather and bring about a "benign" climate.
    They didn't seem to be aware of the fact that temperatures had at least stabilised over the last 10 years, despite rapidly increasing levels of CO2 and that temperatures are well below the levels predicted by most climate models, including those based on zero growth in greenhouse gasses. They seemed to remain totally convinced of their theories, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
    I hope they are ready for the consequences of lower temperatures, at least in the U.K. which will undoubtedly mean an increase in the number of "excess deaths" in the winter.

  • Comment number 10.

    'Indian Summers' in September are not that unusual so fall within natural variation as far as I am concerned.

    central Lincolnshire today is cooler than forecast on Friday evening and skies completely covered by grey stratus so not the warm sunny day you claimed would befall us Paul.

    The winter forecast still remains as a repeat of last year.

  • Comment number 11.

    BBC news leaping up and down suggesting Einstein's theory is in doubt due to the latest CERN research, yet they have still to report the latest CERN research on cloud formation which probably thrusts a wooden stake through the heart of the CO2 causes global warming scam vampire ?

  • Comment number 12.

    11. brossen99:

    It's odd how that meme got started.

    The idea that the CERN study killed AGW is an invention of certain vested interests on the blogosphere.

    As has been repeated many times, even by the lead author of the CERN paper in question, this study currently *in no way* challenges the ideas of AGW. Still the belief remains among 'sceptics' that AGW is dead and buried.

    I would call that 'wishful thinking'.

  • Comment number 13.

    But also note the near absence of the 528 line (mean temp of 0 degrees centigrade) which disappeared as early as the 8th June this year. No wonder
    the Arctic ice is so low this year. This pattern cannot continue without major change occurring soon. Sorry AGW disbelievers.

  • Comment number 14.

    Adrian,

    Arctic Ice has been growing for 4 years now. Look at the data.

  • Comment number 15.

    to QV #9

    I too heard the "Costing The Earth" (R4) broadcast.

    I think you exagerate the enthusiasm for "geoengineering" proposed and discussed on the programme. Whilst there was an eagerness to pursue research - it was made quite clear that this was to be done purely in order that we might have a reasonable idea of practicalities and consequences of such projects. It was also made clear that the use of such extreme measures would only be likely to be considered in an emergency (such as rapid runaway heating), all other controls having failed.

    Obviously deliberate tampering with climate could have disastrous unforseen results (possibly worse than extreme warming). But their point was - we have to at least do a bit of research to enlighten ourselves. Far better to do this than panic and be forced headlong into the unknown with utter guesswork as our only compass at some future unspecified date.

    It might also be worth mentioning that one of the dangers to be considered is that of complacency - ie. that too much rather than too little faith in geo engineering as a "silver bullet" could become a comfort blanket.

    You make the interesting observation about "good" and "bad" weather. This is surely one of the conundrums at the heart of this issue : good or bad for whom? One might even suggest that there is no such thing as "good" or "bad" weather - since the whole is an inter connected system.

    Like most people, I personally think that even minor geo engineering is undesirable- even madness. That such ideas are even being considered by serious scientists should, if anything, be a sign to us all just how dangerous many working in the field consider the threat of AGW to be. (Please, no old chestnuts about "gravy trains").

    Regarding the programme itself- I would agree that some interviewees came across as very "pro" whilst "antis" where wheeled in from elsewhere to cast doubt. But this, I suspect, is just the style of this programme - selective comments to set up a balanced debate. And I think it would be fair to say that all sides agreed that there should at least be a debate around this issue.

    I think it also fair to say, that while you make great play of the view that GW is a false premise, this remains very much a minority view among the scientific establishment.

  • Comment number 16.

    Looking back two weeks at Paul Briscoe’s criticisms of my posts after returning from my holiday. This is my response.

    (1) Yes Paul, we know the level of relative humidity falls and then rises after an altitude of six miles where the sensitivity to changes in relative humidity is most obvious. We also know that specific humidity changes with temperature that is why it has fallen since 2000. I think you have confused cause and effect when it comes to temperature changes.

    (2) Yes Paul, we have taken into account that absorption of infra red radiation by CO2 on the Earth and Mars is logarithmic as has Miskolczi. That is why there is hardly any difference between CO2 warming on Mars and the Earth despite there being almost 20 times more CO2 in the Atmosphere of Mars. And that is why Mensa members think that people must be idiots, Paul Briscoe, if they still think that CO2 let alone man made CO2 rules Climate Change.

    (3) As for Paul’s comment “If you're going to make allegations of this type, you need to provide evidence to back them up”. Well I am sure that Astrophysics Doug Hoyt and Richard C. Willson the people who were in charge of the satellites and created the original graphs and protested in vain against such manipulation of data would welcome an IPCC investigation into the scientific fraud of its most respected Solar Astronomer.
    This website includes the letters from both Richard Willson and Douglas Hoyt.
    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/06/judithgate-update.html

  • Comment number 17.

    The reason our group within the Mensa Space Group is convinced by Miskolczi’s theory is that Miskolczi discovered that the greenhouse gas equation Arthur Milne developed in 1922 contained a serious flaw. Milne from Hull mistakenly solved the differential equation for the absorption of infra red radiation in the atmosphere. The rebuttals of Miskolczi’s theory do not recognise Milne’s error and admit they do not understand Miskolczi’s maths, nor the fact that the Earths Cloud Albedo is ruled by Cosmic Rays in the science of Cosmoclimatology as is confirmed by the CERN Cloud Experiment (even though Kirkby has been ordered not to make any conclusions about his own work, for political reasons) and the findings that show that a one percent decrease in cosmic rays causes a 0.13 Kelvin increase in Global temperature (Shaviv, N. J. (2003),) and that the Albedo of the Earth decreased from 0.32 in 1985 to 0.29 in 1997 showing a 6.5 percent decrease in cloud cover (Palle, E. (2004),). I do not think UV is seen as a realistic alternative to Cosmic Rays any longer and as this also effects the brightness of Neptune, it cannot be man made carbon dioxide. Miskolczi’s theory also explains the Atmospheric physics of Mars and although Miskolczi has only started to look at Venus, a wiz kid in Atmospheric Physics at Mensa’s Science gathering at Whadam College Oxford pointed out a simple fact that proves Miskolczi’s theory must be correct. The temperature on Venus at the altitude that has identical pressure to that on the Earths surface is 1.177 times the Earths average surface temperature. The radiating temperature of Venus is 1.177 times that of the Earth, proving that input from the Sun and pressure are all that is needed to change the Greenhouse Effect. Miskolczi is also correct because his theory explains the reason why mainstream Climate Science cannot explain why there is missing CO2 warming in the most sensitive area of the Atmosphere six miles up. The AGW Theory uses assumptions to prove the facts are wrong and Computer Models to prove the observations are wrong, we think that to be the science of politically correct insanity.

