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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gary gulrud
February 12, 2009 5:48 am

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’.

Phillip Bratby
February 12, 2009 5:52 am

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?

Allan M R MacRae
February 12, 2009 5:53 am

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

Simon Evans
February 12, 2009 5:55 am

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.”

Allan M R MacRae
February 12, 2009 5:55 am

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

anna v
February 12, 2009 5:55 am

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.

Allan M R MacRae
February 12, 2009 5:58 am

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

anna v
February 12, 2009 5:59 am

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.”

bluegrue
February 12, 2009 6:04 am

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.”

Sekerob
February 12, 2009 6:08 am

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.

Barry Foster
February 12, 2009 6:11 am

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’.

James P
February 12, 2009 6:14 am

“apocalyptic predictions about Arctic ice melt and soaring temperatures”
Like those emanating from the Met. Office..?
Deep joy!

February 12, 2009 6:19 am

Did I just wake up in an alternate universe?

Bill McClure
February 12, 2009 6:22 am

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

Richard Heg
February 12, 2009 6:22 am

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

schnurrp
February 12, 2009 6:24 am

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.

pyromancer76
February 12, 2009 6:31 am

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.

Stef
February 12, 2009 6:31 am

“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.

February 12, 2009 6:32 am

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.

MattN
February 12, 2009 6:35 am

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…

Wondering Aloud
February 12, 2009 6:36 am

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.

Pamela Gray
February 12, 2009 6:38 am

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.

Pragmatic
February 12, 2009 6:40 am

“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*!

J. Peden
February 12, 2009 6:42 am

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.

deadwood
February 12, 2009 6:46 am

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.

Brian Johnson
February 12, 2009 6:47 am

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.”

Brian Johnson
February 12, 2009 6:47 am

Richard Heg (06:22:40) :
“Nobel Prize winning scientist Al Gore”
Is Al Gore a scientist?
Is the Pope a Muslim?

George Gillan
February 12, 2009 6:48 am

I would also like to know the justification for referring to Al Gore as a scientist.

Claude Harvey
February 12, 2009 6:49 am

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.”

Joel Shore
February 12, 2009 6:52 am

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!

BraudRP
February 12, 2009 6:53 am

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.

WestHoustonGeo
February 12, 2009 6:55 am

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?

DR
February 12, 2009 6:55 am

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

February 12, 2009 6:56 am

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)

Scott Covert
February 12, 2009 6:57 am

Richard, anyone can be a Scientist. Even Professor Honeydew.

Steven Goddard
February 12, 2009 6:59 am

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?

GP
February 12, 2009 7:01 am

New Scientist has an interesting article about the sudden and catastrophic cold winter of 1709
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126942.100-1709-the-year-that-europe-froze.html?page=1
Makes interesting reading even if the last sentence is the usual ‘but the situation is different now’ observation. Based on what is described before it, how can one know?

kim
February 12, 2009 7:03 am

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

realitycheck
February 12, 2009 7:05 am

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.

Neil
February 12, 2009 7:12 am

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” !!

February 12, 2009 7:14 am

Dr Pope’s earlier stated position on climate change was rather…apocalyptic.

Robert Wood
February 12, 2009 7:17 am

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.

Ceolfrith
February 12, 2009 7:25 am

Richard Heg (06:22:40) :
Two minds with but a single thought

Rick, michigan
February 12, 2009 7:26 am

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.

iheartheidicullen
February 12, 2009 7:38 am

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!”

Willem de Rode
February 12, 2009 7:38 am

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”.

February 12, 2009 7:41 am

For ‘climate change’, read ‘MOTHER NATURE!’

Cliff McQueen
February 12, 2009 7:42 am

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.

Manfred
February 12, 2009 7:44 am

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.

John Galt
February 12, 2009 7:46 am

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.

Andre
February 12, 2009 7:48 am

First of all he is idiot. Just look in his eyes.

Leon Brozyna
February 12, 2009 7:51 am

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.

