back to article Are the ice caps melting?

The headlines last week brought us terrifying news: The North Pole will be ice-free this summer "for the first time in human history," wrote Steve Connor in The Independent. Or so the experts at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado predict. This sounds very frightening, so let's look at the facts …

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  1. Vetis
    Thumb Up

    excellent

    Not sure why its on the reg but love the article.

    Its a shame more newspapers don't do long term temperature trend analysis over one day "hottest day since gates of hell opened etc.." scare stories, but then people would be informed. But I guess "ice caps bigger than x years ago, temp pretty much varies but stable with some variance over last 100 years" isn't an exciting headline.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    trt

    The current issue of American Scientist has a long report on the warming of Antarctica http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/feature/2008/4/ecological-responses-to-climate-change-on-the-antarctic-peninsula

    The cover shows a penguin on a melting glacier: "The polar bear on a melting iceberg has become the universal cliché symbolizing global warming, but the penguin, the iconic animal from the opposite end of the Earth, might be just as suitable."

    "The average midwinter temperature here has increased by 6 degrees Celsius since 1950; this is the highest rate of warming anywhere on the planet, five times the global average."

    You say Antarctica is cooling, how do we square that circle?

  3. John Robson Silver badge
    Boffin

    Global weather

    is poorly understood.

    What we do know is that large amounts of greenhouse gasses could drive us towards a venusian climate.

    There are sensible things we can do to reduce our dependence on technologies that continue to pump potentially dangerous gasses into the atmosphere. When the potential consequences are so dire I'd argue that it's worth studying, and while we do that to reduce the risks that we can see.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hmm

    becouse American Scientist is a popularist magazine backed by folk with an agenda? Hence the cliche covers.

    Although I have to say that the Doctors document makes no sense to me at all - but then I'm not suprised - it's long, dull, full of things I don't understand and all in all not very interesting. I'll settle with the thought that he's smarter then and knows more about his subject then most people who place their faith in the current issue of the American Scientist though.

    Also - he came up with a theory, the theory didn't pan out, he has rexamined the situation and come up with new theories. I strongly suspect that climate science shall progress this way for several centuries.

  5. Gianni Straniero
    Flame

    Zzzzzzz

    You are countering alarmist articles published in mass media with boring articles in a niche publication. In short, pissing upwind.

    There are plenty of places in the Arctic that are ice-free: they're called "polynyas", and they're essential for the survival of marine mammals like Beluga whales and narwhals. They'd drown without them. If a polynya shows up at the North Pole, big deal. Santa's a big boy and can take care of himself.

    And why is anyone surprised that when there's less ice in the Arctic, there's more in the Antarctic? Has everyone suddenly forgot that June 21st in Antarctica is mid-fucking-winter?

    Wait until you read that there is NO ICE AT ALL in the Arctic. Then, if you're not standing in a pool of seawater, find out where it's all gone. My money's on South.

  6. Bruce
    Alert

    Anarctic Peninsula is 2% of Antarctica

    Anarctic Peninsula is only 2% of Antarctica.

    "The Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica, and almost the only part of that continent that extends outside the Antarctic Circle."

    It has a lot of active volcanoes.

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/surprise-theres-an-active-volcano-under-antarctic-ice/

  7. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Joke

    A considered response from the green party

    Burn the heratic!

    How dare he even suggest than global warming is remotely natural.

    We all know the planet is doomed by mankind's.. no hold on ebil western capalist country's desire for fossil fuels and will rape the poor 3rd world for all the resources it can eat

    No.. hold on that the left wing twat-a-thom in action....

  8. Philip Kroker
    Flame

    Hah!

    They will twist facts and figures to suit whatever point of view they wish to push. As mention in the article, back in the 70's global cooling was causing a mass panic and people were writing books and making lots of money on the idea. Then people stopped caring so they stopped selling books and making scads of dough. Now they're on about global warming and all the sheeple are freaking out and buying books on how the earth is going to hell in a handbasket due to global warming and the "experts" are making money again. To anyone who cares to delve into the history books, there have been temperature fluctuations ranging from miniature ice ages to global warming for as long as people have cared to note down observations on the weather. Heck there used to be palm trees where I live, but now I have to drive 2,000+ miles south before I see any.

    Global warming you say? Bring it on!

  9. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    RE: Anonymous Coward

    NASA map showing that most of Antarctica is cooling.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/Images/antarctic_temps.AVH1982-2004.jpg

    2007 saw the most sea ice ever measured in Antarctica.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.area.south.jpg

  10. Alexis Vallance
    Go

    Too right

    I love articles like this.

    Like the one where they actually discovered the warmest year globally on record was 1934 NOT 1998.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But what does that mean?

    I confess to thinking the whole green thing is touting seriously mixed messages. One the one hand, I think we should recycle and we need to be weaned off oil.

    But on the other hand I've always felt that this Co2 stuff just reeks of rubbish - humans killing the world! Please. When the world is done with humans it'll get rid of them - not the other way round. It's such overblown human-centric nonsense it hardly merits comment.

    However, if, as seems to be increasingly the case, the entire 'Lets go Green' theory is being debunked at every turn, I want to know where this has come from.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Credibility

    Honestly, when are people going to stop listening to Dr. I-am-one-with-Gore Hansen. His FUD has lost any credibility he once had.

  13. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Zzzzzz

    "And why is anyone surprised that when there's less ice in the Arctic, there's more in the Antarctic? Has everyone suddenly forgot that June 21st in Antarctica is mid-fucking-winter?"

    Surely everyone knows there is *vastly* more ice in the South in absolute terms. (It's miles thick.) Therefore, the only sane reading is that we are comparing "arctic this year with arctic last year" versus "antarctic this year with antarctic last year" and taking the figures for the two hemispheres at the seasonally appropriate moment.

    "Wait until you read that there is NO ICE AT ALL in the Arctic. Then, if you're not standing in a pool of seawater, find out where it's all gone. My money's on South."

    Surely everyone knows that if the arctic melted then there would be no rise in sea level because it was all floating anyway. The concern is not that arctic melt-down causes a direct sea-level rise, but rather that is changes the polar albedo and causes warming which then (indirectly) causes sea-level rise as land-based ice melts.

  14. cris
    IT Angle

    Maybe maybe not

    Latest update here http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ Lets see in 2 months time eh?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    scientific trickery

    Thanks Bruce. That AmSci article (a serious journal, not to be confused with Scientific American) snookered me, and no doubt many other casual readers.

    The cover photo, the caption for the cover, and the article itself misled me into thinking it was relevant to the entire continent, not just a sliver. It is clear, in retrospect, that this report is about an anomaly yet that word never appears and instead there are sweeping conclusions about global climate change.

    Truthful dishonesty.

  16. Andy Bright

    My own fear for the planet

    Doesn't come from the energy produced in by western countries such as the US (despite the inefficient use and over production), nor from Europe.

    My fear is when the vast populations of continents where power hasn't been abundant finally get the technology to build their own coal and oil power stations.

    As China has proved, because these countries will focus on the cost and quantity of energy rather than it's friendliness to the planet. As we seem unwilling in the west to share the technology we have to produce significantly cleaner power stations and therefore limit the impact these new comers will have on the environment, the consequences will be drastic to say the least.

    We could have easily combated this but our desire to appear gracious and charitable apparently doesn't extend to making 3rd World nations independent of the need for our assistance. Real help, such as building infrastructure and clean sources of power don't tie in with the self adulation we get from sending old socks and sacks of moldy grain to half-starved children. Watching them fight and scramble for a handful of life as we chuck it on the floor and congratulate ourselves on how wonderful we are.

    If the left wing parties that control Europe and the US were truly the champions of humanitarianism and social well being, we would focus on helping these nations achieve something slightly more valuable than a well in a village.

    But if we were to help these nations rise to our level of technology, to help them produce their own clean power, and subsequently their own clean water, build up their infrastructure and help them become 1st World nations - where would all the self-congratulating pricks on TV charity shows go? What would the elitist pricks (on both sides of the political spectrum) do when they could no longer find some poor, malnourished child to sponsor?

    So yes, global warming is a real problem, but the real cataclysm has yet to appear - the advent of the 3rd world building the worst polluting sources of power to provide energy to 3/4s of the world's population.

    How much use is it to provide 1 - 2 billion with clean energy, when we do nothing to upgrade the 4 billion that will be using the worst sources of energy possible?

  17. Robert

    Thick

    The graph showing the change in ice area over time was interesting. What would be much more interesting is the change in ice thickness. My garden was covered in a dusting of snow last winter, but I wouldn't claim last winter was as cold as some in the 80's, when my garden was also completely covered (in several inches of snow).

    If you are going to be an armchair scientist at least try to work out why your point of view may be wrong.

  18. Chris G Silver badge

    Duuh!

    Of course the bloody ice caps are melting! If they didn't melt to some degree, there would be no drinking water and the earth would be shaped like a rugby ball.What is important is whether or not the poles are melting more or less in the long term, just saying that temperatures are higher this year and the arctic is losing ice is no different to a fat chick saying she has lost 2 pounds today,it's meaningless, tomorrow she could be 4 pounds heavier after pigging out on hamburgers and chocolate for 24 hours. Anybody who makes an alarmist statement based on one or two years annual variation should be shot.

    At one point in the 19th century it was possible to skate on the Thames, we didn't have an ice age though, and now winters seem warmer it is not certain that Neasden is going to disappear beneath the waves and become the Atlantis of suburbia. A few ups and downs in conditions are proof of nothing, when viewed together over say a period of twenty years it can indicate a trend but it is still not proof of catastrophically melting polar ice. Proof is when we are sitting on the dome of St Pauls dangling our feet in the waters of the enlarged Thames.Can't really argue with that. So if you are worried about being able to prove global warming try to rein in your energy usage, if you fancy the possibility of a paddle with out having to leave your London office don't bother.

  19. Ben
    Unhappy

    So Tired ..

    Of this crap, (not the article) but the polar (no pun intended) nature of global warming debate. Having just recently finishing my doctorate in chemistry, and though I am not a climatologist, here is what I thinking of the whole bollocks.

    1) Greenhouse effect (and I think everyone here would agree) a real effect, without it we would be a ball of ice.

    2) Human activity has increased the amount of C02 and other IR active molecules which would logically contribute to the effect.

    3) How large and effect this has on the earth and it the resultant problems that could arise has become a political issue and so like all politics, popularised and selective by both camps.

    4) The earth has spent more time without ice, than with its just a shame that our existence coincides with an ice-age.

    5) By the time some sort of consensus is reached and appropriate actions undertaken, there wont be an fossil fuels left, possibly making this the biggest waste of time ever in human history.

    The truly annoying thing, is the lack of objectivity in most of these arguments, compounded by selective data and at times dubious manipulations to prove a point one way or another.

    Global warming for me is very low down on the list "Humans should give a shit about" more pressing matters are what we going do for energy? How about all the people starving? Do we have a plan to stop that big rock that's gonna put an end to all these problems?

    However, renewable energy sources are a good thing, if we make enough tidal generators we might be able to extend the working day a couple of extra hours. Who wouldn't like an extra few hours a day?

    P.S before anyone attempts to undermine my post, by point out syntax and semantic errors of my written English. I have dyslexia, this isn't a formal publication and I have already spent way to much time replying to this article.

  20. Cheevey
    Coat

    Ice age scare?

    Steven Goddard could you please explain to me this supposed "ice age scare in the 1970s", I'm not aware of papers during the 1970's that match your comment or perhaps my 30 years in the field isn't long term enough.

    Apart from that and a usual re-hash of denial data that was discarded years ago by serious researchers this is a great article to explain that global warming is a very complicated issue & that tabloid over simplification makes public and some journalists skimming the headlines too lazy to look up the actual papers and full set of tables to judge the facts!

    Oh and if you think the Ice Age scare of the 70's in the tabloid press, (funny didn't know they were peer reviewed journals), Is the one where researchers had evaluated three scenarios extrapolated from the data available at the time, the TABLOIDS chose the Ice Age scenarios because it suited their headlines, funnily enough what we are going through now climate wise, follows almost perfectly the middle scenario that the expert tabloid journalists ignored....

    One wobbly scientist does not devalue all the other work. I'm a little fed up with the black or white attitude to global warming.

    Can anyone remind me why we have fire extinguishers, or first aid kits?

    Bottom line reason I keep my energy consumption as low as possible is simple, preservation of earth's resources and keeping my expenses low,

    Funny how people seem to argue we should be wasting our resources because they don't believe in global warming.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    The lost city...

    "...it is not certain that Neasden is going to disappear beneath the waves and become the Atlantis of suburbia."

    'The Lost City of Neasden'. I like the sound of that. What say we start a list of story ideas and then sell them to the BBC?

  22. Bob Saltzer
    Thumb Up

    Antarctic Ice Cap Expansion

    What the author chooses to ignore is that if Antarctic ice melt were to be accelerating there would be a corresponding reduction in the salinity of the Southern Ocean and a raising of the freezing point of the ocean waters. The result would be a temporary increase in the size of the southern winter ice cap. Perhaps this is an indication of what is actually happening.

