Met Office Climate Official on Arctic Ice Forecasts: "The danger is they can be accused of scaremongering."

I’ve been very critical of statements made by Dr. Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. It seems that I’m not the only one critical of his statements to the press. – Anthony

Excerpts from The Times, UK story:

Exaggerated claims undermine drive to cut emissions, scientists warn

Mark Henderson, Science Editor

Images from 2001and 2007 indicating a big decline in Arctic ice

Images from 2001, top, and 2007 from Philip's Universal Atlas of the World indicated a big decline in Arctic ice, used as proof of climate change

Exaggerated and inaccurate claims about the threat from global warming risk undermining efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and contain climate change, senior scientists have told The Times.

Environmental lobbyists, politicians, researchers and journalists who distort climate science to support an agenda erode public understanding and play into the hands of sceptics, according to experts including a former government chief scientist.

Excessive statements about the decline of Arctic sea ice, severe weather events and the probability of extreme warming in the next century detract from the credibility of robust findings about climate change, they said.

Such claims can easily be rebutted by critics of global warming science to cast doubt on the whole field. They also confuse the public about what has been established as fact, and what is conjecture.

The experts all believe that global warming is a real phenomenon with serious consequences, and that action to curb emissions is urgently needed.

They fear, however, that the contribution of natural climate variations towards events such as storms, melting ice and heatwaves is too often overlooked, and that possible scenarios about future warming are misleadingly presented as fact.

“When people overstate happenings that aren’t necessarily climate change-related, or set up as almost certainties things that are difficult to establish scientifically, it distracts from the science we do understand. The danger is they can be accused of scaremongering. Also, we can all become described as kind of left-wing greens.”

Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said: “It isn’t helpful to anybody to exaggerate the situation. It’s scary enough as it is.”

She was particularly critical of claims made by scientists and environmental groups two years ago, when observations showed that Arctic sea ice had declined to the lowest extent on record, 39 per cent below the average between 1979 and 2001. This led Mark Serreze, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, to say that Arctic ice was “in a downward spiral and may have passed the point of no return”.

Dr Pope said that while climate change was a factor, normal variations also played a part, and it was always likely that ice would recover a little in subsequent years, as had happened. It was the long-term downward trend that mattered, rather than the figures for any one year, she added.

“The problem with saying that we’ve reached a tipping point is that when the extent starts to increase again — as it has — the sceptics will come along and say, ‘Well, it’s stopped’,” she said. “This is why it’s important we’re as objective as we can be, and use all the available evidence to make clear what’s actually happening, because neither of those claims is right.”

“In 1998, people thought the world was going to end, temperatures were going up so much,” Dr Pope said. “People pick up whatever makes their argument, but this works both ways. It’s the long-term trend that counts, which is continuing and inexorable.”

Read the entire article here at The Times

 

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84 thoughts on “Met Office Climate Official on Arctic Ice Forecasts: "The danger is they can be accused of scaremongering."

  1. “It’s the long-term trend that counts, which is continuing and inexorable.” “ Dr.Pope
    Huh? ! Who knows if the long-term trend is continuing if the PRESENT is DOWN?
    Can I be a scientist too?

  2. Anthony,
    Just like the Wall Street Journal Article this article is an attempt to deflect from the problems caused by the cooling trend we’re in at the moment and the alarmist reporting in the media without compromising the original targets for CO2 emission control in any way. I fact, the lies and the deceit continue:
    Just look at this quote:
    “The experts all believe that global warming is a real phenomenon with serious consequences, and that action to curb emissions is urgently needed”.
    Thanks to this quote I have filed the article under the letter G = Garbage.

  3. Never mind all the thrashing about.
    What we all want to see is proper evidence as to the extent to which the absorption characteristics of a specific amount of extra CO2 actually have an effect on global temperatures as compared to the effects of natural variability.
    All the real world evidence is that the effects are unmeasurable at present and I and others have suggested natural feedback mechanisms which suggest that the effect could be zero.
    Unless the warmists can properly counter that evidence and those possible mechanisms would they please withdraw to their labs until they have something useful to say and stop trying to terrorise our politicians, our children and the global population at large.