Alan the Brit
February 12, 2009 7:52 am

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?

hunter
February 12, 2009 7:52 am

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.

Dave
February 12, 2009 7:54 am

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)?

hunter
February 12, 2009 7:54 am

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.

Roger Knights
February 12, 2009 8:01 am

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

February 12, 2009 8:01 am

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!!!

hunter
February 12, 2009 8:02 am

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.

Craig Moore
February 12, 2009 8:02 am

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.

Alan the Brit
February 12, 2009 8:03 am

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.

Yertizz
February 12, 2009 8:07 am

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.

Andy S
February 12, 2009 8:10 am

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.

Steven Goddard
February 12, 2009 8:15 am

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.

kuhnkat
February 12, 2009 8:17 am

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??

Joseph
February 12, 2009 8:21 am

“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.

nigel jones
February 12, 2009 8:22 am

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.

vukcevic
February 12, 2009 8:26 am

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.

Stefan
February 12, 2009 8:27 am

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.

February 12, 2009 8:28 am

Here’s a fun game:
What’s the earliest the arctic could be ice free according to ‘scientists’
2013 according to this BBC story (on their kids news site) from june 2008
http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_7460000/newsid_7462800/7462806.stm

bluegrue
February 12, 2009 8:34 am

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.

John Peter
February 12, 2009 8:37 am

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.

Michael D Smith
February 12, 2009 8:46 am

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

Bernie
February 12, 2009 8:49 am

Richard
Sarcasm, methinks!

Barry Foster
February 12, 2009 9:01 am

Is Al Gore a scientist?
Well he did invent the internet, and television, and the telephone…and the bicycle.

February 12, 2009 9:01 am

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.

Richard Sharpe
February 12, 2009 9:18 am

Bill McClure says:

suppress dissent and ignore reasonable information presented by others

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

Jeff Alberts
February 12, 2009 9:26 am

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.”

Jeff Alberts
February 12, 2009 9:27 am

Oops, crap. The last paragraph was mine, the rest was quoted from Simon.

February 12, 2009 9:27 am

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!

Jeff Alberts
February 12, 2009 9:28 am

I think they’ll totally backpedal on this article.

george h.
February 12, 2009 9:30 am

Those deniers at the Met Office are shills for the oil industry and cannot be trusted.

Jeff Alberts
February 12, 2009 9:36 am

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.

John Galt
February 12, 2009 9:37 am

Wait for the retractions, corrections and clarifications that are sure to follow.

Rhys Jaggar
February 12, 2009 9:47 am

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……..

hunter
February 12, 2009 9:48 am

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.

Spathirin
February 12, 2009 9:50 am

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.

Robert Wood
February 12, 2009 9:52 am

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.

Ben
February 12, 2009 9:52 am

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.

Neo
February 12, 2009 9:52 am

How Nixonian of the UK Met Office Hadley Centre to do a “limited hangout“.

Rhys Jaggar
February 12, 2009 9:54 am

‘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………’

Sekerob
February 12, 2009 9:55 am

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.

MartinGAtkins
February 12, 2009 9:56 am

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.

Robert Wood
February 12, 2009 9:57 am

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.

February 12, 2009 9:59 am

How the world turns, and the predictions of impending doom fail. Anyone want to buy some discounted carbon credits?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/07/cost-carbon-credits-falls

Alg
February 12, 2009 10:02 am

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 .

Andrew W
February 12, 2009 10:04 am

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.

Rhys Jaggar
February 12, 2009 10:08 am

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……..

bill p
February 12, 2009 10:10 am

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?

Robert Wood
February 12, 2009 10:13 am

Ben (09:52:18) :
Junkscience.com has a good overview

David Porter
February 12, 2009 10:13 am

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.

February 12, 2009 10:15 am

Ben (09:52:18) :
I’m a big believer in visual aids like charts and graphs. They make a bigger impact with the general public than long PDF files.
You can find lots of charts on this site. Here are some to get you started:
click1
click2
click3
click4
click5
click6
click7
click8
click9
click10
click11
click12
Good luck!

