back to article Washout 2012 summer, melty Greenland 'nothing to do with Arctic ice or warm oceans'

Last summer was a washout for us Brits, and indeed top meteorologists are meeting at the moment to find out just why. Some other odd things happened last year, too: exceptionally large areas of the Greenland ice sheet surface melted, as did record amounts of the Arctic ice cap, and ocean temperatures were high. How were all …

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Re: You need around 30 years to be able to talk about climate

I see. Since we're closing in rapidly on the 20 year mark that's been used for the last 30 years, you've moved the goal posts to keep the Warmist faith alive.

Tell you what. I'll see your 30 and raise you another 1000. When you have hard data covering that time period, come back and talk to me again.

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Holmes

Re: You need around 30 years to be able to talk about climate

When you have hard data covering that time period, come back and talk to me again.

Readily available via Google, universities and top research centers worldwide.

Maybe you've heard of them?

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“The next five-10 years will reveal whether or not 2012 was a rare event..."

In other words - Looking forward we can look forward to to some forward looking mispredictions of the future based on backward looking research.

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Climate models?

Climate models aren't doing a good job of prediction at the moment. I wonder if those programming them are waiting, hoping that the climate sees sense and goes back to fitting their models, or frantically fiddling with their parameters trying to hind-cast the current hiatus...

So, it's not just the weather that's unsettled, it's the science too. Really? Who knew?

Everything announced from this meeting so far seems to be heavily qualified with statements about uncertainty. Which is what I thought science was always supposed to be about. It's a refreshing change from Sir Paul Nurse and the BBC telling that it was all settled, no argument, no doubt. Whatever happened to Sir Paul? Where is he when we need him?

The trouble is, if it's all that uncertain how do we base policy decisions on this sort of scientific advice?

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Re: Climate models?

You are incorrectly lumping various subjects into one.

That man is changing the climate is settled. The uncertainties are in the precise impacts.

Climate skeptics for example will often acknowledge that a doubling of CO2 will cause 1.2C warming without feedbacks. Human GHG emissions, which include more than CO2, are primed to cause CO2 to more than double, perhaps even quadruple over the next 200 years relative to preindustrial levels. Therefore the total expected warming due to human activity at a minimum even according to climate skeptics is going to be greater than 2C warming. To put that in perspective the 20th century only saw 0.8C warming. So you can see then that even by climate skeptic's understanding human emissions will dominate changes in global temperature over the next two centuries. Of course if we instead go with what the expert scientists think we can expect a lot more than 2C warming.

I am ignoring the skeptics that deny CO2 has any warming effect at all. Even the moderate skeptics think those skeptics are unreasonable.

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Re: Climate models?

I wouldn't dispute that we're changing the climate. Land use, irrigation, soot, aerosols all have an effect as well as CO2. You *cannot* attribute all of the warming to CO2. There's natural variation, the slow rebound from the last ice age *and* anthropogenic effects.

However, Sir Paul and the BBC were quite categoric in that programme. Not only did we understand the *causes* of climate change, but we were also in a position to predict the consequences with enough accuracy for government policy to be based on those predictions, and that to argue otherwise was wrong headed and "anti science".

If expected warming is around the 2c for a doubling, then it's probably in the range where adaptation is going to be better than mitigation. Further increases after that will have less effect as the relationship is logarithmic.

As technology improves both in efficiency of appliances and wide deployment of solar on buildings we'll see CO2 output rate slow, stall and then decline. There's a lot of development work to be done to improve tech we already have. I think recent papers indicating an ECS of around 2c show that there's no need to rush in with immature tech, but have time for a slower less disruptive deployment than we thought 10 years ago.

Good news.

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Anonymous Coward

@NomNomNom

"That man is changing the climate is settled."

Only in your mind and the minds of other true believers.

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Re: Climate models?

I doubt fossil fuels will be undercut sufficiently in price for them to be abandoned under business as usual anytime this century. It has to be a forced decision to leave the fossil fuel reserves in the ground, or else CO2 level will just continue rising.

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Unhappy

Re: @NomNomNom

I've heard that argument before.

