« Previous | Main | Next »

Join the debate on What's up with the Weather?

Just ahead of the release of the final report from the inquiry into the climate change email scandal - now known of course as 'Climategate' - Panorama enters the polarised world of climate science in our latest film, What's up with the Weather?

As global warming scepticism grows, Panorama goes back to basics and asks what we really know about our climate and how it will affect us.

As producer Mike Rudin puts it, "to some, it's a massive conspiracy to con the public. To others, it's the greatest threat to the future of our world."

Panorama reporter Tom Heap speaks to some of the world's leading scientists on both sides of the argument, to find out what they can agree on and uncovers some surprising results.

We'd like you to enter the debate and give us your comment on tonight's programme. Use this forum to share your thoughts.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    We welcome your input via our team blog. Please join the debate and tell us your thoughts on What's Up With the Weather?

  • Comment number 2.

    What's up with the Weather?
    I believe two things are happening with the weather; one is natural and the other is not.
    The natural phenomenon is that periodically the earth crust slips; this is caused by magnetic shift in the core on the earth. It’s like the peel of a tomato slipping. Countries that were hot become cold and vice versa. However, this is a slow phenomenon that occures once every (maybe) 11,000 years. This is why we find long-dead animals in the Artic with spring foliage in their stomachs, or why we find salt-water fish in fresh-water lakes. Though the phenomenon only occurs @ 11,000 years, when it happens, it happens swiftly, so swiftly that neither man nor animal has time to react. (Theory was developed by Charlas Hapgood.)
    In 2004 Hutton and co-author Jonathan Eagle published Earth's Catastrophic Past and Future: A Scientific Analysis of Information, which summarized possible mechanisms and the timing of a future pole shift. Among these are:
    A postglacial crustal rebound.
    A high-velocity asteroid or comet which hits Earth moving the mantle.
    An unusually magnetic celestial object passing close to Earth reorienting the magnetic field.

    The unnatural, human-made weapon is indeed a WMD. The United States has this weapon; it is called HAARP.
    Russia has this weapon; it is called SURA.
    Way back in thr 1970s, The United Nations ruled these weather weapons were illegal & forbidden. These weather machines play with the ionesphere. They can cause earthquakes, droughts, floods, hurricaines – just about anything you want the weather to do against whomever you want the weather to do it.
    Unfortunatley, no one seems too interested in exploring these Weather Weapons of Mass Destruction, though I consider them more dangerous than nukes because people literally do not know what's hitting them. They tend to believe that only God can control the weather.
    I believe WMDs like HAARP and SURA are the greatest threat to the future of our climate and our world.
    Having said this, they may also be our greatest hope. If these weapons can make bad weather, could they not also make rain where there is drought, etc.

  • Comment number 3.

    Its funny to think that it is utterly impossible for man to control when they are born or when they die what makes it any different that man can control the climate. The roots of where this comes from is all about power and the question is what really kills mankind, is it climate, is it hatred or is it what they believe. The universe is so massive yet man think they are so powerful to control such a small aspect of it. Its all about the money consumer money and controlling how its spent to keep people poor. The public is maniulated into mind shifts from one era to another to the way the powers that be want the money directed to. With the media playing along its no surprise how far this has grown already. Did you know it only takes approx 500 years for an ice to occur not millions of years so called scientific "theories", who are they kidding, facts are hidden and flawed all to suit mans power. Its goods to look after what we have its a everyones responsiblity however we should not be manipulated out of thousands of pounds and taxes to achieve it. Did you know that you cannot self install solar, wind turbine etc and then be hooked into the grid, according to suppliers you have to pay the full whack and the mark up is enormous mark which would leave an average person in a mass of debt and the earn back versus interest payback would take decades to pay off. Its a false economy and they are pulling the wool.

  • Comment number 4.

    Don't touch Stephen McIntyre because he might be able to explain you the trick Mr. Mann used. And if someone believes that the inquiries on Climategate were(will be) correct should check his website on the Oxburgh inquiry - no records, no notes, no checks. And BBCs "investigative" reporters buy this without questions. This program just showed that BBC deliberately ignores skeptic people and asks manipulative questions.

  • Comment number 5.

    There is evidence that decarbonising the economy will cost about the same as business-as-usual:

    * An economic model conducted for the New Scientist suggests that radical cuts to the UK's emissions will cause barely noticeable increases in the price of food, drink and most other goods by 2050 (see https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427373.400-lowcarbon-future-we-can-afford-to-go-green.html?full=true%29.

    * "Europe's energy in 2050: cutting CO2 by 80% no more expensive than business as usual" (Financial Times, 2010-04-13, https://blogs.ft.com/energy-source/2010/04/13/european-energy-in-2050/%29.

    The supposed unreliability of renewables is overplayed: https://www.trec-uk.org.uk/elec_eng/supply_demand.html .

  • Comment number 6.

    I was once in the 'Likely' camp. And then I saw this peer-to-peer presentation from CERN:

    https://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073

    It makes the most interesting viewing and certainly puts paid to a lot of popular assumptions. I strongly suggest you view it. It is the announcement of a research program and some of the background data re CO2 and climate is fascinating.

  • Comment number 7.

    Usually I watch panorama programs and I am very impressed with their reports. However when I watched their report on global warming I was rather disappoionted as they seemed to not go into any detail about this subject. While people are half decided if global warming is real or not is only part of the story. The powers that be want to scare people. I was hoping panorama would investigate the claims that the powers that be are using this subject to create a global tax called carbon tax which is worth trillions.

  • Comment number 8.

    Whilst I can appreciate that the chart method used to to show differing views is far from being 'scientific', this report was was rendered utterly useless by referring to "global warming" and "climate change" as if they are synonymous. Surely anyone of sound mind would realise that there can be "climate change" without "global warming". By constantly switching between the two different terms it's no surpise that so many respondents were unsure and did not agree with each other. Ask me if I am certain that there is "global warming" and my response would be uncertain. But ask me if I am certain that there is "climate change" and my response would be yes, certain - without doubt! Is human activity contributing to "climate change"? Yes, I'm quite certain. Is it contributing to "global warming"? I haven't seen enough evidence to support this. I think it would be a good idea for the producers of tonight's report to go back to the people questioned and ask them for their views on both "global warming" AND "climate change" and then compare the reponses. I believe that you will find greater agreement on the single issue of "climate change" as opposed to "global warming".

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    Firstly, the programme introduced electric cars as ZERO emission cars. This is not true. They are charged by electricity, which produces plenty of greenhouse gases in its production. The only true Zero emission cars are hydrogen cell, but the development of these is not being pushed and electric cars are favoured despite increasing our consumption of electricity.
    Secondly, I personally think that global warming is being exaggerated and the simple answer to combat human contribution, is to plant more trees.
    So far, in this global warming hype, we have seen many changes to everyday things around us, like carrier bags, packaging, car tax, the list goes on. None of which are actually helping reduce emissions, just lining someones pockets! How is raising tax on less fuel efficient cars going to help? The owners are more likely to keep the car, as raising the tax, has the effect of devaluing the car and is now uneconomical to sell. The major supermarkets encourage us to buy a bag for life, yet still produce plastic carriers and still package their products unnecessarily and with non recyleable materials. All I see, is that a lot of companies and government bodies are making lots of money out of global warming while at the same time actualy doing nothing about it.

    When I was a child, the shops had paper carriers, things were wrapped in paper bags and sheets of paper, dustbins were a large paper bag in a metal frame, we drank from glass bottles. Everything was recyclable 30 or 40 years ago. Now its all wrapped in plastics, polystyrene etc. and although some plastics are recyclable, how much of it ends up being thrown in a street bin, or on the street itself. Our consumer goods are disposable, no longer cost effective to repair when something goes wrong.

