A testable proposition on climate change


Could the slowdown in global warming be coming to an end? Some scientists think it may be – and not just because 2014 looks like being the hottest year ever in Britain, Europe and the world.

If they are right, much of the slanging match that passes for the climate change debate is likely to move onto new ground. Sceptics have long cited the decade-and-a-half long “hiatus” in the rise in global surface temperatures – which has taken place even as emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have continued remorselessly to increase, and was not predicted by the computer models used by climate scientists – as demonstrating that the two cannot be connected. The scientists retort that the laws of physics dictate both that the amount of heat entering the Earth’s system has gone on increasing as emissions have grown, and that – since it cannot have disappeared – it must have gone somewhere.

Can’t wait to find out myself.

My own suspicion, and it really is only a suspicion as I’ve no relevant scientific knowledge here, is that there’s been some mis-estimating of feedback mechanisms. Agreed, there are positive such. But there are also negative such: must be or the planet would already be like Venus. And my suspicion is that those negative ones (heck, I dunno, carbon build up in the soil perhaps?) are rather larger than current calculations show.

A carbon tax is still the answer, even if only for Marty Weizman’s insurance reasons, and the UK already has one of those so we’re done and dusted.

But that is my suspicion. The negative feedbacks are being under-counted.

54 thoughts on “A testable proposition on climate change”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    “But that is my suspicion. The negative feedbacks are being under-counted.”

    I’m not a betting man but would be happy to put some money on that proposition.

    Given that the only money going in to CC research is to prove it is man made the easiest way to get the results you want is to under estimate the negative feedbacks and over estimate the positives. These could both be within acceptable limits but still provide the “correct” answer.

  2. So taxes and laws should be based on suspicion not evidence, and any evidence to the contrary trumped by confidence in the suspicion?

    Burn the witch because the High Priests all believe they are right.

  3. “2014 looks like being the hottest year ever in Britain, Europe and the world”

    Not on the satellite record it isn’t, only on the thermometer based records that are wholly in the control of the Global Warming Priest class.

    Strange that.

  4. The scientists retort that the laws of physics dictate both that the amount of heat entering the Earth’s system has gone on increasing as emissions have grown, and that – since it cannot have disappeared – it must have gone somewhere.

    Jesus wept! How about “back out again”? As in, that CO2 thermal blanket effect isn’t half as big as they think it is? If I try to heat a poorly insulated container of water and find the temperature levels off at a certain point, I don’t consult the laws of physics and conclude there is some hidden thermodynamic system at play: I conclude its reached equilibrium.

  5. The only bit of the whole Global Warming doctrine that makes much sense is the bit that says if you increase the CO2 content of the atmosphere, and nothing else changes, then things will get warmer. That bit of the doctrine is not suitable for shaking down the population, however, because a mild increase in temperature would probably be widely welcome.

    So you need scare tactics. Hence positive feedbacks, suppression of negative feedbacks, lying about the data, excruciatingly bad mathematical modelling, lying about historical temperature swings (insofar as they can be estimated), fake economic arguments, and so forth.

    My own favourite proposed new law – the restoration of capital punishment briefly, so that we can hang Blair – could perhaps be applied to to the leading Climate Change crooks too. After all, if they get their way they would be responsible for as many deaths as that wee psychopath is. But I think it would be fitter instead to dispatch them all to live in third world poverty, of the kind they are keen to enforce on large chunks of the world’s population.

  6. There was a recent graph showing UK temperatures very well-correlated with sunlight hours which have hugely increased over the last 50 years due to reductions in real pollution (smoke, soot, dust etc).

    Wouldn’t it just be delicious if the same held true for most of the world (or at least where the thermometers used for the reconstructions are), and that the bulk of the post-1975 increase was due to a reduction in real pollution?

    Would possibly explain the pause – there’s been really no realistic possibility of further reduction in smoke and soot since 2000, at least in the developped world.

    But on another point, anyone who thinks that a long-term stable system is dominated by positive feedbacks needs to go study undergraduate-level control theory. And if the positive water-vapour feedback is real, where are the graphs showing increases in humidity? Hint: the graphs are easy enough to find, but they don’t show the increases the theory requires. If they did, they’d be all over the IPCC reports……….

