While temperatures rise, denialists reach lower

By Phil Plait | January 30, 2012 12:20 pm

Over the weekend, two amazingly bad articles were published about climate change. Both were loaded with mistakes, misinterpretations, and outright misinformation, and are simply so factually wrong that they almost read like parodies.

Just so we’re clear here.

The first was in the Wall Street Journal. The article, called No Need to Panic About Global Warming, is a textbook example of misleading prose. It’s laden to bursting with factual errors, but the one that stood out to me most was this whopper: "Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now."

What the what?

That statement, to put it bluntly, is dead wrong. It relies on blatantly misinterpreting long term trends, instead wearing blinders and only looking at year-to-year variations in temperature. The Skeptical Science website destroyed this argument in November 2011, in fact. The OpEd also ignores the fact that nine of the ten hottest years on record all occurred since the year 2000.

The WSJ OpEd makes a lot of hay from having 16 scientists sign it, but of those only 4 are actually climate scientists. And that bragging right is crushed to dust when you find out that the WSJ turned down an article about the reality of global warming that was signed by 255 actual climate scientists. In fact, as Media Matters reports, more of the signers of the WSJ OpEd have ties to oil interests than actually publish peer-reviewed climate research.

Shame on the WSJ for publishing that nonsense.

When I read it, I thought that OpEd was really scraping the bottom of the barrel. But then the Daily Mail chimed in and I discovered that barrel gets a lot deeper. They printed an article by David Rose called Forget global warming — it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again).

By "Cycle 25" he’s referring to the solar activity cycle — which I’ll get to in a moment. But first, the most egregiously awful thing about the Mail article is the angle it takes on new results released by The Met Office, the National Weather Service for the UK. The subheadline for the Mail article is "Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years", which is a bit odd given that the very first two paragraphs of the Met’s press release say:

2012 is expected to be around 0.48 °C warmer than the long-term (1961-1990) global average of 14.0 °C, with a predicted likely range of between 0.34 °C and 0.62 °C, according to the Met Office annual global temperature forecast.

The middle of this range would place 2012 within the top 10 warmest years in a series which goes back to 1850.

[Emphasis mine, but done for obvious reasons.]

If you can square that with "new figures… show no warming" then congrats! You can write for the Mail.

The article is so fallacious that the Met offices decided to publish another release stating clearly that the Mail article "includes numerous errors", is "misleading", and that the author chose "… to not fully include the answers we gave him".

And we’re not done. A big part of Rose’s Mail article talks about the Sun’s influence on climate. However, the solar activity cycle is something which has been shown over and again to have very little to do with climate, and is certainly not anywhere near the main driver of climate change.

The Mail article bases its argument on some research that may indicate the Sun will enter a quiet period after this next peak, and that will cool the Earth. First, the research is by no means anywhere near verified, and in fact at least one well-respected solar physicist doesn’t agree with the findings (I think he’s right; the work is interesting but very, very preliminary). Second, even if it’s true, there’s no reason to think it will cause an ice age as the Mail article attests; that takes many factors occurring all at once. Also, the Little Ice Age — a cold period during the 17th and 18th centuries — was not a global effect; it only affected Europe. It also coincided with several large volcanic events that helped drive it. I explain all that in the link above.

So where does Rose get this idea that the Sun will cool us down? From another Met Office release. And guess what? Again, that release states in the first paragraph the exact opposite of what Rose claims:

New research has found that solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years but that will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Happily, the cavalry has ridden in; the reality-based community has come out swinging against these two articles:

Andrew Revkin at The New York Times

The Intersection

Get Energy Smart Now

DeSmogBlog

Planet3.0

Anti climate change extremism in Utah

Greg Laden

– Climate scientist Michael Mann has been tweeting furiously about it, too.

[Update: more for you:

The Environmental Defense Fund

Scholars and Rogues (specifically taking on Burt Rutan, one of the 16 signers of the WSJ OpEd; Rutan replies in the comments)]

In the head-asplodey irony department, how do you think the editors at the WSJ feel that their OpEd was reprinted in The Tehran Times?

It’s rare to be 100% certain of something in science, but I have no doubt at all that the comments to this post will be filled with noise from denialists. It happens every single time I post about this, and they almost always use long-debunked arguments. But as these attacks on reality get more brazen, we have to be ever more alert.


Related posts:

2011: The 9th hottest year on record
New independent climate study confirms global warming is real
Climategate 2: More ado about nothing. Again.
Arctic ice at second-lowest extent since 1979
As arctic ice shrinks, so does a denier claim

Comments (321)

  1. SlashDot did an interesting break down of the individuals in the Wall Street bit.

    And of course, over at the Skeptics StackExchange, this came up: http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/7722/are-the-16-scientists-who-claim-that-climate-change-is-not-something-to-worry-ab

  2. Kevin

    I just can’t believe this. How can major newspapers publish such blatant lies? I’m glad there are so many people who’ll call them on it, but most of those who read these articles will just accept them as truth. Frightening. It’s borderline criminal to publish such blatant disinformation.

  3. Sean

    Forbes also had a great rebutal of the WSJ which is worth adding to your list – http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2012/01/27/remarkable-editorial-bias-on-climate-science-at-the-wall-street-journal/ especially as it is another primarily economics publication.

  4. Wow. Those articles are even more brazenly incompetent and incoherent than usual. I didn’t even think that was possible.

    And David Rose is to journalism what Sarah Palin is to politics. What utter nincompoopery.

  5. Dan

    The Mail also attributed the research to the Met Office and UEA, when in fact (as the Met Office’s press release says) they were working with the University of Reading.

    Why would the Mail want to implicate the University of East Anglia, home of the CRU, in this story? One can only guess.

  6. Jim Johnson

    Nice article, and thanks for the links to the other sensible rebuttals. One thing: the original show (on History Channel back when it showed history, or maybe even on The Learning Channel, back when it showed learning) that introduced me to the story of the Little Ice Age didn’t make it seem like a European phenomenon – more like a northern hemisphere phenomenon. I seem to remember the cold weather seriously impacted the English colonies in New England, and a mention of a river (Hudson, or Potomac or something else iconic) freezing over.

  7. Now if only Discovery News would post better articles (http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/03/02/global-warming-pause.html).

    Many a layperson could be lead astray by what is perceived to be a trustworthy source of information.

  8. Pete Jackson

    But it is true that temperatures haven’t risen overall in the past 10 years.

    It’s also true that you could say that about the period 1985-1995, but that turned out to be just a blip in the long-term warming trend. If the warming trend is to continue, we should see a sudden jump in the next couple of years.

  9. I was just sad to see Burt Rutan on that list.

  10. Mark

    I am wholly on the side of believing what the scientific data has to show, and at this point in time it seems overwhelmingly to indicate that global warming is real and it is man-made. I think the WSJ article raises a point that I felt slightly interested by. They really harp on the usage of the word “incontrovertible”, and not really knowing all the ins-and-outs of the usage of that word, I do agree that language like that has no business being in science. From my perspective, if there are REAL scientists, who do REAL studies and publish REAL papers in REAL journals, and those papers suggest an alternate view on the climate issue, they should be able to put those papers up for peer review without fear of retribution or being ostracized because they breech a HOLY issue. The beauty of science is that there are no sacred cows, there are no idols to worship, just good hard work and good critical thinking. Now, a question. Does the article paint an accurate picture of the climate issue being a sacred cow? Is the scientific community open to contrary positions from untainted scientists?

  11. Björn Lammers

    I was about to tip you off on this, but you beat me to it. Good work, but sad to see people bury their heads in the sand…

  12. llewelly

    Burt Rutan believes in Ancient Astronauts. What did you expect?

  13. ethanol

    Pete Jackson: Take another look at that trend: recent years are right in line; no jump in temperature is necessary to continue it.

  14. DachDerain

    Oh well; new CRU data doesn’t convince these people any more than the BEST data and the CERN cloud chamber experiment did. Sun deniers gonna deny…

  15. It’s called “FUDD” and is the main strategy for the Corporatists who would burn this planet to a cinder as long as they could extract a few more millions along the way.

  16. SLC

    Re Kevin @ #2

    The Wall Street Journal is now owned by Rupert Murdock which is probably the best explanation of how inanity can be published in a formerly respectable newspaper.

    However, in fairness, the article was published on the editorial page which was a far right wing mouthpiece for the fossil fuel industry long before Murdock purchased the paper.

  17. Mike

    Phil, what about their contention that the observed warming over the last 40 years remains at the low end of the range of model predictions?

  18. The key thing about the ownership of the Wall Street Journal and News Corporation is not that Rupert Murdoch & Son are the largest shareholders, but that a Saudi prince is the #2 shareholder. Only since Al-Waleed bin Talal got involved has the News Corporation position on global warming gone completely insane.

  19. Quatguy

    Phil, Little Ice Age cooling is well documented in western North America, the Andes and the Himalaya. It is inferred from widespread glacial readvances that can be dated to that time through the use of C14, tree ring studies and lichen analysis of terminal moraine deposits in alpine areas. The cooling at that time lasted for centuries and was not associated with the 11 year sunspot cycle. However, it may have some correlation with the Maunder Minimum which lasted about 100 years during the height of the little ice age. Interesting but I agree totally unrelated to the man-made global climate change now occurring. Shame on the WSJ.

  20. Chris

    I was talking about this last week in my class. One thing to mention is that scientists don’t have PR firms doing focus groups to find buzz words which will resonate with the public. All we have is the data. Even if we don’t like what the data is telling us, we follow the data. The data leads to the truth.

    As to why there are a small minority of scientists who disagree with the vast majority. Every family has a crazy uncle, same with scientists, we have member of the family who is a bit embarrassing. And sometimes someone who is claiming to be a member of the family who doesn’t belong. Now sometimes those crazy relatives turn out to be right. But as scientists, if the data doesn’t support their hypotheses, we can’t believe them.

  21. Bobby LaVesh

    There is a reason we Brits call the “Daily Mail” the “Daily Fail”. Don’t worry- no one takes the fail seriously- it’s only a hair above the News Of The World and The Sun is quality.

  22. Blargh

    Once again I’m going to ask climate skeptics to watch Potholer54’s climate change videos on Youtube before you start voicing objections to the science of climate change here. There’s a very good chance that any objections or questions you might have have already been answered in them.
    They start off here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52KLGqDSAjo

  23. haversham

    @ #17 Mike

    The fact that it remains within the range of the model predictions lend credence to their veracity. I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at?

  24. BCFD36

    It was mentioned that the Little Ice Age was only a European event. Some looking around the web indicates that it was at LEAST a northern hemisphere event. Remember Valley Forge and cannons being pulled across the ice, much to the British disadvantage? When is the last time the river froze enough to walk from Staten Island to anywhere?

  25. James Harmer

    The Mail? No one takes that rag seriously. It reads like a cross between the National Inquirer and Mein Kampf. If you ever make the mistake of buying a copy, the only sensible use for it is toilet paper.

  26. GrogInOhio

    One has to ask if BOTH newspapers are Rupert Murdoch rags. Certainly Mr. Murdoch never lets facts get in the way of his opinions.

  27. Wayne Robinson

    Silence,

    There’s a book published this week, ‘Rupert Murdoch’ by David MacKnight. The author notes that Rupert is motivated just as much by the desire to have power and influence as he is by the desire to make enormous sums of money, and often the first desire helps the second, as political parties and governments become fearful of upsetting him and becoming the target of biased reporting and editorials immediately before elections, so they ‘liberalize’ media laws, making it easier to acquire more power.

    In July 2006, at News Corporation editorial meeting at Pebble Beach, James Murdoch arranged for Al Gore to speak and show his film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. For a short time, Rupert became convinced of human induced global warming, and announced plans for News Corporation to become carbon neutral, which was achieved recently.

    For a short time, editorial comment criticizing the validity of climate science became muted, but unfortunately it’s ramped up again. One of the reasons why I stopped buying ‘the Australian’ last year. The editorial bias was amazing. Even online, you weren’t allowed to publish any comment supportive of the validity of AGW in comments on denialist articles or columns. Articles dealing with flight disruptions due to the ash clouds from volcanic eruptions had many comments claiming that the CO2 emitted from the volcanoes would negate any attempt by humans to reduce CO2 emissions.

    The greatest hope is that Rupert’s children take over as soon as possible. They don’t seem as rigid as their father. Unfortunately, the Murdochs appear to have longevity genes, and Rupert’s sole interest is business, so he’ll probably continue to work till he dies.

  28. hhEb09'1

    Im going to have to dig a little deeper on this one. If global temps had risen steadily until 2001, and then leveled off, everything that the BA says would be true, but everything that he says the WSJ says would also be true. Except for the insults, back and forth.

  29. Jess Tauber

    Re. 26 “…he’ll probably continue to work till he dies.”

    Er, don’t you mean, until he helps kill us all?

  30. Chuck Messer

    Junk science: any science that offends one’s religion, is politically inconvenient, or cuts into one’s profit margin.

    ~ Homeless Joe’s Almanac

  31. Nick

    Geenstijl, a well read dutch weblog threw the daily mail article at me. I felt really bad today, it really bummed me out to see so many people, willfully ignorant, even though there is some easy-to-acces information on the web about climate change. I even found some by simply following the lead in the article itself, by checking the met office website. I feel desperate because of these things. This article gets 30 replies, one of them is mine, the articles mentioned get thousands. I am ashamed to be human. Cows can’t talk, that means they can’t progress scientific knowledge, but at least they can’t deny proven facts either. I’m truly afraid that a hundred years from now we’ll still be reading about how evolution is a lie, 9/11 is an inside job, and how CO2 doesn’t cause climatechange in newspapers. Or maybe global warming kills us before then, right now I wouldn’t be too disappointed about something like that happening.
    Thank you though, writer of this article, you give me some hope in an otherwise hopeless evening.

  32. Fred

    Thanks for this article, it’s posts like these that will keep reality in focus and hopefully lead to general awareness on climate change and what people can do every day to help buck the trend.

  33. Randy A.

    Let’s think about this for a minute, and do a cost benefit analysis.

    If we wean ourselves off fossil fuels, we’ll do so in part by energy conservation, which saves us money. We’ll also get less pollution, which means better health and lower food prices. We’ll be able to bring our soldiers and sailors home from the Persian Gulf, and stop kissing the asses of dictators and despots who happen to have some oil.

    If scientists are right about global climate change, we’ll avoid the worst of it. If they’re wrong, we’ll still get all the other benefits I mentioned above!

    There will be a downside… The oil companies won’t be able to buy more than a half dozen senators and representatives in the U.S. Congress after we switch to renewables.

    Actually, that sounds like another benefit! ;-)

    Of course, switching away from fossil fuels will be expensive. But remember, you’ll have to buy a new car eventually, anyway. So why not buy a hybrid, or in a couple years, an electric car? The same reasoning applies to most everything, from the lightbulbs in your kitchen to the power plant and electric grid that supplies electricity to your community.

    The sooner we start, the easier the transition…

  34. amphiox

    Randy@35, the Oil Companies are Energy Companies. They’re only presently and temporarily into oil because right now oil is the most financially viable energy source of the moment.

    They will adapt to any changes in the energy market and continue to make their money.

    Those that do not will go out of business. But that’s just the sacred invisible hand of the free market at work…

  35. gss_000

    Another great rebuttal here:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/some-questions-for-rutan/

    I’m actually shocked about the statements from Rutan. It’s not so much that he is anti AGW, because it’s not his field, but that he uses *horrible* math to prove his point.

    @8. Pete Jackson
    As has been said by others, that’s not true. While 10 years seems a lot, you can’t just take any 10 years and infer a trend. The error on such an analysis is way too large. You end up having no confidence in the result. What you are looking at over that period is still weather, not climate. Instead, when you look at longer timescales you find that not only are the temps getting warmer but it matches the predictions of models.

  36. I believe having non-specialists take their shot in areas outside their fields is healthy, as long as they realize that their work has to stand up to the same scrutiny as everybody else’s. If Burt Rutan wants to risk burning through some of his reputation by taking this stance, that’s his choice.

  37. Mike

    GrogInOhio Says:
    ‘One has to ask if BOTH newspapers are Rupert Murdoch rags. Certainly Mr. Murdoch never lets facts get in the way of his opinions.’

    No, the Mail is owned by Associated Newspapers which is just as right-wing as Murdoch but in an especially British way – one which is obsessed with minor royals, house prices and the European Union. It is targetted largely at working women and has been very successful in that market by telling them they’re all overweight and ruining the country by going out and working. It’s a paper that can berate the BBC for showing an artfully posed naked woman before 21:00 by printing a full page screen capture of the offending image and delivering it to millions of breakfast tables.

    The Mail’s website is laid out to show scares on the left, slappers on the right. The left-hand side of every page has a horror story about – oooh picking some at random – imaginary terrorists, benefits frauds, paedophiles or the massive German volcano that will bury London under ash. The right-hand side is a mass of links to long lens photographs of vaguely famous people going about their lives with a commentary that they’re too fat/thin/famous.

    The whole festering mass is then glued together with a set of shrieking commentators including such intellectual heavyweights as Melanie Phillips who doesn’t believe in evolution or global warming, has no science degree whatsoever and was largely responsible for the MMR vaccine causes autism scandal getting as far as it did.

    This is actually a rather unusual ‘science’ article for them in that they haven’t said whether it is a cause of, or cure for, cancer (partial list here):

    http://kill-or-cure.heroku.com/

  38. Anchor

    “Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now.”
    – The Whopper from the WSJ

    A far more inconvenient fact (which has the additional virtue of being true) is that willful ignorance is synonymous with dishonesty. There is no way to put it delicately without introducing unnecessary equivocation: Denialists are habitual liars and pathologically antiscientific. Science enjoins us to accept the evidence obtained from nature in order to determine what is so, whether we like it or not. Denialists deliberately distort the evidence to support what they WANT to believe is so. That’s a gigantic difference, and between them yawns the chasm that distinguishes the integrity and honor of the truth-lover from the fraudster.

    Are denialists consciously aware of their deceit? Does it really matter if they purposely deceive or are ‘merely mistaken’? Not if they declare a preconceived conclusion as The Truth before looking at any evidence to confirm or refute it, and not if they refuse to reevaluate their opinion on the basis of a mountain range of independent and mutually consistent lines of evidence. And certainly not if they go out of their way to creatively misinterpret the evidence (oddly enough, obtained almost exclusively by climate experts) with all manner of unfounded or just plain wrong assumptions. Is it really charitable to determine whether Denialists consciously engage in deceit or are simply (if stubbornly) ignorant? Which is the lesser affliction? Dishonesty or stupidity? Which sort would be more likely to read and listen to propaganda conceived, distributed and paid for by corporate interests? You may now flip your coin.

  39. 9seconds

    Can you show only the data from the last 10 years and fit a line to that?

  40. twintodd

    Only the moron Group Think fools stand behind climate change. I’m waiting to see their first article “proving” the sun flare activity is man made.

  41. Dwatney

    I predict:

    Phil Plait says “Over the weekend, two amazing […] articles were published about climate change. Both were […] simply so factual […].”

  42. Infinite123Lifer

    Tails

    What does tails mean again?

  43. Brian Too

    I used to think of the WSJ as a reputable newspaper. Firmly corporatist of course, but respectful of facts.

    One wonders what their future holds. Either an editorial mea culpa or a slide into disrepute.

  44. Infinite123Lifer

    Or do I just keep on flipping until I notice a pattern? Hmm, or then maybe extrapolate some DATA rather than interpolate it!

  45. Dee

    David Rose is a pseudonym for a well known plagiarist and hack.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Hari

  46. Mark

    Seeing comment exchanges like this really bums me out. The conversation seems so petty and aimed at discrediting people. I posed an earlier question, which is an honest question that strikes me as a primary point in the WSJ article, but no one so much as hinted at it. I will pose it again:
    The WSJ article points out the usage of the word “Incontrovertible”, which is a suspicious language to use in science. It hints at a general tone in the scientific community that global warming is a sacred cow, and no criticism or varying viewpoint will be accepted. In fact, proposing alternate views on the subject will lead to maligning and smearing of reputations. Is this perception true? Would the scientific community be receptive to a legitimate scientist submitting a scholarly paper for review that suggested an alternate cause for climate change? I am only interested in the truth, but I would feel sick if science would allow itself to be polluted with the same wholesale rejection of ideas that we see in religion or politics.

  47. The satellite data is the most accurate. It doesn’t show warming in the last few years. That is undeniable. Showing a 40 year trend doesn’t refute that fact. If the articles in question claimed there had been no global warming in the last 40 years, the 40 year chart could be used as evidence. They made no such claim. Only a fool would fall for this ruse. Would you buy a company that hadn’t made money in 15 years because they had a chart that said they made money over the last 40 years? Global warming has paused if not stopped. Proponents of anthropogenic global warming owe the scientific community an explanation as to why their models have so utterly failed. If “warmists” want to make a case that warming will take take off soon, they should make it. Based on the recent failure of their predictions, the public and the scientific community in particular should be skeptical.

  48. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Also, the Little Ice Age — a cold period during the 17th and 18th centuries — was not a global effect; it only affected Europe. It also coincided with several large volcanic events that helped drive it. I explain all that in the link above.

    Quite timely, an update here:

    “A new international study may answer contentious questions about the onset and persistence of Earth’s Little Ice Age, a period of widespread cooling that lasted for hundreds of years until the late 19th century.

    The study, led by the University of Colorado Boulder with co-authors at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and other organizations, suggests that an unusual, 50-year-long episode of four massive tropical volcanic eruptions triggered the Little Ice Age between 1275 and 1300 A.D. The persistence of cold summers following the eruptions is best explained by a subsequent expansion of sea ice and a related weakening of Atlantic currents, according to computer simulations conducted for the study.

    The study, which used analyses of patterns of dead vegetation, ice and sediment core data, and powerful computer climate models, provides new evidence in a longstanding scientific debate over the onset of the Little Ice Age. Scientists have theorized that the Little Ice Age was caused by decreased summer solar radiation, erupting volcanoes that cooled the planet by ejecting sulfates and other aerosol particles that reflected sunlight back into space, or a combination of the two.

    “This is the first time anyone has clearly identified the specific onset of the cold times marking the start of the Little Ice Age,” says lead author Gifford Miller of the University of Colorado Boulder. “We also have provided an understandable climate feedback system that explains how this cold period could be sustained for a long period of time. If the climate system is hit again and again by cold conditions over a relatively short period—in this case, from volcanic eruptions—there appears to be a cumulative cooling effect.”

    “Our simulations showed that the volcanic eruptions may have had a profound cooling effect,” says NCAR scientist Bette Otto-Bliesner, a co-author of the study. “The eruptions could have triggered a chain reaction, affecting sea ice and ocean currents in a way that lowered temperatures for centuries.”

    The study appears this week in Geophysical Research Letters.” [My bold]

    The Sun didn’t make the “Little Ice Age”. And a sustained solar minimum can’t do these things, you need a series of volcanoes.

  49. John

    Bad Astronomy is aptly named.

  50. “Would the scientific community be receptive to a legitimate scientist submitting a scholarly paper for review that suggested an alternate cause for climate change?”

    Yes. But there aren’t many (any?). Apparently they’re more interested in writing OP-Ed pieces.

  51. meinbc

    I’ve got no dogs in this fight but thought I would look at the data from the position of an outsider.

    Here are the Met’s temperatures for the last 10 years 2001 – 14.41, 2002- 14.47, 2003 – 14.47, 2004 – 14.45, 2005 – 14.51, 2006 – 14.45, 2007 14.43, 2008- Not on table, 2009 – 14.47, 2010 – 14.47 and 2011 – 14.44. As for 2012 the Met predicts 14.48.

    So Phil, while you are correct that nine of the ten hottest years have happened since 2000 Mr. Rose is correct in that there has been no significant heating in the last 15 years.

    Admittedly Mr. Rose may have cherry-picked but your rebuttal is incredibly weak. The information that has you upset is factually correct since new figures do seem to indicate that there has been no significant warming in the last 15 years. Your counter-argument is that the Met predicts that 2012 will show the continuation of a trend of no significant increases in the last 15 years. That is certainly not an argument I would place in bold-type?

  52. Daniel J. Andrews

    9seconds asked,

    Can you show only the data from the last 10 years and fit a line to that?

    The data is online, and you can do some fitting yourself with Excel or some simple graphing program. Or for a short-cut, scroll down to see Figure 3 here.
    skepticalscience.com/global-cooling-january-2007-to-january-2008-intermediate.htm

    Not exactly in 10-year intervals (6 to 8 ) but is showing six different cooling trends over the past 40 years, and how the fake skeptics could claim warming had stopped for each of those short-term periods. More info on Signal vs Noise here.
    skepticalscience.com/going-down-the-up-escalator-part-1.html

  53. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Mark:

    Many things are incontrovertible in science: dropped things fall, gravity makes things fall, gravity is the fulcrum of cosmology, et cetera.

    The reason they do that is because these facts and the explanations predicting them are tested again and again, and the mistakes and explanations that can’t keep up are eliminated.

    According to climate scientists AGW may have joined that august club. Simple as that.

    Yes, by all means, let other theories try to explain the immense amount of observations only AGW has been capable of explaining. There has been a few attempts, such as the mentioned solar variation, but as you can see from the publicized record they have failed.

    So until that day when someone manages to turn that mighty stone over, we have the incontrovertible observed fact (not philosophical “truth”) that AGW happens right now.

    And your protests, which shows so little understanding of science and its free market of ideas, bums me out. How hard can it be to check the facts of the ground before threading out and making the same tired complaints we see again and again and again and aaaagh!?

  54. Mark

    @Torbjorn
    Thank you for taking the time to explain that. It seems like a good explanation of reality. I am by no means a scientist, and I stated my ignorance up front. I come from the school of thought that says “when you dont know/understand something, ask someone who does”, and knowing that someone here would know (like you) I decided to ask. You asked: “how hard is it to check the facts…”, to which I would say, “very”. I am sure you are aware of the OCEANS of information out there, SEAS of opinions; rather than wade through all that to cobble together an answer to my question, I simply asked it to a group of trusted sources. When you take the tone you took at the end of your comment, my immediate response is “why does he have to be such a dick about it? I was asking an honest question”. Perhaps it is this type of tone that people like you take that doesnt exactly evangelize rational thought.
    Again, thank you for explaining it, I truly appreciate it. I just wish you would have left it at a good explanation rather than launch in to the criticism of me asking a question.

  55. Dutch Railroader

    @Mark

    Often in the discussion of the climate change one sees complaints about what science is or what scientists should or should not do, which are generally expressed as criticism that the scientists have taken a stand on something and are not being open enough to contrary ideas. The shocking truth, however, is that science really does make progress. Issue are really decided. A consensus is formed and becomes very strong for very good reasons. I can look over the duration of my career and cite many controversial issues were very popular say decade ago that are never, ever talked about any more because they’re done. This is not to say that there is no room for contrary ideas, but they better be damned good, directed to point of why previous thinking is wrong, and not just a rehash of old discards.

    Again in my long career, I have never seen any adopted consensus to be flat out wrong. When there is controversy it is typically accompanied with weak data, poor knowledge, great uncertainties, and a lack of very strong beliefs – again by the majority (not just one or two saying that these things are so). Changes in thinking generally are fiddles or amendments to previous thinking, even when people want to characterize them as large paradigm shifts.