    I think we need to look back a few years and get into recycling! Governments and big companies stop jumping on the bandwagon and make a difference instead of making money from it. THEN, I will believe that global warming is as big a problem as they say it is.

  • Comment number 11.

    I was expecting something a a more thorough search for the truth, the result was little better than Channel 4s
    previous effort which I considered was a attempt to exploit controversy to win viewers. No one ever mentions the present measured values for CO2 which is 380 parts per million, and is a small number compared to the millions of tons being added by human activities, so there are obviously a lot of natural processes removing the CO2 to get it down to the measured level. If we look at the Vostok Ice Core data which has since been substantiated by EPICA Ice Core data at look at the first 9-1000 years ( the Holocene period) we would see that for the whole of that period the temperature cycled plus or minus two degrees from a mean temperature and if anything the mean had decreased between a half and one degree ( the latitude for temperature swing if human life is to survive, so our scientists) no one has yet explained the source for this control cycle. However for the present modelers to be correct the control has to have broken down after 9000 or so years. Al Gore used the Vostok ice core data to illustrate the close correlation between between the CO2, CH4 and temperature traces for 4 110k climate cycles. The bit of data I am talking about measured a small fraction of an inch on his graph so it was ignored. No one has asked the 'which is the chicken and which is the egg' does CO2 at present levels drive up the mean temperature or as seems more likely does the mean temperature dictate the level of CO2 released into the atmosphere.
    The same crowd of soothsayers told us of the radiation dangers we faced from the hole found in the ionosphere over the Antarctic, they don't mention it these days because their CFC pollution theories can not explain the facts that the hole opens and closes and grows larger and smaller and the fact that the search of the ionosphere had only started a few years before the discovery of the hole and that all the evidence points to the probability of it having been there long before the arrival of homo sapiens. That climate is changing is true without question. We know that that a swing of two degrees fro the mean could bring considerable changes in climate, but that two degrees is within the existing control shown by the ice core data and not a runaway situation suggested from computer models. The numbers measured do not support the modelled results (380 parts per million for CO2 and 1700-1800 parts per billion for CH4)

  • Comment number 12.

    I would have expected Panorama to avoid blatant untruths from its own presenter. He claimed that electric cars produce zero greenhouse gases. So when you recharge it from the mains, that doesn't maybe include the CO2 output from the mainly coal, oil and gas generation in the UK ?
    Only a tiny proportion of UK population could have electric cars anyway, because the National Grid infrastructure cannot deliver the additional power to recharge them, nor is there enough generation installed. The extra capacity would need to be at least 40% of total current capacity. This would take decades to plan and install, and would also increase our overall CO2 output because of efficiency losses in the charging cycle.
    Finally, cars use Lithium batteries. The only large-scale source of Lithium is in the Bolivia/Chile deserts. The extraction method uses pumped groundwater and strip-mining, which desolates the area for centuries because the groundwater is never replenished by rain.
    Widespread use of electric cars is nonsense, spread by manufacturers to attract grants and give them false green credentials.

  • Comment number 13.

    So, Panorama confirms what we all new... Mankind is almost certainly responsible for SOME of the 0.6°C warming. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Man has increased the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    It showed the Hockeystick graph, but failed to mention that it is a splice between dendro proxies and thermometer records. No interview with AW Montford about the graph. It mentioned "Hide the decline" but failed to mention that this actually means chopping off the data from Briffa's tree ring cronology after 1960 as it did not match the actual thermometer record.

    It showed Lord Monckton being heckled by "Climate Activists" but did not show any of his interviews on the subject of climate.

    No mention of bad siting of Met Stations and the UHI effect adding to measured temperature. (How much of the 0.6°C is real?)

    It showed polar ice minima lessening in C21 but no mention of the recovery of 2008 & 2009.

    It showed Wind Turbines laying idle in February's cold because there was no wind - but did not mention Scottish Power received 13,000 pounds for closing down two farms for a little over an hour on 30 May at about five in the morning because the national grid could not use the power at that time.

    Don't get me wrong - I too agree with the consensus in the answers for the "cool wall" given by the scientists. I also believe that renewable energy will become more vital as oil becomes more scarce or is mostly in the hands of regimes that we would rather not be beholden to.

    I would however like to see an in depth BBC documentary where the likes of Mann, Jones, Briffa etc were pitted head to head with MacIntyre, Watts, Monckton, Montford etc.

  • Comment number 14.

    It will be interesting to see the outcome of the 'scientists' e-mails. These people get paid for their work so they are bound to spin out the global warming myth for as long as possible. Once the truth comes out they'll be forced to get a proper job. That's if anyone can trust them of course.

  • Comment number 15.

    I agree with the comments of BluesBerry, and would go further to add Ive been doing my own research on the research thats out there on the climate change topic and also other topics of interest (2012 theories, Zeitgeist, UFOs, Coast to Coast am with George Noory etc etc, and there could be alot more going on than is being disclosed or is indeed known by the wider general public.
    Actually, it would seem that there is definately alot more going on behind the scenes than is being disclosed to the Public, and this must change if this Planet is to be a sustainable source of life for Mankind.
    Even Jesse Ventura once American Governor, ex-Navy SEAL, ex-wrestler etc has a documentary which confirms the HAARP Project exists exposing the Government's and Military's reluctance to fully disclose what theyre using it for, whilst all the time the total and long term effects of such a device could well be absolutely catastrophic on a large scale.
    So if 'they're' not being honest about this project are they being honest about the real causes of climate change with its alleged and 'being-witnessed-right-now' Nexis point in sight? Are we being given the full picture or the fool picture??
    Some people beleive, and it is being talked about online alot, that it (HAARP) may even have something to do with the recent Haiti earthquake, maybe even the cause of events as far back as the Tsunami in 2004 etc, but there are other theories 'out-there' that may explain why events such as the Haiti earthquake and other extreme global changes that we have been noticing are taking place.
    What I am about to 'disclose' is something which is due more consideration in mainstream science arenas and Media representations of such subjects to educate people more about what could be ahead, without the major cause for alarm obviously, as we are all aware that inevitably the Earth goes through cycles of change, especially environmentally and so on.
    Ok, Ive seen programmes on National Geographic channels and online which offer more astronomical reasons for this subject, such as the wider changes in space affect the wider changes in space and we arent just an isolated case if climate change, but not everyone has cable T.V or internet access...
    So..what I refer to here is theories such as the Superwave theory as fowarded and discussed in several studies and books by Dr. Paul Laviolette Phd (many videos documenting his work can be viewed on www.youtube.com) which refer to Galactic and Solar Climate Change which is cyclical in nature and is the result of what he describes as 'Galactic Bursts' of radiation which are emitted from the centre of the Milky Way, and somtimes from explosions of stars including Super Novas.
    He has identified what he beleives to be cycles of approx 11,000 26,000 years and so on for these events (bursts) to take place from the centre of our Galaxy, which seem to be effecting our climate here on Earth, but also the climate of other planets including our Sun.
    The evidence refered to by Bluesberry in relation to the last Ice Age and 'cycles' resulting in the (sudden or over a few short years perhaps) extinction of animal species and mass climatic change on Earth, is also something which is talked about by Superwave Theory and Dr. Paul Laviolette and many others, and may in fact be related to what we are now witnessing on Earth in relation to 'natural' climate change.
    In the theory he states that according to Ice core samples taken from the North Pole, the data would seem to indicate mass and extreme climate change in relation to cycles of 11,000 years and so on due to increased levels of particles of cosmic dust (Berillium I think) being found at certain levels of the Ice core samples.
    He even equates these changes and their cycles to the Rictor scale which measures Earthquakes, saying that some of the cycles and the effect of the radioactive waves and their 'levels' that effect Earth arent as intense at times as others, and that there is a great deal more we need to know about these cycles in order to forecast warning systems here on Earth - a topic which for the most part has been ignored or dismissed by Dr. Laviolette's contemporaries, but is now ironically starting to raise a few eyebrows...
    Furthermore and finally, Im starting to raise an eyebrow myself, what, with NASA releasing recent warnings that Solar Bursts from the Sun could be imminent due to some sort of cooling and heating cycle in the Sun's climate, which Dr Laviolette says is definately related with cosmic radiation caused by Galactic Bursts or other ifluence such as the apparent explosion of a super-nova near our solar system near the time of the Tsunami in 2004. The NASA warning says that radiation busrts could knock out our satalites and electronic equipment, maybe not a bad thing if we are the prime culprit in these changes, oh but wait, wont that knock off power at hospitals and other vital structures??
    The Sun's activity and the subsequent environmental activity of the other planets and stars in our region in the Universe seems then to be correlated in some cause and effect way, maybe Dr. Laviolette is on to something, and it musn't simple be ignored as 'whacky'.
    Many of us have seen documentaries about how we are overdue a Super-Volcanic Eruption (Yellow Stone National Park??) and also huge Earthquake events which could cause Tsunami (San Andreas??) and I beleive these are related to Super Wave theory, as it states that cosmic radiation can cause the Sun's climate to change, resulting in our climate to change - so if the moon has an affect on the earths tides, Ive also heard the Sun effects Volcanic activity in some way as well etc etc...or maybe im confusing this with something I heard in the 2012 movie..Incidently I hear that it will be a scientific fact that in 2012 there will be an alignment of all the planets in our solar system and we will be in line with the Galactic centre of the Milky Way...or something to that effect..but theres more info on these matters out there online, just Google it...In any case I don't know about you folks out there, but theres definately something going on, and its not strictly a case of man-made Global warming..somethings afoot..if 'they' can't be straight about Gobal Warming then 'they're' not going to be straight with us about UFO's or much else...Just my opinion but I encourage others to look into it and keep an open mind as I have done here. Worth a thought.
    Thanks, Declan.