    Bob

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: To Right

    "Like the one where they actually discovered the warmest year globally on record was 1934 NOT 1998"

    Alexis, you would have been right about that back when they discovered the error. Since then they have continued the practice of revising past temperatures and lowering them and as a result 1998 is now back on top.

    Oh, and before the tree huggers jump in, it was the USA highest temperature not the global one.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Melting ice leads to falling sea level

    As far as I recall, the Arctic just comprises of ice - no land.

    According to Archemedes, when a mass is imersed in water, it displaces it's own volume of water - so the ice is displacing an amount of water equal to it's own volume.

    When I was at school - (OK so that was quite a while ago) I was taught that the volume of water increases as it changes state from a liquid to a solid.

    Therefore, if all of the melts at the N Pole, it ceases to displace any water and actually water will flow back in to fill the void that was left by the ice. (Bit simplistic I know but that's what happens to your mind when you read too much mush).

    If the volume of water from the melted ice is less than the volume of the ice that melted - should the sea level not go down?

    Hmmm...................

    Paris - becasue her welcome would always be warm and moist

  25. Mono Ape
    Flame

    Drivel

    Cherry-picked quotes and data points to continue the author's continuing crusade to refute the global scientific consensus of anthropogenic climate change.

    The Reg is being irresponsible in giving column inches to this armchair scientist and his denial-of-reality campaign.

  26. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Melting ice leads to falling sea level

    Now, take some ice that ISN'T in the water and put it in.

    Still no level rise?

    Now, is Greenland floating on water?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will Gore be stripped of his Nobel?

    If at some point in the future Global Warming is proven to be a crock, will Al Gore be stripped of his Nobel? Is there a precedent for such action?

    Even if the message is right (ie. GW is true), it would seem to be worth shooting the messenger. Al has done a not exactly walked the walk and talked the talk:

    * Lives in a house that uses 20x the electricity of the average American who are already huge consumers.

    * Cherry picking data.

    * Using bogus images to incorrectly support his cause (eg. the polar bears apparently stranded on shrinking ice --- a photo taken in summer near the Alaskan shoreline well within easy swimming distance of land).

    At worst he's a charlatan. At best he does his cause a disservice.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Carry on driving.

    Just as with the "passive smoking causes all cancer" rubbish leading to a ban on smoking rather than a radical revision of the place of the car in society, so the presentation of alarmist, over the top and at times evidently made up crap about global warming makes people wary and resistant and the real need gets ignored, which is...

    a radical revision of the place of the car in society.

    I don't disbelieve climate change, I just think there's a lot more to it than the lightbulbs we use. Like the hopeless addiction to the internal combustion engine. There is no need for business flights - WE HAVE HIGH SPEED VIDEO NOW, as one example.

    Even if we are not warming the planet, there is the issue of legacy. What sort of polluted, crap hole will the earth be like when, as others have pointed out, the rest of the 4 billion or so people get access to cars and fossil fuel generated electricity?

    Capitalism and materialism makes people into self centered monsters.

    Scenario for a disaster movie - Saudi Arabia collapses into the giant hole left by all the oil being pumped out. This begins to happen in other places too. Texas follows. Wait, that is is happy ending film not a disaster movie.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wilful ignorance

    Believe what you want, but if you don't mind, could you stop trashing the place and get out of here? Thanks.

  30. The Prevaricator

    people can't be bothered waiting

    Surprisingly, if you are after an all-singing-all-dancing picture as to the climate trends over the entire planet you will have to wait quite a number of years whilst the data are being recorded. In addition to this, climate science is a field still in its infancy. Rigorous water-tight science of a system so complex is bound by the pace at which the data either verify or disprove any theories. And, since the data can only be gathered in real time, a 30-year old field has precious little to go on (yes, I realise data can be surmised from older weather stations, tree-rings, ice bores and the like, but these are largely indirect measures, and rarely apply worldwide).

    Why do I have to be bombarded with such sensationalism at every slightest event, and every event being construed almost beyond belief to suit the agenda of increasingly vocal groups of questionable authority? No other science would put up with it. It almost seems like opinions borne entirely from imagination are given equal or greater precedence than anything based upon sound science and unbiased quantitative analysis.

    Oh, sure there's plenty of open ocean one year, and plenty of sea-ice the next, and yes, I'm concerned. I just can't make head nor tail of it until I understand what's happening in the long term and more importantly what mechanisms are responsible for these effects. Nobel prizes cannot be won by anecdotes... No actually, scratch that. They can.

    Thanks for an interesting and well researched article. I just wish wish more people could base their ideas and publications on sound data, and not a photograph of a fluffy creature looking sorry for itself in some slightly-less icy wasteland.

  31. Paul Cooper
    Coat

    Archimedes

    @Andy Poulton

    Sorry, but you applied Archimedes' principle incorrectly. A mass will displace it's own *volume* if *immersed*, yes, this is obvious. But a *floating* body will displace it's own *weight*, not volume. And ice floats. So, as Ken Hagan correctly pointed out above, if all the ice in the Arctic melts then this *on its own* would have no effect on sea level. Don't believe it? Fill a glass to the very brim with ice and water, then leave it, covered, until the ice has melted. There will be no spillage over the brim, nor any empty space at the top. The glass will stay full - provided it is covered to prevent evaporation, that is.

    Still, as Mr Hagan rightly points out, other bad things happen when the ice goes away which do lead to sea level rising.

  32. Beelzeebub
    Flame

    Global warming?

    I'm just waiting for it to **5£"**! warm up, whatever happened to 'Flaming June?'

    Extra coat needed at the moment.

    please note: this is no evidence of a trend upwards, downwards, sideways or backwards.

  33. Charles Manning

    Scientists lying... that's scary!

    is not the details (ie. whether or not Global Warming is true/false; whether or not ice is melting; whether it is caused by soot or CO2) but how these scientists are changing their stories.

    Changing your story in the light of new evidence is perfectly acceptable, but now we have these climatologists making barefaced lies and discounting evidence.

    We expect Al Gore to tell porkies: he's a politician and movie maker.

    But scientists are supposedly feeding us the objective truth. Clearly they're practicing "truth management" and are only puppets being manipulated like terrorist hostages to say "the right thing" in front of the camera.

    Who the hell is pulling their strings and why?

    If we can't trust the blokes in lab coats, wtf can we trust?

  34. Alan Wilkinson
    Thumb Down

    @Cheevy

    <i>Funny how people seem to argue we should be wasting our resources because they don't believe in global warming.</i>

    The exact opposite. We believe we should not be wasting huge resources on meaningless GHG reduction strategies because global warming is demonstrably NOT happening whether we believe in it or not.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Dear God

    Can't think why I'm reminded of Private Eye's articles on the MMR/Autism links...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few comments

    @ Philip Kroker; and the other nay-sayers; Sorry to hear about your palm trees, maybe you should visit here? Twenty years ago none, too cold! Now; they're all over the place since it's warm enough for them to survive the winter.

    Oh, but watch out for alligators! It seems that since 1970, they've established a nice permanent colony here, which is serving as a base for even more northward expansion. (Five years ago, a 'gator in a backyard here would be statewide news. Now it's becoming common to see them dead on the roadside, run over.)

    And why are the mayflies showing up in March? And why has the mowing season stretched to midwinter here?

    Maybe global warming's false, but the coastal plains of North Carolina sure seem headed that way!

    Oh, and the arctic icecap melting? Eh. it happens from time to time, but the surprise is, that if it becomes steady enough, the salinity of the Arctic sea changes, and the Gulf stream either dives, or turns across the north coast of Canada. Either way, The UK and Eastern Europe turn into one big ice sheet without the gulf stream's warming currents. (How's that for a twist? Global warming will freeze you to death!)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Destroying the earth

    > But on the other hand I've always felt that this Co2 stuff just reeks of rubbish - humans killing the world! Please. When the world is done with humans it'll get rid of them - not the other way round. It's such overblown human-centric nonsense it hardly merits comment.

    Anything that contains the phrase "destroy the earth" is a violent lie perpetrated by some shady sod who has never been in an aeroplane. One look down at the glittering expanse of earthness below is more than enough to convince anyone sensible flying in a plane that the whole of humanity is an insignificant scum living an invisible life atop a shiny beautiful jewel. It can't be destroyed, we won't be casting the shattered hulk of a deflated planet across the solar system after cynically glugging its essence, all we did was dig up a bit of carbon that was lying around on or extremely near the surface. We might cause an unfortunate reaction leading to difficult circumstances for the descendent members of the human race but those too will prove a tricky species to eradicate. People look around at their rich and modern surroundings and wracked by a fashionable existential guilt worry that their children won't be able to enjoy the energy luxury that they have - only the point has been missed that the children, knowing no better world themselves, will make do with whatever is left to them, if humanity reverted to Stone Age there's be no more or less happiness than before (arguably there'd be more) the normal would be the normal. The Romans didn't wander the earth groaning and moaning that life was unbearable without two international summer holidays every year. Humanity like every species is subject to the simple rules that the lucky adapt while the selfish and slow die.

    PH because she destroys my illusions of self-restraint and personal culture presenting as an object to be salivated at great energy expense over. Also she has flown in a plane and has trouble with pesky moulds.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Responsibility, Please

    Here we go again ...

    Not that there is no place for articles such as this to highlight over-simplification or over statement by climate scientists, but the article commits the very same errors itself in critiquing those scientists. Plus, with a topic as significant and politically-charged as climate change, my very strong opinion is that each "journalist" has a responsibility to balance their article and place it in context, else they will quite rightfuly be accused of attempting to steer public opinion in a harmful and negligent manner.

    About ice: Arctic average ice volume, year-on-year, is a better measure than ice area ... but I suppose the fact that average ice volume has shrunk fairly steadily since the 60's is somewhat inconvenient.

    By the way - why is it that we never see El Reg attack the climate change naysayers, GHG polluters and their vocal supporters ... we only see criticisism of climate change proponents. Mmmmmmm.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Charles Manning

    Scientists lying... that's scary!

    I'll tell you who's pulling their strings - the politicians are.

    I'm staying anon on this because I used to be the editor of an prestigious science journal and I will repeat what many of my colleagues are saying in private and some in public - the quality of science that is being done currently in many areas sucks. This undoubtedly stems from the "publish and be damned" philosophy which was brought about by tying research funding and promotions to ill-conceived targets such as the number of publications rather than their quality. This was happening as far back as the mid-1970s and it's produced a generation of career scientists who care little for the truth and more about just getting it in print.

    I can only speak about the biomedical field because that's where my experience lies. I regularly review articles submitted for publication. I also review grant applications made to major biomedical funding bodies. Most are hopeless. Ill-conceived and poorly controlled. But the real issue I have is that the scientists are just not being honest. They lie by omitting to tell the whole truth. They are biased and are pushed into it by the system which encourages it. Politicians head the system so they are ultimately at fault here but the scientists have to take their share of the blame for not standing up for the truth.

    This is not to say there isn't some good biomedical science being done, clearly there is. But there is an awful lot of dross and worse, some of this dross is being done in areas of real importance which does nothing but muddy the water.

    In my view climatology suffers from the same problem. Follow the money.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    BFHD

    Q -So would you say that we should run around and panic like Morons?

    A- Why yes I would.

    What real measurable difference will this actually make to me or anyone that I know or indeed anyone in this country or the EU or anyone alive today? None thats what - except that the Government Dyson will probably suck even more cash from me.

    Paris - because she's got more of a clue than the Eco Mentalists.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Fed Up

    I love this, we get a not bad article pointing out some rather major flaws in one of NASA's "finest" and what's the response..

    1) Interesting article

    2) HEATHEN... SINNER... Burn the heritic

    3) Scandalised "you can't deny Global Warming" and finger wagging.

    Ok, Global Warming is the biggest political football of recent years. It has spawned an entire industry of busy little bees pouring money in to it, not to discover facts, but to support their own beliefs. Scientific papers are no longer the peer reviewed unvarnished "truth", they're the "truth" that the person funding the research wants you to know. This works both ways pro argument or counter.

    The interesting thing this article is based on, is it's pointing out the flaws in the research of the pro GW brigade and one of their chief cheerleaders. It's not gone out and commissioned a chunk of research to "prove" it's case, it's used existing research and shown it to be less than accurate.

    Face it folks, you're never going to get the truth on it, but I do know that if a bunch of politicos tell me "you must be scared and let us do x,y or z" then I for one am going to ask "why?" and won't stop until I have an answer. I've only got bits of one now so I keep reading the research (and god is some of it intensely dull) and hope....

    As for all of you who want to burn the heretic - get a grip you bloody sheep. Try thinking a little bit for yourself rather than leave it to the politicos. If you still think that GW is real and in-your-face scary then fine, but at least derive the opinion yourself.

    PS We're not talking "Climate Change" which is a basic and fundamental part of our planet, it's just Global Warming I doubt!

