The Met Office, eyes wide open

History of sunspot number observations showing...

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There’s an extraordinary admission about solar activity and cold winters in the UK from the Met Office in an article in FT Magazine.

It is as if the blinders have been removed.

The relevant passage is below from the much larger article.

“We now believe that [the solar cycle] accounts for 50 per cent of the variability from year to year,” says Scaife. With solar physicists predicting a long-term reduction in the intensity of the solar cycle – and possibly its complete disappearance for a few decades, as happened during the so-called Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1715 – this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming.

Read the article – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/35145bee-9d38-11e0-997d-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1RacNghPj

h/t to WUWT reader “Lord Beaverbrook”

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189 thoughts on “The Met Office, eyes wide open

  1. Don’t you just love the phrase “inspite of global warming”. It’s the old global warming-cooling mantra again.

  2. ” With solar physicists predicting a long-term reduction in the intensity of the solar cycle – and possibly its complete disappearance for a few decades, as happened during the so-called Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1715 – this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming.”
    Shouldn’t that read “icy winters ahead rather than global warming”? As it stands it doesn’t make sense, it’s going to get colder despite getting hotter.

  3. The blinders may be lowered for nearer term forecasting, but if the MET is operating at all with the opinion that CO2 is a “warming driver”, it’s walking on thin air when it comes to climate predictions. It is running the WAG-o-flop computer on that one.

  4. Cookson was one of the ‘journos’ who reported the Met Office line that seasonal forecasts had been scrapped. But as I showed on my blog some months ago (previously linked by Anthony), the Met only renamed and moved those forecasts and this is evidenced by the minutes of their Board meeting…
    http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/met-office-document-shows-it-only-renamed-its-seasonal-forecasts/
    Despite this the Met, Cookson and his ilk maintain the falsehood. This article is another puff piece for the Met Office by their media friends.
    Like the weather, these journos are cyclical, so we can expect another piece by Connor in the Independent shortly, Gray in the Telegraph and Harrabin on the BBC. But when provided with evidence to the contrary of the Met Office’s line these journalistic giants look the other way and run as fast as they can.

  5. You know, I had a post written about min/max difference (to talk about variability), but I deleted it. When you’re looking at the average temperature for the day, that doesn’t really tell you squat if you are just taking (max+min)/2. There is no factor in that for time. In fact, if you really wanted to measure our temp system, and thought it was this important, why not set up a sort of ‘Marshall Plan’ to change the recording equipment to equipment that would report the temperature when it changed up or down by some predetermined interval of Celsius or Farenheit.
    It wouldn’t need to hold any data except what the previous temperature was. As long as it sent the data to an external storage site with proper controls, you’d have a record of the temperature for a day, and be able to pick out the average by using the appropriate time factor. You could do this for a week or month or year, even, for that site without using the hamhanded (max+min)/2 formula. And it wouldn’t be incredibly difficult to setup.

  6. Let’s sent a kind thought to whoever started Climate-gate. The effects are starting to be seeing.

  7. @ Stonyground
    “Shouldn’t that read ‘icy winters ahead rather than global warming’? As it stands it doesn’t make sense, it’s going to get colder despite getting hotter.”
    I think they are covering all eventualities! Yesterday the Met Office forecast good weather for Wales this weekend but added that there was a possibility of showers. So far this morning it has been pouring with rain so they were right about the “possibility”. Still, it seems to be brightening up a little now so if the rest of the day is fine I’ll forgive them!
    Roy

  8. China’s soot saved them re the 1998 to 2008 non warming… now they are ready to say that CO2 would have caused the warming were it not for the blasted sun spots cycle! We still need a carbon tax though!

  9. Warm winters caused by global worming, cold winters caused by solar. Spot a problem? Not like the sun was noisy in the 20th century was it….
    But in climate change and uk politics, you can’t admit you were wrong. Turn lake sediment data upside down, magic away UHI, and hide data and you’ll be a climate scientist my boy.

  10. Cognative dissonace? (Hmm, spelling looks a bit dodgy there!)
    Thyt’re still trying to keep in with their political masters, by saying that “Carbons” are very naughty and so any plebs using them must be suitably punished, whilst a spark of science has started a bit of a real fire under them.

  11. That does not look like eyes open to me. It looks like a preparation of an explanation “The temperature might have been going down lately, which is due to the lack of intensity in the solar cycle. But we are in the middle of ongoing global warming, which is harder for people to realise now when the temperature is going down due to other reasons”.
    — Mats —

  12. From the article: “For all the prodigious processing power and observational resources of the worldwide meteorological system, forecasting decisions still come down to human skill and experience. The Met Office would never rely solely on a computer-generated forecast, . . . ”
    I guess that’s what the AGW argument comes down to. It’s OK to introduce their human conviction that CO2 causes non-linear warming because “forecasting decisions come down to human skill and experience.”
    Apparently their skill and experience gleaned from predicting millenia of warming has given them the intuition to know when they are right, regardless of the data or the models.

  13. “We now believe that [the solar cycle] accounts for 50 per cent of the variability from year to year,” says Scaife.
    Ouch!
    That must have hurt!!

  14. ” Some climate-change sceptics seem to attack Met Office weather forecasts as a way of undermining its climate predictions.”
    Ah! So its our fault that poor science emanates from Jones, his team and the Met Office. I will slap my legs and go and stand in the corner!
    Until then, let the Met Office be run as a private company, raising its own funds and stop wasting U.K. tax payers money for its political ends. They will then stand or fall on the accuracy of their piss poor predictions.

  15. Stonyground says:
    July 9, 2011 at 12:36 am
    Shouldn’t that read “icy winters ahead rather than global warming”? As it stands it doesn’t make sense, it’s going to get colder despite getting hotter.
    No! global warming will still be going on in the models.

  16. “…this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming.”
    I’d like to know where this global warming is going to happen. 3-4 sever winters in the UK and much of Europe. 3-4 summers here in Aus have been cooler than usual. 3-4 winters here in Aus have been very cold. Darwin had it coldest Autumn quarter in decades. Canberra had its coldest May night in 40 years. Where is the missing warming. Its a travesty I tells ya.
    Meanwhile, carbon tax and global warming articles in the Aussie MSM are at rcord highs. Gillard is telling most people won’t be affected in terms of costs of living, some people will actually be BETTER off under the new tax. Gotta give her crdit, she is a try-hard. We get the full “message” about the carbon tax tomorrow afternoon. I am tempted to watch it but fear I may damage the TV.
    And, aading insult to injury, we here in Aus are subject this this drivel;
    this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming.”
    Look at the date of the image. 2005!!

  17. At last common sense prevails, maybe we in the UK will have sufficient stocks of grit and snowploughs during winter from now on.

  18. stephen richards says:
    July 9, 2011 at 12:32 am
    Don’t you just love the phrase “inspite of global warming”. It’s the old global warming-cooling mantra again.

    Un-theories die hard. The thing is, don’t they (or the person who wrote the statement) wonder how in heck they are supposed to show how much warming is going on while they’re freezing their sorry arses off? “Yes, if it were not for global warming, it would be 1.28462 degrees colder…so nonetheless, we must mitigate climate change!”
    FAIL

  19. Ah, mundanes. The average reader of “hard” speculative fiction (particularly those of us who read “military SF”) got a heavy dose of this in John Ringo‘s 2008 – pre-Climategate – novel The Last Centurion.
    Sample chapters are freely accessible online, including Chapter Two:
    “I Was and Am an Idiot”
    , in which can be read the following:

    The article my dad sent me was from a British source. See, there was this solar physicist in Britain who had sort of gotten out of the solar physics field and entered the long-range forecasting field. Weather, that is. We all know, Lord God do we know, that all that baloney about “greenhouse gases” and “man-induced global warming” was so much horse sh-t. But back then it was all “global warming! CO2 will kill us all!” Man, we wished we’d had that sort of CO2, didn’t we?
    But the thing about this guy, don’t recall his name, was that he did long-range weather forecasts based on solar activity. He’d studied the sun until he should have been blind and had figured out that just about everything related to the sort of weather farmers cared about came down to solar output. Forget CO2, it was all the sun. We all know that now. Most of you probably know who I’m talking about. Damn, why can’t I remember his name?
    Anyway, Dad sent me this article. It was complicated. I had to dredge up some long-stored memories from my “Weather and Agriculture” classes but I finally figured it out. Basically, the guy was being very cautious in saying that Our Friend the Sun had turned off.
    Oh, not completely. But his predictions were way more cautious than normal and just f-cking dismal for the next growing season. He even put a caveat in the end. I recall it to this day.
    “Based upon these indicators, NYP (Next Year Predictions) indicate significant chance of severe cooling regimes.”
    Severe cooling regimes. That would be 2019. Nobody has to be reminded about 2019.
    And then there was Dad’s note at the end. “Investing heavily in triticale.”
    For all you non-farmers and non-Star Trek buffs, triticale is rye. See, there’s a couple of things about rye. The first thing is that it’s not exactly a big need crop. Wheat? Lots of markets for wheat. Ditto corn. (Maize to you Europeans and Canoe-Heads.) Soy? Always good markets for soy. Beans of various sorts. Peas. We grew it all, even seasonals like broccoli. All good markets.
    Rye is a niche market. Not a bunch of people lining up for rye. (Didn’t used to be back then. Less so now, too. Thank God we’re past eating nothing but rye bread from the lines, huh?)
    But the main thing about rye is that it grows fast and is cold hardy. Winter wheat’s cold hardy but . . . Oh, it’s complicated. There’s also only so much winter wheat market and it’s touchier than rye in certain cold and wet conditions. Look, I’m a professional. Do not try this at home.
    Bottomline? Dad trusted this guy enough to be prepared to take a big hit economically on the basis that that was going to be the only way to survive.
    Farmers are planners.

    Pardon the elisions, but automated censoring in posting software sucks.
    In his novel, Mr. Ringo was referring, I suspect, to solar physicist Piers Corbyn, of course, and he projected global cooling due to solar minima much later in the present decade than will most probably be the case.
    But like most scientifically literate non-scientists during the run-up to the C.R.U. correspondents’ exposure in late 2009, he knew damned well that “global warming” was bullpuckey, and what the consequences of the most probable real global climate variations will be.
    It’s true that “Farmers are planners.” Professional hard SF writers and readers are futurians.
    And mundanes are cement-heads.

  20. I suppose what they are saying is that while a Maunder minimum may produce icy winters for a period of time, the warming will continue once that influence has creased. An academic argument for most as we are unlikely to witness such timescales.

  21. Brian H says:
    “The blinders may be lowered for nearer term forecasting, but if the MET is operating at all with the opinion that CO2 is a “warming driver”, it’s walking on thin air when it comes to climate predictions. It is running the WAG-o-flop computer on that one.”
    Surely you mean “it’s walking on thin ICE” 🙂

  22. Amazing isn’t it. How changes in the sun’s output can account for cooling, however it can never account for any amount of warming. Cooling = the sun warming = us

  23. Quote from paragraph 13 of the FT article
    The other ingredient in forecasting is having ­accurate data to feed into the computer models. “The World Meteorological Organisation facilitates a remarkable global system for sharing data,” Golding says.
    One would think that given this “remarkable global system for sharing data” that the data “lost ” by the UAE is still stored in the various global weather services’ super computers and, no doubt, is kept at the Met Office in Exeter but can not be released because said office is funded by the MOD and as such is a state secret.

  24. Thanks for sharing this with us – at least I can see how my money is wasted now. There are some real corkers in the article. So they don’t have just one inaccurate model, they have 3!! And then take bits from each to make up a forecast – hmmm remind you of anything? At least they admit that their models are crap at predicting our winter weather. But is the best bit at the end? 82% of people trust the Met Office!!! I’d rather rely on pine cones, frogs croaking and cows sitting down myself.