  • Comment number 18.

    Jkiller56 @ 5
    Looks like the best chance of an October record being broken with this blocking high. Absolutely perfect position and a very warm stable plume instead of the unstable thundery Spanish plumes that tend to come from that direction. If we had this in July we'd be looking at 35C+ from it, as it if the sunshine keeps up and the air mass isn't modified somewhere sheltered is going to threaten 30C.

  • Comment number 19.

    At this time of year (normally a bit later) the seasonal changes in the northern hemisphere result in a repositioning of the main high pressure systems.

    The Azores High tends to decline whilst the Greenland and North European Highs tend to intensify.

    During the process the UK sees short periods when air is drawn northward from the still warm Mediterranean region.

    However if the European High stays strong through the winter that will gives us a colder than average winter season.

    This warm pulse is therefore a natural and frequent part of the normal transition phase.

  • Comment number 20.

    I am very sorry Pingosan I suggest you read this

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14945773

  • Comment number 21.

    17. At 18:38 25th Sep 2011, paulcottingham wrote:

    "nor the fact that the Earths Cloud Albedo is ruled by Cosmic Rays in the science of Cosmoclimatology as is confirmed by the CERN Cloud Experiment (even though Kirkby has been ordered not to make any conclusions about his own work, for political reasons)"

    Kirby has been quite clear on the matter saying: "Our work leaves open the possibility that cosmic rays could influence the climate. However, at this stage, there is absolutely no way we can say that they do"

    You say "The radiating temperature of Venus is 1.177 times that of the Earth, proving that input from the Sun and pressure are all that is needed to change the Greenhouse Effect"

    I think high pressure on Venus is more an effect of the heat, than the cause. Pressure doesn't generate energy. Compression would, eg Jupiter generating energy from gravitational collapse, but Venus is not compressing. All the energy Venus absorbs is coming from the Sun. Venus absorbs less sunlight than the Earth, yet it is far hotter. The reason Venus is so much hotter than the Earth is because it's atmosphere far more strongly absorbs outgoing radiation. Ie it has a stronger greenhouse effect.

    Mars has a very much less dense atmosphere. It's greenhouse effect is less than on Earth because the greenhouse effect on Earth is made up of many greenhouse gases (and clouds), not just CO2.

  • Comment number 22.

    To millennia #18 / Stephen Wilde #19

    Normal or not as a weather pattern, if the temp did reach 30c, this would surely be an October record? Somewhere in the back of my mind, I have 29c as the highest ever previous temp in this month - probably in London and back in the 1940s - but I may be wrong.

    I am surprised that the Greenland/ N. European high might be an influence, given that typically, this month (and November) is notably stormy and unsettled. But this is an interesting explanation for consistant warmth at this time of year. I remember two very warm Octobers in the past - 1969 - the warmest for centuries, allegedly - ended suddenly in November with snow. 2001- even warmer -continued generally mild to year end and after a sharp Xmas/ New Year, a very mild winter: so you can never tell.

  • Comment number 23.

    @EYChris I am well aware of the fact warm temps does not equal better solar generation, however wall to wall sunshine compared to cloud and drizzle does. For example I was generating at 7:20am today due to the clear blue sky :)

  • Comment number 24.

    jkiller56,
    I accept that I may have exaggerated the enthusiasm for the proposals from the scientists, but what really annoyed me was that there seemed to be an obsession with the "theory" of AGW, despite the recent mounting evidence to the contrary.
    It was almost as though they had not paid any attention whatsoever to the actual situation over the last 10 years and had an implicit belief that the models must be correct.
    That is, because CO2 levels have been increasing, that must automatically result in rising temperatures, despite the fact that temperatures haven't been rising and in fact, temperatures are lower than most of the models say they should be, if greenhouse gasses had not increased at all.
    In my mind, that means that things are BETTER than they expected from the model outputs, not WORSE, as they implied in the programme.
    Also, I was annoyed by the misguided view that if we could reduce temperatures, that the Earth's climate would then return to some mythical "normal" situation, in which there would be no more floods, droughts or storms.
    However, I will listen to the programme again and see if my initial reaction was wrong.

  • Comment number 25.

    paulcottingham @ #16 & #17

    I've been away and just picked up your latest comments, but you have said nothing to change my position.

    "Yes Paul, we know the level of relative humidity falls and then rises after an altitude of six miles"

    This is a very simplistic representation of something which is, in fact, far more complex. My understanding (based on basic science) is that relative humidity generally increases with altitude in the lower troposphere up to the point where clouds form. Indeed, clouds would not form at all if this were not the case.

    I understand that above the clouds relative humidity falls again. However, the key point is that around 95% of atmospheric water vapour is found in the bottom 3 miles of the atmosphere and at 6 miles up in the atmosphere the physical quantities of water vapour are tiny (less than 1% of total atmospheric water vapour).

    This does not mean that upper tropospheric and stratospheric water vapour are unimportant. However, Miskolczi seems to have based his claims for falling atmospheric water vapour on small changes in relative humidity at high altitude, which are notoriously unreliable, and which, even if real, only represent tiny changes in the overal quantity of water vapour. A much smaller increase in relative humidity lower down in the atmosphere would represent a much larger amount of water.

    More reliable studies than Miskolczi's confirm that the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere is indeed increasing in line with what physical laws predict should happen with increasing temperatures:

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html

    Paul

  • Comment number 26.

    In reply to Quake.

    We have been told that CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Kirkby not to interpret the cloud-chamber results, he agrees because he has not yet completed all the experiments. But our understanding is that the provisional results all but prove Svensmarks cloud chamber results in 2006 correct and eliminate any other cause to the correlations. As Kirkby has said "I'm an experimental particle physicist, okay? That somehow nature may have decided to connect the high-energy physics of the cosmos with the earth's atmosphere—that's what nature may have done, not what I've done."

