Fact Checking Mark Carney’s Catastrophic Climate Claims

Guest essay by Steve Kopits

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, touched off a firestorm of criticism by claiming that catastrophic climate events are in store.  In a speech given to the insurers group, Lloyds, Mr. Carney stated that “the catastrophic impacts of climate change will be felt beyond the traditional horizons of most actors”.   The Bank of England apparently feels it can state unequivocally both the timing and magnitude of climate events well into the future.

So, let’s look at Governor Carney’s claims and how they stand up.

First of all, let’s agree on the points which are not debated.

Atmospheric CO2 continues to rise by about 2 parts per million (ppm) per year.  This pace has been essentially stable for the last few decades.  Atmospheric CO2 remains a trace gas at 400 ppm (0.04% of the atmosphere), up about 130 ppm from pre-industrial times.    CO2 is not a poison or pollutant, but an essential part of the respiratory cycle of the planet.

Temperatures are high compared to the historical record.  However, this record is limited.  Comprehensive global temperature data collection only began with the satellite era, that is, from 1979.  (We still lack such data if the full depths of the oceans are to be included.)

Nevertheless, we do have long-time series data for Central England, extending back to 1772.  To the extent this measurement is reliable and can be extrapolated to hemispheric averages, it shows a step-up of about 1 deg Celsius from 1980 to 2005, which supports Governor Carney’s assertions.  On other hand, it also shows a drop of 0.5 deg Celsius from 2005 to the present—which does not.

Source: UK Met Office


Satellite data tell a similar story.  The temperature steps up by about 0.7 deg C from the early 1980s to 1998, but stabilizes thereafter. Thus, the satellite data shows a ‘pause’ in global warming since 1998.  There has been no statistical warming in the satellite data for seventeen years.

Source: Dr. Roy Spencer, University of Alabama Huntsville


Whether this pause will last is an open question.  Temperatures have been rising at the pace of 0.1 deg C per decade since 1880.  Although we have seen relatively flat temperatures since 1998, even climate skeptics would envision long-term warming will resume at some point.

Mr. Carney claims that, “[w]hile there is still time to act, the window of opportunity is finite and shrinking.” The satellite temperature record of the last eighteen years directly contradicts this statement.  There has been no warming at all.  And the pause is visible in other data sets as well, including in Central England temperatures, which show an outright decline in the last decade.

Sea Level

Governor Carney contends that “the rate of sea level rise is quicker now than at any time over the last 2 millennia.”   Is it really?

As with just about every other metric the Governor mentions, we have data.   Sea level is measured by tide gauges, and also by satellites.   Satellite measurements suggest that sea level has been rising steadily by roughly 3 mm / year, which equates to about 1 foot per century.

Source: University of Colorado, Boulder


We can cross-check this data against tide gauges, in this case, the one installed at Battery Park at the southern foot of Manhattan.  This gauge has been has been in use for a very long time, since before the US Civil War.  As does the satellite data, it shows an average sea level rise of about 3 mm per year.  But the rise greatly pre-dates the 1950 start date which Governor Carney ascribes to anthropogenic global warming (AGW).   If global warming is causing sea level rise, then this process started at least a century ago—well before more modern levels of atmospheric CO2.

Further, the last decade’s ‘pause’ is visible in this data set as well.   New York sea levels have actually fallen below their 1998 peak recently.  Indeed, Mr. Carney might have mentioned that sea levels at Battery Park, the epicenter of Superstorm Sandy’s tidal surge, had been falling for years at the time.

Source: NOAA data, Prienga line fit (6th degree polynomial)


Importantly, sea level rise coincided with New York’s rise to power as the seat of global finance.  Indeed, sea levels in New York are more than a foot higher than they were one century ago.  Has New York sunk?  Has it become uninhabitable?  Only to those without hefty incomes.   For those who can afford to live in Manhattan, it remains as high and dry as it was a century ago.

Now, is the Bank of England prepared to assert that sea level rise in New York will cease if CO2 emissions were brought to whatever level the Bank thinks is appropriate?  Would the Bank suggest that New York City government should be complacent in such an event?  The long-term record suggests this would be foolish advice.  Sea levels have been rising monotonically in New York for a very long time.  If the past is a guide to the future, we have good reason to believe a century hence sea levels at Battery Park will be a foot higher than today.  And New Yorkers will be wealthier, Manhattan real estate more expensive, and the island no wetter than it is today.

If sea level rise is a problem for New York, is it not a failure of government?  The current sea level in New York could have been projected with a high degree of certainty in 1940 with nothing more than historical gauge data and a straight edge ruler.  If rising sea levels caught New York unawares during Superstorm Sandy in 2011, it was not for lack of data.  The city had a comfortable 50 years to adjust its defenses to entirely predictable sea level rise.  Any failure is a direct failure of governance.  We will return to this issue later, for it is governance, not CO2, which lies at the heart of catastrophic insurance claims management.

Therefore, with respect to sea level, the data again refutes Governor Carney’s claims that “the rate of sea level rise is quicker now than at any time over the last 2 millennia.”  Sea level rise has continued steadily for more than a century and a half, and indeed has fallen with the ‘pause’ in New York City.  This is not to say that sea level is not rising.  It is, and that is not disputed.  However, in the case of New York, city government had literally decades to prepare for weather events.  If it did not, then elected officials, not CO2 emissions, are to blame.

Weather-related Insurance Losses

Governor Carney’s speech deals first and foremost with the risks of rapidly rising insurance claims due to CO2 emissions.   This sounds terrifying, but in fact can be decomposed into specific event types and geographies.  As it turns out, not all weather events or countries are created equal.

Weather-related losses can be categorized as hurricanes and typhoons; tornadoes; floods; winter storms; drought; and fires.   Of these, winter storms and fires are relatively minor sources of losses; and droughts are largely irrelevant to London insurers, as such losses are generally covered by government-sponsored programs.


Rather, when we are speaking of weather-related losses, we are speaking first and foremost about hurricanes.  On Munich RE’s list of top ten costliest natural disasters since 1980, earthquakes are by far the leading cause of loss and represent five of the top ten worst events.  Next on the list, however, are hurricanes (excluding typhoons), taking four of the top ten positions.  Of other weather-related events, only the Thailand floods of 2011 make the top ten list.

In a list of the top ten losses from hurricanes, typhoons, and floods (top ten of each), hurricanes represent more than half of all losses.  If we include typhoons, this total rises to 65%.  Flooding accounts for 30% of top weather-related losses, and tornadoes, a mere 5%.  Thus, when we are speaking of catastrophic climate events, we are more or less speaking about hurricanes and their Asian variant, typhoons.

Source: Munich RE NatCat Service


If we narrow this to insured losses, as opposed to overall losses (some of which are not insured commercially), the results are even more stark.  Hurricanes account for 75% of catastrophic losses, with typhoons representing an additional 8%.  Thus, hurricanes and typhoons represent $6 of every $7 paid out in ‘top ten’ catastrophic weather-related insurance claims.

Source: Munich RE NatCat Service


And this in turn tells us a great deal about the nature of insurance.  Where do insured hurricane losses occur?  Principally in the United States.  Where do insured typhoon losses occur?  Principally in Japan and Taiwan.  Why these places?  Because all of these are wealthy countries.  Hurricane and typhoon losses will be greater where there is, first, a concentration of physical assets, and second, where those assets are valuable.  In other words, in the advanced countries exposed to hurricanes and typhoons.

In this, no country is more exposed than the United States.  Of overall losses due to top ten catastrophic weather events, nearly 2/3 occurred in the United States alone.

