Uh oh, the Met Office has set the cat amongst the pigeons

Excerpt from Bishop Hill (plus a cartoon from Josh) showing that the claim of a statistically significant temperature rise can’t be supported, and the Met office is ducking parliamentary questions: (h/t Randy Hughes)

Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable

This is a guest post by Doug Keenan.

It has been widely claimed that the increase in global temperatures since the late 1800s is too large to be reasonably attributed to natural random variation. Moreover, that claim is arguably the biggest reason for concern about global warming. The basis for the claim has recently been discussed in the UK Parliament. It turns out that the claim has no basis, and scientists at the Met Office have been trying to cover that up.

The Parliamentary Question that started this was put by Lord Donoughue on 8 November 2012. The Question is as follows.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government … whether they consider a rise in global temperature of 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1880 to be significant. [HL3050]

The Answer claimed that “the temperature rise since about 1880 is statistically significant”. This means that the temperature rise could not be reasonably attributed to natural random variation — i.e. global warming is real.

The issue here is the claim that “the temperature rise since about 1880 is statistically significant”, which was made by the Met Office in response to the original Question (HL3050). The basis for that claim has now been effectively acknowledged to be untenable. Possibly there is some other basis for the claim, but that seems extremely implausible: the claim does not seem to have any valid basis.

Josh has a go at them:

331 thoughts on “Uh oh, the Met Office has set the cat amongst the pigeons”

1. Jimmy Haigh. says:

The MET Office disappoints. – gavin

2. Colin Gartner says:

A terrific essay, understandable by laymen, such as myself. I encourage all to head over to Bishop Hill and read the full missive.

3. Green Sand says:

What really is significant is that this is the outcome of a question(s) raised in the UK Parliament.
At last we have legislators becoming aware of their responsibilities and carrying out due diligence, albeit belatedly.

4. Athelstan. says:

You can fool some of the people some of the time, contrary to what the civil servants at the Met Office thought – you can’t fool all of the people – all of the time Goddammit!
‘Bout time some real time employment expenditure retrenchment was made at the Met Office – with the UK CET showing a decline in average annual temperatures – the game is up.
The UK branch of the scientific warmist cabal and arguably ‘consensus central’ – is stuffed and judging by this article [see below] the same could be said of the German warmist klimatekrieg too:
http://notrickszone.com/2013/05/26/max-planck-institute-for-meteorology-prognoses-confirm-model-forecasts-warming-postponed-hundreds-of-years/
Alarmist Consensus – over and out.

5. onlyme says:

It only took 6 times asking substantively the same question to get an answer. Previously, the question was ducked, finally the math was done.

6. “Met Office has set the cat amongst the pigeons”
More of a red herring than a cat. Only Keenan cannot tell the difference.
REPLY: Mr. Telford, who is on the government climate science payroll, would do well to embrace this:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”
– Upton Sinclair

-Anthony

7. Peter Stroud says:

Excellent work. This must be given maximum publicity. Also it must be pointed out that many other official bodies, worldwide, follow the same line. Including, of course the IPCC.

8. Jimmy Haigh. says:

Green Sand says:
May 27, 2013 at 7:19 am
Absolutely.
The chickens are well over the horizon…
But, as I have said many times, can we all have our money back please?

9. Jimmy Haigh. says:

Anthony’s reply to Richard Telford at 07:26…
Ouch…

10. Jim Ryan says:

From Athelstan’s link, a thing of beauty (for those of us who are fans of the absurd):
“…prognoses confirm forecasts…”
Deliciously unintelligible. Just like “…has correctly predicted that temperatures will…”, it has no semantic value. In the old days, a student would flunk a college essay for such locutions. These days they count as vindication of a scientific theory and bring millions in funding.

11. kim says:

Who is Lord Donahue and where has he been hiding?
================

12. Nick Milner says:

It’s an interesting essay but what are we to take away from it? That statistically speaking the planet isn’t actually warming after all? This seemed to be the sceptical argument from the early days but over the years hasn’t it moderated to be more along the lines of “we agree that the planet has warmed but we disagree as to the proportion that is man-made?” Is that now no longer the case? Are we, for example, to assume that the recently lauded low climate sensitivity studies are invalidated and the sensitivity should really be 0?
I ask because it looks like the “sceptical view” (if such a thing can be said to exist with any broad agreement) can’t make it’s mind up what it thinks, as long as it’s not what “the other guys” think, and you can bet that “they” will point this out.
Don’t take this the wrong way – I’m no believer in CAGW – but I don’t think this kind of flip-flopping helps anyone’s case. It’s reminds me of this scene from Galaxy Quest 🙂

13. From thefreedictionary.com:
pi·geon 1 (pjn)
n.

2. Slang One who is easily swindled; a dupe.

A brief, but substantially correct, description of many of the followers of CAGW by CO2.

14. The Met Office is the UK National Weather Service, founded in Aug of 1861. In recent years, forecasts based on the Carbon forcing model provided increasingly inaccurate long range predictions as barbie summers went cold and damp, as mandatory hose pipe bans were met with floods and the ‘warmest winter on record’ guesses were the coldest of the century. For decades the Met Office excuse was that with faster computers, long range accuracy would improve dramatically. Lavish Cray Super Computers have not improved Met guesses. With over 30,000 cold related deaths this winter due to energy poverty, the abject failure of their warmest winter bet could not be ignored, so on April 9, 2013 the Met announced that they would no longer provide ‘public’ long range forecasts, but would continue to provide that ‘service’ to the government….wink, wink. The government that pays Met operations and doesn’t mind exchanging tax money for worthless dribble….will continue to fund the charade….with no Met staff reductions. Unhappy with the official Met announcement of this change, i posted this version in comments at WUWT, now worth repeating:
The Met Office has admitted that predictions about weather and climate are beyond the ability of charlatans with super computers, and have therefore switched to the seance with poltergeist form of forecast. Future predictions will be made by the ghost of Marcel Marceau….”the mime who brought poetry to silence”….offering the public the same level of accuracy and entertainment of our recent long range forecasts.
Perhaps if the Met masters had not invested 30% of the Met pension fund in Carbon futures, there would be a more objective view of Earth’s non CO2 driven climate future.
Just saying.

onlyme says:
May 27, 2013 at 7:23 am
“…Previously, the question was ducked, finally the math was done.”
******************
The maths might have been done before the question was ducked.

16. Brian Johnson UK says:

What did we UK taxpayers get for buying the Met Office a shiny new number cruncher – nothing.
Will David Cameron finally realise that supporting Green Initiatives [Daddy in Law has wind farms] has to be dropped and huge subsidies for wind and solar contraptions has to stop.
A small part of the money saved could be spent on hiring a really competent Chief Scientific Officer.

So this will be the top headline on the BBC News this evening, won’t it?
No, didn’t think so.

18. Mycroft says:

i’ll try and Tweet Harribin and see what he says,no doubt the same rubbish “that its still a warming trend”
Would ask others to do the same if they are signed up to Twitter

19. Richard M says:

I believe this topic was brought up a few years in a blog by moderate warmist Bart Verhoven (sp?). An anonymous statistician (VC?) made the point that the warming since 1880 was not statistically significant. You should have seen the alarmists go through the roof. The thread went on and on with all the alarmists in total denial.
It’s good to see this revisited for the politicians. If anything the lack of recent warming has made this point even stronger.