    In the specific case of climate change, most scientists have seen the data, the arguments, and have made up their minds. As I think Carl Sagan said, it’s important to have an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.

  56. TM Maybe

    Imagine a group of ‘humans’ whose evil so great, so hideous, that they would
    sell the entire future Earth, so they can make more money now.

    Oh, wait. They’re here.

  57. shunt1
  58. Massa

    You’re kidding, right? The trend you draw in a red line is wrong for the last 10 years. It should be horizontal or with a much lower slope.

    Haha, to think that man in 50 years can have more effect on climate than the Sun and volcanoes. Keep dreaming.

    Unfortunately, we are going towards a global cooling – too bad the “cavalry” (as you candidly call the media outlets in line with the official “global warming” fiasco) is on the side of the people who make a lot of money out of this lie: IPCC, UN, Al “Internet” Gore, etc.

  59. Mark

    @Dutch
    Thank you for the insightful response. I really appreciate hearing the perspective of (what appears to be) a practicing scientist. I feel smarter having read your reply.

  60. Zenzan

    Re the NYT – I am not really surprised – that can only be expected from a Murdoch controlled newspaper – you should see the crap we get in Australia in both the broadsheet and tabloids controlled by the Murdochs.

  61. VinceRN

    I think that the climate change activists do a lot to stimulate this sort of thing by claiming that all the factors that have lead to variations in climate, often much bigger than we are experiencing now, in the past are now totally irrelevant. If you listen to the sort of folks that preach about climate change, even many that comment here, you would come away thinking that climate would be static if it weren’t for human activity. That is clearly BS.

    Yes human activity is a factor, that is undeniable. It seems to be the biggest factor, perhaps debatable, but almost certainly true. If people would stop claiming that it is the only factor, that no other factors have any effect on the global environment at all, it would be a lot harder for stuff like these articles to gain traction.

    The global environment is meant to change, and it would be changing today even of there were no humans. Human activity is changing the rate of change, possibly even the direction of change, but it can not be the only factor involved.

    So many people making the absurd claim that human activity is the only factor in global environmental change leaves openings for people to make even more absurd counter claims.

  62. Astrofiend

    @Bluegrass Pundit

    Look again at the plot at the top of the page. It’s quite obvious why we don’t take a 5 or 10 year trend. It is because the characteristic timescale for quantifiable changes in the warming trend occur over at LEAST that long, given the uncertainty of the datapoints. The scatter in the diagram renders any fit to time periods shorter than that meaningless. You may as well have said “The Milky Way experiences zero supernovae ever, because the trend in the past 30 years shows that there haven’t been any.”. Obviously that is incorrect, because the characteristic timescale of stellar evolution renders any empirical analysis over shorter timescales utterly meaningless. That is why the ‘profitable business’ analogy is a poor one: events can happen to change the fortune of a business on very short timescales – days or even hours. Certainly, most people would agree that a 5 or 10 year timescale is enough to form a sensible trend of a busniess’ profitability. Climate change occurs over longer timescales. It is almost meaningless to fit a trendline to the past 5 or 6 years an say “See! It’s reversing!”. You could do exactly the same thing at about 10 different places along the plot at the top, yet obviously the trend continues upwards.

  63. Blargh

    @meinbc:
    The key word there is “significant”. This would be Potholer54 video 8a: “Climate Change – Phil Jones and the ‘no warming for 15 years'”.

  64. Finbar

    Do we know what caused the periods of tropical and glacial periods of the past… Did humans cause them?

  65. Cass

    AGW theory has not produced a single accurate prediction, which if it were really science would result in it being declared a failed theory. Unfortunately, it is highly profitable to those climate scientists whose livelihood depends on the continued beating of this dead horse.

  66. shunt1

    Climate is the integration of Earth’s daily weather events as it reacts to a multitude of environmental factors. All time frames of measuring the climate are equally valid, unless you are attempting to manipulate the data to support a hidden agenda. An integral is an integral, no matter what the time frame is.

    Temperature itself is a useless measurement, because it does not include mass. The temperature of the atmosphere at 30 km is very hot, but you would freeze to death because of such little mass.

    The most important factor in Earth’s climate is it’s albedo. How the albedo changes over time is the one thing that is shamefully lacking in all of the data analysis and presentations.

    Satellites, Earth shine and even views of our planet from the STEREO probes are valuable sources of albedo measurements.

    For heat measurements of the Earth, the ARGOS array of oceanic samplings has become a valuable source of new information.

    For atmospheric measurements, satellites have been providing millions of data points of Earth every day, for over 30 years now.

    But please do not tell me that “250 real scientists” looked at the exact same data, without asking any questions about the data quality and that is something that I should consider as valid?

    YES DEAR!

  67. TuffyR

    What gives me cause to question the man-made global warming theory are: A – The base line temperate used for comparison rarely includes temps prior to the 1960s. In the time line of earths climate during the human age it seems too short a term of data to base a such long term prediction on. (IE, using Jan-April measurements to predict May-Dec temps. B – It appears to assume that the earths average temperature was a static number prior to 1960. If there was chart showing relatively steady temps post 1850 through 1960 showing the often quoted/promoted shown 1960-2010 data. C – The out and out assault on scientists and non-scientists who honestly and sincerely question the science, and financial motivation of those who promote it. There is no way anyone in this day and age could honestly discount the possibility there is financial or political motivation for promoting the man-made global warming theory. Adulterated, unfiltered, pure science can’t exist when politics and money are involved.

  68. ethanol

    Climate is the integration of Earth’s daily weather events as it reacts to a multitude of environmental factors. All time frames of measuring the climate are equally valid, unless you are attempting to manipulate the data to support a hidden agenda. An integral is an integral, no matter what the time frame is.

    This seems like an odd argument, given that we have been criticizing the extrapolation from the derivative over short time periods. And certainly not all scales are valid for this purpose.

    But please do not tell me that “250 real scientists” looked at the exact same data, without asking any questions about the data quality and that is something that I should consider as valid?

    Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps you have objections where these scientists do not, because they might know more about the issue than you do? Given the alternatives necessary for explaining their stance, it’s something want to at least consider.

  69. Blargh

    @ shunt1: I’m sorry, but you’re talking complete gibberish. I might’ve just been thoroughly trolled (in fact, I hope so), but I can’t let this go unanswered…

    All time frames of measuring the climate are equally valid, unless you are attempting to manipulate the data to support a hidden agenda.

    No they’re not, as short-term variations overshadow any long-term trends. Weather and climate are not the same thing.
    Allow me to quote from the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which parodies this by “proving” that a lack of pirates cool the Earth by looking at September 19th (“Talk Like A Pirate Day”), when lots of people dress up as pirates:

    Since its creation several years ago, the temperature on September 19 has been colder than the day I picked scientifically at random – July 10th – without exception. Just a coincidence? Unlikely.

    Temperature itself is a useless measurement, because it does not include mass. The temperature of the atmosphere at 30 km is very hot, but you would freeze to death because of such little mass.

    No it is not. The stratosphere is cold, cold, cold. And are you suggesting that the Earth is rapidly gaining or losing mass, or why are you even bringing up mass?

    The most important factor in Earth’s climate is it’s albedo.

    No, it’s its atmosphere. Mercury has an order of magnitude lower albedo than Venus, and is also a lot closer to the sun. Yet Venus’s mean surface temperature is a whopping 300 kelvin (300 C/540 F) higher than Mercury’s (roughly 740 K and 340 K, respectively). The difference? Venus’s thick, CO2-rich atmosphere.

    How the albedo changes over time is the one thing that is shamefully lacking in all of the data analysis and presentations.

    Again, it’s not. From changes in snow cover to changes in cloud formation to deforestation (and so on), albedo is taken into account when doing climate modelling. If you don’t believe me, just search for “climate albedo” in your favorite scientific paper search engine and you’ll find literally thousands of papers on the subject.

  70. shunt1

    Perhaps you are correct and the integration of daily weather is not valid at all time frames. Please tell me when the snow in my back yard will melt and exactly on what date! Nothing odd about my statement, since the weather at my location is below freezing in the morning and about 60 F in the afternoon. Of course, I could always fit a line between the average of the daily highs and lows and conclude that everything melted last month. But, that would not fit the reality of my back yard.

  71. shunt1

    Oh, can you provide us with a plot of Earth’s abledo over the last 100 years? Heck, I would be happy with a plot for even the last 30 years.

    I stand by my statement. The single most important factor in Earth’s climate, is the change in it’s albedo over time. Period.

  72. ethanol

    shunt1, why the obsession with integrals, and how is your example supposed to show that the time period is not important? Try integrating the temperature (in units of… degree hours?) from midnight to noon and see what that implies about the climate. And hey look! if I integrate the voltage of my wall socket over 1 second, it’s ~ 0 V! so I’ll just go stick a fork in it!

    I stand by my statement. The single most important factor in Earth’s climate, is the change in it’s albedo over time. Period.

    Well I’m glad that’s settled then.

  73. shunt1

    Unless you want another “YES DEAR” please do not provide any plots of the Earth’s albedo generated by computer models that have never been validated with actual data.

    How was the albedo actually MEASURED and with what instruments? To my knowledge, the only known methods are with satellites, the ratio between the dark and bright sides of the moon, and with probes such as STEREO A and B which could actually view the Earth remotely many times a day.

    Please provide us with actual MEASURED plots of Earth’s albedo over time. Curious minds would like to know how well it matches with the historical weather database.

  74. shunt1

    Actually, I rather like your example of integrating the voltage from your wall socket. Perhaps you only get shocked if you fit a line to the 30 year average?

    Think about it.

    And yes, all time intervals are valid and just as important. Sometimes, even very short periods become even more shocking in their results.

  75. ethanol

    Actually, I rather like your example of integrating the voltage from your wall socket. Perhaps you only get shocked if you fit a line to the 30 year average?
    Think about it.

    Ummmmmm….. Yeah no I think you just get shocked either way.

  76. shunt1

    Ethanol, nothing against you implied or intended.

    I just get so upset when computer models are used instead of actual measured data. Nothing is linear with weather and to use a 30 year average to fit a line to the data and extrapolate that into the future is nothing but a fraud.

    I actually enjoyed your socket voltage example, because that is exactly what I have been talking about. The historical climate data is constantly changing at all time periods. There is absolutely nothing linear, down to the smallest sampling times, or even up to the million year epochs.

    Every posting on this blog that I have made on this subject over the years has had the exact same type of comment: How was the data actually measured and validated?

  77. Mike

    Haver sham, my point is that one issue the skeptics are raising in general is that the “OMG! The world is ending!” scenarios seem less likely based the temperature trends. Temperature projections are a much art as science but we’re basing a lot of policy on them. If they are consistently overpredicting the temperature trends .. And my info is that they have for 4o years … then we should be revising them and/or taking their predictions with a significant amount of sodium chloride.

  78. Brock Way

    “Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now.”

    What the what?

    That statement, to put it bluntly, is dead wrong.

    Mmmmmkay. Care to tell us how much warming there HAS been in the last 10 years? Curious how you left that out. Just clear that DEAD WRONG error up right now by just telling us by how many degrees the temperature went up in the last 10 years.

  79. @63 Shunt: I don’t follow. You’re saying that a lot of valuable albedo data is available from these various sources, and you’re demanding that someone here posts it. What, exactly, makes you think that this data has been overlooked by climate scientists?

  80. Also, as important as albedo is, changes therein can be a consequence, not a cause, of warming. The classic case is sea ice melting. If X area of sea ice disappears, the albedo of that surface (the sea) will obviously drop. However, it’s not the albedo decrease that caused the melting in the first place; the decrease is instead a positive feedback.

    Or am I missing your whole point?

  81. Stargazer

    I look forward to hear what Penn and Teller have to say about this. :D

  82. Nick

    @shunt1

    Why are you asking all these questions, don’t you think this is off topic?

    Let me explain what happened, to make sure you’re as angry as the rest of us. Met office did some science, its employees came home very proud a couple of weeks ago, they did something, analyzed data and published it. Then a daily reporter took it, fabricated a bunch of nonsense, and published it in a newspaper read by many, many people.

    I notice you’re ‘skeptical’ (I prefer calling it cynical, but w/e) about climatology in general. Obviously, you’re allowed to be, but climatology is not harder, or more vague, then say evolution theory or germ theory (2 scientific area’s that deal with many denialists as well).

    Your arguments are just that, arguments. Evolution can’t be true because DNA is too complicated to just randomly pop into existence, and temperature itself is a useless measurement, because it does not include mass. The temperature of the atmosphere at 30 km is very hot, but you would freeze to death because of such little mass.

    Your YES DEAR statements are even more typical. The evilutionists are obsessed by their atheistic religion… etc. etc… it all sounds very familiar.

    I’m not going to ‘debate’ anything with you, I’m simply trying to show you this is not skepticism, simply creationism 2.0.

  83. shunt1

    Acually Joseph G, you did get the point.

    If there is a descrease in albedo, then the ocean, land and atmospheric heat content should increase after a thermal inertia delay. Oceans are the slowest to respond because of the higher mass and heat content.

    On the other side of the same equation…

    The question of “cause and effect” can be answered by closely noting the direction of the thermal inertia delay.

    You mentioned an interesting example. When there were strong winds over the artic ocean, the sea ice is forced south and has opened up large areas of exposed water surface. How did the albedo in that region alter?

    As for actual MEASURED historical data of Earth’s albedo, I would love to learn how to obtain that source of information. If you know where this can be found, please let me know.

    I do know about the Big Bear Solar Observatory attempt to measure Earth Shine and that was a great attempt to obtain this valuable raw data.

    http://www.bbso.njit.edu/

  84. shunt1

    The “YES DEAR” are for people who present unverified and disgustingly poor data that can not be reproduced by anyone.

    When people such as myself simply request that we correct these problems first, this is called “creationism 2.0″ and other slanders.

    You are correct, I am tired of talking to people who will not learn from known problems and refuse to try to find a way to increase the quality of the raw data. This should be a goal shared by everyone interested in the subject.

    So, instead of arguing with those who refuse to open their eyes and recognize that we have a data problem, I have a simple reply just for them.

    Have a nice day!

  85. Andreas H

    I know it is kind of a taboo to talk about it, but climate control goes both ways. As much as we need to prevent an overheating earth a new ice age would be much, much worse for humanity.

    Let me clear some things up first. Global warming is real and our actions definitely play a significant part in it. Most proposed actions should be taken not only for their impact in reducing global warming but also because they will increase our air quality, preserve our forests and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and many other positive secondary effects. An out of control, overheating earth needs to be prevented at all costs!

    But we should all be aware that if there would never have been any human influence in climate or if we restore “pre-industrialization” conditions sooner or later we will have to deal with the opposite, a threatening ice age. Now we don’t really have a reliable estimate about when the next ice age could hit, I read about estimates as low as 1500 years but also some estimates as high as 50’000 years.

    I guess what I try to suggest is that climate control becomes a “necessary evil” for any civilization that would approach “type 1″ (planetary) status. So I think we should argue for most immediate actions with a strong emphasis on their secondary effects and start to approach climate control a little differently.

    Effective climate control always needs to be a global initiative, so lets start to talk more about climate control and less about preventing global warming. Right now these would basically be the same thing but in the future climate control can be any number of actions. We should stop painting human influence on the climate as a bad thing and instead look at it in a positive light, but at the same time urge everyone to respect the responsibility that comes with that power. In my own experience a positive approach has a much better chance to succeed in most situations. Instead of telling everyone what they can’t do we encourage research and innovation into a global, cooperative effort to use our knowledge to form a healthy and sustainable environment for our planet.

  86. prochoice

    I stumbled about a blatant, albeit understandable misconception yesterday in German;
    commenters who asked where the “warming ” was while Middle Europe has the third cold winter in a row – something rare even a generation ago.
    I answered that the heat comes from also very hot summer days, temperatures we rarely had in the abovementioned time, and the warming trend is a computed average.

    Maybe “Beware of manmade weather extremes!” or “distabilizing the weather cycles into more severe very cold and very hot times” would be better.

    But overoptimistic press could also be using end time belief – and there is no way to get numbers, computing and other, even more complicated models of reality through to endtimers – for “keep capitalism-going”-articles.

  87. Ann

    Honest to God! To Mr. “Yes Dear”. When scientists talk in their field of expertise, I tend to listen because I think they are a lot smarter than me. At least when they are talking about science. When a LOT of scientists expert in a given field all come to the same conclusion, I believe I will take their word for it as opposed to say, yours, or the Senator from my state who insists it is solar flare activity causing the rise in temperature. They can no longer deny that the earth is warming, so they must come up with something that is causing it other than we are dumping tons of CO2 into the air ( the obvious one, see comment about Venus ).

  88. Nigel Depledge

    Mark (10) said:

    Does the article paint an accurate picture of the climate issue being a sacred cow? Is the scientific community open to contrary positions from untainted scientists?

    While I daresay there may be some climatologists who are not open to research showing that AGW is an ilusion, I suspect the majority would – if an article were to be published that genuinely and persuasively demonstrated that the warming trend is an illusion – accept it.

    However, bear in mind that all of the evidence available from the last 30 years of research indicates that AGW is real, so any new evidence would need to overturn that conclusion. Thus, the hypothetical new evidence would need to be dramatic and unequivocally convincing. IOW, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  89. MarkW

    For the sake of argument, if AGW is all a scam, what harm is done by acting as if it were true? We reduce CO2 output, we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, we move towards renewable energy sources, all good things in and of themselves. I’m sure we’ve all seen the “What if we create a better world for nothing?” cartoon.

    On the other hand, acting as though AGW is a scam when it is in fact true could have dire consequences.

    (I’m aware that this argument is similar in form to Pascal’s Wager but IMO that doesn’t necessarily invalidate it.)

    Further, the climate denialists’ arguments seem to me to be based, not on a genuine understanding of the science, but on a childish “**** you Jack, I’m OK” mentality. “But Mom, I don’t WANT to give up my gas-guzzling SUV!”

    (BTW I am not the same Mark as has posted earlier in the thread.)

  90. gss_000

    @49. Bluegrass Pundit
    “The satellite data is the most accurate. It doesn’t show warming in the last few years. That is undeniable.”

    Unfortunately, you are wrong. Please check out:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/2011-temperature-roundup/
    UAH in the graph is the satellite data. You’ll see that it tracks well with other temperature measurements, although it does need to be adjusted because ground stations and satellites measure different layers of the atmosphere. But it clearly shows the same trends. The “satellite data doesn’t show warming” is a canard.

  91. Nigel Depledge

    Amphiox (36) said:

    Those that do not will go out of business. But that’s just the sacred invisible hand of the free market at work…

    Eh? What free market?

    When fossil fuels and hods of other industries are no longer subsidised, maybe then we can talk about a free market

  92. David C

    I’m not surprised in the least that Rutan is on the list. I saw him at a CAD seminar just after the SpaceShipOne flight. He was cocky, arrogant, and wingnutty. For all his NASA and FAA bashing you would have thought he thought up the concept of space travel and landed on the moon, not duplicated what the X-15 did 50 years ago. He is an innovative aerospace engineer, but he is also a right-wing jerk.

  93. Ellwyn Montle

    Dear Phil,
    Your article is loaded with mistakes, misinterpretations, and outright misinformation.
    You are obviously unqualified to discuss climate science.
    Perhaps you should stick to astronomy.

    You react like a religious zealot who is upset about someone questioning your religious beliefs.
    Oh wait – climate alarmism is your religion. I almost forgot.

    I love your astronomical discussions, just not the religious fanaticism..

    Sincerely,
    A fellow astronomer.

  94. Nigel Depledge

    Mark (48) said:

    I posed an earlier question, which is an honest question that strikes me as a primary point in the WSJ article, but no one so much as hinted at it.

    I think most people ignored it because it is trivially easy to find the answer for yourself. However, I don’t think anyone else here is quite as pedantic as I am, so . . .

    I will pose it again:
    The WSJ article points out the usage of the word “Incontrovertible”, which is a suspicious language to use in science. It hints at a general tone in the scientific community that global warming is a sacred cow, and no criticism or varying viewpoint will be accepted.

    There is an alternative explanation: that the evidence for AGW is so overwhelmingly convincing that no reasonable person without a vested interest in the satus quo doubts its veracity.

    Let’s have a look at the context here. AGW deniers accuse the scientific community of misinterpreting or inflating their data and conclusions to secure continued funding. But what do scientists really want? SUre, tenure and continued funding are nice, but they are merely a means to an end. If a scientist was really in it for the money, well they picked a loser with this one. Even most of the scientists who work for big corporations don’t get the kind of remuneration they could have got by becoming lawyers or accountants. Science – as a career – is not a big payer. Thus, the argument that climatologists have invented stuff in order to make big bucks simply does not wash.

    What do scientists really want, if not piles of cash? Simple – respect and renown. And in science, these are achieved by publishing high-quality work, and by pushing the boundaries of our collective knowledge. But these are small-scale stuff. This kind of activity does not lead to another Newton, Pasteur, Mendeleev or Einstein. No, to get that kind of lasting recognition, a scientist must change the game. And the quickest and surest way to do this is to resolve a large conundrum and / or overturn a previously widely-held belief. Einstein did both at the same time, hence his prominence.

    So, if anyone had found some really genuine data to demonstrate conclusively that AGW is an illusion, they would have published it, and would have achieved lasting recognition because of it. the fact that this has not happened – that all serious climatologists are now convinced that AGW is real – implies that no such evidence exists, and therefore that AGW is genuine. People have been looking at the climate – past, present and future – in a variety of ways, and no-one has found anything to suggest that AGW is the illusion we all wish it were.

    In fact, proposing alternate views on the subject will lead to maligning and smearing of reputations. Is this perception true?

    No.

    Proposing alternative viewpoints based on biased data analysis, selective examination of evidence, poor logic or inadequate understanding of the complexities and subtleties of the subject, OTOH, will lead to a demolished reputation. No maligning needed.

  95. Nigel Depledge

    Bluegrass Pundit (49) said:

    Global warming has paused if not stopped.

    So, how do you explain that 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000?

    Proponents of anthropogenic global warming owe the scientific community an explanation as to why their models have so utterly failed.

    You have not shown that any models have failed.

    I’ll tell you what – I’ll eat as much humble pie as you like, once the world’s glaciers have returned to the size they were in 1850.

  96. Nigel Depledge

    Meinbc (53) said:

    Here are the Met’s temperatures for the last 10 years :

    [. . . ]

    Mr. Rose is correct in that there has been no significant heating in the last 15 years.

    Er, what?

    In what way do 10 years’ worth of data support a conclusion about a 15-year period?

  97. Nigel Depledge

    Mark (56) said:

    @Torbjorn
    Thank you for taking the time to explain that. It seems like a good explanation of reality. I am by no means a scientist, and I stated my ignorance up front. I come from the school of thought that says “when you dont know/understand something, ask someone who does”, and knowing that someone here would know (like you) I decided to ask. You asked: “how hard is it to check the facts…”, to which I would say, “very”. I am sure you are aware of the OCEANS of information out there, SEAS of opinions; rather than wade through all that to cobble together an answer to my question, I simply asked it to a group of trusted sources. When you take the tone you took at the end of your comment, my immediate response is “why does he have to be such a dick about it? I was asking an honest question”. Perhaps it is this type of tone that people like you take that doesnt exactly evangelize rational thought.

    Further up the thread, Blargh (23) said:

    Once again I’m going to ask climate skeptics to watch Potholer54′s climate change videos on Youtube before you start voicing objections to the science of climate change here. There’s a very good chance that any objections or questions you might have have already been answered in them.
    They start off here: [url omitted to save moderation time]

    Did you?

  98. vel

    as expected, global warming denialists use the same techniques that creationists use. They lie outrightly, they use superseded information and they go running to scientists who are not experts in the fields that they attack. It’s rather like me taking my child to a mechanic rather than a pediatrician.

  99. woody tanaka

    “Shame on the WSJ for publishing that nonsense. ”

    The WSJ, as the name implies, represents the business interests. Business people have no sense of shame (or good or justice or compassion, etc.). They have a sense of greed and will do anything, even promote the destruction of the ecosystem, so that they can make a few bucks.

  100. Ostsol

    I was actually rather disappointed to see this article on Slashdot. It would be interesting if it stated something new, but it does not. It refers back to the same hacked emails and denials that have been used for the past four years.

  101. tmitsss

    Where is that unprecedented dangerous accelerating warming we were warned about?

    not in that chart.

  102. Nigel Depledge

    Vince RN (60) said:

    I think that the climate change activists do a lot to stimulate this sort of thing by claiming that all the factors that have lead to variations in climate, often much bigger than we are experiencing now, in the past are now totally irrelevant. If you listen to the sort of folks that preach about climate change, even many that comment here, you would come away thinking that climate would be static if it weren’t for human activity. That is clearly BS.

    Yes human activity is a factor, that is undeniable. It seems to be the biggest factor, perhaps debatable, but almost certainly true. If people would stop claiming that it is the only factor, that no other factors have any effect on the global environment at all, it would be a lot harder for stuff like these articles to gain traction.

    The global environment is meant to change, and it would be changing today even of there were no humans. Human activity is changing the rate of change, possibly even the direction of change, but it can not be the only factor involved.

    So many people making the absurd claim that human activity is the only factor in global environmental change leaves openings for people to make even more absurd counter claims.

    Thus speaks yet another one who clearly hasn’t bothered to understand the issue.

    To quote Willow Rosenberg: “Bored now”.

    The issue is not that the climate is changing at all, it is that (1) it is changing faster than it ever has before, and (2) whereas previous climate change has been of limited impact on human existence (with the possible exception of the changes that are hypothesised to have driven the evolution of Homo sapiens about 200,000 years ago), we have built ourselves a civilisation that is wholly dependent on the climate being, on average, constant.

    The unprecedentaed rate of climate change is almost certainly our fault.

    Sure, the climate has changed before, many times (often associated with mass extinctions, if you bother to do some research), but never before has it changed as quickly as it is changing now, and never before has a sentient species so put itself at the mercy of what some portray as minor changes in global climate.

    4 °C does not sound like much of a change, but what matters is not how big the number feels, but what the consequences are likely to be.

  103. Nigel Depledge

    Shunt1 (66) said:

    Perhaps you are correct and the integration of daily weather is not valid at all time frames. Please tell me when the snow in my back yard will melt and exactly on what date!

    Which part of “not valid at all time frames” do you not understand?

    Nothing odd about my statement,

    Apart from its irrelevancy and obvious lunacy, you mean?

    since the weather at my location is below freezing in the morning and about 60 F in the afternoon.

    Is that air temperature, soil temperature or radiative temperature?

    Are you taking the relevant thermal transfer rates into consideration?

    Of course, I could always fit a line between the average of the daily highs and lows and conclude that everything melted last month. But, that would not fit the reality of my back yard.

    It would if you used relevant metrics. Clearly the scientists who you arrogantly presume to criticise really do know more about this stuff than you.

  104. Nigel Depledge

    Ethanol (68) said:

    And hey look! if I integrate the voltage of my wall socket over 1 second, it’s ~ 0 V!

    I integrated mine over a whole day, and it was damn close to 0.000 Volt-hours. ;-)

  105. Nigel Depledge

    Shunt1 (69) said:

    Please provide us with actual MEASURED plots of Earth’s albedo over time. Curious minds would like to know how well it matches with the historical weather database.

    What the . . . ?

