back to article Vanished global warming may not return – UK Met Office

There hasn't actually been any global warming for the last fifteen years or so - this much is well known. But is this just a temporary hiccup set to end soon? A new report from the UK's weather bureau says it just might not be. The Met Office boffins believe that, yes, a long-expected El Nino is at last starting up in the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For the UK this winter it may actually be colder due to a weaker than normal Gulf Stream.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Strangely, none of the commonly referenced temperature records seem to support Lewis's comments on the "absence" of global warming. At best it slowed down a bit. You can compare them all here:

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Lewisis OPINION not supported by facts

        colour me surprised!

        1. Trixr Bronze badge

          Re: Lewisis OPINION not supported by facts

          Yeah, wish they would stop filing these under "Science", and make a category called "Lewis and Orlowski's More Crackpot Rants". Then I can just skip 'em.

          At least that leaves more than 80% of the Reg as decent reading.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So Vogon, you put your faith in adjusted records rather than actual raw data.

        That is the equivalent of me, who lives up a mountain that has snow for 7 months of the year, having my temperatures adjusted upwards because down on the flatland 150 km away their temperatures are higher than mine there my records must be wrong, hence the upward adjustment. That sort of adjustment is utter bullshit and those making it should be called out for doing so.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          "So Vogon, you put your faith in adjusted records rather than actual raw data."

          Sure do, as anyone with a basic understanding of statistics would know that multiple records are often meaningless without being baselined or homogenised. The raw data and the reasons for adjustments are generally a matter of public record. A good example is here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/FAQ.html#q216

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            In physics if you do an experiment and some of the results appear to be wrong, you would normally eliminate them, rather than adjust them to match your theory. You would then redo your experiment. In climate science, the technique seems to be to change the data to what you think it should probably be. Based on how you 'feel' about it.

            1. chris 17 Bronze badge

              @AC

              "In physics if you do an experiment......"

              in any science you calibrate your test equipment before you start and again at the end and record any offsets. Many (hundreds, thousands, millions etc) experiments are conducted to ensure accuracy and to infer baselines that can be used to tune any errant results seen in some of the many experiments conducted. It is normal to do this, especially when remotely sensing, as how else will you re calibrate your remotely deployed sensors?

            2. TheVogon Silver badge

              "In physics if you do an experiment and some of the results appear to be wrong, you would normally eliminate them".

              No, you would repeat the measurement and see if the "appearance" was consistent, and if it was then try and find out why.

              "climate science, the technique seems to be to change the data to what you think it should probably be"

              The raw data is available and demonstrates much the same trends, regardless of if you agree with the methodology of subsequent changes.

              "never understood why we are sinking so many resources into trying to reverse a planet-wide natural cycle "

              What is happening at the moment certainly isn't natural unless you consider the actions of man in that category - and the difference is the time scale - over tens of thousands of years, humans and other species can potentially adapt with relatively little cost and disruption. If the same changes happen in a matter of decades, the impact is likely much more significant.

            3. fitzsubs

              You would be incorrect.

              "In physics if you do an experiment and some of the results appear to be wrong, you would normally eliminate them, rather than adjust them to match your theory. You would then redo your experiment. In climate science, the technique seems to be to change the data to what you think it should probably be. Based on how you 'feel' about it."

              You are quite incorrect. The larger part of the decision about how to handle outliers in raw data depends on the nature of the experiment. If you have all the time and money in the world and are conducting a controlled laboratory experiment then the choice may be to redo the experiments. Unfortunately, the Earth and it's environment isn't an ideal controlled experiment.

              A second issue is that, in fact, the laboratory experiments definitively prove that the addition of GHG to the atmosphere raises temperature. The absorption spectrum of CO2, methane and other GHG are well established without any raw GMT data. CO2 and other GHG are identical in nature as they are in the lab.

              A third issue is simply that the raw data does, in fact, prove that the global mean air and sea surface temperature has increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution and the use of fossil fuels. And this increase is caused by CO2 and other GHG.

              The goal of homogenization of the raw data is primarily to deal with the lack of controls in the weather stations. One of the largest issues is that weather stations are not nicely spaced about the globe. If you were measuring the temperature in your house, with one room containing two thermometers while others has only one, each room being of different sizes, simply taking the average of the raw data will not yield a precise and accurate mean. If each thermometer is of a different manufacture and construction, they are not likely to be all yielding the same number given the same conditions. All in all, the goal of homogenization is to achieve the most precise measure of GMT given the lack of laboratory control.

              In a perfect and ideal world, you would be right. Unfortunately, in the real world, science has to deal with real data and doesn't have the luxury of simple re-running the experiment (the year 1959 has come and gone. Science can't rewind the clock.) or throwing out measurements because they aren't good enough (measuring a bucket of water hauled up over the side of a ship is not the same as measuring the temperature at the intake of the ships cooling system.)

