back to article Massive study concludes: 'Global warming is real'

A massively thorough study – funded in part by a pair of US oil billionaires who are opponents of climate-disruption remediation – has come to the conclusion that the earth is, indeed, warming. In fact, it's warming just as much as more-limited studies conducted by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, …

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  1. dave 81
    Flame

    You have missed the fucking point!

    Of course the climate is changing. Its always changing.

    The question that is in doubt is whether its man made, or if there is a damned thing man can do about it.

    Now remove that fucking unfounded climate skeptics dealt a blow line, cause that is total bullshit.

  2. Shakje

    Sadly

    The comments on here are evidence that many skeptics are not simply denying the A of AGW, but the whole shebang, and this study will not affect their beliefs in the slightest.

    "We'd as well be ten minutes back in time, for all the chance you'd change your mind."

    1. peter_dtm
      FAIL

      dead right we doubt the A.

      no one has yet provided a testable repeatable experiment to demonstrate that CO2 (never mind man generated CO2) has the effect on climate that the Hypothesis of AGW say happens.

      To be testable and repeatable a scientist puts all his data; models and calculations out where people can see them (as BEST is doing; but CRU for instance doesn't)

      Then you make a prediction; then you test it. So far AGW hypothesis has made exactly NO predictions that have been found to occur in the real world (though; if you read the Climate Science papers you will see lots and lots of MODELS being used to show CO2 is responsible; but models are NOT reality and don't count). And several predictions that have falsified the models - GIGO if you build a model assuming CO2 is a key; then the model will show CO2 to be the key. That doesn't change reality one little bit (except for the warming caused by all those computer runs of computer models)

      1. Shakje
        Stop

        Read. Think. Reply. Not that difficult is it? Maybe comprehension isn't your strong suit, but I'll answer your irrelevant reply anyway - maybe this time you can actually respond to what I post.

        What you don't seem to get is that evidence which falsifies models is a *good* thing. It's a very good thing. It means that those models can be restructured to take into account the new data as well as the old data and see how well the model predicts the future climate. Do you think any biologist actually assumes that evolution works in exactly the way that Darwin thought it did? What do you think happens when something goes wrong with it? Was it just chucked out or was it refined to actually match the data? What about General Relativity in light of the expanding universe, was it just thrown out immediately? Granted, the constant was already in there, but you get my point.

        Look, if I give you a graph that shows the vertical speed of a thrown ball as it decelerates to the tipping point, and I use a bit of easy maths to predict when it will reach that tipping point, and then you look at all the data and my answer matches it, is that not evidence that the prediction I made was correct and the maths that I used was accurate?

        Now let's say it's a planet, and we take data from a hundred years ago about its position, apply gravitation to it and work out where it will be tomorrow, would that be a valid piece of evidence for the success of gravitation?

        Now let's say we have 50 years of climate data and we build a model using the first thirty years, if the model then correctly predicts the next twenty years within an acceptable error margin, does that not lend credence to the model? Seriously, do you actually think that scientists just sit around all day working out new ways to trick the news and betting on how easy it will be to blame something on climate change? I await your provision of a model that fits the current data without factoring in the increase in CO2, and the published paper that will destroy climate change for good.

  3. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    FAIL

    Cut to the chase

    @AC

    "I think you are missing the point that lots of skeptics are indeed making the point that there is no warming, based on cherry picking figures....

    Is that so?

    I think you will find that NO skeptics have EVER suggested that there has been NO WARMING since the LIA. That would be an impossible position to hold. If you really think that, then provide a cite for ANY skeptic assertion that the Earth has not warmed.

    What skeptic DO say is that:

    - the warming that has happened is less than the warmers claim

    - the cause of the warming is predominantly natural, with man providing a hardly measurable impact

    - the world is currently starting to cool again, also naturally, and no effort by man can alter this

    This recent study is looking at weather station temperatures. These are acknowledged to be a poor method of measuring global temperature, but the best we had until satellites came on line. Now that we have a reasonable run of satellite data, weather station data is of limited value.