    There is no suggestion that pressure on Venus generates energy. The surface of Venus has a constant temperature whether it is day or night or at the poles or the equator. At the surface the temperature is a constant 735 Kelvin. Unlike the Earth or Mars, Venus has an equilibrium between warming and cooling. The hotter the Atmosphere gets the quicker it can cool down, but the absorption of Solar radiation or warming is always constant with the input from the Sun. The only significant change to temperature is with altitude, the atmospheric temperature drops by an average of 100 Kelvin for every 11 miles, up to an altitude of 60 miles.

  • Comment number 27.

    paulcottingham (continued)

    "Yes Paul, we have taken into account that absorption of infra red radiation by CO2 on the Earth and Mars is logarithmic as has Miskolczi. That is why there is hardly any difference between CO2 warming on Mars and the Earth despite there being almost 20 times more CO2 in the Atmosphere of Mars. And that is why Mensa members think that people must be idiots, Paul Briscoe, if they still think that CO2 let alone man made CO2 rules Climate Change."

    Well, it appeared to me that you were assuming a linear relationship from the figures you gave in the previous thread. However, even if you did indeed allow for the logarithmic relationship, there is still a fundamental flaw in your reasoning.

    The problem is that at high CO2 concentrations the greenhouse effect becomes saturated. This situation has very likely been reached on Mars and it is entirely possible that a far lower concentration of CO2 would have had exactly the same warming effect. Therefore, you simply cannot rely on an extrapolation from Mars to estimate the warming effect of CO2 here on Earth. Also, as quake pointed out, the atmosphere here on Earth is far more complex.

    As I pointed out on the other thread, it is years of study, NOT a high IQ, which makes someone an expert in a particular field. Both sceptic and pro-AGW scientists alike accept the IPCC's estimate of the forcing for a doubling of CO2. With respect, it is highly unlikely that they are all as stupid as you apparently believe........ and far more likely that the "Mensa Space Group" doesn't understand the science as well as it thinks it does!!!

    Paul

  • Comment number 28.

    paulcottingham (continued)

    "As for Paul’s comment “If you're going to make allegations of this type, you need to provide evidence to back them up”. Well I am sure that Astrophysics Doug Hoyt and Richard C. Willson the people who were in charge of the satellites and created the original graphs and protested in vain against such manipulation of data would welcome an IPCC investigation into the scientific fraud of its most respected Solar Astronomer."

    Paul, you have provided no evidence here! Hoyt and Willson have stated OPINIONS which are at odds with the opinions of other scientists - this is common in all branches of science. However, the bottom line is that the overwhelming majority of scientists, including solar physicists, do not agree with the interpretation of the ACRIM gap presented by Scafetta. They believe that the work of Frolich (in various papers with different coworkers) is a far better representation of solar activity in recent decades.

    Over the past couple of years, more work has been done in this area and all points to the PMOD version being more realistic. This is discussed in the articles below:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/05/acrim-vs-pmod/

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/acrim-pmod-sun-getting-hotter.htm

    ........ and even more in the following paper:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040707.shtml

    So the suggestion that this is some kind of "scientific fraud" is wholly unwarranted. I suggest that you find some REAL evidence before making such allegations again.

    Paul

  • Comment number 29.

    In reply to Paul Briscoe

    I think that Climate Science would not be in such a mess if meteorologists tried to simplify things instead of justifying their jobs by trying to muddy the waters with complexity and irrelevances in arguments. I suggest that your job requires an inability to change position for personal reasons. You should go back to school and learn how it is possible for specific humidity to rise while relative humidity falls. Relative humidity is the fraction of water vapour in a small parcel of air relative to the total amount of water vapour the air could contain at the given temperature and pressure. The IPCC estimate of the forcing for a doubling of CO2 is a crude assumption not a calculation based on Atmospheric physics. I think the suggestion is that the Earths Greenhouse Effect is also saturated. What do you know about our Qualifications, only one in six Oxford students pass a Mensa test.

  • Comment number 30.

    PingoSan wrote:

    "Arctic Ice has been growing for 4 years now. Look at the data."

    The data;
    http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b0153918384ea970b-pi

  • Comment number 31.

    paulcottinhgham (continued)

    For a theory to have any credibility at all, it has to:

    (a) Be based on sound science.

    (b) Be consistent with observations.

    Miskolczi's theory has been dismissed even by the most confirmed sceptic scientists because it meets neither of the above requirements. Scientists who know far more than I do about physics state that Milkosczi's physics is seriously flawed and that he has made unjustified assumptions. Meanwhile, he chose an ureliable data source to back up his claims (presumably because more reliable sources did not). More reliable data confirm that water vapour in the atmosphere as a whole is increasing, directly contradicting the theory.

    Regarding your reference to Milne, Nick Stokes remarked:

    "Dr Miskolczi’s modelling is of a gray-body atmosphere (no spectral lines or shapes). No GCM or practical climate study would use such an assumption, or use any gray-body theory due to Milne. A gray-body model is sometimes used for teaching purposes to convey concepts."

    You mention the work of Shaviv, yet this related to possible effects of the spiral structure of the Milky Way on GCR's and it does not represent an alternative mechanism for recent warming. You also mention the phenomenon of reduced cloud cover. Again, this does not represent a forcing, because, as Pinker et al discussed, clouds have warming as well as cooling effects.

    You also state:

    "Miskolczi is also correct because his theory explains the reason why mainstream Climate Science cannot explain why there is missing CO2 warming in the most sensitive area of the Atmosphere six miles up."

    Yet greenhouse theory actually predicts that the lower stratosphere should cool with increasing CO2 - this has been confirmed by both satellite and radiosonde data.

    Paul

  • Comment number 32.

    In reply to Paul Briscoe

    Well we know the difference between specific humidity and relative humidity even if the Met office idiots don’t.
    Clouds do not warm up the Earth, Clouds trap heat as well as reflect radiation. We regard Milkosczi as sound science because it fit’s our observations of both Mars the Earth and Venus. If the Met office idiots think that Milkosczi is wrong because Milne is correct then there is no hope we can convince you of Milkosczi’s theory.
    I can understand why Milkosczi’s theory makes a nonsense of everything a meteorologist has learnt at school but the Weather is Meteorology and the Climate is Atmospheric Physics. I do not think our group is swayed by other peoples opinions, they only email me science. I think that you should start thinking for your self if you are ever going to realise that Climate science has put itself into a right mess.

