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

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

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  1. JohnMurray

    Nothing

    to do with the "part time" work then ?

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  2. ph0b0s

    It's all about the CO2.

    I thought that the battle on acceptance of climate change was a battle pretty much won. It is the cause of the changes that have most people arguing at the moment. Not something covered by the article, so not really anything that is pertinent to the current disagreement.

    I don't think, those who still deny climate change happens and has always happened, are going to pay attention to a report like this. Not when the result of changes have been right in front of them for the past decade.

    I think the last argument to be had on climate change is whether sun activity or CO2 is more important in temperature changes. And if the sun is going into a period of very low activity while CO2 is still climbing, what happens to temperatures going forward will answer that last disagreement quite well.

    1. mr.K
      Coat

      "Not when the result of changes have been right in front of them for the past decade."

      You may say so, but it really irks me that for the last decade global warming, or climate change as it has been rebranded as, is blamed for more or less everything that happens on this planet. And if you even suggest the mere possibility of other reasons you are branded heretic in the church of climate change.* It does not irk me because I believe that it might not be true, but because that it is rare that there a good scientific foundation is presented. Presented is the keyword here, because at least some of the time there is, it just doesn't reach the media outlets. And again, we are not talking about manmade global warming here, we are talking about claimed effects that have already started. The other reason for this bugging me is the search for other possible culprits does not happen. So you get these scenarios like:

      -A flood happens and global warming is blamed and nobody cares about the fact that somebody have straightened out the river and cut down a lot of forest that would normally soak up the water.

      -A big storm destroys a lot of housing and all we discuss is how we need to be ready to cope with more of that because of global warming, and nobody asks the question of why the houses are all new and nobody would consider building there fifty years ago.

      -Ice starts to melt somewhere, and other pollutions seems to be disregarded off hand because climate change is always the cause.

      -The loss of species is blamed on climate change and lets people cut down their habit that in peace because: Hey, it isn't them is it, it is all down to climate change.

      And so on. So no, I have not really seen the clear cut scientific results. However, I do find it likely that there is a fair amount of them. I just wish you were allowed to seek out other causes as well.

      .

      *And of course you are named as a martyr in the church of climate skeptics.

      1. ph0b0s

        That's my bugbear too.

        You missed the point I was making with the sentence you quoted, It was that this report is not going to accomplishing much, as anyone who would disagree with it's findings at this point, would not be convinced by any report anyway. These are people that would not think it odd when they see things like more hurricane activity in the gulf blowing down their houses or flowers that are coming up earlier and staying for longer than they did before. Or winters that have been colder than they have been for a long time. These people are not going to be swayed by a report.

        The issues you are complaining about I could not agree with more. That climate change is the go to reason for anything that happens. That annoys the hell out of me too. I have noticed some reporting of weather now does make a point of saying that such and such an event is probably not climate change related. Which is a step in the right direction.

      2. danleywolfe
        Mushroom

        The problem is what really is the effect and legitimate statement of attribution

        The problem of ascribing CO2 as the "primary" cause of global warming as the climate advocacy / IPCC claim is having a reasonable bit of evidence either showing cause and effect or explaining away all other causes including solar cycles. It hasn't been done and the IPCC is still working with hypothesis and hypothetical models that do not provide adequate treatment of a) feedbacks and b) solar related causes.

    2. Marvin the Martian

      A downvote for your first line.

      "I thought that the battle on acceptance of climate change was a battle pretty much won." If you genuinely think that then you haven't really followed any news the last decade.

      Well I thought religion and other superstitions were pretty much solidly debunked, too; quite a lot of people seem to interpret the evidence otherwise. And with evolution being genuinely unquestionable since several lifetimes, under overwhelming evidence, there's still a good quarter of Merricans solidly believing in being created.

      Scientifically it's a no-brainer --- you pump out C02, it will trap heat, temperature will go up --- but proof of how fast and how much etc is far from solidly proven.

      1. ph0b0s
        WTF?

        @Marvin the Martian

        So you read the first line but did not read the rest, else you would have seen that I covered people who will not be convinced no matter how many reports you write. That was the whole point of my post.

        "I don't think, those who still deny climate change happens and has always happened, are going to pay attention to a report like this."

        But sure, go ahead and miss the point and rant away.

        The whole point of my post was that this report does not move things along at all. It does not cover the 'man made' part to global warming which is where the main debate is now. Those still thinking that climate change does not happen whether as a natural or non natural process are again, not going to be convinced by a report. It will not get past the bubble that they have built around themselves, where they will ignore stuff like that we used to ice skate on the Thames, now we don't.

  3. Anonymous Cowerd

    After everything Orlowski had to say on "climategate", why is he not writing this article?

    I wonder why he's so quiet?

    1. raving angry loony

      Because they wanted to allow comments?

    2. TheOtherHobbbes

      Maybe

      he'\s finally going to have to join the reality-based community now.

      (Although I won't be holding my breath waiting for a public admission of error.)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Massive study concludes: 'Global warming is real'

    Climate skeptics dealt 'clear and rigorous' blow"

    What is a Climate sceptic? The earth has a climate that is constantly changing, no one has ever doubted this.

    Global warming is real. Yes of course it is. It's part of climate change, which has been going on for billions of years and will continue to do so. You know things like ice ages and inter glacial periods etc.

    If it is man made global warming that you allude to then kindly state it correctly. Otherwise your message gets lost amidst a few fairly obvious and pointless statements and makes the author look ignorant of the issues involved.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC

      As you well know: Climate Change and Global Warming are both titles which imply a "Man Made" prefix a Climate Skeptic is someone who doubts the above. This is a tedious method of argument which people who aren't properly equipped to join in a discussion use when they have nothing else to add, other than their opinion. This wouldn't even be accepted in a secondary school debating society, if you can't join in a discussion properly, please don't.

      1. tardigrade

        @AC 20:06

        "Climate Change and Global Warming are both titles which imply a "Man Made" prefix a Climate Skeptic is someone who doubts the above."

        No. The prefix is only assumed to be implied when one wishes to obfuscate the issue and simplify the options within a debate to a rather dumb yes or no exchange of opinions, deliberately engineered to result in only one predetermined outcome. This is helpful to no one and it is both inaccurate and dishonest. It is the tool of a person who does not seek debate, but rather seeks only persuasion and coercion, whilst they themselves maintain a closed mind.

        I abhor this kind of gratuitous simplification as I abhor the attempt at creating a negative mind set by wrapping expansive issues in a layer of simplification that can be easily derided. Hence attaching a negative connotation to the entire issue and thereby removing the danger of exposure to debate when attempting to enforce the desired persuasion.

        Similarly your attempt to deride my comment via the use of attempted ridicule, is another well worn tool of those who seek no debate at all. It's a paper thin response that exposes only your own vacuousness.

      2. Youngdog

        To AC @ 20:06 22/10/11

        I do hope you are being sarcastic AC - that prefix makes a huge difference to the argument in terms of cause and undoubtably what solutions to the problem are feesible. Your comment was arrogant and unsulting - and if I was facing you in secondary school debate I would be relishing the opportunity to cut you down to size. I would start by making the point that by posting as AC you are not 'properly equipped' to join in this discussion.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: AC @20:06

        > Climate Change and Global Warming are both titles which imply a "Man Made" prefix a Climate Skeptic is someone who doubts the above.

        If I believe that the mean global temperature is higher today than 30 years ago and I do not believe that the primary cause is man then how do I answer the question:

        "Is Global Warming Real?"

        Clearly I can not say yes as your facetious argument claims that the question should be interpreted as "Is Man Made Global Warming Real?". Yet if I say "No" then there are some idiots who will point to something like this and claim "See you are wrong, this shows [man made] Global Warming!"

        The study, mainly, does not show anything I did not expect (there are a couple of claims that I haven't had time to look into yet). It does not show whether the increase is mainly man made or natural. It does not show whether any anthropogenic component is caused by CO2, land use changes, or pollutants.

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. PatientOne

          Lee, just to correct a few things in your post.

          1) While the earth did, indeed, warm up significantly since the last ice age, it then cooled down again for the current one and in no way, shape or form had anything to do with man as we didn't exist at the time.

          What I think you meant is that during the current ice age (defined by permanent icecaps) we've seen significant fluctuations of temperatures that are unrelated to human activity (there are records of rapid warming some 25,000 years ago, for example, which is when our great ancestors must have been running around in their SUV's hunting Mammoths, and relaxing in their air conditioned mud huts, playing their proto-x-boxes and so on... (thanks to Tony Robinson and the time team for that one)). Currently we are interglacial, and environmental scientists should be kicking themselves if they didn't know we're expecting to see a warming trend globally (this is required if we're to exit our current ice age and move into the expected and somewhat overdue temperate age).

          2) The French have produced some rather compelling information about how humans have, indeed, been affecting global temperature, and for generations! All the pollutants we'd been spewing into the atmosphere had been artificially cooling the planet! Then the clean air act was brought in and... well, we started to revert to the correct temperature, which was somewhat warmer than it had been... and this temperature change was rather rapid.

          It is hard to tell what is natural and what is man made, and which way either is trying to take the planet. However, yes, you are spot on: We need to look at what this change means for us as a species and to adapt now so we can survive the change. And no, I don't think we can stop it, although we might try.

          Not that the planet will care: We can all die off and good old earth will carry on regardless.

