Pielke Sr. takes on the London Times over erroneous climate reporting – says “warming has stopped for at least 4 years”

http://jeremysarber.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/stop-global-warming-cartoon.gif

From the blog of Roger Pielke Sr. http://climatesci.org/

Erroneous News Article In The Times

Filed under: Climate Science Reporting — Roger Pielke Sr. @ 7:00 am

Thanks to Andrew Forster of Local Transport Today in the UK for alerting us to the erroneous news article from the Times on December 27 2008 titled

The war on carbon – Arguments of 2009: Can Copenhagen save the planet?

An excerpt reads,

“The stakes at Copenhagen could not be much higher. Global surface temperatures have risen by a tolerable three quarters of a degree celsius over the past century, but the rate of increase is accelerating. The Kyoto Protocol has had negligible impact on greenhouse gas emissions, and projections for the mean global temperature rise in the next century range from 1.1 to 6.4 degrees. Whether fast or very fast, the Earth is heating up.

There will be continued argument about the science of climate change over the next 12 months, but not, except on the conspiratorial fringe, about the threat. Climate change is real and worsening, and there is an overwhelming likelihood that much of it is man-made.”

This is a erroneous report on the climate system! The rate of increase is NOT accelerating. There is absolutely no question that global warming has stopped for at least 4 years (using upper ocean data) ; e.g see

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: A broader view of the role of humans in the climate system. Physics Today, 61, Vol. 11, 54-55.
http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-334.pdf

and over 7 years using lower tropospheric data; e.g. see

Figure 7 TLT in http://www.ssmi.com/msu/msu_data_description.html.

With respect to the surface temperature trends [which have a warm bias in any case, as we have documented in our peer review papers; e.g. see], a good set of analyses on this subject has been posted over the last few years at http://rankexploits.com/musings/ [you should scroll back over the last several months to view; it is an excellent comparison with model predictions]. As discussed on that website, even with the warm biased global average surface temperature trends, the models have over-predicted warming. The GISS data itself even shows recent cooling in the ocean sea surface temperatures [see their figure for Monthly-Mean Global Sea Surface Temperature; http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/ where it has cooled since 2002.

The writers of the Time article, and other journalists who write similar misinformation, damage the liklihood of responsible environmental actions as a result of their overstatement and erroneous communication to the public and policymakers of climate science.

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39 thoughts on “Pielke Sr. takes on the London Times over erroneous climate reporting – says “warming has stopped for at least 4 years”

  1. When does this cross the line from sloppy reporting to an outright LIE?

    At what point will people actually realize that they are being lied to? What will they do about it? My guess is they will do the same as when CNN admitted lying about Saddam….

  2. Conspiratorial fringe? With increasing numbers of scientists speaking out against the AGW belief system it may just be that the AGW proponents will soon themselves become that fringe.

  3. “At what point will people actually realize that they are being lied to? What will they do about it?”

    What I suppose will happen is that when it becomes so obvious that it isn’t warming that not even Hansen can “adjust” for it, the media will go absolutely silent on the issue. They will not allow the information to get to the airwaves and onto paper. They will remove all of the “oxygen” from the issue in hopes that people will simply forget about it. And their online archives will likely be stripped of the most alarming “predictions” so that historians in the future will find nothing of the hoax.

    Actually, that is my main problem with news moving from ink on paper to the web. With the web archives, history can be changed by editing or removing past stories. It is currently being done quite often. Historians will not be able to trust archives from our era. At least with ink on paper stories, they could be microfilmed and archived for research later. You can’t “unprint” a newspaper.

  4. Well, there is http://www.archive.org … there should be more of the same, though. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that there is no such thing as “impartial”, and just because there is a website dedicated to archiving is no guarantee that said site won’t be equally sanitized.

  5. Historians will not be able to trust archives from our era.

    But, the idea that there will even be/are trustable “Historians” is doubtful in itself. From what I’ve seen, our current “Historians” nearly all seem to be political. And why should we expect anything else from the Progressives, who have managed to, in some extent, infiltrate our rational-ethical systems?

    Instead – not that they won’t rise again – their “thought” must in effect die…here….now. Much as is the case with the Islamofascists, with whom the Progressisves seem to have so much similarity to, and affinity with.

    Reply: Please, a polite request to not wander too deeply into the issues of progressive or conservative politics and various tangents, even if it feels relevant to the individual poster. ~ charles the moderator

  6. I went to the Times and posted a short comment (300 character limit) on their sloppy journalism. If enough others do the same they may get the idea that they need to do some real reporting instead of parroting the party line. Until then they will remain Norwegian Blues pinin’ for the fjords.