  • Comment number 33.

    paulcottingham @ #29

    "I think that Climate Science would not be in such a mess if meteorologists tried to simplify things instead of justifying their jobs by trying to muddy the waters with complexity and irrelevances in arguments."

    It is debatable whether climate science is actually in a mess at all........ although some people would certainly have you believe that it is! That said, for the most part it is climate science specialists, as opposed to meteorologists, who are studying the science. They don't, in my experience, "muddy the waters". They simply try to make sense of a very complex science.

    With respect, it is those making unwarranted claims of scientific fraud and perpetuating discredited theories not backed up by peer-reviewed scientific research that are muddying the waters!

    "I suggest that your job requires an inability to change position for personal reasons."

    My present job has nothing to do with this issue. However, I was formerly a research scientist in a field unrelated to climate science. This has given me an insight into how the scientific process works and the ability to critically evaluate scientific literature and evidence. I can spot a mile away that much of the so called "evidence" put forwards by sceptics is not at all sound.

    "You should go back to school and learn how it is possible for specific humidity to rise while relative humidity falls."

    Please don't patronise me! I'm fully aware of this. It doesn't in any way change the points I made in my post at #25. I also find it odd that you were apparently entirely happy to accept Miskolczi's claim that a small fall in relative humidity high in the atmosphere was proof of a fall in overall atmospheric water vapour!

    "The IPCC estimate of the forcing for a doubling of CO2 is a crude assumption not a calculation based on Atmospheric physics."

    Gavin Schmidt clearly does not agree with you:

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

    It is not precise, but pretty well everyone working in the field appears to agree that the figure used by the IPCC is in the right ballpark.

    Paul

  • Comment number 34.

    paulcottingham (continued0

    "I think the suggestion is that the Earths Greenhouse Effect is also saturated."

    I too have seen this suggested by sceptics, but the evidence from the fossil record indicates this is not the case. Here is a lecture on the subject by Prof Richard Alley:

    http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml

    "What do you know about our Qualifications, only one in six Oxford students pass a Mensa test."

    With respect, it was you who arrogantly proclaimed that "people must be idiots" for failing to see things your way. Also, through using your status as Mensa members, you are effectively giving your views a respectability which they do not necessarily justify.

    The point I was making was that there is no substitute for actively researching in a particular scientific field and corresponding with others who do the same. Your Mensa whizz kid might well have impressed an audience made up of Mensa members, but it is an entirely different matter to put together a scientific paper which withstands the rigour of peer-review from a respected journal.

    If the Mensa Space Group has members who have contributed peer-reviewed papers on this subject, I will be more than willing to read them.

    Paul

  • Comment number 35.

    to QV# 24

    Yes, I can see what you mean in some respects. I suppose the people involved are convinced of the overall correctness of the models, or at least, even if not completely right, that nevertheless there is a serious problem afoot. Why this might be so, when you and others are not, I can only guess. I am no expert at all on the models, but I have read that, for example, some predictions, such as rates of ice melt are actually exceeding prediction, rather than falling behind (leaving aside the Himalayan glacier incident). Perhaps models can only be expected to do so much and allowances have to me made for the sheer complexity of the natural world.

    As regards your comment about reduced temperature leading to an ideal world; yes, it is indeed a curious idea that the earth can only safely continue if the climatic status quo of the mid twentieth century is maintained! One does not need to go even as far back as the ice age to find periods when climate seems to have been significantly warmer or cooler than now.

    I guess it is mostly change itself and the rate at which it might happen which is the source of much anxiety. After all, population is becoming so massive now, there is almost no room for error , for moving on. Although the world has successfully come through many massive changes in climate - it is of little comfort that in the process, entire landmasses may have been drowned by melting ice, or entire ecologies forced to migrate at the double, with many species falling by the wayside to extinction.

  • Comment number 36.

    well that's cheered me up no end.

  • Comment number 37.

    mmm....
    MENSA & IQ
    Isn't that just a measure of potential rather than ability.
    I have the potential to run a marathon in less than four hours. Unfortunately for me, 4 days would be nearer the mark.
    I'm with Stephen Hawking on this one.

  • Comment number 38.

    paulcottingham @ #32

    "Well we know the difference between specific humidity and relative humidity even if the Met office idiots don’t."

    Let's not forget that our host here used to work for the Met Office! Also, it is scientists from many disciplines and institutions all around the World who find Miskolczi's claims unconvincing......... are you saying that they are all "idiots" too?

    "Clouds do not warm up the Earth, Clouds trap heat as well as reflect radiation."

    Indeed........ as I'm well aware! Sadly, like all human beings, I sometimes lapse into loose terminology!

    I have now located the transcript of a presentation by van Dorland and Forster entitled "Rebuttal of Miskolczi’s alternative greenhouse theory" which goes into a little more detail than the documents from these authors that I had previously seen. It is a pdf document, so I can't link directly to it, but it addresses a number of the points you raise, including the different conditions on Mars and Venus. It also demonstrates that Miskolczi's "rules" are mutually exclusive and that his own results contradict his interpretation.

    The document also goes into more detail as to why the NOAA/NCEP data is considered unreliable for following trends in water vapour. There is more to it than I had thought. The authors state:

    "....it is known that the NCEP model (used for reanalysis) has a bias towards high water vapour amounts in the 50s and 60s. This is due to the fact that the number and kind of observations changed through time. In the 50s and 60s those observations were merely based on radio sondes, while data over large parts of the southern hemisphere were missing. From the 80s onwards more direct observations of the OLR using satellites were assimilated into the model.

    So perhaps the "idiots" at the Met Office and elsewhere were not so wide of the mark after all!

    Paul

  • Comment number 39.

  • Comment number 40.

  • Comment number 41.

    Thank you Lazarus for reinforcing my point. Now let's move on and figure out how we're going to get this CO2 down to about 350 ppm.

  • Comment number 42.

    brossen99, #39

    I find that link confusing.
    Is it saying that Piers Corbyn predicted the large sunspot currently on the sun?
    We are moving into a sunspot maximum, so large spots can be expected.
    Is it also saying that the "Indian Summer" is going to be curtailed because of the "active Atlantic Low", which "appeared from nowhere"?
    Have the UKMO said that temperatures will now peak today?
    That's not how the MO forecasts look to me.