  7. Obviously your negative feedback thing has to be a thermodynamic and not carbon magic, and the universe as heat sink is an obvious proposition. I’m surprised we can’t measure the strength of radiation from the earth with that much accuracy (we seem to have measured solar irradiation arriving at the earth to a kW or three). We have hundreds of satellites floating through that earth-radiation, so why not measure it over the course of a year.

    If radiation out<radiation in then heat energy is accumulating somewhere and the argument over changing or not-changing surface temperatures is irrelevant. If the other way around, then we can prepare the hempen.

    I wonder how much this is complicated by core heat.

  8. “The scientists retort that the laws of physics dictate both that the amount of heat entering the Earth’s system has gone on increasing as emissions have grown, and that – since it cannot have disappeared – it must have gone somewhere.”

    This nicely illustrates the ignorance of the Commentariat and what a good job ‘scientists’ gave done in spreading confusion.

    The ‘laws of physics’ do not ‘dictate’ the amount of heat entering the Earth has gone on increasing… the amount of heat is entirely dependent on the behaviour of the Sun and is fairly constant.

    What does alter is the rate at which heat is radiated back into Space. If this rate is lower than the rate of arrival = global warming; if the rate of of re-radiation is higher = global cooling.

    We do know this rate has varied over time around a mean to provide a temperature at the surface of around 14C.

    The current argument is about an increase of that 14C of less than 0,5C.

    CO2 ‘scatters’ outgoing heat radiation, delaying its departure or causing it to collide with atmospheric water molecules which absorb the energy and warm thus capturing heat in the climate system. The increased heat from the water molecules then causes more vaporisation from the surface, so more molecules available to trap outgoing radiation.

    This is known as radiative forcing, but nobody… repeat… nobody can put an accurate value on it. The various ‘guesses’ have been shown by observation to be wrong… too high.

    This is the crux of the global warming ‘science’. The effects of CO2 on its own are known and not disputed: its effect is logarithmic and that for a doubling in concentration the maximum increase it can cause is 1,1C, well below the temperature which could cause any noticeable climate change.

    The evidence has shown that radiative forcing is far lower than ‘scientists’ guessed… and this is admitted (grudgingly) by the ‘scientists’ and even in the article.

    It thus it follows the rate at which outgoing heat is being delayed and captured is much lower than previously hypothesised.

    By what cockeyed logic then can anyone claim that despite radiative forcing being much lower than thought, global warming is happening at the same rate as claimed but the heat is ‘just hiding’ somewhere?

    Given the evidence from observation the most likely explanation is the heat is going back into Space whence it came.

    And they know this! Which is why the focus is always on CO2 emissions and climate change… as if there ever has been climate stasis… and the science of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and the claims that challengers ‘deny’ the science regarding CO2 and deny global warming.

    Whenever do you hear scientists or politicians discuss radiative forcing and admit that ‘scientists’ don’t actually know what it is, but what they thought it was was quite wrong and collapses their whole doom scenario?

    But when you have reputation, research grants, tax revenues, subsidies riding on global warming being ‘even worse than we thought’ the obvious strategy is deceit, lies and reliance on general ignorance.

    It is just dishonesty.

    Well it has been successful so far.

  9. Average T’s ‘up’ by……±…… 0.01ºC!

    All I’m saying is this and it may be……. too inconvenient:

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/records-adjustments/

    Anecdotally, of course it was a lovely warm year, we get those now and again [1975 and 76 were warmer].

    Gadzooks, but our latitude is still north of 50º and that’s a cold latitude, this year we’ve been blessed with some warm seas and a mild effects of intermittent El Nino, that’s all, it is so natural! The Met Office, are the quango-queens of alarmist hyperbole, that’s what civil servants do, to obey their political oberleutnants. Moreover, the pity of it is – they [MO] stopped serving their paymasters [that’s us taxpayers] way back in time.