Pierre Gosselin
February 12, 2009 10:24 am

A return to reason?

An Inquirer
February 12, 2009 10:25 am

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.

a jones
February 12, 2009 10:26 am

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

stephen richards
February 12, 2009 10:31 am

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.

Richard Heg
February 12, 2009 10:33 am

Rhys Jaggar (09:47:11) :
“but I’ve never heard anyone stand up to the BBC before on this,”
David Bellamy did and it cost him his career. Here he is in a recent interview on Irish TV talking about AGW, (interview starts about 3 minutes into the footage and you need real player to run it)
http://www.rte.ie/tv/latelate/av_20090123.html?2480831,null,228

D. King
February 12, 2009 10:35 am

“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!”
Sir Walter Scott

February 12, 2009 10:36 am

@ 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.

February 12, 2009 10:50 am

Perhaps, they forgot to add:
“we are the final authority on global… cough, climate change”

Alan the Brit
February 12, 2009 10:52 am

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:-)

Ron de Haan
February 12, 2009 10:54 am

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

Richard M
February 12, 2009 11:03 am

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.

John Galt
February 12, 2009 11:07 am

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.

Steven Goddard
February 12, 2009 11:11 am

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.

Richard111
February 12, 2009 11:18 am

Smokey (10:15:49) :
Arghh… I clicked on the last one…

M White
February 12, 2009 11:21 am

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.”

HasItBeen4YearsYet?
February 12, 2009 11:23 am

@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.

HasItBeen4YearsYet?
February 12, 2009 11:27 am

…or, as Ron de Haan (10:54:11) says, “NOTHING HAS CHANGED”

Joel Shore
February 12, 2009 11:33 am

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.

February 12, 2009 11:35 am

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.

lightduty
February 12, 2009 11:36 am

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.

February 12, 2009 11:44 am

Ben, since you also requested videos, here’s a good one with some “hot” music: click

February 12, 2009 12:16 pm

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

Jeff Alberts
February 12, 2009 12:21 pm

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.

Sven
February 12, 2009 12:24 pm

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?

Robinson
February 12, 2009 12:30 pm

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.

John Galt
February 12, 2009 12:41 pm

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.

tmtisfree
February 12, 2009 12:46 pm

Robinson (12:30:34) :
One day I’ll find something you haven’t already seen.
What about this interesting perspective?

timbrom
February 12, 2009 1:01 pm

Ben
I’m sure you’ve seen “The Blues Brothers.” Chicken wire, man, chicken wire!

Ed Scott
February 12, 2009 1:03 pm

“Nobel Prize winning scientist Al Gore …”
A blight on the scientific community.

Flanagan
February 12, 2009 1:04 pm

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!!

Roger Knights
February 12, 2009 1:12 pm

“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.

max_b
February 12, 2009 1:13 pm

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…

Bill McClure
February 12, 2009 1:21 pm

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”

hunter
February 12, 2009 1:22 pm

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.

February 12, 2009 1:32 pm

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.

Wondering Aloud
February 12, 2009 1:43 pm

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.

February 12, 2009 1:44 pm

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.

Aaron C
February 12, 2009 1:45 pm

When did Al gore become a “scientist”?????

Joel Shore
February 12, 2009 1:54 pm

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.

bluegrue
February 12, 2009 2:03 pm

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.

bluegrue
February 12, 2009 2:14 pm

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.

E.M.Smith
Editor
February 12, 2009 2:24 pm

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…

Manfred
February 12, 2009 2:25 pm

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.

timbrom
February 12, 2009 2:31 pm

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?

Steven Goddard
February 12, 2009 2:34 pm

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

February 12, 2009 2:37 pm

“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.

Jordan
February 12, 2009 2:38 pm

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.

Graeme Rodaughan
February 12, 2009 2:40 pm

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…

hunter
February 12, 2009 2:56 pm

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.