  7. “The writers of the Time article, and other journalists who write similar misinformation, damage the liklihood of responsible environmental actions as a result of their overstatement and erroneous communication to the public and policymakers of climate science.”

    Since when were “responsible environmental actions” ever part of the Times (and the like) agenda? Expecting honesty? That hasn’t worked since Diogenes. Probably didn’t work before then.

  8. “At what point will people actually realize that they are being lied to?”

    Oh maybe when they’ve suffered through 4 or 5 bad winters, cool dry summers, and a few May freezes. Perhaps there will be a breaking point when the taxpayers will be required to pay taxes to correct a problem that only exists in the mind of the bureaucrats.

  9. crosspatch (17:38:50) :

    “At what point will people actually realize that they are being lied to?

    When the goalposts are in the stands.

  10. “At what point will people actually realize that they are being lied to?”

    What worries me most is that most partisans don’t care. They may learn that it’s all a lie, but continue support it anyway because they don’t like to admit they were wrong.

  11. “At what point will people [Californians, for one group] actually realize that they are being lied to?” That, is the right question. [from the movie I, Robot]

    As many of you know, California enacted a Climate Change Initiative, AB 32, in 2006. The law required a Scoping Plan be adopted before 2009, so the Air Resources Board wrote then adopted (after suitable public comment) the Scoping Plan in December 2008.

    There is NO PROVISION for softening the plan requirements, nor for repealing the law should the horrible rise in ocean level not occur, and/or the overheating of the Sierra mountain snowpack not occur.

    Both events are trumpeted as sure to happen by the legislature, and are just two of the threats that are used for scaring the children out here. It is said that the rise in sea level would cause problems in the low-lying river delta areas around the San Francisco Bay, and the melting snowpack would deprive Californians of most of the fresh water supply.

    As was amply discussed in earlier posts, the seas are not rising. Plus, from the severe snows so far this winter, the Sierra snowpack is doing just fine.

    As a resident of California, I watch with great interest how this is playing out.

    Just what evidence will be sufficient for Californians to vote to repeal this law? Perhaps when the seas don’t rise, and the snow doesn’t melt, and when power prices have doubled due to renewable energy mandates, and unemployment lines are longer than they are now [unemployment state-wide is around 9 percent], and even more businesses leave the state for economic reasons? I suspect that when our already high taxes are raised yet again to make up for budget deficits, that might be a tipping point! For the Europeans reading this blog, I know, your taxes are much higher than ours.

    Roger E. Sowell
    Marina del Rey, California

  12. I have one problem with this Pielke’s findings. If the upper 700 m of ocean heat is going down why is Arctic Summer ice melt going up?

    If we know how the oceans’ Great Global Conveyor works:

    then why cannot we assess how much heat is arriving in the Arctic? Yeah, I know there are other soot and wind factors but ocean heat must be the major forcing agent? And Arctic Summer Ice melt is now the main living proof of AGW consenters and their orthodoxy.

    Also, can some-one tell me if we always know when there is sub-oceanic volcanic activity – in the mid North Atlantic Ridge for example and how much heat it is giving out?

  13. Journalists who write such misinformation risk being scooped by reporters who report reality. And newspapers which publish fiction tend to get non-journalistic reputations.

  14. “So how do we bell this cat?”

    – Graeme Rodaughan

    At the risk of sounding clichéd, belling the cat doesn’t work (they’ll simply find a way to silence the bell – trust me, I grew up with cats). Good, solid, common sense, together with accepting that the cat will behave this way is the only way to deal with it. Adherence to hard and indisputable facts is the only way.

    To quote E. E. “Doc’ Smith, “Prove it! Save it!”. Incontrovertible data and complete transparency. The apparent antithesis of the mainstream media and politicised science :).

  15. Fat Fingers.

    Seven years and four years qualifies as weather. This is climate.

    When is WUWT going to get a ‘preview’ button? ;-)

  16. It is quite justified to take a newspaper to task for erroneous reporting. But really, I would have thought the example given was a fairly mild one, and certainly nothing out of the ordinary. I mean, aren’t most people getting bombarded with that sort of nonsense, and worse, all the time. For example, I have been accosted in the last 24 hours by http://www.carbonzero.co.nz/index.asp and http://www.350.org.nz/ . Sickening, it’s true. But hey, we have to recognise that this is currently mainstream.