  42. frymaster

    @responsibility, please

    "the article commits the very same errors itself in critiquing those scientists"

    agreed, both sides concentrate on "coldest year" or "hottest year" type stuff when individual years are meaningless in the context of climate change. No matter what else is going on, the climate is always going to be wheels-within-wheels interlocking cycles of rise and fall, with a ludicrous amount of random thrown in for good measure. But that doesn't mean our now-noticable-on-a-global-scale changes our world don't have an effect, it just means you can't write nice headlines :)

    ironically, i've seen a report that suggests a warming effect would be more noticable if it were not for high-altitude polluting caused by air travel reflecting some of the heat... it claims there was a distinct rise in global temperature after 9/11, when a lot of planes were grounded.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    So what, who cares and Am I BOVVERRED!

    Does any of this actually matter? As we rant and rave and wring our hands about how we are killing the planet, we are only really saying one thing, that climate change will make it difficult or impossible for the human race to continue to live on this planet in the way we do now. Whether the surface of the Earth is 30, 70 or 99% water, the planet will continue to exist and life will continue on it. I am a normal human being and I have got my head up my arse. I cannot see the the truth, I cannot hear the truth and I cannot tell you the truth. But I will shout my opinions at the world because I am the only one who is right!

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hansen - Our Saviour

    You IT guys better watch out... Hansen will be calling for you lot to be prosecuted as climate change criminals too...

    http://progcontra.blogspot.com/2008/06/dr-james-hansen-speaks-out.html

  45. Chris G Silver badge

    Don't stop

    Reg, please do NOT stop these articles as some of the best comments follow them . Always good to see what people have to say about subjects like this and since most Reg readers are fairly bright it can be informative too.

  46. This post has been deleted by its author

  47. Ian Yates
    Flame

    @So Tired ..

    Hats off to the most enlightened post.

    Both sides of the debate are far too extreme that it destroys the public's interest (except for those extremes).

    We ARE releasing increasing amounts of gas in to the atmosphere that wouldn't normally be there. This will have some kind of affect, we just don't know what.

    The Earth is also warming as we come out of the current ice age.

    Whether we're compounding the issue or not, reducing our output of these gasses (and our dependency on burning depleting fossil fuels) can be no bad thing.

    Bless Gore, since his heart is in the right place, but his evangelistic preaching is doing a lot of damage to his own message.

  48. Mark

    Re: Don't stop

    "and since most Reg readers are fairly bright it can be informative too."

    I take it you're not including you in that list? And I quote:

    "Of course the bloody ice caps are melting! If they didn't melt to some degree, there would be no drinking water and the earth would be shaped like a rugby ball."

    Now can someone else ('cos Chris won't believe me, will he), please tell him what they learned in Georgraphy at school about "the Water Cycle". If you can't reproduce it, just let him know whether "melting ice" had ANYTHING to do with that picture.

  49. Mark

    Re: @So Tired ..

    So if one side is extreme but the other side is moderate, the mantra "the truth is probably in the middle" will carry the "truth" toward the extreme side.

  50. John Angelico
    Joke

    @Duuh! By Chris G

    Well, when (if) your feet are dangling from the top of St Paul's it may be time to call on the services of the Westminster Pier Salvage Co. whose directors are none other than Mr H Grytpype-Thynne and Count Jim Moriarty.

    in the meantime, we may join in sad reflection on the departure of those comic geniuses the Goons who would have had a field day with all this stuff!

  51. Steven Jones

    @Ben

    Couldn't agree more about politicised science. Rather sadly, it is also the politicised scientists that tend to rise to the top of any debate.

    As far as priorities for humanhkind to deal with :-

    1) what do we do about energy supplies..

    2) what do we do about being able to deal with 6bn+ people now on earth, and the several more that will inevitably arrive in the next 50 years

    3) what do we do about managing down the world human population before nature does it for us in a catastrophic manner (current population levels are only managable, at great cost through the lavish exploitation of limited resources - energy, land)

    I know that makes me a neo-Malthusian, and indeed many people have cried the end of the world prematurely as they've not allowed for technological advances. But the latter will eventually run its course, as will the non-renewable parts of the resources upon which they currently depend. Now it might just be that some viable technology comes along which frees us from some of these (maybe fusion will give us limitless energy), but I for one don't want to see a world where we are stackes up like tins on a supermarket shelf because we've run out of land.

    As for the Register article - well it's clearly produced from one point of view with carefully selected numbers to support a point of view. It, like much of this debate, is an advocacy article, and not a scientific analysis. That's what jounralists do. Take it with a pinch of salt - or more likely either use it as ammunition to support your own pre-conception or trash it because it doesn't do so. After all, most human intellectual effort goes towards justifying one's own prejudices rather than performing analaysis.

  52. TimM

    Melting ice on land

    Regarding Greenland and the Antarctic. Melting ice arguments make a huge assumption that all that ice will fall into the sea. Few take account that lakes could form for starters.

    And then there's the ability for ice to act as an insulator, keeping the core much colder than the outer. After all, take a huge block of ice and it will take a lot longer to melt than the same volume chopped into small blocks.

    Another point that seems lost also is that isn't the Antarctic often around -20 to -40 C? How would even a 5 or 10 degree rise cause that to melt? !!! (ignoring the massive assumption that an average global temperature rise actually means the Antarctic will rise in temp at all, as it could quite easily fall or stay the same. It is an "average", that's all. Much like how the UK could actually fall in temperature if global warming causes the loss of the Gulf Stream).

    Besides all that. The presence of ice on the earth is I believe rather unusual. For the majority of its history it's had none. Yet here we all are despite all that long period of warm, and even conditions in early history that would be considered way over the tipping point these days for turning us into Venus!

    That we are warming up currently I have no doubt. I saw graphs showing this as a natural fact way back when I did Geography GCSE in the late 80s before any fuss about man made global warming. Yes, we're on the rising edge of a warming cycle (some 400 year cycle or so). The question is whether we've done any significant damage to cause it to continue when it should fall at the top of the cycle. That I have yet to see any convincing scientific proof for.

    None of that means I don't think we should stop chucking crap into the air. Sure, cut all those emissions back. Just I don't think it will make a blind bit of difference to the planet, only our health.

    Besides, we are a tiny insignificant blip on the timescale of this planet. We'll soon be gone and no longer a problem.

  53. Jared Hunt
    Boffin

    If we're talking about cherry picking evidence...

    I feel compelled to point out that Roald Amundsen's navigation of the Nothwest Passage in 1905 took nearly 3 years to complete (1903 - 1905) due to his ship being completely frozen into the ice! He had to wait for for the ice to slowly migrate round intil he was far south enough for it to melt and allow him to escape.

    The way the article is worded suggests he was able to sail right round in open water, which I'm afraid just isn't true.

    Read into that what you will.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    It's simple economics...

    Al them doctors need funding. This funding is largely handed out by politicians.

    Let's say you wish to study the mating habits of South American frogs. You'd be hard pressed to get money for that. It does not generate votes. But you're a smart egg, so you propose a study on The Influence of Global Warming On The Mating Habits Of South American Frogs. Hey presto, cash rolls in.

    Just hang out in a bar close to a big university for a few nights and pour some beer into the good researchers...you'd be surprised.

    If you'd happen to pick The Unseen University you'd be even more surprised.

    Oook...

    Peter R.

  55. NICHOLAS SAUNDERS

    Global Warming in Leeds

    Since the last Global warming article, the weather in Leeds has if anything got worse. As far as I'm concerned global warming can only exist when I have to put my shorts on in the summer time.

  56. Mark

    Re: Melting ice on land

    "Regarding Greenland and the Antarctic. Melting ice arguments make a huge assumption that all that ice will fall into the sea. Few take account that lakes could form for starters."

    And we already know that ice is only a LITTLE BIT more dense than water.

    So the miles thickness of ice on Greenland will stay in how?

  57. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Answers to a few good questions

    I notice with interest that many commentators see this article as an attempt to disprove global warming. If you relieve yourself of any preconceived notions and read the article objectively, you will see that I have not addressed that issue at all. Rather, it is an analysis of inconsistencies. Dr Hansen would be much more convincing if he would address the many legitimate questions that have been raised about his published data and high profile press statements. There are lots of engineers and scientists out there who are used to doing this type of analysis and share my concerns.

    I am not associated with the energy industry in any way, directly, indirectly or financially. I am an independent scientist/engineer who has taken the time to analyze the data - and I see red flags popping up all over the place.

    A couple of good links to the 1970s ice age scare

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html

    http://www.denisdutton.com/cooling_world.htm

    The best indicator though are the GISS Arctic graphs which show dramatic cooling during that time.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=431043600000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    Jared - thanks for the additional information about Amundsen. I will look into that.

  58. Sam Stickland

    A chance for those cited to respond

    It's a very well written article, but what I'd like to see is a well written response to it. Perhaps El Reg could contact some of those cited and see what they say?

    It would be good to actually see some back and forth debate on this.

  59. Writebaby
    Paris Hilton

    Global Warming is a Good Thing

    Consider the following localised example of hot

  60. Mark

    Re: Global Warming in Leeds

    Hot air holds more moisture than cold air.

    Wet air going north gets colder.

    Wet air getting to Leeds gets cold enough to rain the water out.

    More water in the air == more rain in Leeds.

    You can wear shorts now, by the way.

  61. Mark

    Links given

    OK, first one is a journalist link. Times is not a research site or paper.

    Second link. Another newspaper link, this time to Newsweek. Also not a publisher of climatology science.

    Third link is a noisy graph. For ONE site. Which, unless REALLY BIG is not a measure of global temperatures. And, oddly enough, from a group you continually accuse of making up the data to fit the hypothesis. Strange how you believe them here.

    Now do you have anything meaningful?

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Back to Basics

    @TimM and others ...

    > TimM: "The question is whether we've done any significant damage to cause it to continue when it should fall at the top of the cycle. That I have yet to see any convincing scientific proof for."

    The evidence is fairly clear that the warming rate has never been higher and that the observed warming is in good agreement with models that include anthropogenic (i.e. human caused) warming, and in poor agreement with natural-only warming models. Moreover, atmospheric CO2 concentration has never been higher than it is now (going back a least 420,000 years, but possibly 20 million years) and it is growing at a meteoric rate.

    The evidence strongly suggests that anthropogenic warming will far exceed natural warming if left unchecked, hence efforts to limit and even reduce GHGs. Of course there's no concrete proof - we'd have to wait until after the damage is done to be 100% sure - which is why the sensible approach to global warming is to project impacts, assess risks and take all reasonable measures to mitigate risks and limit damage. But, be clear on this, the evidence is strong.

    You should look at the data tables and graphs published by the IPCC, or, if you are pressed for time, look at these climate change Fact Sheets, which are based on the IPCC's work (this website is easier):

    http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/publications/index.html#science

    Also, although you may not like Al Gore (you wouldn't be the first), he does use accurate graphs that are easy to follow, so you could fast forward to those bits to save time and ignore the rest of his film.

    Oh, one more thing. Some seem to like to knock Hansen, but in fact the IPCC's warming projections are a tad more severe than Hansen's own. I suppose climate change naysayers think he makes a good place to start given his profile ...

  63. Mark

    Re: It's simple economics...

    And the execs of the oil companies need profits to get paid. They'll spend YOUR money on getting some quack to fight for their cause.

    How come monetary influence is only on the AGW side?

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Partial views from all parts

    In the certainty of upsetting the majority of the commenters so far, most of you seem to be remarkably biased and ignorant: no one of any education looks at just a few parameters. One person did mention the effects in his part of the USA. The better read may be aware that biological indicators in UK this Spring also showed unusually early effects (insects, birds etc.) and that this is not a one-off; it is part of a trend over the last few years.

    Perhaps, before slagging off researchers whose comments do not suit you, consider the problems of computer models and interpreting data where the very parameters of the model are not certain.

    And quite where people get the idea that ice ages are a new phenomenon....

    As for carry on regardless: ever looked at modern Britain, especially the South? Anyone with eyes and over 20 years old may have noticed the effects of that: towns, roads, lighting, rubbish, traffic spreading to make it one of the nastiest little places in Europe (much of the rest of which is following the same sad path). Perhaps your wallets have felt the rising prices of food and fuel (just more obvious now; but actually roaring happily upwards for many years).

    As for the Green House effect: showing my age, I learnt about that and the concerns when doing my 'O' levels in about 1966. Overall, the fears then seem to have been borne out. As the Earth is not a machine, variation and surprises, good and bad, are to be expected. When doing those beloved flights around the world, look down and work out how much is NOT showing the effects of Man. Even the sparsely inhabited deserts and mountains show clear effects from industry and agriculture. Consider the widespread effects of chemicals, smog and even CO2 levels on plant growth: oh yes, forestry experts in some areas have noted this (and more is not always better).

    By the way, global warming never did predict a universal heating: it actually does assume that some areas will become hotter, some drier, some much wetter and some much colder or with more extreme ranges. Somebody did mention the effects on sea currents.

    None of this means that either extreme is right or wrong. But it does suggest that careless whistling in the dark is not clever and reality today does suggest that making more effort not to soil our nest is sensible.