"That man and apes evolved from a common ancestor is settled."

Only in your mind and the minds of other believers in evolution.

"That smoking causes lung cancer is settled".

Only in your mind and the minds of other anti-tobacco evangelists.

I very strongly suspect that in fifty years time, there truly WILL be no doubt in the minds of all reasonable people that man caused climate change. Unfortunately, by then, it might well be too late.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @NomNomNom

@Martin:

"I very strongly suspect that in fifty years time, there truly WILL be no doubt in the minds of all reasonable people that man caused climate change. Unfortunately, by then, it might well be too late"

That is a very clever mistake. The climate changes, only the extreme deniers would deny that (they ignore ice ages etc). Man also pollutes with real pollution which has real environmental impact. Those are solid and factual.

That is a long leap away from the current MMCC co2 theory. I am aware that you didnt mention co2 but that is the current devil we pay the church of the greens to save our souls from. But right now we dont know what is doing what and if we are actually doing something wrong/what we are doing wrong.

So I urge you do a dance now which involves waving your hands in the air while sticking your tongue out and over the year you will see the sun/rain/cloud/snow/etc in the UK. And we can now firmly state that your dance did that.

Imagine the above on a world wide scale with little accurate historical data and a bunch of religious nuts who attribute any change/non-change as a sign. I will point out that 50 yrs ago and still now people believe in various gods. Does it make them real?

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Re: Climate models?

NomNomNom wrote: "Climate skeptics for example will often acknowledge that a doubling of CO2 will cause 1.2C warming without feedbacks."

That's what the 'models' predict, although the models didn't predict the recent lack of warming or where the missing heat has gone.

But theoretically (in a glas jar in a lab) increasing CO2 concentration will increase it's effects.

Of course it's got an inverse log effect so we can ramp up CO2 and enjoy the improved harvest yields in the 3rd world without worrying too much about warming!

As an aside, it's odd how you warmists continually spout on about what you think realists think!

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Re: Climate models?

"That's what the 'models' predict"

No the models predict more than 1.2C warming per doubling of CO2.

Climate skeptics (the sane ones) acknowledge 1.2C warming per doubling.

If you deny rising CO2 has a warming effect you are a surrealist.

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Re: Climate models?

> No the models predict more than 1.2C warming per doubling of CO2.

Recent papers have reduced their estimates down to about this.

These papers still insist there's a build up of heat somewhere that can't be found though.

> If you deny rising CO2 has a warming effect you are a surrealist.

In _theory_, or under lab conditions with no other external influences CO2 has a warming effect.

Can you point to any experiments or work to verify how much of an effect this will have in the real world taking convection etc into effect? And I don't mean models, _real_ experiments.

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Re: Climate models?

"Recent papers have reduced their estimates down to about this."

No the estimates are higher than 1.2C

"These papers still insist there's a build up of heat somewhere that can't be found though."

Has been found, in the deep ocean. See:

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

"In _theory_, or under lab conditions with no other external influences CO2 has a warming effect."

The theory is very solid. The idea that an energy imbalance will be solved entirely by convection with no increase in surface temperature is ludicrous.

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Re: Climate models?

> No the estimates are higher than 1.2C

Plenty of recent work has concluded this is about right.

> Has been found, in the deep ocean. See:

> http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

No it hasn't.

Those graphs combine the layers, so 0 -> 2000m contains the heat that's in the 0 -> 700m layer. When separated the upper layer's warmed much more than the lower layers.

Why would you present it like that unless you want to pull the wool over people's eyes?

You haven't addressed the point that the theoretical effects of COs reduce logarithmically with higher concentrations, which will also increase the crop yield in the 3rd world.

There's a good chance the 'optimum' CO2 concentration's double what it is currently anyway.

And what about the fact that CO2 concentration follows temperature (by ~800 years), it's been much higher than it currently is in the past and the fact this didn't lead to runaway warming tends to suggest there are strong negative feed backs at play?

Or does that not fit your narrative that humans are the original sin and the world would be better off without us?

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Re: Climate models?

"Those graphs combine the layers, so 0 -> 2000m contains the heat that's in the 0 -> 700m layer. When separated the upper layer's warmed much more than the lower layers.