        2. Steve Gill

          Thanks for that Lee

        3. Bullseyed
          Stop

          @Lee

          "There are a number of climatic issues at stake, the first is the important issue as to whether the climate is actually changing. Unfortunately there are a large number of vocal wingnuts who do not accept that the climate is actually changing. Absurd as this stance is, it is one that needs to be addressed. You cannot have a rational conversation with someone about their car use warming the Earth if they refuse to accept that the Earth is actually warming."

          First, name calling invalidates your argument. So first and foremost, you lost. Congrats.

          Second, climate means changing temperature. Climate does not mean it is 80 degrees and sunny every day. The Earth can be warming without the climate changing. Climate change automatically implies that the fluctuation in temperature and other climate indicators are outside of the harmonic bounds of the function.

          I think just about everyone is OK with the Earth warming. There were some issues early on with data collection methods being irregular, but they mostly seem to check out. So what is next?

          1.) Is the climate changing?

          For the climate to be changing, it must be warmer or colder now than it has ever been on the planet. We know that this is not true. It has been warmer and colder in the past.

          2.) Is it because of CO2?

          CO2 is a natural trigger within the environment. CO2 is released or taken in by the environment regularly and is a natural process.

          3.) Is it because of mankind?

          If humanity was indeed releasing too much CO2 from the environment, the response would be for the remaining natural resources to correct for it. This is a long term process and would still allow for short term changes. So while it would be theoretically possible for mankind to change the climate in the short term, in the long term it should be impossible. Unless of course you believe that mankind can generate CO2 and/or heat more rapidly than the sun, in which case you might need to return to the text books.

          1. boustrephon
            Holmes

            The earth is warming... What else can we confirm...?

            So can we now agree not only that the earth is warming, but that it is following a curve previously accepted by most climate scientists, and used as the basis for study into causes for quite a few years now?

            If so, then we can pretty much reject your vague assertions and conclusions...

            Yes, there is a CO2 cycle, but this doesn't mean that it is stable or free of trends. We know that we have added CO2 to the atmosphere faster than this has ever happened before. This is well-documented and not subject to debate. It is possible and maybe even likely that processes exist or will develop that will counteract this over time, but in the meantime (at least in our lifetimes and those of our children and grandchildren) the increased levels of CO2 are trapping heat coming into the atmosphere faster than it can leave, and the oceans are acidifying. This is having an effect on weather systems and ecosystems, and sea levels are rising.

            So, in response to your questions, yes, yes and yes. Your counter-arguments display a lack of understanding of the processes involved.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      A climate sceptic

      "What is a Climate sceptic?"

      Think 9/11 truther, creationist, holocaust denier and you won't be far from the mark. In each case they deny something which is supported by overwhelming evidence. Obviously they have no evidence to the contrary so they attempt to undermine the evidence through pseudo science, quote mining, nit picking, putting undue weight on less trustworthy results and so forth.

      1. TimNevins
        Stop

        Incorrect

        If anything the straw man argument is on the other side.

        Truth does not need (nor has ever needed) a law to defend it. It is self evident.

        If anyone attempts to introduce a law(enforcable via a Prison Sentence) to enforce a view you can be sure something is being suppressed.Think Galileo vs the Church

        Why is there no law against believing in UFO,aliens,vampires,re-incarnation etc?

        As for dumping 9/11 truthers, creationists, holocaust deniers into a collective bucket is insulting. I would love to see you 'overwhelming evidence' for non-creationism.

        I would also visit Architects and Engineers for 911 before commenting further and let me know the exact 'pseudo science, quote mining, nit picking, putting undue weight on less trustworthy results' of which you speak.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          TimNevins

          "As for dumping 9/11 truthers, creationists, holocaust deniers into a collective bucket is insulting. I would love to see you 'overwhelming evidence' for non-creationism."

          Perhaps it's insulting, it's also true. See "ClimateGate" as a prime example. Climate change deniers had a field day quote mining those emails, attempting to infer a conspiracy where none existed. The most common example was people screeching over the word "trick" as if it were a scientist attempting to falsify data.

          The simple fact is the denier movement has to reach for the phony baloney bag of tricks because they don't have any evidence of their own. So they attempt to mislead their audience with mined quotes, pseudo science and so on hoping in the confusion that somehow their other-theory wins by default. Just like creationists, 9/11 truthers and so on.

    3. Giles Jones Gold badge

      A climate sceptic is someone who likes quote crackpot scientists paid by the oil industry to try to disprove climate science by using very selective data and other crackpot theories, sunspots and so on.

      They like to deny climate change because it gets in their way of aspiring to be a big round blob rolling around in a luxury V12 4x4.

  5. -tim
    Pint

    No Urban Heat Island Effect?

    I have a weather station on top of a building a few hundred meters from a very long term official station for Melbourne and I can see the heat island effect from the station run by the BOM that is now sitting next to stalled cars at ground level while my station is above the 44th floor. There is a stable and constant rise around rush hour every day by the station next to the road. You would have to be blind not to see the Urban Heat Island effect that in the data. I do like how they have gone to great lengths to remove 12 different classifications of bad data.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      I live about 40Km outside Madrid, and the temperatures here are generally 10°C cooler than the max in Madrid. Also at night at this time of year, they drop a lot more here than in the middle of the city. People in the city say that the summers have got worse and worse each year, but outside they have stayed about the same.

      Also a company here has just used satellite measurements as well as weather stations, etc. to characterise and prove the heat island effect in Madrid; and it is getting worse each year; buildings get higher, power usage goes up, more air-con units get turned on etc.

      2 (admitadly anecdotal) hints that the heat island effect is real.

      1. handle

        Heat island effect is not denied

        I don't think anyone is denying the heat island effect - they are just saying that it does not skew the overall global warming result - it was just an excuse by climate change deniers.

        1. -tim
          Pint

          The weather station I mentioned that has a strong heat island effect is used in the calibration of the Alice Springs data. That data is combined with data from Perth, Broome and Darwin to calibrate weather satellites which are then used to calibrate other systems all over the world.

          /need a cold beer in all of those locations.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Pint

            Heat Island 'tim

            Agree but not only the local effect on the figures but over that time there must also be a distribution of that heat into the climate in general. After all energy can neither be created or destroyed only transferred or changed.

            The whole issue bugs me, not because I do not necessarily believe that CO2 has no effect, but because no one seems to want to look at the massive amounts of energy we release into the atmosphere and apply basic principals of physics.

            When you look at the overall effect of that generated energy, most of which is released as heat, it is as if we have put the planet in a slow cooker since the start of the industrial revolution and they all want to ignore the effects. Even if alternative energy sources are found the release of heat must continue to be a factor and must have some effect.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        In the U.S.

        ...we have paved over ~44,000 square miles (just talking roads, sidewalks, and parking lots. That's roughly the size of Wisconsin, and that doesn't even count what we've done with buildings.

        So, when did all this construction really start to pick up - wasn't it post World War 2?

        IMHE, anyone who has ever walked on a blacktop road in the summer knows UHI is real and on the scale we've done it, it has to have a macro effect. Why do they keep trying to factor it out of the equation as an error? We've changed the surface of the planet - that should be part of the equation!

        1. Robin 1

          Meh

          Anyone who says "it has to" without data to back it up should shampoo my crotch.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Facepalm

            Has to

            So every time you exhale hot air where does the heat go....No data required very basic physics!

    2. Chris 244
      Facepalm

      Suggest you read the link supplied in the article

      http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_UHI

      "(U)rban warming does not unduly bias estimates of recent global temperature change."

      Nothing in the report says urban heat islands don't exist, just that they have not significantly impacted the study results.

  6. badger31
    Stop

    How about ...

    instead of spending all that money on showing, yet again, that temperatures are going up, spending some on figuring out what the hell we are going to do about it? So global warming is real, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. Now what? Call me a sceptic if you like, but I seriously doubt that forcing us all to use CFLs will make any difference.

    1. defiler Silver badge

      Why show it again?

      Because a great number of people didn't believe it the first time around. Or the second. Or the third. ClimateGate (cheesy name) wrecked the reputation of the Climate Change science, even if the individuals who've used it as a cash cow for years hasn't.

      I for one welcome a study that appears to be open and impartial. It may not be good news, but it's clear news, and it can be assessed and verified by anyone who's prepared to spend the time on it, rather than the traditional stance of climatologists poking an unspecified and unreviewed climate model that might as well be a magic 8-ball for all anybody gets to peek inside.

      Now that this study is out there, now that the data is out there for others to satisfy themselves, and now that hopefully the stupid arguments on either side can diminish to actual fruitful science, we can actually get on with figuring out how to save the world.

      CFLs? Yep - they make a hell of a difference. The biggest single electrical drain in most homes is lighting. Almost all the lights in my house are CFL and LED, and my electricity monitor has dropped like a stone. Industry is a different matter, but if the science is proven then legislation will follow. Pay the extra or clean up. And a sensible government (if anyone can find one) will accept that industrial power reduction will have to be global, and gradual.

      My coat's the one with the handover pack for my solar panels in the pocket.

      1. Chris Miller

        "The biggest single electrical drain in most homes is lighting"

        Really? Not in my home, it isn't. Do you live in a football stadium, or do you do all your heating and cooking by means that don't involve electricity?

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

          Many people do:

          My cooking range and central heating are gas-fired. Replacing all the incandescent bulbs by fluorescent lights saved us a significant portion of our energy bill.

        2. defiler Silver badge

          @Chris Miller

          Maybe not in your home, and maybe not for homes outside the UK, to be fair. But for "most homes"...