20. Ian W says:

From the Bishop Hill post:
A Parliamentary Question that has been tabled in the House of Lords is formally answered by HM Government as a whole. In practice, HM Government assigns the Question to a relevant ministry or department. In our case, the Questions have been assigned to the Department of Energy and Climate Change
So a Parliamentary Question requesting an answer that showed there was NO statistically significant temperature change was put to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
The PQ was effectively: “Is there a valid reason for half of your headcount and funding?”
I think we can all see why there was a reluctance to answer.
As they have been forced into answering: “No valid reason”. Where do things go from here? The UK DECC is currently subsidizing inefficient energy production at £18 Billion a year ($28 Billion) for no valid reason and in doing so hugely inflating the costs of energy. Just in the first two weeks of March 2013 2000 people died of cold in energy poverty and since 2003 more than 250,000 UK citizens have died of cold in energy poverty.. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9959856/Its-the-cold-not-global-warming-that-we-should-be-worried-about.html This is NOT an academic argument more people died of cold in UK in the last 10 years than military and civilian deaths in the Iraq war! While I understand people wanting to protect their budgets, headcounts and tenure, they have to realize the lethal effects of the decisions made by politicians based on the reported figures. It is time for a VERY public inquiry with no attempts to hide data or obfuscate reasoning. 21. onlyme says: slow to follow says: May 27, 2013 at 7:57 am onlyme says: May 27, 2013 at 7:23 am “…Previously, the question was ducked, finally the math was done.” ****************** The maths might have been done before the question was ducked. ****************** Correct, I falsely made the assumption of integrity on part of the responders to the original question. It is more than possible that the dissembling in the responses was done with knowledge that the math would not support the Met office claim. 22. Gary Hladik says: Love the cartoon! 23. Gary Pearse says: Do we still go with the 95% confidence level? The Max Planck Institute seems to have slipped it to the 90% confidence and then states that this level is even fraught with uncertainty!: Athelstan. says: May 27, 2013 at 7:20 am provides this link: http://notrickszone.com/2013/05/26/max-planck-institute-for-meteorology-prognoses-confirm-model-forecasts-warming-postponed-hundreds-of-years/ The models are right but warming from the doubling may be postponed for hundreds of years. The words are from two of the authors of the recent Otto et al paper. The least that can be done is to relieve Max Planck from having his name attached to this institute. His family should picket the place – he deserves to have a scientific institute with his name. Halving the ECS and still lowering the confidence level says something. Read the article – at least the MPI press release stuff. Also, it will be interesting to see who the trolls are if any (Telford above probably won’t be back after Anthony’s response to him) to argue against the change of heart of the UK Met Office. 24. ruvfs says: From the post: “This means that the temperature rise could not be reasonably attributed to natural random variation — i.e. global warming is real.” The sentence is a little confusing and clumsy. Presumably it means that the rise is statistically significant, and therefore represent something other than statistical errors, errors in measurement, and so on. It represents a real rise. The term “natural random variation” could be taken to mean that natural causes are excluded as a reason for the rise, which, I suspect is not what is intended here. Statistical significance does not in itself exclude natural variation as the major factor. 25. Anthony, Very much and kindly glad for this! Good wishes, Doug • Anthony Watts says: Doug, no thanks needed, +1’s all around for your tenacity. 26. Peter Miller says: Those living comfortably on a gravy train, especially a government one, with nowhere else to go if the truth prevails and the train derails, will obfuscate and duck and dive and wriggle and do whatever it takes to avoid admitting there was never any point to the gravy train. Bureaucratic empire building is what global warming is all about, followed closely by goofy politicians trying to display their supposed green credentials. All this nonsense is paid for by those who pay taxes; the people held in utter contempt by our ruling liberal ‘elites’. 27. Doug Bearing in mind the Met Office is British, gets money from the British taxpayer AND is a British Govt dept I think that British MPs need to also know what is going on in Britain.(I met up with mine several weeks ago) As you may know Central England temperature-the worlds oldest instrumental record- is said by many scientists to be a reasonable (but by no means perfect) proxy for Global temperatures The latest Met office figures to 1772 show only a 0.4C anomaly http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/ Here is the Met office extended data to 1659-please note it is my own reconstruction from then to 1538 http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/08/the-curious-case-of-rising-co2-and-falling-temperatures/ Current Temperatures after the recent decade long dip in Britain are about 0.2 degrees higher than the 1830’s, indistinguishable to the 1730-‘s and currently lower than my reconstructed figure for 1500-1540 approx. Measuring from the 1880’s is somewhat devious as it was of course a noted period of temperature decline and measuring from the trough rather than an earlier peak is always going to skew data. I have always wondered why Giss decided to measure from that 1880 point tonyb 28. Gary Pearse says: Nick Milner says: May 27, 2013 at 7:54 am “…,.Are we, for example, to assume that the recently lauded low climate sensitivity studies are invalidated and the sensitivity should really be 0?” Nick, you missed the point of the “lauding”. We realize that the Otto paper is a first step in the way back for the CAGW hardliners of the past. What was being lauded was that IPCC mainliners were chopping the sensitivity in half – this is just a start. Most thinking skeptics believe the sensitivity is 1 or less – there have been a few papers on this from Lindzen et al, Roy Spencer, etc. Moreover, many have been embracing the idea put forward by Willis Eschenbach over the last several years that there is an over-riding governor that puts a series of processes in play to counteract the warming that theoretically could come from CO2, and even the cooling that can come from aerosols volcanic and otherwise. That the Met Office has been forced (with extreme reluctance) to admit that 0.8C since 1880 is not really significant, you will agree, is newsworthy here. We know that it has warmed since the Little Ice Age when it was possible for people to walk on 8 feet thick ice from Manhattan to Staten Island and that during the American Revolutionary War, heavy cannon were rolled over the ice from New Jersey to Manhattan and a third of Finn’s died of cold and starvation…. but this was all recent natural variation which historically appears large enough to overpower any warming of significance that otherwise might be possible. 29. John West says: @Nick Milner I think most skeptics would say there’s been statistically significant temperature rise since the peak of the Little Ice Age (~1600’s) but that there are plenty of non-random natural processes to explain [some/most/all] of that warming. 30. REPLY: Mr. Telford, who is on the government climate science payroll, would do well to embrace this: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” – Upton Sinclair -Anthony ################################ If you have to stoop to using ad hominem arguments, you could at least ensure that the ad hominem is correct. The salary of academics is not dependent on their opinions – a concept known as academic freedom. REPLY: A famous quote is an “ad hom” LOL!. Yes no dependency, sure, no ‘publish or perish’ until such time you get that cushy deal known as tenure, where you can be free to be as loony as Paul Ehrlich without fear of losing your job. It doesn’t work that way in the real world outside academia my friend. – Anthony 31. The problem for the Met modellers is that, apart from the egregious structural errors in their specific models, (assuming that CO2 is the main driver when it clearly follows temperature and adding water vapour as a feedback onto CO2 to increase the sensitivity) climate science is so complex that the modelling approach is inherently incapable of providing useful forecasts. All the IPCC model projections and the impact studies and government policies which depend on them are a total waste of time and money.The only useful approach is to perform power spectrum and wavelet analysis on the temperature and possible climate driver time series to find patterns of repeating periodicities and project them forward. When this is done it is apparent that the earth entered a cooling phase in 2003-4 which will likely last for 20 more years and perhaps for several hundred years beyond that. For the data and references supporting this conclusion check the posts “Open letter to Benny Peiser ” and “Climate Forecasting Basics for Britains Seven Alarmist Scientists” at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com 32. Gary Hladik says: Nick Milner says (May 27, 2013 at 7:54 am): “It’s an interesting essay but what are we to take away from it? That statistically speaking the planet isn’t actually warming after all?” Read the beginning of the article again: It has been widely claimed that the increase in global temperatures since the late 1800s is too large to be reasonably attributed to natural random variation. Moreover, that claim is arguably the biggest reason for concern about global warming. The MET has admitted that the measured warming is in fact not too large to be attributed to natural variation. That’s in agreement with one of the skeptics’ most consistent arguments, i.e. that in light of the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Roman Warm Period, Holocene Optimum, etc., we’re still well within natural variations of the Earth’s climate system. 33. William Astley says: The fact that the MET will not answer a simple scientific question appears to support the assertion that the MET is biased and is agenda driven, rather than a neutral scientific body whose purpose is to provide data and analysis for the public and policy makers. The MET will not answer a simple scientific question with a quantified standard scientific answer (probability the 20th century warming is significant based on past warming and cooling periods in the climate record) as the answer is the 20th century warming is not unusual, not statically significant. There is a reason the ‘warmists’ will not debate the observations concerning the most basic fundamental questions concerning validating the AGW theory, related to the position of Lukewarm AGW vs Dangerous AGW: They would lose that debate. 1) Warming is not statistically significant (i.e. There has been other periods of warming and cooling in the recent human history post 1850 that is similar to the 20th century.) MET will not answer this question as the answer does not support the warmist position. 2) The latitudinal pattern of warming does not match that predicted by the AGW theory. (There is too much observed warming in the Northern Hemisphere ex-tropics. There is hardly any warming in the tropics.) See paper link to below to back up that claim.) That fact indicates a significant portion of the 20th century warming has caused by something else than CO2. Hint solar modulation of clouds. No one is even discussing this observation. 3) Even if 100% of the warming was caused by CO2 (ignoring the fact that the regions of the planet that warm do not match theory), the amount of observed warming is significantly less than what is predicted by the IPCC used general circulation models (See link below). The most recent warmist response is the heat is hiding in the deep ocean. (No one has noticed that if there is mixing of surface water with deep water that will significant reduce/cap the rate of rise of atmospheric CO2. Is there no end to the problems for the warmists?) http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/ipcc-ar5draft-fig-1-4.gif http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.0581.pdf Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth The global atmospheric temperature anomalies of Earth reached a maximum in 1998 which has not been exceeded during the subsequent 10 years (William: 16 years and counting). The global anomalies are calculated from the average of climate effects occurring in the tropical and the extratropical latitude bands. El Niño/La Niña effects in the tropical band are shown to explain the 1998 maximum while variations in the background of the global anomalies largely come from climate effects in the northern extratropics. These effects do not have the signature associated with CO2 climate forcing. (William: This observation indicates something is fundamental incorrect with the IPCC models, likely negative feedback in the tropics due to increased or decreased planetary cloud cover to resist forcing). However, the data show a small underlying positive trend that is consistent with CO2 climate forcing with no-feedback. (This indicates a significant portion of the 20th century warming has due to something rather than CO2 forcing.) The recent atmospheric global temperature anomalies of the Earth have been shown to consist of independent effects in different latitude bands. The tropical latitude band variations are strongly correlated with ENSO effects. The maximum seen in 1998 is due to the El Niño of that year. The effects in the northern extratropics are not consistent with CO2 forcing alone. …. …. An underlying temperature trend of 0.062±0.010ºK/ decade was estimated from data in the tropical latitude band. Corrections to this trend value from solar and aerosols climate forcings are estimated to be a fraction of this value. The trend expected from CO2climate forcing is 0.070g ºC/decade, where g is the gain due to any feedback. If the underlying trend is due to CO2 then g ~1. Models giving values of greater than 1 would need a negative climate forcing to partially cancel that from CO2. This negative forcing cannot be from aerosols. … …These conclusions are contrary to the IPCC [2007] statement: “[M]ost of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” 34. Theo Goodwin says: ruvfs says: May 27, 2013 at 8:31 am Very well said and very important. Whether the rise is statistically significant tells us nothing about what might have caused a significant rise and nothing about the maximum range of our data (known natural variation). To show that natural variation is not the cause, one would have to show that recent data exceed the known range of the data and that the difference is statistically significant. In layman’s terms, you have to show that the Medieval Warm Period has been exceeded and that the difference is statistically significant. A switch from actual data to “rate of warming” makes no difference as one still must show that the rate in the 20th Century exceeds that in the Medieval Warm Period and that the difference is statistically significant. 35. kim says: It was always foolish to attribute all of the warming since the LIA to AnthroGHGs, as some do, because were it so, the earth would be very cold now without it. The higher the sensitivity, the colder it would be now without man’s input. Much better to hope for a low sensitivity to CO2 and dominance of natural cycles. ============== 36. Stephen Wilde says: Since 2008 I’ve been telling you all that I noticed the air circulation across the UK starting to change from around 2000. The data in this thread confirms that observation. That followed the change in the opposite direction that subsisted during the late 20th century warming spell. In the late 1970s climate shift the jets and climate zones shifted poleward. Since 2000 they have been shifting equatorward. All else follows from that. The only correlation that appears to be duplicated at both times is solar variation. In the late 70s solar activity increased after slightly less active cycle 20 and the atmospheric circulation shifted poleward. In the late 90s the decline from active cycle 23 to quiet cycle 24 moved the atmospheric circulation equatorward. 37. Mike Haseler says: In 2009 in my submission to the UK Parliament after climategate I stated: “The Null Hypothesis (Natural Variation) is Consistent with Global Temperatures” Four years later the UK parliament says I was right. 38. Robert of Ottawa says: What persistance on behalf of the players – including the MET’s stonewalling. Had to ask the question 6 times 39. Robert of Ottawa says: Reply to Nick Milner May 27, 2013 at 7:54 am Nick, to clarify, many people like me argue that yes, the place has warmed slightly, but it is not statistically significant; just red noise and a recovery from the little ice age. Now the MET office is agreeing. 40. AlecM says: The key issue is that Climate Alchemy depends upon incorrect physics from Sagan and Houghton. Hansen codified it and in 2011 was forced to claim that aerosol cooling was exactly equal and opposite GHG-AGW, and still the lunatics believed in the religion. The fact is, any competent objective professional with proper training** can see that the modelling is wrong. it takes a rarer individual to work out that there is a mechanism by which CO2-AGW is kept at zero, on average, and compensates for solar change. **The Met. Office is staffed by people who do not know enough physics and/or have been poorly taught. Few scientists know the S-B equation and its progenitor, the Planck Irradiation Function. I have heard physicists claim bodies emit streams of photons and Climate Alchemists claim it’s streams of heat energy. The fact is, heat transfer rate per unit volume is the negative of the integral over all wavelengths of the divergence of the monochromatic radiative flux density. So, you do not get any energy transfer until the radiation fields interact destructively. The result of this is that ‘back radiation’ is an aborted foetus of science. How anyone can teach it is beyond my ken. And to believe pyrgeometers measure it is ludicrous. The manufacturers know the truth, which is that only the net signal is real. Sagan got the aerosol physics wrong. Houghton claimed the two stream approximation can be used at an optical discontinuity and assumed that atmospheres are grey bodies. Put these two errors right and add a few twists and there can be no CO2-AGW. 41. Scott Basinger says: Telford: “More of a red herring than a cat. Only Keenan cannot tell the difference.” If you’d actually make a point rather than using snark against the author, people like myself would probably listen to what you have to say. But since you didn’t, I have to conclude that you really don’t have a valid point and that you’re so wedded to your ‘side’ that not much you have to say is worth listening to. Good luck on that. 42. Mr Green Genes says: I find it interesting that the question was put to the Department for Energy and Climate Change since, on their own website, the Met. Office proclaim themselves to be “a Trading Fund within the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, operating on a commercial basis under set targets“, however odd that may sound. As someone who, over the years, has had to deal with government bureaucracy at its most crass and unhelpful, I sense that the set-up has given the civil servants an excuse to bounce the response around Whitehall in an effort to avoid having to give a politically embarrassing answer. Kudos to Lord Donoughue for not falling for it. 43. Jimbo says: What should people expect as we came out of the Little Ice Age? Then there’s the ‘significant(?)’ rise between 2910 to 1940 when co2 was well below the ‘safe’ level. 44. Stephen Wilde says: Gary Pearse said: “Moreover, many have been embracing the idea put forward by Willis Eschenbach over the last several years that there is an over-riding governor that puts a series of processes in play to counteract the warming that theoretically could come from CO2, and even the cooling that can come from aerosols volcanic and otherwise” Yes and I’ve told you what it is. Rather than simply being changes in thunderstorm activity in the tropics as suggested by Willis it is a bodily latitudinal shift of the entire atmospheric circulation in response to any forcing element other than atmospheric mass, the strength of the gravitational field or ToA insolation. Compared to such shifts induced by solar and oceanic variations the effect of our CO2 emissions could never be measured. 45. This is brilliant. Let’s see what Parliament does with it. I guess they’ve got some thinking to do. Excellent work, Doug – the world needs more like you. 46. Isn’t this part of the IPCC report the EPA relied on for it’s endangerment finding? If so this action by the MET should effect the validity of the finding. 47. Jimbo says: Meanwhile in Germany it looks like they are having the coldest Spring in 40 years. Notrickszone 48. Nik Marshall-Blank says: No problem, the warmists will produce a new paper excluding all other papers written by people who always leave a little tea remaining in their cup or do not eat the wafer cone of an ice cream and that will leave 97% agreeing with AGW. 49. Doug Proctor says: The CAGW counter to this is that just because the temp increase from 1850 COULD be an example of “normal” variation, and so is not statistically significant, i.e standing outside noise, it doesn’t mean the temp increase IS an example of normal variation. The warmist do employ circular reasoning. But they claim that other evidence leads them to say that the warming from 1850 ISN”T natural, that it is forced by the increase in CO2. We have a non-unique solution type problem. The warmists have reframed it as a unique solution problem, and since they have found “a” solution, i.e. A-CO2, they have found THE solution. The post’s statistical statement is that the rise global temps since 1850 is not a unique solution situation. That is important and signficant in terms of the debate, but that is all: CO2 is sufficient but not necessary. CO2 as in the IPCC narrative is a necessary and sufficient cause. In the skeptic view, CO2 is a sufficient but not necessary cause, and that other factors, also sufficient but not necessary are involved. In fact, the skeptics’ case is that several factors together are both sufficient (though not necessary) AND actually the reason. When the climatologists, politicians and ideologues are stuck in the “necessary”, Unique Solution Syndrome, they are like the man who thinks the entire world is just a collection of various types of nails. Whatever the situation, he only needs a hammer; he will resist all other tools to the end of his life. 50. Nik Marshall-Blank says: Oh… and Dana Nuttynelly will have to think hard about what to write after this. 51. John West says: Jimbo says: “Meanwhile in Germany it looks like they are having the coldest Spring in 40 years.” I can relate. In my 45 years in North Carolina I cannot remember a spring this cold. This morning felt more like Easter than late May. Even the real old-timers I’ve talked to can’t remember it being this cold this late, but we did have a warm winter (so there ya go, global warming … er … uh … climate change /sarc). 52. Nik Marshall-Blank says: @Doug Proctor – It should be noted that it’s much easier to make money out of a “single known cause than “many diffuse ones”. Did I say that,,, really??? YES! 53. Nik Marshall-Blank says: Is it true that the Met Office tried to buy Apple #1 as their next super computer? 54. Chris Riley says: Andrew, now might be the time to at least begin thinking about the future of WUWT after the impending collapse of CAGW. The first task that comes to mind is making arrangements for a complete and permanent archive of all activity on this site. The second that comes to mind is that it might be time to start examining other areas where pseudoscience in service of the social engineers is imposing significant social costs. 55. RockyRoad says: Weird that the Met Office would stick so tenaciously to a prediction when the accuracy of the easiest and most practiced thing they predict (weather, you know) is considered to be 80% today, 60% tomorrow, 40% the day after, and only 20% thereafter. And since climate = weather integrated over the next 30 years (more or less), wouldn’t they have to stick with a 20% confidence level when predicting climate, since the first 3 days of that 30-year period are completely insignificant compared to the rest? I won’t hold my breath for an answer. 56. John West says: Doug Proctor says: “We have a non-unique solution type problem. The warmists have reframed it as a unique solution problem, and since they have found “a” solution, i.e. A-CO2, they have found THE solution. The post’s statistical statement is that the rise global temps since 1850 is not a unique solution situation. That is important and signficant in terms of the debate, but that is all: CO2 is sufficient but not necessary.” I made the mistake of saying that @ RealClimate once. You can probably imagine the reaction. Of course you are right, there’s way more unknowns than equations with which to isolate and solve for the variables. I will admit I can kind of understand working on solving (let’s say) 25 equations with 100 unknowns and finally finding “a” solution how one might think of it as “the” solution. That’s why a real consensus (to me) is one in which those closest to the hypothesis or “proposed solution” have convinced the rest of the scientific community of its validity; this is what climate science has utterly failed at doing. 57. Auto says: Lord Donoughue – kim says: May 27, 2013 at 7:43 am Who is he [and more]: A link [the peerless, perennially permanently pluperfect, Wikipedia, but a start] – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Donoughue,_Baron_Donoughue Paraphrasing, a lad who made good, ‘Economist’ journalist [when the E was a decent rag, I guess]; a senior adviser in the 1970s to Prime Minister Harold Wilson [the man with more faces than the Town Hall clock] and Jim Callaghan [1974-79], then back to the Economist, then ‘The Times’, whence he was apparently dismissed by Rupert Murdoch. [Is that a badge of honour in some circles?]. Later, various good works – Orchestras, Betting Commissions (the Starting Price Regulatory Commission (SPRC)), etc. then a junior minister under ‘Tony Blair’ as we call Tony B. Liar. A couple of other comments if I may: – In London – and most of the UK, I think, but certainly London – the ‘Met’ is the Metropolitan Police. The Met Office is the Met Office. Now that Parliament has been told there is no – ahhhhh, ummm, whatever the latest ‘in-phrase’ is – Non-Natural Hotness-Spread, say, can we get back to trying to cut the deficit [if eliminated by raising income tax n the UK it would need an increase of 26% in all income tax rates to eliminate], and defending our islands. Yes, I’m British, in London. And can we have our money back? Please? 58. richard verney says: AlecM says: May 27, 2013 at 9:14 am The key issue is that Climate Alchemy depends upon incorrect physics from Sagan and Houghton. Hansen codified it and in 2011 was forced to claim that aerosol cooling was exactly equal and opposite GHG-AGW, and still the lunatics believed in the religion. //////////////////////////////////////// Alec They had to argue that aerosol cooling was more than opposite GHG-AGW. Manmade CO2 emmissions only began to rapidly increase as from WW2. There was a very rapid increase in CO2 emissions between say 1940 and 1970 when compared to the rate of increase between say 1900 and 1930. However just as manmade CO2 emissions rapidly increased temperatures fell. To explain the fall in temperatures between 1940 to say mid 1970s required the ‘warmists’ to argue that increases in manmade aerosol emissions had a greater than equal and opposite effect to the rise in GHG-AGW and that is why instead of observing warming as from the 1940s, there was cooling post 1940s. It was only after steps were taken to combat manmade aerosol emissions (claimed to be in the late 1970s) that one began to see the effect of global warming brought about by manmade emissions of CO2. 59. Ian H says: I’d like clarification as to what is meant by the word significant. Because it seems to me that it is being used in two ways. On the one hand you could defend the claim that temperature has risen risen significantly when tested against the null hypothesis that it stayed the same or decreased. On the other hand it is certainly false that the temperature has risen significantly when tested against the null hypothesis that the climate is varying naturally. 60. John Tillman says: lsvalgaard says: May 27, 2013 at 10:47 am ———————————– Correlation not too bad until about 2004. Statistically significant? Maybe. What does it look like on a centennial or millennial scale instead of decennial? Thanks. 61. Latimer Alder says: @richard telford ‘The salary of academics is not dependent on their opinions – a concept known as academic freedom’ H’mm But simple salary is not the sole component of the reward package that academia offers to its participants. If it were then few would choose to do the job…there are bigger pickings for tolerably bright kids elsewhere. Academia also values direct and indirect recognition among one’s peers and others. Just look at the CV of a moderately successful Professor and it will be littered with medals and prizes and other baubles and honours that a city trader would consider totally irrelevant – but matter a lot in that field. There are conference keynotes, books to write, appearances to make, and – for example – the invitation to become an IPCC Author. And of course, all academics aspire to promotion within their field. None of these are salary dependent, but you be assured that they come few and far between within climatology to those who hold differing views from ‘the consensus’ It is disingenuous to pretend that because the direct salary is not opinion dependent an academic is under no pressure to conform. It is a group like any other group ..and conformity is prized. 62. Bart says: Keenan’s analysis highlights something Richard Courtney and I have been saying for some time on these boards: to claim “statistical significance”, you must use a model of the stochastic process. And, if your model is no good, your estimation of statistical significance is bogus. Far too often, particularly in the climate sciences, I see statistics abused in the service of denying what can be seen with the naked eye. In private industry, where we have to be sure of our results or there may be catastrophic consequences, we would never use a process model which disagreed with what we could see with a cursory glance. It has been very frustrating to me, the challenges I have received along these lines. People assume that a painfully overwrought analysis carries more weight than simple inspection. That, if you can dress your argument up in terms of Hurst parameters, or ARIMA processes, or Fokker-Plank equations, or what have you, then it is perforce of greater validity than simply looking at the data and remarking upon what you see. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is painfully easy to devise sophisticated mathematical arguments that the emperor’s clothes are substantial, when a simple observation indicates that he is starkers. In-depth analysis with powerful mathematics has its place. But, in industry, we strive for what we call “sanity checks”, simple relationships which must be verified in order to proclaim the sophisticated models valid. Very much along the lines of Doug Proctor @ May 27, 2013 at 9:59 am: you must satisfy necessary conditions, not merely sufficient. 63. Margaret Hardman says: @Ian H A true null hypothesis is that there has been no change. The null does not make an assumption about cause and effect. Significance testing sets a definable measure of the chance that a phenomenon differs from that null hypothesis. I would expect everyone on this site to agree that there has been significant warming since 1850, the CET shows it clearly. The 0.05 significance level sets a comparable bar on chance. Many areas of science go well beyond this level, to 0.01 and even 0.001. I hope this clarifies matters. 64. Richard M says: AlecM So, you do not get any energy transfer until the radiation fields interact destructively. The result of this is that ‘back radiation’ is an aborted foetus of science. Along this line I have wondered how the famous 2-slit quantum experiment applies to this radiation. The experiment demonstrates that light travelling through 2 slits forms an interference pattern on a screen. In other words, radiation is carried via waves. So, when we have two sources of radiation heading towards each other what exactly happens? Does the energy just disappear? On the other side we have conservation of energy requirements. Or, is all this just phantom energy and not real. Maybe you could clear up how this all works out. 65. Pine Fly says: Richd. Telford: “If you have to stoop to using ad hominem arguments, …” Difficult to call Telford’s original comment “argument;” but, surely it is an ad hominem attack on Douglas Keenan. There’s no science, or maths, in it. Seemed like ‘stooping’ to me. 66. Bart says: John West says: May 27, 2013 at 10:18 am Thanks for trying. Still, it is good to point out from time to time that “we can’t think of any other way it could happen” is not a statement of proof, but a remarkably frank admission of personal limitations. 67. Theo Goodwin says: Douglas J. Keenan says: May 27, 2013 at 8:31 am Thank you, Mr. Keenan, for your brilliant and heroic efforts in behalf of science. 68. Terence Mills published an editorial review article in Climatic Change in 2010 using structural time series models to show that a driftless I(1) process beat the stationary trend model. Mills T. C. (2010) Skinning a cat: alternative models of representing temperature trends. Climatic Change 101: 415-426, DOI 10.1007/s10584-010-9801-1. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-010-9801-1?LI=true While he acknowledged that you could plausibly adopt a number of different statistical models that imply different things about the underlying GW trend, the model he finds has the most support treats the trend portion as a driftless random walk. He concludes: The trend component is generated as a random walk process with no drift, so that a pronounced warming trend cannot be forecast. Indeed, sensitivity analysis shows that, within this class of model, it is almost impossible to deliver an increase in trend temperatures over the twenty-first century that is consistent with that projected by conventional coupled atmospheric-ocean general circulation models: to do so would require choosing ill-fitting models statistically dominated by simpler specifications and then imposing a value on the slope parameter that, on statistical grounds, is highly unlikely. Although Terence won’t be at my conference next week, a number of the main players in the debate over persistence and nonstationarity in temperature data will be presenting their work and debating these very topics. http://econapps-in-climatology.webs.com/ The IPCC should have devoted a whole chapter to the stationarity question long ago, but unfortunately it’s way over the heads of the LA’s and they have remained mired in their naive linear trend+AR(1) model for years. 69. Cho_cacao says: I’m always a bit doubtful about scientific conclusions drawn in a politcal arena… 70. John Tillman says: May 27, 2013 at 11:03 am Correlation not too bad until about 2004. Statistically significant? Maybe. This is a typical example of a correlation that looked good when it was publicized by Svensmark and company. A mark of a real connection would be that the correlation continued when new data is added. A mark of a spurious connection is that the correlations fails when new data is added. What does it look like on a centennial or millennial scale instead of decennial? There is no data on cloud cover on longer time scales. 