back to article Antarctic ice sheet melt 'not that unusual', latest ice core shows

The latest ice-core analysis from the Antarctic shows that nothing unusual in terms of melting is occurring. In research published yesterday, a large team of scientists used a deep ice core from the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide to produce records going back some 2,000 years. Their analysis shown that recent melting in …

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  1. g e
    Coat

    Forty three feet! Golly.

    Any news on the altitude of the Greenpeace HQ ?

    1. Matthew 3

      Re: Forty three feet! Golly.

      If they're bright it will be a floating HQ. But it better be a long way away from the French if it is.

      1. g e
        Go

        Re: Forty three feet! Golly.

        LMAO @Matthew !!

      2. Blubster
        Alert

        Re: Forty three feet! Golly.

        "... London, Bangkok and New York, Shanghai and Mumbai will be among a number of cities which will eventually end up below sea level ..."

        And this is a bad thing?

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Tim Parker

      @Eadon Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

      Thank you for bringing the same reasoned arguments to this debate that you do to OS related threads...

      1. JayBizzle

        Re: @Eadon Cold winters, Wet summers

        It's a good argumnet but it is missing something... something to do with Penguins.. missed an open goal there...

      2. eulampios

        @Tim

        Please go ahead and try refuting "it would be surprising if burning all that fuel had zero effect" and all the data about CO2 released by the humanity into the atmosphere so far. One of the non-warming impact and all the "niceness" of it, it leads to the the so-called acidification of the oceans, a disaster, in particular, causing many species in the ocean to die, e.g., corals.

    2. Denarius Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

      yep, as far back as Julius of the clan Julia. You know, the Roman geezer who made the remark, "Does it ever stop raining in this wretched place" or words to that effect in latin after invading the roman wild west, some hell hole called Britain.

      You do know CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas compared to DiHydrogen Monoxide ?

      1. Z-Eden
        Joke

        Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

        Reminds me of Carry on Cleo:

        "Hail, Mark Antony!"

        "Hail - snow, rain, thunder, lighting - the lot!"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

        @Denarius - CO2 is between 9% and 26% of the greenhouse effect, hardly minor as you suggest. It's also the one which we can realistically do more about as well.

        1. danR2
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

          9-26 percentage uncertainty. My, that's a global thermocalypse error-bar Professor Emeritus Al Gore could drive a truck through.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

            @DanR2 - That's between 9 and 26% at any one instance in time, it's very humid the water vapour contributes more, because there's more of it, if it's less humid the CO2 contributes more. It's a measurement per volume of air.

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

              "That's between 9 and 26% at any one instance in time, it's very humid the water vapour contributes more, because there's more of it, if it's less humid the CO2 contributes more. It's a measurement per volume of air."

              Yes basically if you remove all the CO2 from the atmosphere the infrared absorption drops by 9%. If you remove everything but CO2 it drops to 25%. So the contribution is between 9% and 25% but that's nothing to do with uncertainty, it's to do with the complexity of overlap.

              1. Steve Martins

                Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

                So if i get this right, of the infrared absorption that takes place (green house effect) the percentage of the effect attributed to CO2 varies from 9% to 25% depending on independent factors, such as water vapour. Do we surmise that ideally the infrared absorption of the atmosphere should be zero to avoid armageddon? if not then we need to know what percentage of the overall IR absorption is undesirable - or should we start drawing lots of misleading graphs that don't start from zero?

                1. Wilco 1

                  Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

                  Anything that increases IR absorption will increase temperatures, so in that sense any increase is undesirable. As earth heats up, the increased temperature increases outgoing radiation, so at some point the energy radiated from earth matches incoming energy from the Sun and stable state is reached at a higher temperature.

                  Without feedbacks a doubling of CO2 concentration leads to about 1C increase. With feedbacks it is about 3C.

            2. danR2
              WTF?

              Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

              This, then, is the lack of clarity that plagues so much of global warming hysteria.

              Just call it 16% and call it a day.

      3. Seanmon
        Thumb Up

        Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

        Have a point for getting Dihydrogen monoxcide in.

      4. Adrian Midgley 1
        Thumb Down

        Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

        You'll have been told the co2 drives the water, so it is an amplifier rather than a disregard able independent variable.

      5. John Hughes
        FAIL

        Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

        "You do know CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas compared to DiHydrogen Monoxide ?"

        And do you know that the atmosphere is saturated by H2O ? That the only way of getting more into the atmospehere is to raise the temperature?

    3. system11
      Happy

      Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

      But I like the current weather trend, for anyone who doesn't like warm weather it's been wonderful :)

      1. Bob. Hitchen
        Happy

        Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

        So you're not in the UK then!