  • Comment number 16.

    The BBC did not post my comment as the thought it might be potentially defamatory.
    So I have edited out the only part that may be even slightly.
    Unless questioning is defamatory?

    Well I was wholly disappointed in the edition about climate gate.

    In particular the part where the journalist spoke with the septics.

    It seemed obvious to me he was biased about his opinions and wanting to sway the viewer toward the new religion and church of Global warming.

    When he met with the experts it looked an awful lot like they had much more of why they were sceptical to say yet that was all edited out with a ham fist.

    They never presented why they were sceptical only shown a board and asked to put some markers on it.

    I stopped buying into the panic after sitting down with my cousin, who works for NOAA and has been an atmospheric researcher for 15 years and he laid out to me what the actual scientists really believe, not fringe groups on either side of the fence, not governments not people working off special research grants, which I might add are much easier to get if you are combating Global warming the money just flows from everywhere.

    I know an actual scientist I'm related to him and I trust him, he and his team of atmospheric scientists say the whole global warming thing is blown way out of all proportion and mans influence is minuscule at best.

    Basically thinking we could have any major impact on the climate is human arrogance.

    I am still keeping an open mind I know Al Gore exaggerated and down right falsified some information for dramatic effect.
    The Hockey stick graph was from doctored up research. So why would they lie unless there was something to hide???

    So the real question is not if the earth is getting colder or warmer, yes to both because that is how the climate works.
    The real question is who is really profiting from the Global warming scare tactics.
    Why in the past have governments always resisted steps toward environmentalism.

    NOw they dont just seem keen but a little to keen, why are so many companies so eager to get on board, when large companies offered so much resistance to environmental projects in the past, where is the bottom line?

    Lets face it no one does anything for free, and companies and governments who are pushed by special interest ever do anything that does not profit them in some way.

    So again I ask where is the real bottom line?

    A populous in fear is easier to control and if you exaggerate a lie often enough people will accept it as the unvarnished truth.

  • Comment number 17.

    To Tom Heap
    I do not think you look into this subject in the right way, for a start does not the sun have any think to do with our earth? not mention,in your report, the earth magnetic field weakening, not mention. Past history global warming and cooling, not mention is there areason for this or do we not need to know. Past extinction is also not mention,Reversed polarity,volcanoes,may be you should go on the internet, you may be shock at what is relly going to happen to our planet. We have had all the warnings

  • Comment number 18.

    If this is the face of BBC investigative journalism on its flagship documentary programme, god help us all. I was expecting to witness an intensive exploration of the scientific data in relation to global climate change from temperature records, too sea level changes, and changes in the frequency of extreme weather events. I also expected the importance of natural variables in the Earth's climate to be assessed in relation to alleged climate change. Instead, the presenter spent half an hour questioning random individuals about their opinions on climate change, for whom most viewers would have found seldom interest. Moreover, the questions asked to the participants were so elementary and basic, I found it both patronising and insulting. Why was it necessary to ask numerous people whether carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and whether greenhouse gas emissions are increasing? This has been an established fact for several decades. Only under a fascist regime could scientific evidence be subject to the assault of external approval. One question remains: was the BBC being deliberately adumbrate in the way it presented this subject to the viewer, and does it have an agenda of its own!

  • Comment number 19.

    I have visited a lot of interesting websites on this subject there seems to be alot of information missing from the report, why?

  • Comment number 20.

    Reply to Steve and Alison: Hydrogen Cell cars are also not zero emission - this is just propaganda from (mainly) BMW. Their emissions are (overall) actually worse than petrol cars.
    Hydrogen in bulk is produced by heating steam with natural gas (methane) at about 800 deg C. CH4 + 2H2O => CO2 + 4H2. So carbon dioxide is just produced and vented while extracting the hydrogen, instead of while burning the petrol.
    The dirty little secret here is that this reaction absorbs a lot of heat (the energy you get back later from oxidizing the hydrogen in the fuel cell back to H2O). So, as well as the CO2 produced in the reaction above, another huge amount of the natural gas is directly burnt in air to heat the steam/methane mix to 800 degrees and drive that reaction forward. Yup, that's yet more CO2 produced while making the H2.
    Finally, the hydrogen has to be cooled from this reaction, highly compressed, cooled again to remove the heat from the compression process, and transported in heavy steel cylinders, all of which takes a huge additional amount of electric power that is - yet again - generated from carbon or hydrocarbons. Truly, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

  • Comment number 21.

    @10 SteveandAllison
    "Firstly, the programme introduced electric cars as ZERO emission cars. This is not true. They are charged by electricity, which produces plenty of greenhouse gases in its production. The only true Zero emission cars are hydrogen cell"

    Hydrogen cell technology needs energy to separate the hydrogen from water. Effectively storing energy in the same way as recharging batteries in an electric car. The energy is released as you recombine the hydrogen with oxygen to produce water again. The only advantage is the speed of recharging the car.

    If the battery car is charged at night. It can take advantage of the wasted energy from power stations running during periods of low demand. It might even be cheaper rate. depending on your electricity provider. There are also lower emissions in the city which is good.

  • Comment number 22.

    We all know exactly where the BBC stands on this subject, why was license payers money wasted in the making of this programme when You could simply have placed a ad between programmes stating that the BBCs stance on the matter has not changed and that their stance on not allowing opposition to this stance had also not changed :rollseyes:

  • Comment number 23.