71. Billy Liar says: A.D. Everard says: May 27, 2013 at 9:35 am Let’s see what Parliament does with it. I guess they’ve got some thinking to do. They will, no doubt, look vacantly at lobbyists who will tell them what to do. 72. milodonharlani says: Dr. McKitrick: You might think that a test of statistical significance would be required before pursuing a policy of dismantling industrial civilization based upon the untested findings. But apparently too many salaries & grants depend on practicing voodoo “science” corrupted by government & foundation funding. IMO, the IPCC won’t run such a test until the governments funding it require this elementary exercise. Governments won’t do so until taxpayers & their representatives demand it. Maybe you can convince the Harper government to make Canada the leader in this movement toward scientific validity. Thanks for all you’ve done. 73. I wish posts like this would simply state their argument. There’s a big bold heading saying: “Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable” But all it actually reports is a Met statement that “the temperature rise since about 1880 is statistically significant”. And if you follow the link to BH, there’s a long ramble from Doug Keenan on his opinions about the meaning of statistical significance, and confused discussion in the House of Lords. So did “Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable”? Where? How? 74. Louis says: “Lord Donoughue then tabled a Parliamentary Question…” I had to look up the word “tabled” to find out why its usage here appears to be the opposite of what “tabled” normally means. Sure enough, it can have opposite meanings depending on how and where it is used. It appears that the Queen’s English lends itself well to double-speak. I suspect that politicians have evolved it that way on purpose. tabled (Verb) 1) Postpone consideration of: “I’d like the issue to be tabled for the next few months”. 2) Present formally for discussion or consideration at a meeting: “an MP tabled an amendment to the bill”. 75. John Tillman says: May 27, 2013 at 11:23 am Cloud cover for Northern Europe has been reconstructed back to AD 1000. Hard to say how reliable or representative that is [and it is not ‘data’]. There does not seem to a solar signal there either: http://www.leif.org/research/Norway-Cloud-cover-Reconstr.png In particular, the Maunder Minimum had low cloud cover [should be high temps] 76. Soon ‘climate science’ is going to run out of options. There are two natural variables which partially correlate with the CET for whole of instrumental records: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/FromSunToCET.htm As a British taxpayer for number of decades since age of 22, I demand that my member of parliament, currently a minister, considers the above seriously, stop misusing my money, and most importantly ignore any objections from Dr. Svalgaard, who to best of my knowledge, never contributed a penny to the British exchequer, so there doc! 🙂 There is a ‘statistically significant’ degree of panic among the AGWs, also I noticed among some of their more covert supporters. 77. Vuk I gave this chart to my MP a couple of weeks ago who has shown it to the climate minister at DECC and asked for his comments concerning the sharp increase in prices at a time of a sharp fall in temperatures http://climatereason.com/Graphs/Graph11.png tonyb 78. Margaret Hardman says: Nick Stokes “So did “Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable”? Where? How?” I wondered the same question. I wish the answer had been in plain speak but basically it says the Earth has been significantly warming since 1880 but with varying trends depending on what time frame you choose. Not difficult. 79. Robert C Taylor says: Heads should roll. Trillions of dollars have been misspent on green fantasies due to this falsehood. This money could and should have been spent on resolving real problems not fabricated ones. 80. John Tillman says: lsvalgaard says: May 27, 2013 at 11:53 am John Tillman says: May 27, 2013 at 11:23 am Cloud cover for Northern Europe has been reconstructed back to AD 1000. Hard to say how reliable or representative that is [and it is not ‘data’]. There does not seem to a solar signal there either: http://www.leif.org/research/Norway-Cloud-cover-Reconstr.png In particular, the Maunder Minimum had low cloud cover [should be high temps] ————————————- Agree of course that reconstructions aren’t data, while tree ring widths are, which is to what I assume your graph title refers. Maybe low cloud cover led to freezing nights in the Maunder. But your work does appear not to support Dr. Svensmark’s hypothesis regarding cosmic rays, clouds & climate. 81. @ Nick Milner: There isn’t “one skeptical consensus”. We leave “the foolish consistency hobgoblin of little minds” to the warmers. It’s an interesting essay but what are we to take away from it? That statistically speaking the planet isn’t actually warming after all? This seemed to be the sceptical argument from the early days but over the years hasn’t it moderated to be more along the lines of “we agree that the planet has warmed but we disagree as to the proportion that is man-made?” So some think “we agree the planet has warmed” while others of us do not. I, for example, take the position that it has warmed, cooled, stayed the same, and done “all of the above”. It depends 100% on where you set your start and end points and what span of time you consider. (And there is data to back this up…) So the last 8000 to 9000 years we have been in a long term cooling trend. The MWP was a touch warmer than now, too. But it was colder than now prior to the MWP, so we warmed from before. We’ve also warmed fairly dramatically out of the bottom of the Little Ice Age (when ice flows banged into the walls of Constantinople… haven’t seen that in a while). Yet it is colder now than it was in 1998 (snow in New York this holiday… ) And so it goes… There’s a “lower bound” of a glacial state, and an upper bound of a peak “interglacial state” of about 2 C more than now (only reached in the first “rush” out of a glacial as an overshoot, so no longer available to us as our sunshine 65 N is too low now, and dropping…) Between those bounds, we oscillate, on several different time scales from several different absolutely natural drivers not one of which is CO2. So depending on what cycle you pick (consciously, or accidentally by setting a length of time…) you will find warming, cooling, or oscillating sideways. What make me a skeptic is NOT the question of warming or cooling (as it is only answerable with “yes”…) but the question of “caused by people” where the answer is clearly “No!”. (Sub question of “CO2 has any significant effect?” is “substantially no, but a slight cooling in the stratosphere. Troposphere it does nothing and at the tropopause it does nearly nothing. http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/tropopause-rules/ ) So, with all that said: Always nice to see someone feeding at the public trough have to admit to being self serving and trying to scare the children to get their candy… If we are really lucky, the Parents will figure out that they need a different babysitter… 82. William Astley says: In reply to: lsvalgaard says: May 27, 2013 at 10:47 am William Astley says: May 27, 2013 at 8:55 am Hint solar modulation of clouds. there is no evidence for that, quite the contrary, e.g. http://www.leif.org/EOS/Cloud-Cover-GCR-Disconnect.png What is the point of showing a graph of GCR Vs Low level cloud for a period in which the solar magnetic cycle is inhibiting that mechanism? The inhibiting mechanism is connected with the linear reduction in the magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots. Did you read Svensmark’s paper on the polar see-saw which proves the mechanism that solar modulation of planetary cloud cover causes the D-O cycle and the polar see-saw? Very interesting I would recommend it. We have just finished experience the warming phase of Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle. I guess no one noticed the Antarctic Ice sheet cooled when the Southern hemisphere and particularly the Northern hemisphere warmed. That is one of the characteristic signatures of a D-O cycle. The cooling phase is next. There is observational evidence of cooling. You should be interested in the solar implications of how magnetic cycle 24 unfolds. Have you noticed pores form rather than sunspots? That is an intermediate stage. The next stage is no pores, no sunspots and falling large scale magnetic field. http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0612145v1 The Antarctic climate anomaly and galactic cosmic rays Borehole temperatures in the ice sheets spanning the past 6000 years show Antarctica repeatedly warming when Greenland cooled, and vice versa (Fig. 1) [13, 14]. North-south oscillations of greater amplitude associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events are evident in oxygenisotope data from the Wurm-Wisconsin glaciation[15]. The phenomenon has been called the polar see-saw[15, 16], but that implies a north-south symmetry that is absent. Greenland is better coupled to global temperatures than Antarctica is, and the fulcrum of the temperature swings is near the Antarctic Circle. A more apt term for the effect is the Antarctic climate anomaly. …. ….Attempts to account for it have included the hypothesis of a south-flowing warm ocean current crossing the Equator[17] with a built-in time lag supposedly intended to match paleoclimatic data. That there is no significant delay in the Antarctic climate anomaly is already apparent at the high-frequency end of Fig. (1). While mechanisms involving ocean currents might help to intensify or reverse the effects of climate changes, they are too slow to explain the almost instantaneous operation of the Antarctic climate anomaly. … …..Figure (2a) also shows that the polar warming effect of clouds is not symmetrical, being most pronounced beyond 75◦S. In the Arctic it does no more than offset the cooling effect, despite the fact that the Arctic is much cloudier than the Antarctic (Fig. (2b)). The main reason for the difference seems to be the exceptionally high albedo of Antarctica in the absence of clouds. 83. Gary Pearse says: Margaret Hardman says: May 27, 2013 at 11:07 am “I would expect everyone on this site to agree that there has been significant warming since 1850, the CET shows it clearly.” Margaret, you are correct. Also, few here disagree that CO2 absorbs LWIR radiation and back radiates some to the surface. However, an examination of the CET also shows that the beginning of the series doesn’t look much different than the end and that natural variability is 2 degrees or more (the mainstream CAGW proponents advise that the brunt of anthropo CO2 has been emitted since 1950 and before that it was insignificant – their main “proof” for CAGW is: What else could it be?”). So, how significant is the 0.8C rise since 1880 in terms of anthropogenic’s proprortion of it – we can’t rule out natural variability. The significance is therefore in question. The IPCC’s projections are falling outside the 5%-95% confidence limits after only a few years. This has caused a flurry of rethinking that has recently chopped the climate sensitivity to half what it was and much agonizing over a 15yr+ hiatus in warming that some warming proponents have come to think may last to 2030 or longer. To add more ice to the warming scheme, it would appear that warming at a certain stage gives birth to a number of phenomena to counteract the warming (or the cooling for that matter) – evaporation, convection, clouds, thunderstorms, organic aerosols emitted by plants under excessive heating that form nuclei for cloud formation, melting of ice, (cooling: the disappearance of these phenomena permitting more solar to reach the surface and freezing of water which emits latent heat into the atmosphere). It is a wondrous piece of engineering (I’m an engineer so it is especially pleasing to me) that is gradually getting to be more widely appreciated because of sites like WUWT. 84. alleagra says: Will Richard Telford please explain to me and others too if they are mystified, the subtext of his remark “More of a red herring than a cat. Only Keenan cannot tell the difference.” Am I the only one in the dark? Is it not the case that :- a demonstration that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1880 is either wrong in which case the mistake should be exposed or if right, has profound significance in terms of the billions of dollars expended in the wake of those government policies (across the globe) drawn up in response specifically to the assertion that there has been a statistically significant shift in global temperature. I am ignoring those measures aimed at restricting CO2 levels since they are always related to the putative AGW hypothesis and a balanced debate as to the results of an increased CO2 atmosphere appears to be totally lacking in government circles – trumped as it is always by the AGW thesis. 85. Louis says: To Nick Stokes and Margaret Hardman, Re “Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable” I am not a statistician, but I was able to follow the argument presented. I think the two paragraphs below are key to answer your question if you read them carefully. I present them in reverse order because the last one clarifies the first and explains in plain English why the Met Office claim of significant temperature rise is untenable, or in other words, why their argument cannot be reasonably defended. “The second paragraph [of the Met Office answer to question 6] gives the relative likelihood of the trending autoregressive model with respect to the driftless model. The relative likelihood is 0.08, if we analyze years 1900–2012 , and it is 0.001, if we analyze years 1850–2012 (using Met Office data). In either case, then, the trending autoregressive model is much less likely than the driftless model to be the better model of the data. Hence, the statistical model that was relied upon in the Answer to the original Question (HL3050) is untenable.” “The supplement demonstrates that the likelihood of the driftless model is about 1000 times that of the trending autoregressive model. Thus the model used by HM Government should be rejected, in favor of the driftless model. With the driftless model, however, the rise in temperatures since 1880 is not significant. In other words, the correct Answer to the Question (HL3050) might be No.” 86. William Astley says: May 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm What is the point of showing a graph of GCR Vs Low level cloud for a period in which the solar magnetic cycle is inhibiting that mechanism? The inhibiting mechanism is connected with the linear reduction in the magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots. So, during the Maunder Minimum you would not expect GCRs to form Low Level Clouds and produce cooling, right? 87. DirkH says: Jimbo says: May 27, 2013 at 9:43 am “Meanwhile in Germany it looks like they are having the coldest Spring in 40 years. Notrickszone” Oh yes we do. This does not shake the belief system of my warmist colleagues, though – trusting your own memory and your own senses is unscientific. “Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness, will never seek the light.”–Bruce Lee 88. Snotrocket says: @Nick Stokes: You say: “And if you follow the link to BH, there’s a long ramble from Doug Keenan on his opinions about the meaning of statistical significance, and confused discussion in the House of Lords.” Well, as I see it, the ‘long ramble’ is as nothing compared to the way the Met Office stone-walled SIX questions about the significance of the MO’s stats. As for a ‘confused discussion in the HoL’: perhaps you could cite the item in Hansard that shows this. As far as I can see, the only confusion was within the MO and the DECC as to how they could possibly evade the question without actually lying (not the done thing in the Mother of Parliaments). That the planet has warmed is not at issue. The fact that the correlation of that warming to CO2 levels has been shown to be insignificant has put the lie to warmist dogma. And on that lie you and the Green Reich would have the West commit trillions of dollars on a wet dream, while, along the way, impoverishing millions of people, not to mention causing the deaths of many, many more. I would have had more tolerance for your views if you had responded from the point of view of the statistician that you appear to be – and challenged DK on the stats, and not the length of his article. 89. Snotrocket says: @DirkH: Love your comments. If I may: “Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness, will never seek the light.”–Bruce Lee is surely the same as: There are none so blind as they who will not see. Nick Stokes comes to mind….. 90. Louis says: May 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm Louis, it does not answer the question. This is not the Met Office “admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable”. It is still only the case that Douglas Keenan thinks they are untenable. The Met Office didn’t say so. And as Richard Telford says, his opinions are not widely shared. Here’s Lucia: “Doug is going on about the fact that a statistical model treating the of trendless data with ARIMA noise with d=1 appears to fit the data better linear trend+ ARIMA with d=0. It probably does so but that means very little becausse: 1) Physically no one expects the AGW forcings would have caused the trend to look like “straight line + noise” since whatever. 2) ARIMA with d=1 alone would violate the first law of thermo. (i.e. violates the 1st law of thermo. We don’t even need to get fancy and go to the 2nd.) 2)” 91. Gary Pearse says: Margaret Hardman says: May 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm Nick Stokes “So did “Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable”? Where? How?” “I wondered the same question. I wish the answer had been in plain speak but basically it says the Earth has been significantly warming since 1880 but with varying trends depending on what time frame you choose. Not difficult.” You had to go to Bishop Hill for the whole story: Doug Neal is a statistician at the Met Office and after the Met Office had stonewalled for weeks on answering the MP’s question posed about 10 times, Bishop Hill contacted Doug Neal and asked him directly: “Doug McNeall is a statistician. He and I have had cordial e-mail discussions in the past. In particular, after my op-ed piece in WSJ appeared, on 12 August 2011, McNeall sent me an e-mail stating that the trending autoregressive model (used by the Met Office) is “simply inadequate”.” 92. Snotrocket says: May 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm Well, the confused discussion started in the first question, which simply asked if the rise was significant. Someone had do work out what that meant. It went downhill from there. But as for statistics, I’ll pass that toLucia: “Doug is going on about the fact that a statistical model treating the of trendless data with ARIMA noise with d=1 appears to fit the data better linear trend+ ARIMA with d=0. It probably does so but that means very little becausse: 1) Physically no one expects the AGW forcings would have caused the trend to look like “straight line + noise” since whatever. 2) ARIMA with d=1 alone would violate the first law of thermo. (i.e. violates the 1st law of thermo. We don’t even need to get fancy and go to the 2nd.)” 93. The truth is Global Warming/Climate Change is the excuse for politicos and bureaucrats and their cronies to reorganize the economy and society for their benefit. The sequel to Limits to Growth from the Club of Rome put out another piece of propaganda in 1992 called Beyond the Limits. Like most good propaganda it had a kernel of truth–namely this quote that ended the book that :the answers to the world’s problems begin with a ‘new humanism.” Funded of course at our expense by people who think we all exist to provide funding for them so they can administer us. Then it quotes Aurelio Peccei as follows: “The humanism consonant with our epoch must replace and reverse principles and norms that have heretofore regarded as untouchable, but that have become inapplicable,or discordant with our purpose [as Tonto would say who is ‘we’?]; it must encourage the rise of new value systems to redress our inner balance [Guess whose values?], and of new spiritual, ethical, philosophical, social, political, esthetic, and artistic motivations to fill the emptiness of our life; it must be capable of restoring within us …love, friendship, understanding, solidarity, a spirit of sacrifice, conviviality; and it must make us understand that the more closely these qualities link us to other forms of life and to our brothers and sisters everywhere in the world, the more we shall gain.” Well, since all that self-interested malarkey would be a difficult sell, we get the “sky is falling!the globe is heating up! there’s no time to spare! the UN needs to be in charge to save us all.” Hard to sell when there is demonstrably no crisis. And that new altered consciousness via education for sustainable development is just not widespread enough yet. And the UK is much further along in building its education and economy around this Statist fantasy for permanent power. 94. Scott Basinger says: May 27, 2013 at 9:15 am ———————– The problem with Keenan’s analysis should be obvious. The 1 in the ARIMA(3,1,0) is needed because the data are non-stationary – the mean is not constant – the temperature is increasing. Whether this temperature increase is removed by differencing as Keenan has done, or fitted with a linear trend, depends on the aims of the analysis. Both agree that there is significant warming, and neither model can determine the cause of the warming. As the climate forcings have not increased in a linear fashion, it is not surprising that a linear trend is not a very good fit to the instrumental data. 95. Luther Wu says: richard telford says: May 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm “…As the climate forcings have not increased in a linear fashion, it is not surprising that a linear trend is not a very good fit to the instrumental data.” ____________________ Oh, please! The instrumental data doesn’t show any trend, except no warming for quite some time while CO2 has… well, you know. Still, you make statements like that! 96. Snotrocket says: Nick Stokes says: May 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm “Well, the confused discussion started in the first question, which simply asked if the rise was significant.” Nick: You said that the ‘confused discussion’ was in the HoL. That didn’t happen, did it? Only in your mind. Lord Donoughue’s was a written question; there is no discussion about it in the HoL – not that it didn’t take place between DECC and MO. So you ducked that one. Then you ducked the other one about commenting as a statistician. You did the classic politician’s trick of invoking ‘plausible deniability’: you didn’t answer the question directly, you quoted Lucia – and then, didn’t say whether you agree with her or not. That leaves you an out if it turns out that Lucia’s argument falls, you can claim that you only pointed to it, you didn’t endorse it. In all the years I’ve been on sceptic (or otherwise) blogs I’ve never found a warmist answer a direct question with a direct answer. 97. Stephen Richards says: The likes of Mr Telford are increasingly, or should be increasingly, reviewing their positions. Why? well the problem for Gavin et al is that ever so gradually the big institutions appear to be “coming out”. This leaves the problem of judging the right moment for the individuals because if they leave it too late criminal procedings could be brought against them to save the rear ends of the directors of the larger instutions and the politicians. A politician in a tight scam is worse than a cornered rat. 98. Admad says: Wet Orifice. Name says it all, really 99. I submitted the following comment on the Bishop Hill site this morning: [Note: Doug Keenan’s article commented on the official UK government’s response to the repeated question both he and Lord Donoghue wanted the answer to, and included at one point the observation, “Most of the third paragraph is verbiage.” The reader should read that paragraph of the government response, to understand what the following comment, by me, is proceeding from.] It is easy to cut through that verbiage: That third paragraph is saying, “the science is settled”. I have shown, 2 1/2 years ago now, that the science is NOT settled, but wrong and indeed incompetent. As I have said over and over, climate science will not advance until my definitive evidence is properly confronted, and accepted by all. The finding presented here, that there is no statistically “significant temperature rise”, is tacit endorsement of my position, which first and foremost affirms that the Standard Atmosphere model is the stable, UNCHANGING (except to changes in the incident solar power), governing equilibrium state of the troposphere. It is that simple, and it is a revolutionary disproof of consensus climate science. In my Venus/Earth comparison, I found that the Standard Atmosphere for Earth differs from the actual temperature vs pressure profile of Venus (over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures) only due to the difference in solar distance of the two planets (simply put, and for the 1,000 mb pressure level in particular: The Venus temperature at 1000 mb is exactly what the surface temperature of Earth–also at 1000 mb–would be, if Earth were as close to the Sun as Venus–even though Venus has over 2400 times the CO2 level as Earth, 96.5% vs. .04%.) There is NO CO2 “greenhouse effect”, of increasing temperature with increasing CO2–and thus there are NO competent climate scientists, who all promulgate that false and incompetent theory. 100. @Robin: Per: it must encourage the rise of new value systems to redress our inner balance [Guess whose values?], and of new spiritual, ethical, philosophical, social, political, esthetic, and artistic motivations to fill the emptiness of our life; it must be capable of restoring within us …love, friendship, understanding, solidarity, a spirit of sacrifice, conviviality; Well, that explains a great deal… “The Limits to Growth” was complete and utter trash that started the “project log problems with computers” bunk in the first place. Now we see why they are so negative. For me, and most other of the Skeptics I’ve met, we’re perfectly fine at present. Not feeling at all out of balance, nor needing any new “spiritual, ethical, …” whatever “emptiness” in our lives. So don’t need anyone “restoring within us” their POV… But at least now we know why the Warmers are such Grumpy Gusses and pushing for all that “social, political” etc. force fed change. They are morally bankrupt and philosophically empty (per that quote) and desperately seeking a “fill up”… Perhaps they ought to be delivered to hospital for an enema… at least then they would be feeling “restored within”… 101. Theo Goodwin says: Nick Stokes says: May 27, 2013 at 11:48 am The matter is very simple. Keenan’s statistic assumes no trend. As always with Alarmists, the Met Office’s statistic assumes a trend. Keenan’s gives a thousand times better fit to the data. The Bishop has created his own short version for laymen. Take a look. 102. F. Ross says: Colin Gartner says: May 27, 2013 at 7:14 am A terrific essay, understandable by laymen, such as myself. I encourage all to head over to Bishop Hill and read the full missive. Second that! The BH post is well worth the read. 103. Gary Pearse says: May 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm Gary, you quoted as the supposed Met Office admission, this from Keenan: ““Doug McNeall is a statistician. He and I have had cordial e-mail discussions in the past. In particular, after my op-ed piece in WSJ appeared, on 12 August 2011, McNeall sent me an e-mail stating that the trending autoregressive model (used by the Met Office) is “simply inadequate”” If you go to the email which DK linked, what McNeall actually said was: “A linear trend, while conveniently easy to understand and apply, is simply inadequate to capture all of the timescales that are apparent in the Earth system.” And that isn’t news to anyone. Snotrocket says: May 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm “you quoted Lucia – and then, didn’t say whether you agree with her or not.” I referred you to her statement – of course I agree with it. And yes, the confused question from a Lord was written, not verbal. 104. Hot under the collar says: Does this mean our children will know what snow is after all? : ) 105. Ulric Lyons says: lsvalgaard says: (Cloud cover for Northern Europe has been reconstructed back to AD 1000.) http://www.leif.org/research/Norway-Cloud-cover-Reconstr.png “In particular, the Maunder Minimum had low cloud cover [should be high temps]” With winter temp’s up there being far more variable than in summer, surely less cloud in winter means colder? 106. Kon Dealer says: The UK Met Office would be better off with some seaweed and a old pine cone to make their long range “Predictions” 107. Nick Stokes says: May 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm ……. I don’t know where you live, but most of ‘normal and sane’ people who live in UK, don’t really care what Met Office admits or doesn’t; people have realised for some time now that their projections of so called ‘global warming’ now transmuted into climate change, and consequently long term forecasts have become a national joke. 108. Snotrocket says: Hey Nick! You must have heard: ‘When you’re in a hole, stop digging’? So, what is it? A ‘confused discussion’ (your earlier comment) or a ‘confused question’ (your latest post). And why did you need to be pushed into agreeing with Lucia’s quote? ‘Cos I could argue you took her out of context. She was discussing Mark Bofill’s earlier comment – my bold (‘I understand Lucia has argued that it isn’t possible that weather noise obeys this statistical model?’) So perhaps it was not so much an argument about ARIMA being wrong for use in climate stats as being wrong in weather stats. (I guess you would argue that weather is climate/climate is weather – delete what does not apply) 109. F. Ross says: Louis says: May 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm To Nick Stokes and Margaret Hardman, Good post. Unfortunately those to whom you addressed will not see that. None so blind as he who will not see. 110. Tez says: Bishop Hill writes “the Met Office should now publicly withdraw the claim. That is, the Met Office should admit that the warming shown by the global-temperature record since 1880 (or indeed 1850) might be reasonably attributed to natural random variation.” Maybe they should, but until they do it can hardly be claimed that “Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable” Seems to me that we are still at the stage of Met Office SHOULD admit claim of significant temperature rise untenable. Until they do this analyses will be looked at by many as just another denier rant. 111. Latitude says: 0.8 degree….in 133 years I’m no longer amazed that there are people out there that stupid 112. Theo Goodwin says: May 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm “The matter is very simple. Keenan’s statistic assumes no trend. As always with Alarmists, the Met Office’s statistic assumes a trend. Keenan’s gives a thousand times better fit to the data.” I think the matter is very simple. This post makes a very bold claim. “Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable”. And there is no basis for it, none even offerred. The Met office made no such admission. So now it comes down to, well, maybe Keenan has a better trendless model. But no, the comparison cited is between a first order autoregressive model with trend, and a third order (“driftless”) model. That’s no fair comparison – the third order model has more parameters to play with. And as Lucia said, no-one expects that linear rise since 1850 is the expected result of AGW. 113. See - owe to Rich says: I’m with Richard Telford here, and I must say I have found it extremely disappointing that no-one here nor at Bishop Hill have explained what the ARIMA(3,1,0) thing is about. Just because there is a statistical model which fits the data better doesn’t mean that it is right, and even if it is right then what are its physical implications and future implications? It seems that I shall have to go to Lucia’s blackboard to find the answers, because no-one is able to elucidate here. I agree that this result undermines some of the science behind AGW, but not all of it I think. After all, neither of the 2 models under consideration include solar forcings. Models with which to test statistical significance are just models, a decent but not perfect representation of the real world. (Richard Telford wrote: The problem with Keenan’s analysis should be obvious. The 1 in the ARIMA(3,1,0) is needed because the data are non-stationary – the mean is not constant – the temperature is increasing. Whether this temperature increase is removed by differencing as Keenan has done, or fitted with a linear trend, depends on the aims of the analysis. Both agree that there is significant warming, and neither model can determine the cause of the warming. As the climate forcings have not increased in a linear fashion, it is not surprising that a linear trend is not a very good fit to the instrumental data.) Rich. 114. climatereason says: May 27, 2013 at 8:43 am I looked at that reconstruction of the CET to 1538 last week on an earlier thread here. What a tremendous store of information it holds within its records. I thought it interesting that the very beginning of your reconstruction, at 1538, shows a tailing off from a warm period with a strong warming. That made me wonder what the previous years looked like, although I suspect that the warm trend would go back to early 1500s, perhaps to 1510. That would make the length of the warming approximately equal to the current warm trend from the late70s till around the late 2000s. Which could mean that you don’t have to go all the way back to the MWP to find a period that matches recent years for warming. 115. climatereason says: May 27, 2013 at 8:43 am I would also like to say thanks for sharing your work where others can appreciate it. 116. Brian H says: At the 95% ‘confidence’ level, green jelly beans cause acne. (Not the other 19 colors checked.) xkcd proved it. 117. rogerknights says: during the American Revolutionary War, heavy cannon were rolled over the ice from New Jersey to Manhattan Make that Manhattan ==> New Jersey. 118. Simon says: ARIMA(3,1,0) means that the time series is non-stationary which means there is a trend. An upward trend, caused probably be greenhouse gases. 119. Louis says: Nick Stokes says: May 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm Louis says: May 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm Louis, it does not answer the question. This is not the Met Office “admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable”. It is still only the case that Douglas Keenan thinks they are untenable. The Met Office didn’t say so. The Met Office finally admitted (after 6 attempts to get them to answer) that the driftless model is 1000 times more likely to fit the data than the statistical model they use. The driftless model says that the .8 C of warming since 1850 is well within what could be expected from natural variations in temperature, thus it is not significant. So to any honest person, this is an indirect admission from the Met Office that their claim of significant temperature rise cannot be defended using current data and is thus “untenable.” Now, if you want to argue that given more time the data will change, that’s your prerogative. But then it becomes a matter of faith rather than science. The facts are, current data do not show significant warming, the small warming trend we recently experienced has stopped for over a decade while CO2 continues to increase, and there is no evidence for climate doom or other predicted ill-effects of warming beyond natural variability. For now, Occam’s razor requires us to lead with the simplest explanation that explains the current facts. When and if the data change, then we can revisit the conclusion. Until then, the simplest explanation stands. 