15 posts • joined Monday 20th February 2012 14:33 GMT
It's only a model
I thought El Reg didn't like computer models of climate? Unless they produce results they actually like....
Anyway, I think the biggest issue with the paper is that they have inadequate data for the ocean heat component. A large amount of heat is going into the oceans, but we can't quantify that very well, so I think it's premature to make any great claims based on this paper, since there's obviously a large heat component that's simply missing from their analysis. It's likely that their estimate for sensitivity is an underestimate.
Can we get a 'oh no, not again' image?
The usual Lewis cherry-picking has omitted Stott's quote: "the first decade of the 21st century was the warmest on record".
And not one but two references to 1998, which is quite impressive in such a short piece.
Here's a suggestion for a new Register catchphrase: "Statistics? We've heard of it."
Re: Impartiality about what?
"17 years and counting of no warming..."
Oh please, the last decade was warmer than the previous one, which was warmer than the decade before that. If you look at the instrumental record, the last 11 years have all been in the 12 warmest years. 17 years ago was what, 1995? Ever year but one since then was warmer. 2010 was a La Nina year, and it's the second warmest year on record! You can repeat denialist memes all you want, but they're not true, and the planet is going about its business regardless.
You can't be convinced, it's just the adult equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and going, "la la la, I'm not listening." Carbon isotope ratios in the atmosphere indicating that fossil fuel emissions cause the recent CO2 increases? The anomalous rises in CH4 and CO2 over the past few thousands years being completely different to the trends in the other interglacials? The complete lack of natural climate drivers? Solar emissions in the wrong direction? The collapse in Arctic ice? Shifting biomes? The planet's energy balance? Basic thermodynamics?
Credit where credit's due. Even though the motivation is pretty clear...
Re: Impartiality and scientific theories
Judging by the number of times Nigel Lawson appears on Newsnight whenever climate change gets in the news, it's abundantly clear that the minority view is quite well represented on the Beeb.
But why anyone thinks Lawson - with no scientific qualifications or training whatsoever - is worth listening to on this subject, is utterly beyond me. The fact that the prominent opponents of AGW in our media are invariably economists, politicians or Delingpoles - but not scientists - should indicate something of the quality of this minority view.
Being someone who constantly criticises Orlowski and Lewis's climate change articles on here as being misleading, poor quality and ideologically driven, I have to say that this is pretty good journalism (for a change), and poor form on the part of the Beeb. The question of whether AGW is happening is a scientific judgement, and there are far too many advocacy groups and non-scientific specialists on that list. And looking at the composition of the attendees, there's not even the illusion of a debate being held - it's a very one-sided list.
That being said, the Beeb came to the right conclusion. The wealth of evidence is such that there is no good reason to give the opponents of AGW equal time or equal weight, particularly when so much of the opposition has been organised by people specialised in the art of creating doubt. People like Fred Singer constantly exploit the wish of journalists to appear impartial by misrepresenting the state of the science, and claiming scientific differences where the fundamentals are in wide agreement. This isn't about abandoning impartiality, it's about making the best judgement based on the available evidence.
So, kudos to Orlowski and the Reg for this, it's a good piece.
Don't you ever read these papers before posting articles? The paper doesn't claim that peatlands are spreading, only what the potential area might be in Sweden in the absence of human activity. This is in the very first paragraph of the summary, which is the first thing in the paper.
There's a highly speculative claim later in the paper where they consider the idealised maximum extent of global peatlands, and come up with values for carbon sequestration and impacts on radiative warming, but the numbers seem highly unrealistic. That's the only place where the paper discusses the impact on climate - the paper does *not* claim that we're currently being pushed into an ice age.
In the real world, peatlands are decreasing, mainly due to human drainage and clearance activities, with consequent massive release of carbon into the atmosphere. That is quite a different story from that presented in the Reg's article, but that's only to be expected, of course.
Some things never change, and the lack of critical thinking exhibited by Lewis Page in his typically breathless anti-science reporting is one of them.
The Himalayas are around 1million km2. According to Lewis, the area surveyed in the article is only 5,615 km2, which by my reckoning is around half of one percent. So much for Lewis's "vast region"...
Re: @daveje, Re: 9 of the 10 warmest years...
Got a source for that?
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Balance?
1. The natural factors that determine climate have been going in the opposite direction.
2. Paused? 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have been in the last 10 years. The trend is actually higher now than it was ten years ago.
There's no other way to explain the current warming other than CO2. CO2 is both necessary, ie, you can't explain it without it, and sufficient, ie, CO2 all by itself explains the warming.
If you want to explain the current warming without CO2, then you need to do two things. First, find an explanation which actually works - no one has done that yet. Secondly, your explanation needs to be so strong that it overwhelms the known impact of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. That hasn't happened either.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Balance?
I assume you don't understand how dishonest the question was in the first place.
The question was devised by Lubos Motl, a string theorist who also happens to be a pretty vocal climate denier. It was a very specific question, asking about warming from a particular date, and also asking about statistical significance. The fact was that, at the time the question was asked, 1995 was the furthest you could go back and have the warming not be statistically significant. If the start date was 1994, it was. If the question was asked a year later, the warming was also statistically significant.
In short, it was a trick question. Motl already knew the answer, and deliberately crafted the question to get that answer. The whole point was either to catch Phil Jones out as a dishonest scientist (and to Jones's credit, he answered the question completely honestly), or to make a statement that would be read by gullible deniers as some kind of confirmation that global warming wasn't happening.
It's just another example of the typical sleazy and underhand behaviour that climate deniers get up to.
The headline giveth, but the article taketh away. The paper isn't really about climate models, but about ecology.
The Register's obvious anti-science bias on this subject is bad enough, but I would have hoped the Reg's correspondents would have mastered basic reading and comprehension skills. Or is it really just about the page hits?
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