    Of particular interest is the way this paper was issued. It was released to the press with a fanfare, and WITHOUT BEING PEER-REVIEWED. This latter point has always been taken by the warmists as a good reason for rejecting papers without reading them, so I wonder why this is being treated as gospel? We already know that there are minor errors in the paper - I will be waiting until the paper survives checking before considering what it says....

    1. NomNomNom

      Well here's one very prominent skeptic doubting there's been any significant warming over the 20th century:

      "“Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and uni-directionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.”" - IIRC that was from the "surface record - policy driven deception" report Anthony Watt's co-authored back in 2010.

      More to the point though, as in the above quote, skeptics have been claiming that the surface records, eg GISTEMP, HadCRUT, etc could not be trusted because they've tampered with the data.

      We knew these skeptic claims were incorrect. The surface records had been independently replicated (by the 3 teams above, plus others) making it virtually certain that the result follows from the recorded station data.

      So along comes BEST, and we all knew it was also going to find the same result. Skeptics were still apparently oblivious however.

      So BEST releases the same results. What happens? Skeptics backpeddle and try to pretend they never made any claims doubting the surface record processing.

      1. peter_dtm
        Mushroom

        you do understand the meaning of the word 'significant ' ?

        as in (from your quote)

        any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.”"

        significant means outside NORMAL range by at least two standard deviations

        What Watts and many skeptics say is ; well you had the quote right :

        any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.”"

        the warming is insignificant; and any warm that may be attributable to man is even more insignificant if it is even measurable.

        But then the AGW crowd all seem to have this significant problem with understanding what the skeptics are saying; and they do so like to TELL us what we are saying. They tell us what we think so often they believe it themselves.

        And the is extreme doubt about how the surface data is manipulated and looked after; would you believe you bank if they just told you that you account was £50000 overdrawn; and no you can't see your statements and no you can't see our calculations. Why do the climate scientist lose/hide the original data; why do they not SHOW they reasons and calculations ? Why do they refuse and fight FOI requests to see the data/calculations ? If you're happy with that state of affairs I have an invoice made out in your name that you need to pay .....

        1. NomNomNom

          "significant means outside NORMAL range by at least two standard deviations"

          If warming is not statistically significant then you can't claim there has been any warming.

          The point is that the surface temperature records show statistically significant warming over the 20th century. So does BEST. BEST confirms that.

          So yes BEST does contradict prior skeptic claims.

  4. Thought About IT

    Business as usual for the "sceptics" ...

    ... who've hardly paused to take breath before WUWT and the GWPF presented them with a new tack to take, now that the heat island effect has been kicked out from under them. Of course, the reason they've come out fighting so hard, now that their safe pair of hands - Richard Muller - has proven to have some scientific integrity after all, is that the logical next step is to confirm that CO2 is the cause. The "sceptics" will continue to deny any such conclusion, but they know that when that happens, it will make their propaganda war much more difficult.

    1. Stef 4
      Facepalm

      Optional Title

      Did you read any of the paper in question?

      They discovered that 2/3 of the temperature stations recorded a temperature rise, while 1/3 recorded that temperatures had gone down.

      So, using your argument: If you get diagnosed by 3 doctors, and 2 of them say you don't have cancer, while the 3rd one says you do have cancer and need it cut out now, you just ignore that 3rd guy and drive home happy? You don't even spend a little time trying to find out what is going on?

      I'm not a sceptic, I happen to believe that we should follow the experts as per Evolution, gravity, and the speed of light. But the comments being thrown around regarding this unpublished, non-peer-reviewed paper are ludicrous. People are acting like a bunch of creationists fawning over a photoshopped picture that they found on Facebook, of Jesus's tomb, complete with Jesus DNA, and a note from his dad with his designs for the Duck Billed Platypus and the Banana.