120. Ulric Lyons says: May 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm “In particular, the Maunder Minimum had low cloud cover [should be high temps]” With winter temp’s up there being far more variable than in summer, surely less cloud in winter means colder? So, you admit that cloud cover was low during the MM. 121. Mark Bofill says: Snotrocket says: May 27, 2013 at 1:47 pm Hey Nick! You must have heard: ‘When you’re in a hole, stop digging’? So, what is it? A ‘confused discussion’ (your earlier comment) or a ‘confused question’ (your latest post). And why did you need to be pushed into agreeing with Lucia’s quote? ‘Cos I could argue you took her out of context. She was discussing Mark Bofill’s earlier comment – my bold (‘I understand Lucia has argued that it isn’t possible that weather noise obeys this statistical model?’) So perhaps it was not so much an argument about ARIMA being wrong for use in climate stats as being wrong in weather stats. (I guess you would argue that weather is climate/climate is weather – delete what does not apply) ——— Yikes! Don’t quote me as if I know what I’m talking about. I was mostly talking about the fact that I don’t understand ARIMA at all. Well, not much anyway. But particularly don’t attach significance to the weather / climate difference there; I glanced at an old blog post at the Blackboard and without a whole lot of thought or concern I came out with ‘weather noise’. So far regarding the application here, I gather that: 1. It’s a better model as far as matching the data is concerned. 2. There’s an argument against it’s use pertaining to what it means physically, in reality, having to do with random walks. That and the fact that forcings shouldn’t cause a linear trend in temps. I don’t understand why yet, still trying to figure ARIMA out. 122. Stephen Wilde says: May 27, 2013 at 9:27 am Rather than simply being changes in thunderstorm activity in the tropics as suggested by Willis it is a bodily latitudinal shift of the entire atmospheric circulation in response to any forcing element other than atmospheric mass, the strength of the gravitational field or ToA insolation. What you suggest reminds me of a thought that was generated by reading how the Magnetic North had been found to be moving in the early 1900s and over the last several decades that movement has accelerated. That led me to wonder if the shifting magnetic streams could potentially pull/shift the weather systems, and effect regional changes in weather patterns? I made a comment/question regarding that idea several years ago, elsewhere. The responses were negative to the thought, but since then I have read bits and pieces from other articles that suggested correlated with the idea of magnetic streams having a tie-in with weather. Bits and pieces such as your comment. 123. DirkH says: Nick Stokes says: May 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm “So now it comes down to, well, maybe Keenan has a better trendless model. But no, the comparison cited is between a first order autoregressive model with trend, and a third order (“driftless”) model. That’s no fair comparison – the third order model has more parameters to play with. And as Lucia said, no-one expects that linear rise since 1850 is the expected result of AGW.” Usermanual of model MAGICC… http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/wigley/magicc/UserMan5.3.v2.pdf …I count 20+ parameters… …so … what’s fair for the IPCC should be fair for skeptics, don’t you think so. 124. Ulric Lyons says: lsvalgaard says: “So, you admit that cloud cover was low during the MM.” For Norway as the jet stream was often more southerly yes, globally no. More cloud low clouds there in winter will raise the average temp’ more than less clouds in summer will. 125. Ulric Lyons says: May 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm For Norway as the jet stream was often more southerly yes, globally no. Why globally no? 126. Bruce of Newcastle says: The UK Met Office recently mentioned the effect of the PDO and AMO on global temperature in context with their much reduced global temperature prediction out to 2017. This is encouraging since it suggests they are somewhat willing to consider the actual data. The trouble for them is that an objective examination of this combined long phase ocean cycle is it is responsible for nearly half the temperature ‘rise’ last century, due to the cycle being at bottom in 1906 and at peak in 2005, which coincidentally are the endpoints of the IPCC’s preferred period. Immediately when you backcast a GCM to the temperature record with the cycles included (presumably implemented through more accurate thermohaline cycle modelling) then derived climate sensitivity drops by that much, ie nearly half. Alone this is probably enough to falsify the CAGW hypothesis. Add the apparent effects of the Sun through the solar dynamo and you come down to a long term net equilibrium climate sensitivity similar to the short term response measured by Ray Spencer and Dick Lindzen, or about 0.7 C/doubling of pCO2, ie. harmless. NASA GSFC has acknowledged the likely effect of the solar dynamo. The UK Met Office appears not to have. If, or when, they do they will have themselves a much more accurate (and precise) climate model. But I do not think they, as CAGW supporters, will like what it will say. 127. vukcevic says: May 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm NAO doc As its name implies is not global. 128. Plain Richard says: Reminds me of the discussion on Long-Term Persistence (LTP) at climate dialogue: http://www.climatedialogue.org/long-term-persistence-and-trend-significance/ If one looks at variation in the surface temperature without considering known physical processes on this temperature, the LTP may be a better null hypothesis than AR1. Koutsoyiannis appears to use LTP this way and finds no significant trend. Bunde uses LTP as well but seems to control for known physical forcings and argues there is a statistical significant trend (not surprisingly smaller than using AR1). Benestad seems to argue from the global climate modeling perspective and appears to argue that a lot of the LTP is the result of known forcings, and that the models cannot explain the trend without the rise of CO2. (Sorry for the many “seems” and “appears” above. The opening pieces of each of the authors seem ok as such, but the discussion afterwards is IMO very muddled somehow.) Regarding Keenan’s piece, an argumentation is missing why the ARIMA(3,1,0) would be a valid assumption for the climate system against which the trend is tested. As others already remarked, it has more parameters than the AR1 (I think about everybody thinks AR1 is an oversimplification) and therefore likely to fit the data better, but also that the 1 in 3,1,0 actually signifies smth like a trend in itself. The point being that it should always be possible to find some manner of modelling interdependencies in time-series data such that there is no significant trend left on top of the data structure assumptions. The question is therefore which assumptions about the data is plausible, not which gives the most or least significant trend. Note the MET office referring to global climate models which are made to simulate known forcings. They say that when known forcings are accounted for that the trend is clear and significant. (And again, using AR1 to calculate significance of the trend against surface temperatures (without accounting for known forcings) is an oversimplification and significance of the trend is reached too easily.) 129. Margaret Hardman says: @Louis This might sound Alice in Wonderland but significant has a technical definition in this context which does not mean what it does to the man in the street. Part of the problem that scientists need to overcome is in ensuring the public understand what they are saying since it is all too easy to cherry pick quotes to get one scientist agreeing that black is white, white is black and getting run over on the next zebra crossing. Furthermore, amongst the many formulations of Occam’s Razor, I think the most accepted is the one that says we accept the explanation with the fewest and simplest assumptions. This is one of the reasons why I agree with the AGW hypothesis and not those that stack untenable assumptions upon untenable assumptions. There are sometimes good reasons to choose a more complicated explanation for a phenomenon but there must always be a physical reason for accepting it. One cannot, for instance, suggest that the oceans store heat in an El Niño event when such an event is giving energy up. Hope this clears up any misconceptions you might have. 130. AlexS says: “…amongst the many formulations of Occam’s Razor, I think the most accepted is the one that says we accept the explanation with the fewest and simplest assumptions. This is one of the reasons why I agree with the AGW hypothesis…” That is just false. The explanation “with fewest and simplest assumption” is that any change is natural variation. We can’t even measure temperature reliably and you jump already to “explanations”. 131. William Astley says: In reply to: lsvalgaard says: May 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm William Astley says: May 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm What is the point of showing a graph of GCR Vs Low level cloud for a period in which the solar magnetic cycle is inhibiting that mechanism? The inhibiting mechanism is connected with the linear reduction in the magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots. So, during the Maunder Minimum you would not expect GCRs to form Low Level Clouds and produce cooling, right? The inhibiting mechanism is transient. When the inhibiting mechanism ceases the planet will cool relatively quickly. The inhibiting mechanism causes there to be an increase in high level clouds which offsets the increase in low level clouds. As I said the high Northern regions are now starting to cool. (Do your remember the paper that notes there is a 10 to 12 year delay in cooling when there is a change in the solar cycle length?) The Arctic sea ice will recover. There will be a drop in temperature on the Greenland Ice sheet. What we are observing has happened before. 132. Plain Richard says: @AlexS “natural variation” isn’t even wrong! 😀 133. William Astley says: May 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm “So, during the Maunder Minimum you would not expect GCRs to form Low Level Clouds and produce cooling, right?” The inhibiting mechanism is transient. When the inhibiting mechanism ceases the planet will cool relatively quickly. So, how long does the transient mechanism last? [in particular during the Maunder Minimum] Presumably when it stops sunspots rapidly form again, right? 134. John F. Hultquist says: The post prompted me to look at HadCET http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/ I note the chart is plotted based on “ the 1961-1990 average” and the red line (10-year running mean” is less than 0.5 at its right-side end; meaning it would be lower if the base used the 1981-2010 period. The page seems not to mention the green line of the far right-side. That’s the line that sinks to -1.0, a negative anomaly. Those with challenged vision may want to use the magnifier to view this green line. 135. philincalifornia says: Margaret Hardman says: May 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm This is one of the reasons why I agree with the AGW hypothesis ——————————————————————– Doesn’t pass the smell test Margaret, sorry. Like the good little warmist you are, you have your conclusion in place first, and then seek to redefine Occam’s razor with an incorrect assumption count, bolstered by a strawman. FAIL Are you Kevin Trenberth’s Mom ?? 136. Louis says: May 27, 2013 at 2:43 pm “So to any honest person, this is an indirect admission from the Met Office…” The headline said nothing about an indirect admission. It said, in bold, “Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable” And to any honest person, that just isn’t true. But beyond that, what are the alleged claims? No-one claims that temperatures have been rising linearly since 1850, and this is in no way a claim of AGW. But that is what this test tests. And it is meaningless, because it pits a third order AR driftless against a first order with trend. All that says is that you can get more improvement with a higher order analysis of the noise than trying to fit a line. Since no-one expected a line to fit well, no surprise there. The test in that answer does not mean that “The driftless model says that the .8 C of warming since 1850 is well within what could be expected from natural variations in temperature, thus it is not significant.” It is a comparison test, saying only that third order driftless does better than first order with trend. It does not say what you claim. 137. Gold minor said “What a tremendous store of information it holds within its records. I thought it interesting that the very beginning of your reconstruction, at 1538, shows a tailing off from a warm period with a strong warming. That made me wonder what the previous years looked like, although I suspect that the warm trend would go back to early 1500s, perhaps to 1510. ” Thanks for your kind comments. Ironically I use the Met Office library and archives in my research. I am currently back to 1500 and yes it is around as warm as today during the period from then to 1538 I am currently seeking the transition decades between MWP and LIA as that will fill in the gap between around 1300 to the current start date of my reconstruction in 1538. It takes about a year to research all the material I need then months to put it all together, so hopefully look out for part 2 of ‘The long slow thaw’ in early winter. tonyb 138. Kev-in-Uk says: Margaret Hardman says: May 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm quote/ Furthermore, amongst the many formulations of Occam’s Razor, I think the most accepted is the one that says we accept the explanation with the fewest and simplest assumptions. This is one of the reasons why I agree with the AGW hypothesis and not those that stack untenable assumptions upon untenable assumptions. There are sometimes good reasons to choose a more complicated explanation for a phenomenon but there must always be a physical reason for accepting it. One cannot, for instance, suggest that the oceans store heat in an El Niño event when such an event is giving energy up. /quote ”..and not those that stack untenable assumptions upon untenable assumptions”.??? As far as I can tell the AGW hypothesis relies entirely upon these stacked untenable assumptions of which you speak! Things like, the sun has no real effect, feedbacks are mostly positive, the data we have collected is ‘correct’ (no UHI, or it’s been ‘taken care’ of! LOL), palaeo proxy data is ‘correct’ (Yamal anybody?), etc, etc – and of course the absolute corker – that 100 years or so of crappy (so really good, homogenised and gridded data from inumerous different stations and thermometers, etc) data can accurately reflect and predict the changes in a climate that has been going up and down like a brides nightie for the last 4.6 billion years! As others have noted, the basic hypothesis that increased CO2 can cause warming is indeed relatively ‘valid’ – but the AGW hypothesis that the ‘alleged’ observed warming is mostly anthropogenic is based on many many assumptions (mostly that ‘other’ things are not affecting temperature!) and based on inumerable assumptions/estimations/etc in order to derive the supposed sensitivity to CO2 doubling which is the crux of the AGW hypothesis. In short, I think you just shot your own beliefs down in one paragraph – if you care to think about it? 139. D.I. says: Wet Office at It again,Slingo should read Slygo. 140. Kev-in-Uk says: D.I. says: May 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm I don’t care if she goes on the sly or with a frickin’ fanfare – I just wish she would go! and preferably for someone with some scientific integrity to take her place! 141. Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented: Well, well, well. Follow the link from WUWT back to Bishop Hill; it seems the Met Office, the UK’s official weather and climate forecaster and a temple in the cult of global warming, has just admitted that its claim of statistically significant temperature increase (i.e., that which can only be explained by anthropogenic causes) cannot be supported. That’s like knocking the foundation stone out from under the entire edifice. 142. Matt G says: Using 0.8c is still cherry picking since the data began, the recent temperatures really are only about 0.4c – 0.5c warmer than the 1880’s. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl That temperature range is nothing in the scale of natural variance. 143. u.k.(us) says: lsvalgaard says: May 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm “So, you admit that cloud cover was low during the MM.” ================ Come on Leif, you can tell us !! What was the cloud cover ? The truth will never leave this blog 🙂 144. Mike Jonas says: Stephen Wilde – I think the time has come for you to submit your theory as a post to WUWT. It seems to me to make sense, and in particular it allows the global temperature (as measured) to change without any external forcing. But I would like to see it put in a single comprehensive post. 145. milodonharlani says: u.k.(us) says: May 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm ———————————– I’m entered in the senior division of the Y1.7K running of the annual Dover Strait Cross-Channel Ice-Skating Marathon & will let you know about MM cloudiness when I get back from the Little Ice Age. Unfortunately my green time machine is solar-powered, so a little wonky at the moment. 146. rogerknights says: Chris Riley says: May 27, 2013 at 10:13 am Andrew, now might be the time to at least begin thinking about the future of WUWT after the impending collapse of CAGW. The first task that comes to mind is making arrangements for a complete and permanent archive of all activity on this site. The second that comes to mind is that it might be time to start examining other areas where pseudoscience in service of the social engineers is imposing significant social costs. Third: Compile a complete and permanent archive of all activity on every warmist site. Then, every day thereafter, pluck from it a quote of the day for use as a sticky-post at the head of every site that subscribes to it, and for RSS feeds, for the sake of laughs. There’ll be comedy gold there for the next ten million years. 147. Alan D McIntire says: Regarding temperature as a random walk, William Briggs had a fun post regarding “Arcsine Climate” using R programming here: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=257 148. Margaret Hardman says: May 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm “This is one of the reasons why I agree with the AGW hypothesis and not those that stack untenable assumptions upon untenable assumptions.” Did you just write that for fun? If you wanted to give an example of ‘untenable assumptions stacked on untenable assumptions’ you need look no further than the useless models that the Met Office have persistently clung to. Oh, and Nick: I’d stop digging while you can still climb out of the hole. I’ve read all your comments on this thread and they are just pure hand-waving. I have to ask you, if the Met Office really didn’t have a problem with their CAGW claims, why did they avoid the question six times over? 149. Niff says: Congratulations to Doug and Lord Donahue for persisting and wrenching this admission out of the Met Office. BUT, as expected, NOT A SINGLE WORD OF IT HAS LEAKED OUT INTO THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA. SHAME ON THEM. 150. Alan D McIntire says: “richard telford says: May 27, 2013 at 8:52 am …. ################################ ‘If you have to stoop to using ad hominem arguments, you could at least ensure that the ad hominem is correct. The salary of academics is not dependent on their opinions – a concept known as academic freedom.’ “REPLY: A famous quote is an “ad hom” LOL!. Yes no dependency, sure, no ‘publish or perish’ until such time you get that cushy deal known as tenure, where you can be free to be as loony as Paul Ehrlich without fear of losing your job. It doesn’t work that way in the real world outside academia my friend.” – Anthony An alternate reply might have been , “Maybe immediate salary is not dependent on opinion, but government GRANT money certainly is.” 151. u.k.(us) says: milodonharlani says: May 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm ============ Thanks, it is nice when someone catches the drift. You don’t feel so lonely 🙂 152. Latitude says: Matt G says: May 27, 2013 at 4:46 pm Using 0.8c is still cherry picking since the data began, the recent temperatures really are only about 0.4c – 0.5c warmer than the 1880′s. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl That temperature range is nothing in the scale of natural variance. ======================================= exactly…….the explanation with the fewest and simplest assumption…is that it’s no big deal You can’t argue that the science has improved…and use thermometer readings from 130 years ago… the rest of the proxies are nothing more than tea leaves and bones a 1/2 of one degree in 130 years…and that’s fudged 153. milodonharlani says: @u.k. ——————— “Rainy Day Women “Well, they’ll stone ya when you’re trying to be so good, They’ll stone ya just a-like they said they would. They’ll stone ya when you’re tryin’ to go home. Then they’ll stone ya when you’re there all alone. But I would not feel so all alone, Everybody must get stoned.” Make that cloudy day woman. I surely hope I don’t catch a drift during the grueling Calais to Dover & back ice skating marathon, but if it has been cloudy, there are liable to be lots of snow drifts en route. Will collect careful WX data for a complete “clouds & rain” (with apologies to 17th & 20th century Japan) report upon my return to this century. 154. joerommiswrong says: May 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm “I have to ask you, if the Met Office really didn’t have a problem with their CAGW claims, why did they avoid the question six times over?” With a post that begins with a blatantly false headline, you have to look carefully at everything that follows. Doug Keenan says “HM Government did not answer. Lord Donoughue asked a second time. They did not answer. He asked a third time. Again they did not answer. He then asked a fourth time.” But Hirst, Met director, says “I would like to assure you that the Met Office has not refused to answer any questions. The questions you refer to were answered by Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change.” I believe Hirst. DK seems upset because the Met was slow to stop what they were doing to carry out his nutty calculation. I think that is very understandable. 155. u.k.(us) says: May 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm Come on Leif, you can tell us !! The truth will never leave this blog “One cannot empty the well of truth with a leaky bucket”. 156. Dodgy Geezer says: …It has been widely claimed that the increase in global temperatures since the late 1800s is too large to be reasonably attributed to natural random variation. Moreover, that claim is arguably the biggest reason for concern about global warming. … Actually, I’m not sure that that’s true. My recollection is that it had always been accepted that the 1900s were a little cold, and that there was a warm spell in the 1940s, and a cold spell in the 1970s, and that these were within normal limits, and nothing to do with AGW. The big idea that Mann pushed was that these variations were all minor, and that AGW really started to take off in the 1980s. The 20 years 1980-2000 were the heyday of Global Warming – continuing up without a break. The models all showed amazing temperatures due in 2030, and most of the AGW crowd were behaving as if these temperatures had actually happened. That’s where you get your ‘statistical significance’ from – the assumption that we would have 50 years with a graph going up at accelerating speeds. In 2000 it seemed quite safe to say that, and no one would contradict you. Now, of course, we can see that it’s just a glitch – augmented by data falsification… 157. AndyL says: The pressure is on. Common sense is beginning to break out across the UK. Hallelujah! 158. Jurgen says: With the footnote I am reading WUWT on and off, so I do miss a lot of info presented here, it is my general impression climate related discussions on WUWT about phenomena, trends, data, models etc. in most cases focus on the planet as a whole. Differentiation does play a role, say oceans vs. land vs atmosphere, northern hemisphere vs. southern, Arctic region vs. Antarctic, but these are broad differentiations and stay close to the global scale. This makes sense, as “global warming” or “climate change” are central topics on WUWT, and these are global phenomena. On the other hand, there is more between local weather on the one hand, and global phenomena on the other. I feel there is a big gap between the two, something is missing. Maybe I should call “local climate” or “area-specific climate”. It feels to me like for understanding climate phenomena by people who study this, a big leap is made from localized weather phenomena to global trends. Is this big leap realistic? You would expect some steps in-between, say from local or regional weather patterns to regional or area-specific climate phenomena, say coastal regions vs. tundra’s vs. mountains vs. high plateau’s etc. Also more specification by continents and part of continents. Kind of saying here my feeling is “global climate science” is over-reaching at this point. Wouldn’t it be better to focus some more on regional-specific climate phenomena? One of the reasons also being the data or proxies used, in my understanding, have a regional origin, like Vostok or Greenland or Yamal. The UHI-effect also points in this direction. Just an observation from the sideline. 159. Master_Of_Puppets says: Time to un fund the UN, UN IPCC and UN FCCC. I by supposition assume the clause that the U.S.A. cannot re-claim the Trillions of U.S.A. dollars the U.S.A. Governments (G.H.W. Buch, Clinton, G.W. Bush, Obama) funneled to the UN, UN IPCC and UN FCCC. I would posit that such moneys found their way to the narcotics cartels in the Middle East and South America, at the behest of the U.S.A. President. That, by design. Ah The Hand of Man. (not Mann; M.E.Mann is an idiot ! nothing more needs to be said on Mann.). A very sad day of the ‘taxpaying peoples’ of the U.S.A. Perhaps a way out of this ‘WWI quagmire’ is to un fund the UN in all respects. That means in particular and on Front Burner the un funding of the salary+benefits+healthcare+retirement of the ‘U.S.A. Ambassador’ to the UN, MS. Susan Rice. I would advise the U.S.A. ‘Judiciary’ to investigate MS. Rice ! Much to the found there ! I would also advise the C3I Directorate and National Security Council to revoke Mr. Kerry’s access and clearances to All National Security Data & Intelligence ASAP. That is the most important move in the last 24 hrs and needs to be done with rapid speed. Many years ago, I agreed and signed to continuous ‘wiretapping’ and ‘postage inspection’ and ‘ongoing physical surveillance.’ In this way on this blog, they will read my recommendation even if they are not administratively posted on WUWT and with that I can pay back the ‘loan’ given me many years ago by the DoD. 🙂 160. Mac the Knife says: Hurrah for the persistent Lord Donoughue! It seems the 6th time is the charm! Let’s encourage Lord Donoughue to continue, until the MET office (Slingo, et.al.) publicly recants their false “statistically significant’ bollocks and removes all such references on their web sites, blogs, and literature. 161. Eric Barnes says: vukcevic says: May 27, 2013 at 1:46 pm I don’t know where you live, but most of ‘normal and sane’ people who live in UK, don’t really care what Met Office admits or doesn’t; people have realised for some time now that their projections of so called ‘global warming’ now transmuted into climate change, and consequently long term forecasts have become a national joke. I’ve had the same thoughts about Nick’s comments for some time. If I ever need a laugh, he’s always there. 162. Luther Wu says: Master_Of_Puppets says: May 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm _________________ good job 163. Temporal chaotic response, which represents the basis of fundamental understanding of chaotic response, cannot exhibit a trend with time. Averages of chaotic responses are themselves chaotic. Thus these averages cannot exhibit a trend with time. The original 1963 system of three simple, non-linear ODEs devised by Lorenz can be used to demonstrate the above. Imposing a time-varying effective Rayleigh number during the calculations of the numerical solutions of the equations will not give a response showing a trend with time. The effective Rayleigh number measures the energy addition into the fluid from the boundaries of the flow. I do not know if the results for low-dimension temporal chaotic response carry over un-changed to the spatial-temporal chaotic case. If the temperature in the ( spatial-temporal ) physical domain is chaotic, averages of the temperature will be chaotic, and neither of these can exhibit a response that has a trend with time. 164. AndyG55 says: harrydhuffman (@harrydhuffman) says: There is NO CO2 “greenhouse effect”, of increasing temperature with increasing CO2 It will, unfortunately, be a long time before people actually accept this fact. Oh well ! 🙁 165. DR says: “Here in Britain, where we had our fifth freezing winter in a row, the Central England Temperature record – according to an expert analysis on the US science blog Watts Up With That – shows that in this century, average winter temperatures have dropped by 1.45C, more than twice as much as their rise between 1850 and 1999, and twice as much as the entire net rise in global temperatures recorded in the 20th century.” 166. MichaelS says: Rob MW says: May 27, 2013 at 7:19 pm @ Nick Stokes: If you are that dogmatic about headlines perhaps you could start with this one and work your way up, or down as the case requires: “It’s true: 97% of research papers say climate change is happening” ____________________________________________________________________________ But of course that’s for a noble cause. 167. William Astley says: In reply to: lsvalgaard says: May 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm William Astley says: May 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm “So, during the Maunder Minimum you would not expect GCRs to form Low Level Clouds and produce cooling, right?” The inhibiting mechanism is transient. When the inhibiting mechanism ceases the planet will cool relatively quickly. So, how long does the transient mechanism last? [in particular during the Maunder Minimum] Presumably when it stops sunspots rapidly form again, right? William: No. The sunspots will not reform. The solar magnetic state during a Maunder minimum is different than the solar magnetic state that causes a Heinrich event. The current solar observations (how the sun has changed over the last 100 years and in particular in the last 10 years) appear to indicate that the solar magnetic cycle has been interrupted which will lead to Heinrich event as opposed to a Maunder minimum which is a very weak solar magnetic cycle. I have worked back from the earth observations (Assuming what has happened on the earth cyclically has a physical cause then each of the earth observations in the different time periods can be used to determine how the sun changes over 8000 to 10000 years). Everything that has happened in the past and that will happen in the future has a physical explanation. The paleo climatic analysis over the last 10 years has gradually eliminated other hypothesized mechanisms, ocean current changes was the primary alternative and an assumed super high sensitivity to forcing change that could amplify small changes. How the planet is currently reacting to an increase in atmospheric CO2 indicates the planet resists forcing changes. If the planet resists forcing changes, then the past cyclic abrupt climate changes were caused by a very strong forcing function. For both of those reasons, I believe what I am proposing (In fact, what I am proposing is basically taken from other peer reviewed papers. What is new is looking into multiple specialties in different fields following and looking for related anomalies.) is the only physically viable solution. 168. DR says: Oh, and be sure to read the comments. Rob Honeycutt tosses in for SkS with the usual talking points along with what appears other drones from SkS. 169. milodonharlani says: William Astley says: May 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm —————————- What he said. 170. Theo Goodwin says: Nick Stokes says: May 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm Why are you not at the Bishop’s posing a direct challenge to Keenan’s post? Why are you addressing only a part of Keenan’s post? What about the part that makes clear that Parliament is going to write the headline in this matter of the Met Office’s conduct? 171. milodonharlani says: DR says: May 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm ———————————– Anthony has well & truly arrived when his site is cited in Forbes. A most satisfying sight, since I’m sure that WUWT has already cited Forbes. 172. milodonharlani says: Nick Stokes says: May 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm ———————————- Boooooooooooooooring. Sorry, but boring. With extra os. Please let me know when you have something trenchant & original to say. Thanks. 173. SAMURAI says: So what Bill is saying is that NOAA’s statistical analysis shows a 1 in 3 probability that natural temperature variation can explain ALL the warming from 1880 to the present…. If one factors in a small portion of the total warming attributable to AGW (say 0.2C out of 0.8C) then the combination of the two would mean there IS no significant probability of catastrophic anthropogenic GW and that the world has wasted$TRILLIONS on a “catastrophe” that doesn’t exist….
It’s high time to disband the IPCC, implement a moratorium on further CAGW government funding and take a wait and see attitude on what happens climatically over the next 10 years.
A number of climactic cooling phenomenon are all converging between now and 2022: (30-yr PDO started 2008, current solar cycle lowest since 1906, AMO also starts its 30-yr cooling around 2020, Umbral Magnetic Field likely to fall below 1,500 gauss around 2020 preventing sunspots to form and ushering in a potential Grand Solar Minimum, solar cycle #25 starts around 2020 and is expected to be the lowest since 1645, Antarctic ice extent is setting record sizes and increasing Earth’s Albedo, Arctic Ice in the Pacific is setting record extents since the PDO entered its 30-yr cooling cycle in 2008 and the same may happen in the Atlantic when the AMO enters its 30-yr cooling cycle around 2020, ARGO data showing stagnant SST’s, etc.)
There are also economic realities supporting a moratorium on CAGW as there is a high probability of a major global sovereign debt crisis occurring between now and 2020, as Japan, USA and most of Europe have national debts far exceeding their annual GDPs (this debt crisis can be partially attributed to \$TRILLIONS squandered on Carbon taxes, wind/solar projects, ethanol subsidies, CO2 EPA compliance costs, etc.).
There are also new technological developments, which will greatly reduce CO2 emissions in the future and will make future wind/solar projects obsolete and wasteful, namely China’s development of LFTRs and next generation batteries, which will make electric cars viable.
One can call CAGW a scam, a hoax or a misunderstanding, but it’s simply time to call a moratorium on the whole fiasco.