          My heating, hot water, and kitchen hob run on gas, so to answer your question, I don't use that much electricity for heating things. My kettle boils enough water to make two cups of tea in one minute. My oven draws 2.5kW when it's heating, but once it's hot it spends most of its time off, just topping off the temperature when necessary. You're right in that heating is the big-ticket item for single appliances, but when you've got 400W of lights on for 6 hours a day in your living room, that's enough to roast a pretty big bird in the oven. And many people draw more than 400W in a room for lighting.

          Don't just think about the peak load (850W for my microwave). Think about how long it stays on (5 minutes and your Tesco Jalfrezi is done).

          I think my telly is my biggest drain now, for example, but I've been a right nazi on the lights already!

  7. Paul 87

    Ok, so another study shows that there's been a gradual change in average temperate over a period of time, but have reached no firm conclusions as to the cause of the problem.

    My pet theory has always be simple thermodynamics, more people, all burning off more energy to run all the myriad of gadgets, machines etc that form part of modern life, means a higher average temperate.

    1. mr.K
      Boffin

      Fair theory.

      It is a nice theory, but I did the math on this once and net contribution* by human energy consumption is negligible. Somewhere in the vicinity of 0.01 degrees Kelvin.

      *Net contribution is basically the sum of non renewable energy sources. It should add up to about thirteen terrawatts if I recall correctly.

      1. mr.K
        Facepalm

        Really? Downvotes?

        I like the fact that I have received two downvotes on this (so far). What are you giving me the thumbs down for, that I did math?

    2. Bullseyed

      Re: Paul

      "Ok, so another study shows that there's been a gradual change in average temperate over a period of time, but have reached no firm conclusions as to the cause of the problem."

      There is actually no proof that this is a problem at all. The Earth was far "healthier" by ecoterrorist standards when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and it was far warmer then.

  8. albaleo

    Where did that 1998 peak go?

    Looking at the chart, I wondered where the 1998 peak had gone. I think this is a ten-year moving average version of the data. The BEST site shows both this and a 12-month moving average version. The 12-month version is probably less suggestive of temperatures continuing to rise. Might have been better to publish both, or at least indicate what was being displayed.

  9. Andy Enderby 1
    Joke

    Be honest, now......

    The hard core deniers are not scientists or indeed anything but paid shills for the petro industry. Unless a polar bear steals their lunch, on snow drifts overlooking Miami beach, or the dollars dry up, there is no such thing as global warming. I mean, these folks are rich, so they know this to be true.......

    1. goats in pajamas
      Facepalm

      Biased crap

      The hard core deniers are not scientists or indeed anything but paid shills for the petro industry.

      Another stupid blanket condemnation of everyone with a questioning mind.

      I have a suggestion for you - get a job involving sex and travel.

    2. Msnthrp
      Thumb Down

      Ad fontem arguments never add to the information of an argument, only to the heat. I don't believe anything in this post.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's what they all say

    I'm not disputing the fact that global warming is or isn't happening but when people tell me it is purely man made I just hear FUD.

    The earth has been going through warm and cold cycles for millions of years and even if the entire worlds population stopped producing any form of CO2 the earth would still be warming. The worlds population is contributing to this "global warming" but in such a low percentage that it won't make the end result any different.

    Regardless of this we should still drive for better efficiently and battery cars are not the way to go. (complete disaster)

    The only proper clean method of energy for the future is hydrogen (personal) and fusion (large scale) the main one being fusion that needs to be out asap then we can use it to produce tons of hydrogen.

    Anonymous obviously because I don't want a visit from the boys for my free speech

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      The issue is not that the climate has always changed, it's that it is now changing faster that it has ever done. There is also the issue of the vast majority of the world's population being in cities very near the sea. Changes in climate while the dinosaurs were roaming the world didn't really matter that much because they didn't tend to make cities.

      Hydrogen is only workable when the problem of storage has been cracked - currently the energy to get hydrogen compressed down to a usable density takes something like the high 80%s of the energy it actually contains. Then there is the issue of having to burn fossil fuels to make it, obviously this can be done by Nuclear.

      Fusion is not viable, it's been "going to be ready in 20 years or so" since just after world war two. We may be nearer at the moment than ever, but we've been nearer than ever since about the same time.

      Fission is probably the only way forward that's viable at the moment.

      1. PatientOne

        @AC 21:02

        "The issue is not that the climate has always changed, it's that it is now changing faster that it has ever done. "

        And how do you know this? How long have we been recording global temperatures? How often have we changed how we do this? And how significant do you think that period is when compared to the changing cycles this planet goes through? To put it simply: We do not KNOW how rapidly the planet temperature has changed in the past. We can surmise, based on evidence, but we didn't actually record it using the same methods we do now. Please do be careful, will you?

        "Changes in climate while the dinosaurs were roaming the world didn't really matter that much because they didn't tend to make cities."

        The changes in climate while the dinosaurs wandered the earth isn't important because they existed during a temperate age, and we're in an ice age. They would have been looking at the disaster of global cooling as the planet entered the current ice age because they were not suited to such climate. Plus, a city is a collection of buildings, much like nests. Dinosaurs may well have built nests, and a large collection might indeed have been a city. Again, we don't know: We're trying to guess on what it was like based on the equivalent of a couple of old cans and a crisp packet. That's why they still don't know what the T-Rex looks like. Seems they now think it has a feathered ruff...

        1. Bullseyed

          Re: PatientOne

          ""The issue is not that the climate has always changed, it's that it is now changing faster that it has ever done. "

          And how do you know this? How long have we been recording global temperatures?"

          While I agree with your sentiment, it is important to note that climate is not temperature. Climate may include temperature, but is not the same thing. This is a core flaw in the "global warming" argument.

          The leftist media has trained the population to think: "well, this summer felt hotter than last summer, therefore the globe is warming and climate change is real!" when there is actually no link between any of the sections of that statement.

      2. Sapient Fridge

        Nuclear fission might be a solution, if there was enough uranium. If you take the known reserves of uranium and work out how long it would power the world's electricity needs (ignoring non-electricity uses e.g. petrol for now) if other power sources were phased out then it comes out at about 12 years supply.

        Thorium and breeder reactors could possibly solve that problem, but breeder reactors are slow at producing fuel and not currently economical, and thorium reactors are unproven technology. In addition nuclear reactors take a long time to build, and have serious political and waste disposal issues.

    2. Oolons
      WTF?

      Not convinced

      Who ever said AGW was ever purely the 'A' part? In fact a large part of the argument has been the 'A' bit may trigger a large natural release of CO2/methane. Also a number of studies have said man made air borne soot has reduced warming.

      Then you proceed to contradict yourself - after saying 'I'm not disputing the fact that global warming is or isn't happening' .... You then say 'The worlds population is contributing to this "global warming" but in such a low percentage that it won't make the end result any different.'

      So you are not disputing that global warming is or is not happening but you personally 'know' that the worlds population IS contributing to this warming. Then somehow you also 'know' its so small that the end effect is nil - whatever the 'end' is :-)

      I agree we need more efficiency regardless of GW using limited resources efficiently always makes sense. But again there is a large amount of certainty in your assertion that battery cars are not the way forward, but most people make short journeys and we have a means of charging battery cars. Contrast that to hydrogen which is extremely dangerous stuff when not transported properly and anyway there is no distribution network available.

      Maybe we need you on the ITER project to kick some ass and get them to 'sort' it asap - those bloody lazy scientists obviously spend all day whining its too hot and need to get down to some serious work.

      But then your final comment makes it seem that you are a tin-foil hat wearing nutter as the 'boys' from the AGW or battery car brigade will come and sort you out if you are not anonymous. So maybe not the best person to lead us into a fusion future.

      1. Bullseyed

        Re: Oolons

        "So you are not disputing that global warming is or is not happening but you personally 'know' that the worlds population IS contributing to this warming. Then somehow you also 'know' its so small that the end effect is nil - whatever the 'end' is :-)"

        You either failed to comprehend his statements or chose to misinterpret them for your own agenda.

        Most people believe the Earth has gotten warmer. There is some dissent unto the degree (ie bad temperature readings because of cities) but for the most part it is agreed upon.

        This does not mean there is climate change. Climate is more than temperature and climate is not static. Climate naturally changes. "Climate change" refers to climate changing outside the bounds of the function, of which there is very little, if any evidence.

        Finally, is humanity contributing? Of course we are in the micro sense. The fact that you are here living and breathing generates body heat and CO2. If I killed you, it would reduce global warming. If you truly believe, would you let me kill you to stop global warming? Of course not, you'd argue (and rightfully so) that you contribute such a minuscule amount that the impact would be negligible. The question is at what point do those contributions add up to be enough?

        Based on the natural response triggers, it should never be possible for these contributions to add up to too much, unless we did something stupid like tried to boil off the world's oceans with nukes.

        1. Tom 13
          Devil

          Actually, if you kill me my rate of converting O2 into CO2 goes up,

          so you're spiking production instead of minimizing it. It has to do with the decomposition of the dead body.

          Not sure exactly what happens if you manage to kill all the people at the same time. I suppose it could cause a sudden spike in the CO2, which would cause substantial plant growth. That of course would be followed by substantially higher O2 production. But with fewer animals to convert the O2 back into CO2, would the plants eventually be poisoned by the O2 and actually finally destroy the planet?

        2. boustrephon
          Thumb Down

          Natural Response Triggers? .

          Natural Response Triggers? I don't think this means what you think it means. What DO you think it means? Then provide some evidence that they respond fast enough to counteract the destabilising effect of all the CO2 we have liberated so quickly.

    3. handle

      Straw man

      Who is saying that global warming is purely man made?