      How about giving them time to get the paper peer-reviewed and let them correct all the wrong citations, and odd methodology of comparing 'Very Rural stations" against "Very Rural Stations" as proof that there is no UHI. Either they made a typo, or they forgot to include the results which compared the rural to the set WITHOUT the rural. Either way, they rushed to get it out the door and it needs an edit.

      1. NomNomNom

        hmm you are not a skeptic but you use two of their talking points which can only have come from reading skeptic blogs...

        "They discovered that 2/3 of the temperature stations recorded a temperature rise, while 1/3 recorded that temperatures had gone down."

        Overall they find the globe has warmed on average. Just because n% of the land surface has actually cooled, that doesn't mean there's an n% chance the global average has cooled.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone has an opinion

    But only a few 100 scientists world wide who have spent decades studying global warming have ones of any values.

    If my doctor says I have cancer I take his word for it

    If a pilot says he can fly a plane guess it comes down to trust

    If 99.9% of the worlds climate scientists say there is man made global warming guess what it comes down to trust

    I truely despise the everyone is an expert bollocks, some things do have to be taken on trust

    1. Chris Miller

      So, AC, if I stop you in the street and say to you 'I'm a pilot' you'd be happy to climb in behind me and let me take off? Or would you ask to see my ATPL first? Doctors (despite many failings) have a pretty good empirical record of correct diagnosis. But climate 'scientists' take a physical system they don't sufficiently understand, create a computer emulation of it they don't sufficiently understand, backfit it to the historical data and then proclaim that it can tell us our future.

      As JK Galbraith said of economic forecasts, climate science exists to make astrology look respectable.

  6. Apocalypse Later

    Shifting ground

    The terms "climate change" and "global warming" are used like the term "UFO", to shift the ground and misrepresent one position as another.

    Flying saucer enthusiasts use the term UFO to mean extraterrestrial vehicles, even though "unidentified flying objects" are by definition not identified as having any particular origin. Then they point to records by government sources referring to UFOs as proof that flying saucers exist, and that governments are deliberately covering them up. Governmental reports of course only refer to sightings of something which could not be identified.

    The same shift constantly occurs in the use of the "global warming" terms (now more than one term, soon no doubt to be further varied). Enthusiasts incorporate the "human caused" aspect into the term in their conclusion of the argument, but only argue on the temperature rise in establishing the argument. They don't even realise they are being dishonest, as they move seamlessly from one point to the other without understanding that they are distinct and that the link has not been established, at least for those persons they deride as "deniers".

  7. Trevor 3
    Thumb Down

    I don't care

    The Earth's climate is changing. So what? Always has done, always will do.

    I don't care if its man-made or natural or whatever. But what I do understand is this, and its quite simple.

    Burning millions of barrels of oil and junk, and sending resultant crap into the atmosphere is probably a *bad idea*. Or, at the very least, certainly isn't a good idea. That seems obvious to me.

    Instead of spending more money generating more data for more arguments, can't we spend the dosh on trying to find cleaner fuels? Do we need evidence in order just to do that little bit? Is this so hard?

    Does it really matter if the climate is changing or what the cause is? Can't we just have a general tidy up?

    Please?

  8. Josh 15
    FAIL

    Very Disappointed, El Reg...

    This is a pretty shabby story. I doubt you'll find any AGW sceptics prepared to disagree the Earth's climate is on the change. Why would we sceptics disagree with the proven science of our planet's complex and constantly changing climate? It makes no sense for us to do so, in the face of such overwhelming and incontrovertible scientific evidence.

    But proving the Earth's climate is changing is one thing. Proving that mankind's piddling activities might have anything - or nothing - to do with any such measured change is quite another thing. As yet, we have no such proof, none at all - not from one climate scientist, ever.

    I expect better from El Reg. This was a pretty poor, non-objective and blatantly disingenuous piece of so-called reporting. Please play fair on this issue. Sceptics like me do not have our heads buried in the sand - for us, the scientific proof is everything. But we are as angered by smoke and mirrors as the next person. This story does you at El Reg no favours whatsoever.