Source: Munich RE NatCat Service


Indeed, if we restrict this to insured losses (including floods and tornadoes), the US accounts for 84% by itself.  Thus, if we are speaking of insured weather-related losses, as a practical matter we are speaking of hurricane damage in the US.  The rest is largely incidental.  For example, Superstorm Sandy caused more insured losses in one event than the cumulative and collective top ten catastrophic, weather-related losses from Europe, China, Japan and the rest of Asia since 1980.  And Sandy was only the second worst insurance event in recent times.

Source: Munich RE NatCat Service


Now, why are US losses so great?  Is it due to the number or strength of storms making landfall in the United States?

In fact, there is no such pattern discernible in the data.   Indeed, the last few years have seen fewer than average hurricanes globally, with a recovery to up-cycle numbers in the last year or so.

Global Hurricane Frequency Source: Ryan Maue



Even more striking, the strength of global hurricanes and cyclones hovered near historical lows from 2009 until this past year.

Global Hurricane Energy Source: Ryan Maue



Indeed, had Carney consulted The Weather Channel, he would have found a story entitled, No Major Hurricane Has Made Landfall In the U.S. In More Than 9 Years — and That’s a New Record.  Or if he had checked the internet, he would have readily found a one-by-one list of US landfall hurricanes, as presented below:

Source: NOAA Hurricane Research Division


The list shows instead that the present decade is on track to be the quietist in the historical record.  Our good luck is unlikely to last, but the assertion that hurricanes are somehow increasing, or at least increasing in the United States, the principal source of insured losses, is completely unfounded.

Rather, reinsurance data hints at the source of losses: higher payouts for assets in harm’s way.

Insured Losses as a Percent of Overall Losses, Top Ten Lists, 1980-2014 Source: Munich RE NatCat Service



The ratio of insured to total losses are the highest for hurricanes in advanced countries.  For example, the insurance payout ratio for US hurricanes was 51%, for those in Japan, 45%.  By contrast, in the rest of Asia, typhoon payouts equaled only 6% of losses.  Payouts were also lower for floods, both in advanced and emerging countries.  In advanced countries, the payouts averaged 14%, which in developing countries, it averaged a mere 1% (excluding the major floods in Thailand, which would have brought emerging averages to advanced country levels).

Further, more and more expensive assets are exposed to hurricanes in particular.  In the US, for example, ever more people are living on the coasts, and beach front property has become prized and expensive.  One need only look out the window on a flight approaching Miami International Airport to be appalled at the sheer concertation of high-end housing built just above sea level on islands dotting Florida’s Atlantic Coast.   How long until a hurricane wipes a good number of these off their foundations?  And what kind of insurance losses will that involve?

Indeed, an examination of catastrophic losses suggests a decisive role for government policy.  Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed New Orleans in 2005, represents alone more than one-quarter of all insured top ten losses globally since 1980.  In just one event.

Why was Katrina so destructive?  Katrina was only a Category 3 hurricane when it hit Louisiana.  A Category 3 storm is strong, but certainly nothing unprecedented in that part of the world.  New Orleans had—and has—good reason to expect a punishing hurricane once every generation.  TheTimes-Picayune, a New Orleans newspaper, notes that the city has been ravaged “repeatedly by hurricanes during its 200-year history, with the first major hurricane in 1722 destroying nearly every structure in the four-year-old village, including its only church, parsonage and hospital.”  Hurricanes are nothing new or exotic in New Orleans.  The city has been destroyed by such events more than once and far before modern industrial times—by hurricanes entirely unrelated to global warming.

No, New Orleans was destroyed in 2005, first, because the levees failed, and second, because much of the city was built below sea level.  Therefore, if the levees failed, the city would be lost.  Who was responsible for the levees and zoning?  The Federal and local governments.  Had the levees held, no doubt the losses would still have been formidable, but perhaps two-thirds less than those actually incurred.  Government failure made a fairly routine, if damaging hurricane, into the worst weather-related event in history.

The catastrophe of New Orleans was a failure of politics.  Governor Carney might have made that point.  He might have mentioned that, had the levees held in New Orleans, the insurance sector would have been spared costs greater than the total of all catastrophic weather-related claims in Europe, Japan, China and the rest of Asia since 1980 taken together.    Climate is not the greatest source of risk in catastrophic insurance claims.  Weak and politicized policy-making is.

Upon closer analysis, Governor Carney’s claims of higher losses from stronger storms are not supported by the data.  The number of hurricanes is not increasingly, nor is their intensity.  Indeed, the US, by far the leading cause of insured hurricane losses, is currently seeing a hurricane drought.  Losses are nevertheless increasing over time, because the country has concentrated valuable assets in harm’s way.  And that is the general rule: As a country becomes more wealthy and insurance more prevalent, losses will increase—even if the frequency and intensity of hurricanes do not.


In the US, flood damage is tracked by the US Weather Service (NOAA).   The Weather Service endeavors to collect yearly data related to fresh water flooding (ie, not a tidal storm surges).   It is not entirely clear whether there is overlap with hurricane-related rain events, but in any event, the Weather Service provides a solid approximation of US losses.

NOAA data indicates that annual flood losses averaged $8 bn (measured in 2014 dollars) over the last 30 years.  More recently, from 2007 to 2014, losses averaged a modest $4 bn per year.  However, as with other catastrophic events, the occurrence of rains and damages is unpredictable.  For example, 2005 saw $55 bn in damages (which one has to image were at least partially related to several landfall hurricanes that year).

Source: NOAA Hydrologic Information Center, Prienga GDP adjustment using US Federal Reserve data


NOAA presents flood-loss data in inflation-adjusted dollars, and this is commendable.   However, we also need to acknowledge that the US economy is much bigger than a century ago.  Indeed, the US economy in 2014 was literally 15 times the size of the economy in 1930.  With a vastly larger economy, a substantially greater asset value is placed in harm’s way.  Therefore, we should by rights adjust for both inflation and economic growth.  If we adjust accordingly (ie, adjust in terms of nominal GDP growth), then flood losses have fallen by half every 15 years or so, and now average around $10 bn per year, with a continued declining trend.

Source: NOAA, data with Prienga analysis


Once again, we see nothing in the data which leads us to believe that flood losses are increasing at some exponential rate.


There is no doubt that California is seeing a major drought, probably the worst in recorded history.  However, until 2005 or so, there is no visible trend in California rain or drought conditions as recorded on an annual basis and using the widely accepted Palmer Drought Severity Index.  Is California’s drought the result of climate change, or just a historically bad drought?

Source: NOAA via Monterey County Government


If we consider the Great Plains and Rockies, an area not currently under drought conditions, we can see the historical pattern more clearly.  During the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the US saw its worst drought in recorded history.  Conditions were far worse than those in California today.  Similarly, the center of the country saw droughts in the 1950s and again in the late 1980s.  These events are episodic, and no trend is readily identifiable in the data.

Source: NOAA via Mogreenstats


The story is similar for the country as a whole.   There is no visible trend is apparent in the data over the last 120 years, and as above, the droughts of the 1930s and 1950s are readily visible in the data.


Tornadoes, like hurricanes, are essentially a US phenomenon.  These are measured on the Fujita scale, from 0 to 5.  F0 tornadoes count more as bad storms, with “branches broken off trees; shallow-rooted trees pushed over; sign boards damaged,” according to NOAA.   An F1 tornado produces ‘moderate damage’, with wind that “peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos blown off roads.”  In the center of the country, this might constitute ‘moderate damage’.  In New Jersey, where I live, it would constitute something of a disaster.  Tornadoes rated F3 and above are considered ‘severe’, and according to the Fujita scale, F5 tornadoes can shoot “automobile-sized missiles…through the air in excess of 100 meters.”  An F2 tornado would have wind comparable to that of Superstorm Sandy; however, the path of damage would be typically much more limited.

