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back to article 'Polar vortex' or not, last month among the WARMEST Januaries EVER RECORDED

It may come as a surprise to shivering citizens of the US lower 48 who are brittle from the "polar vortex" freeze-out – which is back, by the way – or soggy Brits wringing out from the recent floods, but last month was one of the warmest Januaries on record when measured globally. How warm? It depends upon whose analysis you …

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Doing the Warmist shuffle

The problem of course it is a very hard sell (warming) when you are freezing your ass off and you haven't seen this much snow in decades (large portion of US of A). Likewise, Europeans probably remember the winter of 2012: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_2012_European_cold_wave

Couple that with a pause or plateau for 17 + years now in temperature rise:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/09/26/as-its-global-warming-narrative-unravels-the-ipcc-is-in-damage-control-mode/ toss in lowest ever Antarctic ice melt: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/03/antarctic_ice_shelf_melt_lowest_ever_recorded_just_not_much_affected_by_global_warming/

And the warmists are suddenly feeling like a politician with numerous scandals without a kiss-up press in their pocket. Oh. that's right, they have a compliant press, still a tough sell, ain't it? Barry was doing a full court warmist press conference from a golf course in Cali, handing out a billion plus for California to fight warming or some such. USA ain't buying it at all as warming polls very poorly here. Press on warmists, it'll be a tough slough.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

It cracks me up that you guys try to focus only on recent variability rather than long-term trends, as well as trying to steer attention away from the clearly warming Arctic to the puzzlingly non-warming Antarctic.

A little intellectual honesty, please, without peppering your screed with such terms as "kiss-up press" in your thoroughly unscientific, ad hominem final paragraph?

And maybe a bit a scientific analysis might be welcome, as well: what part of the physics underlying the concept of radiative forcing do you find issue with?

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Yawn...

Long term trends? Sure, how's this work for you?

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/01/when-did-global-warming-begin.php

"And maybe a bit a scientific analysis might be welcome, as well: what part of the physics underlying the concept of radiative forcing do you find issue with?"

What are you talking about? Trot something out. Be specific.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Who to trust? Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump and some conspiracy theorists or skilled climate scientists? Tough call.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Who to trust?, is indeed the question. We have bitter extremes on both sides. Even El Reg has two writers who seem to take opposing viewpoints. Can both be right? Or can both be wrong? Maybe like many issues, the answer is a combination of some things both sides say are right and some things are wrong. For example: some say the sun is a factor, others say no. Who's really right?

For me, the jury is still out on what the issues really are and what the causes of the issues are. Is it a "bump"? A trend? An anomaly? Or...?

I'm sure there's a few downvotes for this as well as some upvotes. I'll assume that the downvotes will be from the rabid extremists and the upvotes from those who will listen to both sides and make up their own minds. And yes, I do discount the "media darlings" with the massive brainpower such as Limbaugh and Trump.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Science isn't decided by the number of votes you get for posting your opinion on a blog. However, if you're talking about consequent political action, astroturfing is clearly part of the battle for public opinion.

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Re: Rik, YOU get to choose what to write...

So I'm puzzled why you're touting one-month long averages, then discussing longer-term destructive weather as if it's somehow related. For example, as someone based in California, who is presumably drinking Hetch-Hetchy water, you should know that serious droughts are multi-year events because it takes years of low snowmelt to draw down California's extensive reservoirs. Yet, you write

"Here in the western US, we had the driest January since 2003 and the fifth driest on record for the lower 48 – and California governor Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency"

as if the former had something to do with the latter. You're better than that, Rik.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"Who to trust? Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump ... or skilled climate scientists?"

I don't trust politicians, celebs and I definitely don't trust scientists who create theories on the basis that they get more money. Most "climate science" is done in order to get more grants and keep a job. Even the most obscure areas of science attempt to have a "global warming" aspect. Why? Because public money goes towards those who keep up the climate weirdness meme. Being anti climate change doesn't pay salaries so scientists don't investigate that side of the science. And no science is ever settled. Not even the science of gravity.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

So, yeah, about that pause...