    Is it just me or has anybody else noticed that since Jeremy Vine has been fronting the BBC investigative broadcasting output both on TV and radio we are subjected to trivia and facile reports on important issues we are now just subjected to sound-bites rather than proper investigative reporting I seem to remember panorama lasting 1 hour! its such a pity because the climate change debate has taken an almost religious fervour where anybody speaking against it is deemed a heretic,these sweeping changes and taxes have been brought upon us with barely an opposing view or healthy debate, im not a scientist but I know when growing up in the 70s we were told that the oil would only last 30years and we were overdue for an ice-age this view persisted till the early nineties when suddenly we were faced with global warming big u turn there! throughout all this time I was in the motor trade and in the 80s before anyone had invented recycling or carbon emissions everything we used actually got recycled, old oil , plastics even the packaging that parts came in we stored it all then it was collected on a regular basis and we were paid for it, then someone invented recycling all this meant for us that to do exactly what we always had done now cost us money rather than getting paid for it and we were now subjected to all manner of environmental taxes so no benefit to the earth at all as we were all ready recycling but someone somewhere was filling their pockets with our money! when you look at the real difference over the last 15 years then that was it we have all ended up paying a lot for very little difference some somewhere even managed the ultimate con and started trading in fresh air or should i say carbon.
    There are some very basic facts which the scientists need to address for instance it has been proven that 11000 years ago the sea levels rose significantly and rapidly in a generation so people watched it happening this could not have been due to mans influence so must have been due to the natural cycle of the earth though i bet the religious leaders and apocatheries of the day found some way of making it our fault so I bet there was a lot of slaughtered goats and other sacrifices today we don't slaughter goats or raise our hands to the heavens begging gods forgiveness for the position we find ourselves in we just have scientists who bring forth taxes the more we pay the more the gods will smile on us and all will be well. Ill finish with a true story that sums this new science up, a friend of mine was the engineer in charge of the equipment on the research vessel that discovered the hole in the ozone layer when the press went wild and we were all expecting to fry from UV radiation he came back from his tour of the south Atlantic and I asked him what it was all about his reply was very profound he said to tell you the truth we don't know if the hole was already there as we've only just invented the equipment to measure it! One last thought how much greenhouse gas is being emitted by the Icelandic volcano will this affect Iceland's carbon footprint?

  • Comment number 24.

    I found this program full of hot air and lacking in factual content. Why was not Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction asked to speak, his forecasts are fairly accurate (they have to be his living depends on it) and he has some interesting things to say with regards the climate change. I have also read that the arctic ice-sheet is now increasing in size and its size fluctuates according to changes in ocean currents. It was also reported that the climate of Mars and Jupiter had also warmed, these planets are monitored by satellites and to my knowledge there is no anthropogenic activity to alter their climates. Is the carbon reduction/carbon trading a means of controlling the population, gradually restricting travel by overt or covert (pricing) means together with increased taxation? The scientists carrying out climate research are not unbiased, they must consider their funding and the people who pay them.

  • Comment number 25.

    Others have pointed out several shortcomings of this program. As a statistician, my problem is that Tom Heaps completely missed the point about the "hockey stick". McIntyre and McKitrick showed that it is an artifact of the rather odd transformation that Mann et al. used in their statistical methodology. They demonstrated that applying Mann's method to any red noise time series has a similar effect. For the uninitiated, "red noise" can be thought of as the result of an accumulation of random disturbances, also known as a random walk. Although the long-term mean noise level is zero, such processes are inertial, and often remain above or below the long-term mean value for long periods. It is easy to interpret such periods as "regime changes", i.e., a change in mean level, as the time series from such processes look very similar, and rather hard to distinguish the two types of process statistically, unless the size of the change in level is large relative to the average size of the random disturbance. Mann's method appears not be able to make such a distinction. Indeed, given the difficulty of estimating the size of random disturbances several hundred years ago, caution and agnosticism should be the order of the day.

    Now, why couldn't the BBC treat its audience as adults and try to explain serious issues like this, instead of its lame rip-off of Top Gear's "cool wall?"

  • Comment number 26.

    Surprisingly calmly presented in the wake of the 'climategate storm', although somewhat lacking (for Panorama) in real in-depth detail behind the arguments both for and against.

    This from someone who is somewhat sceptical of the blame being placed entirely at the feet of mankind.

    There were two points I'd make, Tom Heap mentioned the car being manufactured in the North of England as being 100% emissions free.

    Unfortunately someone on your Production Team omitted to say that it isn't emissions free. There is always a cost incurred in the production process and maintenace thereafter.

    The electricity to charge and run it will always come from some fossil fuel element for the next 50-100 years. Its manufacture is predominantly from plastics (fossil fuel)/steel/copper/lithium (mining is heavily fossil fuel dependent) and whether in the manufacturing or later, recycling process, fossil fuels will feature.

    Not so environmentally friendly a sell, as Mr Heap mght have us believe!

    Secondly, how much CO2 and/or fossil fuels (transport etc) was used in the making of Panorama and the subsequent NATIONWIDE BROADCASTING of the Programme?

    Finally has anyone (anywhere) thought to look at how much 'heat' is radiated by every single living person on the planet and at how many times the population has increased since tree-rings were invented!

    Don't blame just CO2 or the oil industry - tonnes of hot air (literally) are exhaled each day of our lives, whether in Parliament, scientific debate or just in ordinary living!

    Dinosaurs came and went, as do politicians. Life will change, adapt and go on, maybe not as we know it, but isn't that what Evolution is?

  • Comment number 27.

    Reply to Paul_Pedant and DH Wilko. Many thanks for enlightening me to yet another untrue propaganda. I was not aware of this and quite ignorant of the hydrogen producing process. This along with the other points I made, highlight the problem of bodies making money out of this global warming hype and nothing actually being done about it apart from lightening the pockets of the consumer.

  • Comment number 28.

    Bridge collapse in Cumbria "Definitely a casualty of extreme weather”, “Nature’s wrath”.
    These were the words used in this week’s Panorama.
    But is the flooding of our towns entirely due to the weather?
    What about the contribution of human activity to flooding i.e. government money spent on increasing the drainage and rate of drainage of agricultural land into our rivers and urban development increasing the rate of flow also?

  • Comment number 29.

    There is no disagreement that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but it is less than 4% of total greenhouse gaes. Most of the rest is water vapour, 90%+, a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 but little of its effect on warming is known. Since the relatively small changes in CO2 concentrations in relation to the overall greenhouse gas composition is so small, CO2 changes predicted are unlikely to have a signicant effect on temperatures in the foreseeable futute.
    Overall, the BBC programme was as usual unsientific misleading and biased.

  • Comment number 30.

    @29 on other greenhouse gases: Apparently methane is also a much more effective greenhouse gas (about x30 as effective per molecule) than carbon dioxide. With several billion ruminant domesticated animals constantly emitting flatulence and belches, dairy and meat production is probably as bad for greenhouse effect as hydrocarbon oxidation. There are many more cattle than cars, and they digest 24x7: at least my car does no harm for 23 hours per day.
    At least atmospheric H2O is self-limiting - it is pretty much in equilibrium with the liquid form in the oceans, the excess being rained out. But H2O saturation content in air is very sensitive to temperature, so any initial warming from any cause (including natural) will have a runaway effect on H2O content.
    Another difference is that H2O does not get above about 5 miles because of the stratosphere being around -50 deg C (making it snow out), but CO2 and methane diffuse right up to the edge of space where they are probably more effective and certainly in a layer ten times deeper.

  • Comment number 31.

