Tipping point reached: UK Met Office makes blistering attack on those who make ‘Apocalyptic climate predictions’

The First Big Cracks Appear in the Wall


Guest post by Steven Goddard


During the past few weeks, there have been several warnings of apocalypse from noted scientists.  Dr. Hansen warned in The Guardian that President Obama has “four years to save the planet.”  James McCarthy, head of the American Association for The Advancement of Science (AAAS) made a similar statement.  Nobel Prize winning scientist Al Gore is going to take it a step further at next week’s AAAS meeting.  Steven Chu, President Obama’s Secretary of Energy, warned that California will no longer be able to support agriculture or cities due to drought caused by global warming.

Then something remarkable happened.

Today’s Guardian has a lead story unlike anything we have seen before.

‘Apocalyptic climate predictions’ mislead the public, say experts’

Experts at Britain’s top climate research centre have launched a blistering attack on scientific colleagues and journalists who exaggerate the effects of global warming.  The Met Office Hadley Centre, one of the most prestigious research facilities in the world, says recent “apocalyptic predictions” about Arctic ice melt and soaring temperatures are as bad as claims that global warming does not exist.

Nobody has been pushing the global warming story harder than the Met Office and The Guardian.  Whom could they be referring to in this passage “scientific colleagues and journalists who exaggerate the effects of global warming?”

Some more quotes from the article.

Pope says there is little evidence to support claims that Arctic ice has reached a tipping point and could disappear within a decade or so, as some reports have suggested. Summer ice extent in the Arctic, formed by frozen sea water, has collapsed in recent years, with ice extent in September last year 34% lower than the average since satellite measurements began in 1979. “The record-breaking losses in the past couple of years could easily be due to natural fluctuations in the weather, with summer ice increasing again over the next few years,” she says.

“It is easy for scientists to grab attention by linking climate change to the latest extreme weather event or apocalyptic prediction. But in doing so, the public perception of climate change can be distorted. The reality is that extreme events arise when natural variations in the weather and climate combine with long-term climate change.”

The criticism reflects mounting concern at the Met Office that the global warming debate risks being hijacked by people on both sides who push their own agendas and interests.

The Met Office has been badly burned by their seasonal mispredictions of warm UK weather, particularly during the current winter and the last two summers.  But particularly interesting to me are the comments about Arctic Ice.  I was about to write an article forecasting the return of the Arctic to near normal ice conditions this summer, based on the light polar drift this winter.  It appears that The Met Office agrees with that prognosis.
The walls are tumbling down in the UK.  President Obama promised to align with the Europeans about global warming.  Will he keep his promise?
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall
Pink Floyd

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361 thoughts on “Tipping point reached: UK Met Office makes blistering attack on those who make ‘Apocalyptic climate predictions’

  1. Well, I for one, have to say the MET is doing a fine job. Pity it’s come to internecine conflict but it would appear things are a bit tense in ‘Merry Old England’.

  2. I have been in regular contact by email with the Met Office, asking them for scientific evidence and criticising them for their forecasts and alarmist propaganda. Here is part of a reply I received from them just one week ago:

    “The evidence for man-made climate change is in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

    In its Fourth Assessment Review, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that there is unequivocal evidence from observations that the Earth is warming. It further stated and that most of the observed warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in man-made greenhouse gas concentrations. By “very likely”, the IPCC means a 90% probability or greater. This broad climate change message has also been strongly supported by the world’s top Academy of Sciences, including the Royal Society in the UK and the National Academy of Sciences in the USA.

    The national science academies of the G8 nations and Brazil, China and India, three of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the developing world, have signed a statement on the global response to climate change. The statement stresses that the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action and calls on world leaders to take such action.

    In view of this, the Met Office firmly believes that climate research has captured the essential aspects of what is causing our planet to warm. It is now time to move on and look at strategies for adaptation and mitigation; better defining uncertainty and improving regional detail in climate models. This is where our efforts will and should be directed.”

    This seems a remarkably quick reaching of the tipping point. Is it the first sign of a retreat from cognitive dissonance?

  3. from CCNet:

    MET OFFICE: ‘APOCALYPTIC CLIMATE PREDICTIONS’ ARE MISLEADING

    The Daily Telegraph, 11 February 2009
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/milo_yiannopoulos/blog/2009/02/11/now_the_met_office_says_it_too_apocalyptic_climate_predictions_are_misleading

    Milo Yiannopoulos

    The Guardian’s environment team must have choked on their organic muesli running this one: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/11/climate-change-misleading-claims

    ‘Apocalyptic climate predictions’ mislead the public, say experts: Met Office scientists fear distorted climate change claims could undermine efforts to tackle carbon emissions

    In an article published on the Guardian website, Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, calls on scientists and journalists to stop misleading the public with “claim and counter-claim”.

    Pope says there is little evidence to support claims that Arctic ice has reached a tipping point and could disappear within a decade or so, as some reports have suggested.

    “The record-breaking losses in the past couple of years could easily be due to natural fluctuations in the weather, with summer ice increasing again over the next few years,” she says.

    Pope’s original article is the latest in a series of clues that all is not well within the climate change lobby. The great Gerald Warner has been covering the subject recently, with his usual flair:

    This has been a bad 24 hours for the climate-change liars, beginning with Christopher Booker’s exposure in The Sunday Telegraph of the fabrication of data to “prove” pretended warming in the Antarctic. As more and more scientists who have not been bought by the United Nations climate clique find the courage to voice dissent from the junk science peddled by the IPCC and a public plunged into economic depression loses patience with this multi-billion-pound scam, it looks as if the great global warming imposture is finally on the retreat.

    By and large, the scientific community has been in agreement about climate change until now. But I reckon we’re about to see open warfare between experts presenting serious, evidence-based research into the state of the planet and hysterical alarmists like James Hansen, who seem hell-bent on destroying our economy through eye-wateringly expensive and totally unnecessary “emergency measures”.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: The criticism by members of the Met Office seems to be of a tactical nature and looks more like an attempt to distract from their own contribution to the apocalyptic hype (see my Met Office comments from 2005: http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Peiser/Peiser_Exeter2005_report.html). Nevertheless, I welcome the belated recognition that hype and fear-mongering is self-defeating. It certainly has helped to drive the wedge even deeper between climate extremists and moderate scientists.
    – Benny Peiser

    The Met Office is trying to distance themselves from their own past climate hysteria – more rats leaving a sinking ship.
    Regards, Allan

  4. And some more quotations from the article:

    She adds: “Both undermine the basic facts that the implications of climate change are profound and will be severe if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut drastically.”

    Dr Peter Stott, a climate researcher at the Met Office, said a common misrepresentation was to take a few years data and extrapolate to what would happen if it continues. “You just can’t do that. You have to look at the long-term trend and then at the natural variability on top.”

  5. Also from CCNet

    OPINION: GREEN IDEAS MUST TAKE BLAME FOR AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRES

    The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 February 2009 http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/green-ideas-must-take-blame-for-deaths-20090211-84mk.html

    Miranda Devine

    It wasn’t climate change which killed as many as 300 people in Victoria last weekend. It wasn’t arsonists. It was the unstoppable intensity of a bushfire, turbo-charged by huge quantities of ground fuel which had been allowed to accumulate over years of drought. It was the power of green ideology over government to oppose attempts to reduce fuel hazards before a megafire erupts, and which prevents landholders from clearing vegetation to protect themselves.

    So many people need not have died so horribly. The warnings have been there for a decade. If politicians are intent on whipping up a lynch mob to divert attention from their own culpability, it is not arsonists who should be hanging from lamp-posts but greenies.

    Governments appeasing the green beast have ignored numerous state and federal bushfire inquiries over the past decade, almost all of which have recommended increasing the practice of “prescribed burning”. Also known as “hazard reduction”, it is a methodical regime of burning off flammable ground cover in cooler months, in a controlled fashion, so it does not fuel the inevitable summer bushfires.

    In July 2007 Scott Gentle, the Victorian manager of Timber Communities Australia, who lives in Healesville where two fires were still burning yesterday, gave testimony to a Victorian parliamentary bushfire inquiry so prescient it sends a chill down your spine.

    “Living in an area like Healesville, whether because of dumb luck or whatever, we have not experienced a fire … since … about 1963. God help us if we ever do, because it will make Ash Wednesday look like a picnic.” God help him, he was right.

    Gentle complained of obstruction from green local government authorities of any type of fire mitigation strategies. He told of green interference at Kinglake – at the epicentre of Saturday’s disaster, where at least 147 people died – during a smaller fire there in 2007.

    FULL STORY at http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/green-ideas-must-take-blame-for-deaths-20090211-84mk.html

    EDITOR’S NOTE: see also Roger Pielke Jr.: Trends in Homes Lost to Australian Bushfires http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/trends-in-homes-lost-to-autralian-bushfires-4950

    Angry Survivors blame Council ‘Green’ Policy http://www.theage.com.au/national/angry-survivors-blame-council-green-policy-20090211-83p0.html

    ==========
    (8) NICK STERN: WHAT DO WE WANT? $400 BILLION! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW!

    The Guardian, 12 February 2009
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/11/stern-climate-change

    Governments across the world must commit to hundreds of billions of pounds in green investments within months in a combined attack on the global economic crisis and global warming, according to leading economists including Nicholas Stern.

    The team says some $400bn (£277bn) should be channelled to support low-carbon technologies such as home insulation and renewable energy. Given the urgency of both the economic and climate crises, it wants the green investment made by this summer and to total 20% of the £1.4tn likely to be spent globally as fiscal stimulus.

    Lord Stern, the former Treasury economist and now chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, said: “With billions about to be spent by governments on energy, buildings and transport, it is vital that these public investments do not lock us for many more decades into a costly and unsustainable high-carbon economy.”

    A report published today, written by many of the team that prepared the influential 2006 Stern Review on the economics of climate change, says politicians should not delay plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions because of the global slowdown. Instead, action to tackle climate change could form a central part of fiscal packages to stimulate national economies.

    Lord Stern said: “The rich industrialised countries need to show leadership this year by committing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, compared with 1990, and their economic recovery plans need to be consistent with this target.”

    FULL STORY at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/11/stern-climate-change

    ==========
    (9) STERN RESULTS: MILLIONS FACE ‘STEALTH TAX’ ON HEATING BILLS TO SUBSIDISE GREEN ENERGY

    Daily Mail, 12 February 2009
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1142710/Millions-face-stealth-tax-heating-bills-subsidise-green-energy.html

    By David Derbyshire

    Millions of families face yet another hike in heating bills to pay for a massive expansion of green energy.

    Ministers say that the money raised will subsidise solar panels, wind turbines and wood-burning boilers for hundreds of thousands of homes.
    But critics warn that the levy is an ‘insidious’ stealth tax that will hammer households at a time of rising unemployment, falling incomes and economic uncertainty.

    We are already paying an average of £410 more on our annual energy bills after price rises last year of 59 per cent for gas and 26 per cent for electricity.

    The green levy, or ‘Renewable Heating Incentive’, is part of an energy package to be unveiled today by the Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Miliband.
    As well as grants for domestic windmills and solar panels, he will announce plans to insulate seven million homes.

    The measures will be funded by the levy on fossil fuel energy suppliers – which will be passed on to us in our household bills.

    The Government insists that overall the package will cut energy waste and reduce fuel bills for millions.

    ‘Not only do we want to cut fuel bills and greenhouse gas emissions, we also want to make Britain less reliant on imports of fossil fuels,’ said a spokesman for the Department for Energy and Climate Change. ‘Fossil fuel prices are more volatile.’

    Ministers have no idea at this stage how much the levy will be – or when it will be introduced.

    Susie Squire of the Taxpayers’ Alliance said the plan would hit families who are finding it hard to make ends meet.

    ‘It sounds like another insidious stealth tax at a time of economic recession when people are already struggling,’ she said.

    ‘Increasing everyone’s bills to subsidise the cost of green energy for a few is nonsense. People should be encouraged to be more energy efficient, but it should be voluntary.’

    Professor Ian Fells of Newcastle University, a former government advisor on energy conservation, welcomed plans to insulate more homes.

    But he warned that the incentive scheme could see less-affluent families subsidising solar panels for others.

    ‘All these renewable energy systems are expensive to put in,’ he said. ‘Even solar panels for heating take at least 12 years to pay back the costs.

    FULL STORY at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1142710/Millions-face-stealth-tax-heating-bills-subsidise-green-energy.html

  6. We have a saying in greek: one swallow does not bring the spring.

    It will take many more such changes to get a tipping point in institude opinions. The UK Met will be counted among the skeptics if it stands alone.

  7. Note to moderator – I only meant to include the story entitled “OPINION: GREEN IDEAS MUST TAKE BLAME FOR AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRES” in my last post – you can delete stories (8) and (9) if you feel my post is too long.

    Thank you for all your good work, Allan

  8. And it is not even a swallow:

    The conclusion from the link of the post:
    “When climate scientists like me explain to people what we do for a living we are increasingly asked whether we “believe in climate change”. Quite simply it is not a matter of belief. Our concerns about climate change arise from the scientific evidence that humanity’s activities are leading to changes in our climate. The scientific evidence is overwhelming.”

  9. One could also go to the original article by Dr Vicky Pope, Met Office Head of Climate Change:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20090211.html
    Here are selected quotes, all emphasis added.

    About Arctic Ice tipping point

    The truth is that there is little evidence to support this. Indeed, the record-breaking losses in the past couple of years could easily be due to natural fluctuations in the weather, with summer sea ice increasing again over the next few years. This diverts attention from the real, longer-term issues. For example, recent results from the Met Office do show that there is a detectable human impact in the long-term decline in sea ice over the past 30 years, and all the evidence points to a complete loss of summer sea ice much later this century.

    She is chastising both sides, the “advocates” and the “sceptics”

    “The most recent example of this sequence of claim and counter-claim focused on the Greenland ice sheet. The melting of ice around south-east Greenland accelerated in the early part of this decade, leading to reports that scientists had underestimated the speed of warming in this region. Recent measurements, reported in Science magazine last week, show that the speed-up has stopped across the region. This has been picked up on the climate sceptics’ websites. Again, natural variability has been ignored in order to support a particular point of view, with climate change advocates leaping on the acceleration to further their cause and the climate change sceptics now using the slowing down to their own benefit. Neither group is right and all that is achieved is greater confusion among the public. What is true is that there will always be natural variability in the amount of ice around Greenland and that as our climate continues to warm, the long-term reduction in the ice sheet is inevitable.

    Finally, Dr Pope’s stance on climate change

    “When climate scientists like me explain to people what we do for a living we are increasingly asked whether we “believe in climate change”. Quite simply it is not a matter of belief. Our concerns about climate change arise from the scientific evidence that humanity’s activities are leading to changes in our climate. The scientific evidence is overwhelming.”

  10. No idea where slamming is seen or a blistering attack at a singled out side… balanced, with closing para to emphasize the evidence is overwhelming:

    Excerpts:

    What is true is that there will always be natural variability in the amount of ice around Greenland and that as our climate continues to warm, the long-term reduction in the ice sheet is inevitable.

    and

    Both undermine the basic facts that the implications of climate change are profound and will be severe if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut drastically and swiftly over the coming decades.

    and

    … Our concerns about climate change arise from the scientific evidence that humanity’s activities are leading to changes in our climate. The scientific evidence is overwhelming.

    So, the reading is the angle of view.

  11. It’s difficult to fathom the Met Office. Largely, they are an inept organisation who have been at the forefront of man-made global warming nonsense. They have certainly been ‘economical with the truth’ on many aspects connected with climate change – and continue to be. Some even might say they have lied.

    Having spoken to someone who works there, I have to say their belief is genuine. Unlike some ‘scientists’ who may just be after some grant money, the Met Office seem to actually believe what they’re saying. However, they do remind me of the man who shouted ‘fire!’, then ran out of the room because he had heard the word ‘fire!’.

    But it’s all too late for the Met Office. They haven’t just complied with the warming debacle, they’ve been a big part of it. They won’t look good back-peddling now. Perhaps this is their way of seeing that all is not going to plan – and they’re looking for a door out. If so, then we should see these change http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/bigpicture/ especially ‘Fact 2’.

  12. “apocalyptic predictions about Arctic ice melt and soaring temperatures”

    Like those emanating from the Met. Office..?

    Deep joy!

  13. A little off topic. Anthony I appreciate your willingness to allow a free discussion here.
    Glad to see reasoned articles are occuring in climate discussion.

    “Rember Victoria” From my reading of the brush fire stories in Australia I understand people are blaming the Greenie/enviormentalist movement for preventing reasonable fire control.
    I hope both sides can learn from this and have reasonable discussion instead of the current blame situation where to many express their own one sided opinion or suppress dissent and ignore reasonable information presented by others

  14. Focus on the empirical studies placing an upper limit on global warming due to co2 concentration increase much lower than alarmists, positive aspects of co2 increase and a warmer climate, and basic research on alternative energy sources so that co2 doubling occurs in the 23rd century as the current trend indicates.

  15. Is this sanity for real? And what will it mean for correcting raw-data gathering, honest analysis, and providing transparency of the process? Will a dedication to the SCIENCE of climate change — local. regional, global, and historical — return? Who is speaking for the Met Office now? Will the MO name those “scientific colleagues and journalists who exaggerate the effects of global warming”? Who from the MO is among them?

    I notice that this break-in-the-wall occurs at almost the same time as a Congressman’s admission that someones were trying to turn the U.S. financial system into a catastrophe around mid-September last year.

    Are apocalyptic-causing visions and actions being disciplined? Will the liars be shunned? Wouldn’t that be a victory for democracy! The final victory would be if the “evil-doers” were tried and punished if (when) found guilty. Oh, I forgot. That would be taking responsibility for the consequences of one’s behavior — hardly happens anymore.

  16. “Nobel Prize winning scientist Al Gore”
    Is Al Gore a scientist?

    As he won the peace prize, he should be referred to as:

    Nobel Prize winning pacifier Al Gore.

  17. It is refreshing to find that, at long last, we are able to read an “official” pronouncement which goes some way to separating different issues which are too often conflated.

    Issue one: is the planet warming?

    Issue two: if so, is human activity contributing to warming?

    Issue three: if so, to what extent?

    Issue four: what are the likely direct consequences of human-caused warming?

    Issue five: whether or not the planet is warming, is human activity affecting the climate adversely?

    Issues six & seven: repeat three and four in relation to non-warming adverse activities.

    For far too long the mere fact of warming has been trumpted as a disaster, regardless of its extent and effect; and the mere fact of some human effect has been trumpeted as a disaster regardless of its extent and consequences.

    It is only by keeping these (and the many sub-issues and knock-on issues they raise) separate, and subjecting each to searching analysis, that everything can be kept in perspective and facts can be established independently of any political agenda.

    An encouraging first step. Let’s hope it is the first of many because many are required to reverse the confusion, hype and political opportunism that is rife in this field.

  18. Steve:

    The referal to Al Gore as a “scientist” makes me vomit. Please refrain from using that word to describe him in the future.

    Otherwise, thanks for the post…

  19. Some of our posters may not be impressed by this statement from the Met office and I can understand their feelings. However, can you imagine James Hanson or Gavin Schnitt doing anything like this? They can’t even admit to obvious errors in the climate record or the reconstructions.

    When I start to think the other side is dishonest or just plain stupid I read or ask questions of people connected to the Met office. They seem more honest, in fact I have a positive impression of the ability and integrity of Tom Wigley though I think he is wrong to fear large scale warming, he doesn’t seem to have near the conceit of the aforementioned Americans.

  20. The final “but we still believe in global warming” attachments to these “backing away from doom” articles makes me wonder if a significant part of their research funding came from Al Gore’s money machine. When the money is from a private source, the source can stipulate the strings attached, and pull them if they don’t like the results of research reportings.

  21. “The criticism reflects mounting concern at the Met Office that the global warming debate risks being hijacked by people on both sides who push their own agendas and interests.”

    Apparently this particular group of alarmists, have become circumspect about the alarms. The apocalyptic predictions arise entirely from the AGW camp. They have been continuously shown to be wrong or vastly overstate. IPCC and Hansen have fallen into disrepute. More and more active and retired government officials speak out as skeptics.

    The Met office is seeing its house of cards teetering on its self-described apocalypse and are edging back from the precipice. A statement such as this, they hope, will signal their “lack of bias,” – particularly if the billions spent trying to wrestle CO2 into the ground yield little or no climate change. In business it’s called, “Cover Your As*!

  22. Pope:

    “Both undermine the basic facts that the implications of climate change are profound and will be severe if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut drastically.”

    Right, so we must avoid those apocalyptic predictions, eh, Ms. Pope? But also, no word from Pope on the more obvious disaster cutting greenhouse gas emissions “drastically” would involve.

    In fact, where the rubber meets the road, the reality based situation and “consensus” is so clear that China and India are pursuing massive coal-based electrification programs as we speak, which the ipcc’s own Kyoto Protocols in fact don’t prohibit them from doing.

  23. Richard Heg (06:22:40) :

    Just ask any school girl or boy.

    Of course Al Gore is scientist – he won the Nobel Prize after all.

  24. The BBC put this page up today.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7885036.stm

    In part…..
    “The planet will be in “huge trouble” unless Barack Obama makes strides in tackling climate change, says a leading scientist.
    Prof James McCarthy spoke on the eve of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which he heads.
    The US president has just four years to save the planet, said Prof McCarthy.
    If major policy changes do not happen within Mr Obama’s term of office, they will not happen at all, he warned.”

  25. Richard Heg (06:22:40) :
    “Nobel Prize winning scientist Al Gore”
    Is Al Gore a scientist?

    Is the Pope a Muslim?

  26. Crumbling in every direction! Hansen is under attack in published letter to AMS. See the following:

    Claude Harvey

    On The Hijacking of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)

    by Bill Gray

    Professor Emeritus

    Colorado State University

    (AMS Fellow, Charney Award recipient, and over 50-year member)

    I am appalled at the selection of James Hansen as this year’s recipient of the AMS’s highest award – the Rossby Research Medal. James Hansen has not been trained as a meteorologist. His formal education has been in astronomy. His long records of faulty global climate predictions and alarmist public pronouncements have become increasingly hollow and at odds with reality. Hansen has exploited the general public’s lack of knowledge of how the globe’s climate system functions for his own benefit. His global warming predictions, going back to 1988 are not being verified. Why have we allowed him go on for all these years with his faulty and alarmist prognostications? And why would the AMS give him its highest award?

    By presenting Hansen with its highest award, the AMS implies it agrees with his faulty global temperature projections and irresponsible alarmist rhetoric. This award, in combination with other recent AMS awards going to known CO2 warming advocates, is an insult to a large number of AMS members who do not believe that humans are causing a significant amount of the global temperature increase. These awards diminish the AMS’s sterling reputation for scientific objectivity.

    Hansen previously studied the run-away greenhouse warming of Venus. He appears to think that man’s emittance of CO2 gases, if unchecked, will eventually cause the Earth to follow a similar fate. Hansen’s arrogance and gall over the reality of his model results is breathtaking. He has recently warned President Obama that our country has only 4 years left to act on reducing CO2 gases before the globe will reach a point of irretrievable and disastrous human-caused warming. How does he know what thousands of us who have spent long careers in meteorology-climatology do not know?

    Hansen’s predictions of global warming made before the Senate in 1988 are turning out to be very much less than he had projected. He cannot explain why there has been no significant global warming over the last 10 years and why there has been a weak global cooling between 2001 and 2008.

    Hansen and his legion of environmental-political supporters (with no meteorological-climate background) have done monumental damage to an open and honest discussion of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) question. He and his fellow collaborators (and their media sycophantic followers) are responsible for the brainwashing of a large segment of the American public about a grossly exaggerated human-induced warming

    threat that does not exist. Most of the global warming we have observed is of natural origin and due to multi-decadal and multi-century changes in the globe’s deep ocean circulation resulting from salinity variations (see the Appendix for scientific discussion). These changes are not associated with CO2 increases. Hansen has little experience in practical meteorology. He apparently does not realize that the strongly chaotic nature of the atmosphere-ocean climate system does not allow for skillful initial value numerical climate prediction. Hansen’s modeling efforts are badly flawed in the following ways:

    1. His upper tropospheric water vapor feedback loop is grossly wrong. He assumes that increases in atmospheric CO2 will cause large upper-tropospheric water vapor increases which are very unrealistic. Most of his model warming follows from his invalid water vapor assumptions. His handlings of rainfall processes are, as with the other global climate modelers, quite inadequate.

    2. He lacks an understanding and treatment of the fundamental role of the deep ocean circulation (i.e. Meridional Overturning Circulation – MOC) and how the changing ocean circulation (driven by salinity variations) can bring about wind, rainfall, and surface temperature changes independent of radiation and greenhouse gas changes. He does not have these ocean processes properly incorporated in his model. He assumes the physics of global warming is entirely a product of radiation changes and radiation feedback processes. This is a major deficiency.

    Hansen’s Free Ride. It is surprising that Hansen has been able to get away with his unrealistic modeling efforts for so long. One explanation is that he has received strong support from Senator/Vice President Al Gore who for over three decades has attempted to make political capital out of increasing CO2 measurements. Another reason is the many environmental and political groups (including the mainstream media) who are eager to use Hansen’s modeling results as justification to push their own special interests that are able to fly under the global warming banner. A third explanation is that he has not been challenged by his peer climate modeling groups who apparently have seen possibilities for research grant support and publicity gains by following Hansen’s lead. Yet another reason has been the luck of his propitious timing. His 1988 Senate testimony occurred after there had been global warming since the mid-1970s and we were experiencing a hot summer. And the global warming that occurred over the next 10 years (to 1998) gave an undeserved justification to his CO2 warming claims. Had Hansen given his Senate testimony in the 1970s or today (since we have seen weak global cooling since 2001) his alarmist rhetoric would have been taken much less seriously.

    I anticipate that we are going to experience a modest naturally-driven global cooling over the next 15-20 years. This will be similar to the weak global cooling that occurred between the early-1940s and the mid-1970s. It is to be noted that CO2 amounts were also rising during this earlier cooling period which was opposite to the assumed CO2 temperature relationship.

    An expected 15-20 year cooling will occur (in my view) because of the strong ocean Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) that has now been established and in place for the last decade and a half. This same condition had been present in the mid-1940s when the globe began a sustained three decade weak cooling. I explain most of the century and-a-half general global warming since the mid-1800s (start of the industrial revolution) to be a result of a long multi-century slowdown in the ocean’s MOC circulation. Increases of CO2 could have contributed only a small fraction (0.1-0.2oC) of the roughly ~ 0.7oC warming that has been observed since 1850. Stronger natural processes have had to have been responsible for most of the observed warming over the last century and a half.

    AMS. The American Meteorological Society (AMS) was founded in 1919 as an organization dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge of weather and climate. It has been a wonderful beacon for fostering new understanding of how the atmosphere and oceans function. But this strong positive image is now becoming tarnished as a result of the AMS leadership’s capitulating to the lobby of the climate modelers and to the outside environmental and political pressure groups who wish to use the now AMS position on AGW to help justify the promotion of their own special interests. The effectiveness of the AMS as an objective scientific organization has been greatly compromised.

    We AMS members have allowed a small group of AMS administrators, climate modelers, and CO2 warming sympathizers to maneuver the internal workings of our society to support AGW policies irrespective of what our rank-and-file members might think. This small organized group of AGW sympathizers has indeed hijacked our society.

    Debate. The AMS is the most relevant of our country’s scientific societies as regards to its members having the most extensive scientific and technical background in meteorology and climate. It should have been a leader in helping to adjudicate the claims of the AGW advocates and their skeptical critics. Our country’s Anglo-Saxon derived legal system is based on the idea that the best way to get to the truth is to have opposite sides of a continuous issue present their differing views in open debate before a non partisan jury. Nothing like this has happened with regards to the AGW issue. Instead of organizing meetings with free and open debates on the basic physics and the likelihood of AGW induced climate changes, the leaders of the society (with the backing of the society’s AGW enthusiasts) have chosen to fully trust the climate models and deliberately avoid open debate on this issue. I know of no AMS sponsored conference where the AGW hypothesis has been given open and free discussion. For a long time I have wanted a forum to express my skepticism of the AGW hypothesis. No such opportunities ever came within the AMS framework. Attempts at publication of my skeptic views have been difficult. One rejection stated that I was too far out of the mainstream thinking. Another that my ideas had already been discredited. A number of AGW skeptics have told me they have had similar experiences.

    The climate modelers and their supporters deny the need for open debate of the AGW question on the grounds that the issue has already been settled by their model results. They have taken this view because they know that the physics within their models and the long range of their forecast periods will likely not to be able to withstand knowledgeable and impartial review (see Appendix). They simply will not debate the issue. As a defense against criticism they have resorted to a general denigration of those of us who do not support their AGW hypothesis. AGW skeptics are sometimes tagged (I have been) as no longer being credible scientists. Skeptics are often denounced as tools of the fossil-fuel industry. A type of McCarthyism against AGW skeptics has been in display for a number of years.

    Recent AMS Awardees. Since 2000 the AMS has awarded its annual highest award (Rossby Research Medal) to the following AGW advocates or AGW sympathizers; Susan Solomon (00), V. Ramanathan (02), Peter Webster (04), Jagadish Shukla (05), Kerry Emanuel (07), Isaac Held (08) and James Hansen (09). Its second highest award (Charney Award) has gone to AGW warming advocates or sympathizers; Kevin Trenberth (00), Rich Rotunno (04), Robert D. Cess (06), Allan Betts (07), Gerald North (08) and Warren Washington and Gerald Meehl (09). And the other Rossby and Charney awardees during this period are not known to be critics of the AGW warming hypothesis.

    The AGW biases within the AMS policy makers is so entrenched that it would be impossible for well known and established scientists (but AGW skeptics) such as Fred Singer, Pat Michaels, Bill Cotton, Roger Pielke, Sr., Roy Spencer, John Christie, Joe D’Aleo, Bob Balling, Jr., Craig Idso, Willie Soon, etc. to ever be able to receive an AMS award – irrespective of the uniqueness or brilliance of their research.

    What Working Meteorologists Say. My interaction (over the years) with a broad segment of AMS members (that I have met as a result of my seasonal hurricane forecasting and other activities) who have spent a sizable portion of their careers down in the meteorological trenches of observations and forecasting, have indicated that a majority of them do not agree that humans are the primary cause of global warming. These working meteorologists are too experienced and too sophisticated to be hoodwinked by the lobby of climate simulations and their associated propagandists. I suggest that the AMS conduct a survey of its members who are actually working with real time weather-climate data to see how many agree that humans have been the main cause of global warming and that there was justification for the AMS’s 2009 Rossby Research Medal going to James Hansen.