  • Comment number 43.

    I think it's fair to say that by most accounts, the Arctic sea ice min this year is above 2007 levels, albeit marginally. In that respect I wonder if we're seeing the start of a 'levelling off' as has happened with atmospheric temps. Only in the narrowest of terms, can the year to year changes from 2007 can be seen as a recovery. Similarly, I find the use of the phrase 'continuing decline' is somewhat misleading.
    The link to the neven site was interesting - thanks for that.
    Either at that site or the NSIDC, it was said that the last four years summer minimums had been the lowest on sat record. Considering that the atmospheric temps haven't hit new historic highs during this period, what if anything, might that say about the strength of the albedo effect. Weaker than expected or well modelled?

  • Comment number 44.

    newdwr54
    a couple of posts ago you argued/commented on the apparent rise in multi £million/billion 'natural' disasters. You may be interested to know that Pielke junior has tried to get to grips with this topic specifically and has had his paper turned down in somewhat strange circumstances by GRL.

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/09/gatekeeping-at-grl-you-be-judge.html

    Irrespective of the merits of the paper, this doesn't look good I'm sure you will agree. Particularly in light of the way the Dessler paper is being treated. It seems to me that either the editor has an instinctive bias, or he is scared of the consequences of letting the paper through. Perhaps he fears that if it is subsequently torn apart by 'others' he'll be forced to resign.

  • Comment number 45.

    The UKMO recently put out a news release predicting that the arctic would be "nearly" ice free in 2040:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2011/sea-ice-minimum

    The article is somewhat contradictory in that quotes Dr. Helene Hewitt as saying:

    "Dr Hewitt added that the models do not suggest the current accelerated rate of decline would continue or that there was any 'tipping point' from which ice extent could not recover.
    She said: "Periods of accelerating ice loss are not unusual in climate models, but there is no reason to expect that to continue. We could see periods of relatively small loss in summer sea ice in the future.
    "There is certainly no indication from observations or models that a tipping point in Arctic sea ice has been reached. Indeed, models show that if there is a decrease in global temperature, summer ice extent could recover.""

    Of course, the predicted decline in the ice would presumably depend on the temperature rise predicted by the models, which we don't know.
    I contacted the MO and pointed out that the HadGEM1 model in IPCC AR4 scenario A2 had predicted a rise of 0.47c (3 year average, relative to 1980-99), whereas the actual figure was only 0.26c.

    I got a reply saying that HadGEM1 was "in good agreement" with HadCRUT3 (by what criteria?), but that in any case the press release referred to the IPCC AR5 MO model HadGEM2-ES. Also that "regardless of the greenhouse gas scenario, all project the same global temperature change to 2030, which represents the commitment to temperature rise arising from emissions to date. This commitment is sufficient to ensure that the September Arctic will be largely ice free by 2040, regardless of the scenario pursued thereafter."
    I have also pointed out that current temperatures were below those in the AR4 "commitment" scenario, although I obviously don't know what the equivalent figures are in the AR5 "commitment" scenario.
    I wonder if there is any difference between the terms "nearly ice-free" and "largely ice-free". Some wriggle room there I think.

  • Comment number 46.

    This is September average, so it isn't minimum but close enough:
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/static_maps/min_seaice_extent1979_2010nsidc.png

    At that rate of decline 2040 seems about right for the trendline to hit zero.

    Although some argue the trend is not linear and the ice will hit zero long before 2040. ie:
    http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b0147e37a2729970b-800wi

    AR4 predicted around 2080 I think.

  • Comment number 47.

    quake,
    Of course, both graphs break one of the basic rules of good graphical presentation,
    in that the vertical scales do not start at zero.

  • Comment number 48.

    In the absence of the actual data, I have estimated the figures in the graphs and based on a linear trend, the extent would not be zero until about 2080 and based on a 2nd order polynomial, (which looks very similar to the curve in the second graph), it would be about 2030.
    Of course, they are very crude methods of estimation.
    There does seem to be quite a strong correlation between the HadCRUT3 NH Extratropics anomaly and ice extent, but this year's anomaly to date would have suggested a larger extent. Maybe this year's low figure is a carry-over from last year, which holds out the possibility that next year's extent may recover.

  • Comment number 49.

    i see what i did wrong in my slope calculation, I took 1990-2010 to be a 10 year period! whoops

  • Comment number 50.

    quake,
    I had the advantage of a graph with the vertical scale starting at zero and a horizontal scale going to 2100!
    Things don't look half as bad when you do that.

  • Comment number 51.

    Sub atomic particle travelling faster than the speed of light, proof that many scientific facts are waiting to be proofed wrong. It shows even Einstein can get it wrong. All you that believe in man made global warming, get ready to change your beliefs.

  • Comment number 52.

    to brossen99 #39

    So Piers C loudly and firmly predicts an end to our settled weather as well as violent storms all over the world in 3 days time.

    It won't take long to see if that prediction is correct!

    WATCH THIS SPACE

  • Comment number 53.

    I've mentioned this issue with Piers' forecasts before. His October forecast was indicative of high pressure over Europe causing generally much better weather in the SE with storms running through the NW of the UK. He was specific in debunking the stupid stories of snow in October, and guess what now the Express say this warm weather will continue for weeks!
    In the same way that the failed cold prediction in January was due to the pattern shifting around 400 miles to the east, in this case the blocking high has extended 400 - 500 miles to the NW. It makes all the difference when a moist SWerly is replaced by a drier southerly.
    The fact is Piers sees these patterns weeks or even months out when NOBODY else sees it coming, his Hurricane Irene track was spot on 14 weeks in advance, so it is positioning of the weather features he needs to increase accuracy on.
    Taking the pee because it is not raining in 3 days time without looking at the prediction and comparing it to actuals to see the difference is a weak debunking of his methods.
    The GFS plots I've been looking at do not show a full breakdown of this pattern until mid October, so I think the October record of 29.5C could be in danger. It is notable that the September record was never in danger at 35.6C and goes back to 1906 - when we had only just struggled out of the Victorian cold period at the back of the LIA. This shows that record temperatures can be achieved completely in isolation to global climate; so please if we do hit 30C next month do not start banging on about more proof about global warming, because I'll just refer you to the long standing 1906 record. (and yes if we get another record cold winter this year I won't say it points to another ice age - pull me up on that one by all means)

  • Comment number 54.