  25. Prof Malberg puts the sun at 80% !!!
    Prof. Malberg: Wind power plants cannot be justified by the climate issue. I examined in detail what drives the climate and I looked at all the available data, from Europe, from USA, from Japan – all data were evaluated, and naturally the global data. It clearly shows that the climate is dominated by the sun, and then on top of that by the oceans, and then a little bit by the CO2 effect. I would estimate it has a magnitude of 10%, for Co2, and not more. More than 80% of the climate change is driven by the sun. That means relative to natural climate change, the influence by CO2 is very small, and so it does not justify any action for climate protection, where wind parks are built in order to save CO2. Sure you can do it, but it won’t have any impact on our climate, at least no real impact.
    Professor Dr. Horst Malberg is the former director of the Meteorological Institute at the Free University of Berlin and a member of the EIKE Committee.
    Full link here
    http://notrickszone.com/2011/07/08/prof-horst-mahlberg-climate-change-at-most-10-because-of-co2-dominated-by-the-sun/

  26. I loved this quote from the FT article:
    Rob Varley, operations director: “Our trust scores are about 82%, which is phenomenal for any organisation. I find it heart-warming that, when it comes to the crunch, people trust the Met Office.”
    I’d love to know who they surveyed, maybe the staff and students at UEA? 8- )

  27. I read the Met statement as saying that man-made global warming is continuing but admitting that natural factors over-power the effects of CO2. This in itself is a major realignment of the Met’s position and at least demonstrates a return to some form of scientific rigour. That is a big step. Meanwhile, the Met disagrees with the EU over the short term forecasting of the present low pressure complex dominating western Europe to the tune of a difference of 300 miles by Sunday. It’ll be interesting to see who’s got it right.

  28. From FT Magazine’s June 24, 2011 article; “So, will it rain tomorrow? by Clive Cookson”
    “Third, scientists at the Met Office and elsewhere are beginning to understand the effect of the 11-year solar cycle on climate. When sunspots and other solar activity are at a minimum, the effect is similar to that of El Niño: more easterly winds and cold winter weather for Britain.”
    I was struck by the comment that Met Office scientists are “…beginning to understand the effect of the 11-year solar cycle on climate”. Maybe just an inadaquately detailed passage by Cookson, but I thought any single 11-year span of forcings/feedbacks was not enough time to reliably resolve affects on climate. And how is it that they are just now beginning to understand the solar-cycle/Britain weather correlation??
    Speculatively speaking, maybe the Met Office is now laying public-domain groundwork for a position that supports a much larger role of solar activity on regional/global wealther/climate (no matter what, always plan a path for a quick exit).

  29. UK winters temperature follows the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) which is the surface atmospheric pressure differential between the Azores and Iceland .
    However current science understanding is:
    Until now, it is not clear which are the mechanisms driving NAO.
    There are clear indications that this may not be the case, and there is an natural cause for it as described here .
    I have compared CET winters for 3 ’30 year’ periods, end of the Maunder min, at the height of solar activity and the latest 30 years. It is clear that Maunder min had 4 out of 30, during the peak of sunspots 2 out of 30 exceptionally cold winters, and none during the last 30 years while the solar activity was on a decline. Note that the coldest winter on record was in 1963 during the strongest sunspot cycle ever SC19.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/30yCET.htm

  30. I do not think this marks the St Paul’s Damascus Moment in the UK Met. Office. He mentions global warming at the end.

  31. I am always surprised that otherwise intelligent people such as Met Office staff appear to be obliged to qualify quite rational statements about the possibility of cooling with contradictory and irrational caveats such as ‘despite global warming’. Are they telling us that the earth cools and warms simultaneously?

  32. “We now believe that [the solar cycle] accounts for 50 per cent of the variability from year to year,” says Scaife
    Does this mean that they are accepting that half of the recent warming is due to solar? If so, if you add in PDO etc then there is very little left for CO2.

  33. Rather than giving up the Faith, I’d say they’re hedging their bets, but it’s a very sensible hedge. We’re at a high (or highly adjusted) temperature plateau, and the 30 year half cycle is past due to turn down, plus all the solar indicators are showing a lack of steam. The Met Office can’t take too many more bad misses on its calls.

  34. @Stephen Richards and @Stonyground
    You misunderstand. These people have not lost their faith in AGW – that is a given that they can never let go of they are convinced whatever happens there is an ‘underlying warming trend’ that may only occasionally be hidden by some natural variation.
    So to quote someone on another board: “Even as they watch the Mississippi glacier calving ice into the Gulf of Mexico they will be saying “When this ice melts it’s going to get really warm!”

  35. Eyes wide open, minds still shut.
    It takes real scientists to produce the information from which we now have enough understanding of our current Ice Age to see the pattern on the graphs for ourselves, scientists or not. The only debatable point is, when?
    If they’re hoping that making a statement showing themselves in agreement with the best minds around looking at the real trends will give the Met some credibility in its other pronouncements, then only among the uneducated about the AGW corruption of science and the gullible still clinging on to the lies despite all the evidence to this.

  36. Their creditability rests on the phrase, “icy winters ahead, despite global warming.” Don’t they understand this?

  37. In 2009 they said global warming would resume after 2010 with about half of the years to 2015 likely to be warmer globally than the current warmest year on record.
    How can they keep a straight face when they continue to support AGW
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2009/global-warming
    Global warming set to continue
    14 September 2009
    Global warming continues to pose a real threat that should not be ignored – a claim reinforced in a new study by scientists, reported in a supplement of the August issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This is despite very small global temperature rises over the last 10 years.
    Met Office Hadley Centre scientists investigated how often decades with a neutral trend in global mean temperature occurred in computer modelled climate change simulations. They found that despite continued increases in greenhouse gas concentrations, a single-decade hiatus in warming occurs relatively often.
    Jeff Knight, the article’s lead author, explained: “We found about one in every eight decades has near-zero or negative global temperature trends in simulations which would otherwise be warm at expected present-day rates. Given that we have seen fairly consistent global warming since the 1970s, these odds suggest the observed slowdown was due to occur.”
    But why do these anomalies occur at all, whether in climate models or in reality? The answer lies in something called ‘internal climate variability’ – the capacity for slow natural variations in the oceans to temporarily modify climate. Computer models used to make climate predictions reproduce this intrinsic character of our climate because they successfully represent many of the necessary fundamental climate processes.
    One such internal fluctuation over the last decade could have been enough to mask the expected global temperature rise. However, the Met Office’s decadal forecast predicts renewed warming after 2010 with about half of the years to 2015 likely to be warmer globally than the current warmest year on record.
    Commenting on the new study, Vicky Pope, Head of Climate Change Advice at the Met Office said: “Decades like 1999-2008 occur quite frequently in our climate change simulations, but the underlying trend of increasing temperature remains. We cannot be complacent. Indeed, other signals of climate change are increasing as fast, or even faster than ever due to the combined effects of global warming and natural variability – the rapid loss of summer Arctic sea ice is one such example. Early action to reduce the extent and impacts of climate change remains vital.”

  38. Stonyground @ July 9, 2011 at 12:36 am

    it’s going to get colder despite getting hotter?

    The standard response to your conundrum is as follows:-
    “Colder winters in Britain are offset by warmer winters in Greenland.”
    What I love about this is the attempt to equate Britain, a group of verdant islands from 50 to 60 degrees North on the eastern margin of the Atlantic Ocean, with Greenland an ice bound Arctic island from 59 to 84 degrees North on the eastern margin of the North American Continent.
    Try and work out how many differences there are between these two locations. If the Northern Hemisphere winter weather patterns change so that moist mild Atlantic air, that used to flow across Britain in December, now flows north into Greenland, then this air mass will experience (amongst other things) a shorter daylight time with a lower sun elevation. This allows for greater nighttime radiative cooling to space than occurred at Britain’s lower latitude.

  39. As a keen golfer and motor cyclist, I follow our local forecasts closely. They always get them right but the timing is usually off by 6-8 hours or more!
    Julia Slingo suggested the same computers are used for short term forecasts and ‘climate’ estimates with the in-built CO2 bias. Not surprising things have barely improved over 30 years.

  40. 50% is a good start.
    Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. – Winston Churchill.

  41. Stonyground,
    No, the effect of significantly lower (or higher) solar activity will be different across regions and seasons. The UK, the subject of the article, is in a region that seems particularly sensitive to solar changes.
    This Shindell et al. paper (2001) presents the issue quite well:

    These results provide evidence that relatively small solar forcing may play a significant role in century-scale NH winter climate change. This suggests that colder winter temperatures over the NH continents during portions of the 15th through the 17th centuries (sometimes called the Little Ice Age) and warmer temperatures during the 12th through 14th centuries (the putative Medieval Warm Period) may have been influenced by longterm solar variations.

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2001/2001_Shindell_etal_1.pdf

  42. This sounds like a drunk telling an enabling family member that drinking too much is not good and that he is working on cutting way back. Sounds good, but he does not really mean it.
    The MET is full of people who have a religious belief in cAGW, and they are not going to change. They can not change: as the belief is religious in nature besides being how they make their living. They are embarrassed by that fellow with his tiny lap-top computer beating the hell out of them these last two or three years on weather predictions. As far as I know, most of Briton is aware that Piers Corbyn has out prognosticated the MET to the extent that the MET looks like a collection of dunces.
    I think this admission is tentative and will be withdrawn as soon as “warming starts it inevitable climb” again.

  43. stephen richards says:
    July 9, 2011 at 12:32 am
    “Don’t you just love the phrase “inspite of global warming”. It’s the old global warming-cooling mantra again”
    stephen: almost the same wording that I was going to use!
    Met Office: ‘OK folks, in spite of AGW roaring ahead, you’re probably going to be freezing your nuts off for the next half century’
    That’s pretty well covered all the bases!

  44. The problem with the Maunder Minimum is that it has only happened once since regular solar observation started. It could be coincidental that the mini ice age occurred during it, the real test will be if sunspot activity is again minimal for a similar period and weather conditions are repeated.
    As I understand it, the Met Office’s long term forecasts are wrong because global warming is a factor which is included in all forecasts. Why don’t they produce two forecasts, one factoring in global warming and one that does not and see which is the most accurate? Would this be possible retrospectively to see if long term forecasts for last winter and spring would have been more accurate had the baseline temperatures been a few tenths of a degree lower?

  45. It’s likely a politically motivated “admission”. Again, this is “The Long March” period for warmists. With undeniable facts emerging, the battle is moving to the “Yes, but even though winters in some areas may be cooler, we’re still in danger and have real consequences. Obtw, when the Sun flips back again we’re really gonna be toast and end human civilization….” stage.
    Whereas Climategate was a huge stumble and scramble for the warmists, this one will be obscured with even greater attacks. Just too much money and power.

  46. Got to crowbar in the global warming meme. So now we’re (in the UK) paying massive taxes on all fuels, domestic, industrial and transport to mitigate the warming that would have happened if it weren’t bloody freezing! Marvelous.

  47. However, some of the recent antagonism is linked to the Met Office’s deserved reputation as a champion of research into climate change – and its scientists’ unrepentant calls for urgent action against man-made global warming.

    Nice old fashioned reporting by Cookson: even, neutral point of view, informative, without the slightest hint of hysteria.

  48. Note the quote from the actual – FT article
    A “ground-breaking” new model predicts the formation and eventual disintegration of blocking highs much better, Scaife says, “because it has a better representation of the Gulf Stream. It is too expensive [in computer resources] to use routinely now, but we hope to put it into operation in a year or two.”
    I’ll translate that…we want a new computer costing giggle-millions of pounds giving us mangle-flops more power to try that out, showing our hopes of better forecasts are blwoing in the wind..