    Who are you to simply demand data? You want it, you go and submit a grant application to acquire it. Guess what? That’s what actual scientists do.

    I suspect, however, that there are plenty of people who understand Earth’s climate who could explain to you (if they felt you were likely to listen) exactly why it isn’t worth the expense.

    According to your model, a greenhouse with no glass in its panels but with a black floor will be warmer than a greenhouse with a white floor that has glass in all its wall and roof panels. Think about it. Please.

  106. Isobel_A

    There’s a reason that many of us in the UK refer to The Daily Mail as ‘The Daily Fail’!

  107. Nigel Depledge

    Shunt1 (72) said:

    I just get so upset when computer models are used instead of actual measured data. Nothing is linear with weather and to use a 30 year average to fit a line to the data and extrapolate that into the future is nothing but a fraud.

    Then isn’t it a good thing that no respectable climatologist would even dream of doing something so mindlessly simplistic?

    What on Earth makes you think they are stupid enough to do something so useless?

    Climate models are just what they say. They model the behaviour of climate. This includes such factors as ocean and air currents, insolation, albedo, atmospheric composition and so on and so forth. The climate is complex, and these models are often also very complex. That’s one reason why the Met Office has some of the most powerful computers in the UK. What these models emphatically are not is a ruler placed on a bit of graph paper!

    I actually enjoyed your socket voltage example, because that is exactly what I have been talking about. The historical climate data is constantly changing at all time periods. There is absolutely nothing linear, down to the smallest sampling times, or even up to the million year epochs.

    But there are clear trends, of warming, cooling and stability. What there has never been is warming of the magnitude we are seeing now on the kind of timescale it is occurring now.

    Your argument looks just like the “climate has always changed, what’s the big deal?” fallacy.

    Every posting on this blog that I have made on this subject over the years has had the exact same type of comment: How was the data actually measured and validated?

    Why the hell don’t you get off your butt and find out for yourself?

    The primary literature are available in any good university library, or you can buy yourself a personal subscription to the online versions.

    All the methods used in climatology are published. If you want to find out, that information is available. It certainly isn’t anyone’s job to hand it to you on a plate.

  108. MartinM

    The Daily Mail holds the dubious distinction of being the only British newspaper ever to receive a letter to the editor from one Mr A. Hitler, thanking them for their support of his new political movement.

  109. MartinM

    What these models emphatically are not is a ruler placed on a bit of graph paper!

    Indeed.

    Though it’s always worth noting that, while almost nothing in nature is actually linear, almost everything can be linearised, within certain limits.

  110. Adrock

    It seems obvious that the Earth is in a period of warming but it also seems obvious to me that you can’t expect the weather and global atmosphere to remain contstant for billions of years. It wasn’t like it is now two billion years ago and it won’t be the same two billion years from now. Every year mountains get higher, seas get deeper, continents move, sea currents change, wind currents change, albedo changes, the output from the Sun varies, the rotation of the earth slows, the moon moves further away and the centre of the Earth cools. There are probably hundreds more variables. All of these things must have an influence on the rock which we inhabit.
    We can never really know if any changes that we make will make any difference as we have no basis for comparison. Who would be around to put out continent wide forest fires if we were not here? Would such events not release massive amounts of locked carbon? I’m not saying we shouldn’t use “cleaner” forms of energy but everybody gets so defensive of their opinion it begins to sound like organised religion, where any difference of opinion is treated with contempt. On the causes of global warming, I retain an open mind and certainly think we need a couple more hundred years of accurate data measurements as thirty years seems like a drop in the cosmos.
    Just out of interest, why do humans think that now is how it should always be?

  111. Nigel Depledge

    Shunt1 (78) said:

    The “YES DEAR” are for people who present unverified and disgustingly poor data that can not be reproduced by anyone.

    And we can all quite reasonably ignore your claims unless you back them up with actual evidence.

    Who has presented unverified claims? Who has published “disgustingly poor” data? Come on, it’s time to put up or shut up. Without some facts to back up your claims, they are just – heh – hot air.

    When people such as myself simply request that we correct these problems first, this is called “creationism 2.0″ and other slanders.

    Not really. It’s when you claim that the current warming trend is either not real or not a problem, or when you make ridiculous assertions such as that albedo is the only thing that affects climate, even after a commenter points out that the surface of Venus is roughly twice the temperature of the surface of Mercury despite Venus having the higher albedo and being farther from the sun. It is obvious to anyone who is remotely familiar with the science of climatology that you haven’t got a clue what you are talking about, and yet you still presume to criticise professional scientists.

    Pointing out that your version of denialism is nothing new is not slander, it is factual.

    You are correct, I am tired of talking to people who will not learn from known problems and refuse to try to find a way to increase the quality of the raw data. This should be a goal shared by everyone interested in the subject.

    Perhaps. However, you have yet to point out an actual problem with any of the data, or highlight a “known” problem, or indicate any reason we should suppose that climatologists the world over have missed what is so seemingly obvious to you.

    So, either make your point rationally, backing it up with evidence (such as citations from the relevant literature), or accept that the climatologists really do know more about this stuff than you do.

    So, instead of arguing with those who refuse to open their eyes and recognize that we have a data problem, I have a simple reply just for them.

    Which is, apparently, to close your eyes to both contrary data and holes in your logic, and then patronise people who don’t agree with you. Whatever.

  112. Nigel Depledge

    @ Martin M (97) –

    Godwin!

  113. Adrock

    Also, by coincidence, I bought the Mail on Sunday for the first time ever last Sunday and found it to be thoroughly infuriating.

  114. danR

    Global warming hysteria and Global warming are two different things, Phil.

    Stick to magnetic storms on neutron stars, if you want to get into climatology. Or get hysterical about threatening asteroids. You’re out of your field.

    The U.N.’s own blue-ribbon panel quietly rebuked the IPCC for its silly advocacy positions on GW, and the IPCC has lately responded accordingly by giving no certain approval of evidence for the severer Atlantic storms necessarily entailed by a sharp temperature increase: a testable hypothesis confidently proffered by GW modelers, and now substantially falsified.

    Now, don’t refute me by cherry-picking studies. The IPCC has already given its assessment.

  115. Gaebolga

    I wonder if shunt1 still wants to “stand by [his] statement” that:

    The single most important factor in Earth’s climate, [sic] is the change in it’s [sic] albedo over time. Period.

    after Blargh helpfully pointed out that it’s a complete load of crap using the wonderfully relevant example of Mercury vs. Venus. Given that he simply pretended not to have seen Blargh’s post, I’m going to say “no.”

    And since shunt1 has been shown to be an ignorant dumbass regarding “the most important factor in Earth’s climate,” why on Earth should anyone listen to any of his other crap about “known problems” with climate science?

    Just keep on typin’ the BS, shunty, and I’ll keep on sayin’ “YES, DEAR!” to you….

  116. danR

    The IPCC has been at least partly heedful of the U.N.’s blue-ribbon panel rebuke over the former’s reckless advocacy behaviour. I’m grateful for small mercies, but the result has been inversely proportional to the output of GW hysteria, cranked out by those who take up the cudgels on their behalf, posing as skeptical anti-obscurantists.

    That all may be very entertaining to some, but you don’t turn global Trillion-dollar economies what boils down to predictions made on a single statistical run. That isn’t even unscientific. It’s irrational. If that was the way your stock-broker advised you in analogous investment strategies, you’d bolt for the door and remind him to take his antipsychotics.

  117. SticktoData

    Prob one more year of cooling and many of you will change your mind.
    2012 Global temps are in a free fall. Sorry !
    We are now at 14 years of cooling, this was not anticipate ted by the
    Global Warming, whoops, Climate Change, whoops, Climate Disruptions Models.

    James Hansen writes the following…

    “Global temperature in 2011 was lower than in 1998,” NASA climate scientist James Hansen admits in the GISS report. However, he adds that nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred in the 21st century, and that 2011 was cooled by a moderately strong La Niña.

    “We conclude that the slowdown of warming is likely to prove illusory, with more rapid warming appearing over the next few years,” Hansen writes.

  118. gss_000

    @114. Adrock
    “On the causes of global warming, I retain an open mind and certainly think we need a couple more hundred years of accurate data measurements as thirty years seems like a drop in the cosmos.
    Just out of interest, why do humans think that now is how it should always be?”

    You know why proponents sometimes lose their patience with “skeptics” is because it really appears like those with “open minds” don’t listen to any explanation time and time again or are willing to see the obvious evidence out there. Because if they did, they’d already know as had been said by others time and time again that we do have measurements going back thousands of years from ice cores and other proxies that can show what the climate was like so we can test the models. They’d know no one is saying that humans are the *only* factor because even in these recent reports on temps the scientists come out and say how El Nino and La Nina can modify the temps. And no one is saying anything about the sun not having a role, just that *again* people are the biggest forcers here. Truly be open and stop cherry picking facts.

    @121. danR
    “That all may be very entertaining to some, but you don’t turn global Trillion-dollar economies what boils down to predictions made on a single statistical run. That isn’t even unscientific. It’s irrational. ”

    Would be irrational if true, but that’s not. You do know that the IPCC report includes multiple models so as not to be limited to one methodology, correct? Furthermore, any graph of a model is an *average* of hundreds if not thousands of runs to produce not only the prediction but the bounds of certainty. This is because climate scientists aren’t stupid like “skeptics” make them out to be. When they model, they know the limits of their models and work extremely hard to eliminate as many potential problems as they can. Chances are if a *skeptic* has pointed out a flaw, the scientist not only knows about it but has also had it pointed out by other scientists in the literature and at conferences.

  119. K D Sand

    I’m not a so called expert. I do on the other hand have some common sense.

    Only the most blind and conceited deny any impact.

    Lets gamble with our planet – not smart.

  120. danR

    @gss_000

    It is a single statistical run over multiple methodologies. It’s still one run. Nor has this anything to do with whether real, or noise, or both, phenomena are getting represented.

    You don’t bet the long-range farm on a company’s single hockey stick, no matter how many different kinds of investment metrics have been thrown into it.

    Whatever my opinion of Santorum, I’m glad he boldly referred to the global warming HOAX. If by ‘hoax’ he means the advocacy-hysteria the IPCC has apparently abandoned, then people are moving in the right direction.

    And again, I think Phil Plait should turn his attention to magnetic storms on neutron stars. He has a right to an opinion, he has a right to cite media ‘authorities’ pro and con, and weight them for our benefit as though they were peer-review journals, but he is no climatologist, and the latter better sit down and think whether their relatively youthful discipline needs a little discipline.

  121. danR @ 119 wrote:

    Stick to magnetic storms on neutron stars, if you want to get into climatology. Or get hysterical about threatening asteroids. You’re out of your field.

    Aaah… you do realize Dr. Plait is a past president of the JREF, don’t you?

  122. genemachine

    Nigel Depledge (111) said:

    >The climate is complex, and these models are often also very complex. That’s one reason why the Met Office has some of the most powerful computers in the UK. What these models emphatically are not is a ruler placed on a bit of graph paper!

    Depending on the year the models were created, it would seem that drawing either a horizontal line or a trend line would actually make better predictions than complicated models on powerful computers.

    You do need even need to read the primary literature to recognise this fact; just look a the pictures. The failure to predict the future trends is clear and their error is consistently in the direction of more, and usually accelerating, warming. More funding too.

    They “do well” in postdiction of the data used to tune the models, but it is predictive capacity for new data that is a proper test of a model. Show me a model saying that there would be no change in 15 years and I’ll show you dozens showing accelerated warming over this period.

    I do not think that you are helping the cause by bringing up this climatological embarrassment.

  123. @ danR:

    Too, then you write something about “magnetic storms on neutron stars”, and then, something about “climatology” in the same sentence!?!?!?

    Is there a point?

  124. Steve Metzler

    It’s duly noted that none of the ‘skeptics’ here seem to have any problem whatsoever with the fact that 16 of their brightest stars have put their name to a WSJ article that is so riddled with errors and untruths that it is beyond embarrassing. Remember? That’s what this post is originally about.

    So all the denier posts here really amount to is: “Hey, look, a squirrel!” So… how about addressing the topic of the post for once instead of Gish Galloping all over the place with your many times debunked canards, which are sometimes debunked in the very same thread (that you couldn’t be bothered to read before you posted).

  125. The follow the money section of the WSJ was insane. How they followed the money to researchers instead of to oil companies and the economic effects of trying to battle global warming is seriously dishonest. This is especially dishonest coming from a newspaper that specializes in economic issues. For anyone interested, I address this issue more here:
    http://skeptorical.blogspot.com/2012/01/more-anti-global-warming-dishonesty.html

  126. Blargh

    danR: since you’re referring to the IPCC’s output as “hysteria” and “reckless advocacy”, I think I can safely assume that you have not in fact read their reports, but are only parroting what climate change deniers have said about them.
    Like creationists, climate change deniers have a sordid history of quote mining and outright fabrication. Never, ever trust that they’re reporting or quoting something correctly. Always go to the original source.

  127. MNP

    It’s Rule by Murdoch, pure and simple.

  128. Jeffersonian

    Prob one more year of cooling and many of you will change your mind.
    A couple of decades of cooling would be certainly help even things out, probably save thousand of glaciers and species but there’s no indication that will happen and the coral has already bleached.

    2012 Global temps are in a free fall.
    Seriously? You looked at the least few days in Europe and jumped to a conclusion about the upcoming century? My area had the warmed January on record.

    We are now at 14 years of cooling
    Source for this lie?

  129. CB

    @shunti

    I stand by my statement. The single most important factor in Earth’s climate, is the change in it’s albedo over time. Period.

    Isn’t it lovely how the addendum “Period.” always means “I want you to accept what I just said as the truth without thinking about it — because I sure didn’t!”

    If you have some evidence that of all the various factors determining global temperature that albedo is the largest, I’d love to see it. However the example of Mercury and Venus which seemed to fly as far above your head as the planets themselves would seem to imply that this is not necessarily the case!

  130. Gunnar

    @Steve Metzler#129

    “It’s duly noted that none of the ‘skeptics’ here seem to have any problem whatsoever with the fact that 16 of their brightest stars have put their name to a WSJ article that is so riddled with errors and untruths that it is beyond embarrassing. Remember? That’s what this post is originally about.

    So all the denier posts here really amount to is: “Hey, look, a squirrel!” So… how about addressing the topic of the post for once instead of Gish Galloping all over the place with your many times debunked canards, which are sometimes debunked in the very same thread (that you couldn’t be bothered to read before you posted).”

    Exactly! I’m no scientist myself (just a layman with a strong interest in and fascination for science), but what Steve pointed out here was blazingly obvious to me long before I read his post. This irrational, head in the sand, and all too predictable behavior of the HIRGO denialists every time anyone posts anything about the subject does at least as much to convince me of the reality of AGW as the best reasoned arguments of the scientists who support that conclusion! In other words, these AGW contrarians almost invariably wind up being their own worst enemies–and they are too dense to realize it!

    One of the saddest things about this is that many of the suggested ideas to ameliorate AGW (such as improved energy efficiency, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, reducing waste of natural resources, etc.) are excellent ideas that have great potential to improve everyone’s quality of life and prosperity, even if AGW really were the hoax that they pretend it to be!

  131. @Shunt1: Have you checked out gloalbedo dot org? It sounds like they’re working on precisely what you’re looking for. The project isn’t finished, though…

  132. Gunnar

    Here is a good example of what of what can be done to improve our economy and quality of life at the same time we address the environmental concerns posed by AGW. Please check out this site.

    http://www.stanford.edu/group/evpilot/

  133. MartinM

    You do need even need to read the primary literature to recognise this fact; just look a the pictures.

    Denialism in a nutshell, pretty much.

  134. TETHYS

    As a geologist i find much of the above frankly laughable.
    So the normally slightly “pink” WSJ prints an error strewn article the AGW istas are up in arms about “skeptics”. The sad truth of the matter is that recent warming (and by that i mean the last 250yrs) has been gentle and NOTHING out of the ordinary. Indeed the current interglacial is over 4c cooler than the peak of the last and curently 2c approx cooler than the Holocene optimum (when evidence suggests the Arctic was summer ice free).
    Additionally, sea levels have conyinued to rise at the sedate rate of 2mmpa (no acceleration in recent 30 years).
    The recent (30 yrs to 98) global temp uptick was more than likely due to the PDO co-inciding with the ADO.
    Svenmarks solar experiment at CERN has proven that a possible cloud seeding link is possible and maybe we should perhaps regard solar activity (UV, magnetic and Infa red) as a potential driver of long term weather patterns. Certainly variable AP has links with volcanic activity ( at present we do not understand the mechanism) thus it is very likely that solar variations might well drive the current VERY minor variations.
    ps
    i have nothing to do with oil industry or any of the energy corps.

  135. Forest

    Who relies on WSJ to back up their decisions? Might I suggest the Canadian Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers who are pushing the Keystone and Enbridge (Gateway) pipelines which would send over 1 million bbl of bitumen/day (heavy thick sand-filled suphur laden oil) from the Alberta tar sands to Texas and to China. All of it for burning. They have already tainted the environmental hearing process by claiming that well funded (USA) “radicals” are trying to “highjack” the processes by contributing thousands of $$ to assist the environmental side in the hearings. For Enbridge, of 4522 concerned citizens who asked to speak, 19 are from the USA. Oil corporations from China, France, Brazil and the USA have already contributed many millions to the “yes” side. The WSJ, like our politicians are hooked on big oil money. And, they are scientifically illiterate. (Our Prime Minster dismissed his science adviser a few years ago; did not replace him.

  136. bbmcrae

    It’s funny, I can always spot the deniers on this site, because their posts tend to look like rambling, unstructured beat poems, as opposed to, you know, well-constructed sentences making coherent points that don’t just parrot their party line.

    Oops, a white stretch SUV full of climate scientists waving piles of cash just drove by…man, those guys live like rap stars! All that AGW money!

  137. @ 88Andreas H: Effective climate control always needs to be a global initiative, so lets start to talk more about climate control and less about preventing global warming. Right now these would basically be the same thing but in the future climate control can be any number of actions. We should stop painting human influence on the climate as a bad thing and instead look at it in a positive light, but at the same time urge everyone to respect the responsibility that comes with that power.

    In principle, I think you’re absolutely right, though I think it may be a little premature to make this a public campaign when we still have so many people who are positive that it’s impossible for us to affect the climate. I agree, though, that we need to embrace the power we have, instead of running away and trying to deny it. For example, if we humans can accidentally affect our global climate, imagine what we could do on Mars, a smaller planet, if we actually put our minds to it.

    @98 Nigel Depledge: What do scientists really want, if not piles of cash? Simple – respect and renown. And in science, these are achieved by publishing high-quality work, and by pushing the boundaries of our collective knowledge. But these are small-scale stuff. This kind of activity does not lead to another Newton, Pasteur, Mendeleev or Einstein. No, to get that kind of lasting recognition, a scientist must change the game. And the quickest and surest way to do this is to resolve a large conundrum and / or overturn a previously widely-held belief. Einstein did both at the same time, hence his prominence.
    So, if anyone had found some really genuine data to demonstrate conclusively that AGW is an illusion, they would have published it, and would have achieved lasting recognition because of it.

    This. I get the distinct impression that most denialists don’t really understand how science works, let alone how science as a career works.

  138. GEo

    @Joseph G (142), the only people who are positive that we can’t affect the climate are the people who don’t know anything about it. It would have been premature to sound the alarm bells before we had mountains of evidence, but now that we do, it’s past time to start.

  139. AndrewSanDiego

    Chuckle. All the hate being expressed here by the members of the Green Church is most amusing as their predictions of global apocalypse crumbles around them, even as they continue to wave their “THE END IS NEAR! REPENT NOW!” signs.

    What drives the author of this anti-science, anti-human blog and it’s admirers to such foaming vitrol – comparing scientific skeptics of Imminent! Global! Catastrophe! to Holocaust deniers – is their increasing realization that they have lost. More and more people are learning about the LACK of scientific (and other) ethics by those selling the scam.

    A scientist is someone who follows the Scientific Method. That requires allowing independent verification of one’s work by making the raw data, computer codes, algorithms, etc., available to anyone who wants to know if the claims made are accurate. “Climate scientists” keep their data and methods secret as POLICY – they are not scientists.

    Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit for years – even before Climategate 1.0 and 2.0 – exposed this policy by the leading lights of the CAGW movement: Michael Mann and the Hockey Team, Phil Jones, Keith Briffa, Lonnie Thompson, and all the core IPCC “lead authors”.

    The reason for the policy of secret data and methods has become clear when they are discovered (like Mann’s “CENSORED” ftp directory) or forced out (like Briffa’s Yamal data by a Royal Society publication) – the raw data is cherry picked, then massaged with phony statistical methods, or just literally turned upside down. Phrases like ‘short-centered PCA’, ‘Yamal’, and ‘Upside Down Tijlander’ are infamous among those who have dared take an honest look behind the “climate science” curtain.

    “The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science” by Andrew Montford is a very readable history of the CAGW movement up to the release of the Climategate emails.

  140. sHx

    Dear Phil,

    you could have been been my new skeptic hero, you know, if it wasn’t for your embrace of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming cult. The CAGW cult is a classic doomsday cult, and you are involved in it up to your neck. It is because of these occasional re-affirmations of the CAGW dogmatism that I never follow your otherwise superb blog on a regular basis.

    Some people like me are skeptical of the CAGW hypothesis for the same reason that we are skeptical of the existence of god. Bertrand Russell put it the best: “not enough evidence”!

    I frankly think there is enough evidence to show that there has been global warming in the last century and that there is an anthropogenic (“man-made”) component to that warming. I however think it is absolutely absurd to conclude that there is enough evidence for a “looming climate catastrophe” as James Hansens, Michael Manns and Bob Wards of this world allege.

    If astronomers were to say the Earth would be slammed by a comet in 6 months or 6 years or 6 decades, I would sit up and pay attention. After all, it would be Kepler and Newton that would be speaking of the disaster, not the current astronomers that merely implement their models.

    Yet, when climate scientists spruik their doomsday messages, I am not allowed to be skeptical and ask, “dude, do you really want me to believe that you’ve nailed the mechanism as well as Newton did? Why couldn’t you predict the flatlining of the temp record since its higher ever point in 1998?”

    This is the test of a person’s skepticism nowadays: a person is not a skeptic if they believe there is sufficient scientific evidence that we are headed towards a climate doomsday unless we cut CO2 emissions.

    Some months back you asked your readers to compose in less than 160 characters (twitter-length) why they were skeptics. In your own try you referred to James Randi as your skeptic hero. Here is what James Randi said about climate change:
    “In my amateur opinion, more attention to disease control, better hygienic conditions for food production and clean water supplies, as well as controlling the filth that we breathe from fossil fuel use, are problems that should distract us from fretting about baking in Global Warming. “

    If you are disappointed that your skeptic hero is a ‘climate denialist’, then let me tell you, Phil, you who could have been one of my skeptic hero are so disappointing with your climate doomsday cultism.

    Anyway, a fellow skeptic commenter at Bishop Hill called your blog “Bad Astrologer”. Got any objection to that?

    Cheers

    PS: whatever happened to the picture of the squirrel singing “la, la la” each time you posted about ‘climate change deniers’? I have forever associated your name and face with that squirrel, not that you care that much.

  141. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ sHx : I think it was an otter not a squirrel. We don’t seem to see that or the Skeptical hippo or his The stoopid it burns!’ logos much anymore do we?

    Faar as Randi goes, I’m pretty sure he later reversed his earlier contrarian comments and does now accept the science of Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating and the BA mentioned that in a post at the time.

    @9. techskeptic : “I was just sad to see Burt Rutan on that list.”

    Me too – and even sadder to see Harrison Schmitt’s name there. :-(

    @ 12. llewelly : “Burt Rutan believes in Ancient Astronauts. What did you expect?”

    Really? he does!? :-o
    That’s news to me.

  142. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 28. Wayne Robinson :

    For a short time, editorial comment criticizing the validity of climate science became muted, but unfortunately it’s ramped up again. One of the reasons why I stopped buying ‘the Australian’ last year. The editorial bias was amazing. Even online, you weren’t allowed to publish any comment supportive of the validity of AGW in comments on denialist articles or columns. Articles dealing with flight disruptions due to the ash clouds from volcanic eruptions had many comments claiming that the CO2 emitted from the volcanoes would negate any attempt by humans to reduce CO2 emissions.

    I’m prettty sure I have seen the occassional pro-climatological consensus article or letter in that ppaer but you’re right it ahs become quite a Climate Contraraian newspaper sadly.; I still read it myself but am certainly aware of its agenda inthat area and dislike that.

    See also this :

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2012/01/the_australians_war_on_science_79.php

    and more such items like this one :

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2012/01/better_late_than_never_at_the.php

    (Showing that occassional correct articles by real climatologist do appear in the Oz.)

    Plus this one :

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/12/the_australians_war_on_science_78.php

    from the Deltoid blog which is a good blog to read on the whole HIRGO topic and on the media coverage thereof. I’d recommend it if folks are interested.

  143. sHx

    “112. MartinM Says:
    January 31st, 2012 at 8:44 am

    The Daily Mail holds the dubious distinction of being the only British newspaper ever to receive a letter to the editor from one Mr A. Hitler, thanking them for their support of his new political movement.”

    I don’t mean to hold you any longer than necessary for breaching Godwin’s Law, but I seriously would like a citation for that letter. My google searches with various word strings weren’t any help in locating the said letter. Perhaps, you could help.

    Frankly, any letter Adolf Hitler wrote to an English newspaper would be worth reading, because I too have written letters to editors of English language papers, and I was even successful to get a few of them actually published.

  144. Messier Tidy Upper

    @144. sHx :

    In your own try you referred to James Randi as your skeptic hero. Here is what James Randi said about climate change:
    “In my amateur opinion, more attention to disease control, better hygienic conditions for food production and clean water supplies, as well as controlling the filth that we breathe from fossil fuel use, are problems that should distract us from fretting about baking in Global Warming. “ If you are disappointed that your skeptic hero is a ‘climate denialist’, then let me tell you, Phil, you who could have been one of my skeptic hero are so disappointing with your climate doomsday cultism.

    Phil Plait writes about Randi’s Contrarian comments here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/12/17/randi-and-global-warming/

    note that :

    I read Randi’s post carefully, and then sent him a note outlining why the Petition Project is a crock, as well as saying that yes, mathematical models of climate are very complex, but that doesn’t change observations indicating the reality of global warming or our role in it. Randi told me he was writing a followup, so I decided not to say anything about it here until his new post went up. I wanted to make sure I had all the facts before commenting. Randi posted that followup blog entry today. As I expected, he took the new information into account, admitting that he was unaware of the dubious nature of the petition, and re-affirming that he is not denying global warming is occurring. [Emphasis added – ed.]

    The BA went on to note :

    So what are we to make of all this? One is that anyone, everyone, is capable of making mistakes, from grand to minor, from basic ones we never should have made to ones that are inevitable. Skeptics make these same mistakes, too. Even noted skeptics. I’ve done it, Randi’s done it, every human has done it. Apropos of exactly this, Michael Shermer changed his stance on global warming after sufficient evidence swayed him.

    So James Randi, Michael Shermer and many others – myself included – have change dour views on Global Overheating basedon the facts and evidence supporting its reality which are overwhelming. Are you, sHx, willing to do the same?

    What evidence would it take to convince *you* that HIRGO is real?