    Many thousands of scientists from the US and around the globe do not accept the human-induced global warming hypothesis as it has been presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports over the last 15 years. These IPCC reports have largely followed the global modeling results and despite the Noble Prize Award that its authors received, should not be taken as having any credibility concerning its future of its climate predictions.

    A doubling of anthropogenic greenhouse gases will not cause global warming anything like the 2-5oC as projected by nearly all of the GCMs climate simulators and as accepted by the IPCC. I estimate that we will see a global warming resulting from a doubling of CO2 of only about 0.3-0.5oC (see Appendix). Humankind can adapt to this much lower level of global warming without having to sacrifice much of its fossil fuel energy usage to much costlier renewable energy. If society is to eventually convert from fossil fuel to renewable energy it would be much more economic and far wiser if this conversion took place over a long period of time without having to be held hostage to the belief that we must hurry because a massive global temperature increase is rapidly approaching.

    Global Environmental Problems. There is no question that global population increases and growing industrialization have caused many environmental problems associated with air and water pollution, industrial contamination, unwise land use, and hundreds of other human-induced environmental irritants. But all these human-induced environmental problems will not go away by a draconian effort to reduce CO2 emissions. CO2 is not a pollutant but a fertilizer. Humankind needs fossil-fuel energy to maintain its industrial lifestyle and to expand this lifestyle in order to be able to better handle these many other non-CO2 environmental problems. There appears to be a misconception among many people that by reducing CO2 we are dealing with our most pressing environmental problem. Not so.

    It must be remembered that advanced industrial societies do more for the global environment than do poor societies. By greatly reducing CO2 emissions and paying a great deal more for our then needed renewable energy we will lower our nation’s standard of living and not be able to help relieve as many of our and the globe’s many environmental, political, and social problems.

    Obtaining a Balanced View on AGW. To understand what is really occurring with regards to the AGW question one must bypass the AMS, the mainstream media, and the mainline scientific journals. They have mostly been preconditioned to accept the AGW hypothesis and, in general, frown on anyone not agreeing that AGW is, next to nuclear war, our society’s most serious long range problem.

    To obtain any kind of a balanced back-and-forth discussion on AGW one has to consult the many web blogs that are both advocates and skeptics of AGW. These blogs are the only source for real open debate on the validity of the AGW hypothesis. Here is where the real science of the AGW question is taking place. Over the last few years the weight of evidence, as presented in these many blog discussions, is swinging very much against the AGW hypothesis. As the globe fails to warm as the models have predicted the American public is gradually losing its belief in the prior claims of Gore, Hansen, and the other AGW advocates.

    Heartland Institute. We should all be grateful to the non-profit Heartland Institute of Chicago for attempting to break up the one-way group thinking mentality on AGW by its beginning sponsorship of annual global climate change meetings each year in New York City. The second annual Heartland sponsored meeting will be held on 8-10 March 2009 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in central Manhattan. This meeting offers an international venue (the only one I know of) for an open and fair discussion of the many problems associated with the AGW hypothesis.

    Obama Administration Impending Actions.

    In November ’08 President-Elect Barack Obama said,

    “storms (i.e. hurricanes) are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season.”

    In his inaugural address on 20 January, President Obama said,

    “we will roll back the specter of a warming planet” and

    “we will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.”

    All three of these statements are either untrue or impossible to accomplish without severe (and unacceptable) economic penalties.

    It is obvious that the new Obama administration believes the AGW propaganda. They have listened and continue to listen to the wrong set of advisors. We can expect the new administration to make a major effort to push for CO2 restrictions despite this very troubled time of economic downturn. Obama has appointed AGW sympathizers to head the Dept. of Energy (Stephen Chu), Director of NOAA (Jane Lubchenco), Director of Science and Technology Policy (John Holdren), and for his new Global Warming and Energy Czar (Carol Browner – a lawyer and a former Clinton cabinet member). Our new Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has appointed Todd Stern (the man who lead the U.S. delegation at Kyoto) to be her and our country’s official climate advisor. Stern will act as our country’s representative to all upcoming international climate conferences. Lisa Jackson is the new Chief of the EPA and is empowered to enforce clean air standards. If President Obama moves to classify carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant to be regulated by the EPA, as he pledged during his campaign, a powerful edit to reduce CO2 gases could be forthcoming from the EPA. This would cause many negative changes to American society and do nothing of significance for the environment. We also have powerful congressional leaders such as Henry Waxman, Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and John Kerry, waiting in the wings to make a strong push for reduced CO2 emissions. Reducing CO2 amounts at his time is definitely not in our country’s best

    interest. Especially if we are to encounter a modest global cooling over the next 10-15 years (as I am confident will occur).

    The economic crisis that has suddenly come upon us is quite sobering. Let us hope it will justify a postponement of plans for any significant reduction of CO2 gases for the next few years at least. Postponement of action on CO2 reductions would allow more time for a deeper and more objective analysis of the AGW question. And if the current lack of global warming (since 1999) and/or the weak global cooling since 2001 continues for a few more years, it may be possible to convince enough of the American public, the Obama administration, and our congressional leaders to alter their AGW views. The science just isn’t there to justify action on large reductions of CO2 at this time. Our best policy now should be to “do nothing.”

  27. I guess I find this posting kind of strange in that when I read Vicky Pope’s article, I can’t find anything that I disagree with…and, as most people here are probably aware, my views on AGW don’t exactly align with most of the posters here. (In fact, her point about climate change consisting of a steady-ish change over time with natural fluctuations superimposed on top of this is one of the main points I have been trying to make when people here get hung up on the latest variations.)

    So, if we can all agree that Vicky is basically correct in all material aspects of her piece, maybe we would find ourselves in nearly perfect agreement!

  28. Richard Heg

    “Nobel Prize winning scientist Al Gore”
    Is Al Gore a scientist?

    I believe the former Vice-President would only qualify as a Cargo Cult Scientist.

  29. Richard wrote: “Is Al Gore a scientist?”

    He was a reporter!

    http://www.algore.com/about.html

    I remember reading that his fellow army journalists fed him a fake story about a woman named Trebla Erog (read it backward). Gore missed the joke and ran the unconfirmed story. Sound familiar?

  30. Couple that with Met O’s recent acknowledgment of their models getting it wrong after all the hoopla predictions in 2007/2008, and there may be a “natural cooling trend” to 2014, one has to wonder what is going on internally at Met O.

    Met O has been a consistent promoter of AGW for many years as their archives make it self evident, however is it possible they are now forced to reevaluate their position as the evidence is mounting against them?

    Time will tell.

    Link to article on Met O back pedaling:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/4534358/Snow-Britain-Further-snow-and-ice-forecast-for-rest-of-the-winter.html

  31. Richard Heg (06:22:40) :

    “Nobel Prize winning scientist Al Gore”
    Is Al Gore a scientist?

    Yes, Al Gore is a leading scientist in the rapidly growing field of subsidy farming. (Not farming WITH subsudues, but the farming OF subsidies)

  32. Again, my interpretation is that this is about the Arctic. Last year’s record Northern Hemisphere snow and declining global temperatures left the imminent apocalypse story riding on the fate of Arctic ice.

    The winter of 2007-2008 had a very strong polar drift, which melted most of the multi-year ice. That combined with some strong storms in August that broke up ice near eastern Siberia, gave the alarmists some temporary breathing room.

    However, it appears that we will probably not see repeat in the Arctic this summer and some people are perhaps starting to engage in CYA and finger pointing. Ask yourself – why didn’t we hear this story sooner?

  33. So Al Gore has been peddling a ‘false prospectus’? Imagine my surprise.
    =============================================

  34. Surprised to see this from the UK Met Office of all places. I was a little pessimistic on just when the house of cards known as AGW would begin to tumble. This is a good start.

  35. I recently emailed the Met asking. How can we take seriously your claims of devastating Climate change scenarios, when you are more often than not way off on short term (seasonal) predictions ?

    Part of the reply (I shan’t communicate the whole email, or name the sender as I’ve not asked for their permission to do so), as follows.

    ”Seasonal forecasting is still a developing area for the Met Office and should still be considered experimental”

    A gov’t funded office , with access to the highest grade modeling computers etc. stating that their forecasts should be considered ”experimental” !!

  36. anna v (05:59:42)

    Your quote shows how disingenuous Vicky Pope is being. Of course, everyone accepts there is “climate change”.

    She uses “climate change” when the hysteria is about Man-Made Global Warming. And her organization is a significant cheerleader in that hysteria. Do not let them off the hook; hold them to their words: Global Warming.

  37. Don’t be fooled. Try to feed a steak to a child all at once and the child will choke.

    All the Dr. Pope in the article here is saying is that they need to cut the steak up into tiny pieces if they want the child to accept it. Joe Q. Public is that child.

    Belief by increment. They won’t stop trying.

  38. Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps this is just a positioning (defense) to try to keep things going full strength in the upcoming absence of reportable warm-based weather extremes. “Our lack of apocolyptic weather observations is ‘consistent with’ our claims that apocolyptic weather extremes are not required for true armegeddon to occur.”

    In other words. Most everyone is becoming aware of how many attribution fallacies are present in your typical gloomy weather headline. Now the Met can say, “we always agreed, but global warming is REAL!”

  39. I don’t see any crack in the wall so thinking about walls tumbling down appears to me as a euphoric delerium.
    The article clearly says

    Overplaying natural variations in the weather as climate change is just as much a distortion of the science as underplaying them to claim that climate change has stopped or is not happening. Both undermine the basic facts that the implications of climate change are profound and will be severe if greenhouse gas emissions are

    The simple message is that global warming exists ! There is no use in exagerating it, nor is there any benefit in denying it. Further interpreation seems to me as looking for satanic messages in the reverse version of “stairway to heaven”.

  40. I agree with Barry Foster. I think that the Met Office is digging an escape tunnel just in case it all goes wrong with AGW.

    We can probably expect a series of articles expounding the “Natural Variability” argument which can then be cited in the case for the defence of the Met Office.

    They have a lot of explaining to do. I think they’ve just started.

  41. it would ne nice to add some comment on the guardian website as well.

    however, like many others in theagw camp, the guardian does not allow it’s readers to express their opinions.

  42. This doesn’t mean they plan to muzzle Al Gore, does it?

    Of course not! Without the alarmism, what’s the hurry? They need to get people worked into a hysterical frenzy. Otherwise, calm heads might prevail. No crisis means no problem and that means no funding and no reengineering of civilization.

  43. Sounds like Dr. Frankenstein looking aghast upon the results of his creation. Or, to put it in another light, there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle now that it’s been released.

  44. Oh how foolish of me to think that this storey would have slipped passed you guys! I am so sorry I doubted your diligence.

    Following on from the previous post on Cycle 23/24, I get it, clever Dr Pope, she wants everyone to listen to her & the Met Office ONLY, & no other sources of information, data, or scientific observations should be listened to. Very 1984 I must say. Very clever indeed, a bit like Gorey Al telling the kiddies to not listen to the old folk. I’ll get that so ‘n so for discrimination toward the elderly one way or the other!

    The other minor point she seems to be making is about natural variations in the climate system, when the skeptics have been claiming precisely that this is what is happening all the time. Why is it so convenient to claim natural variations when the computer model doesn’t work again.

    As for Peter Stott, carping on about a short time scale to make judgements on climate trends is exactly what has been going on. 30 years is not even a spit in the ocean by comparison. Especially the bit about extrapolating data for future predictions, isn’t that what they’ve been doing all this time?

  45. The Met is simply setting up some cover.
    Since the Met is one of the prime sources of false, misleading, fear mongered information in the world, this is probably jsut a cynical ploy to give them more running room.
    Pielke Sr. has Hansen and GISS in his sights, and is pointing out that AGW has no clothes.
    http://climatesci.org/2009/02/09/update-on-a-comparison-of-upper-ocean-heat-content-changes-with-the-giss-model-predictions/
    Their models are not working.
    It is time for the skeptics to push even harder. The policy decisions made under the influence of AGW are as bad- and often made by the same people-as the financial policies that led to the economic catastrophe.
    The Met office must not be allowed to simplyu hide behind a sudden reasonable pose. They are still promoting lies.

  46. It’s maybe a bit off topic, but can someone explain why January 2009 and now also February 2009 global temperatures are running so high above normal?

    If I remember well, there is a La Nina now just as last year and the sun also hasn’t changed much. But last winter temperatures were much lower than they are now.
    So, what’s causing those high temperatures now (and where is the heat)?

  47. Bill McClure,
    No. The enviro-extremists have killed dozens of people. They are wrong. Flat out.
    The reasonable discussion is to dismantle the enviro-regime that is hurting people world wide.

  48. I hope the material on the Australian brush fires is re-posted on the thread devoted to that topic, “We’ve lost two people …”

  49. I see it coming. A confused night-battle where the alarmists will adopt a ‘natural cooling now – more global warming later’ posture. Tacking the AGW clause in as Pope does is going to be the target to be hit. How can they hang onto a notion of AGW if natural cooling easily explains natural warming?

    I bet a lot of blog owners and institutional websites are hurrying to remove two year old pages on the imminent ice free arctic. Grab those pages now!!!

  50. The question is not if human activities impact the environment or the climate.
    That answer has been ‘yes’ since humans started cutting down trees and draining swamps and planting fields.
    The issue is whether or not burning fossil fuels is going to cause some sort of climate tipping point with apocalyptic consequences.
    AGW promotion organizations, like the Met office, ahve said the answer is ‘yes’ for decades. Gore was just in front of the Senate saying that an apocalypse is at hand in the last few days.
    Hansen is still blithering about this, and much of the AGW promtion leadership still uses the Venus comparison to keep the fear alive.
    The evidence that our current CO2 forcings are minor and well within the normal range of climate responses, and that no tippiing point is even close, is pretty plain to see.
    But the Met, even in their ‘announcement’ is still promoting climate fear.
    They, and all AGW promoters, need to be slaped down,and the policy solutions they have been promoting for their non-existant crisis need to be halted.

  51. Steven Goddard-

    Thank you for bringing this article to our attention. I have sent it to my federal politicians and asked them not to use climate as a political tool.

  52. Hold the Bus!!!!!!!

    I implore everyone to hit site Bishop Hill Blog. The very same Dr Vicky Pope talking on You tube about climate change & manmade warming in the Arctic. That’s a huge change from what she has just tried to whitewash us with in her latest proclamation!

    Absolutely priceless.

  53. Milo Yiannopoulos says:
    The Guardian’s environment team must have choked on their organic muesli running this one.

    I’d bet a lot on George Monbiot completely ignoring this (as he does every time with that which doesn’t suit his case!) and will simply become more strident and hysterical in his alarmist clap-trap.

  54. Sounds like a good old Britsh compromise. Just sit on the fence, look both ways, you can’t be faulted. Be the envy of the world.

  55. The reality is that extreme events arise when natural variations in the weather and climate combine with long-term climate change.

    The logical corollary being that there were no “extreme events” before “climate change.”

    Sounds like a good topic for an article! The relatives of thousands of people who died in the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 will be happy to hear that, as will the millions who died in floods in the 19th century in China. Not to mention all the Vikings who froze in Greenland during the non-existent LIA.

  56. Sekerob,

    “…as the climate continues to warm…”

    Seems they are flat out on the Warming side there. No equivocation such as “…IF the climate continues to warm…”

    You HAVE noticed that the climate HAS NOT continued to warm haven’t you??

  57. “President Obama promised to align with the Europeans about global warming. Will he keep his promise?”
    ——————————————————-
    Obama has very foolishly painted himself into a corner aligning himself (and his policies) with the climate change advocates. Doing an about-face would render Obama a laughingstock. I don’t envision Obama changing his position.

    Carbon trading has already begun and millions of dollars have changed hands. What are they going to do, announce: “Oops, we may have made a mistake, everyone return the monies”. I don’t think so.

    Once these kinds of political and economic momenta grow, it’s almost impossible to stop, as those involved have no way to save face. Humans are quirky, and oftentimes value their pride above all else, resulting in irrational decision-making.

    I don’t think any kind of social tipping point has been reached on climate-alarmism. As the alarmists have no means of gracefully backing out, they have no choice but to continue with their shrill cries.

    I think the only thing that could put the brakes to this nonsense is the climate itself. If the cooling we have experienced for the last eight years or so continues and deepens, that would render climate-alarmism “ad absurdum”, but it’s going to take many years.

  58. To be cynical about it, the problem that Dr. Pope and the Met Office has is that they
    need a simple, consistent narrative, scary enough to be taken seriously, with no easily falsifiable statements in the near future, and hedging their bets a little if the scam folds.

    I’ve read reports such as “Global Warming predicts no skiing in Scotland within
    50 years”, “Global Warming predicts the UK will get colder, as the Gulf Stream stops”, “There’ll be more extreme weather but the UK won’t get hotter or colder”.

    I’m sure it’s possible to weave these into a narrative, but it gets complicated.

    You can only scare people for so long before they get bored, or cynical, or just
    laugh, especially when they see apparent contradictions. Keep it up, with green
    taxes in a recession when most folks think there are better things to worry about than what might or might not happen in 50 years time, and people get angry.

  59. As soon as Soviet Union collapsed AGW was invented, recession and possibly depression is upon us, there is a new ‘enemy’ to keep plebs down.

  60. They may just be thinking that the apocalyptic message is turning people off.

    So they’d rather go for a more moderate message, to gain support from the public.

    But their aims may be no different.

  61. It is not the Met Office back-paddling, it is the Guardian’s David Adam selectively quoting from Dr. Vicky Pope that turns her balanced view into a supposedly “blistering attack”. Don’t take my word for it, do compare the Guardian article to this Met Office press release and see for yourself:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20090211.html

    As I have already pointed out above, Dr. Pope chastises advocates and skeptics who point at extreme events (either high or low) as either prove or disprove of climate change. Her stance on climate change is still:

    Our concerns about climate change arise from the scientific evidence that humanity’s activities are leading to changes in our climate. The scientific evidence is overwhelming.

  62. I trust that Bill McClure read the previous entry here entitled:
    “We’ve lost two people in my family because you dickheads won’t cut trees down…”
    It would appear from this account at least that it is the “green” side that should learn from the recent Australian bush fires.
    My first thought when I read about the extent of the fires were simply: Where are the fire breaks? I just simply cannot believe that local and state authorities could ignore the warnings and fine the gentleman who saved his house $50,000 plus costs for doing the only sensible thing, namely clearing the bush and trees around his house to a reasonably safe distance.
    I am simply lost for words.

  63. Show me a climate scientist that does not have a conflict of interest – I will show you a climate realist.

  64. Is Al Gore a scientist?

    Well he did invent the internet, and television, and the telephone…and the bicycle.

  65. It seems the MET realizes all the AGW apocalyptic hype is doing more, or has done more, damage than good to the AGW cause. They want it to stop before it all goes sliding over the ice and meets up with the hockey stick.

    It’s actually too late to bail the AGW ship, it’s just sit and laugh time, as the AGW ship heads to the bottom.

    Pay more in taxes to the government, so that government paid scientists can pretend to control the weather. The perfect tax scam gone awry with over hype.

  66. Bill McClure says:

    suppress dissent and ignore reasonable information presented by others

    You are to be commended for your accurate portrayal of environmentalists.

  67. Simon Evans (05:55:07) :

    And some more quotations from the article:

    She adds: “Both undermine the basic facts that the implications of climate change are profound and will be severe if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut drastically.”

    Dr Peter Stott, a climate researcher at the Met Office, said a common misrepresentation was to take a few years data and extrapolate to what would happen if it continues. “You just can’t do that. You have to look at the long-term trend and then at the natural variability on top.”

    So then, climate models have no predictive value, period, since all they do is “take a few years data and extrapolate to what would happen if it continues.”

  68. The main thrust of Hadley Centre work is computer simulation. I visited last year in order to find out what they know about ocean heat storage and its cycles of build-up (and loss). They knew a lot about the former but had evidently not thought too much about the latter – except they were well up to speed with the revisions of the global warming total heat content (Lyman and others) and had done their own work (Palmer and others) – agreeing that the revision was of the order of 200%. This has huge implications for the past models that used their apparent replication of the build-up as validation of their ability to predict future changes. Given that 84% of global warming is held in the upper layers of the ocean (IPCC), then this halves the figures and also the projections – but this had yet to filter into the public post-IPCC4 domain.

    We had an interesting discussion about future rates of heat loss. I pointed to the 2006 sudden shift in the north Pacific and its knock-on effects in Alaska and eventually the ice-melt rate (reversing in 2008, but we didn’t know that in August). I asked how long the warm water pool in the North Atlantic would last – and it was clear, they had not thought about it. I asked about the relation to the jetstream – and again, drew a blank.

    I have a great respect for the mostly young scientists and their modelling at Hadley, but this is a reminder that the whole science is immensely complex and that things change and catch out those with a prior commitment to a particular model.

    The current cold spell was entirely predictable from what we know of the Pacific changes,knock-on effects in the Arctic, and shifts in the jetstream. But only if you read the appropriate science. The disturbing element is the MetOffice’s prior commitment to the model – which they will hopefully now revise to include ‘cycles’. Why has this happened to people who are obviously committed to meteorology? The answer lies in the fuzzy area of government influence, and the public hysteria which influences government. Not to mention the ‘greenies’ who have whipped up that hysteria to their own advantage (and I am a committed environmentalist – so it is very sad for me to see this).

    The vital next step for the MetOffice is to look again at solar physics, the solar wind, the cosmic ray flux and the jetstream (it may not be only cloud effects as suggested by Svensmark – I think there is another Arctic vortex effect). Therein lies the ‘timer’ for the cycles.

    The barrier to this (for the modellers) is that the models are predicated on random variability operating from a starting equilibrium – both are fictions, but that is the only way that they can programme the computer because the cycles are irregular (and hence appear random). Hydrologists might be able to come to their aid, as they are used to real-world starting points (google the modelling critique by Koutsoyiannis et al 2008).

    This may not be the first sign of a tipping point in the science – but it is a move in the right direction and presages a new book by former director of the Climate Research Unit (Mike Hulme) at University of East Anglia, with whom the MetOffice works closely – he has also taken shots at the apocalyptics. Actually, we could use that term to identify the extremists, place the MetOffice in the middle ground, and …..but no, I hate the term sceptic! I am a realist. A critic.Its not about religion!

  69. Wondering Aloud (06:36:13) :

    Some of our posters may not be impressed by this statement from the Met office and I can understand their feelings. However, can you imagine James Hanson or Gavin Schnitt doing anything like this? They can’t even admit to obvious errors in the climate record or the reconstructions.

    They admit to them, they just say the errors don’t matter.

  70. If a tipping point comes when a UK politician (albeit one from Northern Ireland, not Westminster) is prepared to stand up to the BBC, live (OK on Radio 5live, not BBC1) and say that they do not believe there is an overwhelming concensus concerning AGW, then that happened on Monday….

    I sent the BBC two articles as a result, the NGPCC 2008 report and a paper by Jo d’Aleo on linkages of US 20th century temperature to PDO/AMO cycles…..

    No idea if this has had anything to do with anything……….but I’ve never heard anyone stand up to the BBC before on this, so either the guy was very brave, had nothing to lose or he’d been tipped the wink that the house of cards was a little less solid than previously suggested………

    At least if this means that warmers and skeptics can have scientific discussions, that funding targets genuine areas rather than political ‘chaud pommes de terres’ and that we address the possibilities that climate fluctuates up and down through solar cycles, lunar cycles, Gleissberg Cycles and longer cycles, some of which are impervious to our influence and some of which may be influenced by humans, then maybe we are ready to start some SCIENCE on this subject………

    Not a decade too soon, I have to say……..

  71. The first step in the back down process is for the extremists to play the equivalency game- ‘our side’s apocalyptic promoters are as bad as the wicked deniers’.
    Well skeptics have always held their position by the application of rudimentary critical thinking skills.
    AGW promoters have called for the jailing of skeptics.
    AGW promoters have been peddling fear based on self-reviewed models.
    Skeptics have sought context and truth. AGW promoters have used consensus and funding control and meida suppression to shut down dissent.

  72. I agree with george h. (09:30:20)
    How long are we going to let these charlatans operate?

    Their continuous denial of the self-evident is a danger to all of mankind, and they should be put on trial for crimes against humanity.

  73. vukcevic (08:26:52) :

    Not quite right, but close. The Brundtland report brought salvation to the dying socialist movement with the end of the USSR.

    That report alligned socialism with enviromentalism.

  74. Action Item: Need current Info on the AGW debate – Please help.

    Background: I’d like to make presentation to an activist group and am looking for inputs on what to include in a PowerPoint Presentation. The subject would either be about the AGW debate, or about key information that refutes widely held AGW claims. Any suggestions on Content, Graphs, Video Clips, Key Concepts, Sources, Implications, Conclusions, etc. are very welcome.

    More individuals need to be exposed to “the other side.”

    At the end of the presentation, hopefully more people will understand that what they have been led to believe is not necessarily so. Hopefully more will understand that some activist actions may not be as helpful as they thought, while others still make sense. Yes, that is a lot to take on and maybe the scope needs to change, but why not set high goals on the front end?

    Maybe it will become a two part effort. Again, your inputs are welcome.
    Many thanks in advance for your suggestions.

  75. ‘We don’t need no cloud albedo, we don’t need no PDO
    No dark albedo in the Arctic, teach us not of AMO!
    Hey! Teacher!1! Leave that sun alone………
    All in all you’re just a-nother nail in Al Gore………’

  76. kuhnkat (08:17:37) :

    You might want to look at the last 36 monthly data points of RSS and UAH and tell us where cooling is showing after January 2008.

  77. Australia is a beautiful country as is all nature in it’s wildness. We have become complacent in that such beauty could harbour peril. We move from our cities into a idealized wonderland made famous by Enid Blyton. The reality is nature is merciless and unforgiving of the foolish.

    Look at the creatures that surround you. Did you think they got there by living in a fools paradise? Look at the harshness of the terrain and ask yourself if paradise would show such rugged scars.

    The problem is not just the city greenies but the whole mindset of middle class city folk who wish to be closer to nature and their naive assumptions of what that is.

    Greenies didn’t vote for the council, the inhabitants did.

  78. Bluegrue, she talks of “climate change” but means hysterical man-made global warming. Check out the video of Vicky Pope at the Bishop Hills blog, pointed to by a Mr. Brit.

  79. Has Dr Vicky Pope, ever heard from the extraordinary temperature jump in the Arctic in the late 1910s? What could have made the winter temperature to rise suddenly by 10°C. Natural variability? Interesting figures here : http://www.oceanclimate.de/ . A candidate for a tipping point is when Dec. to Feb. at Spitsbergen account 1917/18: -21,7°C, and one year later 1918/19: -10,1°C .

  80. Thanks for the link bluegrue (08:34:55), the ideologically motivated stupidity being displayed by both extremist views becomes a little depressing after a while, for them it’s all a political game and bugger the science.

  81. Part of my contribution to Chris Booker’s article 7th February 2009:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/4550448/Charles-Darwin-zealots-have-made-science-a-substitute-religion.html

    The definition of a ‘religion’ is a group for whom mere discussion of certain tenets is unacceptable, anathema and leading to expulsion from the group.

    It is indubitably the case that science shows elements of this.

    ‘Humans are causing catastrophic global warming’. If ever science turned into religion, this is the arena. Every argument advanced to date about ‘global warming’ has been scientifically fatuous to put it mildly. This is not to say that the warmers are wrong, it is saying that their SCIENCE does not stack up. We have all seen the bullying, insults and ostracism of scientists who stand up to the hellfire-and-brimstone warmers. Rather reminiscent of middle age inquisitions, in my view….and many of us have seen the incapability of ‘leading’ climate research centres to predict climate accurately 3 months in advance on a repeated basis, let alone 100 years. Mentioning this is anathema, pointing to climate science as a monotheistic authoritarian cesspit at the moment……….SCIENCE would embrace solar irradiation, cloud effects, volcanoes, oceanic sinks, planetary influences, lunar influences and particulate carbon in the atmosphere as eminently reasonable actors in influencing our climate. And funding for such research would be on a par with the modelling rubbish currently peddled by those who have never measured anything at first hand in their professional careers……..because the jury IS STLL OUT in SCIENTIFIC terms, even if all the politicos know how the money’s going to be made in the next 25 years by peddling ‘human-induced global warming’ half-truths, setting up a global ‘carbon credits’ trading system to keep the finance boys in clover etc etc etc………..

    It will be interesting to see the result of this submission: suppression, ostracism or healthy debate?

    On that will much of science’s current standing reside, me thinks…………

    Well, at least it didn’t get suppressed by the Telegraph I guess……..

  82. When moderation seems like the extreme.

    Dr. Peter Stott’s moderation:

    Dramatic predictions of accelerating temperature rise and sea ice decline, based on a few readings, could backfire when natural variability swings the other way and the trends seem to reverse, he says. “It just confuses people.”

    Dr. Philip Stott’s moderation:

    Climate change has to be broken down into three questions: ‘Is climate changing and in what direction?’ ‘Are humans influencing climate change, and to what degree?’ And: ‘Are humans able to manage climate change predictably by adjusting one or two factors out of the thousands involved?’

    Will the scientist with authentic moderation please stand up?

  83. Sekerob (06:08:39) :

    In jumping on to the fence, as the Met Office have just done, it it still necessary to maintain a balance because you still don’t know which side you will eventually land on.

  84. While the Met Office statements are noteworthy and indeed should be welcomed in political frenzies that often lose touch with reality, still I believe that the title of this post is misleading. “Blistering” is an excessively strong adjective in describing the Met’s statements, and the statements were not just directed toward one side.

  85. It was Michael Asher in the Daily Tech who pointed out recently that a sea change had been occurring over AGW and in the last year or two, and to judge by the lampoon of the Goracle he may well be right.

    But in the case of the Met Office I suspect the explanation is simple.

    When the Labour government came to power in 1997 it pursued a middle class greenish agenda and has done so with increasing vigour whilst ignoring growing opposition, for instance over rubbish [trash] collection taxes, to the point that recently no local authority would agree to try out its newest much trumpeted scheme that would penalise local taxpayers. Labour has also handed out great largesse, creating numerous green working parties and the like as well as funding the Met Office and research programmes handsomely.

    But it is now pretty clear, short of some incredible political surprise, that by the middle of next year the UK will have a Conservative government which despite some token greenery is essentially both sceptical, indeed many members are actively hostile, to AGW. Moreover with a recession it will be looking for major cuts in expenditure.