Graeme Rodaughan
February 12, 2009 2:56 pm

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.

E.M.Smith
Editor
February 12, 2009 3:05 pm

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…)

February 12, 2009 3:23 pm

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.

Gary Hladik
February 12, 2009 3:28 pm

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. 🙂

E.M.Smith
Editor
February 12, 2009 3:37 pm

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…

DR
February 12, 2009 3:38 pm

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 🙂

Graeme Rodaughan
February 12, 2009 3:42 pm

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.

Simon Evans
February 12, 2009 3:44 pm

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.

Manfred
February 12, 2009 3:46 pm

from the met office homepage, with
“easy grabbing attention by linking climate change to the latest extreme weather event or apocalyptic prediction”

February 12, 2009 3:52 pm

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.

Psi
February 12, 2009 3:54 pm

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.

Mac
February 12, 2009 3:55 pm

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.

DAV
February 12, 2009 3:59 pm

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.

Simon Evans
February 12, 2009 4:01 pm

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.

Stefan
February 12, 2009 4:02 pm

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?

February 12, 2009 4:08 pm

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.

DR
February 12, 2009 4:25 pm

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?

Joel Shore
February 12, 2009 4:28 pm

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!

E.M.Smith
Editor
February 12, 2009 4:31 pm

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…

Paddy
February 12, 2009 4:38 pm

“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.

Ron de Haan
February 12, 2009 4:41 pm

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.

E.M.Smith
Editor
February 12, 2009 4:50 pm

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?

E.M.Smith
Editor
February 12, 2009 5:07 pm

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.

Simon Evans
February 12, 2009 5:08 pm

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.

Adams
February 12, 2009 5:08 pm

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.

Mark
February 12, 2009 5:10 pm

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.”

Jeff Alberts
February 12, 2009 5:25 pm

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.

MarkB
February 12, 2009 5:26 pm

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.

Jeff Alberts
February 12, 2009 5:27 pm

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.

Adams
February 12, 2009 5:30 pm

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!

Happy About It!
February 12, 2009 5:33 pm

“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.

Simon Evans
February 12, 2009 5:43 pm

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!

Joel Shore
February 12, 2009 5:48 pm

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!

DB2
February 12, 2009 5:56 pm

One swallow does not make a summer.
Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics

Edward Morgan
February 12, 2009 6:05 pm

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.

February 12, 2009 6:11 pm

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.

Pamela Gray
February 12, 2009 6:21 pm

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.

E.M.Smith
Editor
February 12, 2009 6:26 pm

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…

DAV
February 12, 2009 6:35 pm

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.

February 12, 2009 7:04 pm

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.

Ron de Haan
February 12, 2009 7:09 pm

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?

February 12, 2009 7:12 pm

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.

Frank K.
February 12, 2009 7:22 pm

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!!

Simon Evans
February 12, 2009 7:23 pm

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.

E.M.Smith
Editor
February 12, 2009 7:23 pm

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.

Simon Evans
February 12, 2009 7:28 pm

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’.

Steven Goddard
February 12, 2009 7:47 pm

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.

F Rasmin
February 12, 2009 7:55 pm

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).

Joel Shore
February 12, 2009 8:03 pm

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 Shore
February 12, 2009 8:15 pm

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.

HasItBeen4YearsYet?
February 12, 2009 8:22 pm

@hunter (14:56:11) :
Interesting analogy. Government gets drunk on power, and the citizens suffer the hangover. Yep, that sounds about right.

February 12, 2009 9:08 pm

@ 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…

Jeff Alberts
February 12, 2009 9:17 pm

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…

AKD
February 12, 2009 9:28 pm

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.

Pamela Gray
February 12, 2009 9:29 pm

Some of you may have to go the timeout table during recess and put your heads down.

Darell C. Phillips
February 12, 2009 10:01 pm

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

Neil Crafter
February 12, 2009 10:20 pm

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.