    @21 DH Wilco mentions overnight use of wasted energy from power stations. This does not happen - National Grid has to exactly balance demand and supply minute by minute to avoid bad things like voltage fluctuations and frequency changes from 50 Hz.
    There is an economic argument, where generator operators will sell a base level supply cheap rather than stop and restart generation (especially nuclear which for technical reasons cannot be fully varied in output). Cheap night tariffs are used to promote night storage heating, and also for some industries (aluminium smelting, steel, water and sewage pumping) where time of day is not important, or that can be interrupted if the tariff contract permits.
    However, the economics do not change the physics: a kilowatt costs you the same amount of CO2 whenever it is generated from fossil fuels. There is still no such thing as a free lunch.
    As a complete aside, have you noticed balloon events always start at dawn or dusk, because that's when the wind is most likely to be lightest. And when is the maximum demand for electricity? Dawn and dusk, when most people want light, warmth, hot drinks, hot food, showers and the TV. And what are all those nice shiny wind turbines going to do about it? Nothing useful, believe me. In part load conditions, they are actually net consumers of electricity: their generator field coils are driven by power taken FROM the Grid, and this routinely exceeds the power they can generate and feed back in light wind conditions. Wonderful!

  • Comment number 32.

  • Comment number 33.

    It was stated in this programme that the IPCC models predicted a range of temperature increase from 1.1c to 6.4c, compared to "today".
    This is incorrect, since the predictions are actually compared to 1980-99, i.e. 10 years ago. Predictions of temperature rise are often made without clearly stating the comparison period, which only adds to the confusion. It was also not made clear that the quoted range was over a number of scenarios, i.e. from B1 to A1F1, not A1B, as depicted on the screen at the time.

  • Comment number 34.

    There is absolutely no evidence, other than the circumstantial variety, that any individual weather events, e.g. floods, droughts, heavy snow, heatwaves etc., are caused by "climate change". However, that is not the impression given in the media, where it is always assumed that any unusual event must be the result of "climate change". Also, many charities are stating that "millions" of people have aleady started to suffer the effects of "climate change", when there is absolutely no evidence of that. It is all just guesswork and speculation. Naturally, it suits charities to make such claims, since it encourages people to make donations more than simply saying that these events were due to bad weather.

  • Comment number 35.

    A somewhat superficial presentation. Unfortunately although they said they were going back to basics they didn't: however they did point out that all animals (including us) produce quite a bit of CO2. I would have hoped they would have mentioned a few of the basic (and usually agreed) numbers.

    Now the direct radiation received from the sun (when averaged out over the surface) is about 235W/sq m and without any greenhouse effect that would leave the earth with an average temperature of -19C. The normal greenhouse effect produces a warming of about 150W/sqm and results in the earth warming to about 14C (a warming of 33C). Of that 'normal' greenhouse most is due to water vapour - despite what seems to be a common belief, CO2 only produces a minority amount: 30W/sqm (at 280ppm).

    The observed CO2 increase (since 1750) to 380ppm only produces another 1.6W/sqm. All of those numbers are numerically consistent (and can be found in the last IPCC report).

    The problem occurs when you go further and try and map this 1.6W/sqm onto temperature. You will have course noticed that this 1.6w is about 1% of the normal greenhouse warming (and less that 0.5% of the total heat). Now as it takes 150W to generate 33C of warming then an extra 1.6w can only produce an extra 0.35C at most, which is way below what the alarmists are claiming.

  • Comment number 36.

    I looked forward to last night's Panorama programme, advertised as a balanced report between warmists and deniers.It was anything but! The bias was clearly on the warmist side, particularly Professor Bill Watson.How can he be called a Chief Advisor? His mind is clearly made up and he wood accept no argument.
    The particular criticism I wish to make concerns Tom Heap's visit to the Royal Society. This was a severe case of selective misreporting of scientific test results. He showed us the actual equipment used by Dr John Tyndall in 1859, in his experiments on the heatig of gases by radiant heat, the so-called Greenhouse Effect. Mr Heap then told us that by passing Carbon Dixide through a tube (exhibit A), Tyndall was able to show that the CO2 was indeed heated by radiant heat.
    What Mr Heap did not tell us was tht Tyndall tested a large number of gases that make up our atmosphere.Tyndall.s final report said that
    "Water vapour, among all the other constituents of the atmosphere, is the strongest absorber of radiant heat and is the mast important gas contolling the earth's surface temperature."
    Anyone who took the trouble to go to the Royal Society to do some research for this programme on the findings of Dr John Tyndall could not fail to find the relative significance of the results for water vapour and carbon dioxide.So why did he not mention it?
    Despite all Dr watson's protestations WATER VAPOUR is the controlling gas in our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide makes little contribution and all the effort on carbon capture and carbon trading should be cancelled,we can't afford them.

  • Comment number 37.

    Is the temperature of the earth rising?

    At the recent Bilderberg conference attended by our Shirley Williams and many other grandees of the world ‘Global Cooling‘ appeared on the agenda.,

    https://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2010/jun/14/charlie-skelton-bilderberg-2010?showallcomments=true

    (it would be useful if anyone could get a report on this discussion)

    Meantime Antarctic ice is above normal levels:

    https://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_stddev_timeseries.png
    Antarctic Sea Ice Area has been trending up and the anomaly now appears to the largest on record, save for the record Antarctic Sea Ice freeze that occurred in 2007 – 2008:

    Arctic ice back to normal levels but depletion shown to be wind driven anyway.

    Even sea levels:

    From Radio Fiji 3 May 2010

    ‘Rotumans also raised concerns regarding abnormally low sea levels on the island which saw fish and other marine life getting marooned and dying on the corals‘

    +++

    There is still much to be done to establish scientific facts on this subject whatever those earnings depends on AGW say. Ward is a good example.

  • Comment number 38.

    I found this programme profoundly depressing due to the biased puerile and flawed methods used.
    You actually introduced the globally discredited Hockey Stick curve but didnt mention the 20ft sea rise associated with it.
    You didnt mention the Medieval Warm Period showing temperatures greater than currently forecast.
    You didnt mention that the highest temperatures recorded in N America in the 20th century were in the 1930s when CO2 levels were half now.
    You never ascertained whether Global Warming is a realtionship, or a hypothesis or a theory or a Law.
    Why would we spend zillions on a hypothesis which is not reproducible nor predictable (barbecue summers, warmest winters etc)
    The programme should have taken longer and used some of the better known sceptics like Prof Carter of Queensland Univ and Christopher Booker and Dr Richard North as well as quoting from Watts up blog

    Very sad

  • Comment number 39.

    31@ Thats what I meant if you charge your car when demand is below base level. you are using capacity that is usually wasted. Didn't say there was "..such thing as a free lunch." The same goes for oil. Using the solar energy built up over millions also has consequences in the form of releasing Large amounts of carbon taken out of the atmosphere over millions of years. Leading to an increase in greenhouse effect and a further feedback effect of a greenhouse effect from the resulting extra water vapour.

    "As a complete aside, have you noticed balloon events always start at dawn or dusk, because that's when the wind is most likely to be lightest."

    A hot air balloon depends on the difference in density of the hot air in the balloon and The Cooler air outside. Its cooler and you can still see properly at either dusk or dawn. So you need less heat in the balloon to give it lift. It Therefore needs less gas making it cheaper and the balloon basket lighter.

  • Comment number 40.

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

  • Comment number 41.

    in 39. DH Wilko wrote:
    " Leading to an increase in greenhouse effect and a further feedback effect of a greenhouse effect from the resulting extra water vapour."

    Yes and no - if you look at the IPCC report then the effect of water vapour increase since 1750 is about +0.1 W/sqm (so positive but much less than CO2) BUT over the same time the cloud albedo effect is -0.7W/sqm. So the effect of the extra water is a net cooling.

    This means that, at the current levels, water has a stabilising effect (not a positive feedback effect) on the temperature.

  • Comment number 42.

    I was very disappointed with Panorama's Global Warming programme.
    Apart from the presentation (Tom Heap seemed to be auditioning for 'Top Gear') the level of analysis was very shallow.