174. Ian H says:

Margaret Hardman says:
@Ian H
A true null hypothesis is that there has been no change. The null does not make an assumption about cause and effect. Significance testing sets a definable measure of the chance that a phenomenon differs from that null hypothesis. I would expect everyone on this site to agree that there has been significant warming since 1850, the CET shows it clearly.

Don’t lecture me about the null hypothesis. I’ve taught statistics at university level. I think you’ll get on better here if you don’t start by presuming we are all ignorant.
It isn’t a question of presuming cause and effect. It is a question of defining your hypothesis (and therefore your null hypothesis) in a completely unambiguous way and having the intellectual integrity not to blur the meaning of words and thereby infer things that are not present in the data.
This is a naturally varying system we are talking about. If we are attempting to measure a possible impact of mankind on climate the null hypothesis should be that there is no impact and that the climate is continuing to vary naturally.
If your null hypothesis is that temperatures have on average increased since 1880 (a very narrow statement) you can pass the test of significance but you CANNOT use this to imply that you have detected a significant impact of man on the climate. There is a serious case of bait and switch going on here.
What outrages me (as one who has taught statistics) is that global warming has been touted as settled science – beyond doubt – anyone who questions it is a filthy denier and deserves to be reeducated in a mental hospital – and yet the hypothesis that man has had a measurable impact on the climate has NOT even passed a statistical validity test, even at the 2 \sigma level, against the correct null hypothesis which is that the climate is varying normally.

The 0.05 significance level sets a comparable bar on chance. Many areas of science go well beyond this level, to 0.01 and even 0.001. I hope this clarifies matters.

175. MrX says:

I don’t know how they (MET and warmists) can get around this. I was thinking they would attack the second model and that’s being tried in some of the comments, but that too is not going to go very far. To anyone who knows a little statistics, they know that AGW is bogus. They’re knowingly continuing the charade if they continue to be proponents of AGW.

176. Patrick says:

“Stephen Wilde says:
May 27, 2013 at 9:05 am”
Indeed. There is a very good, incidentally BBC, documentary called “Orbit: Earths Extraordinary Journey” which explains exactly what you are discussing.

177. SAMURAI says:

It’s my understanding that from Ice-core analysis, the natural centennial temperature variance has been around +-1.0C.
If my understanding is correct, the 0.8C of warming over the past 133 years certainly falls within this natural range, so the 20th century warming is not unprecedented.
Moreover, the fact that the solar cycles between 1933 and 1996 were the strongest uninterrupted string of solar cycles in 11,400 years.
It certainly seems a valid argument could be made that most of the 19th century warming could be a natural recovery from the Little Ice Age (which ended when the Dalton Minimum ended, which supports the Svensmark Effect Theory) and that 20th century warming can be attributed to the strong solar cycles from 1933-1996.
The fact that 17 years of no statistically significant warming corresponds to weakening solar cycles and the PDO entering is 30-yr cooling cycle neatly explains the total lack of a warming trend. It’s also interesting to note that over the past 17 years, roughly 40% of ALL manmade CO2 emissions since 1750 have been emitted into the atmosphere, with absolutely no effect on the global warming trend.
The case for CAGW seems to be completely untenable, especially in light of the 15% increase of C3 crop yields (wheat, barley, oats, soybeans, potatoes, rice, etc) the added CO2 had contributed.
So the salient questions are now: 1) what catastrophic CO2 warming? 2) why is CAGW still taken seriously? 3) what criteria needs to be met to invalidate the CAGW theory once and for all?

178. William Astley says:
May 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm
No. The sunspots will not reform. The solar magnetic state during a Maunder minimum is different than the solar magnetic state that causes a Heinrich event.
The current solar observations (how the sun has changed over the last 100 years and in particular in the last 10 years) appear to indicate that the solar magnetic cycle has been interrupted which will lead to Heinrich event as opposed to a Maunder minimum which is a very weak solar magnetic cycle.

Makes no sense at all. ‘solar magnetic cycle interrupted’ means what?

179. Scott Basinger says:

Telford writes: “The problem with Keenan’s analysis should be obvious. The 1 in the ARIMA(3,1,0) is needed because the data are non-stationary – the mean is not constant – the temperature is increasing. Whether this temperature increase is removed by differencing as Keenan has done, or fitted with a linear trend, depends on the aims of the analysis. Both agree that there is significant warming, and neither model can determine the cause of the warming.
As the climate forcings have not increased in a linear fashion, it is not surprising that a linear trend is not a very good fit to the instrumental data.”

Thanks for responding. I’m a little confused by your point, isn’t Keenan arguing that “The supplement demonstrates that the likelihood of the driftless model is about 1000 times that of the trending autoregressive model. Thus the model used by HM Government should be rejected, in favor of the driftless model. With the driftless model, however, the rise in temperatures since 1880 is not significant. ”
I don’t understand your point, since both do not agree there is significant warming and I don’t see where he’s suggested that the ‘1’ in ARI(3,1) isn’t needed.

180. handjive says:

“As for any politicians who have ever believed in global warming, or supported the carbon tax, or a carbon-constrained economy, there is no hope for them.
They are either too stupid or incompetent to be taken seriously.
Merely recanting, at this late stage, won’t be enough.
Make their lives hell too, just as they wished a diminished life on you.”
David Archibald is a Perth-based climate scientist and energy analyst.
He is a visiting fellow of the Institute of World Politics in Washington DC, where he teaches a course in strategic energy policy.
Remember this line:
“Make their lives hell too, just as they wished a diminished life on you.”
Repeat when necessary.
http://newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=5257

181. Eliza says:

I think this news will slowly but surely drift into MSM. This. plus the fact that NH ice is NOT melting anomausly (spelling!), this year so far (completely irrelevant anyway. although warmists like to think only ONE ice cap represents global), is putting an end to AGW. The signs are everywhere but not obvious even in MSM stories. The first admission it ain’t so bad after all, the second will be it ain’t bad at all! But NEVER we were completely wrong! Climate sciencist can never admit it. and won’t. It will simply fade away probably for years. so don’t expect a major admission soon anywhere guys! I am personally tending to think after all the millenial and current evidence that C02 has no bearing whatsoever on climate on Earth. BTW It seems to me that this is the most significant news re AGW to date. I’m surprised the other “skeptical sites have not read this apparently yet anyway.LOL

182. shocked says:

This is terrible news because it means poor people will continue to die from the cold!

183. Scott Basinger says: May 27, 2013 at 10:03 pm
“I don’t understand your point, since both do not agree there is significant warming and I don’t see where he’s suggested that the ’1′ in ARI(3,1) isn’t needed.”

Richard Telford has a post here expanding on this. The reason for going to a differenced model (the ‘1’) is to achieve stationarity. And doing so takes out the trend anyway. So it isn’t even true that Keenan shows there is no trend with his model.
Besides, as Lucia says, it’s unphysical, breaching energy conservation. Here is her latest observation:
“Also: We went through this at blogs before. Bach in.. oh…2010? Anyway, way back then, Arima (0,1,4) with drift beat ARIMA(3,1,0) for gistemp. Now, both of these are unphysical. But the former–which was statistically more likely, meant “AGW true”.
I don’t know how things might change with more data. But it’s a bit silly to ignore that if you expand to including unphysical models, the best one still says there is warming!”

Theo Goodwin says: May 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm
“Why are you not at the Bishop’s posing a direct challenge to Keenan’s post?”

Why? This post is headed “This is a guest post by Doug Keenan.”. It seems an appropriate place to respond. One could ask, why isn’t DK defending it here?
“Why are you addressing only a part of Keenan’s post? What about the part that makes clear that Parliament is going to write the headline in this matter of the Met Office’s conduct?”
It seems to be the part covered at WUWT. Deciding whether Parliamentary questions are answered properly is a matter for Parliament to decide, not Doug Keenan (or me). And I see no condemnation of MO there.

184. Margaret Hardman says:

@Ian H
I shall accept that you have taught statistics and then point to your error when you propose a null hypothesis that warming has occurred since 1880. The null part, as you know, indicates no change, no correlation, no link. I am surprised that you made that error.

185. Alcheson says:

Nick says:
” I believe Hirst.
DK seems upset because the Met was slow to stop what they were doing to carry out his nutty calculation. I think that is very understandable.”
Guess you also believe John Cook and his 97% of scientists agree that CAGW is real; that climate science is “settled” science; and that Mann’s Hockey stick is an accurate representation of earth temperature over the last 1000+ years. Good to know that the supposedly the world’s leading climate scientists are so smart they didnt even bother to determine whether global warming is statistically significant beyond natural variation, that doing so is just a “nutty calculation”.

186. LDLAS says:

Nicky,
I know by now that you are an attention seeking troll.
Go over to John Cook’s place.
(and stay there)

187. Stephen Wilde says:

“Mike Jonas says:
May 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm
Stephen Wilde – I think the time has come for you to submit your theory as a post to WUWT. It seems to me to make sense, and in particular it allows the global temperature (as measured) to change without any external forcing. But I would like to see it put in a single comprehensive post.”
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/06/a-new-and-effective-climate-model/
though it could do with a little refinement now and note that the basis of it is the provision of a negative system response against ANY forcing element.
The harshest criticism came from Leif but I take him less seriously these days.

188. Alcheson says: May 27, 2013 at 11:43 pm
“Good to know that the supposedly the world’s leading climate scientists are so smart they didnt even bother to determine whether global warming is statistically significant beyond natural variation, that doing so is just a “nutty calculation”.”

Would you like to explain why a demonstration that a AR(3,1,0) statistical model fits better than a AR(1,0,0) model with trend from 1850-now says anything about “whether global warming is statistically significant beyond natural variation”?

189. richard verney says:

I personally consider that there has been some warming since the 1850s. However, that siad, one rarely ever sees realistic error bars surrounding the various temperature.data sets, which error bars are quite large.
When appropriate error bars are taken into account, it probably is not possible with certainty too say whether in 2013, it is warmer today than it was in the early 1880s, or the 1930s/40s.
All we know is that there have been periodas of warming and periods of cooling and the late 20th century warming does not look extraordinary when compared with other warming periods in the data set. Further, much of the late 20th century warming may be nothing more than an artefact of polluted data (station drop outs, poor siting, UHI etc) given that the satellite data set shows no warming between 1979 and say 1997.

190. Nigel S says:

This from ‘The Stone Skeleton’ by Professor Jacques Heyman seems relevant (it’s about structural analysis of Gothic cathedrals but they are warm period artefacts so it’s not totally irrelevant).
‘The safe theorem states that if any one such position can be found for the line of thrust [within the masonry] then this is an absolute proof that the structure is stable, and indeed that collapse can never occur under the given loading.’
What seems to have happened is that the Met Office’s analysis showed that the sky was falling (‘this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire’) but that a more careful analysis shows that it hasn’t been falling (since at least 1850).

191. Scott Basinger says:

Nick Stokes: Thanks! I understand a lot more clearly now.

192. Man Bearpig says:

” Simon says:
May 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm
ARIMA(3,1,0) means that the time series is non-stationary which means there is a trend. An upward trend, caused probably be greenhouse gases.

Ok, so what is causing the hiatus in global temperatures ? GHG recently allegedly broke the unprecedented level of 400ppm ?

193. Margaret Hardman says:

Current slowing in the warming trend explained by La Niña events in 1999-2000, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2011. Biggest El Niño was in 1997-8, coinciding with that peak in temperature anomalies in 1998 so beloved of those that tell me incessantly that warming has stopped. El Niño events since 1998 occurred in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2009. An El Niño event puts heat back into the atmosphere, simply put. La Niña removes heat and absorbs it into the ocean.

194. Eric Barnes says:

Stephen Wilde says:
May 28, 2013 at 12:01 am
“Mike Jonas says:
May 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm
Stephen Wilde – I think the time has come for you to submit your theory as a post to WUWT.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/06/a-new-and-effective-climate-model/
though it could do with a little refinement now and note that the basis of it is the provision of a negative system response against ANY forcing element.
The harshest criticism came from Leif but I take him less seriously these days.
Good Policy Stephen. Insomnia caused me to read from the link above where Leif left this gem…
Leif Svalgaard says:
April 8, 2010 at 3:24 pm
Stephen Wilde (13:24:30) :
You clearly cannot seperate the solar effects from the other (supposed) effects so your own position is weaker than you admit. You don’t even know what those other supposed effects might be.
By the same token neither can you, and that’s why they cannot be part of a serious model, that is all.
Practical people of good taste can only laugh when considering the effectiveness of CAGW modeling vs. your model and Lief’s statement.
The weakness of being an academic in all its glory.

195. Latest
Energy and Climate Change UK budget to get 10% chop ?

196. Clovis Man says:

I think we are in danger of missing the point here by having the same old arguments about the contribution of emissions on the climate.
The question here is not whether there is warming or not since 1850. Taking a starting temperature and and end temperature there clearly is. The question is, that if one statistical methodology says it is within natural variation and another does not is why a categorical parliamentary answer was given based on the one least likely to be correct. And why it took a further 5 questions to get better answer.
Someone over at BH has suggested a FOI request for correspondence to elicit how the methodology was chosen. That could be telling.
Kudos to Lord Donahoughue for his tenacity.

197. tonyb says:

Margaret Hardman
You said
‘I would expect everyone on this site to agree that there has been significant warming since 1850, the CET shows it clearly.’
That is quite correct, but if we step back in time we can put CET in better context;
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/08/the-curious-case-of-rising-co2-and-falling-temperatures/
That graph is an update from my article that is reconstructing CET from its instrumental limits of 1659 and compares the reconstructions of Dr Mann and Hubert Lamb
http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/
We can observe a number of things. Firstly that temperatures have been rising since the start of the instrumental record. GISS from 1880 can therefore be seen to merely a staging post and not the starting post. This steady increase is confirmed by BEST.
We can also observe that at a current 0.4 anomaly CET is only fractionally warmer than the 1830 period, the same as the 1730 period and currently cooler than the start of the record in 1538 which I have now extended to 1500AD. I can not comment on its progress to the MWP as looking for the transition point between the MWP and LIA is my current area of research, ironically using some of the extensive records in the Met office library and archives.
BTW I do not think that either you or Nick Stokes are trolls and am glad you weathered the earlier storm on the other thread as we need alternative views if we are not to become the echo chamber that so many alarmist sites have become
tonyb

198. TomVonk says:

Meanwhile in Germany it looks like they are having the coldest Spring in 40 years.
In France it is worse. France is experiencing one of the coldest Mays in last 60 years. The 24 May was the coldest one in the whole temperature record. Many days were more than 10°C below 30 year average.
Weather is not yet climate on monthly average scales.
However the probability to break cold records even on monthly scales IS supposed to be dependent on a climatic trend if a trend is there.
Of course as nobody knows the PDF, it is not possible to tell how probable such a phenomenon is but clearly the natural variability seems to be much greater than what we previously thought.
N.Stokes
The Arimas don’t violate any energy conservation laws because the exercice done here is applied to arithmetical spatial averages on a surface.
I leave you as exercice to show why a weighted surface average of temperatures can follow any probability distribution without contradicting energy conservation.
One may suppose a function T(x,y,z,t) continuous in time but not necessarily in the space variables which is then spatially averaged on an arbitrary closed surface of a body.

199. cd says:

Again, there seems to be grate deal of fanfare surrounding the discussion. And whilst, in a world where honesty is essential to debate then it would be. But if such a world did exist then there would be no climate scare either. In short, while WUWT might consider this significant it will not make much of an impact in the UK press (if it even registers at all) and will sway no one in the mainstream world of politics or in the general public.

200. TomV,
How can a process with constrained temperature-dependent fluxes have no fixed long term mean? How can an unconstrained random walk not, over time, reach temperatures that would kill all life?

201. Rob MW says:

Margaret Hardman says @ May 27, 2013 at 11:23 pm
“The null part, as you know, indicates no change, no correlation, no link. I am surprised that you made that error.”
Err….excuse me. So you are trying to foolishly claim that the Earth’s climate should still be stuck at the last little ice age ?
Given that the ‘Null Hypothsis’ means that there must be some warming therefore it is indeed you who is in error.

202. Bruce of Newcastle says:

Margaret Hardman says:
May 27, 2013 at 11:07 am
I would expect everyone on this site to agree that there has been significant warming since 1850, the CET shows it clearly.

Margaret – The fact that temperature has risen is one issue. The explanation ‘why’ is another.
You can see a number of links in my post up-thread which give the reasons why. CO2 is only a minor component of the rise.
But since you mention the CET specifically, you may be interested that my own small model very successfully fits the CET. And has successfully modelled the CET since I built it. I built it just after Climategate and the Copenhagen meeting when I wanted to independently test for myself whether climate sensitivity was low or high. The finding: low.
I should mention my professional experience includes building of such models for corporate customers. I was just doing what I know. There is sufficient detail at the first link for you to replicate it should you wish.