      How do you draw the conclusion that just because global warming isn't entirely man-made, the man-made effect must be "such a low percentage that it won't make the end result any different."? Have a taste of your own FUD.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: How do you know...

        It's a combination of high school physics, chemistry, geography, and history - you wouldn't comprehend it.

        Essentially any volcanic eruption releases thousands of times more CO2 than all of mankind contributes at its peak CO2 production. If the disruption the AWG crowd (who keep changing their name whenever they are proven wrong) claim, any of the major volcanic eruptions which happened in recorded history (Krakatoa, Mt. St. Helens, etc) should have triggered the massive melting events they predict. That hasn't happened, therefore they are wrong.

  11. jake Silver badge

    Get back to me ...

    When we are growing wine grapes between Hadrian's and Antonine's Walls.

    Me, I'm booking tickets for a Frost Fair on the Thames in 2040.

    Earth's climate changes. Humans have little (if anything) to do with it.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      That won't happen until the polar ice caps have completely melted. Until then, global warming will make the British Isles colder. At the moment, it is a lot warmer here than other places a similar distance north such as Moscow and Hudson Bay because of the gulf stream, which brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico. The cold water from the ice caps will push the gulf stream further south, meaning we will no longer be warmer than those places.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @jonathanb

        Assumes facts not in evidence.

        Read up on micro-climates. It'll do you a world of good.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      No-one said that the grapes grown by the Romans around Hadrian's Wall made wine that was any good, did they? You can grow grapes in cooler environments, it just takes longer.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC 21:27

        Who said anything about "any good"? The Romans drank any old crap plonk ... it was a hell of a lot healthier than most water that was available at the time.

        My point is that nobody commercially grows wine grapes on the Scottish borders ... At least not to the best of my knowledge. I could be wrong. It's been know to happen.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Jake, re wine/grapes

          The Romans were a wine drinking culture, they needed to plant grapes all over the place to supply their wine. When they left the vines left with them - or at lest weren't maintained. The indiginous people were/are a beer drinking culture and have no need for grapes. There is no surprise that the isn't any commercial cultivation of grapes anywhere except the south of England as there is no need to try to cultivate them.

          Basically: The absence of grapes in the Scottish boarder region is not a reliable indicator to the non-existence of Global Warming, man-made or otherwise.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Actually, AC 14:03

            The Romans were a preserved water drinking culture. It's true that they preferred wine, but they did drink beer ... Preserving water by fermenting plant sugars is probably third behind farming and animal husbandry when it comes to what made us (somewhat) civilized.

            If the climate hadn't become colder, there would still be vineyards on the Scottish Borders. People like wine, so it only stands to reason. And I'll bet you a Guinea that grapes will be grown there again, should the climate trend that way. The soil is perfect for it ...

            I'm still planning on a Frost Fare vacation in London in 2040-ish, tho' :-)

      2. Equitas
        Paris Hilton

        Since when

        have gooseberries ceased to be a member of the ribes family?

        Paris, because even she ain't that dumb!

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Lee

        True. I have no proof. I do have an (educated) opinion.

        From my perspective, the whole "people are causing global warming" is hysteria brought on by the MassMedia[tm] ... who also have no proof.

        But at least it sells advertising, right?

      2. Giles Jones Gold badge

        If you disagree with their findings then educate yourself to their level and disprove their models and findings. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to.

        Unless you are a scientist in this field you are not qualified to discount their work.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The key issue is what fraction of the observed change is anthropomorphic. We don't shed much light on that"

    So, the world's temperature is changing. Err... we knew that. It was a bit warmer 4,000 years ago, and a lot colder 10,000 years ago.

    What extra knowledge has this study added to the canon?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The issue is the rate of change

      The faster the rate of change the more problems that will occur. If it takes 5,000 years to change 5 c then this will allow coral reefs, plants etc to change there ranges. If the change occurs in 100 years then this will cause problems.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Boffin

        Which has happened before.

        There are now indications that the ice sheets withdrew at a huge rate at the end of the last ice age. The same seems to happen at the start. Initially people thought ice ages centuries or even thousands of years to get started or to end, now people are looking at much shorter periods. It seems climate can flip faster than was thought before. Some mass extinctions might be linked to these rapid flips (in particular the megafauna extinction at the end of the ice age).

        I for one think it is good to have better data. By research standards not a huge amount of money was spent (one PhD position in our neck of the woods), and if we have better data, we have a better chance of understanding.

  13. Tringle

    The main problem with the hay making by the warmistas is that we 'deniers' have no problem with the planet getting warmer, or indeed colder. The climate changes; always has, always will, it is a chaotic system that will only reach equilibrium the day that all weather stops.

    The $64,000 question is not how much the average surface temperature is changing (a pretty useless metric btw even if it could be accurately established, like just about all averages) but how much is due to human activity.

    The media, and the Beeb is amongst the worst for this, make the bold leap that change just has to be due to human activity, even though that is impossible to establish.

    There is no doubt in my mind (as someone who used to build econometric and risk models for a living) that the 'proof' provided by climate models is utter BS. It is possible, of course, to build reasonably accurate models of environments where all the variables are known with some precision, but the climate, like economics, is not one of those environments.

    And, as a point of interest, Mr Watts has already remarked that that the first 30 years of the 'data' used in the one paper of this study that he had been asked to comment on are simply made up. So no change there then.

    1. Dagg
      Boffin

      Tringle - check this site

      http://www.csiro.au/greenhouse-gases/

      This provides an interesting look at CO2 levels including a comparison to pre-industrial concentrations. The levels mapped in human industrial activity is interesting.

    2. indulis
      Facepalm

      There are a LOT of deniers who have used "bad weather stations as proof"

      Climate change deniers have used, and continue to use, the "poorly sited" temperature stations as proof of a conspiracy (e.g. David Evans, Lord Monckton). So has Watts, it has been a foundation stone for "proving" that warming is not real (hence his continued protests- did you actually read this article?).

      This study is the first step of removing the foundation stones of the denier house of cards, one by one. It just adds to the weight existing science which had been done before.

      As far as the "climate has always changed", I think there are quite a few scientists who realise this, and whole fields of science that have investigated the reasons why the climate has changed in the past.. The factors are well understood. None are significant now. CO2 as the cause matches the observations well. There is no other known factor which could explain the observations. For a good summary, the PDF at skepticalscience . com has a summary of the various CO2 "fingerprints at the scene of the crime".

      So the unscientific deniers are left with saying "it is some unknown factor"- climate changing superheated pixies are as good a scientific explanation as an "unknown factor". "Unknown factor" is an expression of faith, not science.

  14. davcefai

    Only a first step.

    OK, so this "proves" that the earth has warmed up by 1 degree since 1950. Now the following questions need to be answered, just as rigorously:

    1. Will this trend continue and haw far will it go?

    2. Is the warming athropogenic? Or, possibly, what proportion of it is athropogenic?

    This is NOT a victory for the climate sensationalists, just a conclusion that the earth is, indeed, warming up.

  15. some-reg-reader
    Stop

    Global Warming is not in doubt

    What 'El Reg' failed to point out in this article, is that the issue of "global warming" by the likes of Anthony Watts was never in contention.

    The magnitude and causes are what skeptics question.

    Watts' openly admits that the Earth is warmer now than it was 100-150 years ago. [1].

    More notably, “man-made global warming” was not mentioned by BEST - and in their findings they point out explicitly that they didn’t address this issue. [2].

    [1]: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/21/best-what-i-agree-with-and-what-i-disagree-with-plus-a-call-for-additional-transparency-to-preven-pal-review/

    [2]: (last para) http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_Summary_20_Oct.pdf

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

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

  16. Craigness

    Another thing about Watts

    When the study was announced he said he would accept its results. "The method has promise".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz8Ve6KE-Us

  17. Identity
    Thumb Up

    Wow!

    The Reg actually published something that was not arrant denialism!

  18. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  19. Jim Oase

    Show me the climate facts

    As Jefferson said.."Trust but verify".

    Few people today have seen a glacier, yet a few thousand years ago they covered a large part of Great Plains. I suspect the glaciers melted and left their imprint in the form of lakes and gouges behind. So I am concluding that over that period of time the earth has warmed. In the late 1960 through the 1970s we were told the earth was cooling. We had long winters in that era. Since then the earth stopped cooling according to recent studies. If not cooling and if every day is not exactly the same as yesterday, maybe we are warming again and more glaciers will melt.

    Are we to conclude that because the earth is warming now that the earths warming is caused by people being on the earth but when the earth warmed before the earth's warming was cause by people not being here on earth?

    Show me the climate facts

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      The facts and the evidence for them are freely available on university web sites around the world. NASA also have very, very good satellite data and studies available, you just have to go looking.

      As for there being warming in the past and warming now, yes you are correct, the issue is the amount of warming we're currently seeing and the speed at which that warming is happening.

  20. Vargs

    Puzzling headline -- doesn't match the story

    You don't seem to understand skeptics at all.

    Very few think that the world isn't currently in a warming period, they are skeptical as to the degree of its attribution to CO2. Skeptics often point to periods in human history when the world was cooler and warmer than it is now, and to prehistoric times when it was much warmer. Many skeptics are concerned that the line between science and anti-industrial environmental activism seems blurred and are suspicious of the confirmation bias that this may introduce into climate science and the temperature record. That's what these studies are set to address.

    The reports are clear that they have little bearing on the core CO2 debate, although the one on decadal temperature oscillations in the oceans points to it being a much smaller component of the recent temperature trend than is currently thought in the "settled" science.