    1. NomNomNom

      You miss the point. Skeptics have been smearing the surface temperature records for years.

      Allegations have included:

      -Scientists chose a subset of stations to exaggerate warming

      -Scientists removed stations in cold regions (eg siberia) to exaggerate warming (even though this claim makes no sense)

      -Scientists have dishonestly altered the data, "cooking the books" , to produce more warming in recent decades

      -Scientists have altered the data over time to remove the 1970s cooling.

      All these allegations were proven false years ago. Others had already done the checks, just as BEST was able to - the data and methods to produce a surface temperature record have never been hidden (or BEST wouldn't have been able to do it). But a large number of skeptics ignored all this and continued making the claims.

      Ironically it was their very allegations that prompted BEST. I knew what result BEST would find - the same result everyone else had found. Ie all the above skeptic allegations would be shown false. But by that point the skeptics were so deluded that they believed BEST might find something else.

      What skeptics don't like is being proven wrong very publicly. That's all there is to it. If skeptics don't want headlines like "Climate skeptics dealt 'clear and rigorous' blow" then maybe they should have been more careful about their accusations.

  9. Andy Davies
    Headmaster

    - well someone has to say it:

    folks - anthropomorphic is not the word you want.

    1. Metalattakk

      Unless they're thinking of putting wee sweat glands just under the Global Warming skin?

  10. Thought About IT

    Very Surprised, El Reg.

    @Josh 15:

    "Very Disappointed, El Reg..."

    Au contraire, and I never thought I'd be saying this, El Reg (or at least the author of this article) has looked at the evidence and changed its mind. That's the scientific method at work.

    "Proving that mankind's piddling activities might have anything - or nothing - to do with any such measured change is quite another thing. As yet, we have no such proof, none at all - not from one climate scientist, ever."

    I take it your idea of scientific source material is from the likes of WUWT and GWPF. How come, 3 months after the CRU at UEA released all the data that the "sceptics" had been screaming "climategate" about, has not a single one of them found a flaw in their methodology? Answer: because they don't do science, they just do propaganda - and it's astonishingly effective.

    1. Josh 15
      FAIL

      I Beg To Differ...

      Look, all the report appears to confirm is that the world's climate is warming. THAT'S ALL.

      Did I miss the bit where the scientists behind this data categorically state, with factual proof, that mankind is proven beyond all doubt to be behind such a rise?

      'Consensus is not science. Science is not consensus'.

  11. Sarah Davis
    Coat

    Very Old News !!

    I thought it was already established that Global Warming was real on account of anyone with a normal functional brain has witnessed the effects for themselves over the past few years.

    Generally speaking, in any given situation, it's only morons and extremely untrustworthy (or stupid) political figures who try to deny the obvious facts.

    So now normal intelligent people have officially finally been proved right on this matter,... so what? That changes nothing, and we're left in the same situation we were in 15-20 years. The real question is what is to be done, and how soon? (Assuming the Rothschild cartel bank and it's "associates" allow anything to be done, other than start another illegal war on some country that hasn't bought into the western banking system like Iran, Syria, Algeria, North Korea, Sudan, Iceland, and Cuba might be their solution we can pay for with no positive effect for those who aren't stupidly rich).

  12. Chris Glen-smith
    WTF?

    I'd like to see what correlation there is between AGW deniers (hate that accronym btw!) and people who belive in sky fairies.

    After all:

    a. We put billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere by burning carbon that would otherwise have stayed burried.

    b. The concentration on CO2 in the atmoshere has risen.

    Obviously a. has at least contributed to b. so if b. is contributiong to warming then then we are at least partly responsible for the warming.

    What I don't understand is why the deniers are so inststant that we carry on regardless:

    If the "GW Alarmists" are wrong but we go with all the alternative/low carbon tecnology then we've wasted a load of money developing technology - so what, the technology will probably pay for itself and generate jobs * whatever happens.

    If the "Deniers" are wrong and we do nothing then we could be f**cked - another Venus?