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

You are very much correct on the votes, science, and opinion. Unfortunately, in this world, votes for politicos are shaped by opinion and that is shaped by money.

For example, let's look at Al Gore. To listen to him, he's a Green. Yet, he drives the big SUV's and has the big house that the Greens say are 'bad'. He justifies by saying he buys carbon credits. Ok.... opinions and politics and money. In this case, follow the money.

On the other side, we have the money from big oil, car manufacturers, etc. Their viewpoint, again follow the money, is mouthed by media attention and thus, certain politicos.

Science gets lost in all the screaming, shouting, which leads to political action or inaction.

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It's not just the money and the funding

Sure there are many scientists with a very vested interets in keeping things alive to secure their funding.

There are also scientists that go into various areas with a preconceived ideology. For example, a few years ago I spoke with a young scientists (geograopgy is a science right?) who was going to work with NIWA (NZ's tiny equivalent of NOOA) because of global warming. People like that are not impartial and data driven. They are idealogically biased and cannot hope to perform as scientists should.

Lastly, there are many scientists who have made a certain field their life's work. They are the most influential. They got their PhD on their findings, they have a whole lot of ego wrapped up in it.

Scientists are supposed to welcome any fresh data when striving for the truth, but how receptive are they when the data might rubbish their research papers and undermine the findings in their PhDs?

The Climate Community (for want of a better phrase) is under extreme pressure (political, financil/funding and prestige) to present a consensus view to the public. Data, however, is always messy and there are always doubts. Any concensus is contrived, and it means true science - the impartial data driven quest for knowledge - goes out hthe window.

To expect impartiality from such scientists is a fool's errand. You might as well ask a priest to say there is no god and embrace Darwanism.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Skilled climate scientists? I'll believe in their existence when weather forecasting catches up with the accuracy of astrological predictions.

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Headmaster

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Please write on the blackboard 100 times

WEATHER IS NOT CLIMATE

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

> let's look at Al Gore

Yeah, anecdotes about Al Gore totally disproves anthropogenic global warming.

In addition, your logical fallacy was also based on falsehood.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

why start at 1970? look deeper. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/60/Five_Myr_Climate_Change.png

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

@Rob Isrob: "The problem of course it is a very hard sell (warming) when you are freezing your ass off and you haven't seen this much snow in decades"

It's called climate change, as there are being more extremes of warming and cooling ..

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

> let's look at Al Gore

Yeah, anecdotes about Al Gore totally disproves anthropogenic global warming.

In addition, your logical fallacy was also based on falsehood.

Ok.. poor target choice on him. Although do follow the money. As for my logical fallacy, my reference was the Green type of house that they feel everyone should be living in: small, dark, and cold and oops, forgot... either bicycles or electric cars (with no real way of providing that sort of energy other than some nebulas "solar" or "wind" that as yet still needs science to make them more efficient and the contruction of same to be non-polluting.)

I notice though, that there was no beating for referencing big oil, nor auto manufacturers.

The point I was trying to make was summed up on the first and last paragraph. The middle two were just examples of the media hype that surrounds this whole issue. Science is still lost in the noise....

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Weather forecasting is excellent in the tricky environment of the UK, and Climate Modelling is really easier than weather forecasting. Rain which occurs 12 hours and 100 miles out makes no difference in a Climate Model, but is the difference between a good and a bad forecast.

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Re: It's not just the money and the funding

Charles

Read the IPCC 5th Assessment reports. It is not a whitewash. But there are 36 billion tonnes a year of CO2 entering the atmosphere. Just what effect do you think it is having? None at all?

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Mushroom

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

>or skilled climate scientists?

Ha, more like skilled climate politicians. Calling them scientists doesn't make them so. I'd put more stock in physicists, mathematicians, and geologists, than some recently made up science category.

They're skilled all right, at hiding the decline, manipulating data, calling weather climate when it suits them, and whipping up hysteria to maintain and increase their funding.