Why would you present it like that unless you want to pull the wool over people's eyes?"

That's because originally they were only looking 700m deep, 0->700m. When they looked 0->2000m they found the missing heat. They still show 0->700m to compare to the earlier work. It's not a conspiracy.

"You haven't addressed the point that the theoretical effects of COs reduce logarithmically with higher concentrations"

I have you just didn't understand. I said a doubling of CO2 produces X amount of warming. That's a logarithmic relationship. Each doubling produces X.

"And what about the fact that CO2 concentration follows temperature (by ~800 years), it's been much higher than it currently is in the past"

It hasn't been this high for millions of years and that's because of human emissions.

"it's been much higher than it currently is in the past and the fact this didn't lead to runaway warming"

Actually 55 millions of years ago a large jump in CO2 led to a surge in global temperature.

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Re: Climate models?

"That's because originally they were only looking 700m deep, 0->700m. When they looked 0->2000m they found the missing heat. They still show 0->700m to compare to the earlier work. It's not a conspiracy."

No.

Have you read it, or are you just regurgitating what you've read on 'skeptical' science?

The figure for 0-> 2000m _includes_ the 0->700m values. The surface is warming _much_ faster than the depths. Also note the scary scale on the left to hide the tiny actual temperature increases.

Again why would you do that unless you are trying to pull the wool over peoples eyes?

"I have you just didn't understand. I said a doubling of CO2 produces X amount of warming. That's a logarithmic relationship. Each doubling produces X."

You're right, I mis-read that.

What about the historical fact that C02 levels have lagged temperature by ~800 years? Rising CO2 is an effect, not a cause.

Here's a scathing comment on GCM's by a physicist you might find interesting....

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/6/21/brown-out.html

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Re: Climate models?

"The figure for 0-> 2000m _includes_ the 0->700m values. The surface is warming _much_ faster than the depths. Also note the scary scale on the left to hide the tiny actual temperature increases."

What are you talking about? The units are energy, not temperature. The ocean continues to absorb heat over 0-2000m showing that the Earth is still absorbing energy. Ie the heat is not missing.

"What about the historical fact that C02 levels have lagged temperature by ~800 years? Rising CO2 is an effect, not a cause."

Oh come off it you must know that claim is BS. CO2 is both an effect and a cause, unless of course you are denying CO2 is a greenhouse gas now?

"Here's a scathing comment on GCM's by a physicist you might find interesting"

He makes howlers. He doesn't understand GCMs. Find someone who has a clue.

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Re: Climate models?

> What are you talking about? The units are energy, not temperature

Yes, if the scale was temperature everyone would wonder what all the fuss was about (it's a tiny increase).

That energy scale makes things look much scarier.

You said the missing heat " Has been found, in the deep ocean. See:"

The paper you pointed to shows that the 0-> 700m layer has warmed massively more than lower levels. This is known about and accounted for in the 'models'. This isn't the missing heat.

""What about the historical fact that C02 levels have lagged temperature by ~800 years? Rising CO2 is an effect, not a cause.""

"Oh come off it you must know that claim is BS"

In what way? Do you have any references to back up this claim?

"He makes howlers"

An example being?

"He doesn't understand GCMs"

No, he's too rooted in the real world.

"Find someone who has a clue."

He looks like he should know what he's talking about...

http://fds.duke.edu/db/aas/Physics/rgb

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Anonymous Coward

It just shows

We really dont understand climate nor do we have enough reliable data to have certainty. The really good news is that scientists will not run out of work any time soon.

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Our opinion is that we don't have an opinion

I just read what Sheffield and it's professor had to say twice and basically they are saying they don't know if the current IPCC model is correct or adequate and they don't know why last summer was what it was, I don't know why they bothered saying anything if they have nothing to say.

Of course while they were studying last summer, the worst winter in 50 years was taking place so they probably weren't able to factor that in either.

The climate is always changing over geological time but how much of that change is down to man currently is still hard to say and ten years or thirty of satellite observation is not enough.