    "Global Warming" is shorthand for the whole package of beliefs about industrialisation, fossil fuels and climate change. These reports address only a small part of this -- that relating to the instrumental data. Skeptics are not confounded.

    1. chris lively

      Agree

      The title of the story and the actual content are at odds with each other.

      Personally, I think most of the climate alarmists are quacks. However, I thoroughly agree that "change" has occurred. The global climate by definition, is always changing. Hotter some years, colder others. Sometimes the trends last for decades or even thousands of years.

      Regardless, the real debate has been on two things: How much has it been trending up and what has caused it? This report only partially answers the first question and does nothing for the second.

      The unfortunate thing is that until scientists can accurately explain previous upward and downward trends with a high degree of accuracy, then trying to explain the past 50 or 150 years is useless.

      I want to see the foundations spend money to answer the following questions: What caused the little ice age? What caused the glaciers to retreat to their current positions? Obviously both happened well before the current industrial age and therefore you can take "human carbon emissions" off the table.

      Once they thoroughly understand those events, then the next thing would be to apply that knowledge to today's world in order to predict the next 50 years. If the predictions are fairly accurate then we have something to work from in order to form legal policy, if needed. Otherwise this is so much FUD that this is a complete waste of time. In short, the scientists need to get to work while being OUT of the public spotlight. At this point there's nothing to see here and it's time for the non-scientist part of the world to move along.

      1. Tom 13

        Actually, even if they have that it might still all be useless.

        I have a friend who works on the computations from weather satellites. He's agnostic on the topic of AGW because that isn't what he works on, but he does have some concerns about what little he has heard about the climate prediction models. Chief among them is whether the equations underlying the models converge or are chaotic. If they are chaotic, no amount of data collection and analysis will get you to a reliable prediction model.

  21. peter_dtm
    FAIL

    FUD continues

    this is also part of the NOT YET peer reviewed paper

    Sceptical Berkeley Scientists Say, “Human Component Of Global Warming May Be Somewhat Overstated”

    It always seems to coma as a shock to those creating alarm about AGW that most skeptics actually know damn well that the world has been warming - what else do expect when we are still coming out of the Little Ice Age.

    In fact most skeptics know something the alarmists don't seem to understand

    The Climate changes.

    It always has; and always will. And not only that but in terms of past climate it is still on the cold side; and CO2 levels are still on the low side

    You want some FUD ? Well sometime in the next 10 000 years we are due to have another period if glaciation - I think you'll find that man emitted CO2 isn't going to make any difference to this potentially catastrophic event one way or the other - but compared to a couple of degrees of warming an Ice Age will definitely be orders of magnitude more damaging to Life on Earth.

  22. Nebulo
    FAIL

    Epic FAIL, and no messing

    I'm amazed that I'm still being invited to "Be the first to post a comment" well over twelve hours after this was posted. Is everyone still sleeping off a good Friday night?

    For a start, your subheading is wrong: "Climate skeptics dealt 'clear and rigorous' blow"? Hardly. A more accurate version would be "Climate alarmists' favourite straw bogeyman wheeled out yet again": virtually nobody in the sceptical community denies that overall, the earth's climate has warmed by about a degree over the last century and a half or so. All the "BEST" study has done is rework one of the existing temperature databases and confirm that it shows a slight increase.

    More telling is the quote you take from the paper by Muller himself: "The key issue is what fraction of the observed change is anthropomorphic. We don't shed much light on that." Precisely. It is the misattribution by alarmists of every bad thing to human influence which is exactly the issue which engenders scepticism, the more so when it is repeatedly backed by long-discredited pseudoscience.

    Remember the original "global warming" mantra? "Human greenhouse gas emissions are causing irreversible, catastrophic damage to the climate". Well, I've spent over three years now looking for any evidence at all that this might be the case, and I can report that (a) The climatic cycles are continuing very much as they always have done; (b) Nothing catastrophic appears to be happening; (c) IF there is any human "fingerprint" in the data, it is way, way below the noise. If anyone can point me to evidence (by which I mean proper, observational evidence, not "yet another" collection of pretty printouts from this or that failed model), please do so, as a friend has had hard cash on the table for some years now for anyone who can provide such proof, and I could use the money.

    That this halfbaked "study" has been splashed across the world's media has a lot more to do with the approaching IPCC AR5, to be worked on at Durban this Nov/Dec. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story! It's all true, and it's worse than we thought, and it's all evil humanity's fault! Codswallop.

    If you want to check just how disinterested an observer Richard Muller is, check out his site at www.mullerandassociates.com - where you will find such trademarked products as "GreenGov", advice to governments on how to minimise their evil CO2 emissions. As in everything related to climate "science", follow the money. Nothing to see here, move along please.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    And...

    that's why you never believe Conspirators/theorists. They always jump to the first conclusion without further study.

    Ie: Moon landing conspirators......they've been proven wrong 1 million times by now, even by Mythbusters.

  24. Reg T.
    Alert

    Perhaps it is a fact that

    there is warming. After one of the coldest winters and now with winter coming radically early, the claim seems facile. The climate change scientists deliberately ignore the influence of weather weaponry employed by the US and Russia. They ignore the Scalar EMP weaponry that precipitates earthquakes, the ongoing magnetic field ULF weaponry that flips El NIno and the like. They fail to mention the spraying of aerosols (contrails) into the atmosphere by governments which generate weather effects as a by -product of the primary HAARP activities directed to focused spots upon the earth, namely concentrated radio waves bounced of the ionosphere.

    Since the US Army has bragged that by 20xx they will be able to absolutely control the weather worldwide, scientists must accommodate such activity into their research, clearly delineating which climate changes are spontaneous and which are deliberately of a military nature.

    Otherwise, the scientists simply serve as pimps for a taxation scheme designed to impoverish most of the the world.

    One Al Gore, Jr. is enough!

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Just how many tin foil hats do you own?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Gordon 10

        Not enough, obviously.

    2. James Loughner
      Stop

      You do know the difference between weather and climate don't you???

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Oolons
      Big Brother

      Nutty

      You get the best nutters on theregisters climate change stories forums.

      I for one welcome our 20xx overlords and their alien dating system.

  25. mraak
    Mushroom

    Humans

    I see human beings from 1800 to 1840 caused some big oscillations in earth temperature. Much more than say humans in 1940 - 1970 in the height of population and car explosion. What did they do in the early 1800 to our poor mother to make her sweat so much?

    1. Greg J Preece

      Um....

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Revolution

      OK, OK, not as big an impact as we should be having now, but while there were less of them, they didn't even *attempt* to lessen their impact on the environment, as the stained walls on this one Yorkshire street alone will attest.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Its nothing to do with the industrial revolution - the graph starts at the close of the LIA.

        If they'd gone back a few more centuries it would look even more impressive....though would also be kind of difficult to explain for the man-made climate change bores.

      2. mraak
        Facepalm

        You really, seriously, honestly think that a world of population 1Bn and 0 cars, produced bigger havoc than 7bn with over 600.000.000 motor vehicles? Not to mention all the factories and rising China and India.

  26. JP19

    The findings so far provide validation for Phil Jones says the BBC

    The report confirms that Phil Jones's tree ring derived temperature records do not match recent temperature records from other sources. A mismatch he can't explain and best he ignored, at worst tried to conceal.

    It confirms his historical tree ring derived temperature records are unreliable and the BBC calls it validation - you couldn't make it up.

  27. Anonymous John

    "The key issue is what fraction of the observed change is anthropomorphic. We don't shed much light on that."

    That's the real point.

    1) CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and I accept we are increasing it. But..

    2) Water vapour is a more effective greenhouse gas.

    3) There are many other factors that affect the climate.

    I'm all in favour of reducing CO2 emissions but sceptical that it would make any difference.

    1. peter_dtm
      Alert

      why

      why on earth do you want to cut down on CO2 -- historically we are still in a low CO2 environment. Further; CO2 is proven to be very beneficial to plant growth at all levels tolerable by Humans (up to at least 1000ppm).

      CO2 is plant food (basic biology tells us this; a consensus that has been around a very long time)

      1. Anonymous John

        As I said, I don't think our CO2 emissions are responsibly for climate change.

        1. peter_dtm
          Alert

          but but but

          but you *DID* say you were in favour of reducing CO2 emissions

          WHY ? it's plant food and good for the green plants (and therefore good for us)

      2. indulis
        FAIL

        CO2 may be plant food, but no water, or roots covered in sea water outweigh this

        Not the old "CO2 is plant food" drivel. The changed weather patterns due to climate change are likely to make many current farmlands unviable, due to lack of water, sea level rise, and increased peak summer temperatures. That's the best science available at the moment. If you have better information then show a reference, or publish your information. Anything else is just propagating the old PR spin and media releases from vested interests (the "CO2 is plant food" spin was invented by the coal industry in the USA).

        The changes to plants which are subjected to high levels of CO2 been shown to REDUCE the amount of protein in the plant (ie you get more plant but it is less nutritious). And for some species of plant the amount of cyanide in the plant increases at the same time. Search for "Associate Professor Roslyn Gleadow CO2 Poison", you will see the results of some actual science, not the industry propaganda/spin that "CO2 is plant food".

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Peter_dtm

        CO2 is very bad for marine life because it changes Ocean pH, causing stress to fish (which can often stop them breeding or kill them), coral bleaching and general retardation of growth in corals.

        So, no I don't want to see more CO2, if only from just that point.