  4. “Play into the hands of skeptics”?!
    It confirms the reasonable and rational criticism from the skeptics.
    And if “It’s the long-term trend that counts,” then let’s include the long-term in the discussion. In doing so (at least to include the past 1000 years) it becomes clear that the recent warming trend is unremarkable in the context of the historical climate in the Common Era portion of the Late Holocene. The recent warming is even less remarkable if one includes the entire Late Holocene Interglacial. To be fair, the same is true for the recent decadal cooling—unremarkable.

  5. What’s pathetic is that all of the scaremongering (An Inconvenient Truth, anyone?) was just fine as long as it looked like it was driving a friendly political resolution.
    But now that some of the brighter warmists are starting to realize that they’re just shooting themselves in the foot, it’s “hold on! We know that story was way overhyped, don’t blame us it was those other guys that did it!!!”
    They’re just trying to figure out a way to regain the trust they forfeited with their lies. Too late.

  6. Back2Bat
    Can I be a scientist too?
    Of course you can but please leave your brain by the door as you come in as we don’t want any thought going on inside the room.

  7. “Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said: “It isn’t helpful to anybody to exaggerate the situation. It’s scary enough as it is.””
    Last year Vicky Pope had an article with this headline…
    “Met Office warn of ‘catastrophic’ rise in temperature” (December 19, 2008)
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5371682.ece
    …she went on to say… “Only an early and rapid decline in emissions gets anywhere near to the 50 per cent reduction in emissions needed by 2050 to avoid large increases in temperature as recommended in the latest IPCC report.”
    Since this is supposedly a ‘Global’ issue how are they gonna get China and India to rapidly reduce emissions? Here is a nice image of Northern China only two days ago!
    http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/individual.php?db_date=2009-10-28

  8. wws ‘s post reminds me of a Mark Twain quote:
    ” Tell the truth once and nobody will ever believe you again no matter how much you lie.”

  9. The Winnipeg Free Press reported this morning that shipping out of the Port of Churchill on the shore of Hudson Bay was not possible until August 12 because of late ice breakup. It’s the latest opening date on record.

  10. “Watts up” with that picture of the ice caps? Isn’t it pretty clear that’s a doctored photo? There’s a six-year gap and everything is identical, except a huge gaping mass of ice gone and some more ice broken up a little? No other shoreline has changed even slightly… that’s GOT to be fake. I’d love to see a higher-res image but can’t seem to find one.

  11. “The experts all believe that global warming is a real phenomenon with serious consequences, and that action to curb emissions is urgently needed”
    Hmmm. Yes. The actual subtext of the article –
    ‘Scientists and politicians are trying to put together a just slightly credible scare campaign but moronic journos (like this one :-o) and loose cannon NGO’s keep stuffing up their sound bites and making all warmists look stupid”

  12. Now the fear mongerers are accusing each other of fear mongering.
    Eco terrorists each calling each other out for propaganda. Instead of presenting evidence and evidentiary proof of their great scare they spin out of control.
    They can all walk the plank, the tossers, at least one part of the environment would be looked after. Sharks have to eat too.
    Personally I have no problem with responsible enviromentalism, but first do no harm. But these fools have wated billions and billions in fraud and terrorism, and it’s been fear mongering.

  13. Only 15 comments in this post. It seems this should have been a hot post with many comments. But Mockton stole the show today!