  49. Ha ha ha! That is the most carefully crafted weasel statement I’ve read in a while…. Despite an admission of decreased solar activity in coming years signaling “an ominous signal for icy winters ahead” – solar activity somehow accounts for 50% of the variability. Seems to me that you can’t have it both ways – solar activity is going to drive lower temperatures and swamp the warming from CO2 – but only account for 50% of the variability? Maybe I don’t understand….

  50. I wonder how they factor the decline of sunspots into their climate models given that no one knows how or even if they caused the Maunder Minimum.

  51. I presume that the MET, as in the Netherlands the KNMI, is funded by the government and therefore a political organisation . In this vieuw it’s quite an earthquake that they now agree with 50% influence of solar activity on climate. Now we are waiting for the next 50% which will take a few years more.

  52. “Despite global warming…” Right, well if this lull goes on for three+ generations like the Maunder did, we’ll see if that kind of talk doesn’t get great-grandpa wheeled right back over to the nursing home and put back on his meds.

  53. “as happened during the so-called Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1715 – this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming.”
    Which by its actions and efforts has left the UK supremely ill equipped to deal with the effects of a solar minimum. The UKMO played a huge part in the CAGW fraud, the UK political class relied hugely on UKMO ‘science’ and ‘research’ and ‘evidence’ in its preparations to follow the CAGW fraud to its conclusion. The insane and utterly useless ‘anti carbon jihad’ was given a fabricated legitimacy by the UKMO and has greatly helped to bring the UK to its knees.

  54. WOW!
    Besides finally noticing that the earth orbits around a large thing called the “sun”, there’s another major admission here:
    “poor representation of blocking highs”. That’s like admitting you’ve been modeling the performance of automobiles with code that leaves out the body and frame.
    So now they’re fully accounting for the body and frame, and 50% accounting for the engine. Getting there, boys, getting there! If you could just eliminate the 50% of the driving force that comes from giant dragons, you’ll be completely in touch with reality!

  55. “despite global warming”. The AGW crowd will not give up until the advancing glaciers crush them. And even then, they will be screaming, “According to the models, this is not supposed to happen.”

  56. Regarding the Wiki image, it is funny how they invert the accepted colors for hot/cold. One can be sure if it had anything to do with CO2, they would have used the reverse of what is shown.

  57. Stonyground says:
    July 9, 2011 at 12:36 am

    ” With solar physicists predicting a long-term reduction in the intensity of the solar cycle – and possibly its complete disappearance for a few decades, as happened during the so-called Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1715 – this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming.”

    Shouldn’t that read “icy winters ahead rather than global warming”? As it stands it doesn’t make sense, it’s going to get colder despite getting hotter.
    That’s how they justify stating these big snow storms the past several years are a product of “Global Warming”–they infer you can have both going on at the same time, like an ice cube floating unaffected in a hot cup of joe. It boggles the mind, but stellar logic was never their strong suit.

  58. Rather extraordinary. Still, I expect the Met will be incapable of fully retracting all of their lies and obfuscation of the past 15 years or so, and will continue to bitterly cling to their AGW faith — just not as openly for a while as they wait with baited breath to see if the solar guys are correct. Funny to note how quickly they have backed off when some real scientists have entered the fray.

  59. Maybe chief Ewen McCallum doesn’t trust new fangled things , so he is really just using his Commodore ’64 in his forecasts.

  60. I would not conclude from this article that the “blinders are off”. Later in the article appears this paragraph:
    ——————
    However, some of the recent antagonism is linked to the Met Office’s deserved reputation as a champion of research into climate change – and its scientists’ unrepentant calls for urgent action against man-made global warming. Some climate-change sceptics seem to attack Met Office weather forecasts as a way of undermining its climate predictions. Still senior staff insist that, judging from their personal experiences of talking to non-meteorologists and from its surveys of public trust, the reputation of the Met Office is higher than ever. “Our trust scores are about 82 per cent, which is phenomenal for any organisation,” says Varley. “I find it heart-warming that, when it comes to the crunch, people trust the Met Office.”
    [Verbatim from referenced article]
    ——————–
    As with any interview article, it is very hard to tell whether you’re hearing the opinions of the interviewee or the interviewer. You’ll notice in the above the initial two sentences are a conclusion of the article author. The last two sentences are direct quotes from Mr. Varley of the Met Office. The middle sentence is a bridge which links those quotes into a claim that climate skeptics’ criticism of of the Met is unjustified. We have no way of knowing whether when Mr. Varley made those remarks it was in a context of replying to climate skeptics — we are certainly lead to assume this is the case from the flow of the paragraph, but that is entirely under the control of the author.
    In any case, I don’t see any “road to Damascus” moment here.

  61. Here is a prediction: It will not be long before fossil fuels are blamed for the coming global cooling.
    GPlant

  62. “….this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead,……”

    What? Winters to be harsher? But global warming meant warming in the winter in the UK, with snowfalls being just a thing of the past. The Scottish ski industry was supposed to be doomed. The Sun is not supposed to have much effect.

  63. I “get their idea that it will really be all CAGW all the time once the sun turns on again in 70 years with all that pent up CO2 warming to come at once. Still, the math seems a bit off. If solar is now 50%, why is it still over coming CO2 driven warming – which is , by the way, still the primary driver if AGW is still there? No science here. Just sloppy CYA in recognition that the science really isn’t settled after all.

  64. So 50% due to solar activity.
    Some unknown, smaller percent due to all other natural variations.
    Some unknown, much smaller percent of that due to the greenhouse effect.
    Some unknown, small percent of the greenhouse effect due to CO2.
    Some unknown, much smaller percent of that due to human produced CO2.
    Time to spend our science dollars more wisely. I say let’s get robots on Europa and have a peek under the ice.

  65. This is a major shift the fact that they are even conceding this. There getting ready for the inevitable.

  66. it will be interesting to see how many,
    “well its going to be colder”..items
    that are going to be gobble de gooked into inanity.
    tell the truth but try not to?

  67. Almost, but not quite, a firm grasp of the obvious. I guess they still needed a tip to the Warmers while covering their collective butts and recognizing that it is cooling and predicted to get colder.
    The deep irony for me is that a global cooling will lead to real strife and competition for resources, particularly food — precisely what the AGW crowed warned us about if global warming was not halted.

  68. Ah, but just you wait until this minimum is past. Then you’ll all roast in hell, you heretics.

  69. “this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming.”
    Is this sentance oxymoronic or just moronic?
    The sentance ignores that we will also have colder seasons generally.

  70. Calling it “the so-called Maunder Minimum” is odd. Are they implying that this terminology is incorrect? Also I think that they mean to say: this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite the expected increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Even the statement of “50 per cent of the variability from year to year” is somewhat misleading since increased carbon dioxide is usually predicted to uniformly increase temperature and not produce variability. I think that the choice of words betrays prior assumptions.

  71. They’re embarking on a “god of the gaps” argument, which goes like this;
    CS “CO2 is the sole driver of climate change.”
    SA “What about sunspots?”
    CS “Ok, sunspots have a small effect, but the rest is CO2.”
    SA “What about changes in albedo,… and clouds?”
    CS “OK, sunspots, and albedo and clouds all play their part, but the rest is CO2.”
    SA ” What about irrigation? And the ozone layer? And cities?”
    CS ” Yes, sunspots and albedo and clouds and irrigation and the ozone layer and cities all have their effects, but the rest is CO2.”

  72. As the issue regarding AGW is entirely political, expect the Met Office to lighten up on long range predictions but continue to forecast “terrible consequences for all mankind” this time next century due to Global Boiling from Too Much Co2. (After all, who ‘disprove’ a prediction?;-) Also expect that they will focus on what they call “Short Term Climate” (2011-2021, 2021-2031, etc) and try, try, try to get it right, right, right for Queen and Country. (They know full well their butts are on the chopping block and they do so want to prove they can do something correctly.) Science is after all just a whore out to support her pimp. All part and parcel for the oldest profession.

  73. “We now believe that [the solar cycle] accounts for 50 per cent of the variability from year to year,” says Scaife.
    And that is clearly nonsense, so they are no better at it invoking solar cycles.

  74. The ship is sinking fast, so who is going to jump off first? The Met are leading the charge so as not to get swamped in the rush.

  75. Delighted to see the Met.Office taking note of the sun and PDO
    I wonder if they will revise their forcast that half of the years in this decade will be hotter than the warmest year recorded to date (i.e. The El Nino year 1998)

  76. Once again, we see the “experts” being a few decades behind the skeptics.
    You mean that big ball of fire in the sky may have something to do with our temps?!?!?!?! Go on, you’re pulling my leg!

  77. So, after years of maintaining that solar activity has only a minimal effect on climate, AGW protagonists are now expounding the theory that future cooling, if it occurs, will be the result of, wait for it, reduced solar activity.
    That merits a rousing three cheers in my book. All together now :
    Hyp! Hyp! Hyp-ocrisy!

  78. It is as if the blinders have been removed.
    I don’t know about the Met Office but the “blinders” have been removed from someof the leading aGW proponents for a number of years. This paper from 2001 (nearly 10 years ago) was co-authoured by Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt

    We examine the climate response to solar irradiance changes between the late 17th-century Maunder Minimum and the late 18th century. Global average temperature changes are small (about 0.3° to 0.4°C) in both a climate model and empirical reconstructions. However, regional temperature changes are quite large. In the model, these occur primarily through a forced shift toward the low index state of the Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation as solar irradiance decreases. This leads to colder temperatures over the Northern Hemisphere continents, especially in winter (1° to 2°C), in agreement with historical records and proxy data for surface temperatures


    I think here’s a tendency for both sides to build ‘strawman’ arguments and to misrepresent what the other is actually saying. I can’t ever recall the AGW side saying the sun doesn’t have an influence. In fact I think they’ve over-estimated the early 20th century solar influence

  79. Or, as has been said by some, and pertaining to Nic Lewis’s posts, the sensitivity is probably less then 3* C for a doubling of CO2.

  80. From the linked article:

    For Young’s boss, chief meteorologist Ewen ­McCallum, today’s uncertainty about what will happen in three days’ time illustrates the improvement in forecasting over the past generation. When he joined the Met Office 37 years ago, forecasters frequently faced similar or worse uncertainty about what would happen the next day.
    “A four-day forecast today is about as accurate as a one-day forecast was when I started,” says McCallum, in an accent as Scottish as his name. “Then, we had no operational access to weather satellites, no radar and very slow computers.”

    The Met Office must have been rather dreadful even back then. It was quite some time ago, but I seem to recall our local meteorologists here in Pennsylvania could make reasonably dependable forecasts for at least the next two or three days. Isn’t the Met Office supposed to do forecasts for shipping? I would think shipping companies and ship owners would have wanted something better than “Tomorrow is likely a good day to leave port!”
    Uh-oh, this doesn’t sound good (bold added):

    The first key ingredient is the fundamental physics of the atmosphere and how it interacts with oceans and land masses to produce weather. This is encapsulated in increasingly sophisticated models, as computing power grows. The £33m Met Office supercomputer – a twinned IBM Power 6 machine installed in 2009 and about to be upgraded – can carry out trillions of calculations a second. It sits in two huge halls, shrouded by what look like plastic shower curtains. These are intended not to preserve the modesty of the energy-guzzling machine but to reduce the need to cool in the immediate vicinity.