If you really want to know what the weather and climate is doing; go outside for five minutes and have a look.

Personally I think that climate change ( global warming) is taking place to some degree ( putting more energy into the system can raise temperature or make things more energetic as in hurricanes wind and rain or snow) and that humans may be having some influence in a detrimental way but whether it is or not we should still try to be responsible in how we live and use this planets resources otherwise our descendants will find it useful to be able to speak Dolphin.

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Re: Our opinion is that we don't have an opinion

"We don't know enough to say" is a more useful scientific result than claiming to know something in spite of evidence to the contrary and proven theories that suggest otherwise, or fitting the evidence to fit what you want it to show. It just means you do more research until you can explain it. It doesn't mean "oh, let's give up, we'll never know".

If you really want to know what the weather and climate is doing; go outside for five minutes and have a look.

You are confusing weather and climate. Going outside and looking for five minutes will tell you virtually nothing about climate or climate change or the theories about climate.

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Happy

Disclaimer

"Past climate and weather is no guide to the conditions in the future"

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Re: Disclaimer

Although the cynic in me would say that say that "assume the opposite of any Met Office pronouncement on long term weather" probably stands a better than chance probability of being near.

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Still pursuing his agenda

Interesting juxtaposition of headline and subheader:

'nothing to do with Arctic ice or warm oceans'

Could have been 'natural variability'

Lewis can always be relied upon to pick the most optimistic scenario.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Still pursuing his agenda

@Thought About IT:

"Lewis can always be relied upon to pick the most optimistic scenario."

Which shows how uneven the debate is. The extremists on the other side who know its MMCC co2 theory and we all gonna fry get to make policy no matter how many of their claims are disproved as bull. Yet the optimist is picked on.

Whats even funnier is that anyone in the middle ground get lumped in as optimists too because only the extreme and doom singing is allowed. And people thought we as a species had advanced from the religious blindness. Yet easy answers is all that anyone seems to want.

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Re: Still pursuing his agenda

"The extremists on the other side who know its MMCC co2 theory and we all gonna fry get to make policy"

Err, no. The lobbyists for the fossil fuel industries get to make policy, no matter how often their claims are disproved as bull

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Facepalm

Re: Still pursuing his agenda

"The extremists on the other side who know its MMCC co2 theory and we all gonna fry get to make policy no matter how many of their claims are disproved as bull."

If that were really true, then what we would already have in place would be a simple carbon tax that adds the externalities of CO2 production back to the cost. Instead, what we really have is a mish-mash of cap-and-trade and subsidies that hardly have any effect on CO2 emissions and whose real effect is to line the pockets of wind-farm owners.

If policy were really made by MMCC wonks, then last summer the EU would have gone through with reducing the cap on it's cap-and-trade program, and would have forced through it's plan to have all airlines operating in EU airspace to offset their CO2 generation, a plan that got shot down in flames.

The people who really get to make policy are big business and their proteges. No serious legislation against climate change will EVER be implemented if it is negatively affecting the bottom line of big business, and every attempt to legislate against climate change is hijacked by these interests and twisted around into yet another way thy can make more money.

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WTF?

Re: Still pursuing his agenda

> The lobbyists for the fossil fuel industries get to make policy

Yes, I notice that every time I fill my car with petrol. All those tax breaks!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Still pursuing his agenda

@James Micallef

"If that were really true, then what we would already have in place would be a simple carbon tax that adds the externalities of CO2 production back to the cost."

Why? The policies in place are the ones fought for by the screaming unthinking. We have massive investment in windfarms although they have been outright demonstrated as useless. Yet I might even get a few comments explaining how wonderful this thing is even though it is not carbon neutral nor succeeds at its primary purpose. But it is the believers who want it.

You are right that the policies are made by big business but they just need to claim a new miracle cure for the masses to campaign for. The policy is made by the loud nutter shouting about the end of the world. And as with religions there are the heads of the religion getting rich.

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Re: Still pursuing his agenda

@AC "The policies in place are the ones fought for by the screaming unthinking"

No, the screaming unthinking just shout "something must be done", and they will accept any policy that is marketed to them artfully, whatever the real implications of said policy.