    Thus it behoves the Met Office to start looking less like an AGW propaganda machine and more like a serious research body inquiring impartially into the subject. Otherwise it might be deemed largely expendable in the new harder times.

    You may begin to see a similar shift in BBC coverage because it it likely the new government will want to review its funding: and it too has few friends amongst the Conservatives.

    Interesting times eh? what fun.

    Kindest Regards

  86. I pressed that damn button again. Got nearly all the way through my speel and presto nothing. So I’ll try again

    This is a carefully worded piece of weasel words. Pope is the new broom with an old head wishing to appear new but the coiffure has failed to impress.

    She is unlocking the door just in case she needs an escape route later; This is a piece of political ducking and weaving. The belief is still well embedded in the psychy of all her followers at the UK met and Hadley, fear not.

  87. @ Steven Goddard (08:15:27) :
    The Vikings on Greenland are one thing.

    Far more compelling is the great famine in Europe of 1315-1317 wich killed an estimated 10-25% of the European population, it would take another 7 years before food supply was restored to normal level, but at this time most of population was seriously weakened, right in time for the “Black Death”.

    The average lifespan of a European went from almost 36 years in 1275 to just over 17 years right after the Bubonic Plague wich killed an estimated 30-60% of the European population.

    And that’s just because weather took a turn for the worse.

  88. BTW chaps, we’re talking about the Meteorological Office or Met Office, the Met is short for Metropolitan Police in London. This has been pointed out by others before, it’s a very easy mistake for others outside the UK, & will confuse them, the UK of course being a minor & insignificant state within the Peoples Democratic Republic of the EU.

    AtB:-)

  89. MetOffice is still propagation the IPPC BS and CO2 reduction.
    MetOffice is still offering courses for Politicians, Government Officials and NGO’s how to handle climate skeptics.
    MetOfice is still producing bias long term weather forecast and climate predictions.

    From the web MetOffice web site:

    “What can climate scientists tell us about the future?

    Dr Vicky Pope
    Head of Climate Change Advice

    Like any ‘expert’ trying to project into the future, scientists cannot give precise predictions of what will happen in 100 years, or even in the next 10 years. However, we are able to give a range of possible outcomes of the world’s actions and to assign probabilities to these, and climate projections should be treated as an assessment of risk.

    You wouldn’t drive a car if you knew you had a 10% chance of causing an accident. Yet we continue to increase emissions, despite the fact that even if we could stabilise greenhouse gases at, or close to, today’s levels there would still be only a 80% chance of keeping global temperature rises somewhere between 2 and 3 °C above pre-industrial levels. If we carry on increasing emissions at present rates then global average temperature rise will be 2 °C by the middle of this century.

    The difficulty is that the projections do not agree on how big the changes will be. Over the next few years, better models and the use of multiple model techniques should help us to understand and reduce the uncertainties in our predictions.”

    Conclusion: NOTHING HAS CHANGED

  90. Ben (09:52:18) :, you have taken on a big job. I hope you provide a link to your work when it is complete.

    I would suggest highlighting the more nefarious deeds. Al Gores attempt to link CO2 and temperature, the hockey stick antics, the melting arctic and maybe even the problems with the recent paper on Antarctic warming.

  91. Our concerns about climate change arise from the scientific evidence that humanity’s activities are leading to changes in our climate. The scientific evidence is overwhelming.

    Yes, but which activities are leading to which changes in our climate?

    Let’s be clear, the dogma on AGW is greenhouse gases, particularly CO2 from fossil fuels, are the driving force behind climate change. This dogma is quite clear and all other possible causes of climate change, both natural and man-made, are dismissed and discounted as trivial.

    If it’s not CO2, there is no reason for carbon cap-and-trade schemes. If it’s not fossil fuels, then there is no reason to push for solar or wind power. If it’s not cattle flatulence, there is no reason to force everyone to become a vegan.

  92. The Met Office appears to be agreeing with the point I have been trying to propagate in the articles.

    i.e. Human caused climate change is real, but the claims of imminent catastrophe and the data behind those claims are suspect – at best.

  93. @Phillip Bratby (05:52:27)
    “This seems a remarkably quick reaching of the tipping point. Is it the first sign of a retreat from cognitive dissonance?”/EM>

    Probably just a typo?

    Oh, wait, @Allan M R MacRae (05:53:35) seems to have hit on the reason…

    “In an article published on the Guardian website, Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, calls on scientists and journalists to stop misleading the public with “claim and counter-claim”.

    I.e., they want to silence any debate. Why? He tells you in the preceding sentence…
    “‘Apocalyptic climate predictions’ mislead the public, say experts: Met Office scientists fear distorted climate change claims could undermine efforts to tackle carbon emissions.”

    In other words, don’t rock the climate change boat, or you might upset our efforts to pass draconian laws to outlaw carbon in our time.

  94. Jeff Alberts says:

    So then, climate models have no predictive value, period, since all they do is “take a few years data and extrapolate to what would happen if it continues.”

    No. Climate models aren’t based on extrapolations. They are based on physical principles.

  95. Joel Shore wrote:

    In fact, her point about climate change consisting of a steady-ish change over time with natural fluctuations superimposed on top of this is one of the main points I have been trying to make when people here get hung up on the latest variations.

    Just a nit-pick, I would argue it’s the other way around – it’s man-made changes superimposed on top of natural fluctuations. But, hey, we’re basically on the same page.

  96. I’ve a question. Is there a study published anywhere on the Web comparing the accuracy of various climate models? I’d like to know which models have been accurate in predicting average temperature for a region or the globe as a whole.

  97. lightduty, here’s a table showing the gross inaccuracy of climate models: click

    Here, Professor of Climatology Dr. Tim Ball deconstructs climate models: click
    [You may have to reload the page to get the text]

    And here is a peer-reviewed paper falsifying the AGW/CO2 hypothesis: click

  98. Joel Shore (11:33:34) :

    Jeff Alberts says:

    So then, climate models have no predictive value, period, since all they do is “take a few years data and extrapolate to what would happen if it continues.”

    No. Climate models aren’t based on extrapolations. They are based on physical principles.

    And extrapolated data, i.e. anything that isn’t completely understood, as well as climate data for areas where no climate data exist.

  99. January GISS is out. It’s 0.52C. Warming from December’s 0.46C, but no such jump as RSS or UAH. So the extreme that we are seeing from amsu seems to be higher up?

  100. You don’t miss a thing do you Anthony? I just came here to mail you a link to the met office article you’ve posted above :(. One day I’ll find something you haven’t already seen.

  101. No. Climate models aren’t based on extrapolations. They are based on physical principles.

    It’s more accurate to claim they are based upon what the modeler believes are physical principles. The models used by Hansen, the Met and the IPCC have near zero predictive power and are closer to science fiction than science.

  102. Waaah, Smokey, a paper of the Journal of american physicians and surgeons? As a “peer-reviewed” paper on climatology?

    This journal is a publication of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), which the Times named “an ultra-conservative political-action group”, an “ultra-right-wing… political-economic rather than medical group”. Many of its members had been members of the John Birch Society. They oppose strongly mandatory vaccination, universal health care and declared Medicare and Medicaid as “evil and immoral”.

    The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is not listed in the major literature databases of MEDLINE/PubMed nor the Web of Science. Articles and commentaries published in the journal have argued:
    – that the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are unconstitutional,
    – that “humanists” have conspired to replace the “creation religion of Jehovah” with evolution,
    – that HIV does not cause AIDS, (?)
    – that the “gay male lifestyle” shortens life expectancy by 20 years.

    Chemical & Engineering News described JPandS as a “purveyor of utter nonsense.” I have many other examples of complete nonsense being published there… What a reference!!

  103. “The Met Office Hadley Centre, one of the most prestigious research facilities in the world, says recent “apocalyptic predictions” about Arctic ice melt and soaring temperatures are as bad as claims that global warming does not exist.”

    I don’t think this is any CYA tactic or strategic back-pedaling. Rather, it looks to me like an attempt to disassociate Hadley from predictions that are on their way to being falsified, with attendant bad PR effects.

  104. Conclusion: NOTHING HAS CHANGED

    Quite… The Met Offices argument seems to be about heading off the use of any observational data that casts doubt on AGW…

    …and that the British public have noticed over the last 2 weeks that things actually don’t look like they are heating up… you will constantly hear people talking about the amount of snow we’ve had over here for the last 2 weeks… ‘reminds me of my childhood’, ‘natures getting back to normal’ etc.

    Even media propaganda finds it difficult to overturn peoples direct non-scientific experiences… and the last 2 weeks of snow really has affected many many people in the UK…

  105. I too am angry that so many people died as a result of misguided policies. That is why I’m ending my posts “Remember Victoria”

  106. Joel,
    AGW models are based on huge assumptions as to how physical principals work in nature.
    And it is clear that there are many aspects of how those physical principals are expressed that are not clearly represented in the AGW models.

  107. Smokey (12:16:11) :
    And here is a peer-reviewed paper falsifying the AGW/CO2 hypothesis: click
    Peer-reviewed or not. The paper uses the obsolete Hoyt & Schatten TSI as a measure of solar activity, which invalidates the part of their conclusion that depends on solar activity.

  108. he he

    Ok Jeff I would just be happy if after they admitted the errors they would also fix them and redraw their graphs. I think they admit to a few and pretend most aren’t there. Meanwhile adding new howling errors on a frequent basis to keep the trend what they wish it was.

    Right now if it wasn’t for Al Gore I would be in a meeting at the AAAS gathering in Chicago mentioned in the article. I am deeply ashamed that AAAS has become so willing to curry political favor that they would encourage Mr Gore to speak to the members. I sure was not about to contribute to his speaker fee. Fortunately the article places the blame for it on AAAS rather than on AAPT so I don’t need to be quite as embarassed.

  109. stephen richards (10:31:31) :

    I pressed that damn button again. Got nearly all the way through my speel and presto nothing. So I’ll try again

    Internet explorer….. useful for downloading firefox.

  110. Jeff Alberts says:

    And extrapolated data, i.e. anything that isn’t completely understood, as well as climate data for areas where no climate data exist.

    Again, I don’t know where you are getting this idea that the models are based on extrapolations of climate data. Like all models, they are verified by comparing them with real data. But, they are not extrapolations of data and your simply taking the statement by Peter Stott that a common misrepresentation was to take a few years data and extrapolate to what would happen if it continues and saying that it applies to climate models is not correct.

    Flanagan says:

    Waaah, Smokey, a paper of the Journal of american physicians and surgeons? As a “peer-reviewed” paper on climatology?

    Yeah…It kind of reeks of desperation when one has to mangle the meaning of “peer-reviewed” that severely to find an example!

    lightduty says:

    I’ve a question. Is there a study published anywhere on the Web comparing the accuracy of various climate models? I’d like to know which models have been accurate in predicting average temperature for a region or the globe as a whole.

    You might try looking on this website: http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/ I think for the most part, the answer is complicated…i.e., no one model is clearly superior to the others in all metrics.

  111. Robert Wood,
    I know full well, that Dr. Pope is talking about anthropogenic global warming. I’m with her on every word she has written. Call it hysteria, climate change, global warming, the problem we face is the problem we face by any other name.

    Regarding “climate change” vs. “global warming”, please do have a look at
    1) “The Environment: A Cleaner, Safer, Healthier America”, specifically pages labeled 137 and 142.
    2) a video of an interview with Frank Luntz, the author of the above memo
    3) This article
    I think, you will find it interesting.

    People,
    do read, what Dr. Pope actually wrote in the Met Office press release. Not Steven Goddard’s blog post above, not the Guardian article, not my excerpts, but the full press release, where you will find her quotes in full context. I have linked to it not to “expose” her, but to show, what her position as Met Office Head of Climate Change actually is. She is utterly convinced by the scientific evidence, that AGW is happening and so am I. If you think AGW is not happening, she is not on your side. If you think snow in your neck of the world disproves AGW, she is not on your side. If you think that 3-year or even 10-year “trends” tell you anything about climate, she is not on your side. All she is pointing out is that exaggeration of the facts will backfire in the long run. This is not the “blistering attack” you are looking for. Neither is the Met Office suddenly refuting AGW.

  112. Smokey,

    let us forget for the moment about the journal not being listed either on MEDLINE/PubMed nor at the Web of Science, do you routinely look at medical journals for the latest research on climate?

    The above does not bode well, but let us do some critical reading of the article. The text referring to figure 1 is talking about the Earth’s temperature,
    but all the figure shows is the reconstructed temperature of the Sargasso Sea.

    As you have recommended the article, Smokey, please do explain to me, why the Sargasso Sea on its own is a good proxy for global average temperature.

  113. anna v (05:55:26) : We have a saying in greek: one swallow does not bring the spring.

    We have something similar in English “One swallow does not a spring make” probably lifted from the Greeks long ago… like much of our culture and wisdom.

    It will take many more such changes to get a tipping point in institude opinions. The UK Met will be counted among the skeptics if it stands alone.

    “Every journey begins with but a single step.” …

    Sidebar: Chasing the Greek Foot

    Somewhere along the line I was trying to find out how they properly located things on the planet, that led to geo – metrology, that lead to the fact that the Greeks and Egyptians had a measure named a ‘foot’ (pous) that is almost the same as the English foot. (Within a couple of mm 304.8 for the Engish, 304 mm for the Minoan, 308.4 for the Attic, 300 for the Egyptian and Phoenician, etc.)

    This lead me to the factoid that if you take the earth’s equatorial circumference in ‘feet’ (English) as 131479724.6 (from the wiki metric number, converted) and divide it by 360 x 1000 (call it minutes x seconds or call it 360 degrees) you get: 365.2214573

    Gee, that looks familiar, I think… Dividing by ‘tropical year days’ of 365.2422 gives 99.994% agreement. Hmmmm….

    Numerology? Or did those Ancient Greeks & British Druids know something? Is the ‘foot’ perhaps a bit more rational than mythology asserts?

    One can only hope that the Met can achieve 99.994% accuracy and that GISS can learn what those digits after the ‘point’ are all about (“Never let your precision exceed your accuracy”) and maybe that we can be as good at science as they were 4000+ years ago…

  114. actually, i am more happy with hansen’s or gore’s view, that have already been proven wrong or will be proven wrong shortly. these projections are at least testable.

    the met simply tells us, “the scientific evidence is overwhelming”.

    the met seems to try to get away with a position that tells us, their models may not be proven or challenged for the next 50 years or so and in the meantime people should spend all their money they can afford for a world government and a better climate.

  115. People keep talking about the “evidence” for AGW. Is there any? The world has been getting warmer since the LIA. Not much and not suddenly. Recently (last ten years or so) it doesn’t appear to have been getting warmer at all. You can argue the numbers until you are blue in the face, but given their size and the error bars, who in their right mind would send us on the path back to Bronze Age based on them? The GCMs can hardly be contrued as “evidence” as they pre-suppose causation and their predictions are, one by one, falling on their faces. From reading this and other related blogs I see nothing in the ever changing climate that stands out from the historical record as being in any way exceptional. The fact that the AGW crowd relied (rely) on utterly discredited research such as that which produced the “hockey stick” would have me reaching for my gun even if other “evidence” suggested they might be on to something.

    Anyone?

  116. bluegrue,

    Had you read the article more carefully you would have known that it includes a link to Dr. Pope’s original comments and that nowhere in the article did I make any claims that climate change is not real.

    FALL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION:
    Galloping Glaciers of Greenland Have Reined Themselves In
    Richard A. Kerr
    Ice loss in Greenland has had some climatologists speculating that global warming might have brought on a scary new regime of wildly heightened ice loss and an ever-faster rise in sea level. But glaciologists reported at the American Geophysical Union meeting that Greenland ice’s Armageddon has come to an end.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/323/5913/458a

  117. “For climate scientists, having to continually rein in extraordinary claims that the latest extreme is all due to climate change is, at best, hugely frustrating and, at worst, enormously distracting. Overplaying natural variations in the weather as climate change is just as much a distortion of the science as underplaying them to claim that climate change has stopped or is not happening. Both undermine the basic facts that the implications of climate change are profound and will be severe if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut drastically and swiftly over the coming decades.”

    Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

  118. The MET Office is normally one of the first off the block each month to publish UK temperature data here:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/seriesstatistics/uktemp.txt

    Calendar 2006 was the warmest in the 95 year series, and calendar 2007 the second warmest. Calendar 2008 was the 18th, and 2009 has got off to a very cold start.

    Here we are, heading towards the middle of February and still no MET Office data for January 2009. I wondered what they could be up to …. preparing the press release and excuses maybe?

    And then this jumps up from nowhere – let’s not latch onto individual events. Looks like January 2009 is going to be a cold one. Right now, my guess would be a 25-30 year low.

  119. The Main Stream Media (MSM) is an engine designed to return value to the shareholders. Why we (the public) expect it to tell us the truth (not it’s primary function) is beyond me.

    However, occasionally, a little bit of something that vaguely resembles an honest attempt to present a truthful exposition of fact, sneaks through the net and bobs up amongst the shiny, scary, pieces that are designed to attract and hold our interest long enough to sell the advertising space.

    What’s interesting in this is that Vicky Pope just implied that Hansen, Gore, Flannery, et al are full of BS. I wonder if we will see a backlash for not “being on message”.

    Her piece already has 200 comments on it’s home site…

  120. bluegrue,
    Since the Met Hadley Center has been one of the prime sources for alarmist hyperbole, I think the remarkable press release you link to is the equivalent of a drunk in the early stages of admitting they are a drunk- full of equivocations and dissembling.
    The incredibly bad track record of the Met office, as has been well documented here and elsewhere, and the plain fact that global climate is not anywhere close to any sort of catastrophic tipping point or apocalypse, as they themselves have been promoting, is simply beginning to overwhelm their ideology.
    Now they are in effect turning on the AGW team leaders- the IPCC Hansen and Gore, in order to salvage some scrap of legitimacy.
    You can seek all of the context you wish in this, but AGW- the idea we are radically damaging the world climate- is dying as a viable bogey man before our very eyes.

  121. I see the scenario behind this news article…

    9:00 PM+ The office cleaners are doing a once yearly clean of the insides of the windows, as they go about their work they raise the blinds on the windows…

    Next Morning
    9:00 AM+ Joe Weatherman and Jill ClimateScientist look up from their computer monitors and realise that the blinds are in fact up today….

    A short time later…

    … Notice large amounts of white stuff on the ground outside the building…. and filled with curiosity and wonder they ask around….

    “Hey – what’s the white stuff on the ground outside…?????”

    A few of their colleagues shrug their shoulders, or scratch their heads…

    Suddenly a gruff voice, weary with many years, speaks from the end of the room. It’s Ted IT, installing a new 24inch Monitor at one of the desks.

    “It’s snow”.

    (Joe Weatherman and Jill ClimateScientist together) “Ohhh….. – but I thought that couldn’t happen anymore…Hmmmmm….how strange.”

    Several months later, the sound of a penny dropping.

    And then – wah-lahhh – a news paper article gets written.

  122. Dave (07:54:25) :
    It’s maybe a bit off topic, but can someone explain why January 2009 and now also February 2009 global temperatures are running so high above normal?

    Because the number “global temperature” is a fiction.

    Thermometers are not uniformly distributed, nor is the hot vs cold side of the jet stream. As the jet wobbles about, different numbers of thermometers are on one side or the other. This induces ‘jitter’ in the averages of these numbers.

    These thermometers highs and lows are averaged making a petite fiction, that is then averaged over a month (making small fictions) that are ‘adjusted’ relative to other small fictions up to 1000 km way (a broken thing to do given climate patterns like coastal vs inland) based on linear ‘offsets’ (no ‘coefficient of correlation’ of any reasonable sort) to create larger fictions.

    These larger fictions are then averaged together to make One Grand Fiction, but only after another round of linear offsetting and averaging of random numbers of larger fictions with ‘zones’ of up to 30 degrees latitude…

    The Grand Unified Homogenized Offseterized Zonalised Fiction is then reported to you.

    And if this explanation is clear to you, then you know why the number is not to be trusted… If it’s not clear, at least you know you are getting Goulash made from table scraps…

    (I’ve been in the GIStemp code and this is an accurate, if imprecise, statement of what it really does…)

  123. Flanagan:

    “Waaah…”

    No need to cry about a posted article, and there’s certainly no need to spew your ad hominems like “an ultra-conservative political-action group”, an “ultra-right-wing… political-economic rather than medical group”.

    Just refute the facts that are presented… if you can. I suspect that you would if you could, but failing that, ad hominem attacks like those above are the default fallback position for the AGW crowd.

    Make no mistake: the central claim of the alarmist contingent is that CO2 [and not just any old CO2, but the evil human-produced CO2] will soon trigger a tipping point that will cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe. Don’t try to deny it; that is the scary hypothesis that is being shouted from the rooftops, but which has been repeatedly falsified: click

    Alarmists can not let go of their CO2 scare story. Why? Because without bad ol’ CO2 to frighten the school children with, the insignificant effect of increasing CO2 would barely merit an obscure footnote in a minor journal or two, and the world would move on without spending money on mitigating the emission of this very beneficial trace gas, and without incurring any harm whatever. click

    Those promoting the CO2/AGW scam are completely cognizant of the fact that CO2 is not only harmless, but beneficial. Otherwise Al Gore, James Hansen and the UN would be traitors to the planet by their profligate waste of resources: click

    The thousands of UN kleptocrats partying hearty in Bali on lobster, caviar and champagne certainly have zero concern for their own rather large carbon footprint, since they all travel to Bali by air. First class, of course, on our tax money. And James Hansen spews plenty of CO2 flying unnecessarily across the Atlantic, also on our tax dollars, to be a savior to eco-vandals.

    When these hypocritical AGW/CO2 promoters start to lead by example, wake me. In the mean time, keep spinning your scary tales, and crying “Wolf!” about how an increase in a minor trace gas from 4 parts in ten thousand to 5 parts in ten thousand will lead to runaway global warming. Pay no attention to the fact that as the planet cools, beneficial CO2 rises back toward historically normal levels. That situation doesn’t support the AGW/CO2 hypothesis, so that inconvenient fact is studiously ignored by the AGW Elmer Gantrys.

    You can not admit what the rest of us know: that a increase in a minor trace gas is just a pretext fro government to get its hands deep into our pockets, and to use it for political control. H.L. Mencken hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary… The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.

  124. To Bernie (08:49:54)

    Yes, when Steven Goddard referred to Al Gore as a “Nobel Prize winning scientist”, I assumed he was being ironic.

    Apparently a few readers thought he was serious, which I find a bit…ironic. :-)

  125. Peter Taylor (09:27:48) : The vital next step for the MetOffice is to look again at solar physics, the solar wind, the cosmic ray flux and the jetstream (it may not be only cloud effects as suggested by Svensmark – I think there is another Arctic vortex effect). Therein lies the ‘timer’ for the cycles.

    On another thread I posted that i thought their was a startling similarity between the ozone map (showing two ‘eyes’ of increased ozone at the N. Pole) and some of the effects expected from polar currents via the electro-universe model. (like a current with two intertwined threads to the poles…)

    I’d suggest looking at some of what Vukcevic has done. I think he may be on to something… It may take adding together the electrical, clouds, ozone, and solar dynamo jitter, but it looks like there is enough there to make it work out without stretching the physics. Not proof, but enough to go digging really really hard…

  126. bluegrue,
    Met O has a history of throwing out hysterical blurbs to the media, but since 2007 their models have failed miserably despite their CYA in this PR campaign. Why do they feel the need to downplay AGW?

    Now they are back pedaling at Olympic speeds to save face. A cooling “trend” until 2014? What happened to their ‘new and improved state-of-the-art first time ever’ decadal climate climate model they bragged about in August 2007 that predicted 1998 would be on the ash heap of history after 2009?

    What is obvious to me is Met O is preparing their hoards of true believers for a long period of cooling. Oh, and do a search on their website for “Pacific Decadal Oscillation” and report your findings :)

  127. M White (11:21:27) :

    Four years to save the world

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7885036.stm

    “The US president has just four years to save the planet, said Prof McCarthy.”

    He actually has 4 years to ensure he gets re-elected – I wonder which is uppermost in his mind?

    Saving the planet or getting re-elected in an economic downturn.

  128. Smokey (15:23:39) :

    Flanagan:

    …..ad hominem attacks like those above are the default fallback position for the AGW crowd.

    Oh really? Let’s examine the rest of your post –

    “….the alarmist contingent…..the scary hypothesis that is being shouted from the rooftops….Alarmists can not let go of their CO2 scare story….without bad ol’ CO2 to frighten the school children with….Those promoting the CO2/AGW scam are completely cognizant of the fact that CO2 is not only harmless, but beneficial….When these hypocritical AGW/CO2 promoters start to lead by example, wake me. In the mean time, keep spinning your scary tales, and crying “Wolf!”….that inconvenient fact is studiously ignored by the AGW Elmer Gantrys….just a pretext fro government to get its hands deep into our pockets, and to use it for political control….”

    Amusing as usuial Smokey. You do actually know what ad hominem means, I presume? One might think not from the fact that you accuse others of it whilst so relishing an indulgence in it yourself.

  129. from the met office homepage, with

    “easy grabbing attention by linking climate change to the latest extreme weather event or apocalyptic prediction”

  130. Zeke Hausfather:

    “…Overplaying natural variations in the weather as climate change is just as much a distortion of the science as underplaying them to claim that climate change has stopped or is not happening. Both undermine the basic facts that the implications of climate change are profound and will be severe if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut drastically and swiftly over the coming decades.”

    Who is ‘overplaying’ natural weather or climate variation?

    The climate has been varying — and often much more than over the past century — for the past 4.6 billion years: click

    That statement is a transparent attempt to flog the dying AGW/CO2 horse. The Medieval Warming Period was warmer than today, as were other times over the past 2,500 years: click

    Natural climate variation is a thorn in the side of alarmists, because it proves that any change due to human activity is so minor that it is unmeasurable. And of course, the weather always varies.

    It is a fact that CO2 contributed to past global warming, but the log effect makes any further contributions to warming insignificant by comparison.

  131. Ben (09:52:18) :

    Action Item: Need current Info on the AGW debate – Please help

    Ben, Visual Aid #1: Find a copy of Al Gore’s graphic showing the correlation between CO2 and Temperature over the last several hundred thousand years.

    Then find a graphic showing the time lag, revealing that C02 increase lags temperature increase by ~800 years.

    Be prepared to think if there is any possible way that positive feedbacks could account for this AGW paradox (I think they must have an answer to it, but I doubt it holds up. Know what the answer is, and why it doesn’t hold up if you are convinced it doesn’t. I’ve read this, but can’t put it into words myself — maybe another poster can help out here).

    To me the implication of Al Gore’s deception on this point was the start of my journey to skeptikhood and recovery from the AGW delusion. Rarely (if ever) in nature could it be said that a cause can preceed an effect by 800 years.

  132. I think what she’s really trying to say is that if it’s cooling it’s weather and if it’s warming it’s climate and we think we are in for some weather for a while and climate will resume after this brief interruption at which point we will go back to alarmist mode.

    just wonder if they realize how much cooling we may be in for if the skeptic predictions come to fruition.

  133. bluegrue (14:03:55) : All she is pointing out is that exaggeration of the facts will backfire in the long run. This is not the “blistering attack” you are looking for. Neither is the Met Office suddenly refuting AGW

    You’re right, bluegrue. It wasn’t a “blistering attack”. Instead it’s the first crack in a wall epitomized by Hansen’s call for crimes against humanity and is a relaxation which could lead to genuine and honest investigation.

    If you think that 3-year or even 10-year “trends” tell you anything about climate, she is not on your side.

    Yet, Hansen’s speech to Congress in 1988 was a reliance on a 10-year trend. That’s a fact conveniently overlooked. The preceding panic was driven by a trend not much longer. 30 years for some reason is sufficient? It shouldn’t be forgotten that Hansen also made the case for CO2 as the cause of “Global Cooling” but switched horses when the weather changed. Hard to think he doesn’t have an agenda. The same for all of those shouting “amen” after his words.

    is utterly convinced by the scientific evidence, that AGW is happening and so am I.

    If the evidence is so compelling, why was any exaggeration of the facts deemed necessary? Why the necessity to attempt stigmatization of any dissent? Could it be the evidence is not quite as convincing as its proponents would have us believe?

    Of course, it’s also mere coincidence that a scientific study sprung from obscurity before the 70’s to large public exposure and, oh yeah, larger grants after its gloomy predictions hit the headlines. A scientific study that has produced compelling evidence while simultaneously actively discourages any investigation into its methods and data processing and results arising from same.

    Hopefully, the MET statement will lead to genuine appraisal of questionable data.

  134. Psi (15:54:07) :

    I donb’t really understand your post above, regarding CO2 lag. CO2 in the past has been a feedback, not a forcing, a response to temperature change. Current CO2 increase in the atmosphere is not a response to temperature change, but is the outcome of anthropogenic activity. It is thus a forcing, not a feedback.

  135. Ron de Haan wrote:
    However, we are able to give a range of possible outcomes of the world’s actions and to assign probabilities to these, and climate projections should be treated as an assessment of risk.

    Anybody can give a prediction and a probability. And frankly it doesn’t matter whether the prediction is made using a data set and a computer, or whether it is make by a tribal belief passed down through generations of an oral tradition.

    What matters is whether the prediction works.

    How much money was spent, how many people were involved, how many years they spent training, and studying–none of that matters. None of it. All that matters is whether the predictions come true to a useful degree. We seem to forget that whilst we have made great strides in the physical sciences of simple stuff, like measuring the speed of light, we are very primitive when dealing with complex living systems. Notice how hard it is to cure cancer? Notice how hard it is to manage ecosystems? And what of the world’s climate?

    People who expect their predictions about complex systems to be trusted simply because they did x years of research, betray their own naivety. Seriously, they should be the first to forbid anyone from trying to misuse their research until its predictions have been proven in the real world.

    No skeptic need utter a word. The AGW scientists’ own grandiose UNPROVEN predictions are sufficient reason for disbelief. And the public at large seems to know this. Only those locked away inside their Ivory Towers appear oblivious to the fact that what they have done is so far is purely academic.

    Even if the predictions turn out to be right–or just lucky–the public has already seen the extent to which these scientists are willing to exaggerate their work. The point being that even if in 20 years time the world has warmed considerably, the public will still think that AGW is a myth. See?