        1. peter_dtm

          so how did all the sea life survive when the atmosphere contained over 1000ppm ?

          the sea is alkaline. the sea also contains many orders of magnitude MORE CO2 desolved in it than the atmosphere contains. Yup; many ORDERS OG MAGNITUDE. Even if all the CO2 was to instantly dissolve into the sea; it would hardly be measurable in its effect on the CO2 concentration or alkalinity of sea. There's another problem to this scenario - the warmer water is; the less CO2 it can hold. Yup thats right; as the sea warms up it outgases CO2.

          So we don't need to worry about fud about an acid sea (even if all the CO2 currently still locked up in limestone was to be released the sea would STILL be alkaline) any more than we need to worry about CO2 in the air until it approaches some 1000ppm (at which point most plants are growing like crazy and need less water [pop along to your nearest commercial green house grower to see this] and a few humans will start showing some minor symptoms of excess CO2. Plants would appear to like around 5000 ppm CO2; however most animals would be in really serious trouble by then.

          And to get a feeling for this; non-Climate Scientist scientists seem to estimate human contribution to CO2 content of the atmosphere at <<3%.

  28. Jez Burns
    FAIL

    Why would this deal any kind of 'blow' to AGW sceptics? The idea that those sceptical of claims of a 'catastrophic' 4-6 degree potential increase of global average temperature over the coming century as a result of anthropogenic CO2 emissions would hold that global temperatures have remained static since the 'little ice age', or that they have not increased, is a fiction designed to smear their credibility. Whenever sceptics have pointed this out, they have been tediously and meaninglessly accused of 'moving the goalposts' (as if this whole issue was some kind of football match).

    Sceptics would raise as a concern the lack of correlation between satellite measurements of tropospheric temperature and the land-based temperature datasets, shared by the Hadley Centre, NOAA, NASA GISS and indeed BEST (who have at least tried to factor measurement uncertainty into their statistical models). The urban heat island effect may not have been dealt with properly in any of these datasets (due to vague classification and oversimplification of definitions of 'urban' and 'rural'), which could account for the discrepancy. Or perhaps satellite sensors are inadequate for measuring surface temperature? As a common or garden sceptic with no axe to grind, I would like to know without being shouted down by some imbecile for exercising my scepticism, or treated like I was engaged in some sort of competition for righteousness.

    Sceptics would generally argue that there is no observational evidence of a meaningful correlation between PPM fluctuations in CO2 levels and global average temperatures in the industrial era. They would argue that global average temperature is an irrelevant metric in any case (especially as around one third of the raw data used to compile the global average shows no trend, or a decreasing trend in temperature in different regions). They would argue that averaging the output of computer models pre-loaded with assumed temperature 'forcing' parameters for factors such as CO2, ozone, solar activity, soot and so on that are based on a combination of dubious paleo-climate reconstructions, curve fitting to known temperature trends, or output of other computer models is an absurd exercise in circular reasoning, and has no predictive value whatsoever. They would point to the failure of all climate models used by the IPCC to date to reflect reality as confirmation of this view.

    They would argue many other things, none of which are remotely addressed, or dealt a 'blow' by the BEST study. I continue to be sceptical and interested - not in 'denial' of anything (including the possibility of AGW), just suspicious and vigilant when it comes to arguments launched from a platform of mindless cheerleading, alarmism, unquestioning acceptance of authority, refusal to address legitimate questions, bizarre lumping together of scientific and political belief and the kind of mischaracterisation of critics seen in the headline of this article.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the earth is warming up...

    ...then why was I so cold on Friday?

  30. Bruce Ordway

    what the hell

    are going to do about it?

  31. Mikel
    Childcatcher

    Unanswered question

    Is it a bad thing?

    No, really. The prior trend was cooling on a course back into the frost. We have seven billion mouths to feed, so that's just not going to work. Sooner or later it will cool again anyway.

    For me and mine I vote "later."

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes but.,,,,

    I dont think anyone serious has said that the climate isnt changing, the real question, and one that not a soul has answered is why and what level we have an effect on it

    The second part to this is the flip side to the coin

    Lets assume for a second that we are effecting climate, the effects of this will produce positive and negative effects for different people all over the planet.

    What right do people in different areas have to tell people in the other areas that perhaps would benifit from a warmer climate that, no, actually we like our climate better so you sh*t out of luck.

    Lets perhaps take the other side of that argument in that if this is indeed a natural event, is it right to try and change it, what problems could arrise by forcing the climate to our needs? and once again what about the needs of other people who may be better off.

    I really think instead of knee jerk reactions we need to consider this a lot more. Just because we all built out citys on flood plains and on the coast doesnt mean that someone in dryer or colder climates wouldnt love for a change of climate

    I mean come on, how many of us brits moan about how crap the weather is, and would rather better weather? well it sure as hell isnt as bad as some places, some folk would kill for our weather.

    I just think we are all being rather selfish, we need to understand this rather than ramp up fuel prices and "Green" taxes to pay for something that might not make any different or may make things worse for us or someone else!

  33. Waderider
    Stop

    Lets just deal with it and stop talking about it.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Raife Edwards
    Facepalm

    Hhmm...

    "...calling a scientist with whose results you disagree a "hockey puck" is hardly helpful"

    Damn funny, though.

  35. Error Message Silver badge
    Boffin

    The reason this had traction

    Is summed up in the term "Climate Activist". Objective Science is not done by people with agendas beyond uncovering the truth.

    1. Tom 13
      Boffin

      While I concur on the "activist" bit,

      the unfortunate, and one of the few certain facts we know, is that Heisenberg killed the Objective Scientist. As in all dead, not just mostly dead, so Miracle Max can't help.

  36. Jamin79

    Probably a Coincidence

    Has anyone else noticed that the sharp increase in temperature starting in 1970 coincides with the introduction of clean air legislation in Canada in 1970, New Zealand in 1972, UK in 1968 and America in 1970?

    Maybe a coincidence, or maybe evidence that human polution actually causes the "global dimming" effectwhich reduces global temperatures.

    1. Wombling_Free
      Boffin

      I also note...

      ...the severe lack of medieval jousting tournaments in those years?

      Again, MAYBE a coincidence, but it looks like a close correlation to me.

  37. Hubert Thrunge Jr.
    Boffin

    And?

    The data shows that the global average temperature has risen "dramatically" over the last 130years.

    What it doesn't show is how cold it got during the "mini-iceage" in the middle ages. If you take the ancient records of temperatures recorded by the monks, you'll find that we're not back to where we were then. They didn't have cars, factories, or other "spawn of economic & global evil devices" to ruin the planet then.

    There were things grown in the UK that would not flourish well in todays climate, well perhaps they might in a few years... only if it stops getting colder here as it is again....

    I am not a sceptic regarding global climate change, what I am in no doubt of is that the CO2 protagonists need to start looking at all of the data available - solar, ice cores, etc.. and you can see that mother earth's climate changes on a regular basis, going from hot to cold to hot to cold. In ancient times we would have just migrated, but in modern civilised societies we don't do that, we bitch and moan and have to blame someone/something for it, stay put, and starve.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Real as it may be

    The Climatic Research Unit still shouldn't have hidden or f*cked about with the information.

  39. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    what an unusual idea

    Publish *all* your data.

    Publish *all* your software.

    That sounds like proper science.

  40. revdjenk
    Trollface

    perfect sense...

    ...to call someone "hockey puck" if you compare yourself to Don Rickles.

  41. Wilco 1
    Thumb Up

    Lots of deniers with short memories

    Many deniers still ridicule the hockey stick graph, claim that the CRU falsified data to fake a warming trend, or claim the earth is actually cooling in the last decade... So yes, this is definitely a big blow to those deniers, especially since the study was done by a sceptic.

    I suppose these hard facts doesn't means we won't see those claims ever again, but it should at least put this part of the debate to rest once and for all. Also this confirms again there was no "Climate Gate" scandal - not only have the individuals accused of wrongdoing been cleared, their data is now proven to be correct and not falsified as well.

    1. peter_dtm

      no

      the hockey stick graph was taken apart and trashed in a later peer revued paper

      as was the attempt to ridicule the trashing.

      but then of course it was all about how appaling their statistics were

      and there still remains the other 'little' problem with the hockey stick nonsense :

      Where are

      1) The global middle ages warm period

      2) The Little ice age

      3) the other variants and changes that occurred in the early 20th century ?

      The hockey stick graph is so bad it should not be mentioned in the same sentence as science.

      If the CRU didn't falsify the data why are there no published examples of how their code works on the (now magically found) original data ? Where is the code that is used to get their results ?

      It ain't science unless the data and the methodology are available for testing.

      Here's a hard fact for you :

      The computer models (GCM) used ALL predict troposphere warming; if CO2 is a contributor to climate change.

      The tropo hotspot predicted can NOT be measured.

      The hot spot is a necessary signal IF CO2 is involved in driving the climate warmer (caused by its increase in ppm). Since a necessary result from the GCM has NOT been observed there is something seriously wrong with the GCM. Or don't you believe that real world measurements always trump climate model estimations ?

      1. Wilco 1
        FAIL

        Hockey stick graph is real

        Eh, did you not notice the hockey stick graph in the article?

        Sure there have been attempts by deniers to discredit the hockey stick graph, but all their attempts have been proven to be incorrect (or fraudulent - one example I've seen rotated the graph to show a cooling trend...). The graph has been now reproduced many times using various methods in many different studies. Oh and your "middle ages warm period" and "little ice age" were local changes, not global. In fact the earth was slighly cooler overall during the "middle ages warm period" so they do show up on the graph but just not in the way you want it.