How have tornado numbers evolved?

The number of recorded tornadoes since the 1950s has risen dramatically, although total numbers declined precipitously from 2010 to 2014.

Source: NOAA


However, if we exclude F-0 tornadoes, then in fact the count is flat, and by some measures, down.  As a broad generalization, we might consider the count of F1+ tornadoes largely without meaningful trend up or down.

Source: NOAA


If we narrow the analysis to just the most destructive tornadoes—those rated F3 and higher—frequency appears to have actually declined since the 1970.

Source: NOAA


Why then the increase in F0 tornadoes?  As noted above, F0 tornadoes are essentially indistinguishable from strong storms.  With today’s Doppler radar, even weak tornadoes can be detected.  In 1950, particularly in remote areas or if they occurred at night, weak tornadoes probably passed unnoticed or unrecorded.  Thus, the increase in F0 tornadoes, when F1 and stronger tornado counts are flat to down, suggests simple detection bias.    The number of F0 tornadoes has in all likelihood not increased compared to 1950, we can simply identify them better.

And even if F0 tornadoes had increased, they would be relatively inconsequential for catastrophic insurance purposes.  Tornado damage, while spectacular, is not particularly large in dollar terms, for the reason that tornadoes typically take a narrow path.  The destruction is severe, but geographically limited, unlike a hurricane.  The US Census Bureau estimates that US tornado damage averaged around $2 bn per year from 2008 to 2010.  For a country like the US, this is a minor outlay.

Nor has tornado damage increased.  A study by Roger Pielke Jr., professor of environmental studies at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, concludes that normalized tornado damage has not increased since the 1950s.  I would note, however, that damage can be quite severe in any given year, as it was in 2011.

Source: Roger Pielke


Again, the data squarely contradict the assertions of the Governor of the Bank of England.  If Mr. Carney is arguing that tornadoes are becoming more frequent, severe, or damaging, he is flatly contradicted by the recorded data in the US.


With drought and heat, wildfires look to have a record year in the US in 2015.

Although they make for great television, wildfires are not a huge sources of insured losses.  According to the Insurance Information Institute, “over the 20-year period, 1995 to 2014, [in the United States] fires, including wildfires, accounted for 1.5 percent of insured catastrophes losses, totaling about $6.0 billion, according to the Property Claims Services (PCS) unit of ISO.”  Wildfires are certainly exacerbated by drought, high temperatures, and wind.  However, the intensity of such fires has become much more severe due to the practice of…putting out wildfires.  In much of the US, wildfires are a natural and necessary feature of the landscape.  Indeed, flora have evolved specifically to resist fire or germinate as a result of wildfires.  Notwithstanding, in the last century, US forest management practice has emphasized fire suppression, such that a good bit of US wilderness is now at great risk of catastrophic fire.   This problem is hardly new.  The US Government Accounting Office prepared a report on the matter back in 1999:

The most extensive and serious problem related to the health of national forests in the interior West is the overaccumulation of vegetation, which has caused an increasing number of large, intense, uncontrollable, and catastrophically destructive wildfires. According to the Forest Service, 39 million acres on national forests in the interior West are at high risk of catastrophic wildfire. Past management practices, especially the Forest Service’s decades-old policy of putting out wildfires on the national forests, disrupted the historical occurrence of frequent low-intensity fires, which had periodically removed flammable undergrowth without significantly damaging larger trees. Because this normal cycle of fire was disrupted, vegetation has accumulated, creating high levels of fuels for catastrophic wildfires and transforming much of the region into a tinderbox.

To this is added the expansion of housing into formerly remote areas.  Some of this is quite upscale.  For example, the actor Tom Cruise recently put his Colorado vacation home on sale for $59 million.  In the event it were lost in a wildfire, it would be quite a claim.

Tom Cruise’s $59 million Colorado Getaway Source: AOL Real Estate



Thus, fire losses are insignificant as a percent of total weather-related losses, and likely to stay that way.  To the extent they are growing, a warmer climate no doubt plays a part, but the principal factors are side-effects of Forest Services practices for decades, on the one hand, and the encroachment of residential properties—some of them quite expensive—on formerly wilderness areas.

Summing Up

Is his speech London’s insurance community, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, asserted a series claims about climate change.   Some of these are widely accepted.  The climate does change.  The world has warmed.  Atmospheric CO2 has increased, half of the increment due to human activities.

Beyond this, there is no consensus, and indeed, the available data in many cases directly refutes the Governor’s more extreme assertions.  There is no consensus that humans are the primary drivers of climate change.  As we can see, sea levels, for example, were rising well before the 1950s date Carney gives as the start of modern anthropogenic warming.

Importantly, the increase in losses since the 1980s is more likely to reflect expanded insurance coverage, increasing payouts as a percent of losses incurred, and an increased number of assets with higher values placed in harm’s way.  Losses increases have not occurred due to increases in hurricane, tornado, flooding, drought or fire frequency or strength, at least not in the United States, which represents the lion’s share of insurance claims.  In many cases, either frequency or intensity of weather-related events has actually declined.  Sea level rise has not accelerated, not as measured by either satellites or tide gauges.  Sea level has been rising for well over 100 years, and continues on that pace.

Like so many other economists, Governor Carney seems to operate under the assumption that current CO2 levels are just on the edge of some catastrophic acceleration.  For some reason, 320 ppm of atmospheric CO2 is safe, but 540 ppm is not, because there is some precipice—an inflection point or boundary—between here and there.  The limit is not 1,000 ppm, or 5,000 ppm, or 42,448 ppm, but right here, right now.  A little more CO2, a trace more of a harmless trace gas, and we are doomed.

The climate is complex and the future uncertain.  It is possible the worst fears may prove correct.  Nevertheless, such an assertion is not supported by the historical data, not for US droughts, floods, tornados, hurricanes or fires.  But it does show up.  In politics.  If sea levels were 20 cm higher in New York and this contributed to the damage from Superstorm Sandy, well, any middling analyst could have predicted the rise back in 1940, just as we can predict today that sea levels will be one foot higher a century hence.  The failure was not of CO2 emissions, but squarely a failure of governance.  And that goes doubly so for the fate of New Orleans.  If Governor Carney wanted to make a constructive proposal, he should have called for Lloyds to create macro audits of risk zones and censure or refuse to insure jurisdictions where governance is not up to par.  If insurers had refused to insure New Orleans unless the levees were sound, they could have saved themselves $30 bn in payouts and probably twice that in losses.

As an analyst, I find Mr. Carney’s speech is truly dismaying.  For the Governor of the Bank to claim that climate change is leading to rapidly rising insurance claims is, at best, a critical failure of analysis.  As discussed above, insurance claims are a function of a number of factors, including the type and country of the weather event, as well as the extent of insurance coverage and payout ratios.  A hurricane in the US may see one hundred times the payouts of a major flood in India.   Payouts will rise as a function of nominal GDP, as both inflation and the value and concentration of assets will play a crucial role in overall losses.  The specific path of a storm can also be decisive for global averages.   It goes without saying that a storm which strikes in Philadelphia, marches up the New Jersey coast, slams into the Manhattan and turns towards New Haven is going to cost a bundle.  That same storm hitting, say, rural Mississippi would cause a fraction of the monetary damages.  And this matters, because Superstorm Sandy caused more insured damages than all the leading weather events in Europe, Japan, China and the rest of Asia combined.  Single events can move long-term global averages.