  65. Robert

    @ Steve Goddard

    An analysis of inconsistencies? So you are trying to say that climate science is a tricky subject, and most theories will turn out to be wrong in their detailed predictions? I would guess you are right - but the general trend of nearly all credible scientific thought is that the world will warm up significantly, and that will probably mean the ice caps will melt. And contrary to one of the first lines in your article, that is alarming.

    Honestly, the comments here have depressed me enormously. The general theme: People can only imagine timescales of a couple of years, and can't appreciate the difference between rapid warming over decades and warming over many centuries. With thinking like this, we (and by this I mean human civilisation and many thousands of species of animals and plants) are stuffed.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    @Steven Goddard

    Regarding the NASA GISS data for Angmagssalik:

    If I had the time, I'd import the data into my statistcs program and fit a line of best fit (and/or several, in stages), but I don't, so....

    By the naked eye, I'd say a line of best fit would have an upward trend, and that the projection for beyond 2020 would be above 0 degrees.

    What's controversial about that?

  67. Paul M.
    Alert

    @Mark

    "And the execs of the oil companies need profits to get paid. They'll spend YOUR money on getting some quack to fight for their cause."

    As you have already admitted that you work at the Hadley Center (and can therefore post dozens of comments a day), why not tell us more about quacks?

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GrahamF

    Al Gore's graphs and rhetoric are so accurate that a British judge ruled there were at least 9 scientific errors in his film which needed to be explained to school children.

  69. Mark

    @Robert

    And others, don't let the depression about how idiotic some people are make you stop countering them.

    When a thread like this gets really depressing, I just insult the miniscule intelligence displayed. They weren't going to change their mind by persuasion, so insult them. It has two benefits:

    1) they don't get the last (wrong) word

    2) you get to tell them exactly what they are, which is cathartic

    If they depress you enough to stop, they've won because they won't stop until you do and will insist on the last word.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Insulting people = therapy?

    Where does Hadley get 'em?

    "When a thread like this gets really depressing, I just insult the miniscule intelligence displayed. They weren't going to change their mind by persuasion, so insult them. It has two benefits:

    1) they don't get the last (wrong) word

    2) you get to tell them exactly what they are, which is cathartic"

    What a nice, rational person you are. You bring credit to your employer.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @GrahamF

    The points that a judge instructed to be explained to school children did not touch on the graphs - the main sticking point was about supposed polar bear deaths, IIRC. And just how exactly was that judge qualified to evaluate all of climate change science within the confines of his court room?

    The graphs in the film were drawn from IPCC data - they are accurate.

    FYI:

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2007/10/an_inconvenient_truth_team_gor_1.html

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @GrahamF

    For the benefit of others with limited time, regarding that court case:

    "The judge himself never used the term "errors." That was an allegation made by the plaintiff--whose motives are quite suspect. Stewart Dimmock, who brought this case, appears to have been funded by the very same fossil fuel interests who have sought to undermine the scientific consensus behind global warming in the past. The Observer has reported that he was funded by mining interests as well as the Scientific Alliance, an industry-backed non-profit with links to other groups in the U.S. like the U.S. based George C. Marshall Institute which has received funding from Exxon. This was also reported in the U.S. Our experience is that when the vested interests do not like the message, they tend to use diversionary tactics to create uncertainty or to fund individuals and groups to shoot the messenger. In this instance, it appears they are trying to do both. According to these reports, Mr. Dimmock will still not fully reveal who funded the case."

  73. Peter Dawe
    Paris Hilton

    Rational Behavior

    Case A The world is going to pot - rational response - Party

    Case B, Everything is OK - rational response - Party

    Whats the problem:)

    ...who likes a party?

  74. Mark
    Alert

    Which Mark?

    There's two Marks here, and at least one doesn't work at the met office.

    (Guess which one)

  75. ratfox Silver badge
    Boffin

    @Melting ice leads to falling sea level

    Actually, melting ice leads to sea level not changing at all. Yes, the ice is slightly less dense than water, that's why it is floating, but the amount of ice which is over the sea level exactly compensates. An iceberg takes exactly the same amount of volume under the sea level as the water which weighs as much as the iceberg... So an iceberg melting does not change anything.

    Now, of course, there's plenty of ice over Greenland and Antarctica...

  76. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Re : Angmagssalik

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=431043600000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    The graph of Angmagssalik clearly isn't linear. If you look at only 60 degrees of a sine wave, you can easily convince yourself that it is a line. However, if you look at the full 360 degrees it becomes obvious that what you are looking at is a wave. Extrapolating one small section linearly will invariably give you the wrong answer.

    That is a key point of the article. By failing to mention what was going on in the Arctic prior to 1970, some key people in this debate are committing a serious sin of omission. It is well known that climate is normally cyclical - that is why over millions of years average temperatures are constrained within a fairly limited range.

  77. Mark

    Re: Steven Goddard

    Well it's definitely not showing any pattern at all, then. Unless you are picking what you mean.

    And since when has that one station been the world?

  78. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Arctic ice stations

    Indeed, one station does not make a trend. So let's look at the larger group.

    The NASA GISS station selector shows approximately twenty-three stations north of 60 degrees latitude, with unbroken contiguous records going back to (at least) the mid 1920s.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

    Eighteen of the stations show a similar pattern - warm in the 1930s and 1940s, cooling until the 1980s and recent warming back towards 1930s temperatures. These are Jan Mayen, Angmagssalik, Akureyri, Godthab Nuuk, Nar'Jan-Mar, Kanin Nos, Arhangel'Sk, Tromo/Skatto, Sodankyla, Haparanda, Bodo Vi, Vardo, Murmansk, Salehard, Nar'Jan-Mar, Kanin Nos, Turuhansk. Hanty-Mansijs and Nar'Jan-Mar

    Four stations show a steady warming trend since the 1920s - Fort Smith, Verhojansk Mys, Uelen, and Verhojansk

    Four stations appear possibly broken, with a large one year step up or down in temperature - Nome, Kotzebue, Ral, Ostrov Dikson, and Jakutsk

    I may have missed a few because there is no simple way to scan the NASA database.

  79. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Coat

    Minor corrections...

    Mono Ape

    "Cherry-picked quotes and data points to continue the author's continuing crusade to refute the global scientific consensus of anthropogenic climate change. The Reg is being irresponsible in giving column inches to this armchair scientist and his denial-of-reality campaign."

    I didn't think the Reg was giving column-inches to Hansen - I thought it was refuting him. That was what you meant, wasn't it?

    Oh, and by the way, AC - "The graphs in the film were drawn from IPCC data - they are accurate." should have read:

    "The graphs in the film were accurately drawn from IPCC data - which has since been proven to be inaccurate."

    There - fixed that for ya!

    It's not me - that's Science getting it's coat and leaving.....

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Re: Re: Angmagssalik

    @Steven Goddard: > "Extrapolating one small section linearly will invariably give you the wrong answer. That is a key point of the article. By failing to mention what was going on in the Arctic prior to 1970, some key people in this debate are committing a serious sin of omission."

    No, I was using all the data from (about) 1890 to present day. A line of best fit looks like an upward trend to me.

    That's quite an assumption that it's cyclic, i.e. returning to the same starting point. It looks more like an upward trend with high variance.

    What statistical analysis did you perform?

  81. El Rupester
    Stop

    Depressing....

    This is depressing isn't it?

    The level of blatant ignorance, people who can't / won't think for themselves, or even try to understand basic science.... ughhh.

    "My gran smoked till she was 80 therefore cigarrettes don't cause cancer" is about the level of thought of most comments.

    Lets start with the simple facts: CO2 absorbs infra-red. More CO2 => more heat aborbed and the temperature goes up. CO2 levels have gone up 50% and are accelerating, so heat will go up more.

    Sure: the specifics are complicated, there are a lot of feedback effects & details, and weather isn't climate (ice reflects better than water - a positive feedback; water aborbs CO2 differently as temp rises; El Nino/La Nina). But the basic idea has been held by scientists for 120 years and no-one has proved it wrong.

    Anonymous Coward (responding to Graham F): the judge ruled that Al was mostly right; the film could be showed with discussion notes; and referred to "errors" in inverted commas because that was the allegation: not because he agreed. The sock-puppet who brought the case lost. Oh, and "error" was if Al disagreed with the IPCC report! In other words, contrary to your implication, he fully agreed that AGW is happening and the IPCC was correct.

    To put it in everyday terms: there is a risk, so it makes sense to pay insurance to avoid the risk. I do not have a scientific model to prove my house will burn down this year but I still pay buildings insurance. Presumably, most of you can use the above "logic" to tell me I shouldn't.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Dodgy Geezer

    > "Oh, and by the way, AC - "The graphs in the film were drawn from IPCC data - they are accurate." should have read: "The graphs in the film were accurately drawn from IPCC data - which has since been proven to be inaccurate." "

    How exactly? Extended with latest observations? Is that what you meant?

    Has the upward trend in global temperatures been reversed? No. But the IPCC has narrowed its range of projected temperature rise scenarios based on improved data (the mean projection didn't change much).

    Has the CO2 concentration projections changed much? No. Latest data has it accelerating faster than thought, not including any possible "amplification effects" caused by warming.

    Have the long term historical CO2 and temperature records been proven wrong? No, actually there's greater confidence amongst climate scientisits than before.

    Has the "high number of warm days since 1990" data changed? No, not that either.

    So what exactly has "since been proven to be inaccurate", as you put it, and where is that information available? I'd say there's growing confidence and consensus in the IPCC projections and interpretation of historical data, and also a growing agreement that the IPCC is being conservative in its approach.

    Oh, one more thing. You say, "I didn't think the Reg was giving column-inches to Hansen - I thought it was refuting him." To paraphrase a point made earlier - Why is it that El Reg only ever gives column inches to climate change naysayers?

  83. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Re: Angmagssalik

    You could make the argument that there has been a general upwards trends in the Arctic graphs going back to about 1900, but I don't think there is enough data. 1900 was a local minima, and one reasonable interpretation is that that we may be looking at less than 270 degrees of the sine wave - i.e the full cycle may be 150 years long. So the question remains, is it a horizontal cyclical pattern or does the whole trend tilt upwards?

    It is also worth considering that the earth has been warming for the last 15,000 years since the end of the last ice age, and particular in the last 300 years since the end of the Little Ice Age. During the 17th Century it was not uncommon for the Thames to freeze solid. 15,000 years ago, Chicago was buried under thousands of feet of ice.

    http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/lia/little_ice_age.html

    "During the coldest times of the LIA, England's growing season was shortened by one to two months compared to present day values."

  84. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @Steven Goddard

    So there's enough to prove you right, but not enough to prove you wrong.

    convenient position to take.

    And, yes, after an ice age it's been warmer than it's ever been since the beginning of the last ice age.

    Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    @(one of the)Mark(s) Re: Re: Melting ice on land

    "And we already know that ice is only a LITTLE BIT more dense than water."

    Incorrect. Ice is _less_ dense than water; that's why it floats.

    I vote we do an extended float test of all the activists from both side of this farce, preferably in the middle of the Sargasso Sea. I suspect most of them would sink rather rapidly.

    netgeek

    s&cb, because we're all dead anyway.

  86. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Re: IPCC projections

    One could easily make the argument that IPCC projections have not been proven to be "conservative." The actual temperature data over the last 20 years appears to have fallen well below even the most conservative IPCC scenario.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1988/plot/rss/from:1988

    The last ten years are very interesting too. Global temperatures have dropped nearly a full degree since 1998.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1998/plot/rss/from:1998

  87. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Heart

    @AC

    "The graphs in the film were accurately drawn from IPCC data - which has since been proven to be inaccurate." "

    How exactly? .........Has the upward trend in global temperatures been reversed? (well yes, they have recently been going down quite sharply)...........

    Have the long term historical CO2 and temperature records been proven wrong? (Wow - with Hansen's strange corrections they have become almost impossible to follow. Canvas bucket corrections, rural/urban corrections based on street light detection - the published data bears no relationship to the raw data. And Anthony Watts' project to consider the accuracy of weather stations shows that well over half the data comes from Class 5 stations with errors >5C! - http://www.surfacestations.org/). Not to mention Beck's interesting paper showing much greater historical fluctuations in CO2 than accepted by the IPCC - http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2_supp.htm

    So what exactly has "since been proven to be inaccurate", as you put it, and where is that information available?

    Well, since you ask, I was thinking about the famous Mann hockey stick. Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick tore it to shreds, and when the Gore film produced the same graphic it was asserted to be derived from Thompson’s ice core record, and thus still valid. It required a close bit of auditing to find that, though it came from a Thompson paper (http://bprc.osu.edu/Icecore/Abstracts/Thompsonetal-climatic-change-2003.pdf), it was actually the same Mann data which has been comprehensively disproven, though it is still being used to frighten people. Page 15, fig 7, graph d in the above reference if you want to look.

    "Why is it that El Reg only ever gives column inches to climate change naysayers?" Well, it could be that the Reg just likes being accurate, but I prefer to see it as adding balance to Real Climate. You could ask RC why they only give their space to Climate Alarmists...?