  10. All global warming science is based on models, not reality.

    The climate models were so perfect that they predicted a rise in temperatures. Now that the pause of around 18 years has been accepted, global warming scientists are saying that all the heat has gone into the oceans. In effect they are saying that their models were crap because they didn’t take that into account the first time round.

    The scientists now say that they’ve updated their models to handle the ocean. But if they didn’t get it right the first time round and no disaster happened, why are they right this time round?

  11. > The negative feedbacks are being under-counted.
    Very definitely — one of the first conclusions out of the early stabs at the whole-history simulation of the Earth’s atmosphere (M. Hart, Icarus 33, 23-29, 1978) was that negative feedbacks e.g. from cloud cover were necessary to keep the system from falling into stable Venus or Mars -like states over the past few billion years. Meanwhile the IPCC-approved climate models include positive feedbacks, such as high altitude warming over the equator due to water vapour accumulation, which have not actually been observed.

    And, of course, at the present time, we’re so far into the current interglacial that on previous form, we are getting to be overdue for the next Ice Age.

  12. SMBL,

    Exactly. I’ve asked people this already – so if it is going into the ocean, why didn’t it before? “Well, we don’t understand the mechanisms”.

  13. “And the UK already has one of those so we’re done and dusted”

    This is where Tim’s logic falls down. At this point in the chain of reasoning we are talking about a political response that is local, proportionate, and coherent with the available evidense. What are the chances of that happening? A carbon tax is a terrible idea simply because it will be administered by grandstanding idiots and environmental fundamentalists. Why give them the opportunity to destroy?

  14. You can’t counter liars with sober factual analysis and mild concession. They just shit all over you if you try. Better just to lie and spin in return. It is all hot air to them anyway. Keep the truth out of it so that it doesn’t become tainted.

  15. Spouting sense like that it is obvious you are in the pay of Big Oil, you shill.

    Alas, ’tis true. But it would be nice if they really did pay me to write this stuff, instead of listen to droning lectures by our management about f*cking global warming!

  16. If big oil money is so evil and corrupting, is big green not thus evil and corrupted by taking gazillions in big oil money?

  17. They quote “the Laws of Physics”, but they won’t quote many actual physicists, as they are fairly sceptical of the whole thing. Bit cynical really.

    Anyway, we all knew that the ‘pause’ (the use of this word itself is unscientific, as it exposes the user’s bias that temperatures will increase in future) was always going to be mere weather, regardless of how long it lasted, while the first year of increase, however small, would be climate.

  18. The Stigler:

    “Exactly. I’ve asked people this already – so if it is going into the ocean, why didn’t it before? “Well, we don’t understand the mechanisms”.”

    Yet they have already incorporated it into the models, so we can rest easy. Because once you have A Model, even if the people who created it didn’t know how a massively complicated and chaotic system works, everything is clear. The Model cannot be questioned or doubted, for it is The Model.

  19. Abacab. The act of Big Green in taking gazillions in Big Oil money purifies the filthy lucre. If a Greenie does it, it can’t be wrong.

  20. Abacab, big oil is already in big green. Shell & BP invest a lot in green energy projects and systems. Green is already tainted so the greenies should be avoiding it like the plague, but then its a belief system to them so they will keep on believing in it even though all the facts point out they are wrong.

  21. The scientists retort that the laws of physics dictate both that the amount of heat entering the Earth’s . . .

    No they fucking don’t. They say the amount of heat *leaving* the ‘Earth’s system’ has decreased – its in the fecking name “GREENHOUSE EFFECT”.

    AAARGHLBARGLE!!

    You’d think that someone championing this nonsense would at least have the minimal curiosity to to try to understand how it freaking works.

    If the amount of heat *entering* the system was increasing that would mean, *by-fething-definition* that the warming was not anthropic.

  22. “Because once you have A Model, even if the people who created it didn’t know how a massively complicated and chaotic system works, everything is clear. The Model cannot be questioned or doubted, for it is The Model.”

    One of my first bosses gave me some advice. His said that you should hate and despise your models, try to destroy them and avoid using them wherever possible. He warned of the people who fell in love with their models and couldn’t accept any criticism of them.