If the Bank missed this, it is not because the necessary data is hard to find.  Information on weather-related events is readily and publicly accessible on the internet.  Almost every graph I use above relating to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts comes from the US government itself.  Apparently, the Bank of England could not be bothered to consult the underlying climate data before making hyperbolic claims.  Thus, at best, the Bank was careless with data analysis.

A worse interpretation of events suggests that Mr. Carney was willing to blindly accept the conventional wisdom, the ‘consensus of scientists’ regarding global warming, without any will or curiosity to dig deeper and form a personal view.  One can only hope that monetary policy in the UK is not informed by such superficiality or passivity.

The very worst interpretation is that Mr. Carney is in fact aware of the source data, but chose to make hysterical claims to promote a personal political agenda.  I cannot imagine a more ill-considered idea.  For those of us who consider central bank independence sacred, the appearance of a national bank taking sides in a highly charged political debate—and doing so with scant regard for the underlying data—will establish the Bank of England as partisan and the political opponent of conservative politicians.  Given that Janet Yellen, the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank, hails from Berkeley, a hot bed of climate activism, should the Republican Party consider the Fed also its opponent?  If so, I can assure you, the Republicans will find some support to ‘audit’ the institution.

At the end of the day, political neutrality is a pre-condition for central bank independence.  If a political party deems the central bank to be an opponent, then it will take measures to gain political control over the bank, with the result that monetary policy itself may become politicized.  If the Bank nevertheless feels compelled to champion a particular side in a political debate, its analysis must be water-tight and its communication, impartial.   That Governor Carny violated both dictums is simply stunning and a huge blow to the prestige of the Bank of England.  It was a very bad call indeed.



125 thoughts on “Fact Checking Mark Carney’s Catastrophic Climate Claims

  1. Reblogged this on Norah4you's Weblog and commented:
    Some persons never learnt basic facts re. our Earth…. normally this would have been their problems…. but when same persons ending up as leading person or persons in Society, no matter where, that’s a catastrophe in itself…

  2. Save-the-planet eco-lunacy is now an airborne phenomenon. It affects otherwise sensible people who, if they had a decent knowledge of basic science, would shudder at the abject stupidity of their utterances.

    Carney’s utterances were sliced and diced here, clearly demonstrating that he should stick to his area of expertise and not venture as an ignoramus into the realms of science, also good advice for the likes of Michael Mann.

    • His area of expertise and primary concern is the UK economy. Since Thatcher destroyed its industrial base, the economy has been totally dependant upon the insurance and financial services sector. So the Bank’s role as guardian angle of the UK economy is centred on the interests of this sector.

      Steve Kopits:

      The very worst interpretation is that Mr. Carney is in fact aware of the source data, but chose to make hysterical claims to promote a personal political agenda. I cannot imagine a more ill-considered idea.

      These people are not hysterical but do know how turn a profit. What Mr. Carney’s public statement does is prepare the way for increased insurance premiums on the pretext of AGW. In fact, it is an invitation to so. This will help the City of London, one of the centres of world insurance and hence the UK economy.

      Just like all the parasites in the new climatology industry, he knows how to spin the data to ensure more income.

      • What arrant nonsense, The UK economy is not “totally dependent” on any one sector and to suggest that the necessary shaking out of the feather bed in the 1980s “destroyed the industrial base” of the country is ludicrous.
        It is consdierably more likely that Carney has been brainwashed by his wife just is Cameron almost certainly has been by his.

    • “Stick to his area of expertise ” ? Idiots in, Idiots out, you got it wrong Peter, check your dictionary for a explanation of expert !!!

  3. I’m glad we got rid of him and you guys have him now. His wife is a greenie and I have no doubt the she and probably him too have much personal wealth invested in the global warming scam.
    Perhaps somebody could look deeply into that.

    • Ditto, double ditto, triple ditto, quarduple ditto,….

      He will, hopefully, no longer have ANY influence on the Canadian economy.

  4. Nothing like venting a spleen Steve. I’ll be reading this for the rest of the week. One observation: Mark Carney is a Canadian, home brewed by the the Canadian leftists. He is an economist out the left wings of Harvard on top of being a socialist. He doesn’t know a thing about science.

    He likes the UN, and the IPCC. He is simply a wealthy aristocratic opportunist that believe people should be taxed more so that money can be given to the left’s power base.

    His prognostications can’t be taken seriously, as with Pope Francis. They are out of their depth.

    That being said, I will read all of your article.

    • Agreed. I think another relevant observation is that, for some time before Carney was overpromoted to his present position, he was the BBC’s Economics Correspondent, appearing practically daily on the main radio “news” channel, Radio 4, at peak times. As such, he has had plenty of indoctrination, and practice, in spreading climate alarm.

    • A Superstorm is a super-duper killer Cat IV hurricane that barely measured out as a tropical storm, and not a hurricane at all, when it went over the Cape Fear weather station on first landfall. The super hurricane had to be quickly rebranded as a super storm because it was not a hurricane anymore, and thus the term “superstorm” was born. You must admit, “superstorm” sounds much more exciting than “rainstorm”.

      • TonyL, well said.

        Another way to look at it is this:

        An elderly woman pranced through the hall of her nursing home in a flimsy nightie smiling at each hunched or wheel-chair borne man shouting, “Supersex!” Supersex!” She stopped in front of a man hunched in his wheelchair and again offered, “Supersex!” He replied, “I’ll take the soup.”

        A Superstorm is what you call it when a hurricane doesn’t live up to expectations, and even if it did, there is nothing you could do about it anyway.

    • IIRC the number of named hurricanes has been decreasing, especially large ones. Hurricane Wilma was the last Cat 3 (or greater) to make landfall in the US, and that was 10 years this month.

      So they had to coming up with a new PR strategy and invented the sinister sounding “Superstorm”. It’s all about the marketing and scare mongering.

    • Sandy did not qualify as a hurricane. Notwithstanding, it caused the second largest overall weather-related loss in the historical record. So it was more than just a storm, but cannot be formally classified as a hurricane. Hence, the media settled on the term ‘superstorm’, and I also accept that description.

    • The term superstorm is unofficial, and was used by the media then picked up by everyone including Govt institutions. Sandy went from storm to hurricane to storm back to hurricane a few times during its Atlantic peregrinations. It was the second costliest storm of all time and the largest recorded Atlantic hurricane. Unusually it merged with an Atlantic frontal system and turned left, into the mainland instead of east into the Atlantic. There is no meterological term “Superstorm” – this is just a nickname. Since Sandy unoubtably was a hurricane when it struck some places (Cuba, Jamaica), and then not a hurricane when it made landfall at USA, it seems a reasonable nickname.

    • Storm Of The Century and The Perfect Storm were already taken, so they are just working through the litany of such words as they can conjure.
      Anyone ready for a Hyperstorm?

  5. Great essay!
    Unfortunately not only the BOE is taking a Carney view of CO2, lots of other banks are as well. Many funds, banks and governments are selling down investments in coal, oil and mining projects and this may mean a significant stutter in our standard of living as we grapple with a future energy crisis.

    • “Selling down” means there is a buyer. Who’s buying all these tainted assets? Could it be the old chap’s Blind Trust Fund?

  6. Exactly what the insurers group wanted to hear. Put the premiums up; blame it on global warming. Makes you wonder who he is working for..