    Paul Briscoe says “I also find it odd that you were apparently entirely happy to accept Miskolczi's claim that a small fall in relative humidity high in the atmosphere was proof of a fall in overall atmospheric water vapour” A fall in Water vapour to compensate for a rise in CO2 would hardly be detectable, you would have to understand Miskolczi's maths for the proof of that. But it is what happens six miles up that Miskolczi proves that Climate Science is in a mess.
    I repeat you should not quote other peoples opinions, you should think for yourself. Thinking for yourself is an arrogant habit common to Mensa members, but this can sometimes be an advantage if you have learnt by experience to trust your own conclusions. As Climate Science is unique in calling sceptics idiots, this has put pressure on Mensa members to have an opinion on Climate Science, and I can confidently say that none of the 300 members of the Space Special interest group of Mensa has wrote in to support the claim that Judithgate is anything but Scientific Fraud. And that opinion will not be changed until an inquiry by people not tainted by association with Climate Science or Politics has been held. Nor will it go away by suppressing the Media from reporting this issue.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    55. paulcottingham:

    The view that atmospheric CO2 concentrations lag temperatures by several centuries during glacial retreats is not controversial in climate science. It has been explained since the late 1970s as being the result of feedback mechanisms that follow on from the retreat of the ice.

    Glacial advances and retreats appear to be initiated by earth's orbital cycles. During advances, a minor reduction in solar flux at high latitudes allows ice to expand outwards from the poles. The ice itself then amplifies the cooling, since it reflects solar radiation. A positive feedback is created, with expanding ice leading to reduced insolation, leading to cooling and further expanding ice...

    During glacial retreats, minor increases in solar flux begins to melt the edge of the ice sheet at lower latitudes. As the ice sheet retreats, CO2 in solution in the ocean and in soil, as well as CH4, is released to the atmosphere. This slowly sets in place a different positive feedback. Increased atmospheric CO2 leads to slightly increased warming, which in turn leads to further ice melt. This permits the release of further CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere... After around 7-800 years you end up with a CO2 enriched atmosphere that sustains the warmer temperatures - at least until some other forcing overcomes the effects enhanced CO2.

    Once earth's orbital cycles allow the ice caps to roughly stabilise in area, the balance between atmospheric and ocean CO2 concentrations reaches a sort of equilibrium. Natural emissions of CO2 are 'in balance' with natural sinks, and no further CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere.

    This is entirely different from our current situation. Increased CO2 due to ice sheet retreat is a natural, slowly released 'internal forcing'. Man-made emissions of CO2 are an 'external forcing'. The CO2 increase has been imposed first in the latter case.

    Only if climate scientists were saying that CO2 always leads temperature change would there be any controversy over the 7-800 year lag between glacial retreat and enhanced CO2 concentrations. No climate scientists are claiming this to be the case. It is another 'straw man' argument used only by 'sceptics'.

  • Comment number 57.

    personally I'm not quite convinced by this explanation. As mentioned before, it seems slightly odd that with 4 consecutive years of 'record' arctic summer ice lows, following hard on the heels of a clear 20 year or so downward trend, there has been so little effect on averaged atmospheric temps.
    The ice melt season may well be strongly influenced by direct solar insolation but at these latitudes, how much punch has the sun got?
    It seems more plausible that variations in insolation around the tropics is more likely to be the driver, with heat re-distributed though ocean and wind patterns. Hot goes to cold so to speak. I've read somewhere, (will look for this) that insolation at the equator is many times that of the polar regions.

  • Comment number 58.

    @ Paul Hudson

    at last some global warming on my balcony. Do I get a Crackerjack pencil?

  • Comment number 59.

    paulcottingham @ #54

    You don't appear to be reading, let alone addressing, the points I've made in previous posts.

    "A fall in Water vapour to compensate for a rise in CO2 would hardly be detectable"

    The point is that reliable data shows that water vapour levels are INCREASING, directly contradicting Miskolczi's theory. Miskolczi chose to use the one data source which appeared to support his claims........... even though that data was known to be unsuitable for monitoring water vapour trends. Why did he ignore the far more reliable data showing water vapour increasing?

    "But it is what happens six miles up that Miskolczi proves that Climate Science is in a mess."

    No! Miskolczi claims to have come up with a working theory. This is his OPINION - it is an ASSERTION that nobody else but you appears to agree with....... and please spare me the insinuation that everyone else but Mensa members is too stupid to understand the theory. The theory is fundamentally flawed for the reasons I have already given!

    "I repeat you should not quote other peoples opinions, you should think for yourself."

    This is an argument I commonly see from those attacking climate science - it is a handy one to fall back on when you can't find any scientific literature that backs up what you're saying!

    Although I worked in scientific research, this has made me understand better than most that I am NOT an expert in climate science. Therefore, I do not presume to know better than the people who really are experts, so I do what every good scientist does - I check what the scientific literature has to say and make my posts reflect that. I think the following video from Potholer explains my point better than I ever could:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZzwRwFDXw0&feature=channel_video_title

    "As Climate Science is unique in calling sceptics idiots........"

    Paul, if you check back up this thread, it is you who has been branding everyone who disagrees with your point of view as "idiots".

    Now regarding what you call "judithgate"......... from what I can see it is just a few of the more partisan sceptic blogs which have even covered this topic. In my opinion it is nothing more than propaganda! Furthermore, I have already pointed you to more recent studies which confirm that the IPCC's reporting of trends in TSI is almost certainly correct and accurately reflects the views of the wider scientific community. Have you not read Solanki et al and Krivova et al?

    Also, bearing in mind my comments%

  • Comment number 60.

    paulcottingham (continued)

    Silly me - I forgot about the word limit! So, to continue.........

    Now regarding what you call "judithgate"......... from what I can see it is just a few of the more partisan sceptic blogs which have even covered this topic. In my opinion it is nothing more than propaganda! Furthermore, I have already pointed you to more recent studies which confirm that the IPCC's reporting of trends in TSI is almost certainly correct and accurately reflects the views of the wider scientific community. Have you not read Solanki et al and Krivova et al?