    Wow, high-tech “Greenery,” using plastic curtains to minimize the area needing the extra-pricey cooling. And their big iron already needs upgrading?
    Compare that to what the US Air Force accomplished (Dec 2010 article):
    http://defensesystems.com/articles/2010/12/14/condor-cluster-spreads-its-wings.aspx

    The Air Force has long taken an interest in using video games for simulation and modeling, but it’s now using their underlying technology for supercomputing.
    The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Condor Cluster project is using video game console components to make a supercomputer. Built from off-the-shelf components, the guts of the Condor Cluster consist of 1,716 Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles.
    Speaking to reporters at a DOD Live Bloggers Roundtable, Mark Barnell, director of high performance computing and the Condor Cluster project at the AFRL, the computer is designed to operate at speeds around half a petaflop, or some 500 trillion floating-point calculations per second. He added that the cluster is currently the 35th or 36th fastest computer in the world. With some tweaks, it could be bumped up to around the 20th fastest machine, he added.
    But raw speed is not one of the Condor Cluster’s goals. It’s a green machine, designed to demonstrate new ways to use supercomputing resources while using less energy. It is currently the greenest computer in the world, Barnell said.
    The computer is also designed to be affordable. The cluster cost $2 million to build and is much less expensive than general purpose supercomputers, whose prices begin at $50 million. (The PlayStation 3 sells for $299 on Amazon. com, so the retail cost of 1,716 of them would be $513,084.)

    Was also mentioned here on WUWT.
    Faster, Greener, at a fraction of the cost. The US Air Force, with their share of the enormous US Defense budget, decided to be frugal and wisely selected “the most bang for the buck” they could get. The Met Office is planning on upgrading a £33m machine installed just two years ago. What is their problem? Too many broken CFL’s in a confined air-conditioned space?

  81. AGW “logic”
    1) A decrease in Solar Activity is a forcing which will result in a decrease in global temps
    2) There are no forcings that can account for the “observed” increase in global temps other than CO2
    In Law, this could be called arguing in the alternative . . .
    In Science, it is just plain stupid

  82. Implied but not stated is that if solar is responsible for so much variability — not just annually, but over the centuries, as suggested by the Maunder Minimum/Little Ice Age quote — then empirically, greenhouse gas warming must be lower than thought and lower than in the models. The climate sensitivity — the temperature increase due to a doubling of CO2 — must be less. Certainly not zero, but probably in the 1 to 1.5 degree range, as suggested by people like Richard Lindzen, who recently was elevated from “denier” to “dissenter” by the mainstream media, as more of the IPCC BS comes to light.

  83. The earth has been warming since the LIA. Thus “global warming”. The problem comes when climate scientists (high priests) forget about (erase) the LIA and blame the warming on CO2 (the evil eye) and demand carbon trading (indulgences) to pay (sacrifice) for our actions (sins).
    AGW is nothing new. It has cropped up time and time again. Each time the people believe they have found truth, and when we look back on them through the eyes of history we wounder how they could have been so deceived. The thought that through sacrifice humans can control nature and the future. Many religious sects practice similar beliefs around the world even today. Given unto god and god will give unto you.

  84. Speaking of reduced solar activity, solar feed-in, ‘reshiftable energy’ fans are in for more disappointing news, as if real scientific data isn’t bad enough-
    http://htpc.avenard.org/power/home
    Shucks! There’s always some pre-normal science tech-head that has the evidence to demolish wishful thinking and vivid imaginations.
    Since Team Science loves modelling the future so much, let me help out with modelling their beloved solar nirvana of 100% efficiency (well they do like their advocacy consensus). Currently these solar systems are around 15% efficient at converting what sun’s rays there are hitting them into electricity. (Sanyo brag world’s best at 18% out of the inverter) So divide 100 by 15 to get 6.67 which is the factor you can then multiply those extremely volatile output peaks and troughs by, in order to model their Green Utopia. Sorry Team but zero times 6.67 is still zero in the peer reviewed calculators and a teensy weensy output times 6.67 is still just a little bit bigger teensy weensy output. True, big outputs times 6.67 are lots bigger outputs but that’s just more extreme volatility all those windmills, hot rocks and cow farts have to deal with in your brave new world of heroic assumptions. Yeah I know, I’ve completely discounted your battery-makers’ Paradise which proves I know a lot about Nothing just like here-
    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/07/the-everything-tax-a-tin-pot-raffle-with-no-prize/

  85. Hehe – this is how they start to retreat from GW. They cant yet bring themselves to admit they were badly wrong. I’ve noticed even the BBC have stopped blaming GW for every weather related piece of news.

  86. This statement comes from a position of great confidence that they won the war of perception and manipulation and all the major battles along the way. Like a confident dictator they can afford to give out a few benevolent statements here and there. The CO2 reduction religion is in full force. Stay tuned for the next puppet act.

  87. So, they are not willing to really admit that global warming will be overwhelmed, regardless of whether it is actually (trying) to happen or not. And, of course, they inuend that only winters will be affected by solar sleeping.

  88. I don’t see why this is so remarkable, ” as if the blinders have been removed”. Everyone acknowledges that solar activity is a crucial ingredient in the warming process. The problem is that CO2 acts as an insulation blanket to trapping heat in the atmosphere and thereby warming the planet. The combined effect of increased solar activity and CO2 induced warming is affecting our climate in a negative and dangerous way. This is not a controversial statement at all, except to those who are denying the validity of the consensus scientific view.

  89. oops This what I meant to say
    “despite global warming.” You just had to throw that in there.
    Why? Could it be you fear a reduction in funding?

  90. In spite of the natural warming of the last few decades. It’s a slow grind, but it’s a natural grind. Whatever contribution man is responsible for, it will not prevent nature from dragging the climate down.
    It’s worse than trying to heat your house in winter with the front door removed.

  91. Hugh Pepper: Gee I really don’t think you could have been paying attention at all if you think the alarmists have admitted all along that the sun has anything to do with warming.

  92. When you look at the sunspot peaks, the early twentieth century warming should have been more marked than the late twentieth – the opposite of what the NASA GISS series shows, with Hadley showing them about equal. However, it does seem to accord with a temperature series from glaciers for last 400 years by Oerlermans 2005, referred to by Skeptical Science. If a proper test shows the closer correlation of temperature with sunspots from a secondary source, then it would tend to confirm the work done by Anthony Watts on temperature bias of measuring stations.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/broken-hockey-stick.htm

  93. “Hugh Pepper says:
    July 9, 2011 at 8:13 am
    The problem is that CO2 acts as an insulation blanket to trapping heat in the atmosphere and thereby warming the planet.”
    Trapping heat? Oh dear. *sigh*

  94. h.oldeboom says:
    July 9, 2011 at 5:13 am
    I presume that the MET, as in the Netherlands the KNMI, is funded by the government and therefore a political organisation . In this vieuw it’s quite an earthquake that they now agree with 50% influence of solar activity on climate.
    ______
    This post is a good example of the misunderstanding between:
    1) What the quote from the Met Office actually said
    and
    2) The difference between weather and climate
    The Met office was talking about short-term weather variations from year to year, and actually, if you read the fully article, you’ll see they were comparing the short-term weather effects from El Nino year to year to what might be caused by a quiet sun. The Met Office was not making a statement about the longer term climate effects of solar activity. The longer-term effects of increasingly larger amount of CO2 in the atmosphere are actually in direct contrast to the shorter-term changes in ENSO cycles and solar cycles. The anthropogenic caused increase in CO2 over the past few hundred years can be likened to a long-term volcano that continues to erupt, whereas solar cycles and ENSO cycles, are comparatively short-lived blips against the longer term climate canvas. But I suppose hope spring eternal among some of the skeptical crowd that suddenly the Met Office will drop talking about anthropogenic global warming at all.

  95. John Finn says:
    July 9, 2011 at 7:41 am
    “I think here’s a tendency for both sides to build ‘strawman’ arguments and to misrepresent what the other is actually saying. I can’t ever recall the AGW side saying the sun doesn’t have an influence. In fact I think they’ve over-estimated the early 20th century solar influence.”
    Correct me if I am wrong, but the IPCC reports are considered by the “consensus” to represent the distilled essence of the best AGW science. And is it not abundantly clear that the IPCC reports have summarily dismissed solar variability as inconsequential on the basis that the TSI variation was too small to influence climate change (ignoring other solar measures of activity).

  96. “this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming”
    Eyes wide open all right but the facts obviously still haven’t been adapted by the brain.
    What we need is a clear statement from Met Office that they were wrong about the CO2 driven Global Warming causing their climate models not to represent reality.
    I think it’s really important that those who have pushed the AGW scare for so many years are the ones to declare it WRONG and end the scare.
    As long as such declaration is not available our political establishment will continue to poor money down the drain.

  97. This is realy what they mean to say:
    “as happened during the so-called Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1715 – this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite the evils of capitalism, freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by the present classes”… global warming.

  98. To all commenting:
    Please be afraid! The Met Office is NEVER right.
    New solar forecast….. susnspots galore, boiling oceans, oy, buy stock in sunscreen lotion
    companies.

  99. rbateman says:
    July 9, 2011 at 8:22 am
    In spite of the natural warming of the last few decades. It’s a slow grind, but it’s a natural grind. Whatever contribution man is responsible for, it will not prevent nature from dragging the climate down.
    It’s worse than trying to heat your house in winter with the front door removed.
    ____
    IF the sun enters into a Maunder or simply Dalton type minimum, it will be an excellent test for the power of 40% more CO2 now than the last time this drop in solar activity occurred. Of course, all things are never equal as CO2 and solar activity are not the only two variables in the equation. There are differences in aerosols, volcanic activity, methane levels, etc. Still, it will be interesting to watch.
    My guess is, even with a Maunder type minimum we may get colder winters in Europe, (which is ironically also a predicted effect from diminished sea ice), but globally speaking, temps will continue to march upward such that, despite natural variations year to year, each succeeding decade in the period leading up to 2100 will be progressively warmer…i.e. the period of 2010 to 2019 will be warmer as a decade than the previously warmest decade of 2000 to 2009.

  100. Hugh Pepper @8.13
    “I don’t see why this is so remarkable”
    Fair enough but let me add some unremarkable facts. Long term the sun is cooling and that may have some effect on sunspot activity and our climate but we don’t know what effect that has had because of an infinitesimal thermometer and recent satellite temp record. As you say CO2 can have some effect on trapping heat but increased cloud cover will counteract that effect whilst soot and urbanisation may trap rather than reradiate heat. Our miserably, pathetic temp record now shows flat for a decade and your conclusion is? Presumably the unremarkable consensus shared here and at the Met now. What is remarkable is how so many of the policies espoused by those who feel CO2 induced warming is so remarkable in all of this, have turned out so unremarkable in outcomes and yet so remarkable in cost, unless you think putting the world’s food in our tanks and knocking over rainforest for palm oil diesel and the like are unremarkable. Anything else you find unremarkable and want to add? Feel free because you are among unremarkable friends here.

  101. It was amusing that the Met Office after each of the last three winters, which were far colder than their forecast, said it was just a 1 in 10 chance.
    Three in a row of course is a 1 in a thousand chance.
    Putting it another way : it suggests there is a 99.9% probability that their models were wrong!
    Not that they would agree with this conclusion, as far as they are concerned it is reality that is wrong, and it will eventually fall in step with their fantasy world.

  102. I note that the grid square they use is 25km on a side. For us Yanks, thats about 240sq miles. How many thunderstorms do you think you can hide in that area? Two or three small, one large, perhaps? At that grid resolution you could easily miss that weather. This isn’t a criticism of their effort, but an observation on the limitation of their tools. Like trying to do surgery with knitting needles. I wonder how long a run takes at 1.5km resolution? It wouldn’t be much good if the look-ahead was for 24hr and the run took 36!
    The Daily Mail reported that the computer is capable of 1 Teraflop. If they feel comfortable with a grid of 25km at that speed, they would need an upgrade to 256 Teraflops to get down to a grid of ~1.6km. Computational needs go up as the square of the resolution increase. From 25km to 12.5km gets 4 grid cells, down to 6.25km is 16 grid cells, 3.125km is 64 grid cells, and 1.5625km is 256 grid cells (4*2^n) or just about 1 mile to a side. That’s a lot of upgrading!!!