Manfred
February 12, 2009 11:01 pm

the guardian has another disgusting story online.
i placed a brief comment (bmann025):
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/10/australia-bush-fires?commentpage=3

Cassandra King
February 12, 2009 11:20 pm

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.

Brendan H
February 12, 2009 11:43 pm

DAV: “Yes indeed it was Rasool.”
Yes, the research was by Rasool. What made you think it was by Hansen?

Flanagan
February 12, 2009 11:46 pm

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:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v449/n7163/images/nature06207-f1.2.jpg
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?

Brendan H
February 13, 2009 12:00 am

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.

bluegrue
February 13, 2009 12:15 am

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.

CodeTech
February 13, 2009 12:34 am

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”…)

bluegrue
February 13, 2009 12:52 am

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.

February 13, 2009 1:07 am

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

AndyW
February 13, 2009 1:12 am

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

Kum Dollison
February 13, 2009 1:23 am

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?

NS
February 13, 2009 1:27 am

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……

John Philip
February 13, 2009 3:09 am

… 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…

Robert Wood
February 13, 2009 3:11 am

Andy, why do you like the Met Office’s forecasts?
Anyone can say “Sunny periods with scattered showers”.

hunter
February 13, 2009 3:13 am

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.

hunter
February 13, 2009 3:17 am

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
February 13, 2009 3:31 am

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.

February 13, 2009 3:35 am

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.

Richard Sharpe
February 13, 2009 4:01 am

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?

Mark N
February 13, 2009 4:40 am

“.., have a Cigar, you’re gonna go far….” Pink Floyd

February 13, 2009 4:59 am

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.

saicebrian
February 13, 2009 5:06 am

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!

Richard Heg
February 13, 2009 5:21 am

The BBC let this one pass
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/question_time/7888207.stm
“Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie is sceptical about global warming being caused by human behaviour.”

DAV
February 13, 2009 5:23 am

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.

hunter
February 13, 2009 5:30 am

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?

An Inquirer
February 13, 2009 5:48 am

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.

DAV
February 13, 2009 6:08 am

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?

Flanagan
February 13, 2009 6:11 am

“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?

DAV
February 13, 2009 6:14 am

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.

Tom Davidson
February 13, 2009 6:35 am

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.

DAV
February 13, 2009 6:40 am

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.

Ben
February 13, 2009 7:03 am

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.

bluegrue
February 13, 2009 7:04 am

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?

bluegrue
February 13, 2009 7:11 am

Richard Sharpe (04:01:04) :BTW, shouldn’t it be grue-bleen?
Hmm, good idea, but no: I just like to slither around in darkness. 😉

Steve Keohane
February 13, 2009 7:12 am

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.

AKD
February 13, 2009 7:23 am

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.”

Steven Goddard
February 13, 2009 7:57 am

Hopefully Dr. Chu’s commute in Berkeley is not too badly affected by today’s flooding on 880.
http://cbs5.com/localwire/22.0.html?type=bcn&item=ROADWAY-FLOODING-bagm-
It is important that he is able to get to his office, in order to further study the horrific drought California faces. One can only hope that he is applying his exceptional knowledge of laser optics, towards the noble goal of helping the rest of us reach climate enlightenment.

Joel Shore
February 13, 2009 8:16 am

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.

February 13, 2009 8:19 am

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.

Simon Evans
February 13, 2009 9:01 am

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.

hunter
February 13, 2009 9:04 am

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.

hunter
February 13, 2009 9:20 am

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.

Simon Evans
February 13, 2009 9:30 am

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

Ron de Haan
February 13, 2009 9:39 am

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

Frank K.
February 13, 2009 9:41 am

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.

Peter
February 13, 2009 10:20 am

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:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v449/n7163/images/nature06207-f1.2.jpg
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?

schnurrp
February 13, 2009 11:41 am

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?

Sam the Skeptic
February 13, 2009 11:55 am

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!

February 13, 2009 11:57 am

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

Peter
February 13, 2009 12:01 pm

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!

Dawud
February 13, 2009 12:01 pm

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 crea