  23. ” The act of Big Green in taking gazillions in Big Oil money purifies the filthy lucre”

    Ironically it was the Salvation Army who used to defend taking money collected in pubs to pay for their religious and temperance work by saying ‘We will take your dirty money and make it clean!’

    Big Green is the religion of choice of Western liberals now. Its so far beyond science that I can’t believe that an intelligent man like TW falls for it.

  24. Venus’ atmosphere is 93 bar. That’s where the heat comes from. Any comparison of earth to Venus fails instantly.

    “Computer models used by climate scientists.”

    CMUBCS . . . next supervillain in a Bond movie.

  25. A bit sweeping I know, but I’d say that lefties generally play down the threat of radical Islam and have bought into the whole Power of Nightmares thing because it argued that the threat was being used by politicians to keep people unsettled and therefore less likely to object to any restrictions of freedom deemed necessary to protect the public.

    Those on the right are more accepting because they see the threat as very real. So governments can count on them to not rock the boat too much.

    What those on the left miss is that the climate change scare is a Power of Nightmares tailored to their psyche and plays to their Western guilt/self-loathing. More tax (to cut CO2 use of course)? Yes please, say lefties. More government interference in the economy (to protect the people from harmful AGW of course)? Yes please, again.

  26. Agamemnon has put his finger on it.
    The amount of heat *entering* the earth’s atmosphere is the key variable. Hence the ice ages and previous examples of global warming denied when I mentioned them on “Liberal Conspiracy” (apparently the Thames freezing over was a side-effect of the thickness of the piers of Old London Bridge even after that bridge was demolished).
    Global warming was largely caused by the solar cycle *but* if we do burn trillions of tons of coal/oil we shall make it worse so we do need to cut down on CO2 emissions, despite Al Gore etc.

  27. Another thing, you can buy a litre [of gas] in the US for 40p or thereabouts. Notwithstanding the reality that, the supposition of Global warming induced by man made emissions of CO2 is a total fabrication – done by green fevered lunatics JUST HOW IS IT, do we unilaterally impose our very own carbon tax, when most [even parts of Europe] of the world pays much less for their gasoline?

    Q. If we cannot compete now, why are we even considering to chop our other leg off?
    A. Because, we are run by fuqwits are administered by a bunch of Oxbridge grads who understand fuck all about the world, and in order; no comprehension of real world finance, business, profit and loss, running a business: and imposing taxation.

    God help Britain.

  28. No one thinks they know an accurate value for climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling (apart from loonies who claim it’s zero), but we don’t need to argue about that to explain any 15-year pause, because there isn’t one.

    What there is is relatively high frequency variation, apparently related to ocean current oscillations, overlaid on a long-term trend. Depending on how the different cycles line up, the high frequency variations result in relatively hot and cold years in an irregular pattern. It’s impossible to assess the long-term trend by looking at any short period. (Richard Muller, a physicist and sceptic, wrote something sensible about this a year or so ago.)

    I just looked at some actual data. Atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by 8.1% over the last 15 years, which in log terms (which is what counts) is 11.3% of a doubling. One-year rolling average land temperatures (using the most recent available average, centred on January 2014) have increased by 0.28 K, which implies a transient climate response for CO2 doubling of 2.5K, which, curiously, is exactly the Met Office value, and is higher than the IPCC average.

    There’s no need to shoot holes in that calculation: scientifically speaking it’s worthless. But claims by cherry-picking data points that global warming has stopped are even more worthless.

    Muller and his colleagues did a much more sophisticated fit, using 250 years of data, but still avoiding any attempt at climate modelling, and found a sensitivity of 3.1 K to CO2 doubling. (Since they fitted only to land temperatures, they avoid any claim that this is a reliable estimate.)

    What can be said with certainty is that if you think climate sensitivity can change rapidly (perhaps to zero) there’s no way to confirm your theory unless the new value remains static for decades. The neutral course meanwhile is to assume that climate sensitivity remains within our best estimated range from past data.

  29. “One of my first bosses gave me some advice. His said that you should hate and despise your models, try to destroy them and avoid using them wherever possible. He warned of the people who fell in love with their models and couldn’t accept any criticism of them.”