              In a perfect world, you would be right. Real scientists have to do real science in a real world.

      3. Chris Fox

        Absence of significance is not absence

        Scientists have a habit of saying things like "there was no significant rise in the given period". Unfortunately Lewis, and the Daily Mail etc. interpret this as "no rise in the given period". What it actually means is "there was a rise, but there is greater than 0.05 probability that this was due to random variation or measurement error over the (relatively brief) given period." For a journalist to misrepresent this suggests either incompetence, or dishonesty.

        In the case of climate, mean temperatures are rising, and they are statistically significant increases over suitably long periods. If you measure the water depth on an incoming tide sufficiently frequently you will find numerous intervals where there is no statistically significant increase in the water level (and indeed periods over which the water level drops). Only a fool would belief this means the tide is not coming in, and only a quack scientist or click-bait journalist would argue that this disproves the existence of tides.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Absence of significance is not absence

          A clear-eyed look at the data shows a slight fall for the last ten years, no rise for over eighteen. Brett

      4. enormous c word

        IceAge

        As I understand it, we're on the down-curve of the last IceAge, I never understood why we are sinking so many resources into trying to reverse a planet-wide natural cycle that takes thousands of years and have repeated hundreds of times of billions of years (you know the story of king Canute ordering the incoming tide to recede) when we should be preparing for the inevitabile...

        1. BPeterF

          Re: IceAge

          The weasel-wording "climate change" is a convenient way to keep a backdoor open for all wary believers in the weather-related, most recent and biggest, religion to backslide out through, as need be. ;-)

      5. mikebartnz

        The Vogon

        You are assuming the temperature records are in fact of sufficient quality and also that all the adjustments that have been made to them are in actual fact done correctly. There are serious doubt about both of those but we will probably know more when the investigation has been completed.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Cold winter is quite likely

      It does look like.

      I saw wooper swans heading south above the Southern part of the UK last week. They were not even stopping here to overwinter as usual and were continuing further south beyond their normal winter grounds which is definitely some food for thought (like the thought of budgeting for central heating overhaul and winter tyres).

    3. N13L5

      Global warming was just a Hoax

      Nothing but a precursor to being able to send you a monthly bill for the air you breathe.

      And of course a way to stop you from breathing illegally if you can't pay.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Article based on report from a government agency

    Is this going to prevent Lewis Page bashers from indulging in their favorite activity ?

    Don't think so.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Alert

      Re: Article based on report from a government agency

      Is anything going to prevent Lewis Page from indulging his favourite activity ?

      Don't think so.

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Article based on report from a government agency

      To be fair Lewis does have an annoying habit of leaning more heavily on his own biases than on actual data, and when he does use actual data he has an annoying habit of cherry picking it. But I find that's true of just about everyone who takes an active role in the climate change discussion, regardless of which side of the debate they find themselves on.

      In this particular instance I find myself in a rare agreement with him. All the raw data I've seen (far from a complete set, but comprising of some very important factors) indicates a strong possibility that we're in for cooler weather over the next few years. Though take that with a grain of salt. Climate is just too complex with too many variables to be putting too much stock in any kind of long term predictions involving it.

      1. Trixr Bronze badge

        Re: Article based on report from a government agency

        Tell that to us antipodeans who are girding our loins for a mega-whopper El Nino this year.

        Guess what - the weather in one part of Northern Europe actually doesn't mean it applies to the rest of the world.

        And guess what - a slight dip in global averages for a few years does not actually mean the trend is abating significantly. OK, maybe it *does* potentially mean that, but that is not the conclusion being drawn in the report.

      2. John Hughes

        Re: Article based on report from a government agency

        All the raw data I've seen (far from a complete set, but comprising of some very important factors) indicates a strong possibility that we're in for cooler weather over the next few years.
        What do you mean by "we"? If you're talking about the UK, then as the Met office point out you might be right, if you're talking about global average temperatures over a reasonable period then not a fucking chance.

        1. rakooi

          Re: Article based on report from a government agency

          We have been in a Weak Solar Energy Cycle for nearly 60 years, perhaps you could explain why we have not had YOUR predicted cooling ?...or, as some of you fellow denialists are predicting, a mini ice age..... as we enter a cycle of increased sun spot and solar energy releases....PLUS we are entering a huge El Nino event.......

          ....WHAT POSSIBLE DATA do you have for a prediction of a cooling trend?

          Instead we have had steadily increasing temperatures....no pause....higher temperatures

          ....

          Point of fact, the LAST Global COLD record was set in 1911 !