203. GeeJam says:

Having read all the posts on this thread, and ignoring (for the time being) the ongoing agitation being generated by Mssrs. Stokes, Hardman, et al, many replies have simply remarked ‘just how cold it is right now’. Germany, UK, Cleveland, New York, Brisbane and now France.
Ok, this to all those out there who remain resilient in their belief of CAGW. This is a golden opportunity to finally set the record straight once and for all. We’re throwing down the gauntlet.
Please can you tell me (and every other regular WUWT reader like me who is in total disagreement with AGW);
WHAT COUNTRY, RIGHT NOW, IN THE WORLD, IS SIGNIFICANTLY WARMER THAN IT NORMALLY IS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR?

204. TomVonk says:

N.Stokes
How can a process with constrained temperature-dependent fluxes have no fixed long term mean? How can an unconstrained random walk not, over time, reach temperatures that would kill all life?
Don’t forget that we are just talking about models here and that the time scales considered are only hundreds of years.
In other terms don’t forget that fluid mechanics and spatio-temporal chaos (which what the system really is) have really nothing to do with Arimas or surface averages.
Of course that all these statistical models (regardless of the number of parameters) have nothing to do with the reality. I hope you don’t take them seriously 🙂
They just fit somme better and some worse over the extremely short data period we have.
Over much longer periods (multi kyears) we already know that there are pseudo periodical cycles e.g deterministic chaos.
So because what we are actually only talking about is what statistical model fits better over, say 100 or 200 years, I wanted to strongly state that no statistical distribution of spatial averages violated any conservation laws. They are all equally valid.
And if one wants to take the road of stochastical modelling (which doesn’t make much sense for me for physical fields like temperatures and velocities that obey determinstic field equations) then any model is good and those that fit better are better.
And of course none can be extrapolated very far.

205. GeeJam says: May 28, 2013 at 3:21 am

Well, here is the GISS map for April. Yes, cold in N America. But very warm in Russia, and fairly warm in S Am and Australia. Here you can see the last week summarised. East Europe stood out, but also quite warm in E US, N China, India.
I can tell you that in Melbourne, where I am, it has been an unusually warm autumn overall (even a very good day today). I think it was our fourth warmest April ever.

206. Margaret Hardman (May 28, 2013 at 1:41 am) “Current slowing in the warming trend explained by La Niña events in 1999-2000, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2011. Biggest El Niño was in 1997-8, coinciding with that peak in temperature anomalies in 1998 so beloved of those that tell me incessantly that warming has stopped. ”
I assume you are talking about this? http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ts.gif It’s hard to quantify the effects of ENSO without getting handwavy or over-simplistically assuming that La Nina “stores” heat that El Nino releases. For one thing you need to factor in changes in outgoing long wave due to changes in cloudiness, precipitation patterns, etc. That heat is gone, not “absorbed” in the ocean. Another is that if La Nina “absorbs” or “stores” heat in the deep ocean it is gone for time scales that we care about. There is very little support for an argument that La Nina is suppressing warming.
OTOH, you are correct warming has not stopped. I realize lots of people say that, but often that is shorthand for an insignificant rise. Here’s a plot starting in 1997 rather than 1998 which I agree is an outlier: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1997/to:2013/plot/uah/from:1997/to:2013/trend which shows a linear trend of 0.09C per decade which is consistent with benign warming. Starting from 1996 I get about 0.12C per decade, still benign.
The main point you are missing in all your posts above is that there are some explanations for a natural rise in temperature, one prominent one is that the late 20th century had TSI about 1 W/m2 higher than the early 20th century. That’s 0.25 W/m2 of rise when hitting the earth as a sphere or roughly 1/15th of the warming from a doubling of CO2 or the same as the warming from about 13 or 14 years rise in CO2 at current rates close to 2ppm / year. That’s nontrivial amount of warming just from TSI, not counting other warming effects from high solar activity.

207. Keitho says:

It looks as if SkS has got its fingers in its ears and is singing la-la-la-la as when I try to bring their attention to this I just get cut.
Presumably this will get to the MSM and we will then see the “rebuttal” phase but I have to say that having to ask 6 times is kind of a clue in and of itself.

208. Agnostic says:

@Nick Stokes:
“So did “Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable”? Where? How?”
Yes they did, in the second paragraph in their response to Lord Donaghue. The two numbers you should look at are 0.08 and 0.001. DK explained further:
“The relative likelihood is 0.08, if we analyze years 1900–2012 , and it is 0.001, if we analyze years 1850–2012 (using Met Office data). In either case, then, the trending autoregressive model is much less likely than the driftless model to be the better model of the data. Hence, the statistical model that was relied upon in the Answer to the original Question (HL3050) is untenable.”
They may not have said it explicitly, but that is the conclusion that can be drawn from the reply. It’s not opinion, those are the numbers.
“And if you follow the link to BH, there’s a long ramble from Doug Keenan on his opinions about the meaning of statistical significance, and confused discussion in the House of Lords.”
So are you suggesting that his “opinions” are wrong? Why do you characterise it as a “ramble” rather than putting the inquiry into context? And the discussion “confused” – what was confused about it?
More to the point, you characterise DK as merely giving his opinion on this matter, where what he is stating was an assertion of fact that he justified. Are you saying that his choice of statistical model does not give a better fit to the data than the one chosen by the MetOffice or the IPCC? Are you saying that the IPCC did – in complete contradiction to what he stated – give justification for their choice of statistical model in their report? If you agree that they didn’t, do you disagree with his assertion it was unscientific not to?
It’s a fairly straightforward issue: The MetOffice issued a statement on statistical significance which can be shown to be untenable, so they should therefore withdraw it.
You can say that the lack of statistical significance is not all we know about potential AGW, that the climate is extremely complex, that the physics of radiative transfer is solid and implies AGW, that we know more about various forcings (de-forestation, land use changes, CO2 emissions) that make a case beyond the issue of significance, but my understanding of the framing of this question and the answer is that its pretty cut and dried. You can’t claim statistically significant warming beyond natural variability based on the 1880 to present near-surface data sets if you follow proper time-series analysis procedure.

209. Nick Stokes
said
“I can tell you that in Melbourne, where I am, it has been an unusually warm autumn overall (even a very good day today). I think it was our fourth warmest April ever.”
Its ok, you can relax. It seems that Melbourne did not experience its 4th warmest April ever (in its very short record)
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/vic/melbourne.shtml
More interestingly your own Met office seems to attribute much of the observed warmth to UHI
tonyb

210. Nick Stokes
Just been looking up the Melbourne history. It seems you have incredibly short records and for something to be the 7th or 12th warmest is not really saying much. I see that Scoresby is near you. He is buried not 7 miles from my home and was of course the first Arctic scientist who went there tin 1818 to discover why it was melting
tonyb

211. Nick Stokes says:
May 28, 2013 at 3:36 am
Well, here is the GISS map for April.
http://www.moyhu.org.s3.amazonaws.com/TempLS/Apr13/GISSApr13.gif
Yes, cold in N America. But very warm in Russia, and fairly warm in S Am and Australia. Here you can see the last week summarised. East Europe stood out, but also quite warm in E US, N China, India.
………………
And here is population map of the world. It is ‘warmest’ anomaly in the coldest areas and in areas very few people live.
Well, here is population map for 2012
So get all this nonsense in perspective.

212. Venter says:

Tony / Vukevic,
Not a word of what Nick Stokes says is to be believed without your independent corroboration as you know by now. He’s part of the AGW cabal and his job is to obfuscate, lie, distort and generally do anything to try and defend the indefensible.

213. John Law says:

The man from Whitehall is always right and the taxpayer a buffoon.
It is something of a British tradition that we lions are fated to be forever led by donkeys!

214. John Law says:

PS it was quite warm in my greenhouse yesteday in North Wales where I was sheltering from the real late spring weather outside. Can I take the Met Office to court?

215. GeeJam says:

Nick Stokes says:
May 28, 2013 at 3:36 am
“Well, here is the GISS map for April.”
Thank you Nick. Yes, I’ve already seen last month’s GISS anomalies (April). I was intrigued to find out where it was warmer right now (late May) considering the amount of regular WUWT readers who were complaining of the cold. As you know, your link to last weeks summary is for mean temperature – so does not indicate how much warmer it is than normal.
Here in central UK (where it’s been depressingly cold and unsettled for 6-months except for 11 x ‘nice’ days), I am pleased that you’re enjoying (quote) “a very good day today” at Melbourne following an unusually warm autumn overall. By this, I gather that, like most others, you also prefer it when it’s warmer – so you’ve answered another argument – why the global fixation and costly obsession to prevent our planet warming up a little? My wife and I would love it to be warmer – we only planted our tomatoes outside yesterday (which is about 3-weeks later than normal) and our salad crops will only be ‘set’ next weekend (June). This time last year, I had already mowed our lawn on six occasions. This year, I cut it for the third time yesterday. And as for traditional ‘May Blossom’ (Hawthorn), it’s only just coming out – which is unusually late.

216. Lord Donoughue sure is tenacious. There’s a man that doesn’t like being stonewalled…

217. GeeJam says: May 28, 2013 at 5:13 am
“As you know, your link to last weeks summary is for mean temperature – so does not indicate how much warmer it is than normal.”

It does anomalies, which is what I was looking at. There is a selection box.

218. GeeJam
Here is my graph for CET against fuel costs.
http://climatereason.com/Graphs/Graph11.png
Sharply Falling temperatures married to sharply rising fuel costs is a good enough reason to stop our obsession with expensive green renewables and get on and build some grown up power stations that can deliver reliable amounts of energy at a sensible price
I gave the chart to my MP who was quite shocked and sent it to DECC. The more of us do the same the more the powers that be might identify there is a concern
tonyb

219. If you live in SE United states and see your forests being cut down, I would like you to know that wood is turned into wood chips and is dried by special driers, then exported 6,500 km away to England to be burned to produce electricity (BBC report 13.30 pm, Tuesday 28 of May, 2013)
So called ‘environmentalist’ and the governments who are guided by their advice are absolute raving lunatics.

220. Patrick says:

I wonder if Nick Stokes knows how cold it was in the UK (And that *IS* the whole UK) during the 70’s, bar 1976? Must have been just weather…

221. CodeTech says:

GeeJam – you’ve already mowed your lawn 3 times this year? Yesterday (May 27) I mowed mine for only the FIRST time. In fact, I dug out the mower, got halfway through the back, and the mower seized up, taking with it the outside electrical outlet and the GFI upstairs that I didn’t know it was connected to. After replacing the two outlets and buying a new mower, I was amazed at how far lawnmower technology has progressed in the years since I got the old one. Instead of that harsh lawnmower sound it’s like a soft “whir”, like I’m vacuuming the lawn instead of cutting it.
This week also the Nanking cherry bushes all around the lake were in full bloom. The last few seasons they haven’t even produced any fruit, so it should be interesting to see what happens this year. Virtually all of the normal benchmarks for ‘climate’ are late this year, heck the lake was still frozen until a month ago. The tulips are just starting to bloom, and the Irises are only a few inches high. There aren’t even any visible flower buds on the Peony bushes yet.
I don’t see it as “unusual”, just later than it has been for the last 15 years or so. I’m sure we’ll forget all of this during the inevitable hot few days in July and August, when we’ll be hiding out from thunderstorms and hail. Yeah, it does seem like the later the season begins, the more intense the crop-destroying hail is, as if there is more energy in the system and the whole experience gets packed into a shorter time frame.
Oh, and LDLAS, we don’t want Nick Stokes (or the other non-aggressive trolls) to stop posting. He serves as stark contrast from the usual comments, and although I know he doesn’t intend it, does provide some great comic relief from time to time. Any normal person reading through a typical comment threat at WUWT will nod, agree, nod, agree, then laugh as an alarmist demonstrates their legendary tolerance and willingness to learn.

222. climatereason says: May 28, 2013 at 4:38 am
“Just been looking up the Melbourne history. It seems you have incredibly short records and for something to be the 7th or 12th warmest is not really saying much.”

Tony, not at all, it goes back to 1880. BTW, May is currently averaging 18.1C max, relative to average 16.7.
“I see that Scoresby is near you.”
Yes, it was named for him just after he died.
Patrick says: May 28, 2013 at 5:37 am
“I wonder if Nick Stokes knows how cold it was in the UK(And that *IS* the whole UK) during the 70’s, bar 1976?”

Oddly enough, I was there through the summer of 1975. A beautiful warm summer. I even remember a hot night in Inverness. I was at Lords in the day of the streaker – 34C. But I don’t see your point.

223. GeeJam says:

climatereason says:
May 28, 2013 at 5:27 am
“build some grown up power stations that can deliver reliable amounts of energy at a sensible price”
We also need to reintroduce a fair system of calculating annual UK vehicle road tax based on engine size – not based on an insignificant quantity of atmospheric gas ‘belching’ out of our exhausts that appears to have had hardly any influence on all those unprecedented catastrophic temperatures we’ve been witnessing for the last 16 years.
Don’t get me started.

224. climatereason says: May 28, 2013 at 4:33 am
“Its ok, you can relax. It seems that Melbourne did not experience its 4th warmest April ever (in its very short record)”

Tony, I believe it did. I think you are looking at the list of which days were warmest in the month. Anyway, max temps were 1C above normal, min 1.5 above. Australia had its 5th warmest April.

225. Ian H says:

@ Margaret Hardman

I shall accept that you have taught statistics and then point to your error when you propose a null hypothesis that warming has occurred since 1880. The null part, as you know, indicates no change, no correlation, no link. I am surprised that you made that error.

Nonsense. The null hypothesis is always simply “the hypothesis is false”. It has nothing to do with correlation link cause or even change. It is simply the negation of the hypothesis.
I have no problem with people who pick a hypothesis and stick to it. If your hypothesis is that “the world has warmed since 1880” (why 1880 in particular?) then you might indeed be able to show this is true at the 2 \sigma level. However you cannot then go around pretending that you’ve proved that “mankind is having a significant impact on the climate” which is what I see people doing all the time. That is a completely different hypothesis that requires its own test.

226. Pamela Gray says:

Two thoughts.
One, any single temperature, be it colder or warmer, than any other single temperature, which includes record temperatures, can be very reasonably attributed to the weather pattern variation in force at that time. No need to use CO2 or the Sun to explain it. It isn’t oddly warmer or colder today. Or yesterday, or compared to 1970-whatever.
Two, anyone can see it clearly in whatever observation record you want to look at, theirs or ours. The linear trend statistically calculated from actual modern data, not “scenarios”, is still well within historical natural variations. If the absolute value of single points on a current linear trend-line can be comparitively buried in the noise from the past it cannot be called “significant” nor attributed to anything other than natural variation. Geez, you don’t even need a graduate course in statistics to figure that one out.
There is good reason for holding onto the null hypothesis. New science paradigms must be conservatively determined or else we become susceptible to wild and unsubstantiated science fads.

227. Latitude says:

getting funnier….. 🙂
Now you guys are arguing about what is normal….
….when you let the crooks define normal

228. Plain Richard says:

Richard Betts did weigh in over at Bishop Hill by quoting an email from Doug to Doug (comment nr 110 or so).

229. Jenn Oates says:

I show a BBC vid to my students and it has a Met prognosticator saying that they’re right six days out of seven. Mebbe. But when they’re wrong, they’re really REALLY wrong. 🙂

230. Vuk
Good refinement to my graph. Perhaps it should now be relabelled the ‘fantasy’ graph because it ain’t going to happen!
tonyb

231. Carrick says:

There’s a bit of a discussion of Keenan’s post here.

232. Beta Blocker says:

Pamela Gray says: May 28, 2013 at 6:25 am “Two thoughts ….. ….. There is good reason for holding onto the null hypothesis. New science paradigms must be conservatively determined or else we become susceptible to wild and unsubstantiated science fads.”

Pamela, the two points you have made concerning natural variability, and your final conclusion, are crucial.
The two points explain why, if someone is an acolyte of the AGW industrial complex, these are the two most important counter-arguments which must be overcome — hence the overriding need on the part of alarmists to expunge the Medievel Warm Period from the historical climate record.

233. John Bills says:

Don’t feed troll Stokes!

234. Nick Stokes.
1880? As I say that’s incredibly short. Why does it stop around 1990?
A hot night in Inverness? you are obviously a fantasist
Incidentally 1975 and 1976 were probably our two finest summers so you were very lucky to have been here in 75. Are you coming over to watch the Aussies getting Walloped?
tonyb

235. Nick Stokes says:
May 28, 2013 at 3:36 am
“…fairly warm in … Australia.”
“I think it was (Melbourne’s) fourth warmest April ever.”

May 28, 2013 at 6:07 am
“Australia had its 5th warmest April.”
You have got to be kidding! What about the record lows that I recall were reported? You didn’t mention those.
Just from memory, I would say spring was about two months late, last winter not ending until at least November. It was cool all the way up to Christmas leaving us a very short summer, and the heat which normally remains oppressive till the third week of June was already breaking in April. But that was Sydney. YMMV.

236. ralfellis says:

richard telford says: May 27, 2013 at 8:52 am
The salary of academics is not dependent on their opinions – a concept known as academic freedom.
___________________________________
I have debated with academics on many occasions, and not one will go more than a gnat’s cock away from established concepts and structures. Academics are afraid of peer ridicule and of losing their grants, and thus scientific and historical change is always glacially incremental and extremely cautious.
You might say that caution is a good thing, because we have all been ‘taught to be cautious’, but it also produces group-think, cabal-belligerence and a bunker-mentality. And there is no academic freedom in a group-think cabal that launches vicious attacks on anyone who puts their head above the scientific parapet.
.

237. John Bills
Nick Stokes is not a troll. He is brave enough to come here to the lions den and post competent data and argue his case. We may not agree with him but we are in danger of all singing from the same hymn sheet like at SKS and Real Climate if we can not deal with him.
tonyb

238. Jimbo says:

Jimbo says:
May 27, 2013 at 9:24 am
What should people expect as we came out of the Little Ice Age? Then there’s the ‘significant(?)’ rise between 2910 to 1940 when co2 was well below the ‘safe’ level.

I meant:
“…..rise between 1910 to 1940 when co2 was well below the ‘safe’ level.”

239. philincalifornia says:

Well there you go Margaret “I can’t even comprehend the null hypothesis” Hardman.
She entered this blog with stridency and pomposity and a supercilious lauding over its country bumpkin inhabitants …..
….. and then found she didn’t qualify.
Please don’t be so noisy on your way out love. People are thinking in here.

240. Scott Basinger says:

“Nick Stokes is not a troll. He is brave enough to come here to the lions den and post competent data and argue his case. We may not agree with him but we are in danger of all singing from the same hymn sheet like at SKS and Real Climate if we can not deal with him.”

241. Scott Scarborough says:

Does this mean when someone asks us “has the earth warmed over the last century” we can say “NO!”

242. Theo Goodwin says:

Scott Basinger says:
May 28, 2013 at 9:20 am
Nick Stokes says:
May 27, 2013 at 11:48 am
“I wish posts like this would simply state their argument. There’s a big bold heading saying:
“Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable”

And if you follow the link to BH, there’s a long ramble from Doug Keenan on his opinions about the meaning of statistical significance, and confused discussion in the House of Lords.”
He is a smart guy and he does have things to contribute. But at times he cannot help himself.

243. John Bills says:

You are right, NickStokes isn’t a troll, he is a racehorse.

244. Latitude says:

Scott Scarborough says:
May 28, 2013 at 10:35 am
Does this mean when someone asks us “has the earth warmed over the last century” we can say “NO!”
====================
pretty much
The claim is that the earth has warmed 1/2 a degree…
…when there was a 2 degree spread on what normal is
If you move the normal line up…just 1/2 degree….etc

245. Nick Stokes says:
May 28, 2013 at 6:07 am
climatereason says: May 28, 2013 at 4:33 am
“Its ok, you can relax. It seems that Melbourne did not experience its 4th warmest April ever (in its very short record)”
Tony, I believe it did. I think you are looking at the list of which days were warmest in the month. Anyway, max temps were 1C above normal, min 1.5 above. Australia had its 5th warmest April.”
According to this
http://www.accuweather.com/en/au/melbourne/26216/april-weather/26216?monyr=4/1/2013
Melbourne exceeded the historical avg high by 1F on the 8th and 27th, 2F on the 28th. For the rest of the month daily highs were mostly in the 10F to 20+F below hist. avg. Daily lows exceeded HA by 4F on the 13th, 3F on the 26th, 1F on the 27th and 28th. The rest of the month was at or below HA, although not as dramatically as the daily highs. I would never claim Accuweather as a most authoritative source but something seems to be wrong with this picture.

246. DavidG says:

It’s ‘cat amongst the canaries’, Anthony, not pigeons!:] Here’s an amusing bit of hysteria.
[snip – reposting entire news articles from the Guardian is a copyright violation, use an excerpt combined with a link – Anthony]

247. Brendan H says:

GeeJam: ‘WHAT COUNTRY, RIGHT NOW, IN THE WORLD, IS SIGNIFICANTLY WARMER THAN IT NORMALLY IS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR?’
Well, right now the weather where I live is pretty Arctic, or in our case Antarctic, but New Zealand has been experiencing an anomalously warm Autumn this year.
Everybody says so, and the official figures agree: parts of the country have been more than 1.2 deg C above the April average, and across the country as a whole, temperatures were 0.7 deg C above the 1971-2010 April average.
http://www.niwa.co.nz/sites/default/files/nzcu_may_2013.pdf
I don’t think it’s very surprising, though, that if some parts of the world are colder than normal, other parts will be warmer than normal.

248. Nigel S says:

DavidG says: May 28, 2013 at 11:14 am It’s ‘cat amongst the canaries’,
Anthony Watts, being the cat’s wiskers, has it right of course. This post may be the canary in the coal mine for the Met Office though.

249. Stephen Richards says:

DavidG says:
May 28, 2013 at 11:14 am
It’s ‘cat amongst the canaries’, Anthony, not pigeons!:
Among pigeons where I was born.

250. Dave Wendt says: May 28, 2013 at 11:12 am
“I would never claim Accuweather as a most authoritative source but something seems to be wrong with this picture.”

You’re right. The daily temperatures look right, but the averages are crazy. 84F in early April??? Maybe they are looking ahead.
Here is the correct version. Ave max for April is 20.3C – about 68.5F. And here’s the daily story.