    Also, bearing in mind my comments about experts above, it should be pointed out that Scafetta is actually an expert in biomechanics, NOT solar physics. Furthermore, those who have sat down and done the sums have pointed out that even if Scafetta's work was correct (which most doubt), solar effects would still only account for a small part of the recent warming trend.

    "And that opinion will not be changed until an inquiry by people not tainted by association with Climate Science or Politics has been held."

    The problem you have is that the inquiries there have been have not found what you wanted to hear! Personally, I don't have any problem at all with a totally independent inquiry......... just as long as it also looks into the motives and actions of those attacking the science, the activities of the oil-funded think tanks, the "skeptic" blogs and the "climate auditors". Such an inquiry would indeed be enlightening!

    Paul

  • Comment number 61.

    To millenia # 53

    The Corbyn prediction sounds very specific to me - as well as very recent and very dramatic.

    The argument about weather systems not being in quite the right place on the day could be used to defend virtually every faulty MO forcast ever made - and usually theirs are out by a few hours or tens of miles rather than half a continent!

  • Comment number 62.

    to Paul Briscoe #34

    I listened to your suggested lecture link on CO2.(irredeemably "warmist" to some, no doubt) and found it very enlightening, if a little hard to follow at times due to sheer speed and the fact that it was impossible to see what he was pointing to on the graphs. But by and large I felt I could trust what he said.

    However, as I often find when the "evidence" chances to stray towards my own areas of expertise (in this case - plants and insects), I become less convinced.

    He included a brief example of insect damaged leaf fossil to indicate that the Eocene thermal maximum (ETM) - triggered by enhanced CO2- had caused insect populations to rise to an excessive degree (evidenced by the seeming proliferation of such damaged fossils at the time) and by implication, allegedly causing ecological disaster.

    I find it difficult to believe that an exploding insect population could be sustained by as much as a few decades - let alone the thousands of years of the ETM- without some form of ecological check and balance coming into play (even if mere crude starvation).

    Whilst it would be true to say that enhanced warmth would probably increase metabolism and hence breeding rate of herbivorous insects - the same would also be true of their predators and parasites (mostly other types of insects, and other invertebrates like spiders and mites). Equally, conditions would also affect (probably enhance) the growth of the plants themselves.

    Major imbalance would seem even less likely in a complex tropical ecology of the sort that the Eocene presumably had. It might be argued that climate stress would cause "coarsening" or simplification of the ecology - but even then one might expect oscillating populations (think here of desert locusts) rather than a continuous entomological rampage.

    I realise this was just a small part of the evidence on offer - not diverting the main thrust of the lecture - and that time necessitated a rapid gallop over a vast field. Yet it is unsettling to wonder how much of the other evidence - of which I had little prior knowledge - drew similarly glib and speculative conclusions.

  • Comment number 63.

    jkiller56 @ #62

    Yes, Prof Alley is almost the archetypal professor and he does have a tendency to jump around a bit.

    To be honest, I don't recall the section of the talk you're referring to, even though I only watched it last week (must be a sign of the advancing years)! So I'm going to have to go back and check. My own degree included a lot of ecology, so I understand the points you're making. In fact, I think the evidence of very warm and anoxic oceans is actually more interesting.

    I think the key message coming out of this lecture was that although no one bit of evidence on its own is compelling, it is the sheer weight of evidence all pointing to the same thing that counts.

    Paul

  • Comment number 64.

    jkiller56

    I've just watched the video again. In fact the insect damage was presented as just one piece of evidence, alongside plant and animal migration, animal dwarfing, ocean acidification and extinction of ocean organisms. As far as I can see, Prof Alley was simply saying that, along with other effects, increased leaf damage was indicative of a sudden change in conditions.

    However, I've also found the paper relating to the leaf damage studies:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1960.abstract?ijkey=6650ff83df361069b8da9bf0704c014afcef1157&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

    You can also access the full text in pdf format from this page. There is also further discussion of some of the issues arising from it here:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1781.full

    Paul

  • Comment number 65.

    Paul Briscoe # 64

    Thanks- will read later.

    Yes, it was only a very small part of the lecture - so small in fact, it took me longer to describe it than the time over which it appeared! Perhaps a bit pedantic to bring it out - maybe a touch of "familiar face in a crowd of strangers" syndrome. I am sure the people who did the work will have thought of all the arguments I brought up.

    Still I will read your links with interest. And - who knows - this discussion might even convince a few "coldists" that you do not need to have the brain of a battery chicken, gobbling up everything put in front of you in order to accept the principle of AGW.

    (not a chance)

  • Comment number 66.

    Jkiller56 @ 61

    Well what do you know? GFS has now flipped and sees a breakdown of this pattern at the weekend into Monday. From then on it sees a strong North Sea storm with northerly winds and in a weeks time cold enough for snow showers on the mountains of Scotland.
    I suppose at least Piers makes a prediction 6 weeks out and sticks to it, whereas these models make a total reversal on runs just 24 hours apart. What is their basis, a random number generator?
    So game on for Piers Corbyn again, let's see....

  • Comment number 67.

    57. lateintheday:

    "...it seems slightly odd that with 4 consecutive years of 'record' arctic summer ice lows, following hard on the heels of a clear 20 year or so downward trend, there has been so little effect on averaged atmospheric temps"

    The way heat energy is used and stored in the climate system is uncertain. What is clear is that some of this heat energy is used up in the melting of Arctic sea ice. I think it has been estimated that around 0.8% of the excess heat energy has been responsible for the ice loss so far observed. The warming of the atmosphere accounts for around 2.3% of this heat, and the oceans have absorbed over 93% of it.

    The Arctic warming observed over the satellite period is not caused by direct insolation, as you say. It is the result of warmer air over land and ocean. Arctic temperatures have been rising at a rate of over +0.5C per decade [UAH] for the past 30 years. Arctic and NH sea temperatures have also risen over that time, but less dramatically.

    A good way of demonstrating insolation variation with latitude is to shine an intense torch beam at a large ball from a set distance away, say 3 ft. Aim for the area of the ball closest to the torch; this represents sunlight hitting the equator. Draw a circle around the most intense patch of the beam where it hits the ball.