    Are you aware of the gargantuan amounts of evdience available to you and everyone else on the issue of Human Induced Rapid Globval Overheating from reputable sources such as here :

    http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

    from NASA and here :

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/

    from a site run by actual climatologists giving their science and enbaling youtointeract with them directly?

    Also what evidence do you have to support your apparent extraordinary claim the climatologists who have spent much of their lives studying this are incorrect?

  145. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 144. sHx :

    The CAGW cult is a classic doomsday cult, and you are involved in it up to your neck.

    Cults usually involve supernatural elements. Not science.

    They generally isolate and brain-wash vulnerable individuals refusing them access to their former non-cult friends and family members.

    They generally get their followers giving them all their money, dressing alike, handing out religious writings on street corners, etc ..

    They are generally led by charismatic, dangerous, wild-eyed loons often with prodigious and uncontrollable sexual appetites who claim to have had visions or be religious prophets of some variety – such visiosn and “sacred knowledge” is usually concelaed fromallbutan inner group sometiems just the word of the cult leader.

    How does this really apply to an area of scientific consensus basedon many factual recordings, calculations and observations freely availbale toeveryone for cross-checking?

    There are no “CAGW” cult leaders that I’m aware of who are behaving in anything like a cultish manner.

    No climate department or organisation, as far as I know, have been raided for stockpiled drugs, weapons and to rescue brain-washed children, women and deluded followers. No climatologist has ever advocated mass sucide or welcomed their worst casescenarios as divine justice or a sign o f teh secodn Coming or such nonsense. There’s no offical “CAGW” / HIRGO dress uniform or secret handshake or symbols or rituals involved in doing climate scientist and no cult-like isolation of “believers” who are forced to reject long standing friends, non-believing family-members, etc ..

    So I put it to you that perhaps that statement of yours there was absurd hyperbole and a silly looking strawman which you may just want to apologise for & refrain from making again.

  146. sHx

    @Messier Tidy Upper

    Well, I wouldn’t know an otter if it bit me on the nose. :)

    As far as Randi goes, I am pretty sure what you call reversal of ‘contrarian’ (nay! ‘denialist’!) comments is simply a clarification to satisfy the fan base.

    It is not like as a layman Randi ever gave up on examining for himself the evidence for climate doomsday. He was ‘an amateur’, as he kept stressing it again and again.

    I have always wondered how climate science and all its catastrophes would perform in a courtroom before an ‘amateur’ jury composed of the same kind of laymen that examine the evidence in a murder trial. It is time that CAGW hypothesis had its own Monkey Trial, where both sides get to call their own witnesses and offer their own evidence in a fair and equal time and setting.

    I’d bet my head that doomsayers would lose.

    “…Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating…”

    I guess ‘anthropogenic’ is too difficult a word for the CAGW cult. It has to be ‘human-induced’ or ‘man-made’ to be comprehensible for some.

    Other than that, Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating sounds just so lovely for a hyperbole.

  147. Forest

    Want to know how the debate on global warming will turn out? Follow the money. Those who have it, buy what they want. If they don’t want global warming, climate change, green house effects, shrinking arctic ice & glaciers, rising sea level… they can buy their version of events. Enough money convinces politicians and the media to say and print any desired message. It worked for a while in the past: women should stay home pregnant, people of color should be at the back of the bus, gays should get the “cure”, tobacco makes you sexy. So of course, green house gases in our common atmosphere have not been put there by people and they certainly do not contribute to atmospheric heating, and CO2 does not acidify the oceans, and scientists are in it for the money (unlike the fossil fuel corporations who are our friends and will take care of us). And like all of the other facades, climate change will be resolved. Unfortunately for most, figuring it out this time, through personal experience, will be rather costly and rather permanent.

  148. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ 150. sHx :

    It is not like as a layman Randi ever gave up on examining for himself the evidence for climate doomsday. He was ‘an amateur’, as he kept stressing it again and again.

    So who would you prefer to do brain surgery on you or have launch you in a rocket – amateurs or professionals? ;-)

    The climatologists who’ve spent their lives studying the field – don’t you think they’d have some idea what they’re talking about? 98% of them say HIRGO is reality.

    I have always wondered how climate science and all its catastrophes would perform in a courtroom before an ‘amateur’ jury composed of the same kind of laymen that examine the evidence in a murder trial. It is time that CAGW hypothesis had its own Monkey Trial, where both sides get to call their own witnesses and offer their own evidence in a fair and equal time and setting.

    You know, I’d actually agree with that idea. :-)

    In some ways I’d like to see climate science get its own Dover / Scopes trial moment.

    I’d bet my head that doomsayers would lose.

    Well I’d bet the climatologists would be vindicated and win handily just as the evolutionary biolgists did in the Dover and Scopes cases and just as Jessica Ahlquist did in the recent Cranston High School West prayer banner case. I think in such a trial the climate contrarians would be crushed. ;-)

    Maybe one day we’ll see if Cuccinelli ever gets his case against Mike Mann into court or suchlike.

    I guess ‘anthropogenic’ is too difficult a word for the CAGW cult. It has to be ‘human-induced’ or ‘man-made’ to be comprehensible for some. Other than that, Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating sounds just so lovely for a hyperbole.

    Hyperbole – how so? HIRGO is a more straightforward descriptive label that, I think, makes the problem clearer with its stress that its the rapidity and stresses the excessive heating as opposed to the milder word “warming”and the technical jargon “anthropogenic” which means exactly what “human Induced” does.

    You use your acronym which is atypical for the phenomenon in question, so I can’t see why I can’t equally use mine.

    I’ll also note that you aren’t supporting your ridiculous “CAGW cult” claim with any evidence or arguments too.

  149. JamesD

    Would it kill this magazine to have at least a tiny bit of intellectual humility–of openness–to any potential discovery or theory that might actually expand our knowledge of climate science while overriding the current dogma (and its accompanying namecalling/accusations)? Or is it more important to be ‘right’ (at any cost) than to be curious? Not saying the WSJ op-ed was ‘right’ (at all!). I just don’t see the value in vilifying such opposing view, or belittling anyone disagreeing with you. It all seems rather sophomoric and ultimately undermining of the credibility of the AGW argument.

    To the layman, these Discover posts (incl Chris Mooney’s) and comments basically amount to:
    “The earth is warming disastrously. We’re causing it and nothing is going to stop it except reducing CO2 levels. I refuse to listen to anything from anyone that may disagree with me. I’m plugging my ears now. La La La La La. I can’t hear you. Oh, and f-off you idiot. You and your ilk are crazy and should be locked up.” Isn’t that called arrogance? How does this help anyone? If you want more people to listen to you, please start being respectful–even if you believe the ‘other side’ isn’t (something both sides should do!).

  150. Synaptix

    sHX – no wonder u are a global warming denier, you think science should be solved by a courtroom of non professionals in some farce where we give both sides “equal time”. Ugh, gag me, how many times have creationists used this lame tactic, as a “skeptic” you should know this. But seriously, if you actually call youself a skeptic then the whole movement has failed you because it seems like you don’t even have the slightest idea about how science works.

    Both sides aren’t given equal time becuase one side hasn’t done any science. AGW denial is the perfect example of non science because is hasn’t actually produced a consistent body of experimental data. Op eds and political propaganda unfortunately don’t count.

  151. @148 sHx: I have always wondered how climate science and all its catastrophes would perform in a courtroom before an ‘amateur’ jury composed of the same kind of laymen that examine the evidence in a murder trial. It is time that CAGW hypothesis had its own Monkey Trial, where both sides get to call their own witnesses and offer their own evidence in a fair and equal time and setting.

    If anything, I think your example would highlight the flaws inherent in our justice system, rather than those in any scientific theory. There’s a reason that science isn’t decided in courtrooms.

  152. “Why couldn’t you predict the flatlining of the temp record since its higher ever point in 1998?”
    sHx, what flat line? 2010 was the hottest year on record followed by 2005?

  153. Nick

    Allright guys. Science is looking at pictures and coming up with conclusions based on the initial reaction you get from those pictures. It doesn’t have anything to do with cause and effect, decades of research and measurement, and elaborate modelling, they’re onto us, they know it’s about looking at pictures. We can no longer hide our true motives from the supersmart skeptics, we should just admit we want everyone to believe in global warming to accomplish our master plan.

    1. Get everyone to believe GB is happening.
    2. ???
    3. Profit.

    Here is a picture, look at it and draw your conclusions: http://tinyurl.com/7ltq6e5

  154. @151 shane:

    “Why couldn’t you predict the flatlining of the temp record since its higher ever point in 1998?”

    sHx, what flat line? 2010 was the hottest year on record followed by 2005?

    I believe sHx is regurgitating this popular old standard.

  155. Funny isn’ it…astronomers can be wrong about Fomalhaut B but climatologists can’t be wrong about future climate. And DeSmogBlog, officially a PR site, is part of the pro-science cavalry. Strange world indeed.

  156. Nigel Depledge

    Adrock (114) said:

    It seems obvious that the Earth is in a period of warming

    Actually, until about 5 years ago, there were still plenty of people denying that it was warming at all. IIRC, there’s one commenter further up the thread who continues to deny it.

    but it also seems obvious to me that you can’t expect the weather and global atmosphere to remain contstant for billions of years.

    No-one does. What relevance does this have?

    It wasn’t like it is now two billion years ago and it won’t be the same two billion years from now.

    In what way is this pertinent to a human global civilisation that depends on a relatively constant climate?

    Every year mountains get higher, seas get deeper, continents move, sea currents change, wind currents change, albedo changes, the output from the Sun varies, the rotation of the earth slows, the moon moves further away and the centre of the Earth cools. There are probably hundreds more variables. All of these things must have an influence on the rock which we inhabit.

    They do. But not all influences are the same. Some of them are trivial except on very large time scales. Others (such as the composition of the atmosphere) can have an impact over timescales of mere decades or centuries.

    We can never really know if any changes that we make will make any difference as we have no basis for comparison.

    Actually, we do. We know what it was like before. Climate proxies indicate that the global climate has been pretty much constant for most of the last 6000 years or more. During the 20th century, there has been a significant change in the rate of warming.

    We also know that atmospheric CO2 content has increased, and that human activities have emitted a good deal of CO2, and that the proportion of fossil carbon on the atmosphere has increased. We also know that no natural sources of GHGs have been found (despite extensive searching) that can account for the changes we have observed.

    It is not a stretch to join these dots together.

    Who would be around to put out continent wide forest fires if we were not here?

    Actually, by putting out forest fires, we allow the fuel for those fires to accumulate. Fires are a natural phenomenon that our intervention has made less frequent and therefore substantially worse. If left to themselves, they would burn out when they run out of fuel.

    Would such events not release massive amounts of locked carbon?

    No. All of the carbon on trees has only recently been absorbed from the atmosphere, so is still an active part of the carbon cycle. What human activities are doing that is unprecedented is emitting CO2 from limestone (in cement manufacture) and fossil fuels (coal, oil etc.) that would otherwise have remained locked away for very much longer periods of time.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t use “cleaner” forms of energy but everybody gets so defensive of their opinion

    Not defensive as such. I would say tired, frustrated, fed-up and angry that the same tired old many-times-refuted “arguments” get trotted out again and again, despite them being illogical or lacking in any kind of evidentiary support.

    it begins to sound like organised religion,

    What, apart from the overwhelming support from evidence, you mean?

    where any difference of opinion is treated with contempt.

    Well, why do you think that is?

    Perhaps it might just be because the case is settled. AGW is a real phenomenon. Now, let’s get on with working out what we are going to do to mitigate or limit its impact.

    On the causes of global warming, I retain an open mind and certainly think we need a couple more hundred years of accurate data measurements as thirty years seems like a drop in the cosmos.

    That is not an open mind. That is the mindset “your evidence does not convince me. Let’s do nothing and see what happens”.

    The evidence is there. The temperature data are indeed available, and the statistical analyses have been done. Every genuine appraisal of the data has reached the same broad conclusion – that the Earth is warming rapidly and that we are the principle cause.

    Just out of interest, why do humans think that now is how it should always be?

    Because our technological civlisation has built itself around an infrastructure that depends on the climate being more or less the same as it is now.

    Ultimately, the Earth will not suffer from AGW. If we do nothing about it, then 10 million years from now we’ll just be another layer of fossils (although probably quite a large layer, littered with concrete, glass, plastic and steel). Life will go on, and the planet will go on without us. What will certainly suffer if we do nothing about AGW is human society.

  157. @ 144 sHx wrote:

    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming cult

    Thanks. Now, when moonbats use CAGW I will know what they are thinking. Once again, thanks.

  158. Nigel Depledge

    Ellwyn Montle (97) said:

    Dear Phil,
    Your article is loaded with mistakes, misinterpretations, and outright misinformation.

    What, so are you saying that the WSJ and the Daily Fail accurately represented the content of that press release?

    ‘Cos it seems to be a pretty open-and-shut case that they printed the opposite of what was actually in the press release. All you have to do is compare the press release against the published articles. Have you done this?

    You are obviously unqualified to discuss climate science.

    Which is why he trusts the opinions of expert climatologists.

    You too, are unqualified to discuss climate science, so your options are:

    1) Pretend that your opinion is as important as that of someone who knows what they are talking abaout;
    2) Learn about climate science from the primary literature; or
    3) Trust the experts to know their stuff.

    [. . . ]
    Sincerely,
    A fellow astronomer.

    So, if you are anastronomer, do you expect an uninformed lay audience to question (for example) that the stars are immense and immensely-distant nuclear fusion reactors? What if I (as a mere amateur astronomer) were to assert to you that you have not proven anything about stars, and that we don’t know whether they are fusion reactors or pixie dust?

    Yeah, this may sound fatuous, but that’s exactly analogous to the position that climatologists are in.

    Alternatively, would you – as an astronomer – question my conclusions (as a biochemist) about the basics of protein structure? Would you expect me to listen to you blather on about how we don’t know for sure that proteins are linear polymers of amino acids, and would you expect me to give equal weight to some hypothesis about proteins being made of germanium? I deeply hope not.

    So, if you are a scientist as you claim to be, why not trust your fellow scientists in the climatology community to know their stuff?

  159. FTR, the use of the word “catastrophic” is clever… or it would be for a Jesus freak. …deleted…

  160. Nigel Depledge

    sHx (144) said:

    Some people like me are skeptical of the CAGW hypothesis for the same reason that we are skeptical of the existence of god. Bertrand Russell put it the best: “not enough evidence”!

    Apart from the fact that Bertrand Russell knew what he was talking about, and you don’t.

    Here are a few (a very few!) highlights:

    1) Global temps have been increasing on average throughout the 20th century, but the warming trend accelerated in the 1970s and shows no sign of slowing now, despite how many noisemakers like you seem unaware that it takes sophisticated analysis to extract good conclusions from noisy data.

    2) CO2 and methane are known greenhouse gases (GHGs).

    3) Human activity emits a great deal of both CO2 and methane.

    4) Glaciers around the world are shrinking.

    5) Sea ice is decreasing in volume. A far greater proportion of the Arctic’s sea ice is new, thin ice than was the case 30 years ago.

    6) Permafrost is thawing in places where it has not done so in recorded history.

    7) Atmospheric concentration of CO2 and methane are substantially higher than they were 30, 50 or 100 years ago.

    8. Natural sources of CO2 and methane have been sought and none has been found.

    9) Insolation has been measured and cannot account for the present warming.

    10) Sophisticated climate models agree that GHGs make a substantial contribution to global average temps.

    11) Isotope measurements of atmospheric CO2 shows that the bulk of the additional CO2 comes from fossil sources.

    If you want to see more evidence, go to the primary literature and check it out.

  161. Bob K

    Phil,

    You just got properly spanked.
    Unless you are into that type of thing, you might consider sticking to astronomy.

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=5138

  162. Nigel Depledge

    sHx (144) said:

    This is the test of a person’s skepticism nowadays: a person is not a skeptic if they believe there is sufficient scientific evidence that we are headed towards a climate doomsday unless we cut CO2 emissions.

    This paragraph is completely meaningless.

    What do you mean by “doomsday”?

    Certainly, the predicted impact of AGW has a substantial uncertainty. All of the published data make this clear, because we have statistical tools that can measure the uncertainty of the output of a numerical model. And this, to use your turn of phrase, is based on Gauss’s work, not that of mere modern mathematicians (although why you should consider modern astronomers to be lesser men than Kepler and Newton is beyond me).

    However, all of the models agree that AGW will result – some time this century – in rising sea levels and altered weather patterns. So, previously arable land will be rendered useless by drought, or by contamination with seawater. It would only take about a 1-metre rise in mean sea level (predicted by roughly 2050 in most models, IIUC) to have London flooded at every spring tide. I guess a similar rise in sea level will give New Orleans some serious grief too.

    IIUC, a 2-metre rise (predicted conservatively by 2100) would take out huge swathes of Bangladesh, including some of their most fertile farmland.

    Altered rainfall patterns could well lead to widespread droughts across North America. The point is not so much that this is going to happen and therefore we must act, but that this is but one possible consequence of what is going to happen so therefore we must act.

    As I have stated before, the climate is complex and subtle, and the level of certainty you seem to be demanding is simply not possible until after the event.

  163. Nigel Depledge

    sHx (148) said:

    . . . climate science and all its catastrophes . . .

    [. . . ]

    I’d bet my head that doomsayers would lose.

    Catastrophes, doomsayers.

    I take it you have some intention of clarifying what you mean by these terms. I also note that you use the term CAGW rather than the more factually-correct AGW or HIRGO.

    Is it perhaps that you are building a strawman? Or indulging yourself in some hyperbolic rhetoric?

    So, what claims exactly have prompted you to use this kind of language regarding AGW? And who made these claims, when and where?

  164. Nigel Depledge

    MTU (149) said:

    Well I’d bet the climatologists would [ . . . ] win handily just as the evolutionary biolgists did in the Dover and Scopes cases

    Actually, Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution. The case became widely-known because it highlighted the absurdity of the arguments against evolution, and the lunacy of having a law prohibiting the teaching of top-quality science.

  165. Richard Lafoie

    Hi Phil.

    I’m curious if you are gonna address the criticisms to this blog post here that the your graph actually plots estimates, and is not a temperature record. It’s a very serious error if true.

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=5138

    Best regards.

  166. Dan

    What’s with all the loaded, unscientific language? This is why I ended up dropping my Discover subscription, always with the smarmy haughtiness lumped in with the science. Worse than a politician. “amazingly bad” “read like parodies” “scraping the bottom of the barrel” and, of course, the always popular “ties to oil interests.” You state as fact that the Little Ice Age only affected Europe… really? Would you say that finding is “tied to global warming interests?” Would you say that finding has scientific consensus? Or do you just believe it on faith.

  167. pauld

    The claim that there has been no warming trend in the past ten years is in fact correct. This article shows two graphs from the Berkley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) series. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html The first graph, just as the graph to which you link, shows the long-term trend, which is rising, but obscures the flat temperatures for the past ten years. The second graph show the trend for the last ten years only, which is flat.

    What about the other global temperature time series? This link shows the global temperature trends for various periods using various indexes– http://www.climate4you.com/GlobalTemperatures.htm (when you get to the page, click on hyperlink for global temperature trends). From these charts, one can see the following ten year trends for the period ending December of 2011: UAH- barely positive; RSS-barely negative; GISS—no trend; NCDC—barely negative; Hardcrut 3—barely negative. Accordingly, the factual assertion that there has been a “lack of warming” for more than a decade is correct.

    It is indeed true that over longer period there has been a positive trend. The authors of the WJS, however, did not make any claim to the contrary.

    What of the claim that nine of the ten hottest years on record all occurred since the year 2000? This is true also. Temperatures rose throughout the 1980′s and 1990′s and then the trend went flat for the decade ending in December of 2011. Imagine walking up the stairs of a building (the positive trend for the 1980′s and1990′s) and then getting off and walking around on the top floor (the flat trend for the 2000′s). Even though you are no longer going up, you are walking around on a floor that is higher than the stairs you were climbing.

  168. gss_000

    @126. danR
    “It is a single statistical run over multiple methodologies. It’s still one run. Nor has this anything to do with whether real, or noise, or both, phenomena are getting represented.”

    What? That doesn’t even make sense and patently false. There are multiple models run hundreds of times each included in IPCC figures. That’s not “one run.”

    “You don’t bet the long-range farm on a company’s single hockey stick, no matter how many different kinds of investment metrics have been thrown into it.”

    Your analogy is poor. A better one is trying to measure the health of the economy using the DJIA, NYSE, S&P, NASDAQ, etc. The IPCC isn’t one way or the highway. It’s a formulation and summation of all that’s out there. To consider it “one company” just shows a basic misunderstanding of what it is.

  169. DLR

    Phil et. Al – using a 38 year trend to say the last 10 – 12 years doesn’t deviate from the trend without allowing for a breakpoint in the last 10-12 years is rather bogus. The case can easily be made that global temps have broken off from the long term trend

    since 1998
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1973/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1973/trend

    since 1999
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1973/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1999/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1973/trend

    since 2000
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1973/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1973/trend

    since 2001
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1973/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1973/trend

    If you want to say it’s temporary, due to variability, and not going to last okay. If you want to say it didn’t happen, well that’s called burying your head in the sand.

  170. gss_000

    @177 pauld
    “The claim that there has been no warming trend in the past ten years is in fact correct. ”

    Wrong. You can’t just cherry pick a beginning and end point, eyeball it, and say “no trend,” which is what that paper did. Please do the math. As people have said countless times you can’t just take 10 years of data becuase the uncertainty is so large (and notice that it actually is less than 10 years in the article). And if you’re not going to do the math yourself, check out someone who did:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/judith-curry-opens-mouth-inserts-foot/

    This is why I have a lot of problems with arguments against global warming. A lot of times the claims don’t pan out when you actually do the math.

  171. Mac

    Quoting the car-crash revisionist Skeptical Science website as a source seriously damages your arguement Phil.

  172. Robin

    I have to assume that quite a number of the people posting here have never downloaded the data from the Met Office, or indeed from any other source of reasonably reputable climate (aka temperature) data, and then done some honest and thorough statistical analysis on the numbers themselves. A substitute for this that some will probably choose to use is to form plots of the time series of their choice. If you are able to do either of these things I suggest that you examine the data from the mid to late 1990s up to the present, which seems to me to be a reasonable period for representing current situation. Running this exercise, which should be well within the range of competence of anyone who uses a spreadsheet for business or academic purposes, will demonstrate that in these recent times there is no evidence for changes, either upward or downward, in global temperature data. If you do the same with CO2 data from, for example, Mauna Loa, you will readily spot something entirely different. If you are unable or unwilling (or lack the time) to do these things I suggest that you cannot be really concerned over the way that data are being misinterpreted, whatever your own view of the climate situation might be.

  173. tmac57

    Just saw this on Skeptical Science blog:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/Skeptics_guide_pg1.png

    The graph shows what the fake climate ‘skeptics’ don’t want you to look at.

    The link to the primary article

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/media_v_reality.html

    well worth reading:

  174. Tore Wretman

    You haven’t got a clue about statistics do you Mr Plait ? The more you waffle on, the funnier it gets.
    I suggest that you actually try to find out what that “time series” really is. It is also quite funny to watch the other minions here, who have no clue either. Too funny. Just to finish off, it doesn’t matter how many million times you run a computer model, it still does not create any evidence of CAGW.

  175. Eimear

    Phil stick to what you know, that’s astronomy isn’t it? or is it global warming? Its so hard to tell these days, let the statisticians handle the statistics.

  176. Forest

    Why do denialista take the position they do in light of the overwhelming science which shows anthropogenic caused warming trends and its repercussions? Here are three reasons: 1. they have found more substantive overwhelming science to refute current findings obtained by all world-wide science academies; 2. they are very worried about losing their entitlements such as the ability to drive any vehicle or fly any time where they want or to exploit any resource; or 3. they are concerned that their profit margins will be impacted, therefore their freedom and liberties will be jeopardized. I suspect that if most denialists were honest, they would subscribe to the last two. They attempt to use the first as their tool to keep their world view intact. No different than those who profited from tobacco.

  177. Dan

    Why does the Global Warming crowd continue to drive and fly and use fossil fuels despite the scientific evidence they accept that humans are causing the earth to warm because of those things? 1. They do not really believe humans are the main cause of global warming. 2. They do not believe it’s possible for human’s to decrease CO2 in the atmosphere enough to divert the warming. 3. Their goal is to control, not be controlled.

  178. johnathan birks

    I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said already. But to cite Skeptical Science as any kind of authority puts you one foot in the hole. John Cook’s willingness to retrofit the facts is well documented:
    http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/skepticalscience-rewriting-history/
    As for the data depicted in the graph, Phil Plait confuses estimates derived from models for actual data, which in any case lack any useful context. Here’s a statistician’s view:
    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=5138

  179. I have a problem with the temperature graph you used – the Y axis says land temperature, but Earth is mostly covered by oceans. If you look at the global (land and water) surface temps, then people can argue over whether 1998 or 2010 was the hottest year. Your graph suggests 2007 was (or at least had the warmest month).

  180. MartinM

    I’m curious if you are gonna address the criticisms to this blog post here that the your graph actually plots estimates, and is not a temperature record. It’s a very serious error if true.

    It’s not a real criticism, just sleight-of-hand. No physical parameter is directly observable; estimates are all we have. Speed of light? Estimated. Mass of a proton? Estimated. Global mean surface temperature? Yeah, estimated. Of course it is. What the hell else would it be?

    Other than that, the only content that post has is a completely unsubstantiated claim about the uncertainty in the global temperature record – a claim that’s demonstrably false, incidentally – and yet another sleight-of-hand to finish up. Note that Briggs offers the conclusion “…just as the WSJ‘s scientists claim, we can’t say with any certainty that the temperatures have been increasing this past decade.”

    But that’s not what the WSJ’s scientists claimed at all. They offered the positive conclusion that temperatures have not been increasing. This is inconsistent with Briggs’ own statements, so of course he has to misrepresent it to avoid conceding that Phil was correct.

  181. SticktoData

    The graph on this page is NOT from actual data on Global temps !
    The graph on this page is ESTIMATED temps from different MODELS.
    It is well known that the year 1998 is either #1 or #2 in Global temps,
    depending upon whose data you use.

    This graph is not even close. Look at 1994-5 and 2008.

    Models..http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=513

  182. Apparently the UEA has released data through the end of 2011, so here’s some of their data. This all comes from http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/crutem3gl.txt as linked to by http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/ Look for CRUTEM3 item GL for global.

    Here are the 20 warmest years. ‘*’ marks the last 10 years, ** marks the last 5:

    1994 0.333
    1991 0.343
    1988 0.348
    2000 0.361
    1990 0.431

    1997 0.463
    1995 0.468
    1999 0.489
    2008 0.528 * **
    2011 0.536 * **

    2001 0.552
    2004 0.611 *
    2009 0.642 * **
    2003 0.646 *
    2002 0.664 *

    2006 0.669 *
    2007 0.678 * **
    2010 0.713 * **
    2005 0.747 *
    1998 0.820

    So, only 8 of the last 10 years now are in the top 10, but the 9 since 2000 is accurate, whether or not you include 2000.

    Of course, we need to respect El Niño and La Niña, El Niño is reponsible for 1998 being the hottest year, and the increasing rate of La Niñas helped put two recent years, 2008 and 2011, outside of the top 10. Only 2 of the last 5 are in the top 5 and 2 don’t make the top 10.