251. Mike Jonas says:

Stephen Wilde – Thanks for the link. I had missed it at the time. I’ve read it and will think about it. Some parts seem to have merit, some seem dubious, but this thread isn’t the place to discuss it. The subject will come up again many times, no doubt.

252. M Courtney says:

Agnostic says at May 28, 2013 at 4:24 am…
Spot on. Absolutely correct.
The confusion amongst some (and some who should know better) arises from the false idea that the MET office has admitted that there is now no warming trend. They have not said that. It would be obviously untrue.
They have found that the warming trend is better explained by Keenan’s model than the model they had been using. The model they had been using could not explain the warming without some factor that is outside the known natural variation.
Keenan’s model needs nothing but natural variation to explain the observed warming.
And the MET office admits that Keenan’s model is a better fit.
So if you want to believe that something other than natural variation has occurred and is occurring, well, you may so believe.
But that is a faith position. That is not a scientific viewpoint.
You no longer need to imagine extra factors; CO2 overwhelming the historical feedbacks, the aliens from the Kraken Awakes or anything else that you can sell to Hollywood. It is no longer required.
AGW may be right but it is no longer realistic.
Unless you can show that Keenan’s model does not explain the observed warming by natural variation alone.

253. William Astley says:
May 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm
I recently noticed the cooling in Antarctica. Earlier I made this comment elsewhere….
goldminor says:
28 May 2013 at 6:32 pm
Yes, but it is a warm cold. The other day I was looking at the NSDIC graph of Antarctica sea ice extent. The graph started from 1979 to the present. This last summers sea ice melt shows close to being a record since 1979 for the least melting in the time frame of the graph. I do not see this being talked about. Plus, in looking at those 34 years, there is a distinct cooling trend that has been building through the entire series, less summer loss with more winter gain. I was arguing with a warmist about the poles and that led me to take a longer look at current info. This also made me wonder ‘Does the South Pole lead the way by cooling first, which is then followed by cooling in the NH years later?’.

254. “Uh oh, the Met Office has set the cat amongst the pigeons.”
We’ll see. I’m kind of with Tallbloke on this one, almost certain to be ignored by the mainstream news media. Mr. Keenan’s article suggests that at least three people should already have been forced to tender their resignations: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Baroness Verma; Met Office Chief Executive Officer, John Hirst; and Met Office Chief Scientist, Julia Slingo. It doesn’t take much to predict that nothing will happen and that these three will continue to do what ever they want regardless of legality for as long as they wish. There doesn’t seem to be any force of accountability with the Met Office at all, too bad for us all, not just in the UK. Crooks far and wide are emboldened by these types of outcomes.
W^3

255. Nick Stokes:
“Oddly enough, I was there through the summer of 1975. A beautiful warm summer.”
So you admit you like it warm Nick. Glad to hear it – that means you must be rather happy with the tiny amount of warming we’ve had since the end of the 19th century.
BTW I’d like to say that I don’t think Nick is a troll. He’s just polite and persistent. I hate the way any blog, be it alarmist or sceptic, describes anyone they don’t agree with as a ‘troll’. Debate with people from the ‘other side’ is what keeps us constantly enquiring and constantly unearthing the fallacies behind CAGW. Genuine scientific discovery is all about disagreement and debate with those in Camp Consensus.

256. Nick Milner on May 27, 2013 at 7:54 am
It’s an interesting essay but what are we to take away from it? That statistically speaking the planet isn’t actually warming after all? This seemed to be the sceptical argument from the early days but over the years hasn’t it moderated to be more along the lines of “we agree that the planet has warmed but we disagree as to the proportion that is man-made?” Is that now no longer the case? Are we, for example, to assume that the recently lauded low climate sensitivity studies are invalidated and the sensitivity should really be 0?
I ask because it looks like the “sceptical view” (if such a thing can be said to exist with any broad agreement) can’t make it’s mind up what it thinks, as long as it’s not what “the other guys” think, and you can bet that “they” will point this out.
[. . .]

– – – – – – –
Nick Milner,
Your comment stimulates an overview of what skepticism can be viewed as wrt climate science.
There are skeptics (call them skeptic type #1) who claim certainty in the theory that when CO2 from burning fossil fuels is added to the Earth’s atmosphere then there must be some surface temperature warming on a transient and / or a steady state basis; with these type #1 skeptics there are some who maintain the caveat that all other climate dynamics/factors must remain equal and also there are some others of these type #1 skeptics who do not use that caveat in their position. What makes type #1 skeptics be skeptics is their finding of minor warming from CO2 from burning fossil fuels and / or any warming is beneficial to life (not bad like CAGWists claim).
There are also skeptics (call them skeptic type #2) who maintain there are not to date any statistically determinable climate signal variations of significance on any timescale that preclude a natural explanation of observed climate data.
There are other skeptical positions, of course. Just considering type #1 & #2 skeptics, I think they are not fundamentally inconsistent with each other. One could hold both rationally.
I tend to find the skeptic position #2 reasonably established. However, I do not find skeptic position # 1 reasonably established because it merely presumes without unequivical observational verification that actual warming has been caused on any timescale by CO2 from natural sources or from fossil fuel sources. Therefore I conclude that skeptic #1 position is still untested in reality .
John

257. Elizabeth says:

I think Nick should definitely be NOT told to go away from this site. These guys are the best evidence of the stupidity of the AGW “theory” which is not working. They only help to support the skeptic case (over time).. Others are Telford, Flannery etc. Unfortunately there all Australian and reflect very poorly on the Australian Higher Education system destroyed by Dawkins in the 80’s

258. John Whitman says: May 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm
“it merely presumes without unequivical observational verification that actual warming has been caused on any timescale by CO2 from natural sources or from fossil fuel sources.”

I think that is a common but wrong argument. AGW says that burning C will block IR and cause warming of a certain degree. That is based on IR physics etc. If we burn C and see about that amount of warming, then that is consistent with the theory. No better can be asked of it. If it turns out that random variation could have caused the warming, that does not demolish the theory – it’s still true that things are happening as it predicted.

259. Myrrh says:

GeeJam says:
May 28, 2013 at 5:13 am
And as for traditional ‘May Blossom’ (Hawthorn), it’s only just coming out – which is unusually late.
“Don’t cast a clout ’til may be out.” Sensitive flower doesn’t like the cold.

260. ThinkingScientist says:

I have diffculty with the statement of Richard Telford “The 1 in the ARIMA(3,1,0) is needed because the data are non-stationary – the mean is not constant – the temperature is increasing.”
In my understanding of spatial and time series analysis, it is not correct to state the data are stationary (or non-stationary). Stationarity is an assumption about the data that influences our choice of model. It is perfectly reasonable to have a stationary model that exhibits considerable periods of increasing or decreasing values and such systems are found throughout nature, including earth sciences. Depending on your background this might be described as “persistence” or “temporal dependency”, or some other terminology.
For those who are uncertain of the importance of this, consider a simple periodic system (imagine a noisy sine wave). A noisy sine wave is stationary, in other words the long term average is about zero. Then imagine that you can only observe a short time period of this system (less than one quarter of the period). Then you will see a time series that appears to have a trend, the trend by simple statistics is apparently highly significant, but if you were able to observe a much longer interval it would become evident that the data is simply swinging around a constant long term mean. If the temporal scale of the processes driving climate and temperature are natural but act over longer periods then then available time period of measurements then analysis of that short period will give a spurious significance to the assumption of a non-stationary model.
If you now consider say a 2,000 year temperature reconstruction (such as that by Loehle) and observe a medieval warm period and little ice age, but the temperature on average has not really gone up or down overall, just oscillated around a constant, then it is hard to claim that temperature rise over the last 150 year temperature record is therefore non-stationary and has a staitstically significant trend. This is why in the climategate emails it is so damning to read about “getting rid of the medieval warm period” and hence the absurd effrots to defned the indefensible in the form of the Mann “Hockey Stick”: if you can get rid of the medieval warm period (and the little ice age) then there is little to stop you choosing a non-stationary model and blaming CO2.
If you don’t know all the natural processes, lags and mechanisms driving long term trends such as medieval warm period/little ice age then an argument of AGW cannot be claimed as being “the only explanation” when clearly natural variation is large and the recent warming is within the bounds of what is known currently about historical temperature changes. And the statement that the “data are non-stationary” is putting the cart before the horse. Data are simply measurements – it is models that are stationary or non-stationary.

261. Nick Stokes on May 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm

John Whitman says: May 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm
“it merely presumes without unequivical observational verification that actual warming has been caused on any timescale by CO2 from natural sources or from fossil fuel sources.”

I think that is a common but wrong argument. AGW says that burning C will block IR and cause warming of a certain degree. That is based on IR physics etc. If we burn C and see about that amount of warming, then that is consistent with the theory. No better can be asked of it. If it turns out that random variation could have caused the warming, that does not demolish the theory – it’s still true that things are happening as it predicted.

– – – – – – –
Nick Stokes,
The scientific dialog is not resolved on the issue. Therefore reasonable people in the community can and are pursuing evidence both pro and con. It is not settled. I do not dispute that incremental CO2 has radiative properties and theoretically therefore may have capability of additional surface heating; what I think is that it is not reasonably established by unequivocal observational verifications that actual heating is caused due to the theory.
That is the way it should be now that the artificially enforced IPCC consensus has eroded sufficiently.
John

262. Bill_W says:

ThinkingScientist,
You make way too much sense. You must be in the pay of Big-Kochtopus or something or other.

263. milodonharlani says:

John Whitman says:
May 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm
———————————
I think that absorption by CO2 of energy radiated off the surface of the earth, which absorbed energy the excited gas molecules then radiate in all directions, is well established. Some of this radiation will travel back down toward the surface. This process delays the convection of the surface-reflected energy back out to space.
I also believe that the heating effect of one, two or three more CO2 molecules (up from three a century ago) per 10,000 molecules of dry air is trivial at best. The effect might be measurable, if not at a high level of statistical significance, in some conditions, such as the dry air of the arctic. But in the tropics, where there might be 400 water vapor molecules per 10,000, it’s possible that the net effect could even be cooling, but more likely any possible warming is simply swamped out.
The human contribution to increased CO2 is also negligible. To paraphrase Dr. Tim Ball, subject of a suit by Mann, “If climate were a car, its engine would be the sun and water vapo(u)r the transmission. CO2 would be at most one wheel, of which one lug nut might be man-made”, or words to that effect. My apologies if the paraphrase be too loose.

264. milodonharlani says:

Maybe the Met gnomes have been shamed into greater truthiness by the blood on their hands of all the old people who died of exposure in Britain this winter.

265. Luther Wu says:

Nick Stokes on May 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm
“…If it turns out that random variation could have caused the warming, that does not demolish the theory – it’s still true that things are happening as it predicted.”
_____________________
Oh, really? How much of your warming predictions are “still true” this past 16 years, or so?

266. Latitude says:

Nick Stokes says:
May 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm
If it turns out that random variation could have caused the warming, that does not demolish the theory – it’s still true that things are happening as it predicted.
====
actually Nick, yes it does…..but that’s for another day
=========
Agnostic says:
May 28, 2013 at 4:24 am
@Nick Stokes:

267. Jantar says:

Scott Scarborough says:
May 28, 2013 at 10:35 am
Does this mean when someone asks us “has the earth warmed over the last century” we can say “NO!”

Not quite. It means there may have been some warming, or maybe not. But if there has been warming, it is insignificant when compared to natural variability.

268. Simon says:

There is a clear warming tend in the HadCRUT4 data which Doug Keenan mostly removed by differencing and analysing the residuals. This is the “1” in ARIMA(3,1,0).

269. Richard D says:

I ran accross this quote by Patrick J. Michaels and couldn’t help but think of Richard Telford’s inane response to Anthony up-thread.
“Your scientists said exactly what you paid them to tell you.”
“In Big Science, money is power. Money is publications. Money is promotion and tenure, television time, awards, rewards and a permanent ticket out of coach. There’s simply no incentive for scientists to do anything but perpetuate their issues.” Patrick J. Michaels

270. Tancred says:

Busted!

271. Latitude says: May 28, 2013 at 6:12 pm
“actually Nick, yes it does…..but that’s for another day

Well, the general fallacy is that the Met office is claiming a linear fit. They aren’t. They are determining a trend, which is just a summary statistic, like variance. And they are showing it is significantly different from zero. That’s a perfectly proper, orthodox procedure, done frequently by people in all fields. There have been many such analyses at WUWT. And so showing that you can get a better fit with something else is irrelevant. They weren’t claiming a fit in the first place. They were testing a trend for significance.
But the general issue, relevant here, is the role of statistical significance. It’s needed if you’re making a deduction from a population property. Then you have to be sure it couldn’t be just chance.
But if you are womderting whether some population is behaving in accordance with an expectation derived from some independent reasoning, then it is not a requirement, because you are not deducing from the population statistic.
Suppose you have a coin that you have weighted so you expect it to show heads 75% of the time. So you toss 8 times and get 6 heads. That’s not statistically significantly different from 4. But it’s consistent with your expectation. There’s no better result you could have got. You can feel more confident. It’s true that showing it’s significantly different from an unweighted coin would prove, well, that. But you knew it was weighted. What you really want from further testing is quantification of the bias.

272. Elizabeth says:
May 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm
I think Nick should definitely be NOT told to go away from this site. These guys are the best evidence of the stupidity of the AGW “theory” which is not working. They only help to support the skeptic case (over time).. Others are Telford, Flannery etc. Unfortunately there all Australian and reflect very poorly on the Australian Higher Education system destroyed by Dawkins in the 80′s
____________________________________________________________________________
I think the Australian Higher Education system was destroyed well before the 80’s. I reckon it was on a path of destruction in the 60’s gauging the hard line communist English teacher that I had.

273. Steve B says: May 28, 2013 at 10:07 pm
“I think the Australian Higher Education system was destroyed well before the 80′s. I reckon it was on a path of destruction in the 60′s gauging the hard line communist English teacher that I had.”

You can’t use me as evidence there. I preceded both those perils.

274. Patrick says:

Is Nick Stokes Australian? If this is true, it’s clear evidence the once “lucky country” is well and truly rooted beyond repair.

275. John Bills says: May 28, 2013 at 11:51 pm
“Nick Stokes, what is your opinion on the Foster and Rahmsdorf paper…”

Well, they are doing what needs to be done. It’s clear that the residuals are not random but reflect ENSO etc. Anything that can predict them using known quantities is likely to be better than modelling them as noise. I’ve seen criticism that the allowance for various effects isn’t perfect, but no analysis that says it’s better than doing nothing. And it makes the estimated trend more meaningful, since the residuals are closer to random.
I made a gadget here so you can see the F&R trends and CI limits.

276. John Bills says:

Nick Stokes,
So your opinion is: the recent “slowdown” in warming is the result of known natural factors.

277. John Bills says: May 29, 2013 at 1:17 am
“So your opinion is: the recent “slowdown” in warming is the result of known natural factors.”

I think it is due to a preponderance of La Nina years, which would be accounted for in a F&R analysis.

278. John Bills says:

Nick Stokes,
Is the warming that we have seen from 1980 – 1998, before the “slowdown”, due to preponderance of El Niño years?

279. John Bills says:
280. Nick Stokes says:

John Bills says: May 29, 2013 at 2:02 am
“Is the warming that we have seen from 1980 – 1998, before the “slowdown”, due to preponderance of El Niño years?”

It must have an effect. That was indeed a warming, now we have a ‘slowdown’ (plateau). That’s what happens when natural variations overlay a forced uptrend.

281. John Bills says:

Looking at the MEI in the link I posted I now understand why FR didn’t do their analysis back to 1950.

282. Agnostic says:

@Nick
“Well, the general fallacy is that the Met office is claiming a linear fit. They aren’t. ”
Yes they are, that’s the model chosen to claim statistical significance by them. That’s what DK is objecting to. He rightly says it should be acknowledged that other trendless statistical models potentially fit better, even if they themselves are not correct either.
If you go over to Bishop Hill, you’ll see that Richard Betts has posted a response by Doug McNeall. Here
“They were testing a trend for significance.”
Where D McNeall is saying that the correct response to the question of satatistical significance is “that is not a valid question”, to which DK responds “it surely is!”
“Suppose you have a coin that you have weighted so you expect it to show heads 75% of the time. ”
That’s exactly the problem with the approach to statistical significance that DK is objecting to. If you make assumptions about what you what you are testing, you have to justify that against the null. You have assumed that the coin is weighted, but you don’t know by how much (even if you think you have a good idea), or even if it really is. You don’t get to assume something against assuming nothing until you have shown that the assumption does better than assuming nothing.
If you have a normal coin and you throw heads 3 times in a row, then a further 2 more times, you can say that its less likely that you would get 5 heads in a row than 3. But you don’t know if that sequence is part of a much longer sequence in which it’s likely that 5 heads in a row would occur eventually. That’s why there are rules governing how to describe what you see in statistics to stop you fooling yourself. We invent causal relationships with data that may not necessarily be true, and this is especially true when we have something in mind, such as increasing levels of CO2 and industrialisation. The mind easily makes intuitive associations and correlations, and creates plausible stories to explain them, but this has time and time again proven to be unreliable. Statisticians understand this and their relationship with data is such that they try to avoid being fooled by it. Really smart people, with high levels of expertise in their specific area, are constantly fooled by this human cognitive problem.
This is why Doug McNeall cannot come out and say that the warming is statistically significant. He tries to argue that the warming is “significant”, but that was not what the question tabled in Parliament was about. Nor even, from the point of view of not being fooled by your own data, is necessarily “significant”. “Significant” compared to what? Yamal tree rings?

283. Lord Donoughue of Ashton says:

I am the Labour Peer who embarked on this exercise. I am not a scientist nor statistician, though with some background in economics. Became engaged for three reasons. First I was appalled by the terrible energy costs inflicted on the poor. Second, that I realised when talking to Green alarmists that I was dealing with a faith cult not interested in facts. Third, that in Parliament and the rest of Europe we had launched a huge energy strategy, with enormous implications for our economic competitiveness, which needed stronger justification than I had encountered. At first I believed the ministerial assurances that there was a total scientific consensus for the alarmist predictions and when, with the help of sites such as this I saw this was not true, I became more concerned. As a former adviser to the tv series Yes Prime Minister, I am aware but wary of political schemes to con the public, especially where some of the proponents, as those conducting Parliaments Climate Change Committees, may have financial interests.
My worries grew as I asked my Question (there was no confused discussion as one of your bloggers suggest – just a straight question and a series of waffle responses, not an Answer as is required by Lords custom). In 28 years in Parliament I do not recall such obfuscation. The fact that most of the non answers came from the Met Office and not the responsible Department of Business, raised my concerns.
One blogger suggests that heads should roll. That perhaps applies to the Met Office , but not to the relevant minister, Baroness Verma. She signed responses to a technical Question. Ministers are usually, as I was, generalists, not technical experts and have to trust their officials to give proper and honest replies, as the Ministerial Code requires. When it became clear that they were ducking the issue, she ensured that the sixth Question received the reply which the MO clearly, and for understandable reasons, exposed in this blog, did not want to give.
I began with the short Question whether the claimed rise in temperatures was significant because that seemed the right place to start. It published their assumption. Then it was possible to probe the basis for that – with a model which might or might not be adequate to support the huge economic and social implications which governments of both parties have accepted and imposed.
I shall start from the basis that this is the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich (including some of my friends) since the enclosures of the eighteenth century. It beggars belief that my Labour Party introduced it, with such unquestioning good will).
Whether Parliament or Government will follow this issue up and question the sandy basis on which their huge superstructure of energy reconstruction and massive financial imposts on industry and the community is built, remains to be seen. It will not be easy , since questioning a self righteous faith is never easy. But I propose to persist, despite obfuscation from departments and moral disapproval from political colleagues. In this I am greatly helped by brilliant Doug Keenan (who I have never yet met, but will) and the GWPF. Suggested Lords Questions, brief and factual, which might extract helpful factual information, on this site, will be helpful. My general policy position was stated in the Lords Queens Speech on the Tuesday of that debate. Warming alarmists have already consigned me, a Catholic, to Hell, so correspondence will find me at that address.l
Bernard Donoughue

284. Stephen Wilde says:

Many thanks to Lord Donoughue for starting the questioning process at Parliamentary level and contributing here.

285. milodonharlani on May 28, 2013 at 5:24 pm

@John Whitman says:
May 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I think that absorption by CO2 of energy radiated off the surface of the earth, which absorbed energy the excited gas molecules then radiate in all directions, is well established. Some of this radiation will travel back down toward the surface. This process delays the convection of the surface-reflected energy back out to space.
I also believe that the heating effect of one, two or three more CO2 molecules (up from three a century ago) per 10,000 molecules of dry air is trivial at best. The effect might be measurable, if not at a high level of statistical significance, in some conditions, such as the dry air of the arctic. But in the tropics, where there might be 400 water vapor molecules per 10,000, it’s possible that the net effect could even be cooling, but more likely any possible warming is simply swamped out.
The human contribution to increased CO2 is also negligible. To paraphrase Dr. Tim Ball, subject of a suit by Mann, “If climate were a car, its engine would be the sun and water vapo(u)r the transmission. CO2 would be at most one wheel, of which one lug nut might be man-made”, or words to that effect. My apologies if the paraphrase be too loose.

– – – – – –
milodonharlani,
A balanced discourse is open now, the discourse the IPCC led consensus supporters often discouraged and sometimes even tried to block (see CG1 & CG2).
My thanks go to Anthony and other bloggers for their venues where we can freely have the balanced discourse.
John

286. Nick Stokes says:

Lord Donoughue,
Thanks for taking the time to respond here.
“there was no confused discussion as one of your bloggers suggest “
That was I. It was my first reading and I didn’t properly distinguish between what was written and what was spoken. But it was confused, starting with your first question:
“To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the latest climate figures from the Met Office; whether those figures suggest there has been any significant global warming since (1) 1998, and (2) 1880; and whether they have any plans to amend their policies to meet carbon emission targets in the light of those figures.[HL2728]”
“Significant” could mean many things. It seems Doug Keenan meant “statistically significant”. That comes at various levels. 95% is common, but it should be specified.
Baroness Verma responded:
“The latest update of the HadCRUT4 global temperature dataset, produced by the Met Office and the Climatic Research Unit, shows a long-term upward trend in average global temperature, although on a shorter timescale, global average temperature has not increased significantly since around 1998. The HadCRUT4 dataset shows that global temperatures have increased by about 0.8 degrees centigrade since around 1880.”
followed by some sensible and appropriate discussion on the nature of variability. Now she too should have specified the confidence level and perhaps the noise model. And yes, she did not quantify the uncertainty re 1880.
That reluctance is understandable. While it is reasonable to think of a single trend figure since 1998, it is clear that carbon emissions have varied greatly since 1880, and a more meaningful estimate could be achieved by a more elaborate model. It seems DK had one behind his back (a silly one), but if that is what you are trying to elicit, your first question made no mention of it.