    4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

      "If this process is responsible for our freezing 8-month long british winters and soggy overcast summers, then it is a DISASTER!"

      What it's actually saying is that actions in the tropics have an influence on polar ice sheets and they are being described as "unpredictible."

      So it looks like the GCM's are not matching reality. But 1% of the last 2000 yrs matches last year, so it's unusual, but not that unusual, including lots of times that massively predate any kind of "industrialisation."

      And AFAIK this years UK late onset "Summer" has more than a little to do with the jetstream shifting position.

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    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: To be fair...

        There are many more than 24,000 excess people, so the deaths really don't matter. Human lives are not inherently valuable things.

        However, you do make a point about wasted money - which should all be put into science, and building nuclear reactors so we have electricity, and free education for all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: To be fair...

          so just kill yourself, your life may be worthless, but mine isn't

          IDIOT

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Meh

          Re: To be fair...

          "Utopia" was a work of fiction.

          As in not real.

          You do understand that, right?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @casaloco

      It does have a huge impact on our response to the problem though

    3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: To be fair...

      Indeed, but this last happened as recently as the 1830s, and I don't think sea levels were 40ft higher then.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge

        Re: To be fair...

        How do you measure ?

        Go to Victoria embankment - see how many times it's been raised in the last 100 years. No because of rising sea levels, but the sinking south east ...

    4. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: To be fair...

      No, to be fair you'd have to include the following quote from Steig, which is included in the original but inexplicably didn't make it here:

      "The same is not true for the Antarctic Peninsula, the part of the continent closer to South America, where rapid ice loss has been even more dramatic and where the changes are almost certainly a result of human-caused warming, Steig said."

      In other words this 'article' is just lies, lies, lies, steaming lies, lies en croute, lies in a blanket, lies on toast, lies with a side order of spam, spam and lies, lies in space, and lies a la mode from El Reg.

      As usual.

      1. Matthew 25

        Re: To be fair...

        Its not lies. Its just selective. This is known as making a case to fit a certain point of view. Politicians, lawyers and journalists do this for various reasons, one being it winds up those who have the full facts. Well done, you bit.

      2. andy 45
        Thumb Down

        Re: To be fair...

        I'm more surprised El Reg didnt mention the record ice growth

        http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/record-arctic-ice-growth-in-2012-2013/

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: To be fair...

          or ice is now back to 1989 levels

          http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/worth-more-than-a-thousand-words/

  4. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Devil

    Isn't Harrogate the highest town above sea level or something like that? I seem to recall in "The Kraken Wakes" that it gets redesignated the capital of the UK and becomes a lawless zone where everybody wants to live.

    Maybe it's time to move to an isolate cottage in the Dales or Pennines, complete with nuclear bunker and a small arsenal to cope with the inevitable destruction of society....

    1. Armando 123

      "Isn't Harrogate the highest town above sea level or something like that?"

      No, I think it's some place in Bolivia or Tibet.

  5. Trojan Horus

    That's arguably a somewhat optimistic headline. The reason they can't definitively say that this present warming is due to global warming is because they have evidence that 1% of the time, in the past in the last 2,000 years, something like this kind of melt has happened before... the other 99% of the time it hasn't. I'd be cautious about extrapolating from this that we can safely continues to add unprecedented levels of CO@ to our atmosphere,

    1. joshua43214

      confidence

      I think you are mis-understanding confidence testing in a very common way.

      This experiment does nothing more than ask "is current Antarctic melting abnormal?"

      The finding is that they are "confident" (this is a technical term in stats) that we have seen this before.

      These results say nothing whatsoever about AGW.

      If they had found the opposite (abnormal) it would lend support (not prove) to current AGW models.

      The results basically state that we can't tell the difference between current and historical melting, in other words they found no evidence to support AGW as the cause of current melt levels.

      This type of experiment is essential for science.

  6. stu22

    climate disaster

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/04/10/1200602/-The-Antarctic-Half-of-the-Global-Thermohaline- Here's the real facts. Be concerned

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Analogy

    Using an astronomic analogy, still fresh in everybody's mind:

    Meteors have been entering the earth atmosphere for billions of years. I hope this is a "consensus" for everyone except the most backward creationists around here.

    Does it mean that we should not attempt to prevent a "really big one" to smash into the planet, now that we have sufficiently advanced technology to:

    1. Recognize the problem

    2. Do something about it

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Trollface

      Re: Analogy

      No I think a better analogy is:

      "Meteors have been entering the earth atmosphere for billions of years." Therefore it is a difficult argument to convince us that the reason a meteor caused so much destruction recently is because little Jimmy didn't say his prayers one night before bed.