    Good God, did you use to work for me? I’m afraid I don’t remember the name.

  30. “Richard Muller, a physicist and sceptic …”: I’m pretty sceptical about his purported scepticism.

  31. I believe you have championed the Australian Carbon Tax in the past, this is what happens when you put greenie rent seekers in charge..

    read this
    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/carbon-tax-cost-5310-a-ton-15-billion-to-abate-almost-nothing-and-cool-the-world-by-even-less/

    So tell me how much is the UK “carbon Tax” going to cost us – and how much benefit will we get. For a clue read Decc’s “2050 Pathways Analysis” which forecasts a future where within five years, we shall all be forced en mass to switch away from gas to electricity for heat. Keep burning your logs in Portugal, we shall be shivering in regular power cuts waiting for energy from those mythical 55,000 windmills that will be built.

  32. I can see you all have given this a lot of thought and worry.
    No problem where I am . I live in rural Australia and nothing happens here – ever.

  33. “A carbon tax is still the answer…and the UK already has one of those so we’re done and dusted.”

    It’s a pity that Tim keeps saying this, since he’s a good enough economist to know that it’s nonsense.

    The point of a carbon tax is to price AGW externalities into energy use decisions. To do that we’d need to impose a tax on all fuel use, for whatever purpose, corresponding to, say, £50 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted when it’s burned. Instead of that we have a patchwork of taxes at all sorts of rates, which is just not the same thing. Petrol or diesel for transport (responsible for about 25% of UK carbon dioxide emissions) is taxed at five or six times that target rate, diesel for agriculture is taxed at about the target rate, electricity or gas for domestic use is actually ‘subsidized’ by a reduced VAT rate. (I understand that a lower tax is not actually a subsidy, but it has to same effect as a subsidy if you’re choosing between turning the heating up or buying a warmer duvet.)

    In a rational world, we would sweep away all the different tax rates, and have just one, imposed on the carbon content of fossil fuels. And if we wanted to raise the same amount from motorists, we’d add a system of congestion charging for the use of any busy road – we have the technology to do it.

    Tim adds: Which is why, when I’m being a little more sophisticated and detailed, I actually say that we’ve carbon taxes of about the right amount but they’re not distributed properly. As you well know Paul.

  34. bloke (not) in spain

    “In a rational world, we would sweep away all the different tax rates,”
    For once I’d have to agree with Paul. It’s all simply an alibi to tax. And the tax is set at whatever they think they can screw to maximise the tax take.
    None of it’s got anything to do with carbon, mitigation or anything else.

  35. So Much for Subtlety

    Why the models are utterly useless Part XDII:

    Carbon dioxide emissions help tropical rainforests grow faster: Study shows trees absorb more greenhouse gas than expected

    Nasa study shows tropical forests absorb 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 a year
    Rainforests absorb more than half of CO2 taken up by vegetation globally
    Scientists previously believed tropical forests emitted carbon dioxide

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2891432/Carbon-dioxide-emissions-help-tropical-rainforests-grow-faster-Study-shows-trees-absorb-greenhouse-gas-expected.html#ixzz3Nc6W0kDO
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    FFS – if they did not know this, why are they even pretending?

  36. So Much for Subtlety

    PaulB – “but we don’t need to argue about that to explain any 15-year pause, because there isn’t one.”

    As Chesterton did quite say, when we stop believing in God, we don’t believe in nothing, we believe in anything. It is a bit of shame that you cannot see what a one-eyed Born Again you have become.

    “What there is is relatively high frequency variation, apparently related to ocean current oscillations, overlaid on a long-term trend. Depending on how the different cycles line up, the high frequency variations result in relatively hot and cold years in an irregular pattern.”

    So you’re saying that if you take all the knowledge we have of the climate, and you carefully aligned every single cycle we know about, fixing them just right, the warmist case does not look too bad? You know it is wrong to come to the data with a preconceived notion don’t you? There ought to be a UN convention against torturing data like that.

    “It’s impossible to assess the long-term trend by looking at any short period. (Richard Muller, a physicist and sceptic, wrote something sensible about this a year or so ago.)”