    * like the last _waste_ of money - the space race - did

    1. Figgus
      FAIL

      You probably think the Solyndra money paid for itself, too, with all the jobs it created. Take note, however, that each of those 1 year jobs cost 1.1 million dollars in subsidies and I HIGHLY doubt they each paid 1.1 million in taxes.

      "Green" jobs are never efficient, or productive, or cost effective! you might argue they are NECESSARY with some conviction, but any beneficial economic argument for them is doomed to failure.

  13. RobAtAscolti
    FAIL

    You're missing the point

    Nobody is arguing that there is warming. It's the AMOUNT and the CAUSE that's the major debate.

    So this study PROVES NOTHING. And you are reporting on the early draft!

    "About" 1c since 1950 is KNOWN. If we face another 0.5c over the next 50-100 years... SO WHAT!

    It's not worth wrecking the world trying to fix a problem that will have such a relatively small effect. Because while some areas will face higher temperatures, new areas will have rain and cooling.

    So just as "snow" is jumped on by climate skeptics, so is a "straw man argument" leapt upon by zealots ..... and the world keeps turning and so on and so forth.

    1. Bango Skank

      so what?

      Small effect eh?

      Perhaps you think that because daily and annual temperatures swing by far more than that and your body is quite happy to encounter an ambient change of far more than a degree, it therefore can't be a big deal?

      However, there are at least three effects that you might want to think over:

      1. Sea, river, and floodplain levels

      2. Agricultural logistic chains

      3. Pest species

      1. If you look at a map of the world showing population density, one thing stands out very clearly - most of us are very close to water. Our towns and cities tend to fit snugly with rivers, floodplains, and seashore. Even small changes in levels and flooding characteristics means massive infrastructural implications, and the effect of one degree in average global temperature implies significant rather than small changes.

      There will be trillions of dollars of infrastructural changes needed on highways, rail lines, city fronts, and housing and industry located near rivers, sea, or on floodplains.

      2. The whole agro-industrial logistic chain is finely calibrated and built around a climate that has been with us for the last few hundred years. It is no small matter to change what is produced in a particular region and re-tool either for a different agricultural product or to shift the same product production even a few kilometers. A change of but a few degrees implies massive retooling and movement of where crops are viable, where rail lines or ports must be, and where milling, processing, and other functions need to be.

      3. One source of outbreaks is when a pathogen or pest that was contained in one area breaks into a new area. A one degree change in average temperature shifts boundaries by many kilometers, and results in spillover of pathogens into novel terrain. This has dramatic implications for species that have evolved or habituated to specific regions, but it also means that potential vectors will suddenly be exposed to things that link to us. You can look forward to novel outbreaks, often, until new stable patterns of resistance have been established.

  14. Andy3

    That graph only goes back 200 years! and look, there's less than one degree C rise over those 200 years. And The idea that Global Warming is not happening is a bit of a strw man, is it not? Surely the big challenge is 'is it man-made'?

  15. TeeCee Gold badge
    WTF?

    "....funded in part by a pair of US oil billionaires...."

    <crusty eco-tosser>

    Aha, funded by Big Oil!! Obviously a massive con to discredit the ecological movement and the fact that these figures appear to show that the earth is warming proves that it isn't!!!!

    Oh.......hang on........<Head Explodes>

    </crusty eco-tosser>

  16. Jim O'Reilly
    FAIL

    Who dunnit?

    Based on the graph, the background "noise" on global temperatures is substantial, with an oscillation of .75 degrees in just 4 years in the 1810's caused by nature itself. If the record is taken back a bit further, we are just reaching the level in Renaissance times, and there certainly wasn't a CO2 problem then.

    So, the report, and the press, are guilty of making the illogical jump: "It's warming, therefore we are causing it". This study does not resolve that question! Proving a correlation with carbon dioxide emissions is going to be very difficult. Natural cycling still dwarves the anthropogenic effect.