    • It used to be just fire insurance. Now people have “insurance packages” Maybe it will be back to affording only fire insurance.

  7. How is this partisan in a place like UK where all parties agree that the sky is falling and its rich people who are causing it. Indeed, it’s a perfect situation for a lefty economist bank head to make such claims. What UK needs is a real opposition. They are so crowded and overlapped well to the left of center zone, that Karlny Marx’s best seller harmonizes with everybody.

  8. “Although we have seen relatively flat temperatures since 1998, even climate skeptics would envision long-term warming will resume at some point.”

    Do you mean when the oceans begin to boil as the sun swells into its Red Giant phase? If so, I agree. The long term trend is just cyclical warming and cooling at all shorter time scales of relevance (diurnal, annual, multidecadal, millenial, glacial-interglacial). Or unless you mean the man-made tampering of temp data , I.e. Karlized PauseBuster adjustments.

  9. “as the Sun swells into its Red Giant phase”
    The climate models go up exponentially. It is quite clear by now that the temps won’t be able to catch up no matter what.
    The only question is whether as the Sun swells into its Red Giant phase temps will catch up with the climate models or not.

    Very likely, not, since by then the climate model temps will be in a nonphysical range.

  10. Thanks for the essay.

    While CATO guessed that Ocean Acidification might be the prevailing fire breathing dragon in the run up to Paris, seems that sea level rise is winning for now:

    (sad, but you can leave fun comments for editors without your email address)

    I think the scammers are failing to display imagination.
    Combine the two scarys = Catastrophic Acidic Seal Level Rise.

    • The penultimate paragraph at that phys.org link tells you everything you need to know about it.:

      According to earth scientist Michael Mann, a well-known author on climate change, the latest findings are a “useful contribution to the literature.”

    • I principally reviewed Carney’s speech. Had I extended the review to the report, my analysis would have been more critical.

  11. I have in front of me a graph called:
    Accumulated temperatures during the growing season in Month/degrees. 1747 to 1950. From a location in the north of England.
    It is from a book called Climate and the British Scene by Gordon Manley. Publisher Collins. 1953.
    The relevant section does NOT tally with Parker et al. 1992 from the UK Met Office who appear to have done a few of their adjustments!

  12. What other reasons could be behind bankers and insurance executives buying into the most extravagant claims of climate alarmism, besides strictly political concerns? Higher insurance rates, perhaps?

    • I think green organizations realized a year or so ago that it would be a brilliant stroke to get leading financial types and other establishment figures to on board, as they would have credibility with right-of-center types. (For years I have been worried that greenies would realize this, but I didn’t mention it here, because I didn’t want to give them ideas.) I think they approached such figures and blitzed them with propaganda. (I doubt they’ve done much reading on the topic on their own.) Examples in the US include ex-Treasury Sec. Paulson and a couple of other similar bigshots.

  13. The only provable outcome of global warming is the severe mental incompetence demonstrated by leaders.

    Mark Carney’s behavior and statements are indisputable proof of this affliction of mental incompetence. At the Paris summit the mental incompetence will reach such a crescendo that the global implications of the mental incompetence affliction will have to be addressed. Perhaps an island can be set aside so those leaders afflicted with AGW mental incompetence can be given a safe place where they can have milk and cookies and told soothing CO2 fairy tales.

    • Perhaps an island can be set aside so those leaders afflicted with AGW mental incompetence can be given a safe place where they can have milk and cookies and told soothing CO2 fairy tales.

  14. Re: “Mark Carney should stick to his job description and quit looking like a fool.”
    Sound advice. But it comes too late.
    If a man does not know the limits of his own expertise, then he is no more use than a man who has no expertise, at all. Carney has now revealed himself to be either the former or the latter.
    It is not hard to make some evidence-based analysis of trends in extreme weather phenomena.
    Especially not, if a person focuses their attention on widely available graphical representation of the data, as shown above. Just include the word “graph” in the search title and confine the search to Google Images.
    Carney is clearly suffering from the condition that should be known as “expert arrogance”. A condition born of excessive confidence, in which a person feels that they can make proclamations of truth based on a combination of snippets watched on TV, words overheard at dinner parties and possibly some shit that happened in a dream the night before.
    Who knows what he based his proclamations on.
    Certainly not on a considered assessment of well documented factual data.
    Or perhaps he has spent the last few years of his career being indulged by over-respectful lackies who would not deign to trouble him with facts or argument.
    In such an atmosphere, a person grows progressively more emboldened and progressively less well informed.
    One way or another this man has revealed himself to be an ignorant and arrogant imbecile.
    It’s too late for him to “quit looking like a fool”, now.

  15. I disagree with how the author characterizes the Sandy flooding as a failure of government. We can’t complain about government inaction doing when the other side is actively trying to get the alarmist agenda written into government policies around the country.

    Not so long ago, east coast states were lambasted in the media when they dared pass a law saying that they would base coastal policies on long-run tidal gauge measurements. It was characterized as the Republicans being anti-science, backwards deniers. While sea levels were rising 2 mm per year, the other side was trying to get them to plan on 10-14 mm per year of sea level rise.

    We don’t want to fight to have government do more to address climate change, even if it is natural. The first order of business is to push back against the alarmists who are pushing hard to force government to act on the basis of their laughable projections. If the government errs on the side of doing too little, that is better than having both sides telling them to do more and then overdoing it.

    The alarmists were saying we will have to create a Category 6 for the new fossil fueled super-hurricanes that climate change will produce. I’d rather stand pat with what we have now than to have every state government demand Cat-6-proof coastal defenses and building codes. We need to fight back against the alarmists and support those government officials that are standing against them now, not join in denouncing them.

    • Several months, or maybe even a year ago Anthony ran an article about a seawall that had been exposed by Sandy.

      I forget how old it was, but simple failure to maintain it would constitute “a failure of government”.

    • The Sandy flooding was a failure of government. Building had been allowed in New Jersey and New York on low lying land that was known to flood occasionally, no attempts had been made to put flood doors on tunnels or lift standby generators above potential flood levels. Finally, nothing had been done to consider a large sea protection system (as has now been constructed for New Orleans) despite warnings of what was likely to happen if a hurricane made direct landfall as it had happened several times before such as the Long Island hurricane in 1938.
      However, the size of soda cups was being strongly debated.

      • Storms as big and bigger than Sandy have hit that area about every 70 years for as long as they have kept records.

    • The bankers nearly put themselves out of business in 2008. I suppose they will do so again at some future time when their hubris and willingness to loan money to eco-sharks causes them to bet against the weather.

      • “The bankers nearly put themselves out of business in 2008.”
        “The bankers” did quite well, especially considering that prosecution (unlike the S&L fiasco under Reagan) was non-existent. It’s the banking corporations (and the economies that they feed), worldwide, that nearly went up in smoke. But the multi-trillion dollar bailouts worked, this time….

  16. Is there a number count on national leader warmists vs. sceptics?
    I would like to see a map with their geographic distribution correlated
    with the wealth of the countries they lead. Just for chits and giggles.

  17. This is one of the best summaries I have seen. Thanks for putting it together so carefully.
    Would it be possible to add the graph showing temperatures predicted by IPCC models compared with IPCC predictions and also the growth in CO2 over the past 18 years please?

    The lack of correlation between CO2 levels and temperature rise over the period since 1979 when we have had accurate unhomogenised satellite temperature records is very important.

    If so it would become a very powerful aid to understanding explaining the facts.