  88. alex d
    Heart

    suggestion

    Dude... you guys need a section on your website for all the excellent climate change articles you're writing. Something that's a list of all the best ones that'd be easy to link to.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Dodgey Geezer

    "Torn to shreds" ... by whom? To what standard? In which peer-reviewed journals? To what level of acceptance in the climate-science community?

    I call 'Bullshit" on that. No I'm not getting personal, but the very large majority of climate change scientists are confident in the data .... continually being updated and fit to improved models, of course, which is the responsible thing to do.

    And hasn't the point been made (God knows how many times now) that there is and will always be large local and short-term variability in temperatures .... but it's the global long-term trend, and it's climate effects, that are the problem.

    So if Real Climate (is that a web site?) are firmly pro-AGW, then we could say that El Reg is firmly anti-AGW?

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    @Steven Goddard

    So, "there's not enough data" from Angmagssalik ....... Hmmmm. And I suppose the same goes for the other arctic stations you refer to as being similar. Then why did you write the article and use those data sources at all? I don't see how you can get a sine-wave relationship out of that data set, especially (excuse my being repetitive) since "there's not enough data".

    Regarding the other graphs, take a look at the 1978-2008 data plot:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1978/plot/rss/from:1978

    .... It's pretty clear that's an upward trend with high variance.

    You yourself said: "Extrapolating one small section linearly will invariably give you the wrong answer." And I agree, which is what you implied in the later comment regarding the data plot from only 1998-2008: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1998/plot/rss/from:1998

    The ice-age questions (which are essentially the natural vs anthropogenic warming questions) have been asked and answered many times. The main points are:

    - the majority of current warming is anthropogenic (models are in close agreement with measured data);

    - the rate of measured warming is significantly* higher than natural warming;

    - the amplitude of measured warming is significantly* higher than previous "warm periods";

    - local and short-term variance exists;

    - models and projections are being continually improved and revised.

    * in a statistical sense.

  91. Brian Dodge

    Which camp is yours?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1950/offset:-335/mean:30/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1950/scale:0.1/mean:30/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/scale:100/mean:30

    http://www.longrangeweather.com/images/chart.pdf

    Pick which side you believe.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @El Rupester

    > "Anonymous Coward (responding to Graham F): the judge ruled that Al was mostly right; the film could be showed with discussion notes; and referred to "errors" in inverted commas because that was the allegation: not because he agreed. The sock-puppet who brought the case lost. Oh, and "error" was if Al disagreed with the IPCC report! In other words, contrary to your implication, he fully agreed that AGW is happening and the IPCC was correct."

    Mea Culpa. Now that I read my comment again, I suppose it would probably be taken that way, but that wasn't how I meant it. What I meant was ...

    It's dangerous for any court to attempt to evaluate science, whether it agrees or disagrees, even if limited to whether some science should or should not be taught in schools, with or without caveats. IMHO, the judge should have dismissed the case with a statement along the lines of, "Whether the school curriculum includes certain audio-visual material or certain teaching points is a matter for the education board and not a matter for the courts (so long as the material itself does not contravene statutes, e.g. pornography, obscenity)."

    There, that's better.

  93. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    Re:@(one of the)Mark(s) Re: Re: Melting ice on land

    and 90% of an iceberg is below water.

    So 10%.

    A reduction of a 2 mile deep ice sheet to 1.8 miles requires a 1.8 mile deep bowl the same size.

    Maybe the Greeks were partially right, you do seem to be using your brain purely as an organ for cooling the blood...

  94. El Rupester
    Unhappy

    @AC (@El Rupester)

    At risk of firing an inecessary digression or flame...

    AC said:

    It's dangerous for any court to attempt to evaluate science, whether it agrees or disagrees, even if limited to whether some science should or should not be taught in schools, with or without caveats. IMHO, the judge should have dismissed the case with a statement along the lines of, "Whether the school curriculum includes certain audio-visual material or certain teaching points is a matter for the education board and not a matter for the courts (so long as the material itself does not contravene statutes, e.g. pornography, obscenity)."

    I respectfully disagree.

    The reason we have courts is to try to decide complicated things to some level of "truth" between two arguing parties. That is their job: they aren't perfect but I'm not sure I'd say that they should not do it.

    Perhaps a good example is "Scopes Monkey trial" or -more recently- Dover & Kansas. The Education board decided to teach Creationism instead of evolution, and it went to court to rule on what should be taught.

    The logical conclusion of your point is that you think that too is wrong, and if the Education board wants to teach religion instead of science, that's OK?

    I suppose it is not actually off-topic: there is an odd and somewhat scary overlap of people who are do not agree that AGW is a concern, and who support Intelligent Design. I am not making ad hominem on anyone here, but people like George Gilder, Regnery Press explicitly link the two as "liberal attacks on common sense".

  95. Dave Stone

    How about some climate facts, for a change...

    Hmmm, global warming.

    As a meteorologist I definately have ideas on this subject. But, I'll keep it short. :-)

    Now I'll take it one small step further. While global warming 'might' be occurring (I say might because in geologic time 50 or 100 years is merely a spit in the ole' bucket) I do not see it as a problem that humans can, in all reality, either control or significantly influence. Mother Earth certainly retains that province. And, within her sphere of influence, there are patterns that have been observed over long periods of time. (I'm going to cut a lot of meteorolocal details here in the interest of not globally warming this particular thread. :-) :-) ) The bottom line is... and *this* has been clearly observed in the past... that as the earth, or more specifically the Northern Hemisphere, warms to the point of losing substantial polar (Arctic) ice, a mechanism (if you want the gorey[no pun originally intended] details I will gladly provide them) that has, again, in the past, been at the root of glacier formation and extreme winters in general kicks in. This rapidly(geologically speaking) cools the Northern Hemisphere. IOW, it precipitates an Ice Age. One extreme leads to another. We 'may' be influencing the earth's warming rate. But we are certainly *not* the master of it's climate.

  96. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Heart

    @AC

    "Torn to shreds ... by whom? To what standard? In which peer-reviewed journals? To what level of acceptance in the climate-science community?

    I call 'Bullshit' on that. No I'm not getting personal..."

    Ah, AC, my little chickadee, perish the thought that I should take offence at any truly honest seeker after knowledge. But if you are interested in the Mann Hockey Stick, (Pub. Michael Mann, Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes: Nature, 1998; Geophysical Research Letters, 1999), there are a wealth of independent contradictory studies. Some examples below:

    Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick pinpointed methodological problems (Pub. Energy and the Environment, 2003), comprising unjustifiably truncated or extrapolated trends from source data, used obsolete data, made incorrect calculations, and associated data sets with incorrect geographical locations.

    David Chapman, Marshall Bartlett and Robert Harris (Pub. Geophysical Research Letters, 2004) showed that Mann and Schmidt had unjustifiably excluded the bore-hole data and concluded that their methods were “just bad science” and that they had presented a “selective and inappropriate presentation” of results.

    Jan Esper, David Frank and Robert Wilson (Pub. EOS Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 2004) showed that the statistical methods used inappropriately remove trends over long time periods. Just the sort of climate data that you so accurately pinpointed as essential in your last missive.

    Henry Pollack and Jason Smerdon (Pub. Journal of Geophysical Research, 2004) showed that Mann used proxies with very limited data sets based on only one or two trees for the early part of the record and a methodology that removed long-term cooling trends by erroneously correlating temperature trends with the age of the tree.

    David R. Legates et al. (Pub. Geophysical Research Letters, February 2004) tried to replicate Mann's findings and revealed that the blade of the hockey stick could not be reproduced using either the same techniques as Mann and Jones or other common statistical techniques.

    That's enough for this message - more on further application! The Wegman Report and the paper by David Holland (Bias and Concealment in the IPCC Process: The "Hockey-Stick" Affair and Its Implications - Energy and Environment, 2007) are also deserving of attention.

    ...........................................

    "So if Real Climate (is that a web site?) are firmly pro-AGW, then we could say that El Reg is firmly anti-AGW?"

    Well, Vulture Central will have to make their position clear themselves, of course. I couldn't possibly comment on this!

    I simply remark, given the tendency of AGW 'scientists' to conduct their 'science' by suppressing the publication of any alternative view, that it is good to see a conduit opening for these views. Perhaps you might help such openness by encouraging the Chief Scientist of the Hadley Center, John Mitchell, to release his official comments to IPPC (which were meant to be archived). He currently claims that his work in this field is his 'own personal property', and hence immune from publication under the Freedom of Information Act.....

  97. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Warming trend

    There isn't any question that most of the world has warmed since 1978. Some of that is undoubtedly due to human influences. My points would be that-

    1. Warming is probably less than IPCC estimates - much less than the early IPCC estimates.

    2. It may be somewhat cyclical.

  98. gabor
    Stop

    Archimedes' law -- correctly

    While on the subject of accuracy: climate science might be complex, but Archimedes' law is not. Ice floating in fresh water will not change the water level when it melts, but the same is not true for ice floating in sea water. Salty water is denser than fresh water, but the ice has very little salt in it, so it will displace less volume than the resultant water melt. When the sea ice melts, it will slightly increase the sea level. I can't be bothered to look up by how much ;-)

  99. James Pickett
    Stop

    But...

    If global warming doesn't exist, what will happen to all those research grants?

    Sounds like a good opportunity to send Jeremy Clarkson back to the N.Pole, though...

  100. Brian Dodge

    RE Archimedes' law -- correctly; by gabor

    Gavin Schmidt over at Real Climate (google scholar -"Results 1 - 10 of about 107 for "Gavin Schmidt" climate change.") did the calculations and came up with 0.3 mm sea level rise.

    (FYI; google scholar -"Results 1 - 1 of 1 for "Brian Dodge" climate change." Not me; different Brian Dodge. If you don't trust 0.3mm is accurate, do your own research/calculations.)

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @El Rupester

    It's getting too far off topic to go much further, but I just wanted to assure you that I absolutely detest Intelligent Design and consider myself quite "enlightened". Suffice to say, even though I wasn't displeased with the Kansas school board case result, nevertheless, I respect the right of education boards to choose curricula as a matter of self-determination and dislike attempts from any of the Judiciary, Executive or Legislature to intervene to the level of detail of what specific science topics can/should/must be taught in schools. Of course, sometimes, education board members are appointed by governments ....

    Afterthought: If, however, there's a case of demonstrable "harm" as a result of what's taught, then I suppose that's a different matter and that could be heard in court, IMHO.

  102. chris adkins
    Coat

    whats next

    Global Warming/Climate Change is this decade's global catastrophe

    before that i think it was AIDS

    and what happened to being scared about Nuclear Weapons.

    I wonder what the next thing is i need to be scared about so that i can go and purchase products to make me feel all secure again.

  103. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Alert

    A useful reference book...

    "I wonder what the next thing is i need to be scared about ..."

    chris adkins

    Chris, may I recommend the book "Extrordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds", by Charles Mackay (pub 1841)? It provides a comprehensive description of the idiocies and baseless fears of Western European humanity from about 1550 to 1840. I am sure you will find something in there to be frightened about - plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....

    Incidentally, I have often thought that the book could do with updating to cover the last hundred years - perhaps an El Reg contributor would oblige.....

  104. Neil

    @Vetis

    "Not sure why its on the reg but love the article."

    The slogan "Sci/Tech News for the World" and the fact that the article is in the Science section might have something to do with it.

  105. Dr Stephen Jones

    @Rupester

    "The level of blatant ignorance, people who can't / won't think for themselves, or even try to understand basic science."

    I agree, Rupester. Before the enlightenment, social policy was set by authority from interpretations of the word of God. Then rationality and deduction came along, and we demanded that theories require evidence before use them as the justification for policy.

    "Lets start with the simple facts: CO2 absorbs infra-red. More CO2 => more heat aborbed and the temperature goes up. CO2 levels have gone up 50% and are accelerating, so heat will go up more."

    The facts pertain to a hypothesis, which is an interesting one. But there is no indication that that recent rapid rises in CO2 have *caused* the predicted effects: the CO2 and temperatures are out of phase. Your challenge is to demonstrate proof that human agency has significant effects on climate that cannot be explained by variance in natural phenomena. (The key here is significant). Correlation does not equal causation, however, and unless your hypothesis can find this evidence to support it, then it's as useful or worthless as any other hypothesis.

    For example, I challenge you to disprove *my* hypothesis that the cosmos is turtles all the way down. Can you prove me wrong? But then it's incumbent on the person advancing the hypothesis to provide compelling evidence. Anecdotes ("I think I saw a turtle…" will not do. Nor will computer models that produce turtle shapes.

    Without this evidence, you're navigating entirely using Belief.

    "I do not have a scientific model to prove my house will burn down this year but I still pay buildings insurance"

    Well, this shows you haven't been entirely convinced by anecdotal evidence or computer models - or perhaps you've taken a close look at the IPCC's summary of scientific understanding and discovered that scientific knowledge of natural forcing factors is officially classed as "LOW". In other words, much more research needs to be done.

    But in saying "maybe, maybe not, don't matter" then trying to justify that position, you're getting confused. Taking out insurance is a rational response to a quantifiable risk.

    The rational response here is a) find out whether there is a problem b) whether we need to do anything about it and c) dependant on a) and b, then weigh the costs and benefits of both mitigation and adaptation strategies.