Thinking environmentalists want direct taxes on externalities. It's not even about CO2 or global warming specifically, it's about any form of pollution. For example, factory makes money and produces toxic wastes which it dumps in the river / groundwater / atmosphere instead of correctly processing it to dispose safely, because dumping it is free* and processing it expensive. So essentially the factory is increasing its profit by increasing the external costs to the rest of society.

The pollution needs to be taxed at a level high enough that it's cheaper for the factory to dispose of the waste safely than to pay the tax, otherwise they will just go on polluting and paying the tax, if that is cheaper to them (and I anyway wouldn't trust any government to use the tax revenues to clean up the pollution instead of just being swallowed up in the general accounts).

Of course when considering CO2 the question that need to be asked is - what is the aggregate cost of adding so much CO2 in the atmosphere? No one has a genuine clue about what this could be. For 'alarmists' such as IPCC the cost is tremendous, for 'minimalists' like Lewis Page, the cost is less than the cost of implementing countermeasures**.

* free for the factory of course, its is actually very costly in terms of health and quality of life to the population in general

**my understanding of LP's position from many of his articles are that he acknowledges that CO2 increase is man-made and that there are some climate consequences to that but that cost-benefit is still in favour of going ahead as we are. Mr Page please correct me if I'm wrong!

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Re: Still pursuing his agenda

"We have massive investment in windfarms although they have been outright demonstrated as useless. Yet I might even get a few comments explaining how wonderful this thing is even though it is not carbon neutral nor succeeds at its primary purpose."

Your wish is my command. Windfarms are not carbon neutral, they are even better, carbon negative.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Still pursuing his agenda

@NomNomNom:

"Your wish is my command. Windfarms are not carbon neutral, they are even better, carbon negative."

I will grant that I didnt see that coming. I didnt think anyone (not in an asylum) still believed that. Do you also believe that elvis is still alive? Or that the earth is only a few thousand years old?

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Re: Still pursuing his agenda

I believe it because it's scientific fact.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Still pursuing his agenda

@NomNomNom

"I believe it because it's scientific fact."

What you consider fact and what I consider fact are very different. Just as what a priest claims is fact and what I accept as fact differ.

Of course this applies regardless of which you believe in-

a) Windfarms are carbon negative

b) Elvis is still alive

c) The earth is only a few thousand years old?

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Re: Still pursuing his agenda

"A paedophile has more DNA in common with a crab than with a human being and that's scientific fact. There's no evidence for it but it's SCIENTIFIC FACT." - Neil Fox, Brass Eye Paedogeddon Special

Or I could have said [citation needed].

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Re: Still pursuing his agenda

Windfarms ARE carbon negative.

I have no frickin idea why you think otherwise.

Let alone why you think they aren't even carbon neutral!

Here's the deal: Windfarms offset power sources that emit carbon. That is with more windfarms you reduce the total CO2 emitted per MWh generated.

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Headmaster

Re: Still pursuing his agenda

Strictly speaking, at the point of installation, a windmill is carbon-positive, and gradually moves down through carbon-neutral and into carbon-negative as its energy production offsets the energy it cost to produce in the first place.

Unless it was built completely using non-carbon energy, which I find to be highly unlikely unless it was built in France using nuke power

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Still pursuing his agenda

@NomNomNom:

"Windfarms ARE carbon negative.

I have no frickin idea why you think otherwise.

Let alone why you think they aren't even carbon neutral!

Here's the deal: Windfarms offset power sources that emit carbon. That is with more windfarms you reduce the total CO2 emitted per MWh generated."

Now the fun begins. I urge you to compare the amount of land it takes to make a single gas power station with the space needed to produce the same energy from a wind farm. That land is effectively destroyed of much of its natural habitat (I hope you understand this far).

This bit is very important. We can either have the gas power station OR the wind farm AND gas power station. This is because the wind farm dont work without wind. And wind is not guaranteed. It seems to be more effective at night, when it is pretty useless and when there is too much wind the turbines are stopped too. So extra destroyed land + inefficient operation of a gas plant vs a gas plant.