    All in all, statements like 9 out of the 12 or 8 out of the last 10 don’t necessarily mean that the climate is still warming. It’s also consistent with the global temperature reaching a plateau. While the big fall from 2010 to 2011 likely won’t repeat, especially since the current La Niña should wane, there are other indicators suggesting the effect of greenhouse gases is overstated and global temperatures will continue to cool.

  183. pauld

    “But that’s not what the WSJ’s scientists claimed at all. They offered the positive conclusion that temperatures have not been increasing. This is inconsistent with Briggs’ own statements, so of course he has to misrepresent it to avoid conceding that Phil was correct.”

    The WSJ op-ed piece is correct when it states that has been no warming trend in the past ten years. Phil is wrong. Here are the annual temperature anomolies from the NCDC global temperature time-series from the National Climate Data Center, U.S. Department of Commerce
    2001 0.54
    2002 0.6
    2003 0.61
    2004 0.56
    2005 0.64
    2006 0.59
    2007 0.58
    2008 0.5
    2009 0.58
    2010 0.64
    2011 0.51
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

    There is no discernable warming trend is this data. If anything it shows a statistically insignficant cooling. You can check on your own time the temperature anamolies for the UAH, RSS, GISS and Hardcut3 time series, but you will find that they all show the same thing–no warming trend in the past 10 years.

  184. TheBlackCat

    @ Eimear: “Phil stick to what you know, that’s astronomy isn’t it? or is it global warming? Its so hard to tell these days, let the statisticians handle the statistics.”

    I can’t help but notice you didn’t say “let the climatologists handle the climate”. Why is that?

  185. Forest

    Of course, even in the light of climate change, it is not practical to go cold turkey off of fossil fuel. Using drastic surgery and killing the patient to cure the disease is not the solution. Moving in an organized and systematic purposeful way toward geothermal and other sustainable energy systems is worthwhile and practical. And the unfettered carbon dumping into our common atmosphere is addressed. The trick is to move away from fossil fuel. Those who think our atmosphere is for dumping waste should try living in many of the smog infested cities in Asia, India; even some industrial cities in the US. James Hansen (NASA, 2011) has indicated that we have only a few years to rectify our dumping problem. Left to those who desire entitlement over sustainability and stewardship, our planet will experience a tipping point where, due to warming, vast amounts of methane will be released creating temperature conditions under which crops and farm animals (our food supply) is not viable. At that point, people will look at each other quite differently. Why wouldn’t we go in that direction? If entitlements are the big argument, think of the jobs such a move would create.

  186. Veritas

    Good lord, there is so much misinformation in the comments it is truly astounding. If you CAGW believers would actually do some research it would do us all some good.

    1) Global sea ice is constant. Yes there has been a reduction in Arctic sea ice but there has been an increase in Antarctic sea ice. Remain calm, the ice is still here.

    2) There has been NO correlation ever established linking atmospheric CO2 and warming. None. Zero. Nada.

    3) There has been no STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT warming for the last 15 years. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/26/no-statistically-significant-warming-since-1995-a-quick-mathematical-proof/

    4) Solar and oceanic cycles are the predominant drivers of global temperatures.
    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/157750-The-Real-Link-Between-Solar-Energy-Ocean-Cycles-And-Global-Temperature

    5) Temperature data has been “massaged” to the point of being meaningless. Adjustments are made on an almost daily basis to entire data sets. Most of it has been done to reduce the warming in the pre-CO2 time periods and increasing it in latter years. There are many links but here’s one: http://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/giss-manipulates-climate-data-in-mackay/

  187. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    Even if there was no warming for the next 50 years, a linear regression starting in 1973 would still show a warming trend.

    If it didn’t warm for 50 years, would it still be warming?

  188. pauld

    “Why do denialista take the position they do in light of the overwhelming science which shows anthropogenic caused warming trends and its repercussions? ”

    I don’t find the scientific evidence to be overwhelming. There is clear evidence that the globe has been warming since the early 1800’s as the earth has emerged from the “little ice age”. There is good reason to believe that the emission of greenhouse gases has contributed to some of this warming in the recent past. The scientific evidence, however, is ambigous as to how what portion of the warming has been anthropogenic and what, if any, negative repercussions will be caused by the greenhouse gas emissions.

  189. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    If anyone is interested, you can download a pdf that has a chart that illustrates the no warming for 50 years scenario.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?zu53lj75477oa4g

  190. tmac57

    @pauld-“The scientific evidence, however, is ambigous as to how what portion of the warming has been anthropogenic and what, if any, negative repercussions will be caused by the greenhouse gas emissions.”
    I think that it would be more accurate to say that there are error bars,or levels of uncertainty,not that it is “ambiguous”. Keeping that in mind,the IPCC’s estimates have been fairly conservative,and on target so far, remember,uncertainty can go in both directions.This is something that climate ‘skeptics’ routinely fail to grasp.Yeah,things might not be as bad as projected,but they can also, within the boundaries of uncertainty,be much worse than projected.
    The prudent thing to do is to at least pay attention to the mid-range projections,and act accordingly.

  191. Nick

    Even if it would not be clear, that AGW is a sound scientific theory, that is by no means an excuse for all those apologists, covering for very obvious lies.

    It should only take you 5 minutes to find out that the daily mail is lying, blatantly lying, about this subject. Now why oh why would they be doing this? How the hell can people accuse GW ‘accepters’ of being believers of propaganda, when it’s not at all hard to see the lies of tDM. Their article head line says “Met office: blablabla”, then I check Met office web site, and it says “Daily mail, you’re lying”, this is no rocket science, it’s simply dishonesty, clearly exposed.

    What is so hard about this? A monkey would understand this. Yes, Pauld @185, I’m talking to you when I say apologist, you’re addressing a non-issue here. 2 Large news papers published clear and offensive lies, and all you can say is “The scientific evidence, however, is ambigous as to how what portion of the warming has been anthropogenic and what, if any, negative repercussions will be caused by the greenhouse gas emissions.”. It’s a disgrace, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  192. Nick

    @181 Dan:
    You too, are a liar. Not only did you omit the possibilities 4. They do not have a car (that’s me), and 5. If they don’t use a car, they cannot reach their workplace, you too are an apologist for liars and scammers. They lied, there is no denying that, they completely misrepresented the report put out by Met office, and none of you denialists will ever admit such things. Instead you grasp the lies and embrace them, and go on the offensive with disgraceful attacks on persons or more lies and misrepresentations of statistics and facts that were actually produced by others (who are actually climatologists). It is the dishonesty and lying by omission of people like you that make me feel so sad when I’m learning about these topics. On some level, you must already realize what is going on, otherwise you would be as angry with tDM as the writer of the article you responded to, you’re mad at us though, for exposing their lies. It’s a clear cut sign you are guilty.

  193. Paul Nevins

    We all know that the “vast majority of scientists agree”. But, just what is it we agree on? I am a scientist, I know what I believe on this subject and that it is based on the data available, and 25 years following the issue. I am pretty confident I don’t believe what Phil does. I know I don’t believe any argument has ever been “destroyed” by the rediculous level of confirmation bias we see at skeptical science.

  194. Paul Nevins

    Replace all coal fired power plants world wide with Nukes. Especially the new Thorium ones. If that idea sounds bad to you, than you really don’t bel;ieve in CAGW anymore than those 16 scientists in the WSJ.

  195. Person of Choler

    As noted above, Briggs has offered Plait the opportunity to respond on Briggs’s web site. Plait’s response is eagerly awaited by many.

  196. pauld

    TMAC57 said, “Keeping that in mind,the IPCC’s estimates have been fairly conservative,and on target so far,”

    By what metric? That is not what I find when I examine actual versus projected global average temperatures, but I am willing to look at your information if you will provide a link.

    The Wall Street Journal op-ed suggests that the “there has been smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.’s IPCCC began issuing projections.” Here is the relevant comparison that I found. http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=2208. It shows that the temperature anomalies reported by the UAH and the Hardcut3 series are now below the low-end projection of the first IPCC report and well below the mid-range projection.

    It is difficult to evaluate more recent projections because the time frame is too short, but here is a link that compares the most recent multi-model mean with actual temperatures from 2000 to present. http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/la-nina-drives-hadcrut-nhsh-13-month-mean-outside-1sigma-model-spread/ Again, the IPCC projections are too high (multi-model mean trend=1.95C/dec; GIST=.113C/dec; Hardcut=.02; NCDC=-.03)
    If you have other information that I should look at, please provide a link. I am game.

  197. Steve Metzler

    Nick, you are so right. Well said. And all the careful explanations of the science by the likes of Nigel Depledge, The Black Cat, and others – all for nowt. Because the deniers just blow right by that. They don’t give a toss that future generations are going to be handed an unsalvageable mess by us to deal with.

    We are well past the stage where everyone with half a brain and a conscience should be on board. We should be deciding how we are going to tackle the problem of limiting our emissions, and developing a future that depends on renewables, instead of polluting the heck out of our precious ecosphere. Instead, here we are ‘debating’ with people who have a vested interest in maintaining business as usual for their own selfish interests. It’s infuriating.

  198. MartinM

    Good lord, there is so much misinformation in the comments it is truly astounding. If you CAGW believers would actually do some research it would do us all some good.

    That’s kind of hilarious given that every one of your points is flat-out wrong.

    1) The rate of reduction in Arctic sea ice is more than three times the rate of increase in Antarctic sea ice; we’re currently losing about 35,000 km^2 each year.

    2) The physics linking atmospheric CO2 to global temperature has been understood since the 19th century. Even the most…eccentric of denialists, such as Monckton, don’t deny the correlation exists, nor even that there exists a causal relationship. They dispute the magnitude of the effect, not its existence.

    3) There has indeed been STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT warming over the last 15 years. A few years ago, some denialists cherry-picked the earliest start point for which one could claim no statistically significant trend existed and used it to fool people who don’t know what ‘statistically significant’ actually means. Even with that cherry-picked start point, those few years of extra data have tipped us over the significance threshold. Of course, cherry-picking a new, later start point will still give a statistically insignificant warming trend, and it’s still just as irrelevant.

    4) If you think you can explain how ice ages come and go, or how we could emerge from a Snowball Earth without a significant CO2 sensitivity, knock yourself out.

    5) If temperature data have been so massaged, why does the UAH satellite data series, produced by climate sceptics Roy Spencer and John Christy, show exactly the same trend as HadCRUT and GISTEMP? Why did BEST, led by Richard Muller, who believed that the surface record was indeed unreliable, end up vindicating the existing records?

  199. MartinM

    Here is the relevant comparison that I found. http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=2208. It shows that the temperature anomalies reported by the UAH and the Hardcut3 series are now below the low-end projection of the first IPCC report and well below the mid-range projection.

    Those aren’t the low and mid-end projections from AR1. They’re the low and mid-end projections for the business as usual (BAU) emissions scenario of AR1. There were three other emissions scenarios, all of which produced lower projections, but are not shown on the graphs you cite. The BAU scenario included a significant warming effect from CFC emissions, which of course were curtailed by the Montreal Protocol, phasing out through the early to mid 90’s.

    There are many other issues with the comparison; setting observed and projected temperatures to be equal in the start year is silly, and will tend to bias the results if that start year happened to be significantly different to the local average, the temperature series selected don’t include the Arctic, which is the fastest warming place on the planet, and the IPCC projections are not linear, so he’s overstating the actual projected rate of warming over the given time period. In short, it’s an excellent example of how not to do it.

    For a proper comparison, try here.

  200. Samuel

    Steve Metzler
    “We are well past the stage where everyone with half a brain and a conscience should be on board. We should be deciding how we are going to tackle the problem of limiting our emissions, and developing a future that depends on renewables, instead of polluting the heck out of our precious ecosphere.”

    That is… difficult. Solar power only works during the day and wind power is irregular. Exactly how we are supposed to get power on windless night is an unanswered question. Tidal, geothermal, hydro, etc are limited and can’t really fill the gap. To make things worse, electricy demand will increase if we attempt to phase out gasoline powered automobiles.

    So far the only solutions for wind and solar as replacements are giant battery facilities to store power or really good power lines and the willingness to place solar panels from Western Europe, across the middle east and to China so you extend the hours of daylight power. Both are unlikely

    There are other problems- the fact they are currently subsidized means they are economically uncompetitive (hopefully time and technological improvements can elimate this), the manufacture and mining for the materials is still dirty, etc.

    So yeah, there are problems in developing a future based on renewables. This presents a problem because while it is possible for countries to limit their emissions it isn’t competative (building extra windmills and solar panels to make up for battery inefficiencies isn’t cheap) so developing nations won’t adopt them. You need a solution that is cheaper than coal so that China and India are willing to use it.

    The most obvious solution is nuclear, but environmentalists, not their opponents, are against them. Anything I’m missing?

    MartinM
    “3) There has indeed been STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT warming over the last 15 years. A few years ago, some denialists cherry-picked the earliest start point for which one could claim no statistically significant trend existed and used it to fool people who don’t know what ‘statistically significant’ actually means. Even with that cherry-picked start point, those few years of extra data have tipped us over the significance threshold. Of course, cherry-picking a new, later start point will still give a statistically insignificant warming trend, and it’s still just as irrelevant.”

    Since several individuals have claimed the exact opposite, care to provide the slope?

  201. Oops! I can’t understand this one graph! I guess that means an entire field of science is just plain WRONG! Wow, nominate me for a Nobel Prize!

  202. @211 MartinM 1) The rate of reduction in Arctic sea ice is more than three times the rate of increase in Antarctic sea ice; we’re currently losing about 35,000 km^2 each year.

    I’d also add to that that the source of a good chunk of Antarctic sea ice is is actually, well, Antarctica. Glaciers on land are moving faster and calving more often, increasing the total sea ice. Lo and behold, this is precisely what we’d expect from global warming.

    @206 Paul Nevins: Replace all coal fired power plants world wide with Nukes. Especially the new Thorium ones. If that idea sounds bad to you, than you really don’t bel;ieve in CAGW anymore than those 16 scientists in the WSJ.

    I agree. Believe it or not, not everyone who accepts the scientific consensus on ACC is a granola-brained, nuke-hating hippy :) Now, I’d caution that even (economically accessible) fissionables are finite, so eventually we’re going to need to build up renewables (and hopefully, nuclear fusion) to power the majority of our grid, but fission power can at least buy us two or three hundred years to do so.

  203. Paul D

    Can I ask why the graph on this page has been altered from an animated GIF file (released by Skeptical Science) to a static JPEG file??

    The original graphic was designed to show the incorrectness of cherry picking data from a larger data set. The author and magazine of this article has changed the context by making the technical change. There maybe good reasons for using a JPEG, but an explanation would be helpful.

  204. Paul D

    pauld@195 said “The WSJ op-ed piece is correct when it states that has been no warming trend in the past ten years.”

    I say — Maybe, but a 10 year cherry picked data subset isn’t representative of the climate trend or the full data set.

  205. MartinM

    Since several individuals have claimed the exact opposite, care to provide the slope?

    Actually, turns out I have to retract that statement. It occurred to me that the last time I checked the significance of the recent warming trend was sometime last year, so I’d have been dealing with the 15-year period from 1996 to 2010, rather than the most recent period from 1997 to 2011. For the former period, the rate of warming is around .15 +- .11 K/decade. For the latter period, it’s around .11 +- .11 K/decade, right on the threshold of significance, but just falling short. Both results use GISTEMP, and assume ARMA1,1 noise when correcting for autocorrelation.

  206. Veritas

    @MartinM – I disagree.

    1) Global sea ice is about where it’s always been. Yes, there has been some ice loss but that’s to be expected in a warming world. I won’t deny there is some warming and ice extent is down, but the correlation to CO2 has not been established.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

    2) There is NO proof that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes warming. I dare you to show me a peer reviewed paper that proves otherwise. You can’t because it doesn’t exist. Yes, trot out the name Svante Arrhenius and all that, yes we know that CO2 in a “closed system” has the ability to cause warming. What I’m saying is in the ATMOSPHERE, with feedbacks, it has NOT BEEN PROVEN.

    3) Where’s your proof of statistically significant warming?

    4) Ice ages come and go due to Milankovitch cycles. Check it out:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/milankovitch.html

    5) Temperature data has been massaged to remove the Medieval Warm Period and the earlier warming this century because it contradicts the assertions that the recent temperature rise is unprecedented. It is not. Yes the planet has warmed, gradually, since the last ice age. Recent solar activity has helped it along. CO2 is not the driver. There is no greenhouse gas signature in the observations. None.
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton/greenhouse_warming_what_greenhouse_warming_.html

    The point of all this is to show that CO2 is not a capable of causing catastrophic global warming. Mankind’s addition of CO2 may have caused some of the warming. The vast majority of the warming is due to natural cycles (solar and oceanic). As we are about to find out, the natural cycles have turned negative and cooling is underway.

  207. If you can see any contradiction between “the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now” and “the fact that nine of the ten hottest years on record all occurred since the year 2000″, then we have a very serious problem, Houston.

    As much as when you think that “the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now” can in any way be “misinterpreting long term trends”, if by “long” you mean longer than 10 years. A fact is a fact, your conclusions about it are … speculations.

    Do you think it is bad manners trying to think before writing, or what?

    No way to continue with such nonsense.

  208. Tom Backhouse

    Ah; the Daily Mail. I’m becoming more fond of the paper; and I think anyone who takes the time to view it as the frankly hilarious satire that it is (its the only explaination) will grow to like it too. It seems the Mail almost never lets an issue go by without some dramatic mischaracterisation of some science story or other, played hilariously straight as only those who become immersed in the conservative rhetoric that they lampoon can. Indeed, often it is taken to the point of completely ignoring even the subject of the papers they report, baldly claiming scientific support for the issue of the week, from researchers in a field which often bears no relevance to the claims the Mail puts forward. The best thing about the paper is how oddly believable it is. Despite the obvious lunacy of the content, you almost find yourself believing that you are reading actual conservative propaganda, rather than the cutting and thought-provoking liberal satire that it is.

    What’s that? The Daily Mail is a serious paper? Excuse me while I curl up and die.

  209. Nigel Depledge

    Tore Wretman (185) said:

    You haven’t got a clue about statistics do you Mr Plait ? The more you waffle on, the funnier it gets.

    Ironically, your comment is laughable.

    Phil does not need to know the detailed statistical analysis, because the climatologists have done the detailed statistical analysis.

    I suggest that you actually try to find out what that “time series” really is. It is also quite funny to watch the other minions here, who have no clue either.

    But quite obviously a far better clue than you about how science actually works.

    Too funny. Just to finish off, it doesn’t matter how many million times you run a computer model, it still does not create any evidence of CAGW.

    This is a strawman.

    First, define exactly what you mean by CAGW. What are the catastrophes that you think will ensue? Are they really what the climatologists have predicted, or are they strawman arguments?

    Second, the strands of evidence for the warming trend are manifold. The models are not evidence that warming is happening now. They are evidence that warming will not stop the moment we stabilise our GHG output. They are evidence that, even with relatively limited warming (i.e. some pretty conservative starting assumptions), there is a need for action. They are evidence that, if the positive feedbacks that it is feared might occur do occur, then the final amount of warming will be dramatic and its impact on human society will be similarly dramatic.

    Finally, here is another thought for you. If AGW is – as I am convinced – real, then our great-grandchildren will look back at this time and say “even though they had known about AGW for 25 years, they did nothing until it was too late,”. If AGW is an illusion (as I hope, but do not seriously expect, it to be) then our great-grandchildren will look back and say “they switched to sustainable sources of energy, because of a fallacious concern about AGW”.

    If we all assume AGW to be a real issue, then it is win-win, except perhaps for shareholders of fossil-fuel companies. Even if AGW is an illusion, oil and coal are finite and will run out sooner or later. The earlier we switch to sustainable energy, the better. If we had made a serious attempt to do so over the last 10 or 15 years, the transition could have been fairly smooth and painless.

  210. Nigel Depledge

    Eimar (186) said:

    . . . let the statisticians handle the statistics.

    He does. That does not change the message of his article. Did you have a point?

  211. Nigel Depledge

    Dan (188) said:

    Why does the Global Warming crowd continue to drive and fly and use fossil fuels despite the scientific evidence they accept that humans are causing the earth to warm because of those things?

    This is a perfectly reasonable question. However, you kind of spoil it by being facetious about it.

    1. They do not really believe humans are the main cause of global warming.

    Obviously not.

    2. They do not believe it’s possible for human’s to decrease CO2 in the atmosphere enough to divert the warming.

    GW is not a Boolean operator. Warming has happened, is happening now and will happen some more. It’s not a question of whether warming happens or not, it';s a question of how much it happens. It is impossible for us to prevent at least a 2 °C rise in global mean temp by 2100 over (I think) the avergae temp up to 1960. However, we ought to be able to limit warming to 2 °C above that average.

    IIUC, a rise of only 2 °C is generally accepted among climatologists and other scientists who study these things as not too difficult to adapt to, not too big an impact to accept. Above that, things start getting more and more difficult for us humans and the complicated ways in which we manage ourselves.

    3. Their goal is to control, not be controlled.

    This is quite clearly lunatic. If one’s goal is to gain control of society, what possible benefit can one hope to derive by entering a career in science?

    However, what you missed was:

    4. Perhaps they feel that individual contributions are trivial without coordinated action;

    5. Many of those convinced that AGW is real are taking individual action as far as they can, irrespective of its potential to have only a trivial impact.

    5a. For example, if I could afford to change my car, fuel economy would be a significant deciding factor in my choice of what to get;
    5b. Plenty of people are now installing solar panels on their roof;
    5c. In various parts of Europe at least, it is now possible to buy electricity from a supplier that uses up to 20% renewable sources of energy;
    5d. Many people are using their cars less, and either reducing the journeys they make, walking, cycling or using public transport.

    6. I expect that, to some extent, there is the feeling that why should we go to some significant personal inconvenience to fix a problem that careless, ignorant people are still making worse?

    7. As you are almost certainly unaware, there is much activity occurring (again, mostly in parts of Europe) where governments take AGW seriously. The UK is home to many wind farms – mostly fairly small, but there are some pretty large ones under construction. Germany has a scheme whereby anyone using microgeneration can sell their surplus energy to the national grid. And so on.

    8. There is a great deal of technological development occurring (for example, Honda, Toyota and Lexus all have petrol-eletric hybrid cars on the market), but some of the technology is not yet ready.

    9. Renewable electricity cannot hope to compete in those markets where the fossil fuel industries are subsidised.

    10. Properly sustainable transport infrastructure has not even begun to be set up. Buying a hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered car is pointless, because there are too few places where you can fuel up with hydrogen. To a lesser extent, all-electric cars suffer a similar problem (with the added issue that “refuelling” an electric car can take hours).

  212. gss_000

    @195. pauld

    Do the math and show us your work here. What’s the uncertainty of that calculation that you say is so clear? Because if you do it correctly you’ll see that the error more than dwarfs the value.

  213. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    The WSJ only claimed that there has been no warming in the last ten years i.e. since 2001. I have to assume that they were meant statistically significant warming. I download and plot HadCRUT, NOAA, UAH, RSS, and GISS temperature data sets myself. I found it necessary to do that because so many plots are misleading including the one that Phil Plait provided in his article.

    I found is that a linear regression for January 2001 thru December 2011 indicates trends as follows:

    HadCRUT has a slight cooling trend (not statistically significant)

    NOAA has a slight cooling trend (not statistically significant)

    UAH has a slight warming trend (not statistically significant)

    RSS has a slight warming trend (not statistically signficant)

    There are two versions of GISS. The hansenized version incorporates data from Arctic stations that don’t actually exist. In other words, they estimating what those stations would have reported over the last 130 years if they did actually exist.

    Non-hansenized GISS has a slight warming trend (not statistically signficant)

    Hansenized GISS has a warming trend that may be statistically significant.

    HadCRUT, NOAA, and GISS are all based on the same NCDC data. They have different adjustments. The hansenized version of GISS is the only one that is showing what might be statistically significant warming since 2001. I have serious doubts about the hansenized temperature record. That’s partly because it is the outlier–there are 5 other temperature records that are telling a different story. I do not believe that it is possible to determine what fictitious weather stations would have been reporting for 130 years. And finally, I downloaded the data and compared them. The hansenized version introduces a definite warming trend that, in my opinion, may reflect concerns having little to do with science.

  214. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    BTW, if anyone is interested in seeing the difference between the hansenized and non-hansenized versions of GISS, if have that chart that compares they over the last 130 years. That can be downloaded as a pdf file here:

    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?rsb5b97vqu8y7dp

  215. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    Oops, the chart is from 1970. It doesn’t cover the 130 years.

  216. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.
  217. MartinM

    I found is that a linear regression for January 2001 thru December 2011 indicates trends as follows:

    Good. Now repeat your analysis, but this time ask the question “is there a statistically significant difference between the rate of warming from 2001-2011 and that of the prior 30 years?”

    Once you’ve done that, perhaps you’ll understand why the claim that the data shows a lack of warming over the past decade is misleading at best, dishonest at worst.

  218. Samuel

    MartinM
    “Actually, turns out I have to retract that statement. It occurred to me that the last time I checked the significance of the recent warming trend was sometime last year, so I’d have been dealing with the 15-year period from 1996 to 2010, rather than the most recent period from 1997 to 2011. For the former period, the rate of warming is around .15 +- .11 K/decade. For the latter period, it’s around .11 +- .11 K/decade, right on the threshold of significance, but just falling short. Both results use GISTEMP, and assume ARMA1,1 noise when correcting for autocorrelation.”

    That is because 1997 is a peak. I’m not sure how much that screws with the statistics. It is similar to the fact that depending on if you take 1930 rather than 1970 to be the base year you get a massively different slope.

    “Good. Now repeat your analysis, but this time ask the question “is there a statistically significant difference between the rate of warming from 2001-2011 and that of the prior 30 years?””

    How about comparing 1930-1997 versus 1997-2012? You’ll have a lower slope for the former (although if the drop in the 70s was due to particulates, it better represents the real trend) and a longer amount of time for the latter so you can be more sure of your results.

    Nigel Depledge
    “First, define exactly what you mean by CAGW. What are the catastrophes that you think will ensue? Are they really what the climatologists have predicted, or are they strawman arguments?”

    CAGW is defined as “anything Al Gore says”. It is a bit broader than that of course, but I think Al Gore would count as its most famous popularizer.

    “The models are not evidence that warming is happening now. They are evidence that warming will not stop the moment we stabilise our GHG output. They are evidence that, even with relatively limited warming (i.e. some pretty conservative starting assumptions), there is a need for action. They are evidence that, if the positive feedbacks that it is feared might occur do occur, then the final amount of warming will be dramatic and its impact on human society will be similarly dramatic.”

    Those statements don’t need models.
    If there are no negative feedback effects, THEN warming will continue
    If there are positive feedback effects, THEN warming will get worse.

    Models are a way of testing to see if those statements are accurate desciptions of how the climate works.

    “If AGW is an illusion (as I hope, but do not seriously expect, it to be) then our great-grandchildren will look back and say “they switched to sustainable sources of energy, because of a fallacious concern about AGW”.”