    Agreed? You've simply flown from a) to c) using Belief as your guide, to gloss over the missing logic. Presumably because you find the End-Times myth making compelling.

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Sheesh,

    When will the boffins realise that they're all completely wrong and Global Warming is caused by the decline in Pirates since the beginning of the 18th century!

    Arrr it be correlation off the port bow mehearties!

  107. Mark

    @Dr Stephen Jones

    "The facts pertain to a hypothesis, which is an interesting one. But there is no indication that that recent rapid rises in CO2 have *caused* the predicted effects: the CO2 and temperatures are out of phase."

    That is not a hypothesis. You can try it yourself.

    Wear a jumper. A big, thick wooly jumper.

    Warm? Not yet.

    Later... Warm? You bet.

    IT LAGS!!!!

    "For example, I challenge you to disprove *my* hypothesis that the cosmos is turtles all the way down. Can you prove me wrong?"

    Yup. Looks down. No turtles. I've been in Australia. No turtles there (which would have to be lying on their back on Australia.

    "Agreed? You've simply flown from a) to c) using Belief as your guide, to gloss over the missing logic. Presumably because you find the End-Times myth making compelling."

    No, this is jumping from a to c because we don't have room (or the capability: how you do put a multi-variate graph on El Reg's comment pages?) to put the workings. Go look at the IPCC. There's your (b).

    Where did you get that "Dr"? Zaire Internet College???

  108. Tim Williams
    Stop

    The oil is running out

    The oil is running out, that should be pretty obvious to most people by now. I no longer believe the "global catastropy if we don't change" theory, not because I believe the science is wrong in principle, but because I no longer believe that there is enough of the stuff left that's causing the problem (primarily oil) for us to reach the worst case scenario.

    Concerted international action might bring the current oil price spike down, but that will at best give us a temporary breathing space.

    Whatever you believe, the oil is running out so we need to be more efficient with what we have left and where possible switch to something better.

  109. Steve
    Stop

    Fresh water effects on the Gulf Stream

    Melting polar ice will have an effect, it will dilute the salinity of the sea water and cause the Gulf Stream to slow/change/stop and we will all freeze/boil/die!

    I'm no expert, can you tell? But I can explore possibilities not covered in this article, which IMO would not stand up to scrutiny.

  110. Thomas
    Thumb Down

    Hansen's first article

    It is claimed that in the 80s Hansen stated that the North and South poles should warm the same. However, if you bother to read that article you quickly see that this is the equilibrium response, i.e. what will happen if you double CO2 and wait a century or two to let temperatures stabilize. If you look at the transient response the far larger amount of oceans in the southern hemisphere will be able to absorb more heat, delaying the warming.

  111. El Rupester

    @ Dr Stephen Jones

    I'm sorry, I am really not sure I follow you here...

    El Rupester>"Lets start with the simple facts: CO2 absorbs infra-red. More CO2 => more heat aborbed and the temperature goes up. CO2 levels have gone up 50% and are accelerating, so heat will go up more."

    Dr Stephen> The facts pertain to a hypothesis, which is an interesting one. But there is no indication that that recent rapid rises in CO2 have *caused* the predicted effects: the CO2 and temperatures are out of phase. Your challenge is to demonstrate proof that human agency has significant effects on climate that cannot be explained by variance in natural phenomena. (The key here is significant). Correlation does not equal causation, however, and unless your hypothesis can find this evidence to support it, then it's as useful or worthless as any other hypothesis.

    You missed the point. You (and a lot of people on this thread) seem to assume that the only basis for AGW is some observed rise in temperature, which is then retrofitted onto a rationale. If that were the case, then your "Correlation does not equal causation" would obviously be a valid point.

    But it isn't.

    The physics is that CO2 absorbs IR re-radiated from the earth

    If you have any observations to disprove that, I'd be intrigued...

    So (all other things being equal), more CO2 = more heat absorbed. That's not "hypothesis" it is simple logic.

    Indeed, it is accepted: that is why Venus is hotter than it "ought" to be, and if it were not for greenhouse gases (water, CO2, methane) thanb earth would be far colder.

    Again, if you have any observations to disprove that, I'd be intrigued...

    Then comes the hypothesis, which dates back to Arrhenius in 1896 who put numbers to the "rise" and estimated that halving of CO2 would decrease temperatures by 4 - 5 °C and a doubling of CO2 would cause a temperature rise of 5 - 6 degrees Celsius

    This is not searching for a carrelation. Nor is it epidemiology where we see a pattern and try to derive a hidden, underlying cause. What we are doing is getting (noisy, inaccurate) data to test a prediction based on simple, verified physics.

    Now, the latest data does not exactly align to Arhhenius' predictions. The key words "all other things being equal" - because they aren't. we have other factors: solar cycles, El Nino, positive feedback from albedo, negative feedback, etc etc

    But the huge fallacy is in assuming this is seaching for cause from a correlation: it is starting with physics predicting a correlation. If we do not see one, then we still know the physics is there, but there are other factors going on too which swamp it.

    But no-one I have seen as told me what those things are which mean the earth is actually cooling at precidsely (fortuitously) the rate to balance the heating

    So, if I worry about AGW I have:

    Basic physics + predictive theory + measured data on imputs + observed (if noisy data) on outputs confirm causaility" => all of which confirm why I ought to be worried

    I would describe that as "a rational response to a quantifiable risk"

    If you want to tell me I'm wrong, I'd be delighted. But to do, I'd like to see an explanation that explains why the greenhouse effect that observably worked from 0 to 260ppm of CO2 suddently stopped working as we rise to 450ppm or beyond.

    "Correlation does not imply causality" is a good slogan.

    But "Agreed physics + Predictive model + hard data confirms causality" is a better one

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Myths

    So is it just an urban legend that the north pole is frozen in ice, in the same way that we used to think that the moon was made of cheese and that the earth was flat until we went to look?

  113. Anon Koward
    Pirate

    @whats next

    I have read through all the comments and I was waiting to see if anyone had noticed that, (nope all too busy debating trends in graphs and coming up with a myriad of intellectual insults for each other).

    It is a sad fact that scientists don't earn enough money in their chosen career that they have to resort to scare-mongering tactics such as global warming, AIDs etc to raise grant money as job protection but let’s not forget it is a fact.

    The other aspect to all of this is that these disaster scenario's play into the hands of the mostly bored, commonly drunk jurno's and politicians. It's a safe topic to write/talk about as it automatically spurns this type of lengthy debate.

    I can in all honesty say that I neither like nor dislike Al Gore and his message on Global Warming I respect hi ability to make him very large sums of cash, marketing on the latest disaster scenario.

    In summary are we all going to burn up in a Venus like cataclysm as a result of Global Warming, no? What do I base that on, what graphs or facts? None I call it faith* ;)

    *Not the religious zealot's faith in some unknown entity but the type of faith that Physicists has about Quantum Entanglement or Biologists over the creation of life..

  114. Unkle Al
    Dead Vulture

    @whats next by chris adkins

    I'll tell you what to be scared of next: Imagine someone with influenza is exposed to and contracts H5N1 avian flu. The theorized exchange of genetic information between the two virii could enable H5N1 to become an upper respiratory infection, dramatically increasing communicablilty. (H5N1 being a lower respiratory infection limits the rate of infection from human to human) So now, the mutated/enhanced H5N1 is easily spread from human to human and retains a very high mortality rate. Imagine the 1918 flu pandemic with a possibly higher percentage of the global population infected and much higher mortality rates.

    Dead bird, obviously.

  115. Jim Middleton
    Boffin

    If you actualy look at the graph...

    You'll see this statement is incorrect:

    "Summed up over the entire earth, polar ice has remained constant. As seen below, there has been no net gain or loss of polar sea ice since records began."

    If you actually look at the graph, you'll see that the global sea ice area is clearly trending downward over the period depicted. The blue line is the reading for a certain day, the brown line is the mean over all the years depicted for that calender date. The blue line is above the brown line in the early years, and clearly below the brown line now. i.e. the global sea ice is trending downward - I'd say by about 5% over the last 30 years, by eyeballing it.

    Is it due to man made global warming? I don't know. But if you are going to use graphs, at least understand what they represent before you publish them.

  116. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Excellent discussion about the Arctic climate

    http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Follow the money

    WRT the notion that climate scientists are motivated by greed to "push" AGW: it should be obvious they can make more money by "debunking" than by "pushing."

    It's probably true that, if people are scared about global warming, more research funding money goes into the pool for which climatologists compete. Some scientists may see their own funding prospects improving modestly if they support the AGW consensus. I'd be might surprised, however, if anyone's getting rich by publishing pro-AGW findings.

    OTOH, people (like our iconic friend here) who make money in the fossil-fuel market stand to lose billions if serious AGW abatement policies are adopted. They'll always be ready to outbid the AGW "pushers" for favorable scientific conclusions. If I were a climate scientist who was motivated primarily by greed, I'd be working for the "debunkers," not the "pushers."

    Something to keep in mind when evaluating research findings.

  118. Daniel
    Happy

    Rising Sea Levels

    Now like every other person here, I have a half contrived view on this. It's not melting ice caps or any other global warming nonsense causing rising sea levels.... its the navy

    Think about it, there are more boats now then there were many years ago. As a boat sinks, it displaces water, and we then build a new boat which also displaces some water... the sea will continue to rise the more boats we put into it...

    Don't believe me? Put a boat in a glass of water! it will destroy the glass... in this case the glass is representing the world... ergo, boats destroy the world.

    Rock on the armchair scientist

  119. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    IT Angle

    @ (another?) AC..

    "WRT the notion that climate scientists are motivated by greed to "push" AGW: it should be obvious they can make more money by "debunking" than by "pushing."

    Tell that to Steve McIntyre. No doubt there will come a time for debunking, when all the little ACs will run to explain how suspicious they were of this scare, but how they had to keep quiet for one reason or another, but it's not yet. If you debunk now, you get the reward of the late, great John Daly....

    Oh, and...

    "...I'd like to see an explanation that explains why the greenhouse effect that observably worked from 0 to 260ppm of CO2 suddently stopped working as we rise to 450ppm or beyond..."

    El Rupster

    There is a saturation point, beyond which greater concentrations of CO2 cease to have any effect. You can play with some graphs here: http://www.applet-magic.com/radiativeff.htm

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "getting rich by publishing pro-AGW findings."

    @AC: You don't follow the news closely. The bankers are piling into AGW:

    "Sir Nicholas Stern, author of the famous Stern Report, which underpins many an argument in favour of climate change mitigation, is behind a 'carbon credit reference agency' launched today.

    "By 2020 the global carbon market could be worth EUR 240-450 billion” says Lord Nicholas Stern, Vice Chairman of IDEAGlobal Group, in the inaugural issue of CARBONfirst"

    http://www.ideacarbon.com/press.asp

    $ir Nicholas $tern indeed.

    http://www.climate-resistance.org/2008/06/ir-nihola-trn.html

    AGW keeps the wheels greased nicely.

  121. El Rupester
    Thumb Down

    @Dodgy Geezer

    re "Follow the money"

    Absolutely. And, of course, Greenpeace is notoriorously far richer than Exxon.

    /sarcasm.

    You progress in science by publishing somethjing new.

    How many papers do you think were published this year on "Yeah, Einstein was right" rather than "Here's how to extend Einstein and fix what he missed". Well, few of the latter, cos no-ones done it yet: but that is what everyone is *trying* to do, as that is where the money is.

    Re saturation.

    I read it.

    For a start: "That leaves about 0.5°C as the anthropogenic effect. [from C02]"

    -- so he is hardly arguing against AGW, is he?

    He is hoping that it won't be too bad: After all, "As Vladimir Putin has said, "an increase of two or three degrees wouldn't be so bad for a northern country like Russia."

    So that's all right then.

    Polar ice? Lowered albedo & positive feedback? Disruption of Gulf stream? All in areas he sees warming as likely, but all with potentially worrying broader consequences.

    Even if you believe his argument, it is hardly reassuriung.

    But I don't.

    1) How convenient we are at that saturation point. "Out of all the concentrations in the world, you happen to walk into mine"

    Uhh... sorrry... got carried away there. But you get the point. Why *this* concentration? Why not 500pm? Or 800pm? Or 5000ppm

    2) He alleges that we are between C & D. But there are no numbers, no maths - and no linkls.

    By his own graphs, at low concentrations (between A & B) the effect is steep. We are far from saturation:(watrer vapour of 0.03 and CO2 of 0.0004) so I think (on the same evidence as he has) we are between A & B where it is steep.

    Prove me wrong: give me a fact or two.

    3) There is no saturation: there is a decrease in gradient. If this were only effect then all his point would prove is that the global warming would slow down - but will still be happening. But it isn't the only effect: so now we are hoping that (unkown/risky) negative feedback may be is stronger than (unknown/risky) positive. Uhh.. great.

    4) But the atmosphere varies. At high altitudes it is dry, so it is nothing like saturated.

    5) In a word "Venus". If there were saturation at low concentrations of CO2, the temperature there would not be what it is.