  136. I’m wondering whether this is the start of a push to rebrand and repackage AGW for the masses, ahead of Copenhagen (10 months away now.) Perhaps those in the Met Office sense that hitherto they have been failing to win hearts and minds. If so, we could expect to hear more of this sort of thing in the months ahead. The proposition might be: forget that crazy old-style millennial GW talk, but instead, buy into the new sober, sensible, affordable, recession-friendly GW mitigation strategies we’re proposing. For the long term, you know, something put by for the great-grandchildren.

  137. Manfred,
    If that Youtube video from Met O isn’t “‘Apocalyptic climate predictions’ mislead the public, say experts’”, what in the world are they referring to?

  138. Simon Evans says:

    Amusing as usuial Smokey. You do actually know what ad hominem means, I presume? One might think not from the fact that you accuse others of it whilst so relishing an indulgence in it yourself.

    Yeah…And, it is even worse than that. Because when we note the deficiencies in the credentials or reasoning or the clear political connections of some people, what we are essentially saying, “There are a few kooks, deceptive, or misguided people in the world,” which I think is an eminently reasonable proposition.

    What Smokey is trying to claim is that the kooks, deceptive, and misguided people have somehow taken over essentially all of the reputable scientific journals, scientific societies, etc., etc. I will leave others to decide how reasonable a proposition that is!

  139. Joel Shore (11:33:34) : No. Climate models aren’t based on extrapolations. They are based on physical principles.

    Like the one that says temperatures in San Francisco are linearly related to those in Lodi and Reno?

    Trust the Code, Luke, …

    Or that ozone doesn’t matter at all? Or that GCR flux is nothing? Or that a field of variable heat emitters (George? Was it ‘as the 4th power’? Or 5th?) can be modeled as a flat field at a single temperature far lower than the real peaks?

    There are more holes in the ‘physical principles’ used than bucket…

  140. “Is Al gore a scientist?”

    Well, he flunked out of divinity school. As such, he is a wannabe cleric. Consequently, he is well qualified to be the chief cleric of AGWism. His fire and brimstone sermons must be believed. Otherwise, you will suffer eternal damnation.

  141. Simon Evans (15:44:28) :

    Smokey (15:23:39) :

    Flanagan:

    …..ad hominem attacks like those above are the default fallback position for the AGW crowd.

    Oh really? Let’s examine the rest of your post –

    “….the alarmist contingent…..the scary hypothesis that is being shouted from the rooftops….Alarmists can not let go of their CO2 scare story….without bad ol’ CO2 to frighten the school children with….Those promoting the CO2/AGW scam are completely cognizant of the fact that CO2 is not only harmless, but beneficial….When these hypocritical AGW/CO2 promoters start to lead by example, wake me. In the mean time, keep spinning your scary tales, and crying “Wolf!”….that inconvenient fact is studiously ignored by the AGW Elmer Gantrys….just a pretext fro government to get its hands deep into our pockets, and to use it for political control….”

    “Amusing as usuial Smokey. You do actually know what ad hominem means, I presume? One might think not from the fact that you accuse others of it whilst so relishing an indulgence in it yourself”.

    Simon Evans,

    The CO2/AGW doctrine as Smokey correctly stated is a “dead horse”.
    I don’t mind if you agree or disagree with any of our opinions but you do not respond to serious and well written replies like a frustrated chicken.
    You’re displaying an attitude which is below all standards.

  142. John Galt (12:41:13) : t’s more accurate to claim they are based upon what the modeler believes are physical principles. The models used by Hansen, the Met and the IPCC have near zero predictive power and are closer to science fiction than science.

    Um, John, I have a nit to harvest here… In the genre “Science Fiction” you are supposed to let one or two principles run free of the facts, but keep most of your story grounded in real science and real effects. In the genre “Science Fantasy” you are allowed free rein to just make things up as you go along and ignore large chunks of known science. By that measure, much of the models are more in line with “Science Fantasy” than “Science Fiction”…

    (For example, Star Trek assumes that some day we will have faster than light travel and runs with it – Science Fiction while Dr. Who creates flying telephone booths bigger on the inside than on the outside and has a zoo of different unpredictable ‘bad guys’ with strange powers for seasoning… more ‘fantastical’ so Science Fantasy… I like them both, BTW.)

    Oh, Fantasy tends to story lines with more dramatic and unpredictable outcomes too … sound familiar?

  143. Joel Shore (13:54:56) :
    Jeff Alberts says: “And extrapolated data, i.e. anything that isn’t completely understood, as well as climate data for areas where no climate data exist.”

    Again, I don’t know where you are getting this idea that the models are based on extrapolations of climate data.

    GIStemp code, STEP0, STEP1, STEP2, STEP4_5.

    Data that are missing are ‘filled in’ by making it up.

    Chunks of the data set are simply thrown away.

    Data in the GHCN series are replaced with fictions from the UHCN set via strange linear offsets produced by subtracting recent years (decade scale) data from each other then using these to re-write the past (100 year scale).

    Data for cities are LINEARLY adjusted based on action in thermometers up to 1000km away (1500 if need be) even though there is no linear correlation.

    The list goes on… read the code.

  144. Ron de Haan (16:41:30) :

    You’re displaying an attitude which is below all standards.</i

    Er no, Ron, I am pointing out hypocrisy – as in when someone accuses another of ad hominem and then launches into extravagant ad hominem themselves. However, I am prepared to accept that as evidence of the ‘standards’ you espouse.

  145. Let me paraphrase the article:

    We know that some of you are on to us, and we know the real world is showing us up. If we tell you that we’re from a really prestigious organisation,

    “Experts at Britain’s top climate research centre …”

    “The Met Office Hadley Centre, one of the most prestigious research facilities in the world …”

    and there were some naughty AGW exaggerators on both sides,

    “Having to rein in extraordinary claims that the latest extreme [event] is all due to climate change is at best hugely frustrating and at worse enormously distracting. Overplaying natural variations in the weather as climate change is just as much a distortion of science as underplaying them to claim that climate change has stopped or is not happening.”

    We’ll be able to convince some of you that things are still really, really bad anyway.

    “Both undermine the basic facts that the implications of climate change are profound and will be severe if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut drastically.”

    Just the usual Guardian propaganda to patch things up when the previous arguments have unravelled. No more than the same old story with a revision of tactics when things haven’t quite gone their way.

  146. Here is an interesting article from “The New Scientist” regarding the coldest European Winter ever…of 1708/1709. I thought everyone might enjoy the read.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126942.100-1709-the-year-that-europe-froze.html?full=true

    The fact that so many people left accounts of the freeze suggests the winter of 1708/1709 was unusually bad, but just how extraordinary was it?

    In 2004, Jürg Luterbacher, a climatologist at the University of Bern in Switzerland, produced a month-by-month reconstruction of Europe’s climate since 1500, using a combination of direct measurements, proxy indicators of temperature such as tree rings and ice cores, and data gleaned from historical documents (Science, vol 303, p 1499). The winter of 1708-1709 was the coldest. Across large parts of Europe the temperature was as much as 7 °C below the average for 20th-century Europe.

    Why it was quite so cold is harder to explain. The Little Ice Age was at its climax and Europe was experiencing climatically turbulent times: the 1690s saw a string of cold summers and failed harvests, while the summer of 1707 was so hot people died from heat exhaustion. Overall, the climate was colder, with the sun’s output at its lowest for millennia. There were some spectacular volcanic eruptions in 1707 and 1708, including Mount Fuji in Japan and Santorini and Vesuvius in Europe. These would have sent dust high into the atmosphere, forming a veil over Europe. Such dust veils normally lead to cooler summers and sometimes warmer winters, but climatologists think that during this persistent cold phase, dust may have depressed both summer and winter temperatures.

    None of these things accounts for the extremity of that particular winter, however. “Something unusual seems to have been happening,” says Dennis Wheeler, a climatologist at the University of Sunderland, UK. As part of the European Union’s Millennium Project, which aims to reconstruct the past 1000 years of Europe’s climate, Wheeler is extracting data from Royal Navy logbooks, which provide daily observations of wind and weather. “With daily data you can produce very reliable monthly averages but you can also see what happened from one day to the next,” says Wheeler. He and his colleagues have now compiled a database of daily observations stretching back to 1685 from the English Channel area. “This is a key climatic zone. The weather there reflects wider conditions across the Atlantic, which is where in normal circumstances much European weather originates.”

  147. This is not the “blistering attack” you are looking for. Neither is the Met Office suddenly refuting AGW.

    No, but it does say that Hansen is a doomsayer without evidence. Especially when he says 4 years till the legendary tipping point which doesn’t exist.

  148. Not a crack in the wall at all. They’re covering themselves in the “it’s just natural variation” excuse. They were perfectly happy to go along – and participate in – the apocalyptic talk up until now. A few years of no warming has them scurrying for foxholes. They are playing it as even-handed, but that just allows them to deny any significance for especially cold temps, heavy snows, etc, currently occurring. This gives them a few years of cover before they have to own up to the “trend” not being there any more.

  149. Well, he flunked out of divinity school. As such, he is a wannabe cleric. Consequently, he is well qualified to be the chief cleric of AGWism. His fire and brimstone sermons must be believed. Otherwise, you will suffer eternal damnation.

    Actually his “sermons” are pretty dry and boring.

  150. Climate of Change: UK Met Office Issues ‘Blistering Attack on Scientific Colleagues’ For ‘Apocalyptic Climate Predictions’

    Posted By Marc Morano

    Mark Morano, shame on you: you do AGW sceptics a disservice with this alarmist hyperbole!

  151. “The Met Office Hadley Centre, one of the most prestigious research facilities in the world, says recent “apocalyptic predictions” about Arctic ice melt and soaring temperatures are as bad as claims that global warming does not exist.”

    This statement “as bad as claims that global warming does not exist” is a loaded statement because “global warming” can mean more than one thing.

    But whatever your opinion on what the words “global warming” mean global warming is not happening. The earth is in a cooling trend.

    The Met is saying global warming is still happening? Maybe according to their definition of what it is it is still happening. But then the Met has been wrong on a consistent basis (just ask Piers Corbyn) so I don’t feel much enthusiasm to listen to them. BTW, I am not saying the Met is always wrong.

  152. MarkB (17:26:23) :

    Here’s a link for you to consider:

    White House, June 8 [2008] – Vice President Gore and NOAA scientists announced today that The 1997/98 El Niño, one of the most significant climatic events of the century, produced extreme weather worldwide.

    http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/stories/sir3.html

    Looks like ‘they’ were recognising the impact of natural variation when the global temperatures soared high as well!

  153. DAV says:

    It shouldn’t be forgotten that Hansen also made the case for CO2 as the cause of “Global Cooling” but switched horses when the weather changed.

    Wow…This is like a game of “telephone” where the story gets more and more distorted in each telling! I had heard the myth that Hansen made the case for global cooling, but I had never heard it actually claimed that he said that CO2 was the culprit! In reality, neither is correct.

    The original myth stems from the fact that Rasool and Schneider published a paper in Science in 1971 ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;173/3992/138 ) in which they warned about the possibility of significant global cooling due to aerosols if we continued to rapidly increase our emissions of such pollutants. They credited Hansen in the references as having provided them with some calculations or computer code for Mie scattering. Hansen was not an author on their paper and, in fact, I believe at that time was not yet even studying earth’s climate. As I have noted before, crediting this article’s conclusions to Hansen on the basis of his providing Mie scattering code is a little bit like crediting them to Newton since they used calculus. In fact, in some sense the link to Newton is stronger since Newton actually invented calculus whereas Hansen’s Mie theory code just codified formulas that had been worked out by Mie around 1900. (Not to completely trivialize it, as computing Bessel functions and Legendre Polynomials in the early 1970s…which is a large part of what is necessary… involved considerably more do-it-yourself work than it does today.)

    As I noted, your telling of the story is also wrong on the CO2 connection: Rasool and Schneider knew that CO2 would cause warming. They just thought that the cooling due to aerosols would dominate over the warming due to CO2 (as their abstract explains). By modern thinking, the reason that they were wrong on this point was both that they made an underestimate of the effects of CO2 on climate (and/or an overestimate of the effects of aerosols) and they didn’t anticipate that we in the industrialized world would start to sharply curtail our aerosol emissions with legislation like the Clean Air Act. Actually, Schneider was pretty much accepting the fact that he was likely wrong about cooling within a few years after publishing this paper and, in fact, even in their Jan. 1972 reply to a comment on their July 1971 paper, Rasool and Schneider emphasized that their calculation was only a first attempt and certainly not the final word on the subject ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/175/4017/95-a.pdf ).

    If the evidence is so compelling, why was any exaggeration of the facts deemed necessary?

    This question, alas, applies to the Hansen story although the word “exaggeration” is quite a euphemism for this myth!

  154. It seems to me that we need to nail the science and explain it to people so that the attempts to wriggle out of it are thwarted. If people don’t know then they can be duped. Even if we are right as a minority our knowledge needs to become common knowledge. We need to be aware of this and actively achieve it. This news is just a re-grouping of the powers that be. Only the truth shall set people free. All the best, Ed.

  155. Notice how the arguments are being re-framed [AKA: moving the goal posts] again? First it was global cooling, which then morphed into global warming, then like a chameleon turned into “climate change.” Prior to that, of course, the climate didn’t change.

    Now our HE-RO Al Gore is being championed as a guy who has long recognized the driver of climate change as… ‘natural variation.’

    Remember An Inconvenient Truth? Well, forget about it. Al is reinventing himself again. His only problem now is how to drop the A from AGW, and still spin money out of it.

    But where there’s a will, there will be a way for the guy who invented the internet, and after scoring a D in college Science… won the Nobel Prize!

    What a guy.

  156. I for one will regret the passing of apocalyptic doom sayers. They were such good targets. However, the crystal ball pronouncements became so ludicrous that I think they helped turn the discussion into the serious mode it has become. But they also provided such laughs! I will miss them.

    note to self: I should practice my aim.

  157. E.M.Smith (17:07:32) :
    Joel Shore (13:54:56) :
    Jeff Alberts says: “And extrapolated data, i.e. anything that isn’t completely understood, as well as climate data for areas where no climate data exist.”

    Again, I don’t know where you are getting this idea that the models are based on extrapolations of climate data.

    GIStemp code, STEP0, STEP1, STEP2, STEP4_5.

    My mistake. I remembered one step did not do data munging and left off STEP3 thinking that was it, it wasn’t. Add STEP3 to the list.

    It was step4 in STEP4_5 that didn’t do much manipulation.

    FWIW, here’s a snippet of the comments from STEP5 SSBXotoBX.f

    C *** Input argument: Rland (0-1200km) radius of influence of station
    C *** Input file: 10,11 subbox.data (land, ocean based)

    C**** This program interpolates the given station data or their
    C**** ANOMALIES with respect to 1951-1980 to a prescribed grid.

    Yeah, technically an inter-polation is not the same as an extra-polation but I think the original poster was not taking it to that level of nit…

    The bottom line is that the code “makes stuff up” … You can see in this step that the range is up to 1200 km for any given ‘making up’ and everything is based off of 1951-1980 as an anomaly base set. Don’t know if that’s a ‘cherry pick’ or not, but I remember a lot of cold in the 1963 – 1978 range…

  158. Joel Shore (17:48:04) :

    My, My touched a nerve did we?

    Yes indeed it was Rasool. I guess I had the gist of a July 9, 1971 WaPo article in mind. The Post reported Rasool’s research was aided by a “computer program developed by Dr. James Hansen”. The story headlined: “U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming.” It told of a prediction by NASA and Columbia University scientist S.I. Rasool. The culprit: man’s use of fossil fuels.

    Sorry if I upset your finely tuned sensibilities by using the current synonym for Man’s Evil instead. Hardly a myth in any case. Of course he could have been waiting for the proper time by aiding research he didn’t believe in.

    Truth is he switched from Cooling to Warming when the weather changed (the proper time?). But in both cases, it was AGx. He simply changed the x from C to W. The target in both cases is crystal clear.

  159. In full agreement, DAV. The demonization of fossil fuels is one of the primary goals of those promoting the AGW/CO2 hypothesis. They have an ulterior motive.

    The problem is that fossil fuel use is good, not bad. It is the most efficient form of energy — and efficiency is good, no? If efficiency is bad, then we should go back to living in mud huts and employing shamans to diagnose and treat illnesses.

    If real world evidence appears that shows increasing levels of CO2 to be detrimental in any way, I’ll listen to any such new information, and make up my mind based on the facts presented.

    So far, no such evidence exists. None.

    The extent of our current knowledge shows that CO2 is beneficial, not harmful [unless one is basing their skewed belief system on always-inaccurate computer models]. CO2 benefits plants, and thus it benefits all life on Earth. More CO2 is good; less CO2 is bad. QED.

    Those hypocritical nay-sayers who drive cars, and at the same time bash all other CO2 emitters, should try this little experiment intended to show the efficiency of fossil fuels:

    Get in your car, put it in neutral, and shut off the engine.

    Get out of your car and push it about twenty miles down the road.

    Now tell us that gasoline is not efficient.

    [Note that the “green” fuel, ethanol, requires 1.5 gallons to push a car as far as one gallon of gasoline — and it puts 50% more emissions into the atmosphere than gasoline while doing it.]

    Every proposed “green” solution causes much bigger problems than it tries to fix. Why? Because there is an agenda in play; the ‘solutions’ are not about efficiency, or what the free market demands. They are about two things: money, and political power. And not necessarily in that order.

  160. Simon Evans (17:08:39) :

    Ron de Haan (16:41:30) :

    You’re displaying an attitude which is below all standards.</i

    Er no, Ron, I am pointing out hypocrisy – as in when someone accuses another of ad hominem and then launches into extravagant ad hominem themselves. However, I am prepared to accept that as evidence of the ’standards’ you espouse.

    Simon Evans,

    You’re pointing out nothing of the kind.
    I have only seen clear arguments, answers and references posted up for discussion.
    There is no hypocrisy here, only serious attempts for fact finding.
    From your answers I conclude you are not only frustrated but also deluded and theatrical.
    The latter is simply annoying does not contribute to a balanced discussion.
    Do you get the message?

  161. DAV (18:35:45) :
    Joel Shore (17:48:04) :

    My, My touched a nerve did we?

    Repeating the same untruths gets a bit old after a while!

    Yes indeed it was Rasool. I guess I had the gist of a July 9, 1971 WaPo article in mind. The Post reported Rasool’s research was aided by a “computer program developed by Dr. James Hansen”. The story headlined: “U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming.” It told of a prediction by NASA and Columbia University scientist S.I. Rasool. The culprit: man’s use of fossil fuels.

    Sorry if I upset your finely tuned sensibilities by using the current synonym for Man’s Evil instead. Hardly a myth in any case.

    Certainly is a myth (I’d actually put it rather stronger).

    Of course he could have been waiting for the proper time by aiding research he didn’t believe in.

    Truth is he switched from Cooling to Warming when the weather changed (the proper time?). But in both cases, it was AGx. He simply changed the x from C to W. The target in both cases is crystal clear.

    A complete fabrication.

  162. E.M.Smith (16:31:50) :

    “Joel Shore (11:33:34) : No. Climate models aren’t based on extrapolations. They are based on physical principles.

    Like the one that says temperatures in San Francisco are linearly related to those in Lodi and Reno?

    Trust the Code, Luke, …”

    E.M. Smith…
    The problem is that these people never do examine the codes. I’ve been looking at GISTEMP as you have and it is a piece of junk! Where are the equations, the proper documentation, the proper commenting of key parts of the source code, the detailed exposition of methods?? They aren’t there.

    What is even more amusing is that the modelers then go on to tune their codes to match the output from GISTEMP!!

  163. Ron de Haan (19:09:05) :

    Simon Evans (17:08:39) :

    Ron de Haan (16:41:30) :

    You’re displaying an attitude which is below all standards.

    Er no, Ron, I am pointing out hypocrisy – as in when someone accuses another of ad hominem and then launches into extravagant ad hominem themselves. However, I am prepared to accept that as evidence of the ’standards’ you espouse.

    Simon Evans,

    Your pointing out nothing of the kind.
    I have only seen clear arguments, answers and references posted up for discussion.
    There is no hypocrisy here, only serious attempts for fact finding.
    From your answers I conclude you are not only frustrated but also deluded and theatrical.
    The latter is simply annoying does not contribute to a balanced discussion.
    Do you get the message?

    I get the message that you don’t understand what hypocrisy is, Ron.

    For illustration, “….that inconvenient fact is studiously ignored by the AGW Elmer Gantrys” is a very clear example of an ad hominem comment.

    However, you see only “clear arguments, answers and references posted up for discussion. There is no hypocrisy here, only serious attempts for fact finding.”

    Therefore, either you don’t understand what ad hominem means, or you don’t understand what hypocrisy means, or you are not reading the same comments that I am reading.

    I am not entirely surprised, since your serious attempts at fact finding have led you to the conclusion that one volcanic eruption is equivalent to 100 years of anthropogenic emisssions.

    I wish you well in your fact finding mission.

  164. Simon Evans (16:01:37) : I donb’t really understand your post above, regarding CO2 lag. CO2 in the past has been a feedback, not a forcing, a response to temperature change. Current CO2 increase in the atmosphere is not a response to temperature change, but is the outcome of anthropogenic activity. It is thus a forcing, not a feedback.

    Please define the difference between a ‘positive feedback’ and a ‘forcing’. I can’t find any definition of ‘forcing’ that makes sense in this context.

    Maybe you mean ‘driver’ . It has a history of use in science. “Forcing” just looks like a propaganda choice (OED: Strength, Power…) chosen to make things ‘look better’. Never heard the word “forcing” in school (“force” was used, but that was in Physics class, and CO2 is clearly not a “force”…)

    Frankly, the tussling back and forth over ‘forcing’ vs ‘feedback’ looks like counting angles on pinheads rather than using simple terms that clearly state the physics.

  165. Ron de Haan (19:09:05) :

    And by the way, Ron, consider the following –

    “you are not only frustrated but also deluded and theatrical”

    Is that ad hominem or is it not? I’d just like to check out whether or not you understand the term. The approach appears to be your ‘default position’.

  166. When The Guardian writes things like the comment below, you know that things are ripping apart at the seams. They are terribly embarrassed by the cold snowy winter (after two cold rainy summers) and are looking for some fall guys. Preferably a prominent American scientist and politician, or two.

    Experts at Britains top climate research centre have launched a blistering attack on scientific colleagues and journalists who exaggerate the effects of global warming.

  167. It is forgotten by some people that Al Gore did not give his self a nobel prize, it was given to him! He does not take money from people, they give it to him (although it does seem that some of the money that is given to him is tax-payers money. That is the price of democracy).

  168. DAV says:

    Truth is he switched from Cooling to Warming when the weather changed (the proper time?). But in both cases, it was AGx. He simply changed the x from C to W. The target in both cases is crystal clear.

    These are the sort of things that make me realize how impervious to fact many of you in the “skeptic” movement really are. I have laid out the truth right in front if you. You can read the original references. You can see where they reference him concerning the Mie scattering calculations.

    But instead, you would prefer to just go along believing your same complete and utter falsehoods while at the same time condemning the “other side” for the fact that anyone of them has ever made any exaggerations whatsoever.

  169. Sorry if I upset your finely tuned sensibilities by using the current synonym for Man’s Evil instead.

    Well, the problem is that the story gets more and more untruthful with each telling. It is in fact true that in the 1970s, scientists did not yet agree whether the warming effects of CO2 or the cooling effects of aerosols would dominate. (In fact, some weren’t even sure if the net effect of aerosols would be cooling.) However, to claim that Hansen…or any serious segment of the scientific community…actually thought CO2 would cause cooling is a distortion of the science on top of the gross distortion of Hansen’s connection to the science.

    Sorry if I actually like people to have some modicum of scientific and historical accuracy.

    Of course he could have been waiting for the proper time by aiding research he didn’t believe in.

    Yes, because we have to come up with some contorted logic to continue to believe our myths in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Hansen, by his account, wasn’t even thinking about the issue of climate change on earth at this time. (I think one can verify that he hadn’t published anything on it.) Given that he worked at NASA and was colleagues with those two folks and that he had a piece of code that he had written to do a calculation that they needed done, he let them use it. It would have been highly unusual for him to make their using it contingent on their conclusions…and likely they didn’t even yet know themselves what their conclusions were going to be at the time that they got the code from Hansen.

  170. @hunter (14:56:11) :

    Interesting analogy. Government gets drunk on power, and the citizens suffer the hangover. Yep, that sounds about right.

  171. @ F Rasmin (19:55:32) :
    But then the procedure to award someone or a group the Nobel Peace Price differs from the other Nobel prizes. And does not take money from people, those millions that he earned after leaving the white house have come from somewhere.

    I am always told “Follow the money and the women when investigating a subject like this”, the women are not intresting enough in this case, the moneytrail however…

  172. F Rasmin (19:55:32) :

    It is forgotten by some people that Al Gore did not give his self a nobel prize, it was given to him! He does not take money from people, they give it to him (although it does seem that some of the money that is given to him is tax-payers money. That is the price of democracy).

    He could have refused it. And he DOES take money. He charges hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech. That’s his right, of course, but if the goal is to “save the planet”, one would think he’d be a bit more altruistic and only take enough to pay for expenses, and not fly in private jets…

  173. Simon Evans (17:43:40) :

    MarkB (17:26:23) :

    Here’s a link for you to consider:

    White House, June 8 [2008] – Vice President Gore and NOAA scientists announced today that The 1997/98 El Niño, one of the most significant climatic events of the century, produced extreme weather worldwide.

    http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/stories/sir3.html

    Looks like ‘they’ were recognising the impact of natural variation when the global temperatures soared high as well!

    Simon, please read that full article.

    This is unprecedented and is not likely to occur in a stationary climate.

  174. Here is a Washington Times article about the Washington Post article (I liked the single viewer comment at the end by “B472PIC”)-

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2007/sep/19/inside-the-beltway-69748548/

    Here is the Washington Post archive search to purchase the article for your own viewing-

    http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost_historical/access/144703752.html?dids=144703752:144703752&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&fmac=&date=Jul+9,+1971&author=By+Victor+CohnWashington+Post+Staff+Writer&desc=U.S.+Scientist+Sees+New+Ice+Age+Coming

  175. Joel Shore (20:03:20) :
    DAV says:

    Truth is he switched from Cooling to Warming when the weather changed (the proper time?). But in both cases, it was AGx. He simply changed the x from C to W. The target in both cases is crystal clear.

    These are the sort of things that make me realize how impervious to fact many of you in the “skeptic” movement really are. I have laid out the truth right in front if you. You can read the original references. You can see where they reference him concerning the Mie scattering calculations.

    But instead, you would prefer to just go along believing your same complete and utter falsehoods while at the same time condemning the “other side” for the fact that anyone of them has ever made any exaggerations whatsoever.”

    Joel, when it comes to exaggerations I’d say the ratio is about 10 (AGWers) to 1 (skeptics). You have your beliefs and I (and many others) have ours. Please don’t try and stuff yours down my throat thankyou.

  176. I think the terms ‘agenda management’ and ‘expectation control’ are coming into play here, the subtle art of propaganda can only be sustained when the lies being peddled bear at least some resemblance to reality, the hysteria whipped up by the AGW/MMCC believers served a purpose to begin with but now a combination of fear fatigue and cold hard reality have kicked in.
    We know the met office is government funded and we know the government has been pushing incredibly hard for for CO2 reduction measures along with the EU, it seems logical that the government would use its influence to push a government body to toe the party line on AGW/MMCC.
    Such is the public backlash against the tsunami of false and grossly exaggerated forecasts that the met office has to backtrack or face the real possibility of becoming a laughing stock, this statement could even be a revolt against the huge pressure coming from above to promote the AGW/MMCC agenda, one can easily imagine the met offices political masters urging the forecasters to ‘lay it on thick’ as it were.
    The big lies can only be maintained by the state only as long as they retain absolute control over the dissemination of news and information, this agenda delivery to the public at large is useless once the monopoly is broken and people start getting access to the actual truth then the lies begin to evaporate like the morning mist on a sunny day.
    The new media has played a huge part in the demise of ‘the big lies’ people who used to have to rely on the MSM for its news now get their information from the net uncensored and complete, the propaganda spell may be weakening but there is a long way to go before common sense prevails, those who have peddled the insane and useless fight against a harmless trace gas have to either backtrack/retreat or face being outflanked, the battle may be won but the war is far from over.

  177. DAV: “Yes indeed it was Rasool.”

    Yes, the research was by Rasool. What made you think it was by Hansen?

  178. Smokey,

    please note that criticizing an institution is not an “ad hominem” attack, unless the signification of homo has changed since my latin courses. Moreover, I only referred to a post by the Times.

    “the central claim of the alarmist contingent is that CO2 [and not just any old CO2, but the evil human-produced CO2] will soon trigger a tipping point that will cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe.”

    The “tipping point” you mention is the one where autocatalytic loops come into action. For example; CO2-induced increase in temperatures is supposed to increase the water vapor pressure (not me, Clausius-Clapeyron) which in turn leads to increased water content of the atmosphere:

    which in turn leads to an increased T, since H2O is a strong greenhouse gas.

    “Because without bad ol’ CO2 to frighten the school children with, … the world would move on without spending money on mitigating the emission…”

    Did you read the McKinsey report on the “cost” of mitigation? They show it actually will cost… negative, i.e. its economic consequences would be that people would spend less money on heating and getting energy.

    The rest is, as was mentioned, only ad hominem attacks.

    “how an increase in a minor trace gas from 4 parts in ten thousand to 5 parts in ten thousand will lead to runaway global warming.”

    please see above

    “Pay no attention to the fact that as the planet cools”
    We obviously do not live on the same planet.

    “You can not admit what the rest of us know: that a increase in a minor trace gas is just a pretext fro government to get its hands deep into our pockets”

    Yeah right, I see your point. Why should people’s money be used to make less pollution while the same amount could be given to oil companies? Since taxes are going down can you tell me in what sense mitigation “costs money” to american citizens? Why not mention the ever-increasing price of oil and the incredible profits oil companies are making while the rest of us suffer?

  179. Dr Vicky Pope (Met Office): “The reality is that extreme events arise when natural variations in the weather and climate combine with long-term climate change.”

    In other words, it’s not a matter of either/or but both/and. This principle agrees with NOAA’s comments in 1998 about that year’s El Nino: “In other words, the extreme weather and climate conditions related to naturally occurring El Niño events could be exacerbated by an ongoing global warming trend”.

    http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/stories/sir3.html

    So the understanding of the relationship between AGW and natural events has been a consistent feature of the AGW theory, at least as propounded by scientists.