These so called climate scientists are no different than Al Gore; looking to exploit fear and uncertainty about the unknown with their dire predictions of apocalypse if citizens don't get on the carbon credits con band wagon, subsidise green energy, and create energy taxes.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

>Weather forecasting is excellent in the tricky environment of the UK. and Climate Modelling is really easier than weather forecasting.

Yes climate modelling is much easier because the people doing it don't have to explain themselves when it turns out to be wrong in 10, 20, 30 years.

Lacking the ability to predict weather (forecasting) accurately indicates a fundamental disconnect between our understanding of the forces and variables involved and how it really works. If someone can't predict if we're going to have a hot or wet summer (MET Office), then they lack the credentials to say what's going to happen thirty years in the future; and we all know that we've got a better chance of getting a summer prediction from a fortune teller than the MET Office.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Warming causes climate change. So some areas get warmer, others get colder.

It's an average of all global temperatures.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Money going to scientists tends to go to both camps, those who believe in climate change and those that don't.

The only reason there's a bunch of scientists who are sceptical is the sheer amount of cash they're raking in from oil companies and anyone else with an interest in preserving the status quo.

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Re: Rik Myselwdki Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"It cracks me up that you guys try to focus only on recent variability rather than long-term trends...." Oh, you mean like the Hockey Stick 2.0 map you mentioned? ("....New Scientist recently published an interactive, zoomable map of regional temperature changes throughout the world from 1894 through last year....") Gosh, it's not like warming hasn't been atrend for centuries before that.

".....A little intellectual honesty...." Physician, heal thyself, TBH.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"The problem of course it is a very hard sell (warming) when you are freezing your ass off and you haven't seen this much snow in decades (large portion of US of A)."

No it isn't. It was always stated that AGW (Climate Change) would likely lead to far more extreme weather events. Especially those like heavy snow / rain related to the increasing amount of water in the air as average temperature rises. It's likely going to get much worse too...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"Couple that with a pause or plateau for 17 + years now in temperature rise:"

Actually that's only true if you ignore arctic surface temperatures, and ignore the oceans. And even then is still within the previous extremes of variation in the average temperatures in the last 100 or so years. See http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exposed-the-myth-of-the-global-warming-pause-8945607.html

If you look at the longer term, the trend is very clear.

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Re: Rik Myselwdki Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Who is this Mr. Myselwdki of whom you speak? Nitpicker 'n' cherry-picker, pick thine own nits 'n' cherries.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"...to the puzzlingly non-warming Antarctic."

Which is why the Antarctic is losing glaciers at such an alarming rate, it's not warming. Right?

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"Who to trust? Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump and some conspiracy theorists or skilled climate scientists?"

Tough call indeed. How do you trust a half-science? Do some real experiments. Don't label computer theories as evidence, then we may trust them. As it is, they have all the credibility of snake oil salesmen.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

I don't think the point is about proving how Gore's propaganda was a lie disproves AGW. AGW disproves itself with the simplest of inspections. I think the point is that just because a famous politition does a movie, doesn't mean that the contents are science.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"Warming causes climate change. So some areas get warmer, others get colder"

No, warming causes warming. The story about some areas cooling was a furphy designed to get around the evidence that there is no actual warming. So every time somebody points out that it isn't any warmer, it is trotted out and given an airing.

And the magic of media pushes the furphy around the globe.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

What sort of money are the oil companies giving to skeptics? Nothing like the 100B$ that is given to warmists. By the way, skeptic means thinker, as opposed to believer which is what you call a warmist.

When the argument has degenerated to the point that people are attacked as not believing in warming as much as their oponent, all hope has been lost.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"If you look at the longer term, the trend is very clear."

Trouble is, if you look at the longer term, it is clear the globe has been warming for much longer than we have been burning coal. I blame the dinosaurs for not signing Kyoto.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

@ Mark 85

"Who to trust?, is indeed the question. We have bitter extremes on both sides. Even El Reg has two writers who seem to take opposing viewpoints. Can both be right? Or can both be wrong?"