        Do you denialists ever get bored with repeating the same old debunked lies?

        1. peter_dtm
          Alert

          you really won't like this

          no - the middle ages warm period can be observed (and has been) in S America; N America NW Europe; NE Europe; the Stepps; China; and other countries in Asia. The signal for the event is observable across all land masses. Ok so the land only covers 1/3 of the surface - does that make 'local to land' only

          And where is the Little Ice Age - you know that 'local; event that froze the Thames and is recorded all across Europe; Russia and the East ?

          Do not ever get bored with trying to find reasons your GCM disagree with reality ? Prior to the publishing of the Hockey Stick the MWP and LIA were so well known they were taught in schools around the world (now there was consensus science for you; and they are not MY MWP or LIA; they are the planets). The only person documented to have inverted a graph - and to continue using said graph after that had been pointed out was that great showman AL Gore.

          What about the tropo hot spot ?

          All the GCM predict it. It is not there.

          So the hockey stick is a bust (because it's stats are so appalling bad before we even get to the data) and the predictive models that are used to give scary figures like 50000 climate refugees by 2010 and some main road in New York NY will be 20' under water; and 'our kids won't know what snow' is ; and the temperatures rising (well of course it is; were coming out of a little Ice age) and all the other fud.

          There is no proof that the hypothesis that CO2 is a primary driver of climate dynamics has any congruency with reality. Without that there are NO reasons for reducing CO2 levels; on the contrary; given the known behaviour of CO2 as a fertilizer; there are plenty of reasons to encourage MORE CO2 output

          1. Wilco 1
            WTF?

            If only you accepted how wrong you are...

            Again, the LIA and MWP are not as widespread as you claim - in both cases there were warmer and colder periods, as you expect from regional weather variations. This is what the experts say:

            "Thus current evidence does not support globally synchronous periods of anomalous cold or warmth over this time frame, and the conventional terms of "Little Ice Age" and "Medieval Warm Period" appear to have limited utility in describing trends in hemispheric or global mean temperature changes in past centuries... Viewed hemispherically, the "Little Ice Age" can only be considered as a modest cooling of the Northern Hemisphere during this period of less than 1°C relative to late 20th century levels."

            If you disagree with this, then please go ahead and publish your own peer reviewed research proving them wrong. That's how science works.

            And what do you think about the sceptics who just reproduced the hockey stick and now accepts it as a fact that the earth is indeed warming like people have been saying for 30+ years?

            CO2 is not a fertilizer at all (using that word means you have no idea of the role of CO2 in plant growth). It is a myth that more CO2 will lead to more plant growth and more food production - for example most plants are constrained by the soil, irrigation and climate they grow in, so increasing CO2 will not help at all. It is well known that CO2 is a greenhouse gas since Tyndall, so yes it is the primary driver of climate. Wanting more CO2 is suicidally stupid, we're already on the verge of collapsing major eco systems, and you're suggesting to burn down what little is left of our forests? Sorry but I'm not going to let people like you destroy our way of life with your little CO2 experiment.

      2. Tom 13
        Coat

        I think we found

        our hockey puck.

  42. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
    Meh

    one hell of a hillarious sentence

    "is the first study to address the issue of data selection bias, by using nearly all of the available data"

    Other than that quite hillarious bit, what was the point of this "meta-study" again? They took the same data as already used by other studies, applied the same analysis methods, and reached the same conclusion. Huzzah. At least they do their part to save Gaya; they should make it clear, it's a major sale argument these days: "made at 100% from post-consumer recycled material".

  43. cocknee
    Facepalm

    Flat earthers, creationism and intelligent designers

    There's so much hot and utter bollocks being spoken. I'm cynical and want the evidence before I believe in anything hence being an atheist, not believing in the tooth fairy, WMD's and Brian is the messiah.

    BUT the vitriol poured on anyone who suggests there may be a link between human activity and global warming is just ludditic, unreasoned crap. The sort of shite that was peddled in the 70's by the Tobacco industry "there's no link between smoking and cancer", other nonsense such as the earth is flat and you'll fall off the edge.

    Having a foundation in Geology I fully understand that the earth goes in cycles and there's plenty of desert sandstone and evidence of glaciers in the UK. A 1000 years ago, the climate was like the south of France and we had vineyards here (not the lame ones of today). So it's not a simple cause and effect or balanced equation.

    However there is a bloody big co-incidence that there seems to be a large rise in temperature in the records since the industrial revolution. At the same time burning fossil fuels that have trapped carbon for millennia that's now releasing its carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.

    Admittedly you'd need more than that to convict in a court (unless you're Troy Davis and reside in Geogia) but it's certainly a suspect.

    The revisionism evident in their diatribe such as "no one said the earth wasn't warming.." is the same position as the bloody creationists and intelligent (laughable) designers, having to move their position in the cold light of day. However still full of shit and bedwetting nutters but too stupid and dogmatic to even consider the alternatives.

    I can cope with the likes of the Koch brothers (even though I think they're c****) at least their position is driven by greed.

    You're the sort of people that gave us the Inquisition, stagnation of western society after the Romans, McCarthyism, bloodletting and shitting out of windows (no link to cholera of course, blah blah)

    If there is a slightest chance of a link, then it would make sense to err on the side of caution. This does include developing other technologies such a Fusion with the obvious geo-political advantages of not relying on fossil fuels from dodgy countries that associate and hold us to ransom on prices.

    To flat deny is just as bad as accepting the premise without question, don't believe all the hype whether it's from the hippies or the Judas mouthpieces of those that would lose financially from not flogging oil, deforestation or pumping shit into the environment.

  44. Msnthrp
    Linux

    Limited data

    If I read the charts correctly, the data reviewed covered only surface data from stations on land masses. That accounts for 30% of the planet. What about the 70% covered by water? What about the heat energy in the air blanket above the earth?

    Frankly, I am more likely to trust satellite observations than I am to trust all the data from the land stations. For one thing, more money is spent on each satellite instrument than is spent on a land station - many times more money and that usually means better accuracy. If we take the raw data - not "corrected" to meet someone's pet theory of AGW, the data should be much more in step with reality.

    I have noticed that when "deniers" or "skeptics" post on this and other pertinent articles, the posts are full of data and references to sources of the data. In other words, they are watching the science and the results of analysis. When the members of the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming (Al Gore, Pope) post, they are using ad fontem arguments, adding nothing in the way of information for consideration. So one group adds information, the opposing group adds noise. Guess which group is the most correctly scientific?

    The many skeptical arguments above recount my own doubts better than I could have stated them - congratulations to those posters. As someone stated, "Follow the Money". Taxes, Cap and Trade, Indulgences (or should we say Carbon Credits), other ways of taking money from producers and giving it to non-producers. Why does the IPCC exist - power grab maybe?

    1. indulis
      FAIL

      Limited data? Huh?

      Ahh- the retreat into the gaps, just like creationism.

      "I am more likely to trust satellite observations"- well it is not up to you, Mr/Mrs armchair expert. In fact, satellite observations of temperature are fraught with problems due to the aging of instruments in space, and as Roy Spencer at UAH found out (their early analysis said the earth was not warming due to poor data analysis, and not correcting for satellite drift). The process of getting from radiance data in various bands to actual temperature uses (shock horror) computer models.

      Try Wikipedia, it will point you to actual data and references. Satellite_temperature_measurements should get you there.

      You will also see that Spencer, Christy et al were dragged kicking and screaming over the course of many years to finally admit that their "earth is cooling" hypothesis was wrong both due to errors in analysis as well as missing the effect of satellite drift (which changes how big an area the sensor can "see" hence how much energy it thinks is there, making a drop in altitude lead to false assumptions of cooling).

      "NOAA-11 played a significant role in a 2005 study by Mears et al. identifying an error in the diurnal correction that leads to the 40% jump in Spencer and Christy's trend"

      So the facts are that the correctly analysed satellite observations closely match ground based observations:

      # RSS v3.3 finds a trend of +0.148 °C/decade

      # UAH v5.4 finds a trend of +0.140°C/decade

      "The UAH TLT dataset was a source of controversy in the 1990's as, at that time, it showed little increase in global mean temperature, at odds with surface measurements. Since then a number of errors in the way the atmospheric temperatures were derived from the raw radiance data have been discovered and corrections made by Christy et al. at UAH."

      How's that for actual references and data? Which group is the most scientific? The ones quoting discredited and out of date data? Or the one using the latest and best data.

      If you are too lazy to read Wikipedia and follow the references, or too lazy to read the IPCC report and read up on the science referenced there, then you can fall always back on conspiracy theories about "follow the money" etc. The mark of a true un-scientist.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A true un-scientist, indeed

        "read Wikipedia" -- the font of all wisdom?

        The decadal trends you cite have ceased. They are ex-trends. The are six year old calculations (made in 2005) based on ten year old data.

        The earth is not showing statistically significant warming. You can be a religious bigot, and throw away the evidence that doesn't suit your dogma, or you can be a real scientist, and start to ask "why?".

        1. NomNomNom

          They haven't ceased. UAH 5.4 didn't exist in 2005 so those figures are more recent than that.

          The most recent trends (1978 to Sep 2011) are:

          RSS: 0.142C warming per decade

          UAH: 0.138C warming per decade

    2. Tom 13

      Oh, the land vs water isn't the half of the limited data problem.