  14. Did Vicky Pope say “It isn’t helpful to anybody to exaggerate the situation.”
    Dr Pope in full swing here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyDmdcPw7Uw
    By 2014, she predicts 0.3 dC warmer than 2004. Helpfully, she puts that in the context of only 0.7 dC (globally) over the last century.
    And to leave you in no doubt, half of the years after 2009 are predicted to be warmer than the “previous record” of 2008. “Very strong statements” indeed Dr Pope!
    I womder of Dr Pope is having a “Nick Griffin moment” – where moderate comments today are haunted by past expressions of extreme opinion caught on camera.

  15. Gene Nemetz (18:24:15) :
    Only 15 comments in this post. It seems this should have been a hot post with many comments. But Mockton stole the show today!
    Or maybe they are just wearing us down. How long can one keep responding to nonsense?

  16. wws — They’re just trying to figure out a way to regain the trust they forfeited with their lies. Too late.
    No. They are trying to stifle opposition, and they’re doing so effectively.
    By treating short term cooling as no big deal i.e. “hey we sorta figured this would happen” they can then paint anyone who points to said cooling as foolish, unscientific, and so on.
    We who follow this stuff day to day are not fooled in the least, but then again we aren’t the ones a press release like this is aimed at. Its purpose is to plant a seed.
    George Orwell would crap if he were alive to see this.

  17. “But now that some of the brighter warmists are starting to realize that they’re just shooting themselves in the foot, it’s “hold on! We know that story was way overhyped, don’t blame us it was those other guys that did it!!!”
    “They’re just trying to figure out a way to regain the trust they forfeited with their lies. Too late.”

    Did Ms. Pope speak out in 2007 against the alarmism? If not, then she was free-riding on it and is implicitly associated with it.

  18. “(…) erode public understanding and play into the hands of sceptics (…)”
    Y’see, we have to keep the debate polarised at all costs… using the time-honoured pseudo-neutral-“balanced” “experts-believe” spokesperson tactic.

  19. Vicky Pope said, exaggerating the situation: “It isn’t helpful to anybody to exaggerate the situation. It’s scary enough as it is.”
    The Bard said: ..what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. The tangled web woven by the Warmistas who openly stated that they intended to deceive the public about “global warming” because the people of Earth were unutterably stupid, is now about to destroy the AGW movement. Lying is always a bad tactic.
    Sorry, Ms Pope, you are in the camp of the liars and there ain’t no bus headed your way.
    Perhaps the real problem is that scientists have become mostly technologists and have little understanding of non-scientific matters. The human condition is not reducible to numbers.

  20. “etract from the credibility of robust findings…”
    Is anyone else tired of that word yet? Robust! Robust! Robust!!! Jeez. It’s almost like I can immediately label something as total BS as soon as I see that word.

  21. <cite"The experts all believe that global warming is a real phenomenon with serious consequences, and that action to curb emissions is urgently needed."
    Notice this quote from the article….violating the VERY thing the authors are trying to caution against: EXAGGERATION.
    NEW FLASH: The “experts” don’t “all believe”. To say they all do is an egregious exaggeration.
    DUH! How stupid do these paper editors think we are??
    This article has a good point…but is ultimately nonsense….because no matter how one dresses up or tries to prop up junk science…it is still just putting the proverbial lipstick on the proverbial fat pig!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  22. “Exaggerated and inaccurate claims about the threat from global warming risk undermining efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions…”
    Forkin’ Idjits. If the exaggerated claims aren’t real, there’s no need to curb CO2 emissions.
    The watermelons are now trying to go from Global Warming to Climate Change to simply rationalizing for the eco-lemmings that “going green” must be imposed, even if there isn’t catastrophic (or any) climactic justification.
    Please note that the current promotion of “green” everything no longer bothers to even include a mention of Global Climate Sea Level Polar Bear Death doom; modernity is the de facto demon.

  23. “…climactic justification.”
    Oops, that should be “climatic justification”, but I kinda like my own typo here 🙂

  24. So the process of distancing has begun. I’ve often wondered what form the return of sanity would take. First those trying to regain their professional dignity will say ‘the extremists have overstated the case’. Then it’ll be, ‘climate has always varied and there’s really nothing to be alarmed about’. And finally we should expect to hear they were skeptics all along.