  17. Steve Martins

    Debate rages on

    I for one am glad that this topic is being so fiercely debated. Its clearly important that we make the right decisions in light of potentially damaging pollution for the sake of future generations. Its just a shame that so many involved seem to think their efforts are best served by bereating those whose opinions differ from their own. This report is a step towards answering the questions that simply cannot be conclusively answered at this time, and many many more steps are still required.

    The situation that I cannot deny is that it is foolish to continue to deplete finite global resources at the rate we are doing regardless of whether it is causing AGW. I was skeptical about the global warming measurements, and in light of new information happily adjust my understanding as all good scientists do. However there are many many things that are irrefutable facts that we have caused serious damage to the planets ecosystems, such as a floating mass of plastic the size of france in the atlantic. perhaps we should be putting more effort into the things we DO know about. Should we eventually find sufficient evidence that AGW is real and significant, it simply adds to the many things we need to sort out before its all too late.

    1. Bango Skank
      FAIL

      Ignorant debate remains ignorant

      Debate may be a real thrill and a great manifestation of public discourse, but that doesn't mean it is always sane.

      Part of the reason for this particular "debate" is the result of truly depressing levels of outright scientific illiteracy - a total failure in many people's comprehension of what the whole scientific modernity thing means.

      We have collectively funded through taxes and whatnot, a truly gargantuan enterprise that we can loosely call "modern science", and it deals with matters of fact about the natural world and uses tools and methods matured over hundreds of years. It is the same enterprise that can put a probe on a planet millions of miles away, or has electron microscopy of things millions of times smaller than we can see with our eyes.

      To this behemoth, we give the job of telling us what nature is up to, and it delves nature in mind-numbing detail, utilizing tens of thousands of highly trained people across the globe over decades.

      It has peer-review processes that role up into a publication method, that itself rolls up into colloquia and panels and boards, etc., and finally at the global level, it occasionally spits up the best assimilation and synthesis of all that work as a consensus position.

      By the time you get to a consensus declaration that tells you what the current or new default position is (and therefore the dominant theory against which all comers will be judged) it has done a level of work and integration that no other group or institution can rival.

      The consensus position is always going to be the very best guess mankind can have to offer on any matter of the natural world, simply because to come up with a plausible alternative, one would have to mount a program of inquiry that approximates the effort that modern science has put into it.

      The question has been as conclusively answered as the species can - and the answer is clear and published: the planet is warming, our activities are a significant cause, and we have an approximation of the quantity and rate.

      Science has delivered an answer, and unless one can field an alternative to science, this is the best possible guess that our entire species is able to make.

  18. Bango Skank
    WTF?

    oh for crying in bucket!

    What is it with people who think that the brain-fart that creeps across their calvarium is a worthy alternative answer to the question of global climate change than the consensus position that is the result of many billions of dollars and decades of diligent work of thousands of scientists.

    Whether the science of the day has this particular issue right or wrong isn't the bloody point, the point is that this is the best guess that the resources of the entire bloody species is capable of at this time.

    Unless one can field a similar number of scientists with budget, equipment, and wherewithal on par with what has led to this consensus position, it behooves one to shut the fuck up and stop whining.

    The consensus position is the absolute best guess we can have, like it or not, and one has to a be peculiarly dim or arrogant to take an opposing stand.

  19. rossglory

    warming trend is unequivocal

    jim oreilly - "Natural cycling still dwarves the anthropogenic effect." - actually the trend is clear and unequivocal and that trend is a warming caused by human greenhouse emissions.

    the fact that the 'noise' looks confusing to you on a chart is irrelevant, it is no different to experiencing warmer and cooler days as we head into autumn. each day can vary considerably but the cooling trend from summer to autumn is unequivocal. think about it.

    also, have a think about the fact that approximately half our co2 emissions have been absorbed into sinks, sinks that are about to become sources.

  20. rciafardone
    Boffin

    I am a skeptic... but not of that.

    Ok , so Earth is getting warmer, now where in this study is the evidence that is a man made effect? ! thing is constant on climate, that it changes constantly. I remain skeptic...

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