    We have good data going back to the mid-1970s. That is all. We only have short periods to look at. About a third of which shows nothing, about a third shows warming and about a third shows either or both.

    “One-year rolling average land temperatures (using the most recent available average, centred on January 2014) have increased by 0.28 K, which implies a transient climate response for CO2 doubling of 2.5K, which, curiously, is exactly the Met Office value, and is higher than the IPCC average.”

    Curiously.

    “But claims by cherry-picking data points that global warming has stopped are even more worthless.”

    No they are not. The land data has been massaged. They don’t hide the fact that it has been massaged. They openly admit it. Always in a way that shows more warming. There has been no cherry picking. The data shows what it shows. You can accept that or find holes in it but you can’t claim that it has been cherry picked.

  37. What there is is relatively high frequency variation, apparently related to ocean current oscillations, overlaid on a long-term trend.

    What absolute bollocks. Utter horsecock. You could say exactly the same thing about variations in a stock price which is showing a long-term trend, but what you *cannot* do is confidently assert that what we see *now* is simply part of a variation and not part of the long-term trend.

    It’s impossible to assess the long-term trend by looking at any short period.

    You’ve already done that by telling us the long-term trend is still ongoing.

  38. As soon as you see the claim that 2014 was “the hottest year on record” you know it’s garbage. The writer is trying to sell the idea that it was a blistering hot year when in fact, in the UK at least, the average temperature was ever so slightly up because the cold months were slightly warmer than average while the warm months were slightly cooler. This is what averages do – they average things out. By no means could you describe the year as “hot”.

  39. I’m no greenie, not by a mile, I can’t stand them; however…. The data for that Global warming pause have been cherry picked. As I understand it the claim that there is a pause is taking 1998 (I think!) as the start point. That year was a particularly hot el nino year so from there, there is no positive trend. Take the year before or the year after as your zero point and there is some warming trend using those data.

    Personally I’m of the camp that accepts releasing greenhouse gasses will cause some global warming but it’s all being hysterically exaggerated by politicians with agenda and climate scientists with lovely big grants that might dry up quickly if they report that it’s not going to be such a big deal.

  40. So Much for Subtlety

    In passing it looks like ocean acidification is dubious:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/23/touchy-feely-science-one-chart-suggests-theres-a-phraud-in-omitting-ocean-acidification-data-in-congressional-testimony/

    No surprise there.

    Dongguan John – “The data for that Global warming pause have been cherry picked. As I understand it the claim that there is a pause is taking 1998 (I think!) as the start point. That year was a particularly hot el nino year so from there, there is no positive trend. Take the year before or the year after as your zero point and there is some warming trend using those data.”

    So you’re saying that if you take the natural approach – the world has not warmed since the last peak as it was supposed to – that is cherry picking the data, but if you actually select a year with the intent of producing a more politically acceptable result, – that is, cherry pick – then it is fine? I know you can’t mean that but it sounds like you do. How is saying the world’s temperature peaked and has not risen since anything other than a sensible statement?

    “Personally I’m of the camp that accepts releasing greenhouse gasses will cause some global warming but it’s all being hysterically exaggerated by politicians with agenda and climate scientists with lovely big grants that might dry up quickly if they report that it’s not going to be such a big deal.”

    Indeed. So we should do what we can do, cheaply, on the off chance there is something to it. Replace coal by gas, replace gas by nuclear. But nothing heroic until we are sure. In the meantime, global warming is not even a second order risk to the planet. I assume you live in China. In the last few years China lost the Yangtze dolphin. While all the Watermelons were off pretending that the sky was about to fall, habitat loss has continued, we have continued to lose genuine species and real genetic diversity. That is the real environmental issue and global warming is sucking all the oxygen out of the room, leaving no funding or publicity for issues that really matter.

  41. “So you’re saying that if you take the natural approach – the world has not warmed since the last peak as it was supposed to – that is cherry picking the data, but if you actually select a year with the intent of producing a more politically acceptable result, – that is, cherry pick – then it is fine? I know you can’t mean that but it sounds like you do. How is saying the world’s temperature peaked and has not risen since anything other than a sensible statement? ”

    I don’t see why taking an el nino peak is a natural start point but really given the variation in temps and the relatively slight trend any start point when the data are just over a few years can be considered cherry picking, in my opinion. Just looking at the graphs online, to me, it appears that you need to take a much larger set of data than just 16 years to take any reasonable conclusion.