  25. Two weeks ago live on BBC news Dr Pope didn’t even acknowledge that the summer ice extent had increased.
    Looks like a lot of back peddling here 🙂

  26. “”use all the available evidence to make clear what’s actually happening””
    I am still waiting for published evidence on how CO2 gas in the atmosphere can cause this “tipping point”. Link anyone?

  27. “JohnD (21:22:18) :
    Forkin’ Idjits. If the exaggerated claims aren’t real, there’s no need to curb CO2 emissions.”
    Correct. However, there are parties interested in controlling energy (Even if it isn’t from burning fossil fuels). Control that, you control everything.

  28. “This is why it’s important we’re as objective as we can be, and use all the available evidence to make clear what’s actually happening, because neither of those claims is right.”
    Well, Dr Pope seems to have made her mind up! LOL – so much for evidence and objectivity!

  29. You have to check this one out.
    “The North Pole ice cap is 40 percent gone already and could be completely and totally gone in the winter months in the next 5 to 10 years,” he warned.
    If the North Pole were to melt it could increase sea levels by 67 metres, Gore said, speaking in the heart of an oil-rich region not known for its regard for the environment.”
    http://business.maktoob.com/20090000389134/Gore_beats_climate_change_drum_in_Dubai/Article.htm

  30. With regard to Jordan’s comment above and the link to the youtube video: Anthony, is there space on this site for a section where we can permanently group all the statements made for the immediate future, just like Pope’s? We could add Serreze’s too, and others like Gore’s. The section would only have to contain the link to the video or, in the case of a statement, the wording itself. What do you think?

  31. Sara (17:33:03) :
    “Watts up” with that picture of the ice caps? Isn’t it pretty clear that’s a doctored photo? There’s a six-year gap and everything is identical, except a huge gaping mass of ice gone and some more ice broken up a little? No other shoreline has changed even slightly… that’s GOT to be fake. I’d love to see a higher-res image but can’t seem to find one.
    Good eyes. I believe those (probably) photoshopped images were the subject of a discussion here on WUWT a while back. Other than removing some ice, the outlines of the remaining ice are unchanged and, to top it off, snow cover patterns on land are the same.

  32. Playing into my hands? Wow, what did I say to deserve such an honor !! ??
    I have my reply:
    You ain’t kidding the alamism went way over the top.
    It should never have come to this level on such shaky evidence.
    If you wanted structured conversation on why the Planet was warming, you should have pulled the plug on Al Gore and James Hansen years ago.
    But no, instead a huge hole was dug at a feverish pitch by the whole lot of you, and now you want us skeptics to toss you a rope.
    Fine. Plop Mr. Gore down at the debate table with Monckton of Benchley.
    Then we’ll talk about Mr. Hansen’s problem.

  33. So it was the fault of just a few NGOs and a few individuals, and not the field ? Hah.
    To save the theory, all they can do now is simply reaffirm that climate change is ‘real’ and ‘happening’ and ‘serious’—but no mention of specifics.
    Is they mention specifics, then they can be called on it when the supposed thing doesn’t happen.
    But the public has common sense and they already knew from the start that scientists make all sorts of wild predictions that never come true.

  34. “In 1998, people thought the world was going to end, temperatures were going up so much,” Dr Pope said. “People pick up whatever makes their argument, but this works both ways. It’s the long-term trend that counts, which is continuing and inexorable.”
    There isn’t a long term trend. There are long, medium and short term cycles. Who are these buffoons who can only do linear regression?