I find this is the same logical error as believing in a particular religions god, it falsely provides 2 options for people who dont think through the possibilities. The 'warmists' have staked their belief and certainty in a single particular outcome devoutly.

As far as the science is concerned we dont know enough and are still looking for answers. Instead of absolute certainty we have possibilities which are very variable and move every time we learn something new. We know so little right now that we cannot accurately predict much.

So this is where the false choice of 2 options needs to be realistically presented. We have the absolute certainty of the warmist point of view which is plausible but in the realm of possibility is small. And then we have what is presented as the 2nd choice which is that the warmists are wrong. Which shockingly is highly likely.

There is also another group who are true denialists who are just a competing religion. They have the certainty that nothing will change, ever, full stop. They are again pinning their hopes on a single outcome which is again highly unlikely.

Basically for the warmists to be right they will have taken a stab in the dark and been extremely lucky in their blind guess. Just as a true denialist would have to be. Or any of the hundreds of religions.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

@ James Loughner

"Please write on the blackboard 100 times

WEATHER IS NOT CLIMATE"

Someone needs to tell our politicians. Some are certain the weather is related to MMCC co2 theory even when the believer scientists wont stand by that kind of statement.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"...you guys try to focus only on recent variability rather than long-term trends..."

Oh, come on. Like this is a one-sided fault. I lost count of the number of GreenPeace activists here in the UK popping up on news programmes to point out that the deluge is a result of man-made global warming. And really, your whole article is an attempt to imply that the recent weather is a result of man-made global warming.

It may be surprising to US readers but it has been unseaonably warm in the UK. Given is mid-February (normally the coldest month) yesterday I was out in the garden in a T-shirt, even having to cut the grass. But the cause of the change in weather is not global warming. The severely cold weather in the US means the the Atlantic winds have been push slightly further south by the cold air mass over the US which means they are warmer bringing warm moist air to the UK. They then tend to push north over the UK later keeping the cold air from the continent away from most of the UK.

What we are seeing is a random redistribution of heat energy. Sh*t happens. It seems to me likely that a system designed for collecting temperature information based on what might be regarded as 'normal' weather patterns will not necessarily be ideal for reliably collecting temperature information in abnormal conditions. Much as happens with the first GDP figures, my guess is that there will be a correction later on which puts the temperature guesstimate back in its box.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Splendid, you move from Ad Hom to Strawman.

Which idiotic debating tactic will you use next I wonder.

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@The Axe

Because public money goes towards those who keep up the climate weirdness meme.

Bing! Got it in one.

I work inside the belly of one of the beasts where I'm occasionally privy to internal discussions I'm not supposed to hear. And that exactly what the people shuffling the money talk about. Global warming/climate change get money, so they sex up the reports to get more funding. More funding means more people. More people means more power. And that's what the bureaucratic shuffle is all about.

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Re: WEATHER IS NOT CLIMATE

It's not? Then why is that the premise of this article (not this post, the article)?

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Re: It's not just the money and the funding

The IPCC has thoroughly discredited themselves and are no longer an authority outside of WARMIST circles.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

As soon as you start combining snowfall and cold your out of your element, so to speak. Every northerner knows that when it's really cold it doesn't snow, because the absolute humidity is too low.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

We have a lot of absolute humidity in the atmosphere because of the very high temps all over. So naturally it collects on the coolest thing around, like condensation on a glass of cold drink in the summer is the effect of the heat, not evidence that summer is cooler than winter. The 3 (so far) cold spells) meant the snow didn't melt; but they are historically short flashbacks to winters a couple of decades ago when minimum temps were about 5 degrees F higher than they have for the part free decades, as evidenced by the plant hardiness zones all having been moved half a zone north.