  17. John Philip:

    I’ll see your UN/IPCC chart, and raise you with a UAH-based chart: click

    [And I don't think WordPress provides a preview button. But I could be wrong.]

  18. Steve Schapel (02:10:56) :

    Good grief. Both those sites are ridiculous. However, a study of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_New_Zealand explains, in part, why AGW has such a grasp on the minds of officials.

    NZ, since becoming a Dominion in 1907, has always had socialist leanings. In 1935, the first Labour Government was elected and control of the population has been the predominant wish of succeeding governments. The Green party relishes its power and the population is complicit in its subjugation. It’s the NZ mindset.

    BTW, I have lived there and I’ve since met hundreds of Kiwis here in the UK. Most are socialist greens with whom I have nothing in common. A pity really, as some were quite good looking women. But that’s another story.

  19. Global warming: climate deal possible under Obama presidency, says Lord Stern.

    By Jon Swaine. (He who reported 2009 will be hotter than 2005)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/4044147/Global-warming-climate-deal-possible-under-Obama-presidency-says-Lord-Stern.html

    Here’s the explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarvis_Cocker

    “Lord Stern, who was being interviewed by the musician Jarvis Cocker, said that in recent months, governments had proved that when urgently called for, huge sums of public money could be devoted to tackling a crisis.”

    Jarvis Cocker credits his upbringing almost exclusively in female company for his interest in how women think and what they have to say.

    Extract.
    Once onstage, Jarvis realised he didn’t really have a clue what he wanted to do. His form of protest appears to have been to lift the front of his shirt, and to follow this by displaying his betrousered bottom in Michael’s direction. A stageperson dressed as a monk and believed by many to be there in a security capacity attempted unsuccessfully to catch him. Video footage suggests that it was this individual who came into contact with others in the stage entourage. Marc Marot, the managing director of Island observes: “Jarvis does a little swerve, and the bouncer’s arm goes up and accidentally thumps a child in the face.” Jarvis returned to his seat. Michael didn’t notice any of this going on.

    http://www.mlp.cz/space/opatrilp/Pulp/the_Brits_96.html

    NOTHING CHANGED EH JARVIS?

  20. @ Mister Jones,
    I’ve read Christopher Booker’s column in the Sunday Telegraph for more years than I like to think. It was he who alerted me to the way we are steadily giving away our independence to the European Union. He has tirelessly reported many other issues, and has been proven right many times e.g. about the continued and disgraceful use of inadequate snatch Land Rovers that have killed many of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    During this year he has taken up the cause of climate change, and he has brilliantly exposed the dangerous, wasteful and ridiculous scam that is AGW. On this last day of the year I would like to express my thanks to Christopher Booker for his work. I think the fact that a major UK national newspaper regularly publishes his analysis of this scam is a cause for hope.

    Happy new year to you all!
    Chris

  21. Such a breath of fresh air to see someone refer to the “climate system” instead of just the “Earth’s climate” or what have you.

  22. AnonyMoose wrote: Journalists who write such misinformation risk being scooped by reporters who report reality.

    I keep wondering when this is going to occur to one of our faltering “MSM” news networks. The first one to grasp this is going to get ratings and notoriety and industry buzz and tons of viewers. All it will take is one prime-time expose’ of the AGW industry. Something like “60 minutes” cameras showing up at Hansen’s door or in Generation Investment Management offices, but it could be any of the networks.

    That kind of news would be news itself. It would be greeted with howls of protest from all those who have been feeding at that trough, and would generate a huge spike in viewership as everyone tuned in to see what was going on.

    I suspect that AGW will end with a whimper. But should some enterprising news director actively confront it, rightfully claiming that they had been duped all this time by massaged numbers and manipulated data, it could really change the fortunes of the first major news outlet to grab the story and run with it.

  23. In physics, unlike the common language, acceleration means any change of velocity, including reduced speed or a change of direction but the same speed. Maybe those talking about “accelerating global warming” use the term accelerating according to this definition? Or are they just ignorant or lying?

  24. Chris Wright is right.
    I, too, have read the delightful Christopher Booker for years.
    I believe he was an early – or founding – contributor to ‘Private Eye’.
    I, too, would be happy to place on record my thanks for his efforts – over more years, now, than I care to think.
    As noted, he is strong on AGW – quoting this site more than once; ‘Yerp’ as the fatuous, neo-Stalinist, “EU” is appropriately derided; and many other individual or libertarian isues, where more government is emphatically not better Government.