    Particularly lacking was any interest in who might be behind the "Climategate" hacking and its subsequent dissemination by right wing blogs & corporate media.
    The programme made only a cursory mention of the fact that the UEA climate scientists have been comprehensively vindicated or that the Sunday Times was forced into retracting its egregious sceptic assertions.

    It is well documented that energy corporations have been financing a network of climate change denial lobby groups whose sole aim is to sow doubt about the science of climate change.

    The PR professional James Hoggan (Climate Cover-up, Greystone Books, ) has written a comprehensive account of how corporately funded lobbyists promote climate change denial by employing exactly the same techniques used by the tobacco industry to discredit the science that linked smoking to lung cancer.

  • Comment number 43.

    I agree with the comments that express disappointment with this programme.
    The wrong questions were and still are being asked.
    The right questions are:
    1. Do you think, regardless of how climate change occurs, that reducing carbon use in the Uk will stop climate change?
    2. Do you think it would be better to spend the money to try to weather-proof the future by better drainage, flood defences etc or to use it to reduce carbon emissions?

  • Comment number 44.

    ELECTRIC CARS ARE DEFINATELY NOT ZERO EMISSIONS DUE TO HOW THE ELECTRICITY IS PRODUCED ALSO AT THE MOMENT. IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO KNOW THE GRAPH THEY SHOWD HOW THE EARTH TEMPERATURE AS GONE UP IN THE LAST COUPLE OF HUNDRED YEARS IF IT TOOK INTO ACCOUNT VOCANIC ERUPTS AT MOUNT ST HELENS IN 1980 AND MOUNT PINATUBO IN THE PHILIPPINES IN THE EARLY NINTIES AS THESE TWO ERUPTIONS DEFIANTELY LOWERED THE TEMPERATURE OF THE EARTH. NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHAT THE EARTHS TEMPERATURE IS GOING TO BE IN A HUNDRED YEARS BECAUSE NATURE MAY DECIDE IF THERE WAS A MASSIVE VOLCANIC ERUPTION ON THE SAME SCALE AS LAKE TOBA IN INDONESIA 70,000 YEARS AGO WHICH WHIPED OUT MORE THAN FIFTY PER CENT OF THE EARTHS POPULATION AT THE TIME AS IS THE BIGGEST ERUPTION IN THE LAST 25 MILLION YEARS

  • Comment number 45.

    I was very disappointed in this programme. I had hoped that for once the BBC would give a truly balanced view, but instead it was highly biased towards the belief in anthropogenic global warming.

    The question of whether global warming gases such as water vapour and carbon dioxide affect the climate has only one answer; of course they do! What should have been addressed were their relative effects - the effect of water vapour vastly outweighs carbon dioxide and is not a product of our activity. What about the affect of the sun? Not mentioned! What about an opposing views to the hockey stick graph - can you run tree rings into temperature measurements? All we had was the originator of that silly piece of scientific tomfoolery claiming that it had been misused by the politicians. And so on...

    The closing statements by Tom Heap; "better safe than sorry" and "the welfare of the whole human race on the table", fittingly concluded what should have been an in depth piece of investigative reporting into yet another propaganda programme hosted by the BBC. You should all be ashamed of yourselves

  • Comment number 46.

    What I find most disturbing is that those people advocating carbon-based gases as greenhouse gases will not reveal any truly scientific data - Look at the thermal characteristics of either CO2 or CH4, for example. You will find that it is identical to that of N2, which comprises 80% of our atmosphere. Simply put, it's like pouring a cupful of water into a bathful of water - nothing will happen!

    Carbon dioxide and methane have exactly the same greenhouse effect as Nitrogen - None. What makes it worse is that people will believe it simply because it doesn't occur to them to do a few simple checks on the data being presented.

    We should be looking for something which has a completely different thermal characteristic as our culprit - if indeeed we are passing through a phase of global warming and not city warming or even, as Aubrey Manning showed in his programme Earth Story, finally exiting from a 60-million year long global winter

    I believe this whole issue is politically motivated, just as Thatcher poured money into the concept of global cooling in order to make coal unpopular and forever destroy the power of the unions, America is pouring millions of dollars into a similar argument aimed at destroying OPEC and therefore gaining total control of energy production for itself. All of these so-called "scientists" are just agreeing because they get paid to do so in terms of research grants etc, just as they did in Thatchers era.

    Don't forget that we, the taxpayer, are paying all these people to lie and cheat in the furtherance of their own selfish goals.

  • Comment number 47.

    Panorama's 'What's up with the weather' had more red herrings than a fish cannery. Tom Heap appeared to show agreement between the pros and cons by using his opinion board, but unfortunately the questions he asked were not the correct ones. Sure, all scientists agree on the thermal physics of CO2 and the workings of the greenhouse effect, but that's not the point. Mann and Watson, as always, inferred that their science was incontrovertible, and this wasn't questioned. IPCC was quoted as being the definitive source of accredited information on the science of greenhouse warming, but no mention was made of the fundamental question and controversy that their models are incorrect, purposely omitting any effect of water vapour or clouds on the results. It has been shown that IPCC reports have been repeatedly doctored to show those propounding man made global warming in the most favourable light. Maybe the BBC should make a programme about the internal politics and manoeuvrings of the IPCC -that would open many people's eyes to the truth or otherwise of global warming.

  • Comment number 48.

    "Yes and no - if you look at the IPCC report then the effect of water vapour increase since 1750 is about +0.1 W/sqm (so positive but much less than CO2) BUT over the same time the cloud albedo effect is -0.7W/sqm. So the effect of the extra water is a net cooling."

    The feedback effect obviously ends once the water vapour reaches saturation point and cloud is formed. Otherwise we'd have all boiled by now. Thats why 'climate change' is a better description than 'global warming'. Increasing global temperature is influencing overall weather behaviour including rain, wind and snow. Cloud also acts as a blanket and not all heat comes directly from the sun. There are also warm air currents like the gulfstream.

  • Comment number 49.

    The reluctance, yet again, to confront the reasons why sceptical scientists have their reservations, tells us precisely how 'robust' the 'evidence' for 'catastrophic global warming' is, particularly since historically the Roman and Medieval warmings correlate with abundance and prosperity, while but 10,000 years or so ago the last glaciation virtually wiped mankind out, at least in temporate latitudes. All natural, of course.

  • Comment number 50.

    I was so dissapointed by your biased Panorama program. The "zero emissions" electric car that was shown needs charging overnight 200V at 15A for 8 hours which is 24KWh which will produce around 40lbs of CO2 per charge. Also you kept saying CO2 is the main greenhouse gas, this is completely untrue, 95% of greenhouse gass is water vapour. Would you like me to produce a program for you with the true facts; or are you waiting for Channel 4 to do it?

  • Comment number 51.

    in 46. chipseller wrote:

    " Look at the thermal characteristics of either CO2 or CH4, for example. You will find that it is identical to that of N2, which comprises 80% of our atmosphere."

    True, but IRRELEVANT. It is the infra-red absorbtion spectra of the gases that are important and these are very different!

  • Comment number 52.

    Would those people, e.g. post 14, who believe that climate scientists are corrupt and inventing things to keep their jobs give us some evidence? Consider three things.
    1. Most scientists would love to be the first to discover something or to prove that the current model is wrong. Prove Einstein was wrong and fame, riches and Nobel prizes are yours. How are you going to get the vast majority of scientists to meekly go along with something they can prove is wrong?
    2. It is not money because there are plenty of rich organisations like energy companies that would be delighted to debunk global warming. Come up with a halfway credible proposal and you won't have trouble getting money to fund you research.
    3. Follow the money and compare it with AIDS research. There are a number of people who claim AIDS is not caused by HIV. Generally in the press they get a very bad write up and are regarded as nutters. However drug companies will make a lot of money out of AIDS treatments so there is a definite motive for dishonesty. On the other hand people who deny man made climate change is happening get a reasonable hearing in the press despite the vast majority of scientists who have studied and researched climate being in little doubt. Energy companies will continue to make a lot of money if we carry on burning fossil fuels so they have a definite motive for denying global warming is happening. So do you believe that medical scientists are honest and aren't inventing diseases like AIDS and then finding cures that drug companies will make millions from. But on the other hand climate scientists are dishonest and prepared to invent global warming in not very well paid government and university jobs but they won't accept money from oil companies to prove it is not happening?