  18. First of all, England is homebase to most of the super wealthy. Second, the vary nature of the beast (banks) feeds upon the despair of the masses. In other words, if co2 levels continue to rise then supply and demand for produce will decrease. So it is in their best intrests to gain control of co2 just as they’ve gained control of the distribution of wealth.

    “I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.”

    -Nathan Rothschild

    • “It.. would divert the genius of the nation from trade and industry. It would hold out a dangerous lure to decoy the unwary to their ruin, by making them part with the earnings of their labour for a prospect of imaginary wealth. The great principle of the project was an evil of first-rate magnitude.. by exciting and keeping up a general infatuation, and by promising dividends out of funds which could never be adequate to the purpose.” In a prophetic spirit he added, that if the plan succeeded, the directors would become masters of the government, form a new and absolute aristocracy in the kingdom, and control the resolutions of the legislature.
      From Walpole’s speech to government on the the South Sea Bubble delusion.1717?
      It all sounds so dreadfully familiar…

  19. Is this the same organisation that failed to predict the global financial crisis? Wasn’t that their job at the time??

  20. The real reason insurers (and bankers) are talking about “climate change” is because it’s easier to justify raising rates when you can blame a new externality. In other words it’s easier to get customers to accept an increase in their insurance rates because of the “ravages” of “climate change” than it is to tell the truth – the increase is because we screwed up in our original underwriting

    • Spot on. That’s exactly what I pointed out, last time this topic came up:
      “And so, a non expert can now voice his delusional beliefs and go unchallenged by even the accepted science. Even if his views are NOT supported by the IPCC.
      His direct audience, Lloyds Insurers are surely very happy for this delusion to play its course.
      Any business is interested in its customers over-valuing its products.
      In the case of insurance, the market value of the product rises in proportion to the customers estimation of risk.
      If the perception of risk rises whilst the actual risk does not, then profits rise.
      So, no wonder that the insurance business is happy to play along with the trumpeting of this chief fool.”

  21. I wonder, can the Bank of England be sued by insurers if upon taking his advice and applying it to their actuary tables (without data!!?), they later cause massive shareholder losses due to unnecessary expenditures? Seems the governor is leaving the BOE open to very large liabilities in future litigation costs.

    • I would say that would be very unlikely. The BoE has had 300 or so years to extract as much money from the poor and direct it to the unseen wealthy with their introduction of interest bearing debt. Ok, the BoE was originally formed to pay for and fund the British military, but soon morphed into what it is today. The BoE, and insurers like Lloyds, cannot believe it’s luck with the “fear” of “climate change” driven by ~3% of ~400ppmv CO2 an the fact that far too many people simply believe what they are being told, by “experts” even if you can show the claim to be a lie, as an amateur!

  22. Outstanding analysis but unless it can be conveyed to Carney’s audience and/or if it can be widely disseminated, its great potential value will, very unfortunately, not be attained.

  23. Of course 20 years ago all typhoons in this part of the world were just typhoons, but now we have typhoons, severe typhoons and super typhoons. They will insist, of course, that we are now getting more super typhoons than ever before, because of global warming, not because of better analysis.

  24. One correction to the article – a fire wiping out Tom Cruise’s vacation home would not be the loss you seem to think. The house is about 11,000 square feet – so it might cost $4 – $6 million to rebuild another $3-4 million to furnish. The house sits on almost 300 acres outside Telluride – a large chunk of the value is the land, which cannot be destroyed by a forest fire; only the house and trees would be lost. I imagine after a fire the property would still fetch more than $35 – $40 million.

    • I did not say that the loss would be $59 million, for just that reason. I stated that it would be “quite a claim.” I think your estimate, $5-10 million, is probably about right. That, to me, is quite a claim. I think the broader point is that there’s a good bit of pricey housing now in places like Colorado and California. Therefore, when there is a fire, claims will tend to grow as a result.

  25. So, how about fact checking on other things?

    From what I can see here, I ask, where is this wrong?

    Am I missing something?

    t seems to add up, when you dig into it.


    Data is Data in the end.

    Who justifies and approves such adjustment?

    No really, who approves this type of adjustment? Just sayin,,,,,,,

    Paris is near, and the marketing is in full force.

    I pay taxes and deserve to know some answers. Don’t you? …………………….

    • I have never seen a politician held accountable for the taxes they spend, never. The only time I see politicians held accountable for their actions is at election time, and that’s politicians we actually have the chance to vote for. Lets just ignore massive and wasteful Govn’ts like the UN and the EU.

      The only response from a politician and Govn’t is more regulation, more laws, more taxes to support the drive to restrict the lives of everyday law abiding citizens. Outlaws will always be outlaws. Politicians will always be politicians. Law makers will always be lawmakers. The rest of us just pay tax to support the elite.

  26. Quotes from the post:

    New York sea levels have actually fallen below their 1998 peak recently. Indeed, Mr. Carney might have mentioned that sea levels at Battery Park, the epicenter of Superstorm Sandy’s tidal surge, had been falling for years at the time.


    Sea levels have been rising monotonically in New York for a very long time. If the past is a guide to the future, we have good reason to believe a century hence sea levels at Battery Park will be a foot higher than today.

    If the past is any guide to the future, my guess is that much ice on land has melted from those places of lower elevation and lower latitudes. Therefore, melting more ice more rapidly or even as fast as some years ago becomes less likely with time.

    • “If the past is any guide to the future, my guess is that much ice on land has melted from those places of lower elevation and lower latitudes. Therefore, melting more ice more rapidly or even as fast as some years ago becomes less likely with time.”

      If your guess is right, then you may conclude that melting more ice from low elevations and latitudes becomes less likely. Unless you have some information about ice melting from higher latitudes and elevations you cannot conclude anything about total ice melt. Since the vast majority of ice is at high latitudes, your conclusion is very suspect.

  27. “Although we have seen relatively flat temperatures since 1998, even climate skeptics would envision long-term warming will resume at some point.” Nonsense. We envisage cooling.

    PS I don’t know what a ‘climate skeptic’ is.

    • Quite right – we are nearer the end of the Holocene Interglacial and it’s downhill all the way back into the Pleistocene Ice Age, 2.5 million years old and not going to be diverted by a 0.01% increase in CO2. Temperatures on Earth are not high compared even with earlier in the Holocene Interglacial.

      Human activity doesn’t cause anywhere near half the increase in CO2 – it is a tiny fraction of naturally produced CO2, which is vast.

      Thank you for the article, I enjoyed reading it. It is horrific to think that Carney is in charge of the Bank of England.

      • Overall, I think the Bank of England has done a pretty good job managing monetary policy in Great Britain.

        My concern is rather that a person in Mark Carney’s position has substantial influence. He needs to be careful about what he says.

    • Nonsense. We envisage cooling.

      I’m skeptic on cooling.

      I assume sensitivity for CO2 doubling is positive, lets say 1.5 degrees for doubling, although IPCC did not give any best estimate. I’m just very skeptic on carbon taxes (mitigation), or on the catastrophic results some people suggest in the business as usual scenario. We’ll adapt, there is no reason think otherwise.

      The warming has been considerably smaller than Hansen predicted in 1988, even when the world’s best brains have been trying to ‘hide the decline’ and ‘remove the blips’. They have been getting rid of the warm periods so intensely they completely forgot about natural variation being in the game.

    • + 1.

      “climate *skeptic” – there is no such thing.
      To be “skeptical” of climate is impossible.

      *Note: skeptic is the usual U. S. spelling of sceptic.