    Money isn’t free. The greatest tradgedy of the Iraq war wasn’t the hundreds of thousands dead, but the opportunity cost. At an estimated 4 trillion dollars think about how many lives we could have saved- we could have wiped out polio, malaria, provided clean water for every man, women and child on Earth…

    Decarbonizing the economy also has problems. By 2050 the world would have to have per capita CO2 outputs at about 10% of what they are now in the US to break even (have no net atmospheric CO2 change). That isn’t exactly something simple.

    “If we all assume AGW to be a real issue, then it is win-win, except perhaps for shareholders of fossil-fuel companies.”

    Only if the costs of global warming outweigh the benefits.

    “Even if AGW is an illusion, oil and coal are finite and will run out sooner or later. The earlier we switch to sustainable energy, the better. If we had made a serious attempt to do so over the last 10 or 15 years, the transition could have been fairly smooth and painless.”

    Wrong. Renewable (and nuclear) technology is improving over time, which implies that the later we convert the smoother things will go. That also ignores the structural problems that renewables have, namely it is difficult to run a country on solar and wind and the other renewables have difficulty with scaling.

    The only way this statement is true is if you assume large scale resource shortages. That is unlikely- we can get oil from shale and coal which means we have a large amount of reserves still left. Oil will become more expensive, but that is unlikely to imply a large increase in the cost of producing renewable power.

    Nigel Depledge
    “This is quite clearly lunatic. If one’s goal is to gain control of society, what possible benefit can one hope to derive by entering a career in science?”

    Just because you are a scientist doesn’t mean you can’t be self-righteous and desire to order and control people’s lives. Of course, it is more of an engineer, antropology and social scientist problem- I don’t think it is likely to be a problem with climate scientists. Except the ones who appear to be building doomsday devices.

    I think he is more pissed that the environmental organizations who are against global warming are also against the construction of nuclear and renewable power plants, which sort of makes it hard to deal with global warming.

    “4. Perhaps they feel that individual contributions are trivial without coordinated action;”

    Regardless of what everyone else is doing, if you believe global warming is a problem you should be reducing your contribution. Other individuals actions are irrelevant. The only execption is if you believe that your withdrawl will cause other people to use the resources you would have been using.

    Of course, there aren’t many ways individuals can actually reduce emissions (taking a flight is a sunk cost, cars tend to be necesary, etc).

    “5c. In various parts of Europe at least, it is now possible to buy electricity from a supplier that uses up to 20% renewable sources of energy;”

    That is pretty pointless- it just causes the people who aren’t in the program to get a larger portion from non-renewables. Yes I’m aware this is a coordination problem.

    “7. As you are almost certainly unaware, there is much activity occurring (again, mostly in parts of Europe) where governments take AGW seriously. The UK is home to many wind farms – mostly fairly small, but there are some pretty large ones under construction. Germany has a scheme whereby anyone using microgeneration can sell their surplus energy to the national grid. And so on.”

    Both of those schemes have noticable flaws. Wind power runs into the problem of irregularity- sometimes the wind doesn’t blow. In order to make up for that you need back up power plants- namely natural gas. This is less than carbon neutral. Microgeneration (with guarenteed purchase) and selling to the grid only works on a small scale- if everyone does it than the power companies go broke because they have to pay even when there is a surplus and they still have to pay full price to run their power plants, even though they aren’t operating full time.

    “9. Renewable electricity cannot hope to compete in those markets where the fossil fuel industries are subsidised.”

    Renewable energy is heavily subsidized as well. In fact I believe it is substantially more subsidized than fossil fuels.

  219. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    MartinM, here is a link to a HadCRUT temperature anomalies chart with two linear regressions. The red plot is from 2001/01 thru 2011/12. The green plot is from 1970/01 thru 2000/12 as you requested.

    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?7ka90euax140n9o

    Please take a look and tell me if you think that there does not appear to be a statistically significant difference between the rate of warming from 2001/01 thru 2011/12 and that of the prior 30 years.

    Please explain why you think that my claim is “misleading at best, dishonest at worst.”

  220. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    Samuel, looking only at HadCRUT data here some linear regressions:

    1995/01 thru 2011/12–warming trend
    1996/01 thru 2011/12–warming trend
    1997/01 thru 2011/12–very slight warming trend
    1998/01 thru 2011/12–slight cooling trend
    1999/01 thru 2011/12–warming trend
    2000/01 thru 2011/12–slight warming trend
    2001/01 thru 2011/12–cooling trend
    2002/01 thru 2011/12–cooling trend
    2003/01 thru 2011/12–cooling trend
    2004/01 thru 2011/12–cooling trend
    2005/01 thru 2011/12–cooling trend

    I don’t claim that since 2001/01 it has been cooling. I only claim that there has been not statistically significant warming. I found that to be the case with HadCRUT, NOAA, UAH, RSS, and the non-hansenized GISS temperature data. Only the hansenized GISS data has what may be significant warming since 2001/01 .

    My object to Phil Plait’s chart is that it is misleading. It seems to show a continued warming since 2001. But temperatures could remain stable for the next 50 years, and a chart like that would still show that it is warming. If it didn’t warm for 50 years, would it still be warming? That chart would suggest that the answer is yes.

    If the question is “has it warming between point X in time and point Y in time, we do a regression between point X and point Y. We don’t answer the question about point X and point Y by doing a regression between point A and point Y.

  221. Jerry Post

    Plait is an astronomer; his opinion carries no more or less weight than any other casual observer of the earth’s climate. He should stick to what he knows best – looking at stars through a telescope.

  222. Rolf

    If Global Warming is man made, can anyone explain why Mars is heating up faster than earth??????????

  223. Neil

    Please see the article on this website. http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article3491.html which shows that this is not the warmest period in the last 2000 years.

    Being an civil engineer I am not qualified to give an informed decision. So what am I missing?

  224. Frank

    Thanks for this article responding to the denialists. I’m sending it to my brother, who continually sends me articles and books debunking all global warming scientific data. Of course, every one of the articles and books he sends me, when you finally wear yourself out Googling it, turn out to be either written or funded by firms like Exxon or lobbying groups for coal or oil.

  225. Tommy

    I’ll say what no one wants to say from both sides of this issue. And that is, neither side is right or wrong. Should we be doing something…yes, but not what the Chicken Little’s of Humanity induced global warming are screaming. And definitely more then what the stick your head in the sand deniers hope is just a cycle, because sooner or later Humanity can and will cause significant changes to the atomosphere by our nature to burn things that make Humanity move along.

  226. Ilacqua

    I am disturbed by Phil Plait’s commentary about the deniers. Some group of scientists dare challenge the convenional wisdom that the earth is warming, they are accused of basic stupidity. Yet month after month Discover magazine if filled with unscientific terms like ” might happen”, “could happen”, “may”,”could”, “maybe”, etc. I think Rush Limbough is right when he says that AGW has become a religion! Why don’t you rebutt people that disagree with you in a gentlmanly manner instead of the “destroy these clowns” approach that Phil and many others use. I certainly do not believe that the deniers are stupid, you ought to be open to that idea also.

  227. Samuel

    C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    Thanks for doing the regressions. I guess the answer is, as always, wait and see.

    “My object to Phil Plait’s chart is that it is misleading. It seems to show a continued warming since 2001. But temperatures could remain stable for the next 50 years, and a chart like that would still show that it is warming. If it didn’t warm for 50 years, would it still be warming? That chart would suggest that the answer is yes. ”

    I think a simpler objection is that when someone claims that it hasn’t been warming for 15 years, you don’t do a chart covering 39 years.

  228. TheBlackCat

    @ Neil: That entire article is a long string of lies. The claim that 1998 is the warmest year is wrong, although it was true when the article was written 8 years ago. That is the only claim in that entire article that was ever correct, however. The claim that the satellite record doesn’t show warming? Wrong. The claim that volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans? Wrong. The claim that the climate self-corrects? Wrong, at least on the time scales we are concerned with. The claim that scientists are in it for the grant money? Wrong. The whole article is nothing but a stream of standard denialists lies.

    Further, the author cites not sources for any of the claims. There are two links in the article, but neither work. Pretty much all of the claims, including specific numbers, cite no source, apparently expecting us to just take his or her word for it.

  229. Bwana

    I’ll forecast the climate change for the next 20 years in 2032. Maybe I’ll get it correct looking back at the facts…

    Our C02 emissions have to come down and along with it our standard of living in the industrialized world. A very hard pill to swallow and a great reason to claim negative climate changes don’t exist!

    Personally, I’ll wait and see!

  230. Victor Gomez

    What can you exect of a former fabulous paper now being run by an individual whose other newsupapers have engagedd in destroying other people by hacking their e mails?

    I will give you ONE Dollar to Mr Murduch to take it off his hands. He can pick up all his crap and take back to England where they seeem to enjoy it, and be sure he takes all and I mean all his bags in one schoop back to London. Then, have a good American Newspaperman take the WSJ, over and make it what it was. A Decent , honest, and where integrity is at the top of its editorial board then get rid of all ths Yellow Newspaparism that has no place in America.

    Mr. Murdoch and his ilk are first hand panderers in this case they outright to the people of Amerieca by presenting falsehoods with pretintiousness of truth, then, you look who is behind this masacre of the Truth and who do we find : THE OIL COMPANIES, LO AN BEHOLD WHAT A COINCIDENCE!!!!!!!!!. Remember BP and its 5000 barrells of oil spilling in the gulf, while it was reaching the Louisiana coast? If this is not pandering I do not know what is.

  231. tmac57

    @pauld #209-“By what metric? That is not what I find when I examine actual versus projected global average temperatures, but I am willing to look at your information if you will provide a link.”
    The IPCC makes more than just temperature projections:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/ipcc-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm

    Here is one discussion of the IPCC’s 2007 AR4 temperature predictions :

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/lessons-from-past-climate-predictions-ipcc-ar4-update.html

    They were a bit high, but not that much.

  232. tmac57

    Don’t know if anyone has posted this yet,but 38 real climate scientists have replied to the WSJ article in an open letter:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/check-with-climate-scientists-for-views-on-climate.html

  233. Veritas

    UAH Anomaly Goes Negative

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/02/uah-global-temperature-anomaly-goes-negative-2/

    I totally understand the desire to conserve resources and reduce (eliminate?) pollution. I would love for us (mankind) to move away from fossil fuels. I want my kids, grandkids, etc. to live in a cleaner, better world. I just don’t believe that our contribution of CO2 is causing the recent warming.

  234. ray4ausa

    It amazes me to see such stupidity abounds in this day and age. Science throughout history has “refined” assumptions with experiments and facts derived from those experiments. We are continually learning about ourselves and our mother earth. Denial of FACTS can be attributed to but one answer, PERSONAL GREED. Rational thinking with ACCURATE INFORMATION WITHOUT bias from outside pressure renders a decision that can be trusted. We have none of that now in the denial community. They are more interested in their next payment for “expert testimony” from whatever source that pays their price. The hundreds of climate scientists implicating global warming do not do this for personally gain, THEY DO IT FOR OUR COLLECTIVE FUTURES. An after thought, YOU DO KNOW WHO OWNS THE WALL STREET JOURNAL DON’T YOU? RUPERT MURDOCH, THE BASTION OF TRUTH AND HONOR!!!!!

  235. Samuel

    Veritas
    The post you linked to is about the fact that temperatures for 2011, 2012 were lower because of La Nina. It doesn’t have any relevance to long run trends. I think you meant this post.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/01/briggs-schools-the-bad-astronomer-on-statistics/

  236. TheBlackCat

    @ Veritas: You haven’t read any of the discussion, any of the links Phil posted, or any of the links anyone else here posted, did you?

  237. Dave Springer

    The temp chart in the article is land temperatures. This neglects the other 70% of the earth’s surface. Taking that into account there has been no warming for 15 years even though human emission of CO2 has accelerated during that time.

    If one investigates the physics of greenhouse gases, how they actually accomplish teh warming, and contrast the way land vs. water heats and cools then it should come as no surprise that the warming is predominantly over land. Water simply isn’t warmed to any significant degree by long wave infrared. The physics don’t work out. All it does is increases the evaporation rate. So the same energy which is absorbed by land and raises its temperature is rejected by water and carried aloft to the cloud deck as latent heat of vaporization without ever raising the temperature of the ocean or of the atmosphere near its surface.

    Once you factor this into your beliefs about anthropogenic global warming everything starts making sense such as why the air temperature over land is warming but over the ocean is not and why the warming is largely confined to the northern hemisphere which has twice as much land surface as the southern hemisphere and why there’s only about a third as much climate sensitivity (1.1C per CO2 doubling) as the more dire predictions held out as the earth’s surface is one third land.

  238. Veritas

    @TheBlackCat – Why yes, I have read the discussion but I haven’t taken time to view all the links. Why?

  239. Nigel Depledge

    Samuel (232) said:

    Nigel Depledge

    “First, define exactly what you mean by CAGW. What are the catastrophes that you think will ensue? Are they really what the climatologists have predicted, or are they strawman arguments?”

    CAGW is defined as “anything Al Gore says”. It is a bit broader than that of course, but I think Al Gore would count as its most famous popularizer.

    This does not even begin to answer the question.

    I have only ever seen the term “CAGW” used by AGW deniers, used mainly as the effigy in a strawman argument.

    So, before we get into the discussion, I’d like to see exactly what sHx in particular, and other AGW-deniers in general, think is actually claimed that turns AGW into CAGW.

    Because it seems to me that one of the headline points is that, if we take action, AGW won’t be catastrophic.

    “The models are not evidence that warming is happening now. They are evidence that warming will not stop the moment we stabilise our GHG output. They are evidence that, even with relatively limited warming (i.e. some pretty conservative starting assumptions), there is a need for action. They are evidence that, if the positive feedbacks that it is feared might occur do occur, then the final amount of warming will be dramatic and its impact on human society will be similarly dramatic.”

    Those statements don’t need models.

    In principle, yes, but there are many and complex factors at play.

    If there are no negative feedback effects, THEN warming will continue
    If there are positive feedback effects, THEN warming will get worse.

    But it is known that there are both negative and positive feedbacks, and it is also known that some of the feedbacks only apply over a limited scope, so to understand how the many relevant factors interact, one must model their behaviour.

    Models are a way of testing to see if those statements are accurate desciptions of how the climate works.

    Well, broadly, but I cannot help but feel that you are over-simplifying.

    “If AGW is an illusion (as I hope, but do not seriously expect, it to be) then our great-grandchildren will look back and say “they switched to sustainable sources of energy, because of a fallacious concern about AGW”.”

    Money isn’t free. The greatest tradgedy of the Iraq war wasn’t the hundreds of thousands dead, but the opportunity cost. At an estimated 4 trillion dollars think about how many lives we could have saved- we could have wiped out polio, malaria, provided clean water for every man, women and child on Earth…

    This comparison is not valid. It is not a zero-sum game. Sure, maybe if the invasion of Iraq had not happened, then more money might have been spent on other things, but this would certainly not have reached the heady heights of the dollar cost of the war.

    Decarbonizing the economy also has problems.

    True, but it also creates opportunities. And even if there are some really big problems, are they really so big as to render it not worthwhile to mitigate or reduce the impact of AGW? Almost certainly not.

    By 2050 the world would have to have per capita CO2 outputs at about 10% of what they are now in the US to break even (have no net atmospheric CO2 change). That isn’t exactly something simple.

    Where does that figure of 10% come from? I’ve not seen it before.

    Also, the “break even” does not have to happen on an individual country-by-country basis, assuming that some fair means is achieved of recognising each nation’s contribution to global reductions in CO2 output. Having said that, of course it is recognised that it is a big challenge, but so are so many of the other things we humans have achieved.

    Just because it may be hard to do does not mean we should not try.

    “If we all assume AGW to be a real issue, then it is win-win, except perhaps for shareholders of fossil-fuel companies.”

    Only if the costs of global warming outweigh the benefits.

    This has been examined elsewhere in this thread. The costs most certainly outweigh the benefits, because the benefits of GW are pretty trivial, whereas the costs could be as bad as billions of people suffering and dying.

    “Even if AGW is an illusion, oil and coal are finite and will run out sooner or later. The earlier we switch to sustainable energy, the better. If we had made a serious attempt to do so over the last 10 or 15 years, the transition could have been fairly smooth and painless.”

    Wrong. Renewable (and nuclear) technology is improving over time, which implies that the later we convert the smoother things will go. That also ignores the structural problems that renewables have, namely it is difficult to run a country on solar and wind and the other renewables have difficulty with scaling.

    First off, nuclear fission is finite. Once we run out of fissile materials, we cannot get any more. Let’s take that out of the equation except as a bridging technology.

    Second, the technology for being more efficient with the energy that we do use is mature, having mostly been around for the better part of 20 years (substantially longer for some elements). If we had started setting up serious incentives to deploy this 15 years ago, our energy useage today might have been only be a fraction of what it is. (The incentives would need to accommodate the tendency of people to use more of something when its use becomes more efficient.)

    Third, I’m not saying the switch-over has to be overnight, which you seem to be assuming. If we had started 15 years ago, we could have had a gradual transition over perhaps 40 or 50 years, during which time various schemes and incentives could have been in place to ensure that investment in renewables was worthwhile and investment in fossil fuels was not.

    Fourth, you seem to be ignoring the fact that the later we leave making any substantive changes, the higher is the energy demand that the renewables technology must meet.

    The only way this statement is true is if you assume large scale resource shortages. That is unlikely- we can get oil from shale and coal which means we have a large amount of reserves still left. Oil will become more expensive, but that is unlikely to imply a large increase in the cost of producing renewable power.

    You do not address the basic fact that fossil fuels are finite. Sooner or later, there will be the large-scale shortages to which you refer. Even if we develop technologies for extracting every last drop of oil from the Earth’s crust, it is still a fundamentally finite resource. Eventually, we will be forced to switch to renewable energy sources. If we start the transition while we have plenty of oil left, then we can make the transition gradual and we can still go on using limited amounts of oil (as, for example, a raw material from which to make the huge variety of chemical products that are currently derived from oil-based precursors).

    Nigel Depledge
    “This is quite clearly lunatic. If one’s goal is to gain control of society, what possible benefit can one hope to derive by entering a career in science?”

    Just because you are a scientist doesn’t mean you can’t be self-righteous and desire to order and control people’s lives. Of course, it is more of an engineer, antropology and social scientist problem- I don’t think it is likely to be a problem with climate scientists. Except the ones who appear to be building doomsday devices.

    I don’t deny that an individual scientist might wish to control certain aspects of other people’s lives, but that is missing the point. Scientists, on the whole, have a trivial level of influence over policy. Certainly this is true when compared against big corporations and politicians themselves. Even the most august scientific societies have a limited influence over policy-setting.

    Therefore, anyone whose goal is to gain control over some aspect or aspects of society would not choose to become a scientsit.

    Why else do you think there is so much noise and furore over AGW? If scientists had any real influence, there would be no need for them to engage the public.

    I think he is more pissed that the environmental organizations who are against global warming are also against the construction of nuclear and renewable power plants, which sort of makes it hard to deal with global warming.

    I’m not sure I accept this. I think most of the objections to wind farms, for example, are from local residents (although wind turbines do kill many bats). Nuclear fission power only has the potential to serve as a stop-gap, and building a nuclear power station uses so much concrete that it comes with a pretty high carbon cost (albeit a one-off carbon cost). Certainly schemes such as the UK’s proposed Severn Barrage tidal power plant were opposed more by wildlife advocacy groups than by environmental groups.

    “4. Perhaps they feel that individual contributions are trivial without coordinated action;”

    Regardless of what everyone else is doing, if you believe global warming is a problem you should be reducing your contribution. Other individuals actions are irrelevant. The only execption is if you believe that your withdrawl will cause other people to use the resources you would have been using.

    Yes, perhaps. I was speculating here. I thought that was obvious.

    Of course, there aren’t many ways individuals can actually reduce emissions (taking a flight is a sunk cost, cars tend to be necesary, etc).

    This is not strictly true. There are plenty of ways in which an individual can reduce their CO2 emissions, but these ways are all quite small contributions.

    For example:
    1. Change one’s car for a more fuel-efficient model, but do not drive any more miles.
    2. Insulate your home more efficiently.
    3. Install solar panels on your roof (in the UK, the cost is partly government-subsidised).
    4. Use only energy-efficient light-bulbs.
    5. Buy a bike and cycle for short journeys where you don’t need to carry a whole bunch of stuff.
    6. Drive in a more fuel-efficient manner (this can reduce your fuel use by about 5 – 10 %).

    And so on. There are many more ways, but the contribution of each way is pretty small.

    “5c. In various parts of Europe at least, it is now possible to buy electricity from a supplier that uses up to 20% renewable sources of energy;”

    That is pretty pointless- it just causes the people who aren’t in the program to get a larger portion from non-renewables. Yes I’m aware this is a coordination problem.

    Not necessarily. It sends a message to the power companies. It makes generation of electricity from renewable sources a means by which power companies can achieve a larger market share. This spurs investment in renewables.

    “7. As you are almost certainly unaware, there is much activity occurring (again, mostly in parts of Europe) where governments take AGW seriously. The UK is home to many wind farms – mostly fairly small, but there are some pretty large ones under construction. Germany has a scheme whereby anyone using microgeneration can sell their surplus energy to the national grid. And so on.”

    Both of those schemes have noticable flaws.

    So?

    Wind power runs into the problem of irregularity- sometimes the wind doesn’t blow. In order to make up for that you need back up power plants- namely natural gas. This is less than carbon neutral. Microgeneration (with guarenteed purchase) and selling to the grid only works on a small scale- if everyone does it than the power companies go broke because they have to pay even when there is a surplus and they still have to pay full price to run their power plants, even though they aren’t operating full time.

    But microgeneration will never reach that level of market saturation, because some sites (large apartment blocks, for example) are totally unsuited to it. Additionally, most microgeneration systems do not generate enough power to deliver the peak needs of a typical home, so there will always be space for the big companies to supply centrally-generated power.

    Almost all renewables have the issue of what you call irregularity. Tides are predictable, but there are only two high tides each day, or only four periods of peak tidal current flow (depending on which mode of tidal power generation is used). Hydroelectricity depends on having a reservoir full of water. Solar power depends on having some sunshine. And so on.

    It is possible for a home to be supplied entirely off-grid, but it takes a combination of (typically) three different modes of power generation, including micro-hydro (which tends to be best at filling the gaps left by solar and wind), which needs a suitable watercourse flowing through the property.

    It’s easy enough to find issues with renewable energy generation, but that’s missing the point. Most of these issues are of lesser magnitude than the issues that exist with using coal, gas or nuclear fission for electricity generation. Some of the issues will be dealt with as the technology matures (for example, there are at least three different methods being investigated for storing surplus energy that can be converted back into electricity when the renewables are not producing power).

    “9. Renewable electricity cannot hope to compete in those markets where the fossil fuel industries are subsidised.”

    Renewable energy is heavily subsidized as well. In fact I believe it is substantially more subsidized than fossil fuels.

    This depends on where you are. I think to a large extent, the development of renewable power generation is subsidised, or in some cases wholly government-funded. I daresay also that in some places the subsidies to renewables are currently substantial. I would expect this to decrease as the technology matures. My point, however, was that there are some places where renewables have no subsidy and fossil fuel industries are subsidised.

    If you take subsidies out of the equation, it is still not a level playing field, because the fossil fuel industries have been maturing their technology for the better part of 200 years, whereas large-scale renewables projects are, at best, only about 20 years old, and in most cases less than 10.

    However, even taking that into account, if renewables end up costing us 30% or 60% more per kilowatt-hour than coal, oil or gas-fired power generation, so what? Surely it is still better than permitting AGW to continue unchecked?

  240. Nigel Depledge

    Veritas (249) said:

    I just don’t believe that our contribution of CO2 is causing the recent warming.

    This is exactly the same as proudly declaring that you have not understood the issue.

    Well done, but must try harder.

  241. Nigel Depledge

    C Bruce Richardson Jr (234) said:

    But temperatures could remain stable for the next 50 years

    Don’t worry. They won’t.

  242. Nigel Depledge

    Jerry Post (235) said:
    Plait is an astronomer; his opinion carries no more or less weight than any other casual observer of the earth’s climate.

    This is not strictly true. He’s an astronomer, and therefore a scientist, so he has some understanding of how the process of science operates. This means his opinion on climate science is a bit more reliable than that of any non-scientist. However, he does not ask us to rely on his opinion, because he links to the work of actual climate scientists (I counted two links in the article to the Met Office alone).

  243. Nigel Depledge

    Tommy (240) said:

    And that is, neither side is right or wrong.

    This is wrong.

    One side has nothing but hyperbole and obfuscation, while the climate scientists have a firmly-supported conclusion.

    Should we be doing something…yes, but not what the Chicken Little’s of Humanity induced global warming are screaming.

    What do you think they are saying we should be doing?

    ‘Cos it seems to me that the climate scientists are – for the most part – saying “here is a serious problem we need to address”.

    How to address it is the debate that the pro-reality “side” is still trying to open.

  244. Nigel Depledge

    Ilacqua (241) said:

    Some group of scientists dare challenge the convenional wisdom that the earth is warming, they are accused of basic stupidity.

    Scientists such as who, exactly?

    Oh, you mean those scientists who are funded by the fossil-fuel industries? Conflict of interest much?

    Yet month after month Discover magazine if filled with unscientific terms like ” might happen”, “could happen”, “may”,”could”, “maybe”, etc.

    Are you aware of the differences between a possibility, a likelihood and a certainty? If so, perhaps you should reconsider that sentence.

    Also, what about any of those terms is unscientific? Are you saying we should be able to quantify exactly how likely it is that AGW will lead to – for example – more frequent or more power ful hurricanes?

    [. . . ]

    Why don’t you rebutt people that disagree with you in a gentlmanly manner instead of the “destroy these clowns” approach that Phil and many others use.

    Erm . . . because they didn’t listen the first seventeen times we tried it?

  245. Muffit

    @Ilacqua:

    Science is uncertainty. Absolutism or perfection are useless terms in reality and thus in science. Not to mention scientists are arch-conservatives, they will demand extraordinary amounts of proof before stating their case and then will always downplay their findings. Just like the IPCC reports have always been downplayed and the reality has always been at the extreme end of it’s predictions.

    If you really think science is about “truth” and “absolute certainty” than you need to revise your knowledge of science and read some philosophy and history of science.

    Global warming is an observed fact, there is no uncertainty about that in that sense. But when science becomes predictive, as in stating how their models are showing future warming, of course they will say ‘probably’ or ‘perhaps’. What else is there to say when making predictions?

    I understand that most people are not familiar with this terminology and don’t understand the significance of a scientist saying it’s “only 90% sure”. That’s because that’s as good as it gets. There is no more certainty in science. It’s anti-dogmatic and revisionist.

    If your doctor tells you it’s “likely” or “probable” that you have some disease (the nature of the disease being that prediction is fraught with conservative uncertainty). Will you then wait it out on pain of death, or take the cure?

    We are facing a know fact, the earth is warming. We have been modelling the ‘why’ question for a massive amount of years and are very confident of the reasons (say, 90%). It’s human caused and will likely get a lot worse, and may probably be fatal to billions of humans and will exterminate millions animal species and make a large portion of the earth uninhabitable, unless it is addressed.