    3. pjclarke

      Re: Article based on report from a government agency

      Erm ... read the report, then read Lewis's traducing of it, then see how true your 'based on' is. I'll give you a hint:

      While global surface warming slowed from the end of the 20th century, our best estimates

      of global mean temperature for 2015 are at or near record levels, and this is consistent

      with climate predictions for similarly high values that we made last year

      (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2014/2015-global-temp-forecast). Record or near

      record temperatures last year and so far this year, along with the expected warming

      effects of El Niño, mean that decadal temperature trends are likely to increase.

  3. Your alien overlord - fear me

    So, this AMO randomly happens over decades. Basically since apart from a few Americans, the Atlantic is bigger than humans and it looks like it does what it wants to, when it wants to.

    An idea, top of the head, just thrown out there - get BP to spill a bit more oil in the sea and rather than clean it up, set fire to it. That'll warm the Atlantic and bring back summer to the UK.

    Who needs to be a trained boffin with ideas like that :-)

  4. BoldMan

    What I find amusing here is that from exactly the same report the BBC come up with a diametrically opposed conclusion:

    "Next two years hottest, says Met Office"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34226178

    I think this says more about the relative biases of the reporters rather than the factual content of the report :)

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @ BoldMan

      I was reading that too. It will be interesting to see what happens and who is correct.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re:who is correct.

        not holding my breath.

        <rejected>

    2. Def Silver badge

      I read that BBC article yesterday too.

      While the title was a bit alarmist and concerning, it did go on to say that while the growing El Niño and PDO in the Pacific will cause overall temperature increase, the AMO in the Atlantic entering a cooling period right now might cause a slight cooling in Europe.

      It concluded that as of right now, the researchers don't know for sure whether the AMO will be sufficient to counter the combined effects of the PDO and El Niño.

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        The effect of the last 10 strongest En Ninos on UK winter weather has been near zero.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "The effect of the last 10 strongest En Ninos on UK winter weather has been near zero."

          ...but nonetheless devastating for some South American and Antipodean countries...

          The net effects of El Niño across the Northern and Southern hemispheres is therefore "bad".

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

    Last year as measured by temperatures was the hottest year on record since record keeping began. The year before that was the hottest on record since record keeping began. And the year before that was the hottest on record since record keeping began. Record highs for a day of the year are all skewed toward the present with record temperatures for a day of the year being broken every day.

    What piece of work are you referring to and who is admitting it when you say global warming in terms of temperatures (were we ever talking in terms of anything else?) stopped.

    1. Mike Street

      Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

      Last year as measured by temperatures was the hottest year on record since record keeping began.

      No, it wasn't. Even NASA was forced to admit that there was only a 38% chance of it having been the hottest. Less than 50%, in other words. Error bars, dear boy, error bars.

      And the satellite temperature records continue to show no warming throughout their entire record. Only 1998 was an anomaly, due to that year's El Nino. Another El Nino is currently ramping up.

      All of these - El Nino, La Nina, AMO, PDO etc. are simply natural variations. No upward (or downward) trends are apparent.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

        Yes it was - what NASA said was that it was probably the warmest but not by much. You can't pick and choose and decide that you will compare the mean in one year with the error bar in the next, Consistency, dear boy, consistency.

        And equally - satellite temperature trends are inline with surface temperature trends - the only way to get 'no trend' is to ignore known instrument errors or conflate stratospheric and tropospheric measurements.

        1. mikebartnz

          Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

          They make that claim and yet they are talking about a measure of warming that is even less than the margin of error.

          They say that the temperature has risen 0.8C since 1880 and yet tell me how many temperature readings back in 1880 would have been accurate to a tenth of a degree as it would have been lucky for it to have been accurate to a single degree taking into account human error.

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

        "No, it wasn't."

        It's significantly more likely that it was than it wasn't

        "Even NASA was forced to admit that there was only a 38% chance of it having been the hottest. Less than 50%, in other words. Error bars, dear boy, error bars."

        NASA published the probabilities of error on day 1 with the initial claims. What the 38% actually means is stated here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/01/23/sorry-skeptics-nasa-and-noaa-were-right-about-the-2014-temperature-record/

        "2014 was the hottest year on record. Not with absolute certainty — just with enough of it for an imperfect world."

      3. John Hughes

        Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

        And the satellite temperature records continue to show no warming throughout their entire record.

        Why bother posting rubbish like this? It's so easy for people to check it out.

        RSS: Trend: 0.122 ±0.067 °C/decade (2σ)

        UAH: Trend: 0.142 ±0.068 °C/decade (2σ)

        Why are you so interested in a dodgy calculated proxy for a temperature in the lower troposphere anyway? I happen to live on the surface of the earth, not in the troposphere.