  103. Hugh Pepper says:
    July 9, 2011 at 8:13 am
    “Everyone acknowledges that solar activity is a crucial ingredient in the warming process.”
    Yes, sceptics have been consistently claiming this very thing for the last decade and for years the alarmists of the CAGW orthodoxy claimed that this was wrong. CAGW theology was based on the notion that solar activity had nothing more than a minimal impact on GATs. Now it seems that this heresy and contradiction to CAGW theology is now widely accepted.
    “The problem is that CO2 acts as an insulation blanket to trapping heat in the atmosphere and thereby warming the planet”
    Atmospheric CO2 is a trace gas and makes up less than 0.040% of the entire atmosphere, to describe it as a blanket suggests a remarkably poor grasp of the physical properties of CO2, in no way could this harmless trace gas be considered a blanket. Now water vapour could well be described as a blanket, it is present in quantities big enough to act as an atmospheric blanket.
    “The combined effect of increased solar activity and CO2 induced warming is affecting our climate in a negative and dangerous way.”
    The present tiny natural and cyclic warming the planet has experienced has been a massive boon to humanity, there have been no “negative” or indeed “dangerous” symptoms at all and in fact this claim is based entirely upon flawed computer models of what more warming may do in some fabricated future planetary state. Its more accurate to suggest that gullible people have been fed CAGW propaganda and have soaked it up as the truth.
    “This is not a controversial statement at all, except to those who are denying the validity of the consensus scientific view.”
    Aaah, we are deniers if we challenge the CAGW doctrines are we? Throughout history the supposed consensus has been wrong, not just a few but times but always and constantly, in fact the only consistent rule of thumb is that if a theory becomes the ‘consensus’ position it is later invariably proven to be wrong. The history of the ‘consensus’ is an epic tale of stupidity, ignorance, laziness, comical lunacy, seat warming and prejudice whereas the history of scepticism has been a series of glorious triumphs in adversity, the battle against ingrained ignorance by brave and fearless individuals determined to fight the cause of scientific advancement.
    I am proud to be a sceptic.

  104. “Despite” CO2 being the worst pollutant in the history of mankind….
    …..despite the Chinese top secret mission trying to warm things up so they can feed more people
    If you buy into this, you might as well buy into it all………
    Witch doctors, shaman, snake oil salesmen…..They have all been selling fear and doom and gloom since the beginning of time…………all you have to do is pay them the price and they’ll fix it
    Life was a whole lot simpler when all we had to do was kill a chicken or throw a virgin in the fire…..

  105. higley7 says:
    July 9, 2011 at 8:10 am
    So, they are not willing to really admit that global warming will be overwhelmed, regardless of whether it is actually (trying) to happen or not. And, of course, they inuend that only winters will be affected by solar sleeping.
    ____
    Of course the Met Office would not admit that anthropogenic global warming will be “overwhelmed” by solar activity, because:
    1) This was not the context of them talking about solar activity. Solar activity is being admitted to be a reason for short-term variations, not long term climate.
    2) Several centuries of continually rising CO2 levels, to concentrations not seen in nearly a million years, is a far different kind of long-term forcing than we see from solar variations. We see the short-term solar cycle and ENSO cycle riding on top of the longer-term upward trend.

  106. R. de Haan says:
    July 9, 2011 at 8:46 am
    “What we need is a clear statement from Met Office that they were wrong about the CO2 driven Global Warming…”
    ____
    1. Define “we”.
    2. Why would the Met Office admit to something that is not true?

  107. Next time I buy a sleeping bag for use in extra cold conditions, I’ll make sure the fill is 100% CO2. Yup, that should do the trick. I might even consider a ground pad where the microbubbles are filled with 100% CO2 too!
    /sarc off

  108. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 9, 2011 at 7:21 am
    “And that is clearly nonsense, so they are no better at it invoking solar cycles.

    Have you been on vacation, or what? There has been a lot of this sort of talk recently. Everyone seems so sure, this time, that they have it figured out. As more becomes know about the complexity of the issue, the strength of the convictions grows. Quite amazing.

  109. Global warming continues its inexorable progress but is being masked by solar cooling.
    We can count on the British press to swallow this without question.
    Lunchtime O’Booze represented British journalism at its zenith, since then it has been downhill all the way and is set fair to continue.

  110. R. Gates says: July 9, 2011 at 9:12 am
    …………..
    Mr. Gates
    There are other (beside CO2) but this time natural events , with the long-term upward trend, capable of affecting climate, and what is more important correlate far better than the CO2 does.

  111. “We now believe that [the solar cycle] accounts for 50 per cent of the variability from year to year,” says Scaife.
    Do I detect a bit of a quiver developing in the AGW stiff upper lip of the MET?

  112. R. Gates says:
    July 9, 2011 at 9:25 am

    R. de Haan says:
    July 9, 2011 at 8:46 am
    “What we need is a clear statement from Met Office that they were wrong about the CO2 driven Global Warming…”
    1. Define “we”.
    2. Why would the Met Office admit to something that is not true?

    Answers:
    1) “We” would be everybody–this is supposed to be a global thing, right?
    2) Yours is a specious argument, R. Gates. If you can show us (everybody) using independently-verifiable measurable methods the amount of global warming caused by CO2 of the global warming that’s caused naturally, we’re all waiting. Please don’t bother if all you’ve got is model-induced navel gazing.

  113. Gates, your logic (and math) is as good as the Sun worshippers’. Neither suggested driver, anthropogenic CO2 or Sunspot variation, has the energy available to create the sustained weather pattern change (warming vs cooling) both sides have stipulated will happen. You are speaking nonsense at the same level as that of Scaife.

  114. Upon further reflection, the situation for the Met Office is “worse than we thought”. At a grid of 25km, you would want observations at each corner of your grid to confirm your model. Wikipedia gives the land area of Great Britain as 230,000sqkm or a square 492km on a side which subdivides to nineteen 25km segments or 361 (very roughly) 25km grid squares and 400 corners ((n+1)^2). The Met Office has about 123 reporting stations per
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/observations/
    I counted by hand so it may be off. So they’re really trying to do surgery with knitting needles while wearing boxing gloves.

  115. R. Gates says: July 9, 2011 at 9:25 am
    […]
    2. Why would the Met Office admit to something that is not true?

    SOP?

  116. Cassandra King says:
    July 9, 2011 at 9:03 am
    “Now water vapour could well be described as a blanket, . . .

    Please! The troposphere is characterized (and named) based on the fact that it naturally “turns” over – the main activity is convection. A blanket accomplishes its function by shutting down convection. There is no CO2 layer, nor a water vapor layer, nor GHG layer that can be considered having the affect of a blanket. Think and speak of convection. The atmosphere near Earth’s surface warms, expands, rises, . . .

  117. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    July 9, 2011 at 9:40 am
    R. Gates says: July 9, 2011 at 9:12 am
    …………..
    Mr. Gates
    There are other (beside CO2) but this time natural events , with the long-term upward trend, capable of affecting climate, and what is more important correlate far better than the CO2 does.
    _____
    Mr. Vukcevic,
    The chart you referenced seems not to be based on the accepted values of the PDO over the past 111 years, as can be found in this chart:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/pdo_temp.gif
    But besides that, the PDO, as part of a natural longer-term measurement of changes of internal variations in ocean temperature does not account for the steady increase in global temperatures during the 20th century. It would take an external forcing for that, exactly as supplied by the steadily increasing amounts of CO2.

  118. BY any measure, this is major news. And yet the NYT’s remains silent. What else can they do? In poker terms, they’re “all in.” Certainly, any fair minded person would assume that a paper so worried about global warming, a topic they’ve “reported” on relentlessly for years now, would also be worried about a possible Maunder MInimum type event.
    I wonder what it would take to actually get these guys to admit they might be wrong? A glacier half a mile thick over New York City?

  119. John F. Hultquist says:
    July 9, 2011 at 10:04 am
    Cassandra King says:
    July 9, 2011 at 9:03 am
    “Now water vapour could well be described as a blanket, . . . ”
    Please! The troposphere is characterized (and named) based on the fact that it naturally “turns” over – the main activity is convection. A blanket accomplishes its function by shutting down convection. There is no CO2 layer, nor a water vapor layer, nor GHG layer that can be considered having the affect of a blanket. Think and speak of convection. The atmosphere near Earth’s surface warms, expands, rises, . . .

    The trouble with analogies is that too frequently their uses and critics take them too literally. Broadly speaking, the blanket slows heat transfer. That’s what CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere do. Stop HERE, don’t go any further. As soon as you start discussing mechanisms, the analogy falls apart.

  120. Pamela Gray says:
    July 9, 2011 at 9:51 am
    Gates, your logic (and math) is as good as the Sun worshippers’. Neither suggested driver, anthropogenic CO2 or Sunspot variation, has the energy available to create the sustained weather pattern change (warming vs cooling) both sides have stipulated will happen. You are speaking nonsense at the same level as that of Scaife.
    _____
    My logic is quite solid, thank you. But to your points:
    1) CO2 does not “supply” energy as a driver (i.e. forcing) to the climate, and I never said it did. Rather is serves as a “greenhouse” gas through the absorption and re-transmission of LW radiation, thereby altering earth’s energy budget and effectively keeping more heat in various parts of earths systems. Over the long-term, an increase in CO2 will alter earth’s energy budget and thereby alter the climate.
    2) Sunspots are a proxy for the measurement of other factors which influence earth’s weather. From total solar radiation, high energy UV, the solar wind, and levels of galactic cosmic rays, sunspots represent an excellent proxy for these things that do have an effect on weather patterns.

  121. Here is a ‘shocking’ statistic from the Maunder minimum end 1685-1715 (the worst bit) compared to the UK winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11
    Out of the 30 winters:
    5-6 were colder ~ 20%
    2-3 were about the same ~ 10%
    22 were warmer ~ 70%
    graph and the temperatures data: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/30yCET.htm
    Last two UK winters were cold but not a disaster (except for the road maintenance).
    Just get more grit and it’ll be fine.

  122. So the recent cooling is caused by 50% solar activity despite global warming??
    How can they now believe that the solar cycle accounts for 50% of the variability from year to year, despite being 50% it is still able to over power the other 50%.
    So basically using this new form of logic we can now conclude that the suns solar activity causes global cooling but does not cause (“despite”) global warming.
    So! Man made “green house gasses” cause global warming but low solar activity can cause global cooling. Hang on, let me get this straight! High solar activity must be 25% and low solar activity must be the other 25% of the variability in warming and cooling the planet but when the earth warms due to 25% high solar activity that is due to the composition of atmospheric gases but the other 25% of low solar activity that has the potential to put us into a new maunder type solar minimum, ice age or just freezing cold winters in the UK but does not appear to be effected by the composition and pressure of atmospheric gases that are hypothetically warming the planet?
    I believe the suns solar activity not only affects the the climate’s pressure patterns but it regulates the composition and volume of atmospheric gases and in turn regulates climatic temperatures, that’s about 99.9% despite global warming or global cooling.

  123. R. Gates says: July 9, 2011 at 10:11 am
    The chart you referenced seems not to be based on the accepted values of the PDO…
    Indeed it is not, if you look more carefully it is marked ‘PDO driver’, it is the North Pacific’s natural event whose gradient (time interval change) correlates well with the PDO index; as you know the PDO is a de-trended variable and as such can not have either positive or negative trend, while for its driver that is not necessarily so. http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/A&P.htm

  124. As we are talking about the Met Office, we might as well bring up their failure to predict the last few brutal winters in Europe. To that point, and to the discussion of brutal winters and the effects of a Maunder Minimum in general, here’s a very interesting video graphic showing the breakdown of the polar vortex and outbreak of cold weather over Europe and North America during January of 2009:
    http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/36000/36972/npole_gmao_200901-02.mov
    Now, the video on the left shows is the polar vortex splitting into two lobes, bringing bitterly cold weather over Europe and North America but warmer weather to the north polar regions. The video on the right in this shows a large mass of warm air rising up from the troposphere. As most of you recall, this was a period of time that we were at the bottom of the solar minimum, with a blank sun for months on end. You might also recall, that during this time, the stratosphere was in general contracting (i.e. cooling), which could be related to the lower UV output from the sun (hence why sunspots are a good proxy).
    For the Met Office to not acknowledge some relationship between solar activity and variations in short-term weather would be irresponsible, but this does not in any way represent (nor should it) an acknowledgement that the solar variations are 50% of the cause of longer term climate changes, as it takes a much bigger and longer acting forcing agent to do that such as Milankovitch cycles and greenhouse gas concentrations.