    • Argh…NO!!! It’s looks as though we may be headed for a global drought shortage.
      At this rate, children will not know what drought is…

  28. “Whether this pause will last is an open question. ” … no it’s not. The pause will come to an end. However, if it cools, it proves the climate extremists wrong. But even if it warms, they can no more explain why global warming came to an end in 2000, as they can explain why it restarted (if it does).

    Their entire “skill” has been in correctly predicting the 1990s. But set against that, they incorrectly predicted cooling in the 1970s and 1980s. They incorrectly predicted warming in the 2000s and 2010s. In other words, they couldn’t have done much worse if their predictions were made by tossing a coin.

  29. Carney and his ilk seriously need a psych eval. We will always have catastrophic weather events. But I’m preaching to the choir here…

  30. “even climate skeptics would envision long-term warming will resume at some point.”

    Again, false. Whilst it is true, that we expect a very small contribution to global temperature due to rising CO2 – the fact is that climate variation which is 1/f type noise will always have long term trends greater than the small addition due to CO2. So, over any timescale there is always a very good chance of cooling. What the small increase of CO2 does, is to slightly balance the scales toward warming.

    However … to offset that, we are now in the cooling phase of the ice-age cycle. As such we could see catastrophic cooling – and because the idiots of climate are obsessed with CO2 – actively dismissing and vilifying any other drivers of climate – we really have no idea when, how, why the next massive cooling will take place.

    • Skeptics, myself included, tend to argue that warming has been natural and a recovery from the LIA. If you are arguing that this trend will not continue, then you have called a turning point. That’s outside my expertise.

  31. I hope Governor Carney’s analysis of banking sector practices, malpractices and regulations are somewhat stronger than his climate-related insurance analysis.

    Perhaps he was hired because it won’t be??

  32. It is a shame that the data cannot be run officially on a program intended to show if there is data hidden in what apparently is noise. This program gives the best fit underlying pattern for the signal duration and then shows the changes. Run on separate regions rather than globally it suggests that this warm period was simply two periods peaking together and a spread of the warm area rather than higher generally which is different.
    “even climate skeptics would envision long-term warming will resume at some point.” Just as a wave if measured from the trough will rise again. We have a long term cyclic pattern superimposed on a very slow steady upward drift.

    • If you take the Holocene as a whole we have a cyclic pattern superimposed on a steady downward drift. The only way out at the moment seems to be colder.

  33. Sea level rise here*, according to the PSMSL site, has been about 1.7mm pa from 1905 – 2015, of which the years 1955 to date are less than 1mm pa.. Where’s all this warming stuff? Down here* we’ve got this darned big and very cold refrigerator (Antarctica) and we’ve seen only about 0.3oC warming here. Hurricanes? W’e’re visited by Tropical Cyclones from time to time. It’s about one in 30 years we get any damage from one. Let’s see: there was Cyclone Bola in ’85, then Pam back in March. Not very exciting, just weather as usual.

    “Global Warming?” That’s a Northern Hemisphere problem. Yet we’re expected, nay, it’s demanded that we pay “our share” by the UN and the GGGB (the Great Green Greasy Blob).

    * Here = NZ.

  34. The real reason behind Carney’s speach?
    He’s a Goldman Sachs man, through & through.
    Who’s going to be making a huge amount of money if carbon trading comes to pass? Goldman Sachs.
    Let’s have a look “Down Under”. Australian Prime Minister changes, from one (Tony Abbott) who was begining to ask some very awkward questions to another (Malcolm Turnbull) who won’t. Turnbull’s previous employers?
    Chairman of Goldman Sachs Australia from 1997-2001.
    Guess who his son’s worked for too?

    Executive Director, Goldman Sachs. March 2010 – July 2014.
    Follow the money folks.

    • In fact, this was intended as a two part article. I intended to focus on oil and the economy, a topic for which I am better known.

      Nevertheless, I felt that Mr. Carney’s climate assertions, given their dramatic and unequivocal nature, warranted a detail analysis.

      I’ll be speaking on oil markets on Thursday at Princeton University. It’s an open event.

  35. When you think about it, It was the U.K. concerned citizens and U.K. courts that exposed the Climate propaganda in Al Gores “inconvenient truth” that it, had used bad science and wonky data to construct his propaganda film, the courts forced the distributors to advice the fiction that had been created, before it was shown to impressionable children.

    So assuming that the Bank of England fully endorses this work of fiction by their CEO, and there is a pot of money in the bank, what a nice exposure if both the Bank and its CEO Mark Carney were jointly sued for his propaganda announcements, or at least force him to defend his statements and produce evidence in a court of law in a civil proceeding to force the bank to admit their statements were neither based on fact or the readily available data.

    The longevity of the CET temperature record is the UK’s hallowed data and probably the only “unmolested” temperature record left in the world – too treasured and watched by UK citizen scientists, to touch by the data molesters, temperature adjusters and homogenisation freaks. So highlighting that is very helpful.

    Sueing the Bank of England would certainly cause a buzz around the world’s news media headlines in the lead up to Paris and wake up the compliant media that they could be sued also.

    • Sorry, KenB but, sadly, ever since the MET Office got its hands on the CET, the data has been “molested”.

      On WUWT:

      Jit says:
      April 25, 2013 at 4:02 am
      “Small point: the CET has been adjusted as it says on the Met Office’s CET page. It has been adjusted for UHI.”

      Paul Homewood says:
      April 25, 2013 at 4:31 am
      “Just to back up what JIT says, adjustments are made for UHI.
      I was told by the Met they allow 0.2C. If this is used in comparison with 18thC temps, it hardly seems enough.”

      “For recent years there are two versions of the series: the “official” version maintained by the Hadley Centre, and a version maintained by Philip Eden which he argues is more consistent with the series as originally compiled by Manley.”

      My thanks to Steve Kopits for a well-researched essay. Incidentally, when comparing the value of losses with those of previous years, account should always be taken for currency movements. For example Lloyds of London still publishes its accounts in GBP, which has had a switchback career against USD and JPY.

    • KenB:

      You say

      So assuming that the Bank of England fully endorses this work of fiction by their CEO, and there is a pot of money in the bank, what a nice exposure if both the Bank and its CEO Mark Carney were jointly sued for his propaganda announcements, or at least force him to defend his statements and produce evidence in a court of law in a civil proceeding to force the bank to admit their statements were neither based on fact or the readily available data.

      OK. I will bite.

      Please state the Civil or Criminal Law which you claim has possibly been breached by Mark Carney so he can be sued.


      • He is admired by just over 50% of the UK population (perhaps considerably more) not for his banking proves but, I am told by someone very knowledgeable in that department, for his ‘devastating’ looks, in which case who cares about his CAGW pronouncements.

      • Richard
        I would have thought that within the English tort law, there is opportunity for any person to claim a wrong in their ability do their business without let or hindrance that might come from deliberate or careless, negligent? distribution of such information. I am not an expert on English tort law, there would probably have to be some economic loss claimed, if that can be established. I guess that the more important the position held then the more care one has to take to verify statements made.

        I did see a claim in the last few days where UK law lords had met to ascertain what laws can be used against skeptics of global warming to shut us down, legal censorship. So I guess that maybe there is a legal case that can be made either way. We may need to be aware as well if that is their intention. (this was mentioned by a commenter on Joanne Nova’s site)

        But again I am not a Law Lord or expert on British law, so just my thought in the hope that the idea may stimulate thinking

      • KenB:

        Thankyou for that honest answer.

        British legal systems (Scotland has different laws from the laws of England and Wales) require very precise specification of harm done by breach of specific laws. And people who make frivolous accusations can be severely penalised.

        Hence, the American culture of ‘sue for anything’ is very different from the British culture where a legal action requires clear reason to expect success that outweighs the high risk of suffering if one loses.