  35. “With regard to Jordan’s comment above and the link to the youtube video: Anthony, is there space on this site for a section where we can permanently group all the statements made for the immediate future, just like Pope’s? We could add Serreze’s too, and others like Gore’s. The section would only have to contain the link to the video or, in the case of a statement, the wording itself. What do you think?”
    If you want a site to track predictions, go to:
    http://wrongtomorrow.com/

  36. Sara (17:33:03) :
    “Watts up” with that picture of the ice caps? Isn’t it pretty clear that’s a doctored photo? There’s a six-year gap and everything is identical, except a huge gaping mass of ice gone and some more ice broken up a little? No other shoreline has changed even slightly… that’s GOT to be fake. I’d love to see a higher-res image but can’t seem to find one.

    Here it is, with 50% transparency as well.
    http://tinyurl.com/yh3szr6

  37. “Exaggerated and inaccurate claims about the threat from global warming risk undermining efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and contain climate change, senior scientists have told The Times.”
    I assume this is a reference to former chief scientist, Sir David King
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3348516/Former-chief-scientist-Sir-David-King-attacks-new-coal-power-station-plans.html
    “Professor Sir David King, who stood down at the end of last year, warned that a return to coal-fired power risked returning the planet to the pre-ice age era, when “the Antarctic was a tropical forest”.”
    People in glass houses????????

  38. So AlGore says that each meter of sea rise=100 million refugees, and then states that the sea level could rise 67 meters. That makes 6.7 billion refugees.
    /Just sayin’.

  39. “Dr Pope said that while climate change was a factor, normal variations also played a part, and it was always likely that ice would recover a little in subsequent years, as had happened. It was the long-term downward trend that mattered, rather than the figures for any one year, she added.”
    http://www.jamestown-ri.info/Temperature_swings_11000_yrs.jpg
    http://www.paulmacrae.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/450000-with-green-line.jpg
    Spot the trend(s). (temperature not ice extent)

  40. Allan M (03:50:43) exactly, there is no long term data from which to extract any trend.
    The photos are faked, at least the bottom one is. It would take about ten minutes or less to make the bottom photo from the top one.

  41. Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said: “It isn’t helpful to anybody to exaggerate the situation. It’s scary enough as it is.”
    This is a wonderful statement. It reminds me of a classic one by Tony Blair. He gazed into the camera and said that this is not the time for sound bites. But his next sentence was – you guessed it – a perfect sound bite, something about the hand of history if I recall correctly.
    Vick Pope’s statement is similar. In her first sentence she says it’s wrong to exaggerate. And her next sentence is a piece of gross exaggeration.
    She made similar comments about the dangers of exaggeration earlier this year. Just a few weeks later I heard her on the BBC Today program. She was asked for the proof of AGW. Her answer was the French heat wave a few years ago. Well, really. Obviously the Today interviewer didn’t have the wit to point out that there have always been heat waves, so how can it prove anything? Anyway, as her ‘proof’ was so weak it does tend to suggest we’re on the winning side!
    Just a small OT comment. The UK Sunday Telegraph has always had excellent and balanced coverage of climate change. Last Sunday it carried a very good two page piece by Christopher Booker. But its sister publication, the Daily Telegraph, has climate change coverage that is 100% biased and one-sided. Recently even the BBC has carried sceptical material e.g. Clive James and Andrew Neil. I remember thinking to myself: if the Daily Telegraph prints anything that has a remotely sceptical tone, then maybe the tide really is turning.
    Well, this morning I almost fell off my chair as I read the Telegraph. Simon Heffer is one of their regular columnists. This is how his column starts today: “I know it is rather like saying that the Earth is flat, or that I have fairies at the bottom of my garden, but I simply don’t believe in man-made global warming”.
    You couldn’t put it more bluntly. His next point was about observed global warming on Mars and the (assumed) lack of 4×4’s on Mars. To read this in the Daily Telegraph, which is probably as AGW-obsessed as the Guardian, is remarkable. Maybe there is hope after all.
    Chris

  42. Other than removing some ice, the outlines of the remaining ice are unchanged and, to top it off, snow cover patterns on land are the same.
    It makes for a more dramatic continuity in a PowerPoint show that way. Fewer distractors from the “open water”…

  43. Greybrd (02:33:35) :
    Darn it that’s scary.
    Let me see according to that article the Gorbal says that the water will rise 67 meters and that for meter rise will create 100 million refugees. Lets do some advanced math 67 meters x 100 million refugees per meter rise = 6700 million refugees. Damn the current estimated global population is 6,794,025,704
    14:34 UTC (EST+5) Oct 31, 2009.
    Seems we are all going to die or at least be wet.
    Well at least my home will still be dry.