    “Indeed. So we should do what we can do, cheaply, on the off chance there is something to it. Replace coal by gas, replace gas by nuclear. But nothing heroic until we are sure. In the meantime, global warming is not even a second order risk to the planet. I assume you live in China. In the last few years China lost the Yangtze dolphin. While all the Watermelons were off pretending that the sky was about to fall, habitat loss has continued, we have continued to lose genuine species and real genetic diversity. That is the real environmental issue and global warming is sucking all the oxygen out of the room, leaving no funding or publicity for issues that really matter.”

    I agree 100%. There are much, much, more urgent environmental issues than global warming. I love nature, love hiking in the forests and diving in the oceans. I see air pollution i.e. choking smog, deforestation, polluting the oceans, rivers full of shit etc as much more urgent issues than the world getting a little warmer.

  42. what you have to accept to make any sense of this argument, is that the science is not settled, and that the “hot air” is political, and led with great effect by the green loons, who want us all to live in caves, or trees, or in mud huts, etc, etc, etc

  43. Sure, the 16 year thing (or however many year thing) is a form of cherry-picking (endpoint fallacy), but so is taking any one year and saying this was the hottest year at geographical point X since whenever.

  44. Dongguan John

    “data for that Global warming pause have been cherry picked. As I understand it the claim that there is a pause is taking 1998 (I think!) as the start point.”

    Actually, no it’s not (cherry picked).

    It simply says that, if you fix the end of the series as today, statistically how far back can you go before that average line shows an increase, rather than shows flat or a decrease, from that point through to today; if I’ve understood it correctly, and you experts can all correct me if I haven’t.

    The start point is not cherry picked, and it currently extends back to “before” the 1998 El Nino.

  45. I thought PaulB was right about the ocean oscillations being overlaid onto a shallower upward trend, ie that shallower trend completely refuting a lot of those models’ (from 10-15 years ago) more agrressive doomsday scenarios? Ie, in effect removing the C from CAGW.

    I had understood that to be an observation that both sceptics and luke warmers were making years ago?

  46. What absolute bollocks. Utter horsecock. You could say exactly the same thing about variations in a stock price which is showing a long-term trend, but what you *cannot* do is confidently assert that what we see *now* is simply part of a variation and not part of the long-term trend.

    Stock prices and global temperature are not the same sort of thing.

    You don’t have to have complete faith in the efficient market hypothesis to realise that there are no readily predictable trends in stock prices (though there may be trends which can be seen in narrative retrospect).

    Similarly, you don’t have to complete faith in climate science to realise that the earth’s temperature is sensitive to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide can be found by fitting data to the historical record, by energy balance analysis, by paleoclimatology, or by climate modelling. All approaches give results within the IPCC’s (wide) range.

    Thus, given that atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to increase, as it certainly does, the temperature trend will continue to be upwards unless climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide changes to be zero (or negative). Now, climate sensitivity is not a fundamental constant, so it could change. But you’d want very convincing evidence before you believed that it had fallen to zero. The neutral assumption is that it’s unchanged.

    SMFS: it’s faintly amusing that you rely on the accuracy of results from a computer model in your purported demonstration that computer models are useless. And faintly dispiriting that you get your science from the Daily Mail.

  47. @ PaulB
    There have been readily predictable *trends* in stock prices for nearly a century (obviously none while the Stock Exchange was closed). Day-to-day movements are pretty unpredictable, like weather but the negative yield gap is wholly due to the predicatability of the long-term growth trend in the share prices of well-managed companies that plough back some of their profits into investment for growth.

  48. john77: i don’t entirely agree with that, but it’s a debate for another time. My relevant point, which I think we do agree about, is that markets at least for the most part price in all available information, including about management competence. This is quite unlike global temperatures, which of course do not account for predictable future changes in carbon dioxide concentrations.

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