  • Comment number 53.

    What else did you expect from a BBC that since the hutton whitewash as become nothing more than a government propaganda tool than a biased and selective report including only those even of supposed denial of carbon educed climate change but with views that conveniently fitted the proven part of the chart.While brushing over the leaked email from the east Angelia University email i have read and the words "hide and delete" say lies and cover up to me and no mention of the Manhattan Declaration?Which points out the economic impact of going down a so called low carbon economy .Channel 4 Great global warming swindle had more creditability than this attempt to further brain wash the green and gullible.At the end of the day this fraud is all about Government control and their eyes glinting with green £ signs with something that spans all nations surpasses all religions and all with an added bonus of a all new generation of so called green tax's.And unless people wake up to this they their children grand children and every generation of their families to come will be nothing less than slave.

  • Comment number 54.


    "Panorama goes back to basics" .... Really?

    If the BBC and Panorama's editorial team really believe that this programme represents an appropriate attempt to investigate and elucidate the current status of the AGW debate then they gravely underestimate the nature and importance of that debate. Superficial in its approach and glib in its conclusions the programme displays an almost wilful ignorance of the issues at the centre of the debate, the reasons for the growth in public scepticism and an implicit contempt for the viewer that is, unfortunately, becoming a trademark of the BBC

  • Comment number 55.

    Are any of the Panorama team reading these responses?
    Richard Dimbleby must be spinning in his grave.

  • Comment number 56.

    Thanks very much for all the comments.

    As with any topic, we are fair and open minded when examining the evidence and weighing all the material facts, as well as being objective and even handed in our approach to a subject.

    Our job is to help audiences understand the issues and debates around climate change and our coverage represents a range of views and interpretations.

    We do not endorse a specific argument or viewpoint, but pick our way through what is a highly complex scientific discussion making sure a range of voices is represented.

    We took care to find a range of opinions and to make sure that each participant was the best proponent and communicator of their viewpoint.

    A few people have commented about the reference to the Nissan Leaf being a zero emission car. The point we were making was that the car itself does not have any emissions.

    There may be emissions from the electricity generation but that depends on the type of generation. There will be no CO2 emissions from renewable or nuclear generated electricity. There will be CO2 emissions from coal or gas generated electricity, although if carbon capture ever becomes viable they could be reduced.

    In a half hour programme we could not deal with everything. But I’m keen to continue the debate here and on the Editors blog -

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/06/whats_up_with_the_weather.html

    Mike Rudin - Producer, Panorama: What's up with the Weather?

  • Comment number 57.

    "A few people have commented about the reference to the Nissan Leaf being a zero emission car. The point we were making was that the car itself does not have any emissions."
    By that logic, televisions have no emissions, fridges have no emissions, boiling an electric kettle has no emissions, electically powered heating has no emissions. We've got nothing to worry about then, have we?

  • Comment number 58.

    Renewables are large, complex, high-tech engineering deployed in remote sites with high maintenance and disposal overheads and short lifetimes, stuffed full of copper, aluminium and concrete. The mining, refinement, transport and construction work produces vast amounts of CO2. Most wind turbines will never even repay their own energy budget during their lifetimes.
    Carbon capture uses chemical means to absorb gaseous CO2 into various minerals like the oxides of calcium, magnesion, silicon and aluminium. All of these have to be mined, purified, transported before use and then dumped somewhere, all that taking power and making its own CO2. Some of these minerals are even endothermic - you have to use energy just to force the CO2 to be absorbed, producing more CO2! Estimates are that carbon capture means a power station uses three times as much fuel as without this technology.
    Or, you can absorb CO2 by dissolving it in the oceans, which makes it acidic and kills all the fish - a kind of prepacked acid rain.
    You can't just do research and hope the problems go away. Any series of chemical reactions has a fixed, precise, measurable energy budget per molecule. The reason we end up with CO2 is that it has the lowest energy state of all carbon compounds, which maximises the energy we freed up while we made it. If your energy release from fossil fuels ends up with any other compound, then you get much less energy out of the process. There still ain't no such thing as a free lunch, however much the politicians want it.
    I disagree with the point about scientists wanting to discover something new, made above. Academia does not work that way. If you want a degree, or postgrad study, or a job after Uni, you'd better fit in with the prevailing wisdom and the orientation of the grants committees. Remember, Einstein worked in the Berne patent office while he revolutionised physics, because the professors wouldn't even let him through the doors of the universities.

  • Comment number 59.

    BBC Panorama you should be ashamed at trying to put this over as a fair and balanced program.

    Examples;
    0:32 - Statement "There is no challenge to the basic science" - Putting this statement up front taints the program, that anybody who is not in agreement is wrong.

    0:36 - Pro-green protestors shown as heroic

    0:43 - Divided family where Woman is shown to urban and intelligent and Man is sound bite to sound stupid.

    01:03 - "Does the hard science and a suspicious public back that stance" - The implication, again, that AGW is both hard science and is without scientific counterpoint.

    01:10 - Comments regarding "climategate" are irrelevant. Poor scientific practice has already been shown by the Hulme Mahony report. Not to mention the misconduct of Wei-Chyung Wang.

    02:05 - "We are told the climate is sick and de-carbonizing is the cure. But do we believe it?" - As though not believing it means we are wrong or that the fact is true and cannot be challenged.

    02:13 - Nice choice of people to ask.

    02:45 - The Question "How certain are you that mankind is warming the climate". Is a totally nonsensical and meaningless question. The true question is, "to what extent is mankind changing the climate and is that change catastrophic".

    We change the climate by simply building cities, making roads, changing crops from grass to oil seed rape. All these have a determined affect on the climate.

    But the question for science is, how much and is that change critical.

    03:48 - "Most scientists would put human climate change up here" - Well, clearly, because you've gamed the question to something that clearly cannot be denied. What a ridiculous program this is.

    What most people are reading the question as is, are we affecting the planet to a degree that is dangerous. Hence the amount of negative responses.

    I love the look of disgust on the reporters face, incidentally. Very amusing.

    04:08 - When you say "most people agree there is warming" are you don't say scientists. Because that would be a lie wouldn't it.

    So 4 minutes into the program and 10 misleading of biased points.

  • Comment number 60.

    Panorama, that was a travesty. Can you remember when you were a serious and rigorous programme? Why don't you allow scientists to put the case against anthropogenic global warming?
    Why not stick little globes on the "wall" for surveying opinion on the first law of thermodynamics? Reason has gone out of the window and the argument has taken on a life of its own. People have become thralls to an idea. It's a bit like "The Invasion of the Mind Snatchers".

  • Comment number 61.

    Does it really matter if we are causing global warming? If big business and the our modern consumer lifestyle is or isn't damaging the world at the cost of the planet should we care?

    It should be a matter of whether or not we are doing something damaging we should act responsibly.

    So lets assume that humans don't cause global warming! Our actions have no impact on the planet at all, have no lasting or short term effects. Carte blanche, not guilty in a court of law. Let's just go on making money and as long as we are and people are happy, situation's normal - full steam ahead! Humanity marches onward.

    How about if we thought like parents instead?