287. That is strange. From my perspective, I do not see anything confusing regarding this question, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the latest climate figures from the Met Office; whether those figures suggest there has been any significant global warming since (1) 1998, and (2) 1880; and whether they have any plans to amend their policies to meet carbon emission targets in the light of those figures.[HL2728]“.
@ Nick…I see your response as to why it might be confusing, but it seems to me that you are merely playing with word constructs. Significant does not mean statistically significant, or Lord Donoughue would have said statistically significant in the first place. He used the word significant in the sense of ‘Will this potential significant warming trend have adverse effects on the population and the world population’. That is the meaning and intent as far as I can determine. His statement as a whole, is asking the underlying question ‘Being that none of your models have predicted real observed conditions in Earth dynamics, why are you pressing on for carbon control when there is as yet no proof of your being correct regarding the effects of dangerous atmospheric changes from rising co2’.

288. Phil. says:

climatereason says:
May 28, 2013 at 8:26 am
Nick Stokes.
1880? As I say that’s incredibly short. Why does it stop around 1990?
A hot night in Inverness? you are obviously a fantasist
Incidentally 1975 and 1976 were probably our two finest summers so you were very lucky to have been here in 75. Are you coming over to watch the Aussies getting Walloped?

Indeed they were Tony, but the game between Lancashire and Derbyshire at Buxton on June 2nd 1975 was stopped by snow! I recall it well as I was planning to watch the game that afternoon. 🙁
http://www.espncricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/117900/117949.jpg

289. goldminor says: May 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm
“Significant does not mean statistically significant, or Lord Donoughue would have said statistically significant in the first place.”

That’s the confusion. the question was whether there was significant global warming since 1880. The Met said about 0.8°C, which with your interpretation is a direct and relevant answer. Yet Lord D says “It published their assumption”. That sounds statistical. Doug Keenan claimed
“A proper Answer to the above Parliamentary Question must not only state Yes or No, it must also specify what statistical model was used to determine significance.”
Sounds like that’s what he thinks it meant.

290. Lord Donoughue of Ashton on May 29, 2013 at 10:31 am
[. . .]
My worries grew as I asked my Question (there was no confused discussion as one of your bloggers suggest – just a straight question and a series of waffle responses, not an Answer as is required by Lords custom). In 28 years in Parliament I do not recall such obfuscation. The fact that most of the non answers came from the Met Office and not the responsible Department of Business, raised my concerns.
[. . .]

– – – – – –
Lord Donoughue,
For the Met Office to be held accountable for finally answering your question(s) in a clear and accountable way must have been traumatic for them. Traumatic since they have been used to being fawningly handled by the MSM and gov’t inquiries for decades. The need to give a straight forward and definitive answer to you must have caused confused disarray in their group think alarmist ideology.
I am American and thus cannot fully appreciate the political situation that you discuss, but it looks like a positive step for increasing the auditing and accountability of gov’t climate science related i situations. Thank you for your participation.
We Americans must press our NASA to make GISS show similar direct accountability as you have done with the Met Office.
John

291. RoyFOMR says:

Well done Lord Donoughue; it must have taken an extraordinary level of honest-bravery to doggedly persist when asking your series of questions. Thank you .
That you’re a Labour Peer came as a welcome surprise to me. I’d written off my, once, party of choice, as a bunch of Yes-Persons (I exempt MP Graham Stringer from this prejudice) who were able to suspend their higher faculties by the simple expedient of wagging their tails in time to the galley drum-roll while never questioning why those distant rocks kept getting closer!
You’ve restored part of my faith in the UK democratic process.
Sadly, it’s the role of the HOL rather than the HOC that seems to be best able to steer the SS UK away from the Climate-Charybdis that awaits us unless we cut the ropes that, successive X-factor driven governments, have lashed to the wheel.
As much as I applaud your actions and determination I’m saddened that scientific ‘peer-review’ should have been overtaken by ‘Peer-review’ as a mechanism for societal improvement.
Nonetheless, and once again, thank you Sir.

292. Venter says:

If the rise is not statistically significant there is then no basis for any action as the rise falls within natural variability that has happened for centuries. So it is every bit relevant to question the number and model used for calculating the significance. The fact that there have been 5 questions obfuscated, unaswered with evasive and politically weaselling tactics show that the Met Office do not have any basis to their claims. Based on their assertion of significance billions of dollars affecting millions of people are being spent in the name of climate change and laws have been enacted. So if that entire edifice is based upon sand and lies, it has to be exposed. Thanks for your efforts on this Lord Donoughue.

293. Nick Stokes says: May 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm

[…] I didn’t properly distinguish between what was written and what was spoken. But it was confused, starting with your first question: […]

Could you possibly explain to me what it is that you do not understand (or perhaps “confuses” you) about the phrases I’ve bolded below:

I began with the short Question whether the claimed rise in temperatures was significant because that seemed the right place to start. It published their assumption. Then it was possible to probe the basis for that – with a model which might or might not be adequate to support the huge economic and social implications which governments of both parties have accepted and imposed.

I’ve watched you in action for quite some time, Nick; and I fully appreciate your superb mastery of the arts of obfuscation, misdirection and diversionary nit-pickery. But (IMHO) this does not warrant your chastising of a 28-year veteran of the British parliamentary system – and its longstanding traditions – simply because he asked his questions his way and not yours (or that of Doug McNeall, Julia Slingo or Richard Betts for that matter)!

294. Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001) says: May 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm
“Could you possibly explain to me what it is that you do not understand…”

Hilary, I said very clearly that it was his question in the HoL, not his post here, that was confused. I offer no judgment on the latter. His question asked:
“whether those [Hadcrut4] figures suggest there has been any significant global warming since (1) 1998, and (2) 1880;”
“whether they consider a rise in global temperature of 0.8 degrees celsius since 1880 to be significant.”
The confusion is, what does “significant” mean. Your view?
Goldminor said above it doesn’t mean statistically significant, and if it did it would say so. Paul_K at Lucia’s likewise. The MO seems to have tried to cover both. But Doug K, who’s pulling the strings here, says firmly
“A proper Answer to the above Parliamentary Question must not only state Yes or No, it must also specify what statistical model was used to determine significance.”
Gold is right. If they meant that they should say it clearly.
In the second question
“how many years of non-warming they consider would constitute a long-term trend.”
Remember, MO scientists have to try to make sense of this.

295. A new discussion board has been set up at Bishop Hill. It is “Questions to suggest to Lord Donoughue“.
Nick Stokes, the Questions are asked by Lord Donoughue (not me). Moreover, I first contacted Lord Donoughue, to offer my services as a statistical advisor, after Question HL3050 was answered. This is stated in my post.
RoyFOMR, that is a great comment about “peer review” being overtaken by “Peer review”!

296. Nick Stokes says: May 29, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Hilary, I said very clearly […]

Sorry, Nick, but one thing I’ve never seen you do is “say [anything] very clearly”. Your series of posts in this thread is no exception.

it was his question in the HoL, not his post here, that was confused

FYI, a “question” cannot be “confused” – regardless of where it is asked or by whom.

Remember, MO scientists have to try to make sense of this

I certainly do hope that their powers of comprehension of the English language are not as limited as you seem to think they must be!

297. Douglas J. Keenan says: May 29, 2013 at 10:35 pm
“Nick Stokes, the Questions are asked by Lord Donoughue (not me).”

Are you telling me that:
“further to the Written Answer by Baroness Verma on 8 November 2012 (WA 224-5) stating that the statistical model used for global temperatures was a linear trend with an autoregressive process, what is their assessment of the likelihood of this model having superiority to a driftless third-order autoregressive integrated model in measuring and forecasting global temperatures.[HL4414]”
is just something he phrased himself?

298. Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001) says: May 29, 2013 at 10:41 pm
“Sorry, Nick, but one thing I’ve never seen you do is “say [anything] very clearly”. “

Hilary, I said:
“But it was confused, starting with your first question:”
and I quoted the question, including HL number. How is it not clear that I was referring to that question?
As to confused question, I asked you if you thought its use of “significant” meant “statistically significant”. People answering need to know. Your English skills may help. Any suggestion?

299. Latimer Alder says:

@nick stokes

‘ I said very clearly that it was his question in the HoL, not his post here, that was confused. I offer no judgment on the latter. His question asked:
“whether those [Hadcrut4] figures suggest there has been any significant global warming since (1) 1998, and (2) 1880;”
“whether they consider a rise in global temperature of 0.8 degrees celsius since 1880 to be significant.”
The confusion is, what does “significant” mean. Your view?

Nick
This was what we call in UK a ‘scholarship level’ question.Nothing ‘confused’ about it at all – but very deliberately phrased. Think of it like the opening move in a game of chess. It is designed to get the Met Office to lay their cards about ‘significance’ on the table.
Possible answers: MO: No, it is not significant. BD: Under which model of significance?
MO: Yes: It is significant. BD: Under which model of significance?
MO; It is (or isn’t) significant under model abc. BD: Why that model and not xyz……?
..and we’re up and running.
A lot of Parliamentary stuff is played as a game. Donoughue, as an ex-Minister and adviser to a much-loved TV show knows how to play it as well as anybody.
Here’s a snatch of his work

Some believed it was a comedy show, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was really an early version of Reality TV…..

300. Agnostic says:

@Nick
Dude, the question didn’t ask for statistical significance, but the answer was that the warming was “statistically significant”. DK’s point is that once you say that you should also give the justification, and none was given.

301. Venter says:

@ Agnostic
It’s not that Nick does not know it. He is here to deliberately obfuscate, lie and defend anything done by the CAGW crowd. The mistake is in thinking that his intentions are genuine or honourable. Nothing can be far from the truth.

302. Latimer Alder says: May 30, 2013 at 12:57 am
“Nothing ‘confused’ about it at all – but very deliberately phrased. Think of it like the opening move in a game of chess. It is designed to get the Met Office to lay their cards about ‘significance’ on the table.”

Well, I’d prefer to think of it as confused. The game you describe is called gotcha.

303. Latimer Alder says:

@nick stokes

‘Well, I’d prefer to think of it as confused. The game you describe is called gotcha.’

Exactly right.
Carefully worded so that the Met Office were stuck between a rock and a hard place. And their serial obfuscation they tried to carry off shows that they knew they were caught and were just hoping he’d just go away.
Bad strategy. A seasoned campaigner doesn’t give up at the first hurdle. It just prolonged their agony and made the their torment more public.
And I guess they are now soiling their underwear waiting to see what his next salvo will be. If I were them I’d be very scared …wily Parliamentary fox Donoughue together with the sharp intellect of Keenan (think McSteve without the geniality) could be a very powerful combination.
Donoughue leads Met Office by One Set to Love.
PS – sorry if this is all more subtle than you are used to. But in our Parliament, these are the rules we play by. Yours may differ, but at least try to understand our game before criticising the players for not playing by rules that you are more familiar with.
Next week : Cricket!

304. Agnostic says:

@Venter
Be that as it may, his “devils advocacy” is most welcome. I agree with tonyb, he is not a troll, he is simply pedantic. He is knowledgable and technically astute, and he sometimes makes good points. He also normally avoids ad hom, although his characterisation of Doug Keenan’s emails and questions as being “confused” was unnecessarily condescending. Ensuring your argument is solid enough to “out-fox” his counters is important to ensure that you are certain of your facts and you aren’t fooling yourself.
I have learnt more from reasoned responses to Nick and those like him than I have from outraged proclamations of disdain for climate science and energy policy. I started out as firmly believing in CAGW and was converted by responses to those like Nick. You really need him to make the case to be sure of your own.
It might be exasperating at times, but his is as a reasonable voice in support of (C)AGW or the science advocating it as there is, and we should be hearing it.

305. Latimer Alder says: May 30, 2013 at 2:38 am
“PS – sorry if this is all more subtle than you are used to. But in our Parliament, these are the rules we play by. Yours may differ, but at least try to understand our game before criticising the players for not playing by rules that you are more familiar with.”

OK maybe for aficionados Keenan has played a blinder. Very clever, I guess. But why should I care about the result.

306. Venter says:

@agnostic,
Thanks for your response. I agree with your points but where I differ is ” reasonable “. When someone goes through every contortion in the book to justify every bad deed and every fraudulent act done by the CAGW believers, in my book I don’t classify it as reasonable. I call it as being wilful accessory to farudulent behaviour. For such people I have nothing but contempt.
Even Steve McIntyre, one of the calmest, sanest and most reasonable voices in the climate debate who strictly avoids calling anybody anything termed him as ” racehorse ” after the famous lawyer who would defend any bad deed. That tells a lot.

307. Latimer Alder says:

@nick stokes

OK maybe for aficionados Keenan has played a blinder. Very clever, I guess. But why should I care about the result.

There are about 65 million Brits for whom the performance of our Met Office is quite important. First we pay for them so we’d like to know they are doing a good job. But second they are major advisers to our Government in their policies about ‘climate change’ – which is coming increasingly to the fore in our politics. So their performance (or not) here has big implications for us.
And you should care since the UK Met office is a big contributor to the IPCC stuff that our government will take some notice of. And to the HADCRUx datasets. Seems like they may not have as much firm ground to stand on as they have led us to believe. And that clearly has global implications.
Three other points.
1. I think the credit lies mostly with Donoughue for this round. As he said in his piece above, he hadn’t even heard of Keenan before asking his first question. But a new Donoughue/Keenan axis would be very powerful.
2. It may be played as a ‘game’, but misleading Parliament is a career-ending crime for a politician or ‘civil servant’. The mandarins at the Met Office have a great deal to lose both personally, politically and professionally. So far their inept performance (the CRU defence of ‘shan’t tell you – ya boo!’) does not bode well for them.
3. But it ain’t over till it’s over. I scored it One Set to Love so far. And tennis can be up to 5 sets.
Stay tuned and see what happens next. It may take a while but there’s plenty of life left in this one.

308. Nick Stokes says:

Latimer,
“There are about 65 million Brits for whom the performance of our Met Office is quite important. First we pay for them so we’d like to know they are doing a good job.”
Fine. And if you ask questions designed to elicit information, in good faith, to get an informed response, I’m interested in the results too. But if questions are asked to achieve a gotcha – something a scientist said in response to a question designed to give limited information so the answer can be presented as something else, then I’m not interested, and I think you’ll find most of those 65 mil aren’t either. Even if it’s cleverly done.
I hasten to add that personally I don’t believe that was what Lord D was doing, at least in the early part. That’s your description. I think they were just poorly posed questions.

309. Margaret Hardman says:

Misleading parliament might have been a career ending event some time ago (see the Profumo Affair) but it is a charge bandied around ten a penny these days and it rarely seems to stick. I suspect there is barely a minister from the last twenty years who hasn’t, in some way, subtly or obviously, misled parliament. There’s always a get out – often plausible deniability. Donoughue is playing a politician’s game and the Met Office is trying to answer with science. As we’ve seen time and time again, when politics and science meet, the science suffers, gets ignored (see BSE, salmonella in eggs, foot and mouth, GMOs and, yes, climate change).

310. Latimer Alder says:

@nick stokes

Fine. And if you ask questions designed to elicit information, in good faith, to get an informed response, I’m interested in the results too’

‘Climate change’ and our response to it is about politics. Our Climate Change Act is about politics. Kyoto is about politics, Copenhagen and its failure is about politics.
You really must be living on another planet if you expect something else.
BTW – the Met Office is a publicly funded institution. It is responsible and accountable to Parliament for what it does and how it spends our money. That is how democracy (sort of) works in our country. We do not (in theory at least) hand over loads of cash to unaccountable agencies and leave them to get on with it.

311. Latimer Alder says:

@margaret hardman

As we’ve seen time and time again, when politics and science meet, the science suffers, gets ignored (see BSE, salmonella in eggs, foot and mouth, GMOs and, yes, climate change).

Umm – not sure that those are a list of things where ‘the science has been ignored’ at all. In many cases they are ones where the ‘science’ has been taken far too seriously and vast over-reactions have ensued.
I seem to remember scientific predictions IN 1996 of over 500,000 CJD deaths already in the pipeline from eating BSE infected beef. There have been 147. Less than 1/3000th as many.
For Climate Change, we have the disastrous self-harming CCA..passed in 2008 with scientific advice. And yet even then there had been no GAT increase for 10 years,. We had the IPCC in 2007 telling us to expect 0.2C rise per decade. And nothing at all has happened.
Sometimes, it seems, that ignoring ‘scientific advice’ is the best thing that we can do, Especially when it is all whizzed around in the melting pot of politics and grants and alarmism and saving the world and subsidies and careers and NGOs and The Team and…..
And honest brokers are hard to identify.
Juts keep on relying on the data, not the scientist’s theories would be my best advice to the pollies.

312. Latimer Alder says:

@margaret hardman
The Met Office certainly has commercial obligations to recoup some of its costs. And the ‘trading fund’ model it operates under assumes that it will be able to cover more than half of them from outside sources. But that arrangement merely covers how it is funded, not its governance
It is still responsible and accountable for what it does to Parliament.

313. Margaret Hardman says:

@Latimer Alder
I agree it is accountable. Some of the media criticism has been justified in recent years but a lot of it has been whipped up to fill space. I was responding to the tax payer coughs up for it side.
This outlines its governance (I assume it is the most recent version, 2007)
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/6/4/Met_Office_Framework_document.pdf
Page 13 outlines parliamentary accountability of the Met Office.
And before anyone asks, I don’t work for either parliament, any political party nor for the Met Office.

314. Latimer Alder says:

@margaret hardman
I agree that the Met Office covers a lot of its operating costs by selling its services. But it is not a truly commercial operation.
1. The guarantor/stakeholder of last resort is the government – it does not have the same commercial discipline or risks as a private organisation. It cannot go bankrupt.
2. Operating costs are not the same as total costs. We pay for the buildings and computers and a whole lot of other stuff.

315. Nick Stokes says: May 29, 2013 at 11:15 pm

“As to confused question, I asked you if you thought its use of “significant” meant “statistically significant”. People answering need to know. Your English skills may help. Any suggestion?”

Sure, I could to try to help you – although I have absolutely no idea what difference it might make to the price of tea in China, nor how it will assist you in responding to the many questions you’ve already ducked and/or to which you’ve pretended to reply with your typical non-responsive lack of clarity and context. You would probably be better off doing some research into the relevant parliamentary procedures and traditions.
But before we even consider going down that road, let’s review the bidding, so to speak.
I know that context is not a concept of which you are particularly fond, so I trust you’ll appreciate the brevity of the quotes I cite below. Your opening “bid” was:
[Nick Stokes May 27, 2013 at 11:48 am:]

“confused discussion in the House of Lords.”

As snotrocket reminded you (May 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm):

“the Met Office stone-walled SIX questions about the significance of the MO’s stats. As for a ‘confused discussion in the HoL’: perhaps you could cite the item in Hansard that shows this. As far as I can see, the only confusion was within the MO and the DECC as to how they could possibly evade the question without actually lying (not the done thing in the Mother of Parliaments).”

I don’t recall seeing any Hansard citation from you to substantiate this allegation of “confused discussion in the House of Lords”. So, rather than admit that you were wrong, you claimed:
[Nick Stokes:May 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm:]

“Well, the confused discussion started in the first question, which simply asked if the rise was significant. Someone had do (sic) work out what that meant.”

So you have no citation from Hansard regarding any “confused discussion”. I agree; however, that the first of the SIX questions asked could well have been interpreted as “simply asking if the rise was significant”. Which, of course, is what precipitated my initial request [May 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm] that you explain what you do not understand (or what confuses you) about Lord Donoughue’s (May 29, 2013 at 10:31 am):

I began with the short Question whether the claimed rise in temperatures was significant because that seemed the right place to start. It published their assumption. Then it was possible to probe the basis for that […]

But I digress …
Rather than admit that you had absolutely no evidence whatsoever of any “discussion in the House of Lords” (“confused” or otherwise) you simply ducked the question (as snotrocket correctly observed in his comment of May 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm) while moving your goal-post under cover of a shroud of self-serving Stokian fog, with the utterly non-sequitorial [May 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm]:

“And yes, the confused question from a Lord was written, not verbal.”

As snotrocket subsequently asked [May 27, 2013 at 1:47 pm]:

“So, what is it? A ‘confused discussion’ (your earlier comment) or a ‘confused question’ (your latest post).”

Consequently, Lord Donoughue was entirely correct when he (parenthetically) noted [May 29, 2013 at 10:31 am]:

“there was no confused discussion as one of your bloggers suggest – just a straight question and a series of waffle responses, not an Answer as is required by Lords custom”

And as Lord Donoughue had also noted:

“In 28 years in Parliament I do not recall such obfuscation. The fact that most of the non answers came from the Met Office and not the responsible Department of Business, raised my concerns.”

All of the above transpired long before your most recent exercise in pure unadulterated “revisionism” to the effect that you:

quoted the question, including HL number

Nonetheless, the indefatigable, evidence-and-context-avoiding Nick Stokes, indisputable master of the arts of obfuscation, misdirection and diversionary nit-pickery chose to respond to Lord Donoughue as follows [May 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm]

“That was I. It was my first reading and I didn’t properly distinguish between what was written and what was spoken. But it was confused, starting with your first question: […]”

Which brings us full circle, doesn’t it?! In short, there was no “discussion in the House of Lords” (“confused” or otherwise) – nor were there any “confused” questions.
But, not to worry, Nick. I’m sure that with your demonstrated skills in “add a word here, change a word there” mode of doing “debate” and “discussion”, David Irving would welcome you with open arms into the fold, as a foot-soldier in his particular blight brigade.