      The really, really, really big limited data problem (even though they keep trying to paper over it) is the complete lack of a substantive data baseline against the cyclical period: call it a generous 200 years vs a 200 million year interval period. Even if you were to claim we were in a current warm age and take the last 60 million years as the interval, you don't have anywhere near enough data to have an inkling of being able to hazard a wild-assed guess about the stadium in which the next major event will occur.

  45. Richard 15
    WTF?

    1) Climate change is always happening. The question that needs to be answered is what are

    the sources of that change.

    2) Assuming the data is accurate, and depending on what the sources are, to what extent will the change continue. Is the sample of data taken done along a long enough time span to be meaningful? If you measure the water table right after a rain you would be foolish to think that it was always at that level. Likewise if you measured after a long drought.

    3) Given it has been hotter before, they are finding remnants of farming sites under some areas of Greenland previously covered in ice, when will it actually be harmful to those being asked to change their activity? If a group is being asked to do something how are they going

    to be compensated for what they give up? If the danger point in time is centuries away, why

    would they give a damn considering we know that they can't even get the weather right for

    the next year.

    4) What changes can be made that will actually impact the changes? If Western society changes but the rest of the world does not, will it make any difference? What do you do if they say they will change but do not?

    5) How much of the changes proposed do anything more than line certain peoples pockets?

    6) I've been told that the temperatures on other planets in our solar system have risen.

    I'd like to see that data and find out what it means relative to the other data collected so

    far.

  46. KegRaider
    Alert

    Better Technology?

    Would the huge 1 degree deviation be due to the better quality sensors we are now using? I mean, surely the digital probes are a lot more accurate than the old mercury bulbs. And who's to say the the bulb didn't slip down the scale for a few years skewing the data :)

    I'm not denying that we should be more aware of our interaction with the environment, but comparing temperatures from the 1800's is about as useful as comparing TV screen resolutions from the same eras.

  47. T J
    Devil

    Well DERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    How many of these have to come out before we can just start publically tying up the doubters in front of steamrollers and slowly crushing them for putting us and our children at risk?

    1. peter_dtm
      WTF?

      can't help it

      let's see - nothing like a fact based argument to uphold your beliefs ?

      There is an unproven hypothesis that CO2 emitted by man is causing climate disruption/change/global warming.

      The models used to make this prediction are models of a chaotic system and are built on the assumption that CO2 is one of the main drivers for climate change.

      Let me make the key part clear

      *** are built on the assumption that CO2 is one of the main drivers****

      so; like all models; what you build is what you get. Let's see - if my model assumes that CO2 is a main driver and then my model SHOWS CO2 to be the main driver what have I proved ?

      Interestingly the models all make one very clear and unambiguous prediction and that is :

      If CO2 is a major driver of climate change it will cause a 'hot spot' in the troposphere. This is the tropo hot spot that gives the models so many problems. Why ? because we have been unable to measure anything like the predicted temperature rise - one short term series satellite data appears to show a marginally measurable rise - but no where near that predicted. No other tropo temperature records show even a suggestion of a rise.

      If you really want to put you children at risk continue to try and destroy our cheap energy culture that has raised everyone's standard of living and everyone's life expectancy around the world. If you take away cheap energy how are you going to farm and feed the billions ? Indeed think of the children; think of how your grandchildren are going to feel if they know that our generation were so stupid that we broke the machine that keeps us alive and keeps us out of dawn to dusk peasantry and saves us from a brutalized 30 year life expectancy. Your children are far more at risk from if we break modern society than they would be if the climate warmed by 5 degrees (the earth; after all has been there; done that before). Mankind has always done well during the cyclic warm periods of this interglacial; and badly during its cold periods.

  48. jim 45

    a sure sign

    At least one association is clear: 100% of 'climate skeptics' also profess hard-core right-wing political views. This isn't a coincidence. I'd also like to see a study of the statistical linkage between denial of climate science and denial of evolution. I suspect that correlation is also extremely high.

    This argument isn't about science.

    1. peter_dtm
      FAIL

      and the source for this amazing 'fact' is ?

    2. PT

      O'Really?

      Perhaps it looks like "hard core right wing" from the position of an AGW activist, though the impression is as false as all their other claims. But I agree with you that the argument isn't about science. It never has been. It's always been political on the AGW side.

  49. Wombling_Free
    Boffin

    Just looking at the data point map...

    ...tells me that we haven't got a fucking clue about what's happening in the tropics.

  50. Marshalltown
    FAIL

    Silly

    The study produced nothing of any remotely serious note - aside from generating a whole new firestorm on statistical methodology. No scientific sceptic (no claims for the wingnut fringe) has ever expressed any doubt that world is warmer than it was 200 years ago. Doubts have been expressed that the human contribution has had any important effect. Sceptics have also pointed out that empirical evidence fails to indicate any significant difference between the present behaviour of the climate and any time in the last 10,000 years, except that is cooler than it about 7,000 years ago, and no warmer than it was during the Medieval Warm episode when England was last truly habitable.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This study is not "massive" nor is it anything new. It is simply a re-plotting of the same data everyone else has already plotted. If I have a set of numbers and you plot them on a graph and someone else plots them on a graph and both plots look similar, well, it means both know how to plot numbers on a graph.

    This study has not even started the peer review process and there are several major errors with it. It is too bad this information was released before the study was even reviewed because it's conclusions may radically change between now and then.

    One thing to note, though, is that there is a significant cooling shown in the BEST data after about 2000 that is not shown in the HADCRUT or GISS graphs.

    It will be interesting to revisit this study AFTER it passes peer review.

    1. NomNomNom

      "This study is not "massive" nor is it anything new. It is simply a re-plotting of the same data everyone else has already plotted. If I have a set of numbers and you plot them on a graph and someone else plots them on a graph and both plots look similar, well, it means both know how to plot numbers on a graph."

      It isn't new to anyone else. But it sure as hell should be new to climate skeptics.

      Climate skeptics have been claiming for years that scientists have mishandled the surface record data, even going so far as to accuse them of fraudulently "cooking the books". Now that those records are independently verified you claim it's nothing new.

      Ha! nice try

      1. peter_dtm
        FAIL

        umm - this was in part triggered by Anthony Watts (WUWT blog) carrying out a site standards survey. The data he provided to BEST only went back 30 (THIRTY) years.

        Where did the siting data for the preceding 30 years come from ?

        If it didn't exist when Watts went looking for it; from where did BEST magic it ?

        1. NomNomNom

          "The data he provided to BEST only went back 30 (THIRTY) years."

          Don't think so. Watt's doesn't have 10 years of data let alone 30

  52. 42
    Coat

    Meh

    The sceptics have bought the big lie and can never adnit they are wrong. They are not worth arguing with, they will always find some out of context rubbish to try and deny reality. Still congrats to El Reg for actually giving an unbiased analysis on this issue. Was that a pig I saw fly past my window, was it AO?

  53. dave 81
    Flame

    You have missed the fucking point!

    Of course the climate is changing. Its always changing.

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

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

  54. Shakje

    Sadly

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

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

    1. peter_dtm
      FAIL

      dead right we doubt the A.

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

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

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

      1. Shakje
        Stop

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

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

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

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

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

  55. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    FAIL

    Cut to the chase

    @AC

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

    Is that so?

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

    What skeptic DO say is that:

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

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

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

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

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

    1. NomNomNom

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

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

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

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

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

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

      1. peter_dtm
        Mushroom

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

        as in (from your quote)

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

        significant means outside NORMAL range by at least two standard deviations

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

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

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

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

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

        1. NomNomNom

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

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

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

          So yes BEST does contradict prior skeptic claims.

  56. Thought About IT

    Business as usual for the "sceptics" ...

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

    1. Stef 4
      Facepalm

      Optional Title

      Did you read any of the paper in question?

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

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

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

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

      1. NomNomNom

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

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

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

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone has an opinion

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Chris Miller

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

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

  58. Apocalypse Later

    Shifting ground

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

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

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

  59. Trevor 3
    Thumb Down

    I don't care

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

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

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

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

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

    Please?

  60. Josh 15
    FAIL

    Very Disappointed, El Reg...

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

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

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

    1. NomNomNom

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

      Allegations have included:

      -Scientists chose a subset of stations to exaggerate warming

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

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

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

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

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

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

  61. Andy Davies
    Headmaster

    - well someone has to say it:

    folks - anthropomorphic is not the word you want.

    1. Metalattakk

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

  62. Thought About IT

    Very Surprised, El Reg.

    @Josh 15:

    "Very Disappointed, El Reg..."

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

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

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

    1. Josh 15
      FAIL

      I Beg To Differ...

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

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

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

  63. Sarah Davis
    Coat

    Very Old News !!

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

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

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

  64. Chris Glen-smith
    WTF?

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

    After all:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Figgus
      FAIL

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

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

  65. RobAtAscolti
    FAIL

    You're missing the point

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Bango Skank

      so what?

      Small effect eh?

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

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

      1. Sea, river, and floodplain levels

      2. Agricultural logistic chains

      3. Pest species

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

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

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

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

  66. Andy3

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

  67. TeeCee Gold badge
    WTF?

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

    <crusty eco-tosser>

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

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

    </crusty eco-tosser>

  68. Jim O'Reilly
    FAIL

    Who dunnit?

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

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

  69. Steve Martins

    Debate rages on

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

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

    1. Bango Skank
      FAIL

      Ignorant debate remains ignorant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  70. Bango Skank
    WTF?

    oh for crying in bucket!

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

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

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

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

  71. rossglory

    warming trend is unequivocal

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

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

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

  72. rciafardone
    Boffin

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

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

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