    Ok so you can sit there and watch your kid lying two feet from the tv screen eating sweets. You can not punish a child when they misbehave, allow them to impact other children around them in a harmful way, skip school, smoke at 4 years old and maybe work in a sweat shop if needs be. Let them run amok and try and impart no moral strictures at all. In later years when they cannot integrate into society and have troubles that they aren't prepared to deal with, wash your hands and say it's not my fault. Or simply don't care. Walk away and leave them too it. Or would you have regrets, maybe wish that you'd done things differently.

    Would you? Could you? Seems most people couldn't believe it or would say it was bad parenting.

    Why can't we stop debating about whether global warming is a problem and say instead that regardless of whether or not it is an issue - we should move forward with the goal of trying to act as responsibly as possible. Even if something isn't wrong - it doesn't make it right! "Thats good enough" shouldn't be a mantra we accept. We should strive for something, even if it costs, strive to be better. Pride, it shouldn't have a price.

    Wow, an amazing rant and I'm not sure I know what I mean. Not what I intended when I started and a horrible example, I must apologise!

    Even if our actions globally as a race don't cause global warming or impact the planet. What matter, do we still WANT to do the things we are becoming aware that we DO? Are we happy with what happens all around us to provide the life we live? Don't we wish it was better? A little evil here and there that we turn a blind eye to soons adds up to a demon to deal with!

    Maybe we don't know how it could be better individually, collectively we can change the attitude to "we do care" - "I'm not happy being part of that" - "not in my name" - "I want it to be different" - "we are all on this world, how do we live together?".

    Still not the simple idea in my head. If I could just think of a way of saying what I feel!!!! How about this - "Even if the byproducts of our lives aren't detrimental, wouldn't it be better if there were no byproducts?"

    I write this on a computer whilst watching the news after having watched Panorama's show about global warming, with the lights on and in the full knowledge that I am part of the problem. I wish I had the strength to be the person I hope we could all be! Sorry for any gramatical errors, possibly the most I have written in one go since I left school. I'm out of practice and that is something to be ashamed of.

  • Comment number 62.

    I am sure most people in this debate are acting in good conscience. But there is a huge mount of science (of the type I learned at College) out there that is not being used by the BBC to inform and educate.

  • Comment number 63.

    #61 - sazerac
    "Does it really matter if we are causing global warming? If big business and the our modern consumer lifestyle is or isn't damaging the world at the cost of the planet should we care?

    It should be a matter of whether or not we are doing something damaging we should act responsibly."
    One problem, in my opinion, is that the obsession with "climate change" is distracting attention from other "real" environmental issues. The BBC itself broadast a radio programme entitled "The Great Climate Change Hijack" in 2009 and even has a web item on the subject:
    https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8223611.stm
    Dealing with "climate change" is seen as an easy solution to all of our environmental problems, when it is much more complex than that. The underlying problem is human population growth and economic aspirations, which are ultimately at odds with the natural environment. Panorama won't take up this issue, because it is too difficult to face. It ultimately means telling humanity that we need to curb populaton and economic growth at levels which would be unacceptable to the majority of people and politicians. This issue will never be faced and it will ultimately lead to the destruction of the planet.

  • Comment number 64.

    Global warming models – a true story.
    The best evidence that the world has got warmer is provided by estimates of global (near surface) mean annual temperatures. These can be found on the web by the Climate Research Unit of the Uni of East Anglia and by NOAA. The only link between greenhouse gases and rising temperatures is provided by models. You might thus think that the same parameter from models would be similarly easily available- not so. Whether the models “work” would be shown by comparing the two. You might expect there to be papers doing just that – but no one can find one.
    About two years ago I set about trying to get the data to carry out the comparison. There are 15 Institutes that produce models, some more than one and many with several runs – c 60 in all. These have been used to produce a graph in the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 2007 Report ; the graph shows all these lumped together against year. I asked IPCC for the data but got no response. I asked the Institutes but only 3 replied and only one (CSIRO) with data. The UK Met Office referred me to PCMDI but I did eventually get the data from them directly, under the Freedom of Information Act. PCMDI is part of the US Gov Lawrence Livermore Res Inst. They do indeed have the data but you need to be employed by a research institute to get it. However, they let me register. The web site, on their own admission, is diabolical but someone at PCMDI kindly guided me through. He kept saying “Stick at it; you’re doing well.” But when I got to the end I found I needed to download in a particular format. That needed my daughter’s boy friend- a computing post grad -to unearth software and show me how to use it. Home and dry? You must be joking. The figures turned out to be monthly for grid points of lat and long. Each lat inevitably represents a different area. A typical set is 96 lat and 192 long= c 20,000 items. Of course there is software to do the job of reducing this to a single figure but I could not have used it without help. And I would need to have done it 12* 62*42 times – 12 months of 62 runs for my study period of 42 years. At that point I gave up. I asked a contact at PCMDI why they did no put out the annual means. He said they didn’t have the resources, but it would take them only a few clicks of a mouse. My contact is one of the editors/authors of the science part of IPCC 2007. I asked him if he could get the data used to produce the graph I mentioned. He told me no one knew who had processed the data and drawn the graph, and that the data themselves could not be found! I was about to give up when some one mentioned a Dutch Gov web site where he thought I might find the annual figures and there they are headed as supplied to IPCC for the 2007 report, but with a proviso not to be downloaded without PCMDI permission. Well I have the data now and I have written a paper that I am about to send for publication. It shows that the models outputs are way different from the observations and are worse than just using the measure of atmospheric CO2 – which you can find on the web from Mauna Loa since 1959.
    Now why is this basic data so difficult to come by? It is not of minor importance. It is the basis of the whole vastly expensive programme to curb greenhouse gas emissions with huge social consequences. I am NOT saying that greenhouse gases have not caused the world to get warmer. I am saying that numerous obstacles lie in the path of anyone wishing to study the matter. Could it be that scientists have allowed politicians and the general public to take as more or less fact what is not and are now in a fix?

  • Comment number 65.

    #64 - Philip Symmons
    I agree with you entirely.
    Well done for your perseverence. I have made futile attempts to find this information and given up long ago. Until the contents of the models are made freely available to the pubic, or at least to unbiased experts, then we cannot be entirely sure that they are correct. The problem as I see it is that the models are being used to validate the theory, but the models are written on the assumption that the theory is correct, so naturally the theory and models agree. Of course, a model has to be based on some theory, but how do we now how biased it is? There is also opacity on how the temperature figures are calculated. Until recently, I assumed that annual HadCRUT3 figures were calculated by averaging the monthly figures (as most other measures are) and indeed the C.R.U. do use that method. However the method used by the Met. Office, to calculate the SAME FIGURE is much more obtuse. Here is how they do it from their FAQ:
    -------------
    Q. How do you obtain a global annual average temperature from the monthly data?

    A. First the monthly anomalies in each grid box are averaged together to give an annual average anomaly for that grid box. The area-weighted averages of these annual average grid-box anomalies are then calculated for the northern hemisphere and for the southern hemisphere. The global average temperature is the arithmetic mean of the northern hemisphere average and the southern hemisphere average. The last step avoids biasing the global average to the more densely observed northern hemisphere. There are, of course, other ways to calculate the global average and each will give a slightly different answer.
    ------------
    I challenge anyone to replicate the calculation using the above information. As a result of this, there are actually TWO DIFFERENT annual HadCRUT3 figures, one produced by the M.O. and one by C.R.U., which often differ considerably.
    Another point, while you refer to CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa, there are also apparently global measurements available, which are slightly different. Until recently I was unaware of this.
    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
    Click on the "global" tab, as this URL default to Mauna Loa.
    However, the "global" figures do still seem to exhibit a bias towards the N.H.

  • Comment number 66.

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

  • Comment number 67.

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

  • Comment number 68.

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

  • Comment number 69.

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

 

More from this blog...

Categories

These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.

Latest contributors

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.