    Keeping the torch horizontal, move it up towards the top of the ball, but maintain the 3 ft distance. This represents insolation at the Arctic. If you draw a circle around the most intense patch of the beam you should see that it covers a much wider surface area than it does at the 'equator'.

    It's almost exactly the same amount of energy, but it is spread over a much wider area due to the spherical shape of the ball. This is very similar to the way insolation weakens with increased latitude on earth.

  • Comment number 68.

    newdwr54 - nice description, easy to visualise.
    It begs another question (nothing to do with skepticism - just interested if anyone knows) which is how much of the Earth is actually in net energy gain at any given snapshot. Presumably, there is net loss occurring around sunset if not before.

  • Comment number 69.

    newdwr54 @ #67

    I have one point to add to your comments regarding insolation with latitude.

    It shouldn't be forgotten that although insolation is undoubtedly far weaker close to the poles, this is partially offset by the 24 hour daylight during the summer. In fact, the regions inside the Arctic Circle which become free of ice during the brief summer can be extremely productive for this reason.

    Paul

  • Comment number 70.

    69. Paul Briscoe:

    Fair point Paul. And I should have said: "This is very similar to the way insolation weakens *in terms of W/m2* with increased latitude on earth."

  • Comment number 71.

    Have contacted the MO about August HadCRUT figures and everyone seems to be
    "out of office".
    Obviously taking advantage of the fine weather!

  • Comment number 72.

    Millenia #66
    Yes, I'm looking forward to the tornadoes as I've never seen one - and judging by the PC forecast - there's a good chance this time.

  • Comment number 73.

    To Paul Briscoe

    I have quickly read your links re.the insect damage and climate change. Have you read it yourself? If not, this might not be that helpful.

    The item mentioned the fossil finds but did not explore much about the issues I raised, mainly stating the suggestion of increased damage both of extent and variety,with surmised rising temperature.

    The remainder was about experiments, which for a variety of reasons, did suggest an increase of insect herbivory with rising temp, also the increasing C/N ratio of leaves likely at high CO2 levels.

    However I felt that a major limitation in the expt., apart from the reliance on mainly one crop plant (soy) -was that the main insect studied was a none indigenous pest species with, by implication, a very reduced suite (if any) of pathogens. The insect population rose considerably, but there was no way of knowing whether this might have happened in more natural circumstances with predation. Obviously this was an agricultural expt. exploring a fairly straightforward relationship with worrying implications. However for the wider world, it shed less light.

    The paper emphasised and freely admitted the sheer scale of the "unknowns" in this issue involving all manner of complex possible inter relationships. Evidently there is much work to be done.

    Anyway, thanks for your help.

  • Comment number 74.

    Likewise energy from Coal, The eco-fascists always attempt to portray how bad burning coal is as far as causing global warming is concerned. However, basic combustion science suggests that burning coal emits far less Water Vapour than burning gas or oil. Given that water vapour is said to be just as bad a greenhouse gas as CO2, does the lack of water vapour when burning coal cancel out the increased CO2 to some extent ?

    ( source British Transport Commission Hand Book for Steam Locomotive Enginemen )

    I did a quick Google search and this popped up

    http://www.ecoenquirer.com/EPA-water-vapor.htm

  • Comment number 75.

    >74

    It would appear that water vapour is being considered as a pollutant by some people, and if it is self regulating as some claim ( could be eco-fascist Aristotle based ) why therefore is CO2 not " self regulating either. As a rough guide I was taught that burning one gallon of petrol produces one gallon of water, all this water has to go somewhere either in increased rainfall or raising the sea level. Unfortunately I not up to speed on the science of how much heat is released when water vapour is condensed into rain in our atmosphere.

  • Comment number 76.

    jkiller56 @ #73

    I did have a quick look through the paper, but to be honest I was less interested in the speculation than I was in the observation that the change happened in the first place. The second paper I linked to (DeLucia et al) pointed out:

    "Although the pattern of increasing herbivory approaching the PETM is clear, the mechanisms governing the escalation in herbivory are elusive and represent a complex interplay of the effects of temperature and CO2 on insects and plants."

    I'm not sure it's even worth trying to speculate, because beyond saying that it coincided with a sudden increase in temperature, we have no way of saying what else might have changed. Also, it only provides a window on what happened in one location.

    Paul

  • Comment number 77.

    brossen99 @ #74 and #75

    I think the last IPCC report concluded that anthropogenic water vapour is not considered a threat. The point is that the amount of water vapour the atmosphere can hold is dependent on temperature and pressure. So if more is added to the atmosphere by combustion the excess will simply condense and end up in the sea. I haven't seen any calculations on this, but I suspect that the effect on sea level would be negligible.

    CO2, on the other hand, is a gas under pretty well all conditions normally found on Earth, so any CO2 added to the atmosphere diffuses throughout the atmosphere. Some of the excess will dissolve in the oceans, but the remainder accumulates in the atmosphere.

    Paul

  • Comment number 78.

    This is probably a stupid question, but while we are on the subject..
    On of the alternatives to petrol in automobiles is Hydrogen, which also produces water vapour. Does anyone know if any calculations have been done on how much water vapour would be created if everyone switched to Hydrogen powered cars, instead of petrol?

  • Comment number 79.

  • Comment number 80.

    brossen99,

    While I generally agree that there is no evidence to support Al Gore's contention that there is more "extreme" weather now,
    due to "climate change", I don't think that metrics such as deaths due to "extreme weather", or the value of damage done,
    can be used as evidence either way, i.e. increases or decreases.
    There are so many other factors which have to be disentangled, such as the availability of global emergency services, and the increased
    value and extent of human infrastructure, which make such figures unreliable, and I think that the most that can be said is that there is no evidence either way.
    I believe that as far as measuring the effects of "climate change" is concerned, only purely weather related statistics
    should be used, although even then, there are problems with compatibility of data.
    I would seriously like to know however, whether Al Gore really has a vested financial interest in talking up the risks from "climate change".

  • Comment number 81.

    The August HadCRUT3 figures are currently being published.
    The global average is 0.458c, compared to 0.459c last month.
    So, this puts the figure at the high end of my predicted range based on HadSST, of between 0.367c and 0.467c.
    No hemispheric figures yet, as far as I can tell, although that may be due to cached data files, which I sometimes have problems with.
    Based on the August global figure, I make the 2011 YTD figure 0.357c and the 12 month MA 0.364c

 

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