  44. I think we’re going to continue seeing “climate change” remain in some form or other, because it is not about climatology; it is about all the people in the world who believe that what the world needs is for it to become more egalitarian.
    I’m very interested in the core beliefs and convictions of the people driving this movement. Consider the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, he was a Dutch Social Worker.

  45. “If the North Pole were to melt it could increase sea levels by 67 metres, Gore said,”
    Did he really say, “the NORTH pole”?!?

  46. Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said: “It isn’t helpful to anybody to exaggerate the situation. It’s scary enough as it is.”
    Ooooooh, It’s Halloween! How does one dress up as Global Warming????

  47. That’s what you get when you keep crying “Wolf!”
    Vicky Pope, David King, Monbiot, the BBC, The Grauniad, Briffa, Jones, Miliband, HRH Charles Windsor….I wouldn’t believe ANYTHING they might say if they swore to it on a pile of Bibles as high as Al Gore’s Hockey Stick.
    I’m afraid that anytime I hear phrases like “Scientists have found…”, “Worse than we thought…”, “Experts agree…”, “There is a consensus that…” (etc. etc. etc.) my BS meter goes straight off the scale. Even if they are talking about something that might even be true.
    Meanwhile, these eco fascists will carry on banking their generous salaries, flying round the world on all expenses paid jollies and looking forward to their inflation proofed pensions. And wasting collosal sums of tax payers money which could be used to abolish world poverty at a stroke.

  48. Ok so there’s an recognized problem with the “exaggerated” claims.
    What’s next, recognizing the completley imagined claims and then the blatant lies? Let’s hope.
    Exaggeration is one thing, but the wholesale concocting of observations attributed to AGW, among other official malfeascence, deserves what I believe will be a slow but painful atonement for the perpetrators.
    Here in Oregon the frenzy of AGW fabrication at every level and institution is as bad as it gets.
    People claiming to be witnessing AGW every time they hike in the mountains or walk on the beach pile on the media reports and public officials trumpeting academia’s thoroughly corrupted agenda.

  49. Sara (17:33:03) :
    “Watts up” with that picture of the ice caps? Isn’t it pretty clear that’s a doctored photo? There’s a six-year gap and everything is identical, except a huge gaping mass of ice gone and some more ice broken up a little? No other shoreline has changed even slightly… that’s GOT to be fake. I’d love to see a higher-res image but can’t seem to find one.

    Here’re the satellite images for Sept 10th for those two years, it looks like those pictures are accurate.
    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=09&fd=10&fy=2001&sm=09&sd=10&sy=2007

  50. The TimesOnLine article is titled “Exaggerated claims undermine drive to cut emissions, scientists warn” and says in paragraph 5 “The experts all believe that global warming is a real phenomenon with serious consequences, and that action to curb emissions is urgently needed.” That is an exaggerated claim.
    I sent in a comment to the Times that unintended irony is the best type of irony, but the comment did not get past their moderator. LOL

  51. pope’s and king’s strategy is to gain credibility by verbally repositioning themselves:
    however, credibility is merited not by blaming others but by cleaning up their own mess in the first place, such as:
    – revoking their own massive previous exaggerations, such as those:
    http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2009/10/hilarious-alarmists-david-king-and.html
    – reducing the assumed contribution of greenhouses gases by the amount natural forcings have been underestimated
    – correcting obvious errors in their data bases, such as the sea-ice before 1979, various upward step functions in various data and the cru temperature records, which have not been even allowed to be verified yet.
    – releasing data sets and algorithms to the public for verification
    – stop to collaborate with peudoscients such hockey-stick producers, people and institutions who hide data, scaremongerers such as al gore and accepting external compentent advice such as mcIntyre’s and lindzen’s.
    in sum that would just be doing science.