  125. All things considered I think this admission shows that even if Mohammed didn’t go to the mountain, the mountain has moved slightly towards him.

  126. This wikipedia chart says that the earth has been cooling for 5 million years.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Five_Myr_Climate_Change.svg
    Does the MET take that into account along with the fact that Sun Spots obviously have an effect on the climate of the Earth? They talk like the long term trend is for warming, when the above chart says the long term trend is cooling.
    Why is that never mentioned?

  127. R. Gates says:
    July 9, 2011 at 10:11 am
    “But besides that, the PDO, as part of a natural longer-term measurement of changes of internal variations in ocean temperature does not account for the steady increase in global temperatures during the 20th century.”
    This assumption of natural longer-term measurements of internal variations in ocean temperature has been going the rounds over the years, but it is demonstrately false. It not only ignores the ENSO, but also global cloud albedo that affects the changes in variations of ocean temperatures. It does account for at least most of the steady increase in global temperatures. Even this is also a incorrect statement because the rise has been far from steady, most of the rise has occurred in short jumps, assoiciated by internal changes of the ocean. (especially strong El Nino’s) There is one exception in the early period where global temperatures took off before the oceans seem to respond for a while (long term ENSO), but this was at the time when the solar activty was claimed to have it’s main early 20th century contribution. (between the 1920’s and 1930’s)
    http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/95/had3vpdovenso.png
    NINO 3.4 surface temperatures overall increases during the period and matches global temperatures in a very similar trend.

  128. “We now believe that [the solar cycle] accounts for 50 per cent of the variability from year to year,” says Scaife.
    Quite.
    And the ocean cycles account for the other 50%.
    Can I have my Nobel Prize now ?

  129. R.Gates said:
    “we were at the bottom of the solar minimum, with a blank sun for months on end. You might also recall, that during this time, the stratosphere was in general contracting (i.e. cooling),”
    I have seen data that suggests that the stratosphere has not been cooling since the mid 90’s and that there may now be a slight warming.

  130. this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming.
    ===========================================================
    If you believe that the sun has very little effect……..then CO2 has practically none
    If you believe the sun has 50 per cent of the variability from year to year….
    ….then you’re stuck having to believe that natural variability is much stronger than CO2

  131. R. Gates said:
    “We see the short-term solar cycle and ENSO cycle riding on top of the longer-term upward trend.”
    What longer term upward trend?
    The longer term natural trend has been downward since the beginning of the Holocene.
    A shorter term natural trend has been upward since the LIA
    Granted that more CO2 has a warming effect in theory. However it is offset by a faster water cycle and any residual after the offset is miniscule and unmeasurable in the face of natural solar and oceanic variability.

  132. John Finn says:
    July 9, 2011 at 7:41 am
    It is as if the blinders have been removed.
    I don’t know about the Met Office but the “blinders” have been removed from someof the leading aGW proponents for a number of years. This paper from 2001 (nearly 10 years ago) was co-authoured by Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt
    “We examine the climate response to solar irradiance changes between the late 17th-century Maunder Minimum and the late 18th century. Global average temperature changes are small (about 0.3° to 0.4°C) in both a climate model and empirical reconstructions. However, regional temperature changes are quite large. In the model, these occur primarily through a forced shift toward the low index state of the Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation as solar irradiance decreases. This leads to colder temperatures over the Northern Hemisphere continents, especially in winter (1° to 2°C), in agreement with historical records and proxy data for surface temperatures”
    I think here’s a tendency for both sides to build ‘strawman’ arguments and to misrepresent what the other is actually saying. I can’t ever recall the AGW side saying the sun doesn’t have an influence. In fact I think they’ve over-estimated the early 20th century solar influence

    An interesting argument – but incorrect. Gavin Schmidt has obviously changed his opinion since the paper you quote. Here is the abstract from a paper in the “JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 114, D14101, doi:10.1029/2008JD011639, 2009” some eight years later:
    We demonstrate that naive application of linear analytical methods such as regression gives nonrobust results. We also demonstrate that the methodologies used by Scafetta and West (2005, 2006a, 2006b, 2007, 2008) are not robust to
    these same factors and that their error bars are significantly larger than reported. Our analysis shows that the most likely contribution from solar forcing a global warming is 7 ± 1% for the 20th century and is negligible for warming since 1980.

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2009/2009_Benestad_Schmidt.pdf
    “The sun has a negligible effect for warming since 1980” does not quite match with ““We now believe that [the solar cycle] accounts for 50 per cent of the variability from year to year,” says Scaife.”.
    I think there is a tendency for aGW (sic) proponents to use a scatter-shot approach supporting all potential outcomes, to allow their ‘loyal followers’ to quote ‘peer reviewed’ papers that support their current argument. I am not sure that this ensemble approach can be used with opposing conclusions from ‘Learned’ Papers as it is with mismatching model results.

  133. Several correspondents have seemed surprised that mainstream science pays attention to solar radiation. They should realize that the basis for the explanation of warming caused by greenhouse gases (CO2, methane etc), is the fact that heat accumulates when it is trapped in the atmosphere by these same gases. This was a controversial premise twenty years ago, but it no longer is.
    CO2 is not the harmless trace gas that some of your commentators assert. When we overload our atmosphere with millions more tons than can be absorbed by the oceans, soil and vegetation, we are ensuring that we have a warming problem, and ultimately a climate change problem caused by excessive heat and moisture in the atmosphere and the raft of attendant problems deriving.

  134. Stephen Wilde says:
    July 9, 2011 at 11:44 am
    R.Gates said:
    “we were at the bottom of the solar minimum, with a blank sun for months on end. You might also recall, that during this time, the stratosphere was in general contracting (i.e. cooling),”
    I have seen data that suggests that the stratosphere has not been cooling since the mid 90′s and that there may now be a slight warming.
    __________
    Would love to see that data, as everything I’ve read says the exact opposite in general. Of course the stratosphere responds to the solar cycle and has annual variability, but when these are taken into account, the most recent data seems to show longer-term cooling. Some of this is posited to be related to increased CO2 preventing LW radiation from reaching in the same quantities back the stratosphere, but certainly during the recent solar minimum, some cooling seems to have also been related to the lower amounts of high energy UV coming from the sun. One great reference on this is:
    http://www.arl.noaa.gov/documents/JournalPDFs/RandelEtal.JGR2009.pdf

  135. Stephen Wilde says:
    July 9, 2011 at 11:57 am
    “Granted that more CO2 has a warming effect in theory. However it is offset by a faster water cycle…”
    _______
    That’s exactly right. The hydrological cycles accelerates with increasing amounts of CO2. It’s the long-term negative feedback process used to keep CO2 from going into a “run-away greenhouse” situation. Problem is, this works over a long period of time…thousands, tens of thousands of years. CO2 has spiked rapidly in geological terms…far too rapid for the simple rock weathering-hydrological cycle to remove it, and of course, it continues to spike upward as the anthropogenic generation of it continues. Some scientists have even suggested helping out the rock-weathering/CO2 removal through geoengineering efforts:
    http://www.seercentre.org.uk/research/using_rockdust.htm

  136. Lord Beaverbrook says:
    July 9, 2011 at 1:44 am
    At last common sense prevails, maybe we in the UK will have sufficient stocks of grit and snowploughs during winter from now on.
    Sorry we are broke, can’t afford this!

  137. R.Gates, thanks for your responses. I would reply as follows:
    i) You said:
    “One great reference on this is:
    http://www.arl.noaa.gov/documents/JournalPDFs/RandelEtal.JGR2009.pdf
    Thanks for that link. It shows the cessation of stratospheric cooling since 1995 pretty well does it not? It may be a bit early yet for the effect of the recent solar minimum to show up but give it time.
    ii) You said:
    “The hydrological cycles accelerates with increasing amounts of CO2. It’s the long-term negative feedback process used to keep CO2 from going into a “run-away greenhouse” situation.”
    So we are agreed in principle. However the thermal effect of a faster water cycle is on a timescale of just a couple of weeks and does not relate to the weathering time for rocks as you try to suggest. In climate terms it is virtually instantaneous. Note that I was referring to the thermal effect of CO2 being offset NOT the removal of CO2 from the air via rock weathering. The ocean temperature (and thus CO2 absorption capability is a far more important factor than rock weathering in any event as regards CO2 addition or removal.

  138. R. Gates says:
    July 9, 2011 at 10:25 am
    1) CO2 does not “supply” energy as a driver (i.e. forcing) to the climate, and I never said it did. Rather is serves as a “greenhouse” gas through the absorption and re-transmission of LW radiation, thereby altering earth’s energy budget and effectively keeping more heat in various parts of earths systems. Over the long-term, an increase in CO2 will alter earth’s energy budget and thereby alter the climate.

    Too bad you ignore the OTHER function of GHGs, that is, they radiate away energy transferred to them kinetically. This is what I call the “cooling effect” of GHGs. As long as you and others continue to ignore this simple physical mechanism you will continue to over estimate the overall effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere.

  139. ““Third, scientists at the Met Office and elsewhere are beginning to understand the effect of the 11-year solar cycle on climate.”
    If true that statement is an appalling indictment of the lack of historical knowledge of modern British meteorologists. One of the leading economists of the 19th century was William Stanley Jevons who argued as long ago as the 1870s that the sunspot cycle affected crop yields and thereby affected the business cycle.
    William Stanley Jevons, 1835-1882
    http://www.newschool.edu/nssr/het/profiles/jevons.htm
    “In 1875 and 1878, Jevons read two papers before the British Association which expounded his famous “sunspot theory” of the business cycle. Digging through mountains of statistics of economic and meteorological data, Jevons argued that there was a connection between the timing of commercial crises and the solar cycle. The basic chain of events was that variations in sunspots affect the power of the sun’s rays, influencing the bountifulness of harvests and thus the price of corn which, in turn, affected business confidence and gave rise to commercial crises. Jevons changed his story several times (e.g. he replaced his European harvest-price-crisis logic with an Indian harvest-imports-crisis channel). However flimsy his explanations, Jevons believed that the periodicity of the solar cycle and commercial crises — approximately 10.5 years, by his calculations — was too coincidental to be dismissed. ”
    Unlike most recent economists who have written about the subject of climate change (Lord Stern for one) Jevons actually knew something about meteorology. He had studied science before turning to economics and spent some years in Australia . See the entry below in the online Encyclopedia of Australian Science.
    http://www.eoas.info/biogs/P000062b.htm
    “William Stanley Jevons was assayer at the new Sydney Mint 1854-59 then returned to England. While in Australia he made systematic observations in meteorology, botany, geology, and of social phenomena, and in 1857 became interested in the new art of wet-plate photography.”
    Although later economists have tended to reject Jevons’ idea that there was a close correlation between the sunspot cycle and the business cycle his basic point, that the solar changes affect agriculture output and thereby have economic consequences seems to be irrefutable.
    Surely there must be SOMEBODY in the Met Office who has heard of Jevons? They should have been studying the sun for decades now rather focussing on the greenhouse effect to the exclusion of everything else.
    Roy

  140. At 7:46 AM on 9 July, kadaka (KD Knoebel) quotes an online article about the U.S. Air Force’s Condor Cluster supercomputer, cobbled together out of the essential guts of 1,716 PlayStation 3 gaming consoles, in which we find the following:

    The cluster cost $2 million to build and is much less expensive than general purpose supercomputers, whose prices begin at $50 million. (The PlayStation 3 sells for $299 on Amazon. com, so the retail cost of 1,716 of them would be $513,084.)