    How much certainty do you need of that before you come into action to prevent it? Outside of the fact that ALL action to prevent it has value IN ITSELF, even without it’s preventative qualities. Like ending dependance on fossil fuels, will make the air pollution reduce, warzones vanish, dirty, smelly, noisy cars and industry disappear. Switching to a more sustainable economic model will prevent economic crisis. Using more sustainable materials in building etc. will make those things cheaper to make, but also cheaper to maintain and inhabit. Not to mention it will, again, reduce the human footprint on an earth besieged by humans and struggling to survive WITHOUT the added risk of catastrophic climate change.

    The logic against taking action is so flawed and so ideologically, dogmatically driven, it has become pure madness. A pseudo-religion of anti-regulation, liberal-hating, warmongering, extremist, often racist zealots.

  246. Veritas

    @NigelD – No, it indicates that I have examined the data, looked at the arguments for and against, and arrived at the conclusion that the AGW hypothesis is false. Please show me SCIENTIFIC PROOF that atmospheric CO2 causes global warming. In the last 15 years, as CO2 has increased, global mean temperature has leveled off.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:180/trend/plot/uah/last:180/plot/rss/last:180/plot/gistemp/last:180

    The greenhouse gas “warming signature” is missing from the atmosphere.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/no-smoking-hot-spot/story-e6frg73o-1111116945238

    There is a much stronger correlation between solar activity and temperature than there is between CO2 and temperature.

    http://www.sciencebits.com/CO2orSolar

    Given this information, I conclude that something other than CO2 is causing the recent warming. The data don’t fit the hypothesis, ergo the hypothesis is wrong.

  247. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    Samuel, that is a simpler way to put it. :) Has it warmed since 1973? I think that it has. Has it warmed since 2001? It does not appear that it has. Will it start warming again? I don’t know. Only mother nature can answer that one.

    When we look at at six main temperature records (HadCRUT, NOAA, UAH, RSS, GISS_not hansenized, and GISS_hansenized) and find that only one of them shows possibly significant warming since 2001/01, are we in denial to suggest that at least for the period since 2001/01 there hasn’t been significant warming?

    Even if there was no warming for 50 years, a linear regression starting in 1973 would still have a warming trend. Some folks argue that such a linear regression is proof that the warming continues unabated since 2001. I don’t think so.

    If there was no warming for 50 years, each of those 50 years would be hotter than most of the years prior to 2001. Would that mean that the warming continues unabated? Some folks are using the same logic about the period since 2001.

    I get it from both sides. When I see CAGW skeptical folks say that it’s been cooling since 2001, I point out that not all of the temperature records have cooling and the cooling that some of them show is so slight as to be statistically insignificant.

    I see CAGW espousers claim that the warming has continued since 2001. When I point out that only one of the temperature records shows continued warming that may be statistically significant, I usually end up being called a “denier,” “a denialist,” or my favorite is “flat earther.” :)

    Only the hansenized version of GISS shows continued warming since 2001 that may be statistically significant. The non-hansenized version of GISS does not show that. The hansenized GISS incorporates estimated monthly temperatures for 130 years from Arctic stations that don’t actually exist. If they did exist, Dr. Hansen knows what they would have been reporting over the last 130 years and we should base public policy that may serious impact our economy on what he believes to be true because he is a climate scientist. Well he is also a social activist.

  248. Elizabeth

    This article is very misleading and so is the graph. Here is a link to a much better graph:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum

    The tiny bit if warming we have experienced over the last century looks like a flash in the pan when compared to the longer term changes. And look at the rate of warming around 12,000 years ago (when it warmed 10 degrees over a few decades). Is anyone trying to claim this was man-made? And why was it several degrees warmer 6,000-8,000 years ago? And what, exactly, is the evidence that the recent warming was man-made and not natural? Does the author know of any or is this taken as an article of faith?

    I thought Discover was a science magazine. This article looks more like advocacy – and advocates have no requirement to be objective. This article certainly is not. It is not even polite advocacy, being replete with ad hominem attacks either directly or by inuendo that stand in for careful scientific reasoning.

    By the way, I first read about the Holocene Climate Optimum in Discover magazine, several years ago back when it was still publishing science, rather than opinion, about climate change.

    For anyone wondering if the sun controls climate a recent book entitled ‘The Chilling Stars” by well known science writer Nigel Calder, can bring you up to speed. In fact the geological record proves that the sun and the water cycle have been the main drivers of climate for 500 million years with no sign that this is about to change.

  249. Samuel

    Nigel Depledge

    gah! I didn’t realize how ugly the responce format would be. Apologies if I don’t do the insert quote thing you did.

    –“This does not even begin to answer the question.

    I have only ever seen the term “CAGW” used by AGW deniers, used mainly as the effigy in a strawman argument.

    So, before we get into the discussion, I’d like to see exactly what sHx in particular, and other AGW-deniers in general, think is actually claimed that turns AGW into CAGW.”

    Have you seen An Inconvienient Truth? There were a number of catestrophic claims there
    -that the number and severity of hurricanes was increasing
    -massive numbers of species will go extinct
    -6 meter sea level rise
    -spread of disease like malaria
    – large scale death from heat related causes
    -water shortages and drought
    -extinction of coral reefs

    –“In principle, yes, but there are many and complex factors at play.”

    Yes, but you can’t resolve the degree each factor works by relation to models. You can only use models to show that if the models have predictive power. This is difficult- leaving aside all other problems, given the sheer number of predictions at least one model will fit, but that might just mean if you throw enough darts, you hit the board.

    –“But it is known that there are both negative and positive feedbacks, and it is also known that some of the feedbacks only apply over a limited scope, so to understand how the many relevant factors interact, one must model their behaviour.”

    I think this is your main point, and I have to agree with the provision that this requires you understand how the feedbacks work for the resulting model to be accurate.

    Or as climate scientists like to say “we need more funding”.

    “This comparison is not valid. It is not a zero-sum game. ”

    No, what you mean is that it isn’t a binary choice. And while that is true, there is always something that we can spend money on to improve people’s lives. If global warming was the most cost effective way to do so, there would be no conflict, but the estimates of costs and benefits vary.

    Almost all suggest improving people’s lives now and spending more later to deal with alleviation is better than the alternative.

    “Sure, maybe if the invasion of Iraq had not happened, then more money might have been spent on other things, but this would certainly not have reached the heady heights of the dollar cost of the war.”

    Well, not unless the president declared a war on polio, cholera and AIDS and managed to get congress to supply the funds. That is unlikely although the US has declared war on terror and drugs. The comment wasn’t entirely related to opportunity costs so you can ignore this if you want.

    –“True, but it also creates opportunities. And even if there are some really big problems, are they really so big as to render it not worthwhile to mitigate or reduce the impact of AGW? Almost certainly not.”

    Opportunities for individuals, not necesarily the country as a whole. Also the claim that migitation is a net benefit hasn’t been proven. There are a lot of people arguing about that given how much a reduction in emissions would actually slow down global warming and the actual costs/benefits of global warming.

    –“Where does that figure of 10% come from? I’ve not seen it before.

    Also, the “break even” does not have to happen on an individual country-by-country basis, assuming that some fair means is achieved of recognising each nation’s contribution to global reductions in CO2 output. Having said that, of course it is recognised that it is a big challenge, but so are so many of the other things we humans have achieved.”

    I had to calculate it. I took this
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm

    used wiki countries percent contribution, assumed population in 2050 would be 9 billion and worked out the break even point.

    –“The costs most certainly outweigh the benefits, because the benefits of GW are pretty trivial, whereas the costs could be as bad as billions of people suffering and dying.”

    I’m sorry, did you not say that CAGW was a strawman of most peoples position? You do not make decisions based on the most extreme result. That would be like getting your brakes checked every day before you go to work. Or refusing to have your child vaccinated.

    –“First off, nuclear fission is finite. Once we run out of fissile materials, we cannot get any more. Let’s take that out of the equation except as a bridging technology.”

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-long-will-global-uranium-deposits-last
    This is ignoring thorium deposits which are even more plentiful than uranium. To be blunt, supply is not a problem.

    –“If we had started setting up serious incentives to deploy this 15 years ago, our energy useage today might have been only be a fraction of what it is. (The incentives would need to accommodate the tendency of people to use more of something when its use becomes more efficient.)”

    If you incentive energy conservation you will encourage constant improvement to more efficient items (and hence waste) and discourage recycling (which is energy intensive). if your worried about running out of resources, this is a bad plan.

    “Third, I’m not saying the switch-over has to be overnight, which you seem to be assuming. If we had started 15 years ago, we could have had a gradual transition over perhaps 40 or 50 years, during which time various schemes and incentives could have been in place to ensure that investment in renewables was worthwhile and investment in fossil fuels was not.”

    I’m not assuming immediate. My statement only makes sense over the long run, because it assumes technological improvement.

    –“Fourth, you seem to be ignoring the fact that the later we leave making any substantive changes, the higher is the energy demand that the renewables technology must meet.”

    So? Renewable technologies would have to meet them anyway. Also the later we wait the richer we are and the more stuff we can build.
    http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=ny_gdp_mktp_cd&tdim=true&dl=en&hl=en&q=world+gdp

    World GDP is 63 trillion and just 20 years ago it was 21 trillion. The longer we wait the more wealth we will have to make changes.

    –“You do not address the basic fact that fossil fuels are finite. Sooner or later, there will be the large-scale shortages to which you refer. Even if we develop technologies for extracting every last drop of oil from the Earth’s crust, it is still a fundamentally finite resource. Eventually, we will be forced to switch to renewable energy sources”

    We have about 200 years of coal in known reserves left. And we can make gasoline from coal. Any shortage in fossil fuels won’t be because they are finite, but because we can’t extract them fast enough.

    –“I think most of the objections to wind farms, for example, are from local residents (although wind turbines do kill many bats).”

    There are extensive complaints by about their cost, efficiency and the fact they require back up power generation (which means you still produce carbon emissions).

    –“building a nuclear power station uses so much concrete that it comes with a pretty high carbon cost ”

    You can build nuclear power plants without concrete.

    –“Certainly schemes such as the UK’s proposed Severn Barrage tidal power plant were opposed more by wildlife advocacy groups than by environmental groups.”

    I think cases like Ted Kennedy are ones that really piss people off. I’m sure you can find others- I know the Sierra Club is against damns for example.

    –“Not necessarily. It sends a message to the power companies. It makes generation of electricity from renewable sources a means by which power companies can achieve a larger market share. This spurs investment in renewables.”

    It just shuffles around who buys from what company. A change in behavior would only occur when there is a surplus of energy and so companies are left with extra power.

    –“My point, however, was that there are some places where renewables have no subsidy and fossil fuel industries are subsidised.”

    Poland?

    “However, even taking that into account, if renewables end up costing us 30% or 60% more per kilowatt-hour than coal, oil or gas-fired power generation, so what? Surely it is still better than permitting AGW to continue unchecked?”

    Solar power does not work at night. Wind does not work when there is no wind. What do you do on windless nights- go without power? This isn’t just an issue of cost but of having electricity.

    If concrete is such a problem in carbon emissions, what are we supposed to use as an alternative? The same goes for every process that produces CO2 as a byproduct. Remember- 35% of US emissions don’t come from transportation or power generation
    http://epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/downloads11/US-GHG-Inventory-2011-Complete_Report.pdf

  250. Kryss LaBryn

    I blame Hollywood. No, not really, but, you know, kinda! >:(

    Movies: 99% of scientists say this thing is/n’t going to happen, but there’s this one weirdo off to the side everyone thinks is crazy because he’s saying the opposite. ENDS UP HE’S RIGHT OMG!!

    Reality: 99% of scientists say this thing is/n’t going to happen, but there’s this one weirdo off to the side everyone thinks is crazy because he’s saying the opposite. ENDS UP HE ACTUALLY IS CRAZY.

    The forests of BC’s Interior (Western Canada) have been devastated by the mountain pine beetle epidemic, an insect infestation that doesn’t normally (i.e. historically) get further north than California, because the winters are usually too cold. And recently (last 10 years) it hasn’t been cold enough to kill them.

    What’s “cold enough”? Beginning of the winter we need 2 weeks straight of HIGHS of -30C or lower to kill them. Or, at the end of the winter, when the beetle larvae are at a different stage, we need a minimum of FOUR weeks of highs of -40C or lower.

    And for the last almost 10 years, except for the odd few days here and there, we haven’t been breaking -20. Most days it’s not much lower than -5c.

    That’s lows of five to ten degrees below freezing instead of our usual MINUS FORTY weather.

    And what do I mean by “devastated”? I mean 50% of adult pines being killed. I mean a forest fire wiping out a lumber mill in Burn’s Lake last week and the company not being sure there’s enough trees in the area to justify the cost of rebuilding in an area that has THRIVED on logging for over a hundred years. I mean my parents coming to visit and missing the turn-off because the area that was dense forest the last time they came by, the year before, is now open fields since they took out the beetle-killed trees. Don’t believe me? Look up Prince George, BC on Google Maps. That patchwork of dense forest and what looks like desert? That’s the difference between the old, pre-beetle satellite pics and the new, post-had-to-take-out-the-dead-trees-before-more-forest-fires-wiped-us-out pics.

    Canada is having issues supplying our comminutues in the far north because usually they build roads over the frozen lakes and rivers in the winter and then have a few months to ship in everything that’s needed for the following year. Except that for about the past four years, the ice hasn’t been freezing hard enough for long enough. We can’t get food in bulk to them via any other means. You physically CAN’T build roads there for summer shipping. The ground won’t support semis until it’s frozen.

    Building regulations are having to be changed because before you only had to dig your foundations down two feet to the permafrost (the point at which the ground is frozen year-round). Now there’s no more permafrost.

    Polar bears are showing up in towns in increasing numbers as the dwindling sea ice is making it harder and harder for them to hunt seals (they can swim but they hunt by finding the seal’s breathing hole in the ice and ambushing it. No ice = no ambush = no food. And seal blubber is the only food that is high calorie enough to power the bears). Meanwhile, the cubs are dying off at a higher-than-usual rate because they aren’t strong enough to swim across the much larger stretches of open water than they usually have to cope with and they’re drowning.

    Meanwhile, Rome– ROME– is buried under nearly two feet of snow, and parts of Italy have about six feet. SIX FEET OF SNOW IN ITALY. What. The. Hell.

    Climate change is REAL, I’m experiencing it PERSONALLY, and if people honestly look at all the evidence and choose to believe instead the one idiot off to the side saying, “Nooo! You’re all wroooong!” instead of the HUNDREDS of trained climatologists who have made it their LIFE’S WORK to KNOW, then I blame Hollywood.

  251. Samuel

    It isn’t Hollywood’s fault. Scientists have been wrong before with climate modeling- see nuclear winter or the fears of a coming ice age in the 1970s. That combined with the repeated doom and gloom from environmentalists (and the lack of doom, mass famines or end of civilization) make people, surprise, surprise, skeptical.

    “Reality: 99% of scientists say this thing is/n’t going to happen, but there’s this one weirdo off to the side everyone thinks is crazy because he’s saying the opposite. ENDS UP HE ACTUALLY IS CRAZY.”

    The concensus is that the globe is warming and human activites play a part in it. The consensus DOES NOT include
    – the costs of global warming exceed the benefits
    – people are solely responsible for climate change
    – climate change will have catastrophic impacts

  252. Nigel Depledge

    Veritas (262) said:

    No, it indicates that I have examined the data, looked at the arguments for and against, and arrived at the conclusion that the AGW hypothesis is false.

    Ah, I see.

    Please share with us which articles in the primary climatology literature you found most clearly elucidated the situation for you. Please also cite your publications that explain exactly where and how 98% of the world’s climatologists have mis-interpreted their data.

    I look forward to reading your rebuttal.

    Assuming you have one, of course.

    Please show me SCIENTIFIC PROOF that atmospheric CO2 causes global warming.

    What?

    It’s been available to you for at least the last 100 years.

    It was, IIUC, in the tail end of the 19th century that Svante Arrhenius demonstrated the phenomenon. Why should I do your research for you?

    If you have, as you claim, examined the evidence, then you should know that it is a demonstrated fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. This is, for example, the only explanation that has ever been seriously proposed for why the surface of Venus is hotter than that of Mercury – because it is the only one that makes sense. It is also the only explanation that accounts for the increase in the Earth’s warming trend over the last 30 – 40 years.

    In the last 15 years, as CO2 has increased, global mean temperature has leveled off.

    This illustrates that extrapolating a medium-term trend from too few data points is futile. What is the R-squared of your regression?

    Looking at the data points in the graph that the BA presents above, I can see a very rough levelling-off from about 2005 – present. But I would bet my car on its having no statistical significance. Whereas the warming trend also fits these data, but with the statistical significance of having far more data points fitting the warming trend.

    Your observation is quite literally insignificant.

  253. Nigel Depledge

    Veritas (262) said:

    Given this information, I conclude that something other than CO2 is causing the recent warming. The data don’t fit the hypothesis, ergo the hypothesis is wrong.

    Did you check your sources?

    I notice that none of your links go to primary literature.

    As it happens, I agree that CO2 is not solely causing the recent warming trend. Methane and several other GHGs play a role also. It’s just that CO2 is making the largest contribution. How do we know? Through a variety of strands of evidence, including but not limited to:

    1. No natural source has been found that can account for the warming (no, they’ve looked at insolation and it does not fit the data as a possible cause);
    2. The reduction in the Earth’s IR emissions into space corresponds to exactly what you would expect to see with an increase in atmospheric CO2;
    3. Human activities over the last 100 years have emitted significantly more CO2 (and other GHGs) than any natural source;
    4. It is the only explanation to have been proposed for the warming trend that is logically consistent with what we observe, your illusory levelling-off of the warming trend notwithstanding.

    Clearly, you have not understood that the climate is a complex and subtle entity, because you seem to be expecting an extraordinarily simplistic connection between a single parameter and the measureable impact of that parameter, without requiring any compensation for other factors (such as, for example, the intrinsic year-to-year variability of the system).

  254. Nigel Depledge

    @ Veritas (262) –
    Even if you are correct, and that the warming trend has levelled off, you are missing:
    1. Statistically-significant data to demonstrate this; and
    2. A credible mechanism.

  255. Nigel Depledge

    C Bruce Richardson Jr (263) said:

    Samuel, that is a simpler way to put it. Has it warmed since 1973? I think that it has. Has it warmed since 2001? It does not appear that it has.

    I think the more pertinent question is –
    What is the statistical significance of each trend?

    While I will agree that there is no statistical significance to the warming trend since, say, 2005 (or perhaps ’01), I think it is important to simultaneously stress that there is no statistical significance to any trend from that limited dataset.

    Extrapolating a trend from only 10 years’ data has no value when the data are as noisy as the mean annual temperature data. Significant trends require longer time periods and larger data sets from which to extrapolate meaning.

    So, as I point out to Veritas above, aplication of Occam’s razor suggests that the apparent levelling-off of the warming trend since ’05 is an illusion.

    If, OTOH, we had a credible mechanism to explain why we should expect to see a levelling-off of the warming trend (such as, for example, that Earth is now once again emitting into space all of the energy that it absorbs from the sun), then the reasonable conclusion would indeed be that the warming trend has ceased. AFAICT, the data do not indicate that the Eath is at thermal equilibrium. Instead, they continue to indicate that the Earth is warming.

    Although the surface-temperature measurements are important, we should never forget that they are but one thread of evidence in the whole. We must also never forget that data obtained from weather measurements are very, very noisy. The very nature of random variation should lead us to expect that we can “see” short-term trends in the data that go against the long-term trend. That should also alert us to the fact that these short-term trends are not significant.

  256. Veritas

    @Nigel – I’ve already pointed out the flaw in the CO2 (GHG) theory because of the missing tropospheric “warming signature”. That in itself proves the hypothesis wrong. As for the 100 year old dogma that CO2 will cause atmospheric warming, that is a red herring. As I stated clearly before, show the proof that CO2 IN THE ATMOSPHERE causes warming. The system is very complex and chaotic and given the feedbacks, CO2 may not necessarily cause warming. You can choose to pay for this and read it yourself if you like. Svante Arrhenius only made a conjecture – there has never been “proof”.

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15567030701568727

    I’m missing statistically significant data? Are you dismissing the datasets I included in the plot showing NO warming for 15 years?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:180/trend/plot/uah/last:180/plot/rss/last:180/plot/gistemp/last:180

    I’m missing a credible mechanism? As I clearly stated before, both solar and oceanic cycles provide all the mechanisms necessary and more strongly correlate with temperature.

    I’m not denying there has been warming. We are coming out of an ice age – of course there’s warming. There has not been accelerated warming nor “unprecedented” warming since we’ve introduced CO2 into the atmosphere.

  257. Veritas
  258. Samuel

    Nigel
    “This illustrates that extrapolating a medium-term trend from too few data points is futile. What is the R-squared of your regression?”

    The warming trend is 1970 to 1996, or 30 years. Notably the 70s were a point where the Earth was cooling (well, temperatures were at a trough to be exact) so using them as a starting point for comparison is a bad idea.

    “3. Human activities over the last 100 years have emitted significantly more CO2 (and other GHGs) than any natural source;”

    Wrong.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm

  259. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    Nigel, I have never claimed that the trend since 2001/01 is statistically significant. A linear regression simply defines the slope and intercept of a straight line that best represents the data for the period in question. It is what it is. Would you argue that a linear regression starting in 1973 better represents the data starting in 2001 than a linear regression that starts in 2001?

    Phil Plait used a linear regression starting in 1973 to show us that the temperatures have continued to increase since 1973. I pointed out–actually I demonstrated with a chart–that temperatures could remain flat for 50 years and a linear regression starting in 1973 would still show warming. The 2001 to present trend is negative and the 1973 to present trend is positive.

    You said “Extrapolating a trend from only 10 years’ data has no value when the data are as noisy as the mean annual temperature data. ” You seem to be arguing that a linear regression starting in 1973 does have value. When we compare the trend from 1973 to the data starting in 2001, it doesn’t seem to represent the data well at all.

    My question to you is this. Hypothetically speaking, if it temperatures remained flat for the next fifty years and a linear regression starting in 1973 still showed warming, would that mean that it had been warming for those 50 years?

  260. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    Nigel, it is important to remember that a long-term trend can be composed of multiple shorter-term trends. For example, if we look that the period from around 1912, we have had two warming periods and two periods of little or no warming. I am looking at HadCRUT temperature data.

    It warmed from around 1912 to around 1944. Then there was no significant warming from around 1944 to around 1977. Then from around 1977 to 2001 it warmed again. From around 2001 to present, HadCRUT actually shows cooling. But that cooling isn’t likely to be statistically significant. The two warming periods were of a similar rate and magnitude. The first occurred before increasing CO2 could have been a major contributing factor. I have doubts about anthropogenic CO2 being the cause of most of the second warming period. If someone wants to disagree, that’s fine. But please do try to explain what caused the first warming period.

    The first warming period started around the time that the AMO and PDO changed into a warm phase. Around 1944, they started heading back into a cool phase. Around 1975, they start back into a warm phase. Presently, the PDO is in a cool phase and the AMO remains in a warm phase. In addition, the second half of the 20th century saw a much higher level of solar activity that the first half. Solar activity is presently very low.

  261. JMurphy

    Samuel (269) wrote : “Scientists have been wrong before with climate modeling- see nuclear winter or the fears of a coming ice age in the 1970s.”

    How do you know anyone is wrong with regard to “nuclear winter” ? Has it been disproven ? If so, could you point out where, please.

    As for the “coming ice age”, maybe you don’t know but it was only a few scientists, and some media outlets basing stories on those few, who predicted that – mainly based on incomplete information. At the time, the science was very uncertain but a few years later it was becoming more certain in one direction (warming) as more evidence accumulated.
    (See Peterson, 2008)

    Samuel (269) also wrote : “The consensus DOES NOT include
    – the costs of global warming exceed the benefits
    – people are solely responsible for climate change
    – climate change will have catastrophic impacts”

    That is simply because the scientific consensus (i.e. the body of evidence) DOES NOT generally concern itself with costs per se (economists do that, and most of them state the opposite of what you believe, i.e. see The Stern Review); NO-ONE claims that “people are solely responsible for climate change” (but some people claim that other people claim that, without giving details); and very few state that “climate change will have catastrophic impacts”. Dangerous, bad, unwelcome, avoidable, etc : Yes. Catastrophic ? Do you have some details as to those who do, and the scientific basis for their claims ?

  262. JMurphy

    Veritas @274 wrote : “I’m not denying there has been warming. We are coming out of an ice age – of course there’s warming.”

    Wasn’t the Climatic Optimum between about 5-10,000 years ago ? If so, shouldn’t we be cooling ?

  263. Veritas

    @JMurphy – we are currently in an interglacial period, the Holocene Epoch and we are still “thawing out” from the last ice age. The climatic optimum was a period 5-7000 years ago and was warmer than today. However, there have been (and always will be) oscillations in the global temperatures, regardless of whether we are in a warming or cooling period.

    http://www.theresilientearth.com/?q=content/co2-temperature-during-middle-eocene-climatic-optimum

    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7x.html

  264. Samuel

    JMurphy
    “How do you know anyone is wrong with regard to “nuclear winter” ? Has it been disproven ? If so, could you point out where, please.”

    I think I may have been unclear. If you do fire off a bunch of nuclear warheads you will get climate change. What I am refering to is the magnitude- the origional estimates were too high.

    I think this gives a good overview:
    http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/88spp.html

    There is also the massive overestimate of the damage the burning of the oil wells during the 1991 Gulf War.

    “As for the “coming ice age”, maybe you don’t know but it was only a few scientists, and some media outlets basing stories on those few, who predicted that – mainly based on incomplete information. At the time, the science was very uncertain but a few years later it was becoming more certain in one direction (warming) as more evidence accumulated.”

    Yes, but the public isn’t away of things the media doesn’t cover. I was explaining why blaming Hollywood for the publics misconceptions is off.

    “and very few state that “climate change will have catastrophic impacts”. Dangerous, bad, unwelcome, avoidable, etc : Yes. Catastrophic ? Do you have some details as to those who do, and the scientific basis for their claims ?”

    Nigel (255)
    “This has been examined elsewhere in this thread. The costs most certainly outweigh the benefits, because the benefits of GW are pretty trivial, whereas the costs could be as bad as billions of people suffering and dying.”

    Also the Stern Report which you so helpfully highlighted. (see below)

    “That is simply because the scientific consensus (i.e. the body of evidence) DOES NOT generally concern itself with costs per se (economists do that, and most of them state the opposite of what you believe, i.e. see The Stern Review); ”

    Do you want me to try to point out flaws in the Stern Report or is it enough to point out that it contradicts the IPCC’s report?

    The IPCC
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/spmsspm-c-15-magnitudes-of.html

    –“These observations confirm evidence reported in the Third Assessment that, while developing countries are expected to experience larger percentage losses, global mean losses could be 1-5% GDP for 4°C of warming”

    Stern
    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100407171416/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/CLOSED_SHORT_executive_summary.pdf

    –“Using the results from formal economic models, the Review estimates that if we don’t
    act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least
    5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts
    is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more.”

    I’m not sure about you, but most people judge over 20% drop in global GDP catastrophic.

    Additionally the Stern Report uses a much lower discount rate than most other economists or public sector work (aka the math the government uses to determine if things are cost effective).

    http://personal.lse.ac.uk/dietzs/A%20long-run%20target%20for%20climate%20policy%20-%20the%20Stern%20Review%20and%20its%20critics.pdf

  265. Nigel Depledge

    Veritas (274) said:

    I’ve already pointed out the flaw in the CO2 (GHG) theory because of the missing tropospheric “warming signature”.