        1. Fading Silver badge

          Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

          So 200 years needed before the dreaded 2 degrees (invented figure by an economist) is reached?

          Why are we concerned again?

          1. John Hughes

            Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

            Why are we concerned?

            Do you live in the lower troposphere? I don't.

            Do you "measure" temperature by examining microwave radiation from a satellite then running huge spaghetti FORTRAN programs to calculate a number? I tend to use a thermometer.

            Do you not know that we've already passed one degree, so it wouldn't take 200 years even if you assume the dodgy satellite data is the true picture.

            1. Fading Silver badge

              Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

              It has passed 1 degree since the beginning of the industrial revolution (though technically "Mann" can only be blamed since 1950) so we have only 100 years to save the earth from being slightly more pleasant .... again why worry?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

              "Do you live in the lower troposphere? I don't."

              Unless you live at the top of Everest, yes you do. The lower troposphere happens to be in contact with the surface, or weren't you aware of this?

              "Do you "measure" temperature by examining microwave radiation from a satellite then running huge spaghetti FORTRAN programs to calculate a number? I tend to use a thermometer."

              And you would tend to have very large margins for error. Since when is taking readings at specific points better than observing the average temperature across a large area all at once? Oh yeah, I forgot. It's when those surface readings are skewed high by local urban heating. Who needs those lying satellites when a "trusty" thermometer is all we need?

              "Do you not know that we've already passed one degree, so it wouldn't take 200 years even if you assume the dodgy satellite data is the true picture."

              From when to when? You are aware that the Earth has been recovering from a rather cold period for the last 150 years? Didn't most of that that one degree rise occur over an entire century when warming was to be expected? Excuse me for not panicking, but your fear-mongering is somewhat lacking in punch.

              1. TheVogon Silver badge

                Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

                "You are aware that the Earth has been recovering from a rather cold period for the last 150 years?"

                No - do tell us more?

                "Didn't most of that that one degree rise occur over an entire century when warming was to be expected? "

                Nope. Or at least not unless you allowed for AGW.

            3. itzman

              Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

              Of course one uses a thermometer.

              Carefully sited at an airport in direct line of the apron where the big jets rev up.

              How else are you gonna get 'global warming'

              Without invoking a single tree ring from an obscure tree found only in outer mongolia.

              Or measuring the intake water of ship engines travelling in shipping lanes behind other ships..

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

            2 degrees. But we are warned we wont be able to leave our houses because of the heat. Our hair will catch fire and all the plants will be burned to a crisp. This is the hysteria we read every day.

            Think about this. Last night it was 9 degrees, today it is 15 degrees. That is a difference of 6 degrees. However when I went outside, all the plants were fine. The grass was not on fire, birds were not dropping from the sky - explain that?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

              Lucky you, you live somewhere temperate. Lots of people don't and lots of the world isn't. Add your 2 degrees, or last nights 6 degrees to a glacier at -1 degree and things change. That 6 degrees in moderate humidity will take you from uncomfortable 40 degrees to a dangerous 46 degrees.

          3. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

            "So 200 years needed before the dreaded 2 degrees (invented figure by an economist) is reached?"

            Even if that was true (which it isn't - we are looking near certain to reach level of rise by the end of this century) - does that somehow make it OK?! We are still talking about an unavoidable sea level rise of 6 metres or maybe much more over the long term.

            1. rakooi

              Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

              Even nations totally dependent upon oil....understand the Existential Threat of man made Global Warming.

              Headlines:

              "Islamic Leaders Call For Phasing Out Global Fossil Fuels"

              by Jack Jenkins Aug 18, 2015 9:48am

              ***Warming atmosphere....warms the oceans leading, by itself, to raise sea levels ((with TRILLIONS of dollars of infrastructure; ports & port cities, RR, airports etc))

              ***Warming atmosphere....melts ice sheets and glaciers world wide and raising sea levels....threatening 100-150 million people who live within 3 feet of sea level.

              Headlines:

              " Friday, Jun 19, 2015 10:39 AM CST

              Alaska’s climate hell: Record heat, wildfires and melting glaciers signal a scary new normal

              The Arctic state is battling two major blazes against a backdrop of rapid warming "

              ***Warming atmosphere from man made global warming leads to vast areas of the earth turning into deserts....The Amazon is well on its way to being a desert....the Asian deserts are increasing....while Northern Africa is actually Greening A Bit.

        2. mikebartnz

          Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

          Because it is the troposphere which is meant to show global warming because of Co2.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

        As measured by 'temperature' it was also the coldest year on record. Depends on what 'temperature' you mean.

    2. Martin
      Happy

      ...and why the biased article title?

      You're new here, aren't you.

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