    Dr Vicky Pope also offers some germane words to advocates on both sides of the AGW divide:

    “The most recent example of this sequence of claim and counter-claim focused on the Greenland ice sheet….with climate change advocates leaping on the acceleration to further their cause and the climate change sceptics now using the slowing down to their own benefit.”

    This is a timely reminder of the important difference between short-term variability and long-term trends. Many people understand this difference intellectually, but their understanding can be overwhelmed by the need for a headline (“Tipping Point reached…”) or to satisfy agendas or personal desires.

    Pope is advising everybody to be cautious about claims based on short-term variation, and that would include claims about global cooling based on a couple of cold winters and speculation about sunspots and PDOs etc.

    I am personally heartened by Pope’s comments, which strike me not only as sensible but also as sound scientific advice. The discourse between AGW supporters and sceptics would benefit by adopting the measured attitudes she espouses.

  180. DAV

    Yet, Hansen’s speech to Congress in 1988 was a reliance on a 10-year trend.

    You are not telling the truth (no, I do not think you are lying as I don’t see intent to deceive in you). Please read the Hansen’s oral statement hosted on climateaudit and then tell me where Hansen does rely on a 10-year trend.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/pdf/others/Hansen.0623-1988%20oral.pdf

    The period over which you look at the trend depends on what you are looking for. There are no clean-cut borders, but some useful conventions. About 30 years will give you statistically significant slopes, whereas shorter periods will give you slopes, whose error bars are several times larger than the slope, hence making the value practically meaningless in the context of climate. If you go for longer periods like 100 years or 1000 years you will get a slope with smaller error bars, but exclude any change in climate happening over human lifespan. Therefore 30 years: long enough to yield statistically significant slopes, short enough to capture current events.

    If the evidence is so compelling, why was any exaggeration of the facts deemed necessary?

    1) at the beginning, it was just CO2 is leading to warming with dire consequences
    2) later better understanding seeped in, amongst them the realization that climate does have tipping points, whether we will be able to trigger one or not
    3) Panic in the face of seeing how effective delayers were on the political level in the US. Imagine driving a ship in the fog. You are the only one able to read the radar screen and recognize, that you are heading towards an iceberg. Now imagine all you hear from the officers is “Nothing happened yet”, “Your screen is wonky”, “Even if we hit, we are unsinkable”, “We need to speed up, everyone will benefit, if we arrive early”, …

    As for agenda, you have read the Frank Luntz memo I linked to earlier in this thread, haven’t you?

    Finally, supplying code for Mie scattering is like providing code for trigonometric functions. It does not make you responsible for what people do with it. That’s what Hansen did in the case of Rasool.

  181. But instead, you would prefer to just go along believing your same complete and utter falsehoods while at the same time condemning the “other side” for the fact that anyone of them has ever made any exaggerations whatsoever

    I don’t care who you are, that has to be one of the funniest things posted here in a while. Actually… laugh out loud funny.

    Really funny. I actually seem to have recently lost a 20 year friend this month. She flew down to a climate conference in Mexico, and her facebook note said “kicking carbons butt”. I commented on that, as “ROFLMAO… and did EVERYONE fly to that conference?”. Yeah, that didn’t go over so well. Funny, isn’t it, how people who grew up well off because dad’s in the oil industry can grow up to hate the oil industry?

    But anyway… “complete and utter falsehoods” would HAVE to include the hockey stick, which most AGW believers that I know are astounded if you tell them was discredited… and the Arctic ice panics, and the Antarctic ice panics, and the acidification of the oceans panics, and the shutting down of the Gulf Stream panics, and the… oh you get the point.

    The whole thing REALLY would be funny if there wasn’t so much at stake! The absolutely draconian measures to “tackle” this phantom menace are easily more harmful than even the worst case scenarios (well, except for the ridiculously hyperbolic “tipping points”…)

  182. Steven Goddard (14:34:36) :

    Had you read the article more carefully you would have known that it includes a link to Dr. Pope’s original comments and that nowhere in the article did I make any claims that climate change is not real.

    No, you did not and I did not say so. My stating

    This is not the “blistering attack” you are looking for. Neither is the Met Office suddenly refuting AGW.

    (if this is the passage you took offense to) was directed at the general readership, I don’t see how I implied that you deny AGW. If there is another passage of mine you took offense to, please point it out to me.

    I think we can agree, Steven Goddard, that many readers on this blog do not believe that anthropogenic CO2 is a problem or in short, in AGW. Many of the comments imply the Met Office is backing away from AGW and is spanking the warmist extremists only. One can get the impression from reading the Guardian article by David Adam. One can get the impression from reading your blog post, too, as you chose to quote from Adam’s article only, instead of quoting the full, balanced comments of Dr. Pope. You chose to echo the distorted account by Adam to this blog, instead of the Met Office press release or Dr.Pope’s article in The Guardian (not sure whether the headline is hers or the editor’s). A link within the article you summarize will not absolve you from distorting Dr. Pope’s message by selective quoting, even if the selective quoting was done for you by Adam. You had the access to the full, in-context quotes of Dr. Pope; for whatever reason, you chose to report on the Adam article only. Looking at the comments above, you seem to know the general audience here, as with few exceptions everyone jumped on how Dr. Pope disses Hansen, how the Met Office is starting to turning around and so on; just those parts they want to hear.

  183. Anthony – cold weather in the UK and the dreadful weather forecasting record will likely have the UK MET office on the back foot. In Aberdeen we have had continuous cold weather since November with frost most nights – which is unusual for the last couple of decades. A foot of snow on the edge of town and great skiing in the mountains – this is the hardest winter for 20 years.

    Whilst it is too early to predict a shift in pattern, the likely cause for this years cold weather is a shift in the NAO. My climate concerned friends seem willing to accept this, but have a mental block when it comes to accepting that warm weather during the 90’s may in part be due to the NAO and AMO being set in “warm mode”.

    The University of Aberdeen are running a very high profile series of lectures titled “Energy Controversies”. Last week’s lecture, to be delivered by IPCC author Prof Pete Smith, had to be cancelled owing to severe weather conditions. Next week’s lecture on “Natural drivers of climate cycles” will be delivered by Dr Jim Buckee.

    The Scotsman covered this earlier this week.

    http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/Global-warming-is-not-our.4966808.jp#3748637

    In the discussion group attached to the series web site I’ve posted a few charts that the readers of WUWT may find interesting:

    http://energycontroversies.abdn.ac.uk/group/naturaldriversofclimatecycles/forum/topics/no-uncertainty-in

  184. One good point was

    “The criticism reflects mounting concern at the Met Office that the global warming debate risks being hijacked by people on both sides who push their own agendas and interests.”

    I think we are all to blame to some extent with this, even if it is just arguing in the pub, or on a blog / forum.

    Personally although I like the Met offices weather forecasts I don’t think much of their Hurricane forecasting nor their long range forecasts either. This winter has really shown how far out they can be.

    Regards

    Andy

  185. Smokey, this statement

    [Note that the “green” fuel, ethanol, requires 1.5 gallons to push a car as far as one gallon of gasoline — and it puts 50% more emissions into the atmosphere than gasoline while doing it.]

    is just Plumb Silly. How can I take anything you say, seriously, after that?

  186. Pamela Gray (06:38:22) :

    “The final “but we still believe in global warming” attachments to these “backing away from doom” articles makes me wonder if a significant part of their research funding came from Al Gore’s money machine. …”

    The UK met office funding is government based.
    The UK government is out of cash.
    They need a new revenue stream.
    You can work out the rest……

  187. … here’s a table showing the gross inaccuracy of climate models:

    And here is a graph showing the actual (as opposed to invented) IPCC projections [dotted lines] vs observations [red and blue lines] from Rahmstorf et al (2007), and here are Jim Hansen’s model projections from 1988, he favoured scenario B as ‘most plausible’.

    Here, Professor of Climatology Dr. Tim Ball deconstructs climate models: click

    Professor of Geography, actually. Since you mention his credentials, does Professor Ball speak with authority? here are the court papers from a libel suit that Professor Ball started after he was accused of falsifying his credentials, lacking ‘the academic background and qualifications to make serious comments on global warming’, and ‘viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist’. As Ball abandoned the case, one can only speculate as to why he chose not to defend his academic reputation under oath.

    And here is a peer-reviewed paper falsifying the AGW/CO2 hypothesis:

    Or could it be merely a rehash of the bogus ‘paper’ that was sent out with the Oregon Petition, published only in JPANDS and chock-full of bias and basic factual errors? OTOH, here is Naomi Oreskes literature review, in a sample of 928 academic papers from refereed scientific journals she found precisely zero that disagreed with the concensus.

    Bye for now…

  188. Andy, why do you like the Met Office’s forecasts?

    Anyone can say “Sunny periods with scattered showers”.

  189. bluegrue,
    You are nice AGW believer, but you are still an AGW believer.
    Please show anywhere in history that a climate tipping point exists.
    Please show any evidence we are reaching a ‘tipping point’.
    Hansen made specific predictions in 1988 that have not come true.
    AGW- the idea that human CO2 is going to cause a catastrophe, is untrue.
    The Met Office is backing away from that position, after promoting the same for many years.
    That they believe theyhave the credibility to *still* condemn skeptics is simple cover.

  190. AKD,
    Please post any historical evidence that shows the Earth has ever had a ‘stationary climate’.
    Watching the aGW faith fall apart is truly entertaining.

  191. Joel,
    Simply calling people who point out that Hansen was in fact involved with the AGC scare of the 1970’s ‘liars’ does not cover up the fact that he played an important role in that fear mongering.
    Hansen and Gore have been at the heart of selling AGW from the start. Both of them have been committed to selling this fear for decades.
    Not one of their predictions have come true.

  192. Flanagan:

    We obviously do not live on the same planet… Since taxes are going down can you tell me in what sense mitigation “costs money” to american citizens? Why not mention the ever-increasing price of oil and the incredible profits oil companies are making while the rest of us suffer?

    So on your planet, taxes are “going down,” and OPEC doesn’t merit a mention regarding the cost of oil, and the price of oil is less than half what it was only six months ago — and those putative “incredible profits” are available to you or anyone else who wishes to buy shares in their favorite oil company. O… K!

    Let me be the first to acknowledge that you’re right, Flanagan. We obviously don’t live on the same planet. Our sky is blue here, our atmosphere contains a trace of beneficial CO2, and the climate is well within normal parameters. So may I ask a question? Thanx: What color is the sky on your planet?

    Kum Dollison (01:23:43) :

    I took that fact directly out of the October 2006 issue of Consumer Reports, which had as its cover story: “The Ethanol Myth”.

    So, care to rethink your criticism? Or is it enough that the facts don’t align with your world view?

    Finally, F Rasmin says, “Al Gore… does not take money from people, they give it to him…”

    The very same thing could be said of Bernie Madoff, the Charles Ponzi of the new millennium. But taking people’s money based on a lie is still fraud, no? Al and Bernie are two peas in a pod when it comes to separating taxpayers from their money.

  193. bluegrue describes a messiah complex when he says:

    Panic in the face of seeing how effective delayers were on the political level in the US. Imagine driving a ship in the fog. You are the only one able to read the radar screen and recognize, that you are heading towards an iceberg. Now imagine all you hear from the officers is “Nothing happened yet”, “Your screen is wonky”, “Even if we hit, we are unsinkable”, “We need to speed up, everyone will benefit, if we arrive early”, …

    I think you have described a frustrated messiah accurately.

    BTW, shouldn’t it be grue-bleen?

  194. Someone may well have pointed this out in the comments already, but just in case, it is important to point out that Al Gore is in no way a “Nobel Prize-winning scientist.” He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (along with the IPCC) – a political award – not an award for scientific advance. Al Gore is a politician, former journalist and law school dropout. Gore has no scientific credentials whatsoever and is not a scientist. He has no more claim on scientific understanding of climate change than I do. I’ve read a lot of books and academic papers on the topic, but I have no degrees.

  195. Its getting clearer and clearer now, i hope many more will come out for the sake of real science. Distorting data to fit the political ambitions of the few is grossly unethical, for a scientist who swore to find truth through research, well what adjective can i say!

  196. Phil. (19:12:11) : Repeating the same untruths gets a bit old after a while!
    Certainly is a myth (I’d actually put it rather stronger). A complete fabrication.

    Well put, Phil! With cogent arguments such as this to consider, it’s a wonder how anyone could veer from the Truth.

  197. John Phillip,
    Is it that only climatologists are qualified to opinions on AGW, or is it that scientists who disagree with AGW should be sued?
    We know Hansen & pals want dissidents jailed, so I think we know the answer on that one.
    If we silence all but ‘climatologists’ from having public opinions on AGW, the public sqaure will get rather silent. But that is what AGW leadership wants, isn’t it?

  198. Joel Shore (11:33:34) :
    “Climate models aren’t based on extrapolations. They are based on physical principles.”
    Quite often I hear this argument, and its repetition will soon prompt a scream from me. It is hard for me to think of any scientific model that is not built on principles. Sometime these principles are physical; sometimes these are behavioral, but they are verified by laboratory or observational data. Even though based on principles, models still use extrapolations if they are to be used to help us in the future.
    You could build a model that projects how many miles could be driven by a car based on the number of barrels of crude oil delivered. There is no problem in estimating the number of gasoline gallons from the crude, and assuming certain engine efficiency and size of tires, etc., you could project the number of miles. And you could verify that in laboratory conditions.
    But now comes the real world. First, the crude oil source can have variability between sweet and sour crude, and your model may have some problems. Climate models encounter much more complexity than this example. The IPCC reports that fluctuations in solar energy had virtually no impact on climate since 1750. So, is this now a proven physical principle or an assumption? Climate certainly changed a lot in the past, and for hundred of years we saw a relationship between crop yields and the solar cycle. The various ways that the sun can affect our planet are not completely understood to say the least; we have a better understanding on the differences between sweet and sour crude. Second, we know that the efficiency of internal combustion engines depend upon temperatures, so results in the summer will be different than in the winter. In the example, we can observe the effect of the seasonal cycle every year, but in climate perhaps the most basic oscillation is one of seventy years, and we do not have high quality data on that. Meanwhile simultaneous oscillations are occurring at varying lengths, overlaps, and countercycles. Third, laboratory conditions are not replicated in the real world. We have stop signs, we need to change lanes, stop lights have varying durations; and these issues are not consistent as states change driving laws, as development increases congestion, and as roads are revised. In climate, we have weather fluctuations – do we just see fluctuations that can be mistaken for a trend? Basing your model on ten key physical principles may mean that you are ignoring an eleventh principle that is stimulating a trend. To what extent are land use changes in climate models? Fourth, when we compare our model projections versus observations over the past 100 years, we may notice a divergence. Perhaps we suggest that difference is due to potholes, and we look at less than 1% of the road miles driven over the past 100 years and see various estimates for number of potholes. We then use those pothole estimates to adjust the model outputs, and the divergence falls; but the real reason could have been driving habits or size of tires. In climate models, we plug in some scant and selective estimates of aerosols to reduce the divergence.
    Of course, the analogy is not perfect. (I will use another analogy for a key part of climate models: economic principles say that with tax cuts, people are able to save more money. Also when people save rather than spend, GDP goes down. So tax cuts lead to diminished GDP? Not so! Tax cuts also lead to simultaneous spending as well as savings. In climate models, increase CO2 is assumed to lead to increased water vapor for a positive feedback loop. But what if increased CO2 leads to more cloud cover? Or increased precipitation? We observe that air does not contain as much water vapor as it could even in the presence of abundant water. We have little understanding of this, much less model it.)
    And I have not even scratched the surface on issues that climate models could be missing. Climate varied in the past – why? Planetary alignments? Meteorites? Poorly understood solar impacts? Migrating magnetic poles? Are these past causes in the climate model? My point is that just because you start with physical principles does not mean that the model has all the necessary variables, nor does it mean that it does not contain assumptions of questionable validity, nor does it mean that it does not use extrapolations. IPCC scenarios have explicit and inherent assumptions on extrapolations on population growth, fuel choices, efficiencies, and so forth.

  199. bluegrue (00:15:37) : Please read the Hansen’s oral statement hosted on climateaudit and then tell me where Hansen does rely on a 10-year trend.

    OK, how about this?

    The warming is almost 0.4 degrees Centigrade relative to climatology, which is defined as the 30 year mean, 1950 to 1980 and, in fact, the warming is more than 0.4 degrees Centigrade in 1988

    Oh, dear! My mistake! He was basing it on eight years instead of 10!

    Oh, yeah!

    The rate of warming in the past 25 years … is the highest on record, The four warmest years … have all been in the 1980’s.

    And he damn well knew that many of those previous 25 years were part of a cooling period because he aided in the research. This is the first time I’ve seen him as actively dishonest!

    The period over which you look at the trend depends on what you are looking for. There are no clean-cut borders, but some useful conventions. About 30 years will give you statistically significant slopes, whereas shorter periods will give you slopes, whose error bars are several times larger than the slope …

    So then, using the logic put forth by Jimmy Boy in 1988, how would you characterize the past 8 years vis a vis the preceding 25?

    If the evidence is so compelling, why was any exaggeration of the facts deemed necessary?

    1) at the beginning, it was just CO2 is leading to warming with dire consequences
    2) later better … the realization that climate does have tipping points,
    3) Panic in the face of seeing how effective delayers were on the political level in the US. …

    Do you understand the difference between evidence and conjecture? These are statements that at best could be considered conclusions arising from assumptions. Where’s the evidence for these statements?

    Finally, supplying code for Mie scattering is like providing code for trigonometric functions. It does not make you responsible for what people do with it. That’s what Hansen did in the case of Rasool.

    Oh really? Then why didn’t he object to having his name associated with Rasool’s research? Are you quite sure the code wasn’t developed under Rasool’s lead?

  200. “So on your planet, taxes are “going down,” ”

    Tax cuts a big part of Obama’s $775B plan
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2008593863_stimulus06.html

    “and OPEC doesn’t merit a mention regarding the cost of oil”

    no, that’s exactly what I meant

    “and the price of oil is less than half what it was only six months ago”

    come back in 6 months

    “and those putative “incredible profits” ”

    Exxon again sets profits record (45 b$)
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/af23342e-eed9-11dd-bbb5-0000779fd2ac.html

    “are available to you or anyone else who wishes to buy shares in their favorite oil company.”

    how much of these 45 billion dollars go to your pocket, exactly?

  201. Brendan H (23:43:52) : Yes, the research was by Rasool. What made you think it was by Hansen

    Because he allowed his name to be associated with it.

  202. The reality is that extreme events arise FROM natural variations in the weather and climate . Period. End of sentence.
    ‘Climate change’ is not necessary. The nature of all stochastic processes is ‘variability’, which alone is sufficient to insure ‘extreme’ events absent any long-term trends in mean system parameters. ‘Extreme’ is, by definition, a relative term.

  203. Joel Shore (20:15:39) : Well, the problem is that the story gets more and more untruthful with each telling.

    Indeed! Please tell us again!

    to claim that Hansen…or any serious segment of the scientific community…actually thought CO2 would cause cooling is a distortion of the science on top of the gross distortion of Hansen’s connection to the science. Sorry if I actually like people to have some modicum of scientific and historical accuracy.

    Did you actually read my post that you are clipping from? I mean, if you really are after historical accuracy I’d think you would at least get the previous day straight.

    Hansen, by his account, wasn’t even thinking about the issue of climate change on earth at this time. (I think one can verify that he hadn’t published anything on it.) Given that he worked at NASA and was colleagues with those two folks and that he had a piece of code that he had written to do a calculation that they needed done, he let them use it.

    He just happened to be developing a piece of code to do climate research but thinking about the issue of climate change? Sure. And NO, he didn’t just lend it to them. Have you actually seen any of his code? The parts that he has released give clear indication that he writes ad hoc code and if it has any reusability it would require modification. As he doesn’t write clear code, it would require him becoming actively involved in modifications to support Rasool’s efforts. IOW: he developed specific code for that research and didn’t turn down any credit for it.

  204. John Philip (03:09:26) :
    here is Naomi Oreskes literature review, in a sample of 928 academic papers from refereed scientific journals she found precisely zero that disagreed with the concensus.

    Didn’t know anyone was still using Naomi’s outdated and admittedly flawed claims.

    http://www.dailytech.com/Survey+Less+Than+Half+of+all+Published+Scientists+Endorse+Global+Warming+Theory/article8641.htm

    Survey: Less Than Half of all Published Scientists Endorse Global Warming Theory

    Michael Asher – August 29, 2007

    Comprehensive survey of published climate research reveals changing viewpoints

    In 2004, history professor Naomi Oreskes performed a survey of research papers on climate change. Examining peer-reviewed papers published on the ISI Web of Science database from 1993 to 2003, she found a majority supported the “consensus view,” defined as humans were having at least some effect on global climate change. Oreskes’ work has been repeatedly cited, but as some of its data is now nearly 15 years old, its conclusions are becoming somewhat dated.

    Medical researcher Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte recently updated this research. Using the same database and search terms as Oreskes, he examined all papers published from 2004 to February 2007. The results have been submitted to the journal Energy and Environment, of which DailyTech has obtained a pre-publication copy. The figures are surprising.

    Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers “implicit” endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no “consensus.”

    The figures are even more shocking when one remembers the watered-down definition of consensus here. Not only does it not require supporting that man is the “primary” cause of warming, but it doesn’t require any belief or support for “catastrophic” global warming. In fact of all papers published in this period (2004 to February 2007), only a single one makes any reference to climate change leading to catastrophic results.

    These changing viewpoints represent the advances in climate science over the past decade. While today we are even more certain the earth is warming, we are less certain about the root causes. More importantly, research has shown us that — whatever the cause may be — the amount of warming is unlikely to cause any great calamity for mankind or the planet itself.

    Schulte’s survey contradicts the United Nation IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007), which gave a figure of “90% likely” man was having an impact on world temperatures. But does the IPCC represent a consensus view of world scientists? Despite media claims of “thousands of scientists” involved in the report, the actual text is written by a much smaller number of “lead authors.” The introductory “Summary for Policymakers” — the only portion usually quoted in the media — is written not by scientists at all, but by politicians, and approved, word-by-word, by political representatives from member nations. By IPCC policy, the individual report chapters — the only text actually written by scientists — are edited to “ensure compliance” with the summary, which is typically published months before the actual report itself.

    By contrast, the ISI Web of Science database covers 8,700 journals and publications, including every leading scientific journal in the world.

  205. hunter (03:13:50) :

    bluegrue,
    You are nice AGW believer, but you are still an AGW believer.

    You say that, as if this were a bad thing. I “believe” in lots of things. Unrelated to climate change, I “believe” for example in physics, quantum mechanics and electrodynamics. If you intended to use “believer” in the “unthinkingly echoing propaganda” kind of way, I resent that.

    Please show anywhere in history that a climate tipping point exists.

    Try for example V. Dakos et.al., Slowing down as an early warning signal for abrupt climate change, PNAS vol. 105 no. 38 14308-14312 (2008) (abstract). Amongst others, they investigate the desertification of the Sahara.

    Please show any evidence we are reaching a ‘tipping point’.

    I have not claimed so. However, I am rather reluctant to find out in a full scale experiment, whether or not we are able to shut down the gulf-stream (unlikely, IIRC, this requires about 4 times the pre-industrial atmospheric CO2-level), or whether there is such a thing as the Clathrate gun effect. I guess, that we would have to repeat it a few times over to show the effect is reproducible, in order to consider it being proven, right?

  206. Kum Dollison (01:23:43) From what I’ve read, Smokey is right. The number for fuel efficiency I remember is 1.42 gals ethanol=1 gal gasoline. I don’t know about emissions, some are produced in growing the crop for ethanol. Also, a comparison of oil shale vs. ethanol claimed 3 gals H2O used per 55 gals of oil produced vs. 300 gals of H2O per 55 gals of ethanol produced.

  207. hunter (03:17:58) :

    AKD,
    Please post any historical evidence that shows the Earth has ever had a ’stationary climate’.
    Watching the aGW faith fall apart is truly entertaining.

    Hunter, that was a quote from the NOAA press release that Simon posted as proof that Gore/NOAA considered the 1998 El Nino “natural variation.”

  208. DAV says:

    Oh really? Then why didn’t he object to having his name associated with Rasool’s research?

    Because he allowed his name to be associated with it.

    That is completely absurb! His name and how he helped appears in the “References and Notes” section. It would be bizarre to say, “You can use my code and any thoughts / advice I provide but don’t reference or acknowledge me in any way!”

    It is perfectly normal for a scientist to provide advice and code to his / her colleagues, particularly at the same institution, when they are knowledgeable in some area (such as, in this case, light scattering) that is relevant to the other person’s work. Then what they get is some sort of acknowledgement or, in this case, a reference to their assistance in the “notes and references” section. To claim that anyone who is acknowledged or referenced is responsible for the conclusions of the paper is ridiculous! As someone freely offering advice and code but not a co-author, Hansen would not have the power to change their conclusions even if he wanted to; in this case, there is no evidence that Hansen was yet interested enough in the climate problem to have formed a scientific opinion on it yet. Believe it or not, some people do not form scientific opinions without first studying the science well enough to have an informed scientific opinion. (Clearly, there are many other people around who don’t understand this approach to science.)

    He just happened to be developing a piece of code to do climate research but thinking about the issue of climate change? Sure. And NO, he didn’t just lend it to them. Have you actually seen any of his code? The parts that he has released give clear indication that he writes ad hoc code and if it has any reusability it would require modification. As he doesn’t write clear code, it would require him becoming actively involved in modifications to support Rasool’s efforts. IOW: he developed specific code for that research and didn’t turn down any credit for it.

    You have absolutely, positively no clue whatsoever what Mie scattering code is and yet you are spouting off about it as if you know what you are talking about! It is actually quite an amusing display! For your information, Mie scattering code is not just used for climate research. It is used to calculate the scattering from small particles. I have written Mie scattering code and I don’t do anything with it even closely related to climate research…I am working on various imaging and display devices and materials.

  209. E.M.Smith (14:24:42) :
    metrology, that lead to the fact that the Greeks and Egyptians had a measure named a ‘foot’ (pous) that is almost the same as the English foot. (Within a couple of mm 304.8 for the Engish, 304 mm for the Minoan, 308.4 for the Attic, 300 for the Egyptian and Phoenician, etc.)

    This lead me to the factoid that if you take the earth’s equatorial circumference in ‘feet’ (English) as 131479724.6 (from the wiki metric number, converted) and divide it by 360 x 1000 (call it minutes x seconds or call it 360 degrees) you get: 365.2214573

    Gee, that looks familiar, I think… Dividing by ‘tropical year days’ of 365.2422 gives 99.994% agreement. Hmmmm….

    Numerology? Or did those Ancient Greeks & British Druids know something? Is the ‘foot’ perhaps a bit more rational than mythology asserts?

    “Knight outlines a procedure for Neolithic astronomers to make a Venus Pendulum.

    * trace a circle on the ground using Megalithic Pi (732/233)
    * mark off one Megalithic Degree of azimuth on the circumference using Megalithic Pi.
    * Place two poles on the ends of the Degree and a sighting pole in the circle’s center.
    * Standing at the sighting pole observe Venus’s motion between the marker poles.
    * As Venus moves through the Megalithic Degree swing a pendulum and count the beats.
    * The goal is to count 366 beats during Venus’s transit of the poles from start to finish.
    * adjust the length the length of the cord if too many or few beat are counted and recount until 366 are counted
    * The length of a pendulum calibrated this way is 0.5MY(Megalithic Yard) at 60° N with an error of 0.002%.

    Mathematically a Megalithic Degree is 1/366 part of a Venusian Day, which is the time for Venus to trace one complete circle across the sky. At maximum retrograde Venus is moving slower than the background stars so a Venusian Day is slightly longer than a Sidereal Day and a Megalithic Degree of the Venusian Day lasts 236.2486s. Into this measure of time, 366 beats of 0.5MY Venus pendulum fit very precisely. Venus’s retrograde motion was determined by Neolithic astronomers in Megalithic observatories such as Newgrange in Ireland which uses three interlocking carved spirals to perform astronomical calculations by geometric methods. Ancedotally, a number of small weights are present at all Megalithic sites which may be discarded pendulum bobs.”

    What I love about that system is that it reconciles time, space, gravity, angular momentum, latitude, and the analogue-quantum duality in one neat operation.
    That, Pythagoras’ number system and the Antikythera Instrument give me a profound respect for the knowledge of the ancients.

  210. AKD (07:23:41) :

    Hunter, that was a quote from the NOAA press release that Simon posted as proof that Gore/NOAA considered the 1998 El Nino “natural variation.”

    That’s not quite what I said, which was “Looks like ‘they’ were recognising the impact of natural variation when the global temperatures soared high as well!” Very obviously, natural variation has an impact. It’s clear that NOAA considered the combination of a background warming trend together with a natural peak as accounting for the 1998 temperatures. By the same token, the combination of a background warming trend with a natural trough will produce a temperature that is not as low as it would be otherwise.

  211. AKD,
    That is not what you said.
    You said there was a staionary climate condition.
    Please tell us where you found out about a stationary climate condition.

  212. bluegrue,
    We all believe in a lot of things.
    The issue is AGW, not physics.
    So now the climate change is slowing down?
    According to Hansen & pals, the climate change is giong much faster than previously thought, indicating a tipping point is nigh.
    But now if climate change slows down, it means a tipping point is nigh.
    And bringing up shutting down the Gulf Stream is about as credible as cliaming we willbecome Venus-like: Not at all.
    Falling for the precautionary fallacy is not something I believe in, however.

  213. hunter (09:04:37) :

    AKD,
    That is not what you said.
    You said there was a staionary climate condition.
    Please tell us where you found out about a stationary climate condition.

    You are misunderstanding AKD’s post (I think he’s ‘on your side’!). He was quoting from a link I gave to a NOAA release on the 1997/8 El Nino. You are absolutely right that ‘stationary climate’ is a really dumb statement. I guess NOAA meant something like ‘climate not influenced by anthropogenic forcings’, but whoever wrote it was clearly having a bad day. The link was here:-

    http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/stories/sir3.html

  214. Stefan (16:02:21) :

    “Ron de Haan wrote:
    However, we are able to give a range of possible outcomes of the world’s actions and to assign probabilities to these, and climate projections should be treated as an assessment of risk”.

    Stefan,
    I did not write the above scentence.
    It is text from the MetOffice website and it is written by Mr. Pope

  215. An Inquirer (05:48:14) :

    “My point is that just because you start with physical principles does not mean that the model has all the necessary variables, nor does it mean that it does not contain assumptions of questionable validity, nor does it mean that it does not use extrapolations. IPCC scenarios have explicit and inherent assumptions on extrapolations on population growth, fuel choices, efficiencies, and so forth.”