    QED

  122. Brandon
    Paris Hilton

    zzzZZZzzz....

    The only part interesting me in the whole global warming story is when my cost of living goes up because of some un-proven hypothesis. Then I start to care about global warming...

    Sure, I care about the environment and preserving our water sources and farm lands, because I need to eat, and drink, as do my family, friends, and community, which I also care about. How am I going to sell a product when all of my consumers are dead from poisoned water supplies, or tainted soil?

    Paris because she's never cold in her southern most regions...

  123. El Rupester
    Boffin

    @Dodgy Geezer (PS)

    Here's a more detailed discussion

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument/

    Apparently, the saturation point is about 10,000 times what we now have.

    So it won't help any time soon (we'd suffocate long before then)

    And as for my Venus point:

    > The temperature of Venus (~ 100% CO2 atmosphere, at 10 bar)

    > …..surface = 467C, (boiling sufur)

    > …..but the expected value without a greenhouse effect = -42 C

    > That ’strongly suggests’ the Earth’s CO2 level isn’t at a saturation value.

    The comments do meander a lot, but the article and the links do a pretty good job of showing why Mr Watkins has over-simplified, and what he has missed in not calculating the actual numbers.

  124. Mark
    Boffin

    Saturation

    "There is a saturation point, beyond which greater concentrations of CO2 cease to have any effect. You can play with some graphs here: http://www.applet-magic.com/radiativeff.htm"

    Note three things:

    1) Sea level concentrations. Increasing concentration increases scale depth and increases the depth of the insulating layer, reducing power losses to space.

    2) Unsaturated bands. The edges of the bands will get thicker and the complete absorbtion band will widen. As you go UP the frequency scale, the energy you're keeping in goes up

    3) Increasing by twofold has never been said to increase absorption twofold. That we get less than that doesn't mean it's increasing.

  125. Name

    Guys, grow up.

    Guys, seriously, deal with it.

    Its a reality and we can't afford to futz around. In fact even if the fiction that GW was untrue was itself true - its not a failsafe game, the failure mode is too catastrophic to be acceptable.

    Stop pretending you can argue with numbers and facts, you can't.

    And go and read up on Chaos Theory - the rising temperature itself is likely to be the least of our problems.

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Increased variability

    Climate change (global warming being a wrong term) only means "increased variability" i.e. an increase in extreme events. This is caused by the weakening, by human activity, of the earth's dampening effect due to pollution, deforestation, urbanisation, green-house gaz, etc.

    The whole carbon story is over-estimated and now driven by a feed-back loop between policy makers, media and sicentists.

    To my opinion, pollution (an its long term effect) is a far more important problem to tackle.

  127. Mark

    Re:zzzZZZzzz....

    What unproven hypothesis?

    Do you complain about your medical bill when the doctor/dentist/veterinarian charges you for an operation for something you haven't yet suffered from?

    Do you hate that you're told smoking will kill you and have extra tax placed on smkokes for an unproven hypothesis (you haven't died from cancer yet!)

    Stupid twat.

  128. Mark

    Re:"getting rich by publishing pro-AGW findings."

    So what's turned all these conservative (us-style) capitalists into tree-hugging hippies? Maybe that there IS proof enough that doing NOTHING will be risking MORE capitalist destruction than doing SOMETHING?

    I bet if the bankers were still doing nothing, you'd point out that this is proof that the arguments are not convincing...

  129. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Heart

    @ El Rupster et al

    "re "Follow the money"

    Absolutely. And, of course, Greenpeace is notoriorously far richer than Exxon.

    /sarcasm."

    Roy Spence reports:

    "ExxonSecrets.org notes that I have given talks on global warming at conservative think tanks like the Marshall Institute, implying that I have some sort of financial relationship with them. In truth, I received no speaking fee for these talks -- but I HAVE been paid for giving talks for environmental organizations in several states. I wonder why ExxonSecrets.org doesn't mention this connection to "Big Environmentalism"? After all, they are the ones who have paid me speaking fees -- not the Marshall Institute."

    It looks like the environmental organisations ARE richer than conservative think tanks? /sarcasm?

    "Apparently, the saturation point is about 10,000 times what we now have."

    The actual saturation point is an asymptote. The effect will become insignificant long before it is reached.

    "Prove me wrong: give me a fact or two."

    Well, I suppose the most obvious fact would be the published world temperatures. These are now plunging quite sharply, as we seem to have gone over the top of this cycle and started heading downwards. Have you seen the latest June MSU figures? We will have more sea ice this year than last. We are colder than 1988, when Hansen began his scare stories. These are what the whole sorry mess is about and the global warming predictions are now beginning to fail. Given the shortcomings of the computer models, that's not so suprising. You might like to read http://www.john-daly.com/guests/un_ipcc.htm#3 for a short summary of some of these...

  130. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

    TV News special

    I think it was ITV who did a series of TV News specials from the poles one year. They went to the Arctic in the summer and showed dramatic footage of ice melting with the comentry "Look the ice is melting, sea levels will rise, were all doomed"

    Then 6 months later they went to the antarctic during it's summer and reported "Look the ice is melting, sea levels will rise, were all doomed".

    The smarter viewers would be aware that this was summer but they did not bother informing the less well informed.

    As for the sea level rising, sea ice melting has no effect as it's already in the sea.

    Whether global warming is real or not, the reporting was deliberately misleading. People who don't have the time to question all of this info will be misled, which means most people. I dunno where all the Reg readers get so much time. It's a pity the main TV and news people did not spend as much time trying to find the truth as they do trying to get a message across.

  131. John Philip
    Thumb Down

    Blatent Misrepresentation

    "As shown in Figure 2-2 from the article, Hansen calculated that both the Arctic and Antarctic would warm by 5-6 degrees Centigrade. His predictions were largely incorrect, as most of Antarctica has cooled and sea ice has rapidly expanded. The evidence does not support the theory."

    Except the whole paper is an examination of what is projected to happen after CO2 levels rise by a factor of two. We're several decades away from that, so how can you possibly claim that Hansen's predictions were wrong?

    In fact the delayed response of the Antarctic is predicted by the models, and averaged overall the continent,inclduing the rapdily warming Antarctic Peninsula the last 40 years show a slight warming. (Bertler et al. 2004)

    "while the Antarctic broke the record for the most sea ice area ever recorded. "

    Nope - the highest since satellite measurements began perhaps but just lookkee at what happened prior to that ...http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/shwwzmu.JPG

    Bit of an accuracy-free zone, this one.

    JP.

  132. Mark

    Dodgy Geezer

    "Well, I suppose the most obvious fact would be the published world temperatures. These are now plunging quite sharply, as we seem to have gone over the top of this cycle and started heading downwards."

    So what will the temperature be like in five years?

    How about this year? Will this year be colder than 1998? If it's a cycle, it should be.

  133. Mark

    Re: TV News special

    So, unlike when they crow about how it's not going to be bad? Or "New information means climate change won't be as bad"? They do that too.

  134. Luke Silburn

    Nice Rhetorical Sidestep There

    El Rupester said - "Prove me wrong: give me a fact or two."

    To which Dodgy Geezer replied:

    "Well, I suppose the most obvious fact would be the published world temperatures. These are now plunging quite sharply, as we seem to have gone over the top of this cycle and started heading downwards. Have you seen the latest June MSU figures? We will have more sea ice this year than last. We are colder than 1988, when Hansen began his scare stories."

    And how exactly are these facts germane to the question of whether CO2 in our atmosphere has reached a saturation point for IR absorbtion? Which was the point under discussion after all.

    Your claims of recent cooling are trumped by the multi-decadal warming trend in the observational record. Come back when they show up in the five-year mean and we can talk. Until then they are just a run of below trend observations - probably linked to the moderately strong La Nina that has been in force for the past year or so.

    Saturation as your proposed mechanism for why additional CO2 is having no effect failed at the most preliminary reality check, so please try again. Why isn't the additional CO2 in our atmosphere absorbing the IR as predicted by physics? Or alternatively, where is the absorbed IR energy going if it isn't showing up in the temperature data?

    Regards

    Luke

  135. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Unhappy

    @ TV News special - Wayland Sothcott

    Wayland,

    Indeed, it is deceitful, but I wouldn't read too much into this. It's a bit of 'Drop the Dead Donkey' - cameramen will always go for the best (worst) picture. When the Ice Age scare comes back they'll be taking pictures in deep freezes.

    There have been lots of comments about pathetic seal and polar bear pictures that were faked. The 'Glaciers are melting' stories are invariably illustrated with a picture of ice falling into the sea - these shots only come from glaciers which are INCREASING in length! Glaciers which are melting back do not calve, and so don't present an impressive picture.

    Incidentally, I note that there is a BBC item on the Perito Moreno glacier up at the moment. It says that it breaks up annually in winter and is now doing this in summer, implying that the glacier is shrinking. The Wiki says that the glacier is extending, and breaks up irregularly on about a 4-5 year cycle, when the trapped water gets too deep. Someone is lying, but I trust the Wiki on climate matters about as much as the BeeB. However, if the BBC is wrong, it's pretty blatent. I wonder if there's any point complaining....?

  136. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Your taxes at work

    (from this thread):

    "When a thread like this gets really depressing, I just insult the miniscule intelligence displayed. They weren't going to change their mind by persuasion, so insult them. It has two benefits: 1) they don't get the last (wrong) word 2) you get to tell them exactly what they are, which is cathartic"

    - By Mark

    "Stupid twat."

    - By Mark

    "Truly, you have a dizzying intellect."

    - By Mark

    "Maybe the Greeks were partially right, you do seem to be using your brain purely as an organ for cooling the blood..."

    - By Mark

    "Where did you get that "Dr"? Zaire Internet College???"

    - By Mark

    "Joint funding by the Department of the Environment and the UK Meteorological Office has allowed the creation of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction..."

    "The Hadley Centre’s work is carried out under contract to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Government Meteorological Research Programme, with additional funding from the European Commission and others."

    All public funding.

    So Mark is paid to sit at a computer all day and insult people on the web. And we have to pay for it?

  137. Mark

    re: Your taxes at work

    You're unemployed, eh?

    And if you can't kill the message, attack the messenger.

    Pathetic, truly pathetic.

    Where is my employment history on here? Where's Steven Goddards, more to the point?

  138. andy

    @mark

    "unlike when they crow about how it's not going to be bad? Or "New information means climate change won't be as bad"? They do that too."

    They bloody dont. They only care about scaremongering.

  139. Mark

    @andy

    Uh, take a look on this site (a media source) you're reading.

    The BBC, despite having been labelled staunchly pro-AGW has had several statements about how changes were not going to be so bad.

  140. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Re: John Philips

    There weren't any accurate records of Antarctic sea ice prior to satellites. We are on track to break the record again for most sea ice this year.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.south.jpg

    According to NASA, most of Antarctica is cooling while CO2 increases.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/Images/antarctic_temps.AVH1982-2004.jpg

    According to Dr. Hansen and others, most of Arctic warming is due to soot - not CO2.

    Northern hemisphere sea ice area is nearly 1,000,000 km2 greater than last year.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg

  141. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark

    "You're unemployed, eh? And if you can't kill the message, attack the messenger. Pathetic, truly pathetic. Where is my employment history on here? Where's Steven Goddards, more to the point?"

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    So you're not denying spewing insults all day at the taxpayer's expense? I'll take that as a "yes", then.

  142. Mark

    @Anonymous Coward

    Wow, with sucn an incisive mind you must be the belle of the ball.

    Hey, everyone, THIS is the reason why I swear and belittle the mouth-breathing arseholes on El Reg.

    They frigging deserve it!

  143. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  144. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  145. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    Chicken!!!!

    Bwaark buck buck buck!

    So you're too chicken to come out of the closet AC? Maybe because you're PaulM who has made the same scurrilous accusation. And STILL nothing from Steven Goddard?

    Chickens the lot of you.

    Well, you want categorical:

    I do not and have never worked for DEFRA.

    I am not and have never been a climate scientist (nor, indeed any other sort of scientist) for the Met Office.

    Categorical statement.

    Now, can the californian Steven Goddard tell us who he is? His paranoic delusion about death threats sound very much like Darl McBrides attempt to paint the FOSS crowd as a bunch of dangerous loonies. By lying, I might add. He's a vegetarian and he cycles rather than drives the car where he can.

    And any AC out there had better put their names to the posting. Who knows WHO you work for!

  146. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Heart

    Several responses - find your own!

    "How about this year? Will this year be colder than 1998? If it's a cycle, it should be."

    Umm...Yes it will be. Every year since 1998 has been colder. 1998 was a peak. I think maybe you have your axes confused..?

    "How convenient we are at that saturation point. "Out of all the concentrations in the world, you happen to walk into mine"

    Well, we have to hit it sometime.....

    "And how exactly are these facts germane to the question of whether CO2 in our atmosphere has reached a saturation point for IR absorbtion?"

    Um...I would have thought it was crucial. If the CO2 is still going up, and the temperature is not going up, then increased CO2 CAN'T be having the effect the AGW supporters claim. Saturation is one way they could save their proposal.