  36. While I’m generally for less government regulation, we have GOT to get a regulation (law) that says whenever you publish that X Event is the Y Superlative in Z History/Historical Record, you are required to put in parentheses what years you are including in Z.

    “Temperatures are high compared to the historical record.” Mr. Kopits goes on to explain that the ‘historical record’ he is referring to is only comprehensive back to 1979, and at most only goes back to 1772, and that only for Central England. So I guess there is no recorded history to indicate that the Medieval and Roman warm periods really were warmer than today?

    Historical record for global sea level: 1991-present. But for Manhattan, sea level history starts in 1855.
    Global hurricane frequency: 1971-present
    Global hurricane energy: 1972
    U.S. hurricane landfalls: 1850
    U.S. flood losses: 1903
    California drought recorded history starts in 1895
    Great Plains & Rockies drought: 1895
    U.S. tornadoes: 1950 or 1954
    U.S. Wildfires: 1985

    It’s difficult to correlate all these different events when they all have such widely differing historical record starting dates.

    And the one that really has me scratching my head is the New Orleans analysis. If New Orleans has been ravaged repeatedly by hurricanes since 1722, how can the 2005 destruction be blamed first on the levee failures? What caused the previous umpteen catastrophes? Isn’t it, and hasn’t it always been because of the second reason, New Orleans was built below sea level in a hurricane prone area?

    • I used the Central England record because it was handy and because I presume similar measurement methods were used throughout. Thus, I have some expectation (maybe not a good one), that the temperatures are essentially comparable throughout the data set. By this measure, temperatures have been high compared to 240 year record.

      I think it is widely accepted that the Medieval Warm Period was probably warmer than it is today. But generally that record is indirect, ie, we have no thermometer readings from that time.

      Why the different start dates? I used the data sets as I found them. I was looking for long data time series data measured consistently, reliably and accurately. Almost all of the data comes from US government sources.

      As for New Orleans and the levees, here’s the history per Wikipedia:

      “The original residents of New Orleans settled on the high ground along the Mississippi River. Later developments eventually extended to nearby Lake Pontchartrain, built upon fill to bring them above the average lake level. Navigable commercial waterways extended from the lake to downtown. After 1940, the state decided to close those waterways following the completion of a new Industrial Canal for waterborne commerce. Closure of the waterways resulted in a drastic lowering of the water table by the city’s drainage system, causing some areas to settle by up to 8 feet (2 m) due to the consolidation of the underlying organic soils. After 1965, the Corps of Engineers built a levee system around a much larger geographic footprint that included previous marshland and swamp. The average elevation of the city is between 1 to 2 feet (0.61 m) below sea level. There are no residential areas of the city that are currently more than 10 feet (3 m) below sea level.”

      Bottom line: Government policy and programs set up the destruction of the city in 2005.

  37. Using that tide gauge at Battery Park in southern Manhattan is a problem from every angle. The land at that point was fill, it is not attached to bedrock and that area has been subsiding for a long time because the ground there is settling. So the increase in sea level there is due mostly to subsidence. Problem is that every parcel of land is subject to geological uplift or subsidence. Finding a parcel of land that is stable relative to the the center of the earth is very rare so every tide gauge is inaccurate if we want to determine if sea level is falling or rising.

  38. Adam Gallon
    October 13, 2015 at 1:29 am

    I think you’ve got it on one, mate.

    The vampire squid is everywhere.

    My channel change finger when Turnbull comes on is working at the same speed it was with Gillard and Rudd. Can’t stand all of them.

  39. Sea Level Rise at The Battery, NY: any discussion of this topic must include our knowledge that The Battery itself is “subsiding” (the land is in vertical motion – downward ). Thus any discussion that uses the Tide Gauge figures from The Battery have to be adjust by the amount the land itself has moved downwards – towards the center of the Earth.

    See my two essays on this here and here which give all the numbers and sources, including the NOAA CORS link.

    • Mr. Hansen
      It was sad to see the extent of unpleasant verbal harassment you had to endure very recently.
      In the above comment you refer to the N.York’s subsidence. I have some casual interest in the isostatic uplift. It is assumed by geologist that small decadal changes in the local magnetic field are related to the area’s crust movements. Global magnetic measurements all over the globe are compiled in a global geomagnetic data model allowing reasonably accurate calculation of the field intensity going back to 1600.
      Hudson Bay is the centre of the postglacial isostatic uplift; in this graph

      i additionally plotted spectral composition for N. York and the Central England Temperatures (both right hand scale)
      Despite obvious coincidence between all three, it should be noted that the 62 year component in the magnetic data is in the middle of two CET components of 56 and 69 years. Drawing any conclusions just on one simple spectral analysis could be a hazardous business, but it may be an important pointer for the causes of the past temperature changes in the areas affected by the gulf stream.

    • Sounds like she’s gunna have to get used to being late when she gives up the car-

      “Some things I don’t like:
      driving long distances, buckling kids into carseats, being late, waste, making school lunches, car washes.”

      Home schooling I guess and the kids can get their own lunches which won’t need any wasteful cling-wrap.

  40. Mr Kopits, An excellent response to the ridiculous fictitious statements by a banker, clearly without any scientific skills, who has quite obviously been ‘got at’ in a briefing from some global warming fanatic, without his checking the facts before spouting such inaccurate rubbish. Will you, or have you sent a copy of your essay to him asking for his comments? His reply would be most interesting for the more rational amongst us.

    • I might prefer the words ‘superficial’ and ‘careless’. If I were going to make such a presentation, I would have said to my analyst team, “Look, I’d like to talk about climate change and insurance claims. Now, we know the climate’s warmer, and we know insurance claims have gone up by at least some measures. On the other hand, there are a lot of variables which influence insured losses. So build me a model which disaggregates losses into their constituents–type of event, country, GDP level, asset concentration, effect of single events, level of insurance, payouts, etc.–and let’s see how much of what remains can actually be attributed to some sort of climate change.”

      I could have constructed a very interesting, if perhaps less inflammatory, speech around those findings.

      In any event, Carney does not appear to have requested such an analysis and model building exercise, and its absence reflects very poorly on the Bank of England.

  41. With respect to your point, “Whether this pause will last is an open question. Temperatures have been rising at the pace of 0.1 deg C per decade since 1880. Although we have seen relatively flat temperatures since 1998, even climate skeptics would envision long-term warming will resume at some point.”

    The whole problem is that the science is not clear as to what the long term temperature will do or even the fairly short term temperature. I don’t know if the long term warming will resume or not. We are getting toward the end of the ice age – so it is possible, the temperature will be relatively flat for decades before dropping. On the other hand, warming may resume and the earth might continue to warm for some time.

  42. The invite to the Paris conference requires at least one drunken public statement on climate change scare messaging or two warnings in succession on either ocean acidification or rising seas. Off topic warnings like meteors or slash and burn of the rain forests will cost you.

  43. Excellent post. As you point out it reflects very badly on the Bank of England. The whole idea of making interest rates the responsibility of the bank rather than of politicians was to make it independent of political in-fighting and more in the realm of disinterested, scientific economic analysis.

    So has Mr Carney just made it politically impossible for the Bank to retain this brief, when he is so clearly political rather than analytical?

  44. Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England … and is it any surprise which way his wife swings when it comes to catastrophic man-made global warming?

  45. Weather-related Insurance Losses

    Nit picking pojnt:
    I think perhaps you mean “deconstructed” rather than “decomposed”

    Excellent piece, incidentally.

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