    It’s even worse than this. Most GCMs use essentially the same computational approach as NWP codes, and yet their proponents claim them to be well-posed mathematical problems. In fact, these software behemoths are laden with all sorts of unphysical numerical tricks (e.g. Shapiro filters, mass and energy “fixers”, etc. etc.) just to get them to time-march without blowing up. Soon no one can pretend to understand how the entire system works because all sorts of models are hung off a core solver that itself may have numerical properties which are poorly understood.

    Then there’s the GISS Model E, the quintessential undocumented research jcode…no one seems to know what equations it’s solving or cares to write them down. That doesn’t stop the researchers from publishing though since nobody reviewing their manuscripts demands to see evidence that their codes are properly documented and validated.

  216. Flanagan:

    The “tipping point” you mention is the one where autocatalytic loops come into action. For example; CO2-induced increase in temperatures is supposed to increase the water vapor pressure (not me, Clausius-Clapeyron) which in turn leads to increased water content of the atmosphere:

    which in turn leads to an increased T, since H2O is a strong greenhouse gas.

    Autocatalyic loops? Is there a shred of evidence that such a phenomenon actually exists?
    If a CO2-induced increase in temperature can trigger such a loop, how come a water vapor-induced increase in temperature does not?
    Not to mention diurnal and inter-seasonal increases in temperature, which are far, far greater than the supposed CO2-induced increase.
    If large diurnal and/or seasonal increases in temperature don’t take us way past the so-called tipping points, at least on a local level, how can we expect CO2 to?

  217. Doesn’t water vapor have holes in its absorption bands similar to co2? Also isn’t water vapor less stable? It’s hard to see how excess water vapor could lead to runaway global warming. I could see it leading to more cloudiness and rain. What about dry desert areas? Would they be exempt from runaway global warming?

  218. The Daily Telegraph’s Environment Editor has take to task the Northern Ireland environment minister for refusing to allow a “propaganda” video to be shown on Ulster TV. Details here …
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/charlesmoore/4610478/Climate-change-When-evidence-battles-with-belief.html
    “So when Sammy Wilson, interestingly enough also a member of the low-church Protestant tradition, prefers to act on what he believes, rather than the balance of the evidence, we recognise where he is coming from, but he looks daft.”
    Never occurs to this twit apparently that exactly the same accusation could be levelled against him!

  219. Joel Shore

    Although we sit on the opposite sides of the climate fence I believe you are right in your defence of Hansen and the piece of code. From what I have researched in the past for other posts, someone just borrowed a small part of his code to do some work completely unconnected with Hansen, and which he had no further control over. As you say, it would be usual to let a colleague use a piece of your work in this way rather than make them start from scratch. Hansen is guilty of many things perhaps but not this one.
    DAV, I would just leave this one alone if I were you.

    TonyB

  220. schnurrp:

    It’s hard to see how excess water vapor could lead to runaway global warming.

    Apparently it can, but only if triggered by a CO2-induced temperature increase – go figure!

  221. This is encouraging. It is clear that there has been a trend of climate change over the last decades, however, it is ridiculous to listen to the doomsday “false prophets” such as Al Gore who predict sweeping changes and mass extinctions because of such changes. The Earth has clearly sustained larger climate changes than this.

    However, humans still do need to take care to reduce pollution created by industry and other artificial means.

  222. According to Al “The Bore” Gore, whose 2nd claim to fame is that he is close to the “Annointed one”, when the Polar Ice Cape melts, half of the Earth will be under water, as it was so many millenia ago. But, in view of the fact that most of the Arctic and Antarctic Ice Caps are comprised of “Sea Ice”, and are not land masses”, all of you out there should perform a very simple experiment.

    Put a lot of ice cubes in a big glass, and fill it with water to the absolute brim. Set it down on a counter and walk away. When you return, say, 2 hours later, guess what? Not a single drop has overflowed the rim of the glass. Gore’s most “Inconvenient Truth” is the ” Law of Displacement”. That’s also how 50,000 ton steel Battleships stay afloat. Sorry Gore! You are still the No. 1 “Bore.”

  223. Joel Shore (08:16:21) : That is completely absurb!

    Actually what is completely absurd is your attitude. The claim is anthropogenic influence on current weather. Where I come from, allegation should be backed up with facts. The only fact from you and your cohorts so far is the lack of facts. We skeptics aren’t required to prove anything. The burden of proof lies on your side of the net. Warming/Cooling/Change from natural causes is the default and doesn’t require any proof. As yet, I see only bald statements and assurances that the proof “Is Out There”. (** the moving goal posts don’t help your cause either **)

    Your efforts aren’t much different than a prosecuting attorney stating that the police have investigated and the consensus is: the defendant is guilty. Therefore the need for evidence presentation is unnecessary for the jury to decide!

    Unfortunately for you, the jury isn’t as dumb as you think and would like to see that evidence. Do you have any? What convinced YOU? Is it that hard to say?

    Oh, yeah! It’s not the jurys job to go to the police for their gathered evidence. That’s what the prosecuting attorney is supposed to do after which that information is presented to the jury. If the prosecutor can’t or is unwilling then it is the jury’s obligation to acquit.

    I really have to wonder what it is you hoped to accomplish by coming here. Hopefully, it wasn’t just silly, trollish disruption because that only reinforces the idea you haven’t anything. I don’t mind you wasting my time but you certainly have been wasting yours. You have evidence to present? Do you have anything beyond trivialities and irrelevancies? Make your case. Put up or shut up.

  224. hunter (09:20:36) :

    So now the climate change is slowing down?

    Huh? Where do you have that from?

    But now if climate change slows down, it means a tipping point is nigh.

    I think you have completely misunderstood the paper that I have linked to. They were able to show, that autocorrelation in the climate proxies increased (i.e. variability slowed down, not trends) prior to some abrupt climate change events they investigated. The time resolution of the proxies was way longer than 30 years, so we would not even know right now, at which variability to look. Nice tool to investigate events long past, but not applicable to our current situation.

    @ Peter and schnurrp
    An excess of water vapor will rain out within a few days to weeks. CO2 stays in the atmosphere for decades.

  225. llabesab (12:36:02) :

    According to Al “The Bore” Gore, whose 2nd claim to fame is that he is close to the “Annointed one”, when the Polar Ice Cape melts, half of the Earth will be under water, as it was so many millenia ago. But, in view of the fact that most of the Arctic and Antarctic Ice Caps are comprised of “Sea Ice”, and are not land masses”

    Are you being serious? Antarctica is a continent! 14.4 million km² of land covered in ice averaging at least 1.6km thick! Greenland is more than 2 million km² with a volume of about 2.85 million km3 of ice on it! The volume of sea ice is an absolutely tiny proportion of the volume of the land-based ice sheets.

    You have been very seriously misinformed, it seems.

  226. Casandra King wrote:
    “The new media has played a huge part in the demise of ‘the big lies’ people who used to have to rely on the MSM for its news now get their information from the net uncensored and complete,”

    The empire strikes back: Here’s a one-page article,”Manufacturing Confusion” by Clive Thompson, a properly polished pebble, found on p. 38 of the February issue of “Wired,” and online at:
    http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/17-02/st_thompson
    (The author’s e-mail is: clive@clivethompson.net. )
    (I wish a thread discussing this will be set up.)

    “Here’s the article, in full:

    Is global warming caused by humans? Is Barack Obama a Christian? Is evolution a well-supported theory?

    You might think these questions have been incontrovertibly answered in the affirmative, proven by settled facts. But for a lot of Americans, they haven’t. Among Republicans, belief in anthropogenic global warming declined from 52 percent to 42 percent between 2003 and 2008. Just days before the election, nearly a quarter of respondents in one Texas poll were convinced that Obama is a Muslim. And the proportion of Americans who believe God did not guide evolution? It’s 14 percent today, a two-point decline since the ’90s, according to Gallup.

    What’s going on? Normally, we expect society to progress, amassing deeper scientific understanding and basic facts every year. Knowledge only increases, right?

    Robert Proctor doesn’t think so. A historian of science at Stanford, Proctor points out that when it comes to many contentious subjects, our usual relationship to information is reversed: Ignorance increases.

    He has developed a word inspired by this trend: agnotology. Derived from the Greek root agnosis, it is “the study of culturally constructed ignorance.”

    As Proctor argues, when society doesn’t know something, it’s often because special interests work hard to create confusion. Anti-Obama groups likely spent millions insisting he’s a Muslim; church groups have shelled out even more pushing creationism. The oil and auto industries carefully seed doubt about the causes of global warming. And when the dust settles, society knows less than it did before.

    “People always assume that if someone doesn’t know something, it’s because they haven’t paid attention or haven’t yet figured it out,” Proctor says. “But ignorance also comes from people literally suppressing truth—or drowning it out—or trying to make it so confusing that people stop caring about what’s true and what’s not.”

    After years of celebrating the information revolution, we need to focus on the countervailing force: The disinformation revolution. The ur-example of what Proctor calls an agnotological campaign is the funding of bogus studies by cigarette companies trying to link lung cancer to baldness, viruses—anything but their product.

    Think of the world of software today: Tech firms regularly sue geeks who reverse-engineer their code to look for flaws. They want their customers to be ignorant of how their apps work.

    Even the financial meltdown was driven by ignorance. Credit-default swaps were designed not merely to dilute risk but to dilute knowledge; after they’d changed hands and been serially securitized, no one knew what they were worth.

    Maybe the Internet itself has inherently agnotological side effects. People graze all day on information tailored to their existing worldview. And when bloggers or talking heads actually engage in debate, it often consists of pelting one another with mutually contradictory studies they’ve Googled: “Greenland’s ice shield is melting 10 years ahead of schedule!” vs. “The sun is cooling down and Earth is getting colder!”

    As Farhad Manjoo notes in True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society, if we argue about what a fact means, we’re having a debate. If we argue about what the facts are, it’s agnotological Armageddon, where reality dies screaming.

    Can we fight off these attempts to foster ignorance? Despite his fears about the Internet’s combative culture, Proctor is optimistic. During last year’s election, campaign-trail lies were quickly exposed via YouTube and transcripts. The Web makes secrets harder to keep.

    We need to fashion information tools that are designed to combat agnotological rot. Like Wikipedia: It encourages users to build real knowledge through consensus, and the result manages to (mostly) satisfy even people who hate each other’s guts. Because the most important thing these days might just be knowing what we know.”

  227. In order for a loop to be autocatalytic to be a loop wouldn’t the water vapor have to have an effect on the co2 as well? Wouldn’t this looping self-catalysis be necessary for a runaway warming event? Could this be an example of temperature driving co2?

  228. Sorry……..In order for a loop to be autocatalytic wouldn’t the water vapor have to have an effect on the co2 as well? Wouldn’t this looping self-catalysis be necessary for a runaway warming event? Could this be an example of temperature driving co2?

  229. bluegrue,
    But one of the AGW big talking points of consensus is that climate variability is increasing. AGW, when examined , always breaks down into this sort of exceptionalism: “We know that “X” is a fer sure sign of AGW, but “Y” is just natural variability that still shows AGW is true.”
    As to CO2 in the atmospehre for decades, I am not so sure on that one. But since it is, like other GHGs, logarithmic in its effect, if it spikes up until we develop post fossil fuel high quality energy sources, we will muddle through somehow. AGW believers should be very happy that the Met is coming out strongly against apocalyptic and catastrophic hype. The lack of both in our future means we can work towards policies that actually clean the environment without being panicked by charlatans.

  230. Has anyone got data on the balance of precipitation/glacier melt for Antarctica? There seems to be a lot of alarmism about ice melt without recognition that this is a continuous process as snow falls on the continent and is recycled back to sea by the glaciers.

  231. Peter:

    “Autocatalyic loops? Is there a shred of evidence that such a phenomenon actually exists?”

    Yes, of course! Increase in temperature means increase in the amount of water that can be stored in the atmosphere – Clausius-Clapeyron law, about 200 years old (if not more).

    “If a CO2-induced increase in temperature can trigger such a loop, how come a water vapor-induced increase in temperature does not?”

    Water does not stay long in the atmosphere and thus cannot induce long-term forcings.

    “Not to mention diurnal and inter-seasonal increases in temperature, which are far, far greater than the supposed CO2-induced increase. If large diurnal and/or seasonal increases in temperature don’t take us way past the so-called tipping points, at least on a local level, how can we expect CO2 to?”

    First, climatologic trends are not local oscillations. There is a huge difference between having one day with, say, 1 degree less than average and having 30 years with 1 degrees lower than average – the probability that it is a simple random fluctuation is very different.

  232. DAV (12:50:07) :

    Joel Shore (08:16:21) : That is completely absurb!

    Actually what is completely absurd is your attitude. The claim is anthropogenic influence on current weather. Where I come from, allegation should be backed up with facts. The only fact from you and your cohorts so far is the lack of facts. We skeptics aren’t required to prove anything. The burden of proof lies on your side of the net. Warming/Cooling/Change from natural causes is the default and doesn’t require any proof. As yet, I see only bald statements and assurances that the proof “Is Out There”. (** the moving goal posts don’t help your cause either **)

    The evidence is here:

    htpp://www.ipcc.ch

    There’s more since, but that will get you started.

    You don’t like that evidence? You don’t trust it? Tough. If you reject any evidence that is offered then clearly it is impossible to give you evidence. If you want to discuss the eveidence then do so, but your claim that there is no evidence is, to use your word, ‘absurd’.

    You are sadly mistaken in your judgment of who needs to ‘prove’ (as you put it) something. All scientific bodies of practical significance are persuaded of the threat of AGW and all governments of practical significance are persuaded of their judgment. If you want to have that judgment reassessed then you’d better come up with some science.

    Your ‘natural default’ argument is specious, equivalent to suggesting that the bushfires in Victoria must only have been caused by nature and that the evidence of arson is irrelevant.

    I really have to wonder what it is you hoped to accomplish by coming here.

    Actually, I also wonder what Joel, or I, seek to accomplish here. We’re probably making a mistake and would be better to let the faithful majority here delight themselves in their own confirmation bias. It’s quite amusing to hear some demand that there should be debate and then to see the very same people fall back upon ad hominem attacks when debate is offered.

    Your ‘side’ needs to come up with some substantive science to challenge the prevailing assessment. What’s it to be today? Is it the sun, stupid? Or is it that CO2 was actually higher in the 1930s? Or is it that the climate isn’t sensitive? Or is it cosmic rays? Or maybe the PDO? Or else perhaps that the temperature record has been made up anyway? Or is it that CO2 and warming is a good thing really? Or is it that we’re actually entering a cooling phase? Which of any of these self-contradictory lines will be pursued today, and never any of them criticised by the majority here who comically term themselves ‘sceptics’?.

    Short of something that hangs together (and that you might actually agree upon!), you’re just howling in the winds of change. I doubt that governments will mitigate at the pace I think they need to, but mitigate they will, and your declaring that you’ve ‘seen no proof’ when others have looked at the evidence and made their decisions based on it will make no difference. The biggest evidence will be the evolution of the climate, and that is inexorable.

  233. An excess of water vapor will rain out within a few days to weeks. CO2 stays in the atmosphere for decades.

    But what makes it an excess if its greenhouse gas effect raises the global temperature? And why won’t the supposed positive feedback by water vapour to CO2 be rained out in the same way?

    The atmosphere can’t tell if the temperature was raised by CO2 or excess water vapour.

  234. bluegrue:

    An excess of water vapor will rain out within a few days to weeks. CO2 stays in the atmosphere for decades.

    Yes, it will rain out, thereby lowering the temperature. This, in my book, makes it more likely to be a negative feedback than a positive one.
    Besides which, it is soon replaced by more water vapor. I fail to see how a molecule which remains in the atmosphere for years behaves any differently, while it’s in the atmosphere, to one which is replaced every few days by another.

  235. I’m just glad that the coming ice age predicted in the 1970’s by the ‘experts’ didn’t last long.
    Phew!

    This is also basically a myth as discussed here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/03/the-global-cooling-mole/langswitch_lang/in (And, I can add that I did a similar search myself of the literature but restricted just to papers in Science magazine and came up with qualitatively similar conclusions.) While you can always find a few scientists who made certain predictions (the Rasool and Schneider paper that I noted being an example), there doesn’t seem to be any period of time around then when claims of global cooling in the peer-reviewed literature were in the majority over global warming (let alone any consensus on the point). [In fact, Rasool and Schneider didn’t even seem to be all that convinced of their own result, as was especially clear in their subsequent reply to a comment on their paper, let alone convincing a lot of others.]

    And, a study by the National Academy of Sciences in the mid-1970s rightly concluded that, although we understood many of the competing influences on the climate, we could not yet predict which one would dominate (and how large its effect would be). So, the moral of the story is that the mechanisms of evaluating the science worked: The NAS made the right call in regards to the uncertainties that they felt were still present at the time. Compare this to what they (and the analogous academies in the other twelve G8+5 nations) say today: http://www.leopoldina-halle.de/cms/fileadmin/user_upload/G8_Statement_Climate.pdf

  236. TonyB says:

    Joel Shore

    Although we sit on the opposite sides of the climate fence I believe you are right in your defence of Hansen and the piece of code.

    Thanks, Tony! It sometimes gets frustrating when I feel that I can’t get people to agree with me on the most clear and obvious points. I am glad to hear that my efforts are not all in vain!

  237. Simon Evans,
    As always, AGW beleivers end up simply arguing fromauthority. The problems with the IPCC are very well documented. And since it is a political document, what you are saying is that AGW is a political movement that you wish to enforce by political means. AGW don’t need no pesky facts.

  238. Alan Wilkinson says:

    But what makes it an excess if its greenhouse gas effect raises the global temperature? And why won’t the supposed positive feedback by water vapour to CO2 be rained out in the same way?

    The atmosphere can’t tell if the temperature was raised by CO2 or excess water vapour.

    The point is that changing the temperature changes the “equilibrium” value for the amount of water vapor. I.e., the amount of water in the atmosphere (and available to be evaporated into the atmosphere) and the rate at which water vapor goes from liquid to vapor and vice versa are so large that it will at least be a long time before we humans could put it into the atmosphere at a rate sufficient to significantly alter the total amount in the atmosphere. Instead, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is controlled by, or “slave to”, the temperature. So, the way that we can affect that amount is too cause a change in temperature, e.g., through increasing the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Of course, another mechanism that raised the temperature, such as increasing solar luminosity, would cause the same effect. [I put “equilibrium” in quotes because it is probably a bit of a misuse of the term in describing a system that isn’t really that close to equilibrium…perhaps “steady-state” would be a better term.]

  239. What about the effect of evaporation on global temperature? I can only assume that any possible cooling effect is canceled out by the night time warming effect of the resultant water vapor in the atmosphere. Is this how it works? You don’t hear much mentioned about the cooling effect of evaporation or plant transpiration either. Deserts are hot in the daytime because there is no water to evaporate and so they are cold at night because there is no water vapor to catch the infrared rays being emitted from the ground. Is this an example of relative importance of co2 vs. water vapor as a greenhouse gas? CO2 concentrations are fairly well uniform everywhere aren’t they?

  240. Simon Evans (13:55:33) : The evidence is here: htpp://www.ipcc.ch

    I see. The prosecutor and his assistant tell the jury the evidence is right here in this file. We are convinced so should you be. No need to be specific or explain what why we think it proof. You should rely entirely upon the police as they are experts.

    So you can’t summarize what is in there that has YOU convinced? We are supposed to guess so you can say “Oh no! That’s not it! Or is this a situation similar to “God exists! The evidence is right here in my Bible! Just read and you will Believe!” In any case, I can only assume that your lack of willingness to itemize the basis of your belief is ultimate proof that it is baseless or cannot be substantiated without unwarranted appeal to authority.

    All scientific bodies of practical significance are persuaded of the threat of AGW and all governments of practical significance are persuaded of their judgment

    Another appeal to authority. There is good reason why it is called fallacious argument.

    Actually, I also wonder what Joel, or I, seek to accomplish here. We’re probably making a mistake and would be better to let the faithful majority here delight themselves in their own confirmation bias.

    What is reinforcing is the lack of genuine evidence from you. The charge is anthropomorphic climate change. Instead of evidence we get assertions that evidence exists and that others have found this compelling. As if, for some reason, science is something to be voted upon.

    Your ’side’ needs to come up with some substantive science to challenge the prevailing assessment. What’s it to be today?

    What it is today is the same as it was yesterday, yesterweek and yesteryear: show that the warming of the latter part of the 20th century is not natural cycle. You can’t, can you?

    —-

    If you can’t summarize YOUR reasons for YOUR belief I think you are doomed to waste YOUR time.

  241. “Think of the world of software today: Tech firms regularly sue geeks who reverse-engineer their code to look for flaws. They want their customers to be ignorant of how their apps work.

    Thanks for that. I laughed out loud. Can’t believe an author would talk about “big oil” carefully seeding money to control the minds of the ignorant masses and then include that gem a few paragraphs later.

  242. Peter says:

    If a CO2-induced increase in temperature can trigger such a loop, how come a water vapor-induced increase in temperature does not?

    It can, but as discussed above, it is very difficult to put water vapor into the atmosphere fast enough by any direct method. Hence, there is the indirect method by which some other mechanism that causes warming (such as additional CO2 or an increase in solar radiation) causes an increase in water vapor which then leads to more warming and thus to more increase in water vapor and so forth. Note, however, that this isn’t predicted to lead to a runaway effect on earth…rather what you get is a converging series, e.g., something like 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + … , which converges to 2.

    Not to mention diurnal and inter-seasonal increases in temperature, which are far, far greater than the supposed CO2-induced increase.
    If large diurnal and/or seasonal increases in temperature don’t take us way past the so-called tipping points, at least on a local level, how can we expect CO2 to?

    The tipping points that are of interest are things like the melting of permafrost in areas that have it releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases, or melting of land or sea ice causing a decrease in albedo, or sufficient such melting causing freshwater to accumulate in the north Atlantic at a rate sufficient to cause a slowdown or stoppage of the thermahaline currents. These are not things that depend on the diurnal or seasonal temperature oscillations at a local level.

  243. Actually, I also wonder what Joel, or I, seek to accomplish here. We’re probably making a mistake and would be better to let the faithful majority here delight themselves in their own confirmation bias.

    Whatever you seek to accomplish, you’re clearly failing.

    Over the past several years there have been quite a number of people commenting here who say that they were formerly in the climate alarmist camp, but after seeing the other side of the argument, they’ve now come to understand that the AGW/CO2 hypothesis has no solid evidence in the real world to support it.

    I don’t recall even one comment from someone who was a long time skeptic, but because of the endless arguments from the handful of believers in the AGW/CO2 hypothesis, has now recanted and become one of Al Gore’s new acolytes.

    I’m not saying such a creature doesn’t exist, because I haven’t read every post. But I have read plenty of comments from folks who’ve been swayed by the skeptical arguments here.

    And you are simply engaging in psychological projection by accusing everyone else here of ‘confirmation bias’ — which you can find in spades at RealClimate, where opposing views are routinely censored.

    Finally, the attempt to keep turning the Scientific Method on its head is something that should always be reined in:

    Your ’side’ needs to come up with some substantive science to challenge the prevailing assessment.

    That’s flat wrong. Skeptics have nothing to prove. The ‘prevailing assessment’ is that the climate is well within its normal and natural historical parameters. The burden is on the purveyors of the new AGW/CO2 runaway global warming, tipping point, climate catastrophe hypothesis, to show that a change in a minor trace gas must be fought with $Trillions in burdensome new taxes — including the UN’s proposed new “World Tax” aimed squarely at working people in the industrialized countries [over a hundred countries – including China and Russia – would be exempt from the UN’s World Tax].

    The abject failure to show that the AGW/CO2 hypothesis exists anywhere outside of always-inaccurate computer models is the reason more and more people are migrating to the skeptical position. There is more chance of the scales falling from your own eyes, than there is of your impotent and endless arguments trying to convince the rest of us that black is white, down is up, evil is good, and global warming causes global cooling.

    But by all means, keep trying. WUWT can always use the extra hits, and you do keep us on our toes.

  244. Smokey (14:44:58) :

    Your ’side’ needs to come up with some substantive science to challenge the prevailing assessment.

    That’s flat wrong. Skeptics have nothing to prove. The ‘prevailing assessment’ is that the climate is well within its normal and natural historical parameters. The burden is on the purveyors of the new AGW/CO2 runaway global warming, tipping point, climate catastrophe hypothesis, to show that a change in a minor trace gas must be fought with $Trillions in burdensome new taxes —

    I think you have misunderstood my point. Last time I checked, just about every government in the world is persuaded of the need to ‘do something about’ AGW (whether they will do enough is another question, of course). Therefore, practically, I’d suggest your side needs to come up with some science if you wish to change those positions.

    You’re welcome to rather bizarrely state that “The ‘prevailing assessment’ is that the climate is well within its normal and natural historical parameters” – I’m pleased for you that you think so – but that doesn’t appear to be a view that is shared by those who will make the policy decisions.

    As for “$Trillions in burdensome new taxes”, btw, you really do need to do some reading – you’re simply being alarmist!

  245. hunter (14:24:45) :

    Simon Evans,
    As always, AGW beleivers end up simply arguing fromauthority. The problems with the IPCC are very well documented. And since it is a political document, what you are saying is that AGW is a political movement that you wish to enforce by political means. AGW don’t need no pesky facts.

    Have you actually read the AR4, hunter? You feel it’s short on facts? How many of the papers it references have you read? You feel their simply expressions of a ‘political movement’?

    It is pointless referencing the evidence if you have already decided that you will reject any evidence that is pointed to.

  246. DAV: “Make your case. Put up or shut up.”

    Calm down mate. Just because you lost the argument is no reason to spit the dummy.

    Joel Shore has made a convincing case that Hansen provided a tool for a colleague’s research, a tool that was not specifically related to the research in question. Another poster has confirmed that this is normal scientific practice.

    All you’ve got to offer is your animus against Hansen.

  247. DAV (14:37:17) :

    Simon Evans (13:55:33) : The evidence is here: htpp://www.ipcc.ch

    I see. The prosecutor and his assistant tell the jury the evidence is right here in this file. We are convinced so should you be. No need to be specific or explain what why we think it proof. You should rely entirely upon the police as they are experts.

    Nonsense – you can read the evidence if you wish to. You can look up the papers referenced. You can do what any scientists would do, which is to analyse and assess what is put before them.

    So you can’t summarize what is in there that has YOU convinced? We are supposed to guess so you can say “Oh no! That’s not it! Or is this a situation similar to “God exists! The evidence is right here in my Bible! Just read and you will Believe!”

    Cut out the rhetorical scorn – we are supposedly discussing scientific matters here, not running for election. I can summarise as much as I like, and have done elsewhere on this blog, but I think you should do some reading. Then you can talk about what you question in it rather than just asserting that you’ve been shown no evidence! I don’t imagine for an instant that you’ll ‘believe’ (I don’t ‘believe’, certainly not with the unshakeable conviction that many here seem to believe in ‘the sun’ or whatever), but at least you can then say you’ve read the evidence and challenge it for whatever reason rather than asserting there is no evidence.

    In any case, I can only assume that your lack of willingness to itemize the basis of your belief is ultimate proof that it is baseless or cannot be substantiated without unwarranted appeal to authority.

    Cobblers. If you think that referencing evidence is an ‘appeal to authority’ then we are clearly talking a different language.

    All scientific bodies of practical significance are persuaded of the threat of AGW and all governments of practical significance are persuaded of their judgment

    Another appeal to authority. There is good reason why it is called fallacious argument.

    Nope, it wasn’t. You should read more carefully. I was stating the practical position. It makes no difference whether or not such bodies are composed of the sort of dubious ‘authorities’ that are so often lauded on this site, with all the sycophantic deference that is shown to them here. The fact is that you would need some science to change their minds, regardless of whether or not they are authorities.

    blah blah…..

    show that the warming of the latter part of the 20th century is not natural cycle. You can’t, can you?

    In the sense that I can’t prove there are no fairies at the bottom of my garden, you are absolutely correct.

    REPLY: Simon that last sentence was really disingenuous, your contempt for addressing the poster’s question is not at all impressive. -Anthony

  248. Joel Shore Simon Evans and Mary Hinge.

    As far as I am concerned it is great to hear an alternative point of view to my own, that is usualy well considered and backed up by good links. It keeps us all on our toes reading the links and countering them. You are very welcome and I hope the serious debate, held in a civilised atmosphere, continues.

    Tonyb

  249. Joel Shore:

    The tipping points that are of interest are things like the melting of permafrost in areas that have it releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases

    If you had read my whole posting, you would have seen that it was in response to the following comment from Flanagan:

    The “tipping point” you mention is the one where autocatalytic loops come into action. For example; CO2-induced increase in temperatures is supposed to increase the water vapor pressure (not me, Clausius-Clapeyron) which in turn leads to increased water content of the atmosphere:

    which in turn leads to an increased T, since H2O is a strong greenhouse gas.

    Nothing there about permafrost, etc.

    In any case, the melting of the permafrost, insofar as it happens, is an event which is both localized and seasonal. What difference does a fraction of a degree rise in average temperature have, especially when the local average temperature is too low to melt anything – notwithstanding the energy required to overcome the latent heat of melting.
    And even if part of the permafrost did melt, the residence time of methane in the atmosphere is comparatively very short

  250. Simon Evans: “…you’re just howling in the winds of change.”

    Hey, that’s good Simon. Worthy of Mr Dylan himself.

  251. Smokey (14:44:58) :

    By the way, Smokey –

    I don’t recall even one comment from someone who was a long time skeptic, but because of the endless arguments from the handful of believers in the AGW/CO2 hypothesis, has now recanted and become one of Al Gore’s new acolytes.

    I’m not saying such a creature doesn’t exist, because I haven’t read every post.