    "Your claims of recent cooling are trumped by the multi-decadal warming trend in the observational record. Come back when they show up in the five-year mean and we can talk. Until then they are just a run of below trend observations - probably linked to the moderately strong La Nina that has been in force for the past year or so."

    Well, it's been flat from 2001-2005 and dropping thereafter, so that shouldn't be long. Mind you, that's the longest La Nina I've seen. Perhaps increased CO2 stretches it out?

    "In a word "Venus". If there were saturation at low concentrations of CO2, the temperature there would not be what it is."

    This is a very interesting point to make. Remember, we don't know in detail what is happening in radiative interchange in our own atmosphere, though we can guess that the convective energy interchange via water vapour swamps any effect the CO2 is having. Exactly how the energy balance works is still being studied. And you have some some knowledge of how the Venusian system works? You shouldn't be posting here, quite a few NASA groups would be interested in this data...

    "Saturation as your proposed mechanism for why additional CO2 is having no effect failed at the most preliminary reality check, so please try again."

    Well, it's the commonest one to propose, which was why I gave it. The only other one is that CO2 concentration really does have very little effect. As you know, the effect due to CO2 is small, and so the models propose that this small effect is leveraged by increasing water vapour take-up. If that is not true (and it is an assumption) the whole basis on which 'runaway global warming' is based falls down. I repeat - your problem is that global temperatures are dropping while CO2 is rising. Postulating that CO2 saturation is occurring might save the AGW hypothesis that CO2 really is a dangerous gas which can have an excessive effect (at low concentrations). If you don't accept this, I am not sure how you will explain the temperature plateau and fall, except by ignoring it?

    "Why isn't the additional CO2 in our atmosphere absorbing the IR as predicted by physics? Or alternatively, where is the absorbed IR energy going if it isn't showing up in the temperature data?"

    See above. With the world getting colder it is really up to the AGW supporters to explain where the extra heat they expect is going.

  147. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Re: Doug and Mark

    If you had read the article a little more carefully before you posted today, you would have seen that it includes the text "The author is not affiliated directly or indirectly with any energy industry, nor does he have any current affiliation with any university."

    I do have an advanced engineering degree and extensive professional experience in several areas of science and engineering. I am not a climate scientist. Most of my work is independent and all is unrelated to the topics I write about for The Register.

    Mark, are you saying that you don't work in any capacity for the Met Office? You made it clear only that you are not a climate scientist.

    We all need to take an approach to life which minimizes our impact on the planet. I take my commitment seriously, and my personal energy usage is quite small - probably 70-80% less than most Europeans and Americans. Likewise, it is equally important to that our decisions are based on accurate information. That is the only way we will ever make good decisions about environmental priorities - based on facts. "Environmental priorities" sounds like a good topic for an article.

    Both of you, if you have specific objections to text in the articles, please articulate them in detail. I'd be happy to discuss and if necessary correct anything specific which is shown to be in error. Personal attacks have no place here, nor do idle speculations about things you know absolutely nothing about.

  148. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    More to Doug Bostrom

    Doug - I found your postings on Real Climate, and again I ask you to ask questions here before making wild accusations on other sites. There are simple answers to your questions

    I posted a response to you on RC - don't know if it will ever get printed but here it is.

    --------------------------------

    # Steven Goddard Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    8 July 2008 at 22:34

    Response to Doug Bostrom -

    First, it is scurrilous to reprint a private E-mail on a public forum without the author’s consent or knowledge. Then to call the other person a “liar” behind their back is quite remarkable behaviour. I have attempted to deal with you in a civil fashion, and you have violated all decorum.

    Besides Doug, you are wrong on all points.

    The first paragraph of the article in the Independent read on June 27 at 15:25 GMT when I took a zotero snapshot - “Exclusive: No ice at the North Pole Polar scientists reveal dramatic new evidence of climate change It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year. ”

    They have since changed the text, possibly as a result of my pointing out their inaccuracy. My piece contained the text from the Independent article exactly as it read at the time. A similar article with the same text appeared on Sky News at the same time, which has been removed completely. I have a zotero snapshot of that article as well. Instead of calling me a liar on RC, how about asking me first on The Register Forum where I would expect to see the question? There was a simple explanation - apparently Steve Connor chose to correct his story.

    Also, you are misrepresenting Hansen’s paper.

    In Hansen Nazarenko 2004, Hansen wrote that “Our estimate for the mean soot effect on spectrally integrated albedos in the Arctic … is about one quarter of observed global warming.”

    i.e. Dr. Hansen said that one-fourth of all global warming (over the entire planet) is due to Arctic soot. The same paper shows the forcing of soot as 2XC02 at 4.05 W/m2 Figure 1 shows Arctic warming of as much as 2-3C due to soot. My statement was completely correct - By any reasonable interpretation Hansen did imply that most of the warming in the Arctic is due to soot.

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2004/2004_Hansen_Nazarenko.pdf

    Also as mentioned in my article, a more recent paper from the University of California says that up to 94% of Arctic warming is due to soot.

    http://www.physorg.com/news100354399.html

    Unlike your incorrect characterization, my article (”Are the ic caps melting”) was about both poles - not just the Arctic. Antarctic ice is completely relevant.

    According to both UIUC and NSIDC, Arctic ice is greater than this date last year. I predicted in the article that the North Pole will not be ice free this summer. Check back in six weeks to see if I am wrong.

    As mentioned in my article, Mark Serreze at NSIDC said in 2000 “There’s nothing to be necessarily alarmed about. There’s been open water at the pole before” During the summer of 2000 there was “a large body of ice-free water about 10 miles long and 3 miles wide near the pole”

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F00E3DD1E31F93AA1575BC0A9669C8B63

    Doug Bostrom - instead of calling me a “liar,” how about engaging in civil conversation as I have attempted to do with you? Hint - you could start with an apology.

  149. Mark

    Re: Several responses

    Well, we'll talk again in 2009 about how cold 2008 was compared with 1998.

    I hope you have ketchup.

  150. Dr Stephen Jones

    @Rupester

    The point is that a hypothesis needs evidence if it is to be taken seriously as a basis for public policy. It must be demonstrably "better" than rival theories. The hypothesis is specifically that the human contribution to CO2 levels is causing dangerous warming. The policy implications are mitigation, adaptation, or a combination of the two.

    My argument is that the hypothesis is "not proven" - and you have a variety of responses to that.

    One is to appeal to a general theory, which is widely accepted.

    "The physics is that CO2 absorbs IR re-radiated from the earth If you have any observations to disprove that, I'd be intrigued..."

    Of course that doesn't advance your case. (Clue: human element missing).

    Another is to say that "warming" doesn't imply "warming". An analog to the rebranding exercise of "Global Warming" to "Climate Change".

    Then, perhaps realising you haven't found the smoking gun, you appeal to emotion:

    "So, if I worry about AGW I have: Basic physics + predictive theory + measured data on imputs + observed (if noisy data) on outputs confirm causaility" => all of which confirm why I ought to be worried. I would describe that as 'a rational response to a quantifiable risk'"

    And I would describe that as a laundry list of reasons to be worried, with the primary reason missing. No one ever calls themselves irrational, but some people are psychologically prone to worry. Some people stay at home on Friday 13th. Others run around unplugging the school WLAN. But there's no basis for policy making there, "eg close schools and workplaces on Friday 13th".

    Ultimately you're arguing that it doesn't need proof at all. In which case why bother at all? Because worrying is theraputic?

  151. John Philip

    More Ice Facts

    "There weren't any accurate records of Antarctic sea ice prior to satellites. We are on track to break the record again for most sea ice this year."

    Hmmm, you'd better inform the Hadley Centre - their dataset has observations dating back to the last century. I refer you to this paper :

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadisst/HadISST_paper.pdf

    and this NASA article

    " ... there was a dramatic loss of Antarctic sea ice cover from 1973 to 1977, and since then the ice has gradually spread in area. The increase has been slow enough that it does not totally wipe out the earlier decreases, said Claire Parkinson, senior researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and a co-author of the paper.

    Overall, from 1972 to 2002, the Antarctic ice declined on average by 150,000 square kilometers per decade. "

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NasaNews/2003/2003111016173.html

    Or this more recent piece ...

    Isabella Velicogna and John Wahr, both from the University of Colorado, Boulder, conducted the study. They demonstrated for the first time that Antarctica's ice sheet lost a significant amount of mass since the launch of GRACE in 2002. The estimated mass loss was enough to raise global sea level about 1.2 millimeters (0.05 inches) during the survey period; about 13 percent of the overall observed sea level rise for the same period. The researchers found Antarctica's ice sheet decreased by 152 (plus or minus 80) cubic kilometers of ice annually between April 2002 and August 2005.

    http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/mar/HQ_06085_arctic_ice.html

    'Breaking the record' is only newsworthy if the rate of increase is statistically significant. This is true of the Arctic ice extent, currently decreasing at -200 000 km2 or 3% per decade (faster in recent years) but not of Antacrtic ice extent for which the recent rate is +100,000 km2 or just 0.8% per decade.

    "Northern hemisphere sea ice area is nearly 1,000,000 km2 greater than last year."

    Yes, but remember also that 2007 was a record-shattering year for Artic ice extent, some 23% below the previous record ....

    "Arctic sea ice extent for June 2008 is close to that for 2007, which went on to reach the lowest minimum since at least 1979. More notably, however, satellite data indicate that melt began significantly earlier than last year over most of the Arctic Ocean. The large area of the Arctic Ocean covered by first-year ice (described in our June analysis), coupled with the early onset of melting, may mean more rapid and more severe summer ice retreat than last year. "

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    cheers,

    JP.

  152. NeilT
    Joke

    What a mishmash of half truths

    This is a well crafted piece of disinformation. The real Icing on the cake is the last statement.

    Amundsen did, in fact, finish his navigation the northwest passage (there are 7 of them and he did NOT navigate the main one), in 1905.

    The missing piece of information is that he set out in the summer of 1903 and it took him 2.5 years of jumping between cracks in the shifting ice to get there.

    Last year you could have taken an unstrengthened super tanker down the main channel which has never (in human memory) been open before. Just a little different.

    Most of the channels of the NW passage were discovered by foot and dogsled over the Ice.

    The Arctic ice began 1M SQ KM in extent higher than 2007. By mid June it had equalled 2007. Now it is about half a million sq km above 2007 as it has entered the traditional warming period for this time of year. However this is a much cooler year than 2007 (to date) yet the melt extent already exceeds 2007 by half a million sq km. Remember that it bean 1M higher and is now only 1/2 million higher.

    In the last two days circa 250,000 sq km of ice just vanished. Leaving a triangle of melting ice pointing right into the North Pole.

    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/arctic_AMSRE_nic.png

    Oh yes, they were not talking about a few miles of open water at the pole. They were talking half a million sq km of open water. Your picture of a submarine would not have been possible because you would have needed a helicopter or another sub to take it as the whole area around it and way, way over the horizon would be open water.

    I really hate it when someone who knows nothing about this cherry picks the sicence they wish to believe and then paints a completely false picture.

  153. Mark
    Linux

    Dr.

    "The point is that a hypothesis needs evidence if it is to be taken seriously as a basis for public policy. "

    Yup, so where's your evidence for your hypotheses?

    If you want us to take it seriously, that is.

  154. Mark
    IT Angle

    Steven Goddrd

    "The author is not affiliated directly or indirectly with any energy industry, nor does he have any current affiliation with any university."

    We don't even know your name. Why were YOU picked for this spot of media sensationalism? Why not some plumber what knows what's real? Why not someone who works in the field?

    Do you have relatives in the energy industry? Do you work for tobacco? Are you fronting for an ID/creationist crowd? How about your family?

    Why do you make personal attacks against Dr Hansen? Why do you make contradictory statements, like "the data clearly shows a cyclic change" and "there's not enough data for you to see an increase"?

    WHY, basically, do you have a pony in this show?

    And I notice a couple of other posts have gone AWOL....

  155. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Re: Mark

    Asking questions about a person's work is not a personal attack. It is an essential part of science and journalism. Neither Dr. Hansen nor anyone else on this planet is above question or the possibility of error.

    Speaking of unanswered and obfuscated questions, do you work for The Met? You have avoided answering that in many different ways. A simple yes or no will suffice.

    Re - "Do you have relatives in the energy industry? Do you work for tobacco? Are you fronting for an ID/creationist crowd? How about your family?"

    No to all of your questions. I am a concerned individual who sees proposals to re-engineer our society being shoved down our throats based on questionable data. Some US members of Congress want to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 90% - i.e. stop transportation, power generation, respiration and agriculture?

  156. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Re JP

    Arctic ice area is much greater than last year

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=07&fd=08&fy=2007&sm=07&sd=08&sy=2008

  157. fishman

    Al Gore

    Al Gore has made over $100 million dollars since he was the VP through his public appearances (he charges at least $100K/speech) and eco-investments (which he is indirectly pushing with his global warming mantra). His utility bills for his home in Tenn. for 2007 was over $30,000 - their youngest child is 25 so it's not like they have a bunch of teenagers living at home running up the utility bill.

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