  52. While the depiction appears to be fairly accurate in area comparing 2001 to 2007 on CT, it is not a satellite image. The ice image is placed on a static land/sea image with identical cloud/snow patterns. Many elements of the edges of the ice are identical. Further, as per NASA, it was unusual wind patterns that caused the ‘extreme’ melting of ’07, so to have ’01 and ’07 ice edges appear similar is a silly error. They are not similar in the CT depictions Phil. (10:34:32) linked to, but the ice extents appear similar:
    http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Figloo.atmos.uiuc.edu%2Fcgi-bin%2Ftest%2Fprint.sh%3Ffm%3D09%26fd%3D10%26fy%3D2001%26sm%3D09%26sd%3D10%26sy%3D2007
    Here are the above images at 150% in size, 2001 fades to 2007:
    http://i34.tinypic.com/sxyjhx.jpg

  53. Could it be that we’re witnessing the first tiny step of the establishment in backing away from the whole apocalyptic, man-made CO2 warming farce? Hedging their bets through pro-active CYA?

  54. Why is it that long term averages rarely include recent years? Here Dr. Pope is comparing current ice against an average that ends in 2001. Are the subsequent 7 full years of data unimportant?
    The same is true for temperature – the Met Office us an average that ignores most of the last decade.
    The link that Phil has provided is interesting. Whilst the area has changed substantially from 2001 to 2007, the volume might not have. 2007 appears to have a much greater area of high ice concentration than 2001.

  55. It is funny how those who question the AGW/IPCC/UN view-body are in return accused of being “conspiracy theorists”, when it so much looks like these “damage limitation” exercises are the result of some Public Relation expert consultancy sitting in meetings and hammering out press briefings.
    Before I’d even heard of global warming, the tactic was to characterise any opponents as being “anti-science”, and tar and feather them as the sort who would sooner take their children to a witch doctor than consult real modern medical expertise. The idea was to lump the opponents in with the sort who the public at large already despises.
    Before I’d even heard of global warming, the traps had already been set. Ask a question and you’ll be lumped in with holocaust deniers. Ask why is everyone against questions and you’re lumped in with conspiracy nuts.
    Their campaign isn’t perfect of course. I don’t know that they’ve got any answer to, “but in science there are paradigms, patterns of knowledge that self-reinforce, and usually they’re right but sometimes they’re wrong”. Then you just get silence or a flat denial.
    Anyway, this latest is probably the result of yet another PR consultation exercise and they are trying to limit the damage and keep people on side.
    The question is, what’s their near term goals? Assume lots of NGOs are all engaged with PR consultants, each trying to raise more charity donations, trying to get involved with more projects. Even if AGW was politically acted upon 100% tomorrow, these people would still need something to keep them occupied. Or maybe they’ll start merging and consolidating. Maybe that’s in part what’s driving things also? Too many charities competing with each other, they need to merge together over some bigger issue? Is it the UN that’s trying to tie countries together via “grass roots” NGOs, charities, environmentalists?
    I give to a local charity to send a doctor to Africa, the charity hooks in with the UN/IPCC, the UN+PR consultants feed information to the media to promote “the issue of our times”, legitimising it as an issue amongst the population in western democracies, which gives enough cover for some politicians to start signing legal papers at the UN, and offering money, which starts establishing the UN as a government?
    I would actually be in favour of the UN running things if they seemed to have some real sense of how to do things. We don’t hear much about nuclear proliferation these days, but I always wonder whether deep down that’s still some sort of long term plan. Cheap energy leads to technology leads to nukes leads to war? What’s the world going to look like if everyone including the likes of Mugabe could make their own nukes?
    Sorry that’s a bit of a ramble, but I’d love to just know the real picture.