    Let me be your first realisation that such a creature does exist. Firstly, I am a sceptic (for example, my first comment on the recent Steig paper was that the results should be viewed with caution until they’re confirmed, since it is clearly a new technique – unlike the first comments of so many self-described ‘sceptics’, who said that it was clearly rubbish even though they cheerfully stated they hadn’t actually read the paper! Lol! Scepticism doesn’t mean ‘not believing in x’, you know!). Secondly, FYI, one of the first comments I ever posted on this subject on a BB (a good while ago) was a request for guidance as to which papers I should read that challenged the consensus view. Thirdly, I read the AR4 and other papers and so on, and fourthly I have read a great deal of blogs such as this (i.e., so-called ‘sceptic’ blogs). I am very conscious of the uncertainties of climate science, but something I am much more certain about is the paucity of any substantial scientific challenge to the IPCC assessment. In particular, I am entirely bewildered by the self-contradictions of those who seem to gather together in a common church, bound together only by their opposition to the ‘devil’ – AGW theory, that is. I find it extremely amusing that the pseudo-sceptics should accuse those they oppose of ‘faith’ when, as a group, they show all the behaviour of faith-based thinking. A poster such as Joel Shore spends 95% of his time talking about science. The overwhelming majority of posters on these threads spend 95% of their time talking about fraud, conspiracy, dubious motives, and engaging in the repetition of mantras. There are exceptions, but that is my general impression. Please be informed that in this particular case, the ‘effect’ of WUWT has been contrary to your expectations.

  252. Smokey: “The ‘prevailing assessment’ is that the climate is well within its normal and natural historical parameters.”

    Perhaps so, but the AGW Galileos are challenging that “prevailing assessment”. And they’re winning. Notice that Dr Pope’s words of caution relate to claims about the speed and extent of change, not the fact of change. Time to get with the programme.

  253. Not too hard to figure out. If you say increasing CO2 is warming the planet, then CO2 increases and you have the coldest winter in decades, people are going to stop listening to you. The Met Office of all people know that governments and elites have a lot of money and credibility riding on convincing people of Global Warming. They also know that if you go shouting the whole CO2 warming thing in people’s face, they’ll eventually bring up this year’s winter and totally write you off. What they and the heads behind this charade would prefer is for all of these ideas to be whispered in your ear. A soundbite here, a flash there, just like on TV. That way belief in this lie is ingrained in your head before you consider consciously thinking about it. Their big lament is that individual scientists and journalists are bucking protocol and sounding big catastrophic alarms for their own selfish purposes. And this stands to submarine the greater agenda.

    But don’t be fooled into thinking that they have had some epiphany. The Met office is still a well oiled disinformation machine, and considering the UKs recent commitment to further binding Carbon based legislation, I don’t see that changing.

  254. DAV, Smokey,

    as you well know, climate is a complex issue. If you want to understand it, you need to invest time. There is no way to condense the content of the IPCC reports into a single, short reply on a blog. Book size is a minimum to cover this. I happen to be a physicist and have the advantage over many people, that I can read and understand to a good extent the primary literature on climate.

    I’ve been reading quite a bit here, on CA, RC, tamino, deltoid and others like Monckton, junkscience and a few more. I have found one consistent theme. If I read up on the references on AGW sites, they usually add up. If you find genuine errors and point them out politely, they are considered and corrected. My overwhelming experience on denialist sites has been, that primary literature and opposing views were quote-mined, misrepresented or that they got basic physics wrong. Check back my posts on this site. On this very blog I have amongst others pointed out quote mining and the use of unsourced data on a denialist site and what do I reap? I’m either being ignored, belittled or insulted. Where is the skepticism you demand, if it comes to denialist arguments?

    [Please refrain from using the term “denialist.” It has Holocaust connotations, and for that reason it is insulting. ~dbstealey, mod.]

  255. Joel Shore (20:15:39) :

    “overwhelming evidence”

    Now THAT is hype to scoff at. I don’t give a rip what Hansen did or did not think decades ago. I give a rip about the manic ‘overwhelming evidence’ argument.

    Just slow down a bit and THINK about what we have got as ‘evidence’–the temperature record.

    That’s it. But we still do not know exactly what that record represents nor how accurate it is. How much is natural and how much is GHG and how much is human activity not related to GHG. We STILL do not know.

    Assumptions have been made then built into the models. So the models input the temperature record, try to match it using their assumptions and estimates concerning some of the physics involved in our climate system, then out come the forward conclusions. Surprise. What comes out is the assumptions that went in.

    That’s not overwhelming evidence…especially since the temp record so far this century continues to falsify the IPCC projections.

    ——————-

    Brendan H (00:00:31) :

    “Dr Vicky Pope (Met Office): “The reality is that extreme events arise when natural variations in the weather and climate combine with long-term climate change.”

    “In other words, it’s not a matter of either/or but both/and. This principle agrees with NOAA’s comments in 1998 about that year’s El Nino: “In other words, the extreme weather and climate conditions related to naturally occurring El Niño events could be exacerbated by an ongoing global warming trend”.”

    yeah, tell that to the millions who died from famine during the series of large el nino’s in the 1870’s and 1890’s.

    First, ms Pope should define what she means by ‘long-term’. If she means what she said in this article, the term hasn’t been long enough yet so alarmism over the 1998 el nino is merely hype. Otherwise someone might come along and show that big el nino’s happened even before the current temp rise and make alarmists look bad.

    Tut tut

  256. Joel, I’ve heard that explanation before, and IMHO it doesn’t hold any water – so to speak.

    If water vapour is really going to be a positive feedback to CO2 or any other temperature forcing (and there have been substantial changes in solar irradiation levels in recent history as I understand it), then there has to be a better explanation for how the great fluctuations in both temperature and humidity in the atmosphere are controlled naturally without causing runaway positive feedback yet the small, almost immeasurable, impact of CO2 supposedly cannot be controlled by the same mechanisms.

  257. Let me put that a bit more bluntly.

    The supposed positive water vapour feedback to CO2 is actually a feedback to increased temperature, not CO2. As Joel said, any increase in temperature would invoke it.

    Then you can’t pick and choose how it works. It is also a feedback to its own temperature effect. But it doesn’t run away, so there must be bigger negative feedbacks that control it – as Joel says, in some kind of steady state over the whole planet.

    There seems to me no a priori evident reason why this steady state would stabilize at a higher temperature due to the presence of CO2 than it would without it and the most likely conclusion is that the temperature sensitivity to CO2 is not magnified by any water vapour feedback.

    It even seems feasible that the negative feedbacks that control the much greater greenhouse impacts of water vapour could also limit the impact of CO2.

  258. I’m always amazed by the “template” arguments I see here. A bunch of people claiming some scientific knowledge using someone else’s arguments, only to be countered by some other perp, presenting someone else’s counterpoints to that argument.

    Rather than risk missing out on the entertainment value this provides me, let me stoke the flames with some new “arguments for hire”.

    People make a big deal about the “Inconvenient Truth” graph where it looks like CO2 causes temps to rise. Somewhere someone figured out the now oft-quoted “actually CO2 follows temperature”. True, and proven many times over, but worthless when framed this way. The fact is what goes up must come down, and this is true of temperatures in the ice core data as well. So the point that you’re all missing is not that CO2 follows warming, it’s that CO2 PRECEDES COOLING!

    Let that sink in for a sec.

    OK, next point. This is absolutely TRUE, TESTABLE, & REPEATABLE, unlike Gore’s graph. How, you say? It’s simple. CO2 has a higher heat capacity than air. And while some may think this is why it will cause air to warm quicker they are wrong. The only time that is true is when our atmosphere has actually reached it’s full capacity for heat (at which point more CO2 WOULD allow it to hold a little more heat), except we’d be dead before that happens. What happens in all other (real world) cases is that CO2 absorbs MORE heat for each 1 degree rise in temperature. This means of course, that the more CO2 you put in the air the SLOWER it’s temperature will rise. Why? Because when exposed to the same fixed energy source, CO2 will require more heat to rise 1 degree in temperature. So the amount of CO2 in the air is INVERSELY proportional to its rate of temperature increase. The truth is exactly opposite the “more CO2 = higher temperature” disinformation you’ve been fed.

    Need proof? Check out the 650,000 years of ice core records in “An Inconvenient Truth” (minus the narration). Al Gore has led you to look at it the wrong way. But if you look at it the right way, you will see:
    1) the earth heats (sun cycles…I mean just accept it)
    2) CO2 levels rise as the oceans warm and release CO2 (a well substantiated mechanism)
    3) TEMPERATURES BEGIN TO FALL

    It’s all right there plain as day…IF YOU CHOOSE TO THINK INSTEAD OF REPEATING OTHERS ARGUMENTS.

    No go out and repeat that argument…

  259. Peter (15:38:45) :

    ?And even if part of the permafrost did melt, the residence time of methane in the atmosphere is comparatively very short

    As methane, yes (about net 8 years), but it breaks down into CO2. The total warming potential of methane is 25 times that of the same mass of CO2 over a 100 year period, and about 72 times over a twenty year period.

  260. Bluegrue, too late bro. Already heard that one.

    This is the new chant from the AGW movements “career bloggers”. It goes something like this:

    “I’m just a regular guy trying to figure out what I believe. I’ve visited the denier sites and wasn’t sure what to think. Then I went to RealClimate and they were really nice to me, and their science was impeccable, and it just made more sense, so I believe in Global Climate Warming Change now.” I mean come on…

    Dude, without even looking I’ve seen like 15 such posts, almost word for word, just this week. Funny how, while all you phonies are being “won over’, polls show ever fading support for AGW. . .

  261. I am very conscious of the uncertainties of climate science, but something I am much more certain about is the paucity of any substantial scientific challenge to the IPCC assessment.

    Delusion is cozy, isn’t it? There are reams of papers refuting the IPCC [available on request]. But I particularly like Lucia’s graphic falsifying the IPCC’s wild-eyed projections: click

    Simon has made up his mind and won’t change it. But other folks should find the actual trend, vs the IPCC’s projection, very interesting.

    It’s Friday night and I’m going out for a while, so I’ll allow Simon and his pals to have the last word.

  262. Alan W, Dubl’s (rather wordy) post alludes to what you are talking about. In terms of verifiable physics and thermodynamics (not models) it’s a simple proof that, given its higher heat capacity, increasing CO2 levels in “air” actually inhibits temperature increases. And history shows us that when it gets warm the oceans eventually heat up, release CO2, and the increased CO2 slows temperature increases. Voila! A simple yet effective mechanism that:

    1) regulates the earth’s temperature
    2) obviously is not negatively affected by more CO2

  263. Derek D, Dubl.

    I think CO2’s heat capacity is not a major issue since the heat capacity of the atmosphere is anyway very small compared with the planet. CO2’s effect comes from its absorbance/transmittance power with the effect of partially reflecting heat back towards the earth. The throughput of heat via the mechanism is much greater than the quantity actually resident in atmospheric CO2 which simply functions as a rather small buffer reservoir.

  264. bluegrue (16:30:38) : As you well know, climate is a complex issue. If you want to understand it, you need to invest time. There is no way to condense the content of the IPCC reports into a single, short reply on a blog.

    C’mon. blue, that’s total nonsense. No one is asking for a condensation. You can’t prioritize the points that have convinced you? Are you kidding us or are you tacitly agreeing it’s all nonsense? I do note that not one of the AGW’ers can vocalize why they believe in it and instead dance around it by claiming that it’s obvious. Get real.

  265. “An excess of water vapor will rain out within a few days to weeks. CO2 stays in the atmosphere for decades.”

    You’re wrong.

    Do you know what specific gravity is?

    Water Vapor makes up at least 97% of greenhouses gases on earth with a specific gravity at 0.6218. That’s almost half the weight of air at 1.

    Carbon dioxide – CO2 makes up .03% of the greenhouse gas on earth with a specific gravity at 1.5189. That’s just over 1 1/2 times the weight of air and will not go up into the atmosphere.

    Have a look,

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/specific-gravities-gases-d_334.html

    It’s all a part of Boyle’s & Charles’ Laws and Pressure, Volume & Temperature of Gasses.

    http://physics.suite101.com/article.cfm/understanding_the_ideal_gas_law

    Oh and CO2 is water soluble and it comes down in the rain, it has since we’ve had rain.

  266. Flanagan (13:54:33) :

    Do you read what you write?

    “Water does not stay long in the atmosphere and thus cannot induce long-term forcings.”

    then how can water vapor be a long term positive feedback which is the basis for the so-called ‘enhanced’ greenhouse effect? In fact how could water vapor even be responsible for any greenhouse effect at all?

    But I guess you should be forgiven because the climate models don’t handle this aspect of the climate system well enough to give you ammunition.

    —–

    Simon Evans (13:55:33) :

    Nice rant. Wrong venue.

    “The evidence is here:

    htpp://www.ipcc.ch”

    No. that’s the theory that attempts to predict certain phenomenon. So far the evidence (temp record) is still falsifying the theory as put forth. See Lucia.

    “Your ’side’ needs to come up with some substantive science to challenge the prevailing assessment. What’s it to be today? … Short of something that hangs together (and that you might actually agree upon!), you’re just howling in the winds of change.”

    Wrong. The theory was presented, we’re just showing you all the things that are wrong with it. funny you didn’t mention model assumptions in your list.

    —–

    Joel Shore (14:44:31) :

    “The tipping points that are of interest are things like the melting of permafrost in areas that have it releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases, or melting of land or sea ice causing a decrease in albedo, or sufficient such melting causing freshwater to accumulate in the north Atlantic at a rate sufficient to cause a slowdown or stoppage of the thermahaline currents. These are not things that depend on the diurnal or seasonal temperature oscillations at a local level.”

    You seem to think any of these things are irreversible. Well the opposite of one of them is: if we do NOT get summer melting of Arctic sea ice, the tipping point DOES occur, but it goes the other way. If snow and ice that fall and form in the winter do NOT go away in the summer. New ice age.

    think about it. As long as the ice melts in the summer and freezes in the winter we’re fine.

    As for the thermohaline circulation, the downwelling in the No Atlantic restarted recently. yes. That means it had STOPPED.

    This may be more common than previously thought.

  267. Alan Wilkinson:

    I think you are missing the basic point. There is no “runaway positive feedback” (modulo Hansen’s recent warnings of what could happen if we really go to town with our fossil fuel burning…and since he hasn’t to my knowledge explained his thinking in the scientific literature, I am not sure anyone at this point has more than a hazy notion of what he is talking about). The water vapor feedback simply isn’t strong enough to cause a runaway, or instability. There would only an instability if the feedback effect is larger than the cause, i.e., if the direct effect of 1 deg of warming is more than 1 deg of response. Then you have a diverging series; for example, if each 1 deg provokes 1.5 deg response, you get 1 + 1.5 + (1.5)^2 + … and you have a real instability.

    However, if the direct effect of a 1 deg warming is evaporation of water vapor that causes 1/2 deg of additional warming, then you have a converging series, 1 + (1/2) + (1/2)^2 + (1/2)^3 + … = 2 and at the end of the day, you get double the warming because of the feedback effect. No negative feedback is necessary. It is simply that the positive feedback is only strong enough to magnify the effect but not to produce outright instability. (In fact, the specific numerical example that I gave is pretty close to the best estimate of what the water vapor feedback is…I.e., that it roughly doubles the effect, although the closely-related lapse rate feedback, which is a negative feedback, counters some of that…So at the end of the day the combination of the two is in increase by about a factor of 1.5.)

  268. Well, I wish Anthony’s comments would help, but I doubt it. Perhaps imposition of the same rules as Climate Audit is necessary, first and foremost the no ascribing motives rule. That would go far is stopping the endless emotional/propagandistic pieces from the likes of Smokey/DAV (same person?).

    And to those choosing to focus your own endless posting almost solely on Smokey/DAV, you are not scoring the points you think you are. Regardless of what both you and they seem to think, they do not speak for any corporate body of readers.

    But please do continue to repost the same endless back and forth. I’m sure you’ll eventually drown out other voices, which seems to be the goal of both sides in these petty tirades.

  269. DAV says:

    Actually what is completely absurd is your attitude. The claim is anthropogenic influence on current weather. Where I come from, allegation should be backed up with facts.

    This is a change of subject from what we have been discussing, which is okay but I sort of wish you would admit that you were wrong there. To be honest, if I can’t convince you about something as basic as the fact that your claim about Hansen and global cooling is wrong, I don’t have any illusions of convincing you on the subject of climate change where the evidence, while good, is hugely more complicated and based on the weight of evidence from a lot of different things, none of which alone is entirely convincing (as is true in almost any complex field of science).

    I think Simon has already answered your post very well, so I will try to refrain from just repeating what he said.

    The burden of proof lies on your side of the net. Warming/Cooling/Change from natural causes is the default and doesn’t require any proof.

    Unfortunately for you, the jury isn’t as dumb as you think and would like to see that evidence. Do you have any? What convinced YOU? Is it that hard to say?

    Unfortunately for you, I don’t think you realize that you are not on the jury. In science (to the extent that your analogy holds), the jury consists of the scientists active and publishing in the field. And, this jury has already rendered its verdict. You are welcome to disbelieve the jury and even to ask your representatives to not listen to the scientific community but, fortunately, I think that eventually the elected officials will go with the scientific community.

    As for the evidence that has convinced me, Simon already directed you to the IPCC reports. There is lots of evidence in there; no one piece of evidence is conclusive but taken together the weight of the evidence is quite overwhelming. I’d personally summarize it something like this:

    (1) The basic radiative effects of increasing CO2 levels are well-understood and accepted by all serious scientists, including skeptics such as Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer, neither of who seem to contest the basic notion that CO2 causes a radiative forcing of somewhere around 4 W/m^2.

    (2) It is understood that the direct effects of this forcing alone will lead to about 1 deg C or so of warming for doubling of CO2, but that there are lots of feedbacks in the climate system. The real point of argument is about these feedbacks…and the resulting climate sensitivity.

    (3) There are basically two approaches that converge on a climate sensitivity of around 2 – 4 C for a doubling of CO2…Or, more generally that the climate responds to any forcing at the rate of about 0.5 – 1 C per (W/m^2) of forcing. One is the empirical evidence, including paleoclimate, current climatology, climate response to an event such as the eruption of Mt Pinatubo, and 20th century temperature change (the last does not provide very good constraints alone…but it helps a little in concert with the others). If the climate sensitivity is not in this range, then we not only don’t understand current climate very well but also don’t understand past climate events…I.e., it becomes very hard to explain what caused the Ice Age – interglacial transitions. The second approach is trying to model the climate system with the various feedbacks. Careful study has identified the various feedbacks and great progress has been made, e.g., with the water vapor feedback, in verifying it. Clouds admittedly remain a problem, but at least with our current understanding, it seems very difficult to get a negative feedback out of clouds. The mechanisms for such a negative feedback (e.g., by Lindzen) have not found much empirical support. And, then at the end of the day it would still be necessary to explain how such a negative feedback is compatible with paleoclimate data and a wealth of other data. [Strangely enough, “skeptics” often cite the fact that climate has changed in the past without man’s influence to somehow try to argue that this shows that we are not responsible now (as if evidence that fire occurs naturally allows us to conclude that any particular fire must not be due to arson). However, the fact that the climate seems so sensitive to small perturbations is what gives us the reason to believe that the known perturbation that we are currently causing will have significant effects on the climate.]

    (4) Then there is the supporting evidence in regards to our inability to understand the last 40 years rise in temperatures by any other mechanism other than greenhouse gases…and the fact that the patterns of this warming (such as cooling of the stratosphere as the troposphere warms) support this mechanism.

    (5) There is evidence from paleoclimate reconstructions that the current warmth is unprecedented on a worldwide…or hemispheric-wide…scale over the last 1200 years. Despite claims that Mann et al. has been shown to be wrong, the fact is that the basic picture from Mann of the unprecedented warmth has appeared in many other reconstructions. Given the difficulties with climate proxy data, I will freely admit that uncertainties remain…and in fact I think this is actually the weakest piece of evidence for AGW (since it is also circumstantial in nature), but it does still support the other stronger, more direct evidence I have discussed above.

    (6) I also respect the scientific process and the processes that we have set up to use science to inform public policy. The main way “skeptics” seem to be able to explain away the large agreement across the scientific community is by invoking conspiracy theories that, quite frankly, seem ridiculous to those of us who are scientists and actually understand how science works. Furthermore, I see no viable option to making policy decisions based on the best scientific evidence available based on the processes that we have developed. Allowing policymakers to ignore this science when it goes against their prejudices is a recipe for a return to the Dark Ages. I actually have a certain amount of respect for people like Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer when they go about things in the correct way…i.e., by trying as scientists to influence the science through the appropriate channels of doing scientific work and trying to publish it. However, my respect diminishes when the publish the sort of misleading op-ed pieces using discredited arguments that Lindzen has. And, in Spencer’s case, there is now well-documented evidence of how his desperation to come up with the result he like has led to some rather embarrassing (although I think honest) mistakes, as documented on tamino’s blog.

    So, that would be the nutshell answer to your question. Obviously, I have kept it at a pretty general level here, since the specific details behind each of my points probably involves at least 10’s of, if not hundreds of scientific papers.

  270. DAV says:

    I really have to wonder what it is you hoped to accomplish by coming here. Hopefully, it wasn’t just silly, trollish disruption because that only reinforces the idea you haven’t anything.

    I meant to answer this too. I don’t think my disruptions are silly or trollish. I think they add a lot of fact and science and correction of factually-incorrect statements and scientifically-incorrect notions that seem to be pretty uncritically accepted here.

    As for the question of what I hope to accomplish, that is a question that I have been asking myself quite a bit lately as it seems pretty hard to make much headway and can be kind of frustrating! There is a certain obsessiveness about it that I think was captured very brilliantly in this cartoon: http://xkcd.com/386/

  271. Lance:

    CO2 is 1.5189 and Propane is 1.5219… similar.

    I recommend that if anyone wants to see how CO2 acts, go outside to some relatively safe area and pop open a small can of propane. You can actually see where it goes. It does NOT go UP. There’s a reason propane vehicles are not allowed in underground parking structures, any leaks pool in the low areas and create an explosion hazard.

    Yet another reason I have a hard time buying the idealized little drawings of a “shell” of CO2 blocking energy from escaping at high altitude…

  272. Joel, I take your point on the divergence/convergence dependence on size of the feedback in a mathematical relationship. It is not so easy to equate that to the real-life situation where there are such wide variations in temperature and humidity spatially and temporally.

    However, just to explore the concept for a moment, I understand that the “raw” CO2 forcing is believed to be of the order of 0.7 deg C per doubling? In which case your factor of 1.5 would predict around 1.0 deg C per doubling of atmospheric CO2?

    How come IPCC/Hansen etc predict much higher warming sensitivity?

  273. DAV (18:38:50) :

    I do note that not one of the AGW’ers can vocalize why they believe in it and instead dance around it by claiming that it’s obvious. Get real.

    1) I’ve got a basic understanding how the atmosphere works, courtesy of my formal education in physics and reading up on atmospheric models.
    2) From the CO2 absorption spectrum it is obvious, that it is a GHG. It has a long atmospheric residence time. Unlike water vapor it is well mixed, i.e. you will find it in dry areas as well as in the upper atmosphere, both areas where water vapor is rare. In those parts of the atmosphere the spectral overlap with water does not matter. From these characteristics alone it is obvious, that CO2 can lead to increased surface temperatures, the question is, how large is the effect. The same goes for the other GHGs.
    3) I have read larger parts of the IPCC WG1 report. I find them convincing.
    4) I have had a look at denier arguments. What I found most of the time was
    – deception by quote mining,
    – trying to spread confusion by misrepresentation (They say in the past CO2 was a feedback, now it is supposed to be a forcing, can’t they make up their mind? HAR HAR HAR)
    – redefining or misrepresenting technical terms like “forcing”
    – deceiving the laymen on basic physics

    Satisfied, DAV?

    [Please avoid the use of the term “denier,” which has an unacceptable Holocaust connotation. ~dbstealey, mod.]

  274. Derek D, DAV

    A little challenge to improve the quality of this site. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to locate one primary data source of a webpage.

    1) Please read this comment on the resource page
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/resources/#comment-83400
    Hieb claims that only 1/7 of the CO2 increase is “man-made” and falsely attributes this data to the DOE. The page has been used as a resource for an argement on this site by Ed Scott, Harold Pierce Jr, Evan Jones, Steve S, KuhnKat, HasItBeen4YearsYet? and Tom in Florida.

    2) Locate Monte Hieb’s “man-made additions” and “natural additions” data on any incarnation of the IEA pages or the DOE page on Archive org:

    http://www.archive.org/index.php
    http://www.ieagreen.org.uk
    http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/pns/current_ghg.html

    There is at least one pretty much functional incarnation of IEA R&D. If you want to save yourself some time, Hieb states on his page that it was last revised January 10, 2003.

    3) report back, failure or success, either here or on the resource page
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/resources/#comment-83400

  275. Simon Evans:

    As methane, yes (about net 8 years), but it breaks down into CO2. The total warming potential of methane is 25 times that of the same mass of CO2 over a 100 year period, and about 72 times over a twenty year period.

    Let’s get some perspective here. The atmospheric CO2 concentration is ~380 parts per million, whereas that of methane is ~1,800 parts per billion
    Even a large(ish) increase in methane levels will, in all probability, have no discernible effect on global temperatures.
    And that large(ish) increase is probably not going to come from some small area at the fringes of the permafrost showing signs of melting at the height of one particularly warm summer.

  276. bluegrue (03:20:38) : Satisfied, DAV?

    Not quite but maybe getting there. The question was: what has convinced you of anthropomorphic climate changes in the latter part of the past century? IOW: I was asking you to make a case for the anthropogenic climate change charge. Perhaps you misunderstood as you haven’t really answered the question but instead listed a number of largely irrelevant points. I am not particularly interested in what you have read nor your background nor your opinions on other arguments. I would like you to explicitly state what you perceive is the evidence for the previous weather patterns having an anthropomorphic cause.

    Can you do this or not?

  277. Joel Shore (20:14:39) : This is a change of subject from what we have been discussing, which is okay but I sort of wish you would admit that you were wrong there. To be honest, if I can’t convince you about something as basic as the fact that your claim about Hansen and global cooling is wrong,

    I not wrong about what I have stated unfortunately telling you why could lead to something I’m not prepared to deal with at the moment. So, yes, I was wrong by saying anything in the first place — I spoke out of turn. I might point out that your opinion of the correctness of my comments does not mean your opinion is accurate. Also, stop acting as if it is a point that requires common agreement (like the color of the sky or most plants).

  278. Joel Shore (20:14:39) :Unfortunately for you, I don’t think you realize that you are not on the jury.

    No? I again ask our purpose in posting here. Are you just venting or trying to convince me and the others of the folly of not believing in AGW? If the latter, then yes, I am on that jury. If you can’t convince us then your mission has failed.

    I’m getting to the rest, have patience.

  279. [Please avoid the use of the term “denier,” which has an unacceptable Holocaust connotation. ~dbstealey, mod.]

    Slipped in, sorry, I usually try not to be offensive.

  280. bluegrue (08:47:33) : let’s take our off-topic discussion from this page, we are distracting others.

    I’m not so sure it is off topic. I’d rather keep it here but OK. Tomorrow perhaps. I’ve spent enough time on this tody.

  281. Alan Wilkinson says:

    However, just to explore the concept for a moment, I understand that the “raw” CO2 forcing is believed to be of the order of 0.7 deg C per doubling? In which case your factor of 1.5 would predict around 1.0 deg C per doubling of atmospheric CO2?

    How come IPCC/Hansen etc predict much higher warming sensitivity?

    I don’t think your “raw” number is correct. The accepted number is about 1.1 C, give or take about 0.1 C. It is not an exact science to break down the amount that each forcing contributes to the final equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) in the climate models because the forcings interact. But, roughly speaking (see the discussion in Sec. 8.6.2.3 of the IPCC AR4 Working Group 1 report available here http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm ), the water vapor feedback plus the lapse rate feedback plus the ice albedo feedback gets you up to about 2 C. From there, the main additional feedback is the cloud feedback, which seems to range from about neutral to quite strongly positive across the different models…and this is the major source of variation in the predicted ECS.

  282. Peter says:

    Let’s get some perspective here. The atmospheric CO2 concentration is ~380 parts per million, whereas that of methane is ~1,800 parts per billion
    Even a large(ish) increase in methane levels will, in all probability, have no discernible effect on global temperatures.

    Right now, the radiative forcings due to the current change from pre-industrial levels is ~1.7 W/m^2 for CO2 and ~0.5 W/m^2 for methane (see, e.g., the IPCC AR4 Working Group 1 Summary for Policymakers, Figure SPM.2). So the methane is not a negligible proportion. I don’t know what estimates there are out there for how high methane levels could go from melting permafrost but there are apparently quite massive amounts there.

  283. Joel Shore,
    Your assertion of how much CO2 is forcing is not what Hansen said:
    Hansen, J., L. Nazarenko, R. Ruedy, Mki. Sato, J. Willis, A. Del Genio, D. Koch, A. Lacis, K. Lo, S. Menon, T. Novakov, Ju. Perlwitz, G. Russell, G.A. Schmidt, and N. Tausnev, 2005: Earth’s energy imbalance: Confirmation and implications. Science, 308, 1431-1435, doi:10.1126/science.1110252,

    they wrote

    “Our climate model, driven mainly by increasing human-made greenhouse gases and aerosols among other forcings, calculates that Earth is now absorbing 0.85±0.15 W/m2 more energy from the Sun than it is emitting to space. This imbalance is confirmed by precise measurements of increasing ocean heat content over the past 10 years.” ”

    And their claim, based on Ocean heat levels, appears to be wildly over stated.
    You cannot have a climate apocalypse if you cannot get the numbers to line up.

  284. Joel Shore:

    That wasn’t the point. There may be a massive amount of methane in the permafrost, but it will only be released if the permafrost melts.
    Yours is a similar argument to sea levels rising untold metres if the Antarctic ice sheet melts.

    The sky just ain’t going to fall – and that’s exactly the topic of this thread.

  285. hunter: Those two numbers represent two different things. Let’s say that we instantaneously applied a net forcing of 2 W/m^2. At first, the energy imbalance would be 2 W/m^2, but gradually the earth would warm up in response to the forcing and, as a result, it would increase its emission back out into space (by the T^4 law for radiative emission). Eventually, in fact, the imbalance would drop down to 0.

    So, what Hansen et al are saying is that the earth has adjusted to some of the forcing (by warming), but not yet to all of it.

    Another reason those numbers are different, at least in principle, is that the CO2 forcing and the net forcing are two different things. The net forcing also includes, for example, the additional positive forcings due to the other greenhouse gases and the negative forcing due to manmade aerosols. As it turns out, the best estimates for the other forcings would suggest that they approximately cancel so that it turns out the net anthropogenic forcing may be pretty close to the CO2 forcing (and the natural forcings are small)…although there are pretty big error bars on that, so that the net anthropogenic forcing is estimated to be +1.6 W/m^2 with the 90% uncertainty range being +0.6 W/m^2 to +2.4 W/m^2. Again, see the SPM of the IPCC AR4 report for details.