  25. John Philip (01:56:41) :

    “Seven years and four years qualifies as weather. This is climate”

    Implying that Roger A. Pielke Sr. does not understand the definitions of climate and weather demonstrates a great deal about John Philip’s lack of due diligence. For starters, please read Dr. Pielke’s recent overview referenced above.

    (here it is again: http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-334.pdf)

    Some excerpts of that paper’s conclusion: “Humans are significantly altering the global climate, but in a variety of diverse ways beyond the radiative effect of CO2. … The result of the more complex interference of humans in the climate system is that attempts to significantly influence regional and local-scale climate based on controlling CO2 emissions alone is an inadequate policy for this purpose. … ”

    After perusing this as an introduction into a differentiated and scientific approach to climate science, you may want to study Pielke’s numerous cautious, well-balanced and extensively peer-reviewed contributions in http://www.climatesci.org.

    My point is, if Roger Pielke concludes that the upper oceans’ average heat storage change conflicts with IPCC statements, he has carefully analyzed available data.

    John Philip – once you’ve done some homework, let’s talk about climate and weather.

    Happy New Year!

  26. John Philip (01:56:41) :

    Seven years and four years qualifies as weather. This is climate.

    [ http://www.ipcc.ch/graphics/graphics/ar4-wg1/jpg/ts6.jpg ]

    I see how the yellow line shows the effect of the late positive PDO, it’s much like the 1910s-1930s positive PDO; but I don’t understand the other lines, especially the local minima at their starting points. The red line in particular, since that predates the period of anthropogenic global warming. Is that line supposed to show the continuing recovery since the Little Ice Age? I wonder why they ended that at a local maximum.

    Okay, okay, I understand the hidden meaning behind the graph, but if you aren’t going to mention the flaws, I will.

    Trying to count spots since the 1998 peak, the graph seems to end at 2006, so it’s missing the decline in 2007 and what will be a decline in 2008. While you will call that weather, let me remind you (and readers) once again that the last PDO flip (and all the rest in the IPCC graph) had measurable impact in just a few years.

    “Seven years and four years”? Hmm, it’s tempting to use “four score and seven years” as a climatic interval. (Non-US readers – that’s from President Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.) (See http://norvig.com/Gettysburg/ for an infamous modernization.)

  27. To argue global warming/climate change is to argue against Nature.

    The lie that has to be refuted is that man has control over the ways and means of Nature.

    The IPCC propagandists began the hoax with an unproven thesis: That man-made CO2 is causing global warming, their only “proof” being a slyly crafted computer model. The only link the alarmists can provide, as “proof” of their thesis, is anecdotal and devoid of a physical link between man-made GHG and any influence on global warming/climate change.

    Algore should show the physical evidence that links man-made GHG to any untoward changes in Nature.

    ~ charles the moderator
    This issue has become more political and less scientific. It is difficult not to discuss the debate in political terms, especially in light of the “green” appointments to key environmental positions in the incoming administration.

    ~ ed the denier

    Reply: Certainly some comments are relevant. If you examine the post on which I commented I think you would agree it likely went a bridge too far ~ charles the moderator.

  28. What worries me most is that most partisans don’t care. They may learn that it’s all a lie, but continue support it anyway because they don’t like to admit they were wrong.

    Spot on sir!!!
    Tom.

  29. Chris Wright (03:40:02)

    Couldn’t agree more. And the same could also be said for Anthony.

    Thanks to everyone and a happy new year.

  30. John Philip (01:54:57) Any real temperature plot shows the 1930’s as having been hotter than the 1990’s. Why do you have to estimate ‘actual’ temperatures when we have readings?

  31. Dan Lee (06:15:10) :
    AnonyMoose wrote: Journalists who write such misinformation risk being scooped by reporters who report reality.
    I keep wondering when this is going to occur to one of our faltering “MSM” news networks. The first one to grasp this is going to get ratings and notoriety and industry buzz and tons of viewers. All it will take is one prime-time expose’ of the AGW industry…

    The UK Great GW Swindle didn’t do it… Now I love the story of the rainmaker who was called in, didn’t seem to do anything at all special, he was just present… and after a week, the rains started. I believe this is a true story – certainly it is true that aboriginal cultures have had respected rainmakers. All it needed for the rains to start was that integrity of presence.

    IMHO, things like this blog are just like that rainmaker’s presence.

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