The question of what would happen to the jet stream has been around longer than the question of AGW. The Jerry stream is indeed powered by the rotation of the earth and the powerful polar low caused by the cold air. Since the denialist haven't gotten around to suggesting that climate change is caused by changes in the earth 's rotation, reduced winds coming from the arctic are the cause. This allows the polar air to drift more directly southerly than get entrained in powerful coriolis circulation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"And maybe a bit a scientific analysis might be welcome, as well: what part of the physics underlying the concept of radiative forcing do you find issue with?"

What are you talking about? Trot something out. Be specific."

Yeah, i see you're up on the science. Ok; what part of the following do you hills to be false

Humanity is digging up and burning carbon from underground.

Burning this carbon produces CO2

Producing more CO2 means more CO2 in the atmosphere

CO2 absorbs IR at the wavelengths the earth's surface radiates

Energy is conserved

The added CO2 in the atmosphere results in additional energy in the atmosphere

Additional energy in the atmosphere results in higher temperatures, more turbulence, higher evaporation, and changes in the metastable pattern seen prior to the addition of that energy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Please. How many right-wing figures are unashamed to stand up publicly and say the jury is still out on evolution?

http://www.iwise.com/vid/L5pf3

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's not just the money and the funding

BS. The best thing to happen to a scientist is to find solid evidence that goes against the dominant paradigm. Nobody is going to find research into investigating gravity, but get a lead on antigravity and you've got it made.

Take cold fusion as another example. Not as much money in debunking it as in seeing if it works.

Fact is, at this point, the only people calling for more research into AGW are the people trying to delay dealing with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

Well, you'd know.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"evidence that there is no actual warming."

Ahn so those denialists who tell us "Nobody denies it's warming, we just disagree about the cause" are lying.

Only in the field of AGW denialism would "it's not warming" and "it's warming but we don't know why"be considered as in agreement.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"Basically for the warmists to be right they will have taken a stab in the dark and been extremely lucky in their blind guess."

What blind guess? We have a perfectly logical and coherent mechanism, each step of which is well confirmed, and several models which do pretty well at prediction, despite the denialist denials; opposed by an unknown mechanism for the warming, unknown mechanism for why the AGW mechanism doesn't work, no models whatsoever, inability to agree even on the basic observation as to whether or not there is warming, and a set of theories ranging from "it's cosmic rays" to "it's fraud and criminal conspiracy".

in no other field would the opposition be afforded even a shred of respectability until the proponents come up with anything that could form even the germ of a theory. "You might be wrong; maybe it's something we don't know about" isn't considered a scientific theory.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

@AC

"What blind guess? We have a perfectly logical and coherent mechanism, each step of which is well confirmed, and several models which do pretty well at prediction, despite the denialist denials; opposed by an unknown mechanism for the warming, unknown mechanism for why the AGW mechanism doesn't work, no models whatsoever, inability to agree even on the basic observation as to whether or not there is warming, and a set of theories ranging from "it's cosmic rays" to "it's fraud and criminal conspiracy"."

So the very narrow view that it must be Co2 even though the reality refuses to do as the models predict is supposed to be right? Thats religion not science. It is right to begin with questioning the rate of warming and then to exclude potential influences until the truth is found. Sitting with your fingers in your ears singing 'lalala its gotta be co2 lalala' is not science.

Religions did what you have just done. They said that science doesnt have ALL the answers so religion must be right because it claims to know the answer. Making something up because you dont know the truth is not science. Science starts without knowing and cannot be rushed because politics demands certainty.

As I said, you are looking with a very narrow view that it must be this singular possibility with this single possible outcome. There is far more chance that your guess is wrong than your guess being right.

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Re: Doing the Warmist shuffle

"So the very narrow view that it must be Co2 even though the reality refuses to do as the models predict is supposed to be right"

The world has warmed over the last few decades, despite a cooling Sun.

The question is what caused the warming? The best explanation is that it is largely or even entirely caused by rising greenhouse gas levels, the primary component being CO2.

So that's a single question with a great answer.

The alternative, skeptic, position is much worse. They have two questions.

1) How can the enhanced greenhouse effect from the rising CO2 NOT have caused the observed warming?

2) What did cause the warming instead?

Neither of which have a good answer.

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