  56. Could it be that we’re witnessing the first tiny step of the establishment in backing away from the whole apocalyptic, man-made CO2 warming farce?
    No, this is just damage control. The pols aren’t going in the direction that they’d like.

  57. I have emailed the Octopus Publishing Group who publish Philips Universal Atlas of the World to point out the apparent ‘doctoring’ of the images.
    It will be interesting to see their response (if ever).

  58. Steve in SC (06:32:07) :

    I want a polar bear skin rug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That is for me a must have item.

    Might be more useful as a coat in a few years 😉
    DaveE.

  59. AGW is a victim of its own success. On the one hand apocalyptic and foreboding, on the other giving an olive branch. Its like Rasputin or Nostradamus. A bogeyman one minute, a saviour the next. In reality, neither but a paper tiger.
    One can agree with Al Gore on one principle: It crosses all political divides – just like a belief in Santa Claus

  60. Reading between the lines it appears to me that some of the rats may be on the verge of abandoning ship. This looks a lot like panic. I’d bet they are hearing doubts from other scientists (asking tough questions) and that has them scared. They know they have lied and now they realize it could come back to haunt them. (cue special audio effects of haunted house)

  61. Chris Wright (06:21:59)
    Variations on a theme.
    “Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said: “It isn’t helpful to anybody to exaggerate the situation. It’s scary enough as it is.”
    We’re done for. Its worse than we ever thought. It’s happening before our very eyes. But lets not exaggerrate and misrepresent the truth with apocalypse. We’re doomed enough as it is.

  62. Steve in SC (06:32:07) :
    “I want a polar bear skin rug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That is for me a must have item.”
    Just for you: click

  63. Needless to say I have written a letter to the Times. It is getting to be a habit. Poor scoring so far though, sent 25, published 1. Obviously must lift my game.
    Kindest Regards

  64. Anthony…
    Monckton, yay….Glenn Beck, boo. I mean the guy is the biggest [snip] on any network…of all time. He gives serious conservatives a bad name, and can’t be the best platform for a serious subject.
    Monckton on the News Hour, Yay!
    CT

  65. Hooray!!! Another sign that the AGW brigade knows the game is up.
    Who would h ave though that dyed in the wool ‘warmistress’ Vicky Pope thinks it’s time she started a bit of cover-your-arse positioning. The Met Office have already lost any credibility they had regarding weather or climate forecasts – even the UK Military are cutting some of there spend. They are now a complete joke here in the UK and most people I talk to think the organisation is a waste of money and should be shut down.
    Viicky Pope is a disgrace to science and will probably end up serving burgers in McDonald’s within the next couple of years, and really doing a service for mankind. although I expect she will only merit one star.

  66. “Environmental lobbyists, politicians, researchers and journalists who distort climate science to support an agenda erode public understanding…”
    Excessive statements…detract from the credibility of robust findings about climate change, they said.”
    The experts all believe that global warming is a real phenomenon with serious consequences, and that action to curb emissions is urgently needed.”

    ———
    Funny how quickly this author forgets the comments he makes in his own article. First he derides “excessive statements” and “journalists who distort climate science.” But then he himself makes an excessive statement which distorts the climate science, by saying “The experts all believe…”
    The old saying “Physician, heal thyself” could be modified here to
    “Journalist, edit thyself.”

  67. “Exaggerated and inaccurate claims about the threat from global warming risk undermining efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and contain climate change, senior scientists have told The Times.”
    Mind you, this goes for the sceptics too. I tend to look firmly down upon ppl that shout “eco-fascists”. A man like Vaclav Klaus, who as an economist has very few merits to call others junk scientists imo, or a monckton are clowns that make me very sceptical about the sceptics.

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