    Buying retail? Like there’s nobody in the Department of Defense smart enough to call up a relative who knows somebody in the business and get units that kinda “fell off the truck” for a bunch less than wholesale?
    Gawd, you think there’s no Sicilians in the Pentagon? The U.S. government is the longest-operating criminal syndicate on the North American continent.

  141. Richard M says:
    July 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm
    R. Gates says:
    July 9, 2011 at 10:25 am
    1) CO2 does not “supply” energy as a driver (i.e. forcing) to the climate, and I never said it did. Rather is serves as a “greenhouse” gas through the absorption and re-transmission of LW radiation, thereby altering earth’s energy budget and effectively keeping more heat in various parts of earths systems. Over the long-term, an increase in CO2 will alter earth’s energy budget and thereby alter the climate.
    Too bad you ignore the OTHER function of GHGs, that is, they radiate away energy transferred to them kinetically. This is what I call the “cooling effect” of GHGs. As long as you and others continue to ignore this simple physical mechanism you will continue to over estimate the overall effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere.
    _____
    Not sure exactly what you mean by this, but I’d be glad to review any research you have on the kinetic cooling effects of LW radiation on CO2. I ignore nothing in climate science on purpose, and welcome all new areas of study.

  142. Stephen Wilde says:
    July 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm
    R.Gates, thanks for your responses. I would reply as follows:
    i) You said:
    “One great reference on this is:
    http://www.arl.noaa.gov/documents/JournalPDFs/RandelEtal.JGR2009.pdf”
    Thanks for that link. It shows the cessation of stratospheric cooling since 1995 pretty well does it not?
    _____
    No, actually, it does not, and the graphs and data indicate quite the opposite. But just to put a point on it, there’s this from the conclusion of the paper:
    “Global mean temperatures derived from both
    MSU channel 4 brightness temperatures and radiosonde
    observations reveal the lower stratosphere has cooled at a
    rate of 0.5 K/decade between 1979 and 2007.”
    and this:
    “The SSU and radiosonde data suggest the middle and
    upper stratosphere are cooling at a more rapid rate than the
    lower stratosphere”
    Don’t see any mention anywhere of a cessation of stratospheric cooling.
    ____
    But then you (Stephen) goes on to say:
    Quoting what R. Gates said:
    “The hydrological cycles accelerates with increasing amounts of CO2. It’s the long-term negative feedback process used to keep CO2 from going into a “run-away greenhouse” situation.”
    So we are agreed in principle. However the thermal effect of a faster water cycle is on a timescale of just a couple of weeks and does not relate to the weathering time for rocks as you try to suggest. In climate terms it is virtually instantaneous. Note that I was referring to the thermal effect of CO2 being offset NOT the removal of CO2 from the air via rock weathering.
    ____
    We are indeed agreed in principle, and it seems are indeed talking about two different things. While interesting to me, when talking about climate, the shorter term thermal effects seem not so important to me as the longer term issue of changes in the earth’s energy balance brought about by increasing amounts of CO2 and the longer term negative feedback of reducing that CO2 through the hydrological cycle.
    .

  143. Ian W,
    There isn’t a contradiction anywhere in there. The 2001 Shindell et al. paper is talking about regional responses to changes in solar activity as seen for the Maunder Minimum – around 1600-1700AD. The global change was quite small (0.3 to 0.4 deg C) but there were quite large regional effects.
    The Benestad and Schmidt 2009 paper is talking specifically about the 20th Century, which featured much smaller solar changes. As such the global response is clearly going to be smaller than 0.3-0.4 deg C. Out of the ~0.7 deg C warming they attribute 7± 1% to solar changes.
    The Scaife comment ’50 per cent of the variability’ is unrelated to both the above statements. It’s talking about the 11-year solar cycle causing year-to-year variability in temperature, not multi-decadal trends as in the two papers above. It’s also not clear whether he is talking about variability on a global scale or specifically North-Western Europe.

  144. First, this extraordinary concession from the MET should be applauded, not sneered at.
    Mike Lockwood proposed a similar solar-based scenario last year and outwitted the MET with an accurate seasonal forecast.
    Secondly, a brief chronology of MSM reports on solar effects on climate…
    BBC, February 1998
    Scientists blame sun for global warming
    The Sun is more active than it has ever been in the last 300 years
    ========
    NASA, March 2003
    Study Finds Increasing Solar Trend That Can Change Climate
    ========
    BBC, July 2004
    Sunspots reaching 1,000-year high
    ========
    BBC, April 2008
    ‘No Sun link’ to climate change
    “We started on this game because of Svensmark’s work. […] The IPCC has got it right, so we had better carry on trying to cut carbon emissions.” – Prof. Terry Sloan, Lancaster University.
    ========
    Time, December 2008
    The Planet Gets Cooler in ’08. Say What?
    ========
    BBC, April 2008
    ‘Quiet Sun’ baffling astronomers
    “If the Sun’s dimming were to have a cooling effect, we’d have seen it by now” – Mike Lockwood.
    ========
    New Scientist, September 2009
    World’s climate could cool first, warm later
    ========
    NewScientist, May 2010
    Quiet sun puts Europe on ice
    (Mike Lockwood predicting cold winters for Europe)
    =========
    DailyStar, UK, December 2010
    “BRITAIN’S winter is the coldest since 1683 and close to being the chilliest in nearly 1,000 years.”
    ========
    R.Gates – try growing some plants in an atmosphere enriched to 1000-1500ppm of CO2 and report your findings. Only by doing so can you really appreciate the effects of the current CO2 famine.
    Also, when making claims about the capacity of CO2 to “accelerate the hydrological cycle”, please cite evidence, including experiments that can demonstrate the effect.
    In anticipation of your doing so in future, many thanks.

  145. “We now believe that [the solar cycle] accounts for 50 per cent of the variability from year to year,” … this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming..
    Uh, let me get this straight –
    they aren’t sure what possible natural cause or causes that may have been influencing the warming in the last half of the 20th Century, so it must have been anthropogenic CO2 emissions, yet when it starts cooling, they believe the solar cycle will account for 50 per cent of the variability.
    In any case, if the sun accounts for 50 percent, then it would seem to be clear that CO2 can not possibly be the most dominant of the influences, can it?

  146. It’s not just the Met Office that is addressing the real-world winter conditions in Britain and the solar link. The UK Parliament announced a ‘winter resilience review’ in December 2010 after the obvious unpreparedness in 2008/9 and 2009/10. This seems to have prompted M Lockwood et al to come up with this analysis:-
    The solar influence on the probability of relatively cold UK winters in the future
    M Lockwood, R G Harrison, M J Owens, L Barnard, T Woollings and F Steinhilber (2011)
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/3/034004/pdf/1748-9326_6_3_034004.pdf
    Here’s some of it:-

    1. Introduction
    The central England temperature (CET) data series [5, 6] is the world’s longest instrumental temperature record and extends back to 1659, around the beginning of the Maunder minimum in solar activity. The CET covers a spatial scale of order 300 km which makes it a ‘small regional’ climate indicator but, to some extent, it will also reflect changes on both regional European and hemispheric scales [7]. The mean CET for December, January and February (DJF), TDJF, for the recent relatively cold winters of 2008/9 and 2009/10 were 3.50 ◦C and 2.53 ◦C, respectively, whereas the mean value (±one standard deviation) for the previous 20 winters had been (5.04 ± 0.98) ◦C. The CET for December 2010 was −0.6 ◦C which makes it the second coldest December in the entire record, the only colder one being in 1889/90; however warmer temperatures in the UK during January and February gave a DJF mean for 2010/11 of 3.13 ◦C. The cluster of lower winter temperatures in the UK during the last 3 years has raised questions about the probability of more similar, or even colder, winters occurring in the future. For example, because of the resource implications for national infrastructure planning, the probability of further severe winters is of central importance to the ‘winter resilience review’ announced in the UK Parliament by the Secretary of State for Transport in December 2010 [8].
    […]
    The results for the four thresholds are shown in figure 9. The solid lines assume the grand solar maximum ends in 2013 and the shaded areas give the effect of an uncertainty of±2 yr around this date.
    It can be seen that the probability falls over the next few years as sunspot activity rises with the new solar cycle. However, because of the long-term decline in FS 25, the predicted FS for the next solar minimum is lower than during the current minimum and so the probabilities rise to greater
    values. This is repeated over the subsequent three solar cycles until the solar minima 45–55 years into the future yield peak probabilities near 18%, 12%, 4% and 1.5%, for δTDJF below
    2.5 ◦C, 1.5 ◦C, 1.0 ◦C, and 0.5 ◦C, respectively
    . These values are close to the corresponding averages for the whole interval covered by the CET dataset (1659–2010, which includes one
    grand solar maximum and one grand solar minimum), which are shown by the horizontal dashed lines in figure 9. However they are larger than the observed occurrence frequencies for the decade before the recent solar minimum (1998–2008, all within the recent grand solar maximum) which are 0 for all
    four δTDJF thresholds.

    The ‘winter resilience review’ seems to be a sensible risk analysis – perhaps the Met Office is getting the picture?

  147. What must be very depressing for UKers in particular is that they have a PM who (expletive deleted) well ought to be putting up sane policies but is instead right at the front of the lemming-charge. USers and OZers have similar suicidal national policies, but at least their govts are on the side of politics from which such policies are more likely.
    A scientific question : Am I right in saying that IR doesn’t penetrate sea surface, so all its energy goes into evaporation? If so, then the energy goes back up into the atmosphere as latent heat. On condensing prior to coming down again as rain (etc), the heat is released back into the atmosphere, basically exactly where it came from. That creates more IR, half of which goes out into space. The cycle keeps repeating, so over time, a greater and greater proportion of the IR ends up in space. Net effect : very little global warming. Is that correct?

  148. It seems to me that any increase in the Earth’s temperature due to increased CO2 is easily overpowered by the Solar Cycle (and also by other natural cyclical phenomena). Much more so is the temperature increase due to man-made CO2.
    Pray we don’t have to suffer another ice-age for people to realize this.
    The answer is called climate sensitivity to CO2. Who do you believe has it beter figured?
    The most recent estimates from IPCC (2007) say this value (the Climate Sensitivity) is likely to be between 2 and 4.5°C. But Sherwood Idso in 1998 calculated the Climate Sensitivity to be 0.4°C, and more recently Richard Lindzen at 0.5°C. Roy Spencer is not too far from these low values.
    More at http://www.oarval.org/ClimateChange.htm

  149. ” … despite global warming”
    Of course global warming will still be happening despite the coming ice age … yeh right. I think the technical term is “covering their butts”.

  150. R. Gates says:
    July 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm
    _____
    Not sure exactly what you mean by this, but I’d be glad to review any research you have on the kinetic cooling effects of LW radiation on CO2. I ignore nothing in climate science on purpose, and welcome all new areas of study.

    No research required. This is simple common sense applied to simple physics. No more difficult than understanding the warming effect of GHGs.
    It all has to do with how the heat enters the atmosphere. When radiated from the ground the GHGs block the radiation from heading out to space. Simple, right? Half of it gets radiated back towards the surface. However, that is not the only way heat enters the atmosphere.
    Heat energy enters the atmosphere from conduction, direct absorption from the sun and latent heat. Once that energy is in the atmosphere most of it cannot escape UNTIL it is transferred through collisions to a GHG. At that time half gets radiated out the space which cools the atmosphere. IOW, a cooling effect. It is almost completely symmetric to the warming effect. If you use KT(07) as your heat budget guide, the cooling effect is about 1/2 the warming effect. If you believe the 1.2C per doubling of CO2, then the cooling effect reduces that to .6C. End of alarmism. End of cAGW.