  286. I meant to also mention that the reason for the fairly big error bars on the net anthropogenic forcing is the uncertainty in the forcing due to the aerosols, which actually turns out to be much trickier to calculate than the forcings due to greenhouse gases.

  287. You warmers change your anthropogenic forcing so much my head starts spinning and laughter pours out of my mouth. hehehe! <see there I go again

    Oh and don’t forget about cow farts and the evils of eating meat, that has to be enough to prixie out to make a tipping point?

  288. Peter says:

    That wasn’t the point. There may be a massive amount of methane in the permafrost, but it will only be released if the permafrost melts.

    Yes, and as I understand it, the degree to which is likely to melt is something that is still being debated.

    Yours is a similar argument to sea levels rising untold metres if the Antarctic ice sheet melts.

    What I was talking about were some possible tipping points. You seem to somehow be confident that we won’t reach them, based (apparently) on your idea that there are large diurnal and seasonal temperature variations that should have taken us past them already. My point is simply that it is not like you exceed some temperature for a few hours say and magically reach the tipping point. These tipping points involve not just temperature but time…e.g., how much melting occurs depends on how much time the temperature spends above freezing and so forth. I’m not claiming that I know exactly where these tippings points may be and when we could hit them but simply that your argument for not having to worry about them is way too simplistic.

    The sky just ain’t going to fall – and that’s exactly the topic of this thread.

    Well, the point of Pope’s actual piece I would say is that we should be careful to express the science accurately and not either exaggerate or underestimate the dangers. At least implicit in that is that we should also be careful not to overstate our confidence in either the dangers or lack of dangers…and I think your statement about being safe from any tipping points was doing the latter.

    Yes, it will rain out, thereby lowering the temperature. This, in my book, makes it more likely to be a negative feedback than a positive one.
    Besides which, it is soon replaced by more water vapor. I fail to see how a molecule which remains in the atmosphere for years behaves any differently, while it’s in the atmosphere, to one which is replaced every few days by another.

    This earlier statement you made contains several confusions. The point of the fact that water cycles through the atmosphere so quickly is that its concentration ends up being slave to the temperature and not dependent on, say, human emissions of water vapor. And, since the concentration is expected to be a rapidly increasing function of temperature (under the assumption that relative humidity remains roughly constant [or drops only slowly as temperature rises], which has both modeling and observational support), that means there is a positive feedback because water vapor is a greenhouse gas.

    The point about the relative timescales is simply this: The CO2 that we are burning from fossil fuels accumulates in the atmosphere and thus our emissions directly change the concentration. For water vapor, because of the larger volumes in the atmosphere and the rate at which it goes into and out of the atmosphere, we simply do not have the ability to changes its concentration significantly through our emissions of water vapor. What we do have is the ability to change its concentration indirectly, as a result of the water vapor feedback…i.e., the fact that a warmer atmosphere will contain more water vapor.

  289. Syl: “If she means what she said in this article, the term hasn’t been long enough yet so alarmism over the 1998 el nino is merely hype.”

    The accepted long term in climatology is 30 years, presumably to enable a trend to be discerned amid the ‘noise’ of natural variation. As for alarmism, here are Pope’s comments on 1998:

    “For example, 1998 was a record-breaking warm year as long-term man-made warming combined with a naturally occurring strong El Niño.”

    I don’t see any alarmism, merely a statement of fact that 1998 was a record-breaking warm year.

    “Otherwise someone might come along and show that big el nino’s happened even before the current temp rise and make alarmists look bad.”

    Your argument appears to be that because El Ninos have happened before, anthropogenic global warming cannot be occurring. But the conclusion doesn’t follow.

    To use an analogy, Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes are investigating a death. Watson might argue that because many people have died of natural causes, Holmes is mistaken in suspecting foul play in this particular case.

    But the error would be Watson’s. As Holmes points out, what counts is the evidence in the present case. The fact that a previous event has a particular cause does not necessarily mean that the same set of conditions apply to the present case. They may, but they may not.

  290. Joel Shore (20:14:39): “…….the last 40 years rise in temperature…….”

    Maybe yes, if you were talking about the GISS temp data. However, the last 30 years, covered now by UAH-MSU, have experienced an insignificant, if any, rise in global temperature, no? As Anthony and colleagues have unraveled these years, the GISS temp data is heavily comtaminated by UHI effect and irrelevant management.

    bluegrue (03:20:38): “It (CO2) has a long atmospheric residence time.”

    Yes, if “several years” is “long” enough on your standard. The annual biosphere – atmosphere CO2 exchange (fixation by photosynthesis, and release by rotting/respiration) amounts to 1/7 of the total CO2 in the atmosphere. If to this we add the ocean – atmosphere CO2 exchange (absorption in cold period, and release in warm period), the average lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere is only 5 years or less, irrespectively of the origin of this compound. As a chemist studying photosynthesis, I can’t understand at all why many scientists assume that atmospheric CO2 has such a long lifetime as 20 years or more.

  291. Joel Shore:

    You seem to somehow be confident that we won’t reach them, based (apparently) on your idea that there are large diurnal and seasonal temperature variations that should have taken us past them already.

    You’ve taken my argument out of context.
    Read my reply to you at (15:38:45) again. I was discussing water vapor feedback. You brought up the subject of permafrost only later.

    …human emissions of water vapor

    Whatever gave you the idea that human emissions of water vapor are in any way significant compared to the vast amount of evaporation from the oceans etc?

  292. tokyoboy says:

    Maybe yes, if you were talking about the GISS temp data. However, the last 30 years, covered now by UAH-MSU, have experienced an insignificant, if any, rise in global temperature, no?

    Ah,no …Where did you get that idea? Over the period for which the satellite data is available, RSS, GISS, and Hadcrut all have essentially the same trend and UAH’s is only a bit smaller. See here: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/offset:-0.15/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.24/mean:12/plot/uah/mean:12/plot/rss/mean:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/offset:-0.15/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.24/trend/plot/uah/trend/plot/rss/trend

    As a chemist studying photosynthesis, I can’t understand at all why many scientists assume that atmospheric CO2 has such a long lifetime as 20 years or more.

    I advise reading up on the carbon cycle then. The question is not the lifetime of an individual molecule but rather the decay in concentration after a slug of CO2 is released into the atmosphere. It turns out that this decay cannot be characterized by a single lifetime because it is highly non-exponential. About 1/2 of the CO2 is gone very quickly (e.g., within a year) but about 1/4 sticks around for thousands of years. See here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/03/how-long-will-global-warming-last/langswitch_lang/in

    AnonyMoose says:

    Apocalyptic attempts continue: Powerline points out in “Global Warming Propaganda Worse than Predicted”> that Reuters used the headline “Global warming seen worse than predicted” on a story which actually only reports that CO2 releases were greater than predicted. The article does not say anything about actual temperatures since 2001.

    I agree that the headline for the Reuters piece (and the first paragraph) are quite inaccurate and garbled. Unfortunately, the media often gets science stories wrong…Sometimes they might make things sound more apocalyptic and other times they do the opposite (e.g., by providing “false balance” of giving almost equal time to the views of the overwhelming majority of the scientific community vs a very small contingent of dissenters).

    This climate expert says that climate experts were wrong. But he doesn’t apologise well.

    What he is suggesting is that they may have underestimated the rate at which emissions would increase. Are scientists supposed to issue formal apologies each time something like this happens?

    He also uses the word “inflammable” as if it means something other than “flammable”.

    Off with his head!

  293. Peter says:

    You’ve taken my argument out of context.
    Read my reply to you at (15:38:45) again. I was discussing water vapor feedback. You brought up the subject of permafrost only later.

    Okay…Sorry then. If you were just discussing water vapor, then I agree that there is no evidence that a tipping point is likely, although I don’t think I have heard any scientist claim that there is. (I guess that Flanagan above does seem to imply it. Perhaps a slip-up in words on his part…as the prevailing scientific understanding is that water vapor is a positive feedback but one that simply magnifies the warming. It is not strong enough [on the Earth] to produce an instability or tipping point.)

    Whatever gave you the idea that human emissions of water vapor are in any way significant compared to the vast amount of evaporation from the oceans etc?

    I don’t have that idea. However, along the lines of the questions that you were asking, there are more than a few “skeptics” who ask why there is no concern about our emissions of water vapor given that it is responsible for more of the greenhouse effect than CO2. So, in discussing what determines the concentrations of water vapor and CO2 in the atmosphere, it was natural to mention this.

  294. tokyoboy (20:14:56) :

    bluegrue (03:20:38): “It (CO2) has a long atmospheric residence time.”

    […snipped for brevity…] the average lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere is only 5 years or less, irrespectively of the origin of this compound. As a chemist studying photosynthesis, I can’t understand at all why many scientists assume that atmospheric CO2 has such a long lifetime as 20 years or more.

    It’s not the residence time of individual molecules, that is of interest, but the time it takes to reduce CO2 mixing ratio. Here is an oversimplified, back-of-the-envelope lower estimate by me, using data from the IPCC TAR (easier to link to than 4th AR pdfs). The difference between pre-industrial and current CO2 levels is more than 90ppm, let’s work with that. Going by the remark

    varied from 0.9 to 2.8 ppm/yr, equivalent to 1.9 to 6.0 PgC/yr

    1 ppm CO2 is roughly equalent to 2 PgC in the atmosphere. Table 2 lists removal processes at 3.3 PgC/year. Assuming that this removal rate remains constant (it should be a good upper boundary), it would take about 55 years to go back to pre-industrial CO2 levels, already. This grossly underestimates the time-frame, as it e.g. assumes zero emissions and that the oceans do not turn from a sink into a source as atmospheric CO2 mixing ratio drops. IIRC, realistic time frames are in the range of 150 to 200 years. The IPCC report annotates in table 1 (see above link)

    c) No single lifetime can be defined for CO2 because of the different rates of uptake by different removal processes.

    You could have a look at globalwarmingart (not peer reviewed) for an idea, what is considered to be realistic, and follow the references to peer reviewed literature on that page.

  295. Joel Shore, you’re framing the argument the wrong way, by assuming facts not in evidence.

    There is no proof that a “tipping point” is right around the corner, or that such a creature even exists. By repeatedly opining on where these “tipping points” will be, you assume that such a thing as a “tipping point” exists outside of computer models or James Hansen’s fevered imagination.

    To properly frame the argument, you must first falsify the hypothesis that the climate is within its normal parameters. No one else has been able to falsify that long-standing hypothesis, but maybe you can be the next Nobel Prize winner by being the first to falsify it. [Keep in mind that climate models neither prove nor falsify anything.]

    Can you provide solid, real world evidence showing that the climate is acting outside of its natural historical parameters? You must also define a mechanism that allows for prediction of these mythical “tipping points.”

    Since the past decade’s flat to cooling climate behavior shows us that models can not predict, then you cannot credibly argue that such a thing as a future “tipping point” even exists.

    Before discussing “tipping points” as if they are actually proven to exist, first, try to falsify the hypothesis that the climate is acting normally. If you can do that, you’re a better man than all of the IPCC’s political appointees put together: click

  296. Joel, unfortunately I’ve no time to engage further for the moment but I’d just like to thank you for your considered responses here and for persisting politely despite some rather intemperate and unfounded challenges.

    I am much more concerned to get the science right than to produce a particular outcome. I believe Anthony and Steve have the same priority in their blogs though obviously not all posters share that objectivity. I personally very much welcome informed inputs from all sides of the debates.

    Thanks again.

  297. http://www.nsidc.org has just in its arctic ice plots recorded a one million square kilometer loss of ice over the weekend.

    Is this normal in mid-February, is this a blip in measurement technology or is this going to precede some apocalyptic warnings for this summer?

  298. Brendan H (17:24:44) : But the error would be Watson’s. As Holmes points out, what counts is the evidence in the present case. The fact that a previous event has a particular cause does not necessarily mean that the same set of conditions apply to the present case. They may, but they may not.

    The point is: we don’t even know what the previous cause was although there may be an inkling. Not knowing the cause makes it hard to rule out.

    It’s still Holmes’ task to elaborate on that evidence. It is insufficient to list possible murder methods. He needs to show that a particular method is viable in this particular death AND that it was actually present AND that it was employed vs. being simply present AND the death had no similarity to previous deaths. IOW: it must be shown that the death was not only unnatural and not explainable by previous causes (even if unknown) but that it also has human origin. All must be shown. Getting one or two doesn’t cut it.

    The case for anthropogenic CO2 explaining the end of the last century has not been made. This case MUST be made before discussing anything arising as a consequence.

  299. DAV says:

    The case for anthropogenic CO2 explaining the end of the last century has not been made. This case MUST be made before discussing anything arising as a consequence.

    Well, in your opinion, the case has not been made. However, in the opinion of the scientific community as a whole, as expressed through the normal organs of that community, such as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, it has.

  300. Alan Wilkinson,

    Thanks for the kind words. I agree with your concern to “get the science right than to produce a particular outcome.”

  301. Smokey says:

    There is no proof that a “tipping point” is right around the corner, or that such a creature even exists. By repeatedly opining on where these “tipping points” will be, you assume that such a thing as a “tipping point” exists outside of computer models or James Hansen’s fevered imagination.

    First of all, there is no “proof” of anything in science. Science is inductive. If you want proof, go to mathematics which is inductive. Science simply deals with evidence.

    Second of all, I don’t think the evidence of tipping points comes from climate models at all. It comes from the past paleoclimate history showing some dramatic shifts in climate or greenhouse gas levels or the like, along with an understanding of how highly nonlinear interactive systems tend to behave.

    Since the past decade’s flat to cooling climate behavior shows us that models can not predict, then you cannot credibly argue that such a thing as a future “tipping point” even exists.

    Except that large variations in the temperature trends, including negative trends, is exactly what the models do predict over time periods that are not very long: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/langswitch_lang/in

    Before discussing “tipping points” as if they are actually proven to exist, first, try to falsify the hypothesis that the climate is acting normally. If you can do that, you’re a better man than all of the IPCC’s political appointees put together: click

    Even Lucia, no friend of the IPCC and its predictions, finds the Monckton graphs to be by her euphism “artful”: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/more-artful-graphs-from-monckton/ A real skeptic might show a little more skepticism towards his sources.

  302. DAV says:

    The case for anthropogenic CO2 explaining the end of the last century has not been made. This case MUST be made before discussing anything arising as a consequence.

    Well, in your opinion, the case has not been made. However, in the opinion of the scientific community as a whole, as expressed through the normal organs of that community, such as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, it has.

    REPLY: I can’t tell if you are really interested in discussion of if you are simply trying to blast enough comments here to promote your gaming website, ht83 dot com linked in your name. If you are interested in commentary, please lose the link. As I don’t allow those types of links here. – Anthony

  303. DAV: “The point is: we don’t even know what the previous cause was although there may be an inkling.”

    We know enough about the drivers of climate to make reasonable suppositions about the past. For example, the warming period following a glacial period is surmised as a combination of a small change in the orbit of the planet combined with the effects of the release of greenhouse gases such as CO2.

    “…it must be shown that the death was not only unnatural and not explainable by previous causes (even if unknown) but that it also has human origin.”

    AGW has ruled out natural causes such as solar variation for especially the past 30-odd years of warming. We know that the 35 per cent rise in CO2 is due to human causes; we know the heat-retaining properties of CO2; we know the atmosphere is warming.

    In other words, on the crime analogy, the usual suspects have been ruled out, and we have the murder weapon, a motive and the corpse. Them humans done it, m’lud!

  304. y8 (22:12:24) :

    An exact word for word, puctuation for punctuation duplicate of Joel Shore (18:43:30) : minus the blockquote.

    How odd!

  305. Joel Shore (19:01:00) : First of all, there is no “proof” of anything in science. Science is inductive. If you want proof, go to mathematics which is inductive. Science simply deals with evidence.

    FYI: Technically speaking, mathematics is deductive while science is abductive.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abductive

    Second of all, I don’t think the evidence of tipping points comes from climate models at all. It comes from the past paleoclimate history showing some dramatic shifts in climate or greenhouse gas levels or the like, along with an understanding of how highly nonlinear interactive systems tend to behave.

    Such as…?

    Except that large variations in the temperature trends, including negative trends, is exactly what the models do predict over time periods that are not very long: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/langswitch_lang/in

    Please define “not very long”. The graphs at RC, particulary this one only show negative excursions lasting say 1-3 years with no prominent flattening.

    Even Lucia, no friend of the IPCC and its predictions, finds the Monckton graphs to be by her euphism “artful”: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/more-artful-graphs-from-monckton/ A real skeptic might show a little more skepticism towards his sources.

    Lucia’s opinions on Monckton graphs are hardly evidence for “tipping points.”

  306. Such as…?

    Younger-Dryas events ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas ).

    Please define “not very long”. The graphs at RC, particulary this one only show negative excursions lasting say 1-3 years with no prominent flattening.

    No…Look at the distribution of trends. What you are apparently noticing is that the thick black line, representing the average over all the different climate model runs behaves that way. However, that is not the correct thing to look at: The average over all different runs is akin to averaging over all the weather and short-term climate variations (such as the ENSO events). It is useful for seeing the overall climate trend (and is, as expected, pretty steadily upward except when there are volcanic eruptions) but it is not a representation of what one expects the earth’s climate system to actually follow because in the earth’s climate system we do not average over such weather and climate variations. What the earth is actually following is akin to a single run of a climate model, with one particular realization of the weather and climate.

    One could make an analogy with seasonal cycles here. If I showed you a plot of the AVERAGE daily temperature here in Rochester over the course of a year, you would see a smooth oscillation with temperatures rising steadily in the spring and falling steadily in the fall. However, if we actually plotted the temperature over any given year, you would not see such smooth steady trends, but would instead see lots of noisy ups and down superimposed on this general cycle.

    Lucia’s opinions on Monckton graphs are hardly evidence for “tipping points.”

    I didn’t say that they were. I don’t know why Smokey linked to that graph in the first place except that he always likes to link to these deceptive graphs from totally ridiculous sources like Monckton or IceCap that purport to show that AGW is wrong. So, I commented on it.

  307. Joel Shore (08:06:21) : No…Look at the distribution of trends. What you are apparently noticing is that the thick black line, representing the average over all the different climate model runs behaves that way

    The only legitimate reason for model averaging is if uncertainty in model selection makes any individual model untrustworthy. IOW: when you can’t decide which model to use. It’s like polling and getting wildly differing opinions. No one opinion can be labelled as “correct” and the best estimate is the average of all of them. The test for predictive power is always made using the average. If you CAN point to one of the outputs and say “THIS is the right one!” it begs the question of why you didn’t use it alone in the first place. So I don’t buy your explanation.

    Even if I did buy it, it looks as if each model output consists of nothing BUT short-term spikes and no single one agrees with the record over the previous decade although the graphic at RC makes it hard to tell.

    I didn’t say that they were. I don’t know why Smokey linked to that graph in the first place except that he always likes to link to these deceptive graphs from totally ridiculous sources

    Yeah that particular link was completely unwarranted. Nonetheless, I note that you avoided the gist of what preceded it, which was a good point. Namely,

    Before discussing “tipping points” as if they are actually proven to exist, first, try to falsify the hypothesis that the climate is acting normally.

    Younger-Dryas events

    Hmmm… repeat again, please, your definition of “tipping point”.

  308. DAV says:

    The only legitimate reason for model averaging is if uncertainty in model selection makes any individual model untrustworthy.

    No. It is also useful in averaging over the unforced aspects of climate in order to see the general trend due to the forced aspects. Take our analogy to the seasonal cycle: It is nice to produce a pretty plot that shows the average temperature in Rochester as a function of the day of the year and clearly demonstrates the smooth cyclic seasonal cycle forcing that would be much noisier if we just looked at a single year’s temperatures.

    However, my point was not to get in a discussion of whether it is good to average models but simply to point out that the correct thing to look at is what the individual runs of the models predict, not the averages predict, in order to get an idea of the different possible courses of the climate.

    Even if I did buy it, it looks as if each model output consists of nothing BUT short-term spikes and no single one agrees with the record over the previous decade although the graphic at RC makes it hard to tell.

    Noone is claiming that they do. Getting those individual spikes right would entail being over to predict short-term oscillation in climate such as El Nino and La Nina that noone claims to be able to predict accurately because they are very sensitive to initial conditions. (I.e., even the exact same model run with just a slight perturbation to its initial conditions produces a different pattern of spikes and dips.) However, what one can do is look at those individual runs to see how much, say, the trend over a 10 year period can vary. Remind what the original question was: Is a period of, say, 10 years over which the temperature is flat something that the climate models predict should never happen in a world of steadily increasing greenhouse gas forcing, or is it something that should not be that uncommon?

    Hmmm… repeat again, please, your definition of “tipping point”.

    In my view, a tipping point would be where the place where a small perturbation could cause the climate to change by a large amount. Think of being at the top of a hill between two valleys where a push one way or the other will send you into one valley or another. In the Younger-Dryas example, there seems to be a point at which there is a dramatic change in ocean currents that leads to a very different climate state.

  309. Joel Shore (18:59:30) : No. It is also useful in averaging over the unforced aspects of climate in order to see the general trend due to the forced aspects. … my point was not to get in a discussion of whether it is good to average models but simply to point out that the correct thing to look at is what the individual runs of the models predict, not the averages predict, in order to get an idea of the different possible courses of the climate.

    With so many different outcomes to choose from how can they be predictive? A bit like predicting the Super Bowl with wild point spread predictions isn’t it? Somebody will win and we’ll know which predictor was right (er, closest) as soon as the game is over, no? Like a common weather forecast in my parts during the summer: sunny with a possibility of thunderstorms. IOW: you may or may need an umbrella. Doesn’t leave much to chance — and is conveniently hard to pin down to a wrong, eh? nudge nudge.

    The only thing useful (in terms of prediction) from so many possible outcomes IS the average.

    … El Nino and La Nina that no one claims to be able to predict accurately because they are very sensitive to initial conditions

    Hmmm, yasss! “Sensitive to initial conditions” is code-speak for “there’s a lot we don’t understand”. Dice rolls are “sensitive to initial conditions”. It’s a bit of hubris to claim knowledge of the effects of a small component on the outcome when the major drivers can’t be predicted, isn’t it?

    This one: Is a period of, say, 10 years over which the temperature is flat something that the climate models predict should never happen in a world of steadily increasing greenhouse gas forcing?

    10 years represents 1/10 of a century and 1/3 of the period that seems to be the major “proof” of said forcing. One would think steady forcing would cause steady change but a flat period implies it happens in spurts. A 10 year hiatus implies those spurts happen under no more than 2/3 of an interval that is supposedly sufficient to use as a climate indicator.

    a tipping point would be where the place where a small perturbation could cause the climate to change by a large amount

    Every reversal with differing slopes ultimately has one then — it’s just a matter of degree. OK. However, I find it hard to believe we know enough to know the true (vs. hypothesized) cause(s) let alone being able to predict when one is nigh. I seem to recall you mentioning some difficulty due to sensitivity to initial conditions.

  310. DAV says:

    With so many different outcomes to choose from how can they be predictive?

    The only thing useful (in terms of prediction) from so many possible outcomes IS the average.

    I would say sort of, but not quite. What one can predict is the average and also some measure of the amount of variability that you can expect to get about that average. So, in the case of future climate change, we can predict the average trend that we expect and how much variability one might get around that trend if we look over, say, a 10 year time span. (This assumes that the models do a good job capturing such variability, which I admit I am not up on the details of, although my impression is that they do at least a pretty good, although certainly not perfect, job of capturing such variability.)

    Getting back to the seasonal cycle analogy (sorry to keep returning to this, but the more I think about, the more useful I realize it is): One thing that is definitely useful is to predict how the average temperature varies over the year. However, there are other things that might be useful too. For example, let’s say that we have data for February here in Rochester that shows that there has actually been a negative trend over the month for temperatures. One might want to ask, “How compatible is this negative trend with the seasonal cycle theory (since it predicts that the average February should have a positive temperature trend)?” With an appropriate climate model, one would presumably be able to answer this sort of question.

    Hmmm, yasss! “Sensitive to initial conditions” is code-speak for “there’s a lot we don’t understand”. Dice rolls are “sensitive to initial conditions”. It’s a bit of hubris to claim knowledge of the effects of a small component on the outcome when the major drivers can’t be predicted, isn’t it?

    Well, yes, dice rolls are “sensitive to initial conditions” and yet I think you would agree that if I took a die and altered it by painting the side with one dot to have six dots then you could make some predictions as to how this die will behave on average relative to a regular die even though you can’t predict what the next role would be. Likewise, in regards to the seasonal cycle analogy, even if we can’t predict the day-to-day weather for more than about a week in advance, I think you will agree that we can make some general predictions regarding what the temperature will be in July relative to what it will be in January. And, in fact, the same climate models that show extreme sensitivity to initial conditions still show that under a given forcing such as an increase in CO2, the basic change in the global climate is predictable even while the individual jiggles up-and-down from year-to-year are not (because they depend so delicately on the initial conditions).

    10 years represents 1/10 of a century and 1/3 of the period that seems to be the major “proof” of said forcing. One would think steady forcing would cause steady change but a flat period implies it happens in spurts. A 10 year hiatus implies those spurts happen under no more than 2/3 of an interval that is supposedly sufficient to use as a climate indicator.

    Again, think of the seasonal cycle. Certainly, we can make a more robust prediction regarding the average temperature for the first half of April relative to the average temperature for the first half of January than we can regarding, say, the average temperature for the first half of February relative to the average temperature for the first half of January. And, it doesn’t mean that the seasonal cycle happens in spurts; it just means that there is considerable weather noise in the system and thus the longer period you look at the more likely you can see the underlying trend above the noise.

    However, I find it hard to believe we know enough to know the true (vs. hypothesized) cause(s) let alone being able to predict when one is nigh.

    I haven’t claimed that exactly where the tipping points are is particularly easy to predict. However, unlike you, I don’t find this fact particularly reassuring as we apply a significant forcing to the climate system.

  311. What one can predict is the average and also some measure of the amount of variability that you can expect to get about that average

    Sorry, but you can do nothing of the sort. For one, the average is the prediction! Secondly, the only variability you can predict is the variability of your models. That variability may or may not have any connection with reality. Since no single model is good enough as tested through predictive accuracy (the reason for averaging them in the first place), you can’t use them to for probability statements — even tacit ones.

    I used a dice roll because it is a synonym for random (meaning unpredictable) event. You can only speak of probable outcomes in dice rolls because the number of possible outcomes is completely known. If you know little about dice, you haven’t a leg to stand on. The climate is far more complex than a pair of dice with a vast, likely infinite, number of possible outcomes. You are going to have a hard time showing you know enough of them to support predictions of them. In fact, the very mention of “initial condition sensitivity” is an admission of that lack. You are saying that, even if you plug in what you now know, your calculations yield wildly varying results.

    think of the seasonal cycle. Certainly, we can make a more robust prediction regarding the average temperature for the first half of April relative to the average temperature for the first half of January than we can regarding, say, the average temperature

    Are you now agreeing there are natural cycles in climate that can swamp puny CO2 effects? Even if you aren’t, a constantly increasing forcing factor should have a constantly increasing effect, if only on the average. A 10 year hiatus means that preceding and following periods must show an increased effect for the average to be realized. You now need to explain this variability.

    I don’t find this fact particularly reassuring as we apply a significant forcing to the climate system.

    The entire business of bringing them up is a scare tactic. It’s like claiming we live on a plateau with a western cliff so all progress toward the west should be discouraged immediately cease. Never mind that we haven’t the faintest idea whether it’s even there, or how far if it is.

  312. I am increasingly impressed by the quality of the comments on this site. Predictions of a coming apocalypse have always been part and parcel of any movement that relies on a huge leap of faith. How odd, then, that the proponents of AGW, who claim that the science is in, rely instead on the boogey man to frighten the unwary into lockstep with their nightmarish vision of the future.
    It feels as if normalcy is being held at ransom by these hijackers.

    “Give me all your money or life as you know it is over, citizen. Yeah and that means that the polar bear gets it too…”

  313. DAV says:

    the only variability you can predict is the variability of your models. That variability may or may not have any connection with reality.

    I did have that caveat in my previous post. Obviously, when using a model, you are limited by the extent to which the model has the same sort of features as the real system. As I noted, the models do seem to at least roughly capture the sort of variability seen in the real world.

    In fact, the very mention of “initial condition sensitivity” is an admission of that lack. You are saying that, even if you plug in what you now know, your calculations yield wildly varying results.

    Again, not knowing everything doesn’t mean we know nothing. Yes, the sensitivity to initial conditions means that we should not make predictions that depend on these initial conditions. This means not believing the individual jigs and jags up and down in any given run of the model. However, things like the trend over 100 years or the magnitude of the variability (i.e., the characteristic size of those ups and downs) turns out to be independent of the initial conditions.

    Are you now agreeing there are natural cycles in climate that can swamp puny CO2 effects?

    What I am saying is what happens is exactly the same as what happens for the seasonal cycle: There, we see that the day-to-day weather variations dominate over the seasonal cycle…so for trends on the scale of days to a few weeks, we are likely to see trends that are opposite to what the seasonal cycle predicts (e.g., we can see cooling trends in the spring and warming trends in the fall). However, as we take the trend over longer periods (say, a month or two or three), the trends due to the seasonal cycle become much more resilient even though the weather noise is still there.

    I doubt you would want to claim that the seasonal cycle is a “puny” effect in Rochester even though the noise can dominate over it over short periods.

    Even if you aren’t, a constantly increasing forcing factor should have a constantly increasing effect, if only on the average. A 10 year hiatus means that preceding and following periods must show an increased effect for the average to be realized. You now need to explain this variability.

    Actually, the several year period up to the late 90s did have a greater than average trend, I believe. Obviously, we will have to see what the future holds in store.

    The entire business of bringing them up is a scare tactic. It’s like claiming we live on a plateau with a western cliff so all progress toward the west should be discouraged immediately cease. Never mind that we haven’t the faintest idea whether it’s even there, or how far if it is.

    It is not a scare tactic to acknowledge very real dangers even if we are still hazy on the details on some of them. It is important to quantify what we know in each case, but simply to completely ignore the possibilities because we are uncertain about them is foolhardy. (By the way, for internal consistency, I assume that with the attitudes you express here, you must have been one of those who were on the front lines of the protests against our invasion of Iraq?)

  314. By the way, for internal consistency, I assume that with the attitudes you express here, you must have been one of those who were on the front lines of the protests against our invasion of Iraq

    we are done.

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