    Eh? Where did you do this?

    That in itself proves the hypothesis wrong. As for the 100 year old dogma that CO2 will cause atmospheric warming, that is a red herring. As I stated clearly before, show the proof that CO2 IN THE ATMOSPHERE causes warming.

    Erm . . . you know, like, temperature measurements and satellite IR observations, yeah? They show an absolute warming trend since the 19th century, that has accelerated since the 1970s.

    And you know, like, the atmospheric concentration of GHGs has increased in a comparable way (with, of course, allowance for the fact that surface temperature changes do not immediately follow atmospheric changes because the system has some hysteretic behaviour)?

    This is not absolute proof – such a demand is unreasonable, given that I cannot absolutely prove that the sun will rise tomorrow – but they are strongly suggestive of a causative relationship, and the cost of being right but ignoring it vastly outweighs the cost of acting but being wrong.

    So, in short, no-one can demonstrate what you demand unless we simply carry on chucking out bucketloads of CO2 and wait. By which time, of course, it will be too late to mitigate the impact.

    And, do you know what? If you can’t find a better chart than one with unlabelled axes, I can’t be bothered with your links.

  266. Nigel Depledge

    Veritas (274) said:

    As I clearly stated before, both solar and oceanic cycles provide all the mechanisms necessary

    No, I don’t think you did any such thing. What you seemed to do was make a claim with no substantiation.

    and more strongly correlate with temperature.

    Fine, then go ahead and publish in the climatology literature. Let us know how you get on.

    If your work survives the peer review process from people who work with the complex and subtle statistical methods involved in understanding the climate, then I’ll be prepared to listen. As things stand, I don’t have the time to get into your claims in sufficient detail to rebut them.

    However, what strikes me as telling is that you are posting your claims on the internet in a discussion thread on an astronomt blog, rather than actually publishing them in the primary literature. It seems to me that if you had a case, then you have the makings of a game-changing climatology paper. Since you are spending your time here rather than in writing that paper, the only conclusion I can reach is that the people who actually understand all of the complex and subtle nuances of the climatology data would tear your claims to shreds.

    As I have stated here and elsewhere, I trust the climatologists to be intellectually honest in their published work, in the same way that I expect them to trust me on matters biochemical. They have nothing to gain by making this stuff up or misrepresenting it, despite the lunatic claims that have been made about “keeping the grant money rolling in”.

  267. Nigel Depledge

    C Bruce Richardson Jr (278) said:

    Nigel, I have never claimed that the trend since 2001/01 is statistically significant.

    Er, then what were you claiming again, exactly?

    You said “Extrapolating a trend from only 10 years’ data has no value when the data are as noisy as the mean annual temperature data. ” You seem to be arguing that a linear regression starting in 1973 does have value. When we compare the trend from 1973 to the data starting in 2001, it doesn’t seem to represent the data well at all.

    True, but why on Earth would you do that?

    The relevant trend in this case is from 1973 to present.

    My question to you is this. Hypothetically speaking, if it temperatures remained flat for the next fifty years and a linear regression starting in 1973 still showed warming, would that mean that it had been warming for those 50 years?

    No, it wouldn’t.

    What makes you think that your scenario is likely or plausible?

  268. Veritas

    @Nigel – Well, I guess the old saying is true, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I never claimed to have written any peer reviewed and published documents, but I included links to them. There are alternative hypotheses that also explain recent warming, no CO2/GHG help required. The lack of warming in the troposphere is well documented and contradicts the CO2/GHG hypothesis. I included a link to one such document – there are plenty more out there if you’ll look for them.

    But as YOU said to me before, “Why should I do your research for you?” There is no reasoning with you. I don’t trust “scientists” who have manipulated the inclusion of alternative theories into the peer review process; who hide their methods and data; who publicly claim the world is ending but privately lament their inability to explain why the data is not fitting their models.

  269. Samuel

    Nigel
    (285)”Erm . . . you know, like, temperature measurements and satellite IR observations, yeah? They show an absolute warming trend since the 19th century, that has accelerated since the 1970s.”

    Your extapolating from a trend that is 24 years long (1973-1997) to claim acceleration? How is that better than extropalating from a trend that is 15 years long?

    (287)”Er, then what were you claiming again, exactly?”

    He was saying the claim “the temperatures in these years has been flat/stable/not risen” is an accurate statement. This is the statement that was made in the WSJ that the opening blog post attempts to refute.

    “True, but why on Earth would you do that?

    The relevant trend in this case is from 1973 to present.”

    Once again, why 1973? Weren’t these years supposed to have the temperatures artificially depressed because of particulates so choosing them to be the baseline exaggerates the temperature increase? Wouldn’t it be better to choose sometime between 1900 and 1940?

    http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/images/GlobalTemp2008.gif

  270. JMurphy

    Veritas @ 283, your two links are very useful for (from the first one) giving a great example of how high levels of CO2 lead to high temperatures; and (from both of them together) showing how those who work in the relevant fields are able to develop theories about past warm and cool periods.

    Generally, though, since we are currently moving away from the more favourable part of the Milankovitch cycle (as is usual after passing Climatic Optimum – such as is mentioned in your first link), the general trend should be towards cooling – not warming, as you suggested. Of course, there will be peaks and troughs during that cooling (as mentioned in your second link) but another glimpse into the fine work being carried out by scientists is evident by the good explanations which are given to try to describe the cause of those changes – generally, solar activity, volcanic action, ocean circulation patterns, etc.
    Now, however, CO2 is becoming (or, indeed, has become) the most dominant influence (albeit the natural influences are still playing their part, of course), so we’d better hope the conditions don’t end up as shown in your first link !

  271. JMurphy

    Samuel @ 284, I believe your Nuclear Winter link (from 1988) is a touch out of date now. Have a look at something from 2007 : Nuclear winter revisited with a modern climate model and current nuclear arsenals: Still catastrophic consequences.

    Also, your use of the comment of someone writing on here, as evidence of scientists who are predicting catastrophe, is not relevant, is it ?

    As for the Stern Review, I leave it up to Economists to debate the details but Stern has previously responded to his critics : Why economic analysis supports strong action on climate change: a response to the Stern Review’s critics, and The Economics of Climate Change.

  272. Veritas

    @JMurphy – I’m just not convinced that CO2/GHG are the prime drivers of the warming. That’s my biggest hangup about all this; that there is still no proof to show it. Even NigelD admits there is no absolute proof. I do agree with him that in some cases there may never been an absolute proof given. I can buy that. But, I believe there has been a bit of myopia on the part of climate scientists regarding the matter. The system has so many variables and is so chaotic, focusing on one endogenous variable and claiming it is THE cause of the majority of warming just doesn’t cut it with me.

    Go to the Wikipedia link and scroll down to the third image. Now, without reading what it represents, take a look at the time scale and notice the trend line. It looks very familiar, almost like the temperature anomaly trend line but it’s the solar activity proxy. Further down you see this quote, “The level of solar activity during the past 70 years is exceptional — the last period of similar magnitude occurred around 9,000 years ago (during the warm Boreal period)..[27][28]” That’s not my just saying so, it’s attributed to peer reviewed papers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation

    The pages below aren’t peer reviewed (sorry Nigel!) but it shows the deviation between temperatures and the IPCC estimates. Clearly something is wrong with the climate sensitivity. Further, the correlation between CO2 and earth temperature (long term) is not good.

    http://sciencebits.com/IPCC_nowarming
    http://sciencebits.com/NothingNewUnderTheSun-I

    This is what makes me think the recent warming is not driven by CO2/GHG concentrations.

  273. Nigel Depledge

    Veritas (288) said:

    @Nigel – Well, I guess the old saying is true, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I never claimed to have written any peer reviewed and published documents, but I included links to them.

    I have never said that you claimed to have written peer-reviewed papers. What I am saying is that, if you know so much more than 98% of the world’s climatologists, then you should be writing in the primary literature.

    Also, I rarely follow links in a discussion without some extra reason to do so, for the following reasons:
    1. A common denialist tactic is to claim support from the primary literature and link to papers that conclude the opposite of what the denialist has claimed.
    2. With a young son at home, 90% of my internet time is from work, and we have a draconian web filter that blocks about three-quarters of the sites that people link.
    3. If you are incapable of summarising the work to which you link (and, let’s face it, you’ve had at least two or three posts where you let the linkys do the talking) then there is a very real chance you have not understood it (this is based on experience of arguing against deniers of various flavours in this blog).
    4. If you cannot be bothered to summarise the work to which you link, then you don’t seem all that interested in persuading anyone that your case has merit. You will notice that many of the regulars here use links to support their argument, but do not use links to make their argument.

    There are alternative hypotheses that also explain recent warming, no CO2/GHG help required. The lack of warming in the troposphere is well documented and contradicts the CO2/GHG hypothesis. I included a link to one such document – there are plenty more out there if you’ll look for them.

    It has just occurred to me that you are loking at this backwards.

    You are asking for proof that GHGs cause GW, but what you should be looking for is any mechanism to prevent them from doing so. The thermodynamics are reasonably firmly established. There is no reason to suppose these gases behave any differently in the atmosphere than they do in the lab. Therefore, in the absence of any reason to suppose otherwise, it is only rational to conclude that GHGs have a warming effect.

    Oh, and elsewhere you asked for proof that CO2 causes GW. One word : Venus.

    But as YOU said to me before, “Why should I do your research for you?” There is no reasoning with you.

    On the contrary, I am accessible to reason. 20 years ago, I also did not believe that AGW was a correct conclusion. However, in the intervening time the additional evidence (mainly as reported in the secondary literature), combined with the fact that nearly all professional climatologists are now also persuaded, has persuaded me that AGW is real.

    However, any argument you make against AGW must overturn all of the preceding evidence that supports the AGW conclusion. You cannot simply state “here’s an observation that contradicts it, therefore it is wrong”. You must also explain and / or address all of the evidence that indicates AGW to be the logical conclusion.

    Entirely seperately from this, even if AGW is an illusion, GW is not. GW, whether anthropogenic or not, will probably have a massive impact on human society. Therefore, we still need to do something about GW, and reducing our output of GHGs is one way of doing that.

    I don’t trust “scientists” who have manipulated the inclusion of alternative theories into the peer review process; who hide their methods and data; who publicly claim the world is ending but privately lament their inability to explain why the data is not fitting their models.

    Do you have any evidence that any of this has actually occurred?

  274. Nigel Depledge

    Veritas (292) said:

    I’m just not convinced that CO2/GHG are the prime drivers of the warming. That’s my biggest hangup about all this; that there is still no proof to show it. Even NigelD admits there is no absolute proof. I do agree with him that in some cases there may never been an absolute proof given.

    But you seem to be glossing over the fact that absolute proof is a pipe dream. It is impossible to absolutely prove that the sun will rise tomorrow, but nevertheless we would call anyone who doubts that it will an idiot.

    I can buy that. But, I believe there has been a bit of myopia on the part of climate scientists regarding the matter. The system has so many variables and is so chaotic, focusing on one endogenous variable and claiming it is THE cause of the majority of warming just doesn’t cut it with me.

    What, you think that other possible causes have not been sought? And then ruled out as plausible explanations?

  275. JMurphy

    Veritas @ 292, with regard to your Wikipedia link, you seem to be highlighting one particular part and ignoring the majority of what is shown there, i.e. that solar cannot explain the temperatures we are seeing now, although it can do so for periods prior to our input of so much CO2 into our atmosphere – that is another consensus. Have a look at some of the other graphs on that page for further information.

    Also, modelling has determined that the temperatures we see today could only have been arrived at by adding CO2 into the atmosphere. See : http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/global-warming-is-only-part-human-caused/image/image_view_fullscreen

    Surely you should look at all the information and decide based on all that information, not just on bits here and there ?

    As for sensitivity, you would be best to look again at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_sensitivity), where there are many peer-reviewed papers, rather than someone’s blog giving their own personal opinion. Again, the majority view is usually the more correct one.

  276. Veritas

    @Nigel – I hear you about doing this stuff at work and having to be surreptitious about it. I’ll consider your points. Where did you get the figure that 98% of climate scientists agree that warming has been caused by anthropogenic means? Or is that not your assertion? Even the IPCC didn’t want that included in their paper. All IPCC reviewer/scientists wanted the paper to read “there is NO discernible human influence” but Dr. Santer, on his own, changed it to say there was. Not good policy.

    The proof that the sun will rise tomorrow is in understanding the physics of the solar system. I contend that not all the factors have been considered in the GCM’s and that CO2 has been unfairly targeted. I disagree with you about not proving the GHG warming hypothesis wrong. As Einstein once said, “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” The warming signature isn’t there. Does that mean I have to throw the whole CO2/GHG theory away? No, but it makes consider alternatives. In my mind, the solar/oceanic cycles provide a much better answer to explain the current warmth. There are myriad examples in history where the consensus view point turned out to be wrong. There isn’t even a consensus on this issue.

    As for proof about fudging numbers, suppressing the publication of contradictory papers, and the data not fitting the models (“hide the decline!”), I would just say review the emails released from CRU.

  277. JMurphy

    Veritas @ 296, do you have more information about the following :

    “…the IPCC didn’t want that included in their paper”

    “All IPCC reviewer/scientists wanted the paper to read “there is NO discernible human influence” but Dr. Santer, on his own, changed it to say there was.”

    “There are myriad examples in history where the consensus view point turned out to be wrong.”

    “There isn’t even a consensus on this issue.”

    “…proof about fudging numbers, suppressing the publication of contradictory papers, and the data not fitting the models (“hide the decline!”)…”

  278. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    Nigel, if we want to know what the trend is from 2001/01 to 2012/01, we do a linear regression from 2001/01 to 2012/01. If you do that, you will find that there has been no statistically significant warming in HadCRUT, NOAA, UAH, RSS, or the non-hansenized GISS. Only the hansenized GISS (incorporates 130 years of data from stations in the Arctic that don’t actually exist) shows what may be statistically significant warming since 2001. Even that seems doubtful.

    The problem with the linear regression from 1973 that you seem to favor is that temperatures could remain flat for another 50 years and a linear regression starting in 1973 would still show that it’s warming. Can it be warming and not warming simultaneously?

    If we want to know what the trend since 1973 has been, then a regression starting in 1973 is fine. If we want to know what the trend has been since 2001, then telling us the trend since 1973 is not fine. It is the answer to a question that wasn’t asked.

    Here is a link to a chart that has the 1973 thru 2011 and the 2001 thru 2011 regressions plotted together but zoomed in to the most recent period.

    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?1r05t5r6umre4bu

    Would you claim that the blue plot is more representative of the period from 2001 than the green plot?

    Do you not accept that a long-term trend can be composed of multiple shorter-term trends?

    Since around 1914, there was a long-term warming trend. But within that long-term trends are two two periods of warming and two periods with no significant warming according to HadCRUT, NOAA, & GISS. UAH and RSS don’t go back that far.

  279. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    Here is a link to a chart showing the trend since 1914 as well as the two warming periods and the two periods with no significant warming:

    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?76d4ub26h1m0lr0

    A single long-term trend can be composed of multiple shorter term trends. The fact that there is a long-term trend doesn’t mean that there are not shorter-term trends including a trend starting around 2001.

  280. JMurphy

    C. Bruce Richardson Jr @ 298, how are you able to get a statistically significant (95% confidence) outcome by the use of 11 years of data ? I recall that Phil Jones couldn’t do so in 2010 using 15 years of HadCRUT data, but was able to confirm the warming trend was statistically significant in 2011, using 16 years of data, so would like to see how you did so by using 11 years of data.

    Also, what further information do you have about that “hansenized GISS (incorporates 130 years of data from stations in the Arctic that don’t actually exist)”.

  281. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    JMurphy, there are two versions of GISS global. Both are based on the same NCDC data that both NOAA and HadCRUT data sets are based on. The “hansenized” version incorporates additional data from Arctic stations that don’t actually exist. Here is a link to a chart that shows how the hansenization process influenced the GISS data.

    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?r3vdwgyk5lxlico

    The hansenized GISS is that outlier. It shows warming that NOAA Land & Oceans, HadCRUT, UAH, RSS, and non-hansenized GISS don’t show. Note that we can see the hansenization influence in the red plot when compared to the green plot all the way back to 1880. The effect was a lowering of earlier temperatures and raising more recent temperatures. It’s actually 132 years–I said 130 just to make it a round number.

  282. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    JMurphy, I never said that the lack of warming or cooling since was statistically significant. In fact, I said that since 2001, there has not been statistically significant warming or cooling. If Jones is going to start in 1996 (16 years). Why not 1973? Or why not 1900? There has almost certainly been statistically significant warming since 1900. Would that prove that temperatures have continue to warm since 2001?

  283. Samuel

    Huh, my last 2 comment didn’t get through. Anyway, short responce.

    JMurphy (291)
    1)With nuclear winter I was attempting to show why people doubt climate scientists (and how it wasn’t Hollywoods fault). The link I provided gives plenty of information relevant to that (like scientists taking the results, grossly misinterpreting it, and writing papers based on what they made up).

    2) Does +20% reduction in GDP not count as catastrophic?

    3)None of the links you have provided rebut the accusations of overestimating risk and low discount rate.

    Meanwhile the IPCC, the world’s authority on climate change and its effects gets different results. I’d go so far to say that the IPCC’s position is consensus.

  284. JMurphy

    C. Bruce Richardson Jr. @ 302, you wrote @ 298 that “there has been no statistically significant warming” “from 2001/01 to 2012/01″. No mention of cooling but never mind – looking back at some of your previous comments it is difficult to work out exactly what you are trying to say because you mention warming and cooling along with statistical significance. The only thing to say in response is that no statistical significance can be determined for such a short period : you can only highlight a short-term trend but you can’t determine anything from such a short period.

    As for Jones, he was asked about the trend from 1995 : he didn’t pick it himself. See HERE
    He then came back a year later (see HERE) and showed a statistical warming trend valid using 16 years of data.
    That was less than a year ago so I doubt whether the trend would be much different since then, i.e. it is still warming over the long-term.

  285. JMurphy

    Samuel @ 303, I’m afraid your dated link provides no evidence as to your belief that “people doubt climate scientists” and, on its own, gives no proof as to your other assertions. If you have something more recent, or have more evidence, I would welcome you providing it.

    As for the IPCC, they themselves are not authorities on anything – they gather the evidence and produce reports based on that evidence from thousands of papers and scientists. The physical science parts are more evidence-based than social or economic impacts, which will always be subject to revision and updating. The fact that they may not agree with a paper that was published contemporaneously with their own report (was it even used as a reference ?), means nothing except that perhaps the situation is more serious than they thought, or they didn’t give this subject the attention they perhaps should have. Perhaps it would be best to see what their next Report states ?

    If you have any serious links concerning “the accusations of overestimating risk and low discount rate”, please provide it but, as I wrote previously, I leave it to Economists to come to the decision as to whether Stern is valid or not. As far as I can tell from general reading of the situation, Stern is more accepted than doubted in Economic circles, although that is not to say that everything the Review came out with is accepted without certain doubts.
    And I believe the links I provided do answer most of the criticisms. Beyond that, it comes down to personal or political preference as to whether you accept him or not.

  286. Samuel

    Ehrlich et al. as the article so nicely points it is almost always proceded by “and this is how the manipulated results in order to get the most extreme and favorable example.” For example taking the land temperature results and applying them over the entire globe.

    As for showing poll results, I was attempting to provide an explanation. Public sees climate scientists wrong-> public doubts climate scientists- it isn’t much of a stretch.

    You don’t give a reason why the IPCCs report should be rejected.

    –“If you have any serious links concerning “the accusations of overestimating risk and low discount rate”, please provide it but,”

    I already provided one. You have not replied to it. Additionally the Stern Report itself admits to using a low discount rate and high valuation of extreme risks! The entirity of chapter 2 is devoted to explaining why they did so. Given the fact the links are repeating the arguments made in chapter 2, they don’t not have any additional power to answer criticism.

    So far you have not provided any evidence that the Stern Report should be considered valid, while the IPCCs conclusion should not- apparently my acceptance of IPCC results is due to “personal or political preference”.

  287. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    JMurphy, if you look back at 226, I said:

    [What] I found is that a linear regression for January 2001 thru December 2011 indicates trends as follows:

    HadCRUT has a slight cooling trend (not statistically significant)

    NOAA has a slight cooling trend (not statistically significant)

    UAH has a slight warming trend (not statistically significant)

    RSS has a slight warming trend (not statistically significant)

    There are two versions of GISS. The hansenized version incorporates data from Arctic stations that don’t actually exist. In other words, they estimating what those stations would have reported over the last 130 years if they did actually exist.

    Non-hansenized GISS has a slight warming trend (not statistically significant)

    Hansenized GISS has a warming trend that may be statistically significant

    I do not think that there has been either warming or cooling since 2001 that is statistically significant.

    Professor Jones said: “I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.”

    The question that I wish that the interviewer had asked was:

    “Would a warming trend from 1996 to present that is statistically signficant eliminate the possibility that since 2001 it hasn’t been warming?”

    Does a trend have to be statistically signifant to exist?

    Can a long-term trend be composed of multiple shorter term trends?

  288. JMurphy

    C. Bruce Richardson Jr @ 307 wrote : “The question that I wish that the interviewer had asked was:
    “Would a warming trend from 1996 to present that is statistically signficant eliminate the possibility that since 2001 it hasn’t been warming?””

    Why would an interviewer ask such a question ?

  289. JMurphy

    Samuel @ 306 wrote : “As for showing poll results, I was attempting to provide an explanation. Public sees climate scientists wrong-> public doubts climate scientists- it isn’t much of a stretch.”

    An explanation using a hypothesis is very much a stretch but if that is what you believe, fair enough.

    I don’t reject the IPCC’s report – I am waiting to see what the next one says.

    As far as Stern is concerned, even your own link states the following :

    “…the work of the CCC Secretariat should not be and indeed is not confined to formalised costbenefit analysis and therefore there is a broader question of whether the Stern Review’s analysis can be advanced. The structure of this analysis was set out in section 2. Aside from updating the analysis of the various relevant chapters with new data, can the CCC Secretariat narrow down the Stern Review’s target range? I am not optimistic that this can be done, in general because (i) the overall uncertainties have not reduced and (ii) value judgements remain disputed. Therefore recommendations on targets will for the time being continue to be predicated on assumptions that can be contested.”

    I can only re-post a link to Stern’s reply to criticism : http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/aer.98.2.1

    Again, personal or political judgements will determine what anyone accepts or wishes to believe.

  290. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    JMurphy, he would ask such a question most likely seeking an answer to that question. And I suspect that Dr. Jones would have answered truthfully rather than evading the question which is why I wish that the question had been asked.

  291. Samuel

    Ate my responce. I have edit window so will be brief.

    1st sentance Care to explain? Idea that wrong predictions lead to credibility loss not big stretch.

    Rest of responce not really a rebuttal. Of course different assumptions lead to different results. Need to justify assumptions.

  292. JMurphy

    C. Bruce Richardson Jr. @ 310, the question would be a waste of time because it cannot be answered : there is too much ‘noise’ to determine how valid any trend is since 2001. What is or isn’t possible is a distraction which has no meaning as far as I can tell.

  293. JMurphy

    Samuel @ 311, I have yet to see the evidence of wrong predictions leading to credibility loss, which is why your hypothesis of such is a big stretch for me.

    And the rest of my response was not intended of a rebuttal except in so far as it shows that your idea of “flaws” and “contradictions” are judgemental and subjective. The Stern Review is still relevant and part of the continuing development of the economic response to Global Warming. How relevant it is will depend on future events and further study, which is why the next IPCC Report will reveal more in that respect.

  294. Samuel

    Neither has evidence Hollywood’s depiction resulted in skepticism. Presenting alternative hypothesis and providing basis to show hypothesis grounded in reality.

    As for flaws and contradictions are subjective, this is wrong. For example, reason for discount rate and uncertainity involves many factors, some of which Stern Report ignores. Take artificial oil- using bacteria to make oil. Carbon neutral, could replace drilling and has possibility of removing CO2 from atmosphere if stockpiled. While not mature technology, is physically possible- scientists are currently struggling with economic viability.

    Or more well known, solar panels. If they become efficient and cost effective, could provide majority of daytime power without government intervention. With these two technologies mature and cost effective, world meets Stern reports projections without government assistance.

    Both result in massive reduction in human CO2 output. Neither modeled in Stern report. Technological change massive source of uncertainity and possiblities endless when projecting out to 200 years. AI, hydroponics, desalinization, etc.

  295. C. Bruce Richardson Jr.

    JMurphy, the correct answer to the question I posed would that a warming trend from 1996 to present that is “statistically significant” does not eliminate the possibility that it hasn’t warmed on average from 2001 to present even if that trend is not yet considered “statistically significant.” I think that Dr. Jones would admit that.

    If the trend since 2001 continues, it could reach the point where it becomes “statistically significant.” If it does, a warming trend since 1996 to that point could still show warming and it could still be “statistically significant.” In fact, if the trend since 2001 remains flat, the trend since 1996 would have have a warming trend.

    That seems like a contradiction but it isn’t. A regression starting in 1996 would provide the answer to “What has been the trend since 1996.” A regression starting in 2001 would provide the answer to “What has been the trend since 2001.” They are two different questions that can have two different answers. With enough data points, it is possible for both trends to be “statistically significant” even though they aren’t the same trend.

    A “statistically significant” longer-term trend can be composed of multiple “statistically significant” shorter-term trends.

    Or do you disagree?

  296. Veritas

    This is an image from the recently published “Die kalte Sonne”. I know some contributors here aren’t able to view all links and I’m sorry if this is one of them. It shows a long term (10,000 year) correlation between solar output and temperature. I do accept that CO2 may contribute to warming but contend that most is caused by solar and oceanic cycles. I appreciate the cordiality I’ve received here given my viewpoint. Best to all.

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/image17.png

  297. Samuel

    Someone pointed out to me something… interesting about the Stern report- about more than half the damage it counts comes from after 2800. For those curious at a growth rate of about 2%, the world would have 23 doublings, going from 11,000 per capita to 22 million. I’m sure future generations can survive the horrifying distopia of “only” having 18 million per capita.

  298. LIES!!!!!!THEIR GOING TO KILL THE SEALS.. AND THE SUN COOL US DOWN????WHAT IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE!!!!! T’S THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS OF DEGREES FAHRENHEIT OR CELSIUS!!!!!!I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! LESS SCIENCE SENSE THAT THE REPUBLICANUTS!!!!XO
    XO XO

  299. Well, I guess the old saying is true, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I never claimed to have written any peer reviewed and published documents, but I included links to them. There are alternative hypotheses that also explain recent warming, no CO2/GHG help required. The lack of warming in the troposphere is well documented and contradicts the CO2/GHG hypothesis. I included a link to one such document – there are plenty more out there if you’ll look for them.

    But as YOU said to me before, “Why should I do your research for you?” There is no reasoning with you. I don’t trust “scientists” who have manipulated the inclusion of alternative theories into the peer review process; who hide their methods and data; who publicly claim the world is ending but privately lament their inability to explain why the data is not fitting their models.

  300. Andy

    We need to keep track of the denialists, because when food production is impacted and cannibalism begins we can start with them.

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