  151. “this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming”
    Holy Orwell, Batman! Classic example of why this project cannot be sold and perhaps why they should have found something else to blame CO2 for to start with.
    Using the term “climate change” would have helped but too many already realize that the ‘AGW causes everything’ story is really a religious view. What else can it possibly be? And here, linking “icy winters” to “warming” tests that faith.
    So if this CO2 project is to survive, it needs to be repackaged. A new threat. Something that is a real and obvious concern to anyone. Seems undeniable that it has caused a mass global eco-doomsday mentality that will surely be bad for the children. That might work.

  152. Once again RGates hijacks a thread. Like a virus…really.
    Anything to advance his/her AGW agenda.
    It really is getting to the point though, of being of zero value, to even discuss.
    Why can’t you stick to the topic of the thread?
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  153. Khwarizmi says:
    “R.Gates – try growing some plants in an atmosphere enriched to 1000-1500ppm of CO2 and report your findings. Only by doing so can you really appreciate the effects of the current CO2 famine.
    Also, when making claims about the capacity of CO2 to “accelerate the hydrological cycle”, please cite evidence, including experiments that can demonstrate the effect.
    In anticipation of your doing so in future, many thanks.”
    _______
    Of course plants love CO2 (up to a point) just as much as we love oxygen (up to a point). The “dose determines the poison” concept, which is valid in many cases of a carefully balanced system such as the climate and biosphere of earth and the human body. It seems, for at least around the past million years, the earth has pretty much enjoyed a range of CO2 far less than 1000-1500 ppm, and the last time it was that high, human ancestors were probably something akin to a tree shrew. Of course, we know now from ice cores that we are seeing the highest CO2 since humans came down from dwelling in trees. The range of CO2 during the Holocene, or the past 10,000 years, prior to the advent of industrialization allowed for the cultivation of grains which really are the foundation of modern civilization. In short, the grain crops that we enjoy and have enjoyed, and that came to be cultivated in the past 10,000 seem to have done well with CO2 in a range under 300 ppm, and it would seem that grains might not do so well in the environments and steaming jungles of millions of years ago when CO2 might have been over 1,000 ppm. Certain plants perhaps, but not grains.
    As far as the effects on the hydrological cycle and higher CO2 in the atmosphere…unfortunately at present we don’t have a planet we can practice with to conduct experiments (though some seem to think we ought to use earth itself for such things– a risky proposition) Fortunately, we do have the next best thing, which are extremely powerful super-computers that are used to create simulations of earth. It is these simulations, when higher CO2 levels are used, that show various effects on hydrological processes of the planet, with the net result being that they “accelerate” in a general sense, meaning that there is more net precipitation falling, and this leads to increases in rock-weathering, which, over the long term, removes CO2 from the atmosphere and posits it in the oceans to eventually become limestone. At least, this is what the science and climate models tell us, and it seems, recent evidence would support it:
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2010/10/global-warming-river-flows-oceans-climate-disruption.html

  154. savethesharks says:
    July 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm
    Once again RGates hijacks a thread. Like a virus…really.
    Anything to advance his/her AGW agenda.
    It really is getting to the point though, of being of zero value, to even discuss.
    Why can’t you stick to the topic of the thread?
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA
    ____
    Chris, you’re a bright guy, and so you must know that all these topics are related…”all roads lead to Rome” so to speak. If topics come back to some foundational issues, then so be it. I did not “hijack” this thread in the least. People ask me questions and I respond. And I have no “AGW Agenda” …whatever that may mean. This is fun and interesting site with bright people such as yourself who happen to believe things that are much different that what I do. The topic of this thread was about the Met office’s statement about the effects of solar variation on weather (though some would like to think they were talking about the climate). My first post was directly about that, and then I was challenged or asked questions. That’s how conversations evolve. Chill, really.

  155. The issue is that AGW theory ascribes a positive feedback to an increase in water vapour in the models whereas in the real world the feedbck is strongly negative whatever the source of a forcing process whether it be towards warming or cooling.
    The water cycle speeds up to minimise warming influences and slows down to minimise cooling influences..
    Thus the proportion of non water vapour GHGs in the air just goes primarily to the speed of the water cycle and is not a significant contributor to the equilibrium temperature of the system as a whole. We should look to the oceans and atmospheric pressure plus solar shortwave radiation to set that system equilibrium tewmperature and not the atmospheric composition.
    In ignoring the influence of the oceans and atmospheric pressure, in focusing entirely on the atmosphere Tyndall et al got it seriously wrong.
    The fact that the atmospheric temperature is higher than it ‘should’ be has hardly anything to do with atmospheric composition at all dur to the variable speed of the water cycle.
    The entire system is modulated by the speed of the water cycle which is perfectly apparent from observation of the ever changing surface pressure distribution and the ever shifting climate zones.

  156. R. Gates said:
    “Don’t see any mention anywhere of a cessation of stratospheric cooling.”
    Lots of the diagrams show it. Try Fig 18.
    The words however do not mention it as you say.
    Seems to me that any paper that completely ignores a mid period change in trend is not very helpful.
    and:
    “talking about climate, the shorter term thermal effects seem not so important to me as the longer term issue of changes in the earth’s energy balance brought about by increasing amounts of CO2”.
    Then I suggest you alter your priorities. Setting one thermal effect against another where both act in opposite directions seems a pretty essential step to me. It is the central omission of AGW theory and fully explains the so called ‘missing’ heat.

  157. J Martin says:
    The only blinkers (“k” moved to “d” in the US) worn in the UK Met Office are most likely worn by the head of the Met Office as he is a politicised fan of AGW. This makes him unsuitable to be in charge of the Met Office since it prevents open discussion of a full range of views and ideas within the Met Office. The head of the Met Office should not take a position on co2 and global warming. To do otherwise is a conflict of interest and can only reduce the likelihood of the Met Office ever producing accurate climate or weather predictions.
    Somehow I doubt that their intentions are honest. I think that the AGW zoo are looking for an exit strategy and this is part of that, along with the recent publication of graphs from GISS showing no rise in temperature, and graphs from Hadcrut showing a decline in temperature over the last ten years, and the recent amateurish excuse of aerosols from China.
    They will be looking to reposition themselves as being the discoverers of cooling and will adopt and claim all the science done by the sceptics as their own. They will likely be fairly successful in this as they have positions and status eg. Hanson – NASA.
    They will state that it was their invaluable work on co2 that lead them to this discovery and that it confirms that they were right about co2 all along. And that the Global cooling was simply masking the co2 problem and that the need to destroy the economy of the Western World remains urgent.
    I live in hope that Santor, Mann, Hanson, Jones, will all go to jail, but I don’t expect to see it.

  158. Mike Jonas says:
    July 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm
    A scientific question : Am I right in saying that IR doesn’t penetrate sea surface, so all its energy goes into evaporation? If so, then the energy goes back up into the atmosphere as latent heat. On condensing prior to coming down again as rain (etc), the heat is released back into the atmosphere, basically exactly where it came from. That creates more IR, half of which goes out into space. The cycle keeps repeating, so over time, a greater and greater proportion of the IR ends up in space. Net effect : very little global warming. Is that correct?

    Mostly correct yes, Check this post:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/tallbloke-back-radiation-oceans-and-energy-exchange/

  159. Stephen Wilde says:
    July 10, 2011 at 12:06 am
    R. Gates said:
    “talking about climate, the shorter term thermal effects seem not so important to me as the longer term issue of changes in the earth’s energy balance brought about by increasing amounts of CO2″.
    Then I suggest you alter your priorities. Setting one thermal effect against another where both act in opposite directions seems a pretty essential step to me. It is the central omission of AGW theory and fully explains the so called ‘missing’ heat.

    Lol. R. Gates isn’t interested in the shorter term thermal effect because it nixes the extra co2 as the cause of the late C20th warming. Now he wants you to get worried about the rate rocks weather at. Listen up R. Gates, the rate rocks weather at and shells grow is a problem, they are absorbing too much co2 at the timescale you now say you are interested in. Atmospheric co2 is at dangerously low levels on the geological timescale.

  160. If and when there’s enough cooling to substantially reduce agricultural output there might be some mobs out looking for climate boffin butt to kick. While these nattering nabobs of negativity were trying, with some success, to limit anthropogenic CO2 it’ll become apparent that we should have been increasing it to ameliorate the devastating of effect of global cooling. When starvation rate accelerates there will be millions more deaths directly attributable to the political chicanery the climate boffins have so vigorously embraced.

  161. tallbloke says:
    July 11, 2011 at 2:53 am
    “Atmospheric co2 is at dangerously low levels on the geological timescale.”
    As factual as can be. Bears repeating. So I did.

  162. Mike Jonas says:
    July 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm
    “A scientific question : Am I right in saying that IR doesn’t penetrate sea surface, so all its energy goes into evaporation? If so, then the energy goes back up into the atmosphere as latent heat. On condensing prior to coming down again as rain (etc), the heat is released back into the atmosphere, basically exactly where it came from. That creates more IR, half of which goes out into space. The cycle keeps repeating, so over time, a greater and greater proportion of the IR ends up in space. Net effect : very little global warming. Is that correct?”
    I don’t know about “very little” but it’s essentually correct that you can’t heat a body water by shining infrared light on its surface. It’s all true that the ocean doesn’t effectively cool by emitting long wave infrared because it can only be emitted by a surface layer thinner than a human hair. Conductive and radiative heat loss in the ocean is a whopping 30% combined while evaporation is responsible for the other 70%.
    This doesn’t happen over land so 30% of the earth’s surface can indeed be warmed by GHGs. Greenhouse warming is almost entirely a land based phenomenon which handily explains why the climate boffins are desperately trying to find the missing heat. It ain’t missing, is was just never absorbed because water can’t be heated from above via LWIR and LWIR from above is THE mechanism by which GHGs do their thing.

  163. @tallbloke
    Read the post of yours discussing ocean warming by downwelling IR.
    Suggest you check out this and similar papers confirming that 70% of ocean heat loss is through evaporation, 20% radiative, and 10% conduction.
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 108, NO. C5, 3146, doi:10.1029/2002JC001584, 2003
    Seasonal mixed layer heat budget of the tropical Atlantic Ocean.

    Moreover it shows that the tropical Atlantic stores a fair amount of summertime insolation and releases it in the winter when the air is dryer and evaporation is increased. This is why there’s a lot less seasonal variation in surface air temperature over the ocean as compared to same latitude inland over continents.
    The bottom line is that for greenhouse gases to produce downwelling infrared they first need upwelling infrared to absorb and the plain fact of the matter is that the ocean doesn’t supply much upwelling infrared as radiation is a bit player compared to latent heat loss from evaporation. Latent heat in water vapor drills right through the lowest, densest layer of greenhouse gases like they weren’t there and releases the latent heat high above the surface when adiabatic cooling causes it to condense. Adding insult to injury in the GHG ocean heating hypothesis is that the densest layer of greenhouse gases which were bypassed by latent heat transport then serve to INSULATE the ocean surface against downwelling infrared released when the water vapor condenses. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. GHGs insulate in both directions so if the infrared source is high in the sky as it is in the case of latent heat of fusion the GHG layer belows impedes the return of said radiation.

  164. Significant GHG warming over land is a fair topic for discussion. Significant GHG warming over the global ocean is a physical impossibility that doesn’t warrant more discussion than it takes to point out the physics which makes it impossible which are the very same physics that makes significant over land.

  165. R. Gates says:
    July 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm
    “This is fun and interesting site with bright people such as yourself who happen to believe things that are much different that what I do.”
    This is your fundamental problem, Gates. Science isn’t about what you can believe. It’s about what you can know.

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