Obviously there is carbon cost of setting up a farm is needed for transport/construction/etc and then additional for the gas power plant. Also the extra infrastructure to connect it to the grid. Then you must account for increased maintenance at the gas plant for inefficient running and maintenance of the wind farm itself (that barely produces power remember).

I am not sure how many parts/materials must be brought from overseas which have their own carbon cost. Etc.

So in a strict sense of how much power it might produce in total might somehow move towards carbon neutral but since it produces little energy and often not at the right time (and when the wind is right) that as per usable energy it is highly doubtful. Since it was acknowledged a while ago that wind farms seriously underperformed it then surely makes sense that we do away with the wind farm and use the gas power plants which are required to produce the shortfall. And the gas plant then reduces the cost, maintenance and I suspect the co2 output.

So in co2 cost we have 1 gas power plant or-

Extra land destroyed + inefficiently run gas power plant (+ increased maintenance) + cost of gas power plant anyway + cost of shipping, transport, materials + cost of making the turbines + infrastructure to connect to the grid = under performing the low expectation of power output.

Obviously in both scenarios you need to make a gas power plant and connect it to the grid, so this is mainly to highlight the additional co2 cost. But financially its nuts too.

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FAIL

Bit late aren't they?

About 90 years or so. Met Office discovers NAO. Hold the presses.

They might even get round to the PDO and AMO in another 10 years.

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Shrinkage

The circle of illumination shed by these articles continues to diminish. I suppose it's inevitable; if Lewis is to retain any slight resemblance to coherency then he's doomed always to ignore more.

Jennifer Francis et al, much?

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Unhappy

Whinge

Been back on holiday in England and rained on for four 'English summers' in a row now. Last year 12 rainy days out of 14. There isn't going to be a 5th year this time.

What happened to having sunburnt brown grass everywhere? Used to be loads of it around SE England when I was a kid in the 1980s..... ~~~Wibble ~~~~Wobble~~~~~ Pink Rosey Specs Time..... Ohhh wasn't it better when I was a lad....

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Energy vs Temperature

Is it only me that hates the continual references to temperature? Yes I understand that it's an easier concept to grasp but underneath it all less energy is being dumped from blue marble. This energy is likely to have unpredictable consequences as the system becomes more chaotic.

But I do like Lewis's scepticism!

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Meh

What if .....

We are in the midst of a battle between natural forces, which are all ready to herald the arrival of the next glacial period, and human / industrial GHG emissions. The conflicting forces are embroiled in a battle of wills right up there above our heads and we are simply suffering the fallout of all this turmoil. Demonstrating that we really have managed to bung a reasonably large stick in the spokes of mother natures wheels, that's my take on it. We see increasingly shorter, more extreme, weather events, (both hot and cold) which, I would say, indicate such turmoil.

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Alien

Ming

All this stuff has nothing to do with CO2, artic melting, el-nino/la nina, cows farting or too many brown/yellow people.

It's Ming the Merciless screwing with us.

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Mushroom

With this

and the MET office panic meeting to work out why we are not all boiling in our own juices really does highlight is that scientific understanding of climate is still extremely low.

What is becomming clear is that the IPCC might as well pull its predictions out of the arse of a magic elephant given the complete lack of accuracy to date.

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Pint

"...may indicate a deficiency in these models."

The models leave out many unknowns, some of which will be the 6th power of something else. It's 'Chaos' taken to the highest level.

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Global climate "science" isnt science

because you cant experiment on it like you can with tadpoles and atoms and god help us if they could. climate science is just observation really.

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Re: Global climate "science" isnt science

Actually you can get a fair bit of real since out of just observational science. Astronomy would be the prime example here. But it does require that what you are engaged in is actual science as opposed to using government mandates to spread your gaia worshiping with Bill Murray al a Ghost Busters acting as your front man (i.e. "Back off man, I'm a scientist.").

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Re: Global climate "science" isnt science

Actually a lot of astronomy is hypothesis. It has made a lot of predictions which can and have been tested with further observations. Climate "science" predictions from the 1990s on the other hand have completely failed. viz. lack of any global warming over the past decade.

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