      No-one is saying that the ice isn't melting (except in the Himalayas), nor are they saying that the meltwater could well cause a problem. What they are saying is that this does not appear to be an "unprecedented" situation.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Analogy

      @AC: Wasnt that the job of shamans with magical powers to make sacrifices to gods to appease the gods? Force slave labour to die in the service of the greater good building useless structures to please the almighty *deity* so they might have rain/crops/fewer natural disasters?

      How far we have moved forward.

      Your analogy is greatly flawed by the way. a meteor is a solid and definable object with a demonstrated and measurable impact which allows us to predict the damage it could cause. We hope we have the capacity to stop one but we are still looking to scifi (Armageddon) and old games (asteroids) for solutions. Solutions which are demonstrated by our regular use of missiles/projectiles and their effect upon the target.

      Compared with a none solid nor definable object, only environmental changes and no reliable historic data of any significant timespan. Using the less reliable information we have we find the natural change from warm and cold periods. We have predictive models based on cherrypicked data and predetermined bias but nothing that has demonstrated a level of accuracy we can trust. We have absolute certainty but no demonstrated knowledge beyond 'we dont know'. The only solutions we have been offered are life threatening and extremely damaging to the natural world and a number of our species. There is a consensus but only among the few who agree with each other. And again we have science claiming to produce more facts, which would again change and redefine the problem. And again away from it being our fault.

      A better analogy would be the die hard MMCC co2 theorists + deniers and cults. Everyone else is waiting for the science even if they already lean one way or the other.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Analogy

        " a meteor is a solid and definable object with a demonstrated and measurable impact which allows us to predict the damage it could cause"

        Uh no. There's a big difference between it landing in the sea vs on a city. It's just as uncertain to predict the exact impact of a meteor as it is to predict the impact of 3C global warming.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Analogy

          @nom

          "Uh no. There's a big difference between it landing in the sea vs on a city. It's just as uncertain to predict the exact impact of a meteor as it is to predict the impact of 3C global warming."

          Eh? Bring back the goal posts please. We can measure the damage of impact of existing meteor strikes. This is because big rocks have been falling out of the sky for plenty time and we can actually measure (important sciency stuff). Yes it makes a difference if it hits land or water, city or rural but that is not what he discussed. And even then it is measurable and somewhat predictable.

          I have to ask what this 3C warming is? What timescale with what configuration with what controls do we have over it. Which falls back to (bring the goal posts back) your unmeasurable cult of the 'we all damned'. I repeat the words-

          "A better analogy would be the die hard MMCC co2 theorists + deniers and cults. Everyone else is waiting for the science even if they already lean one way or the other."

          1. NomNomNom

            Re: Analogy

            It's a quantitative difference, not a qualitative one.

            There's a climate meteor heading towards Earth if you will, we know it will hit, but we don't know where and what the impact will be. It could be potentially devastating, or it could splash into the sea with little damage.

            Of course in the case of a real meteor heading for Earth, climate skeptics would probably argue the cost of mitigating a meteor is too high, plus we can't be sure it will even hit so it's better to just adapt to the impact (I am only half-joking).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Analogy

              @nom

              If a meteor is heading to earth and we are lucky enough to spot it we would have a whole list of maths, physics and clued up guys saying it will likely hit. Based on its speed/trajectory they will estimate a landing zone. Based on its size they will estimate what will hit the earth and what will burn up based on composition of what has come before. They will base any attempt to attack it on those calculations and if its big enough it could kill off the planet in theory.

              The climate issue falls before it starts. Yes there will be a climate problem at some point. This is a huge area of every type of pollution known and unknown. This could be caused by us or naturally. And we may or may not be able to mitigate the effects at all. Yet you are not talking about this, not even close. What you are talking about is the big monster that only comes out at night and has only been seen by a few scared children who cant even agree what it looks like. Its existence has yet to be demonstrated never mind the cause. Not because it isnt potentially something that is real, but because it cant be distinguished from the natural events yet. Science has yet to catch up to the myth. Kinda like disproving gods. And in the same way everything can be taken as proof of the monster but nothing can disprove it because the goal posts constantly move (like when god(s) domains are disproved).

              So the onus is on you cultists to prove something is there. I will not stand on some hill in france because you tell me your UFO is coming to pick me up as the world ends. If you cannot prove the existence of the problem then I will focus on problems I consider real. Ones that have been proven to exist. And like a meteor heading to earth I will take it more seriously. I repeat the words-

              "A better analogy would be the die hard MMCC co2 theorists + deniers and cults. Everyone else is waiting for the science even if they already lean one way or the other."

              1. NomNomNom

                Re: Analogy

                Perhaps you are not aware of the changes we are undertaking. The global geo-engineering project we are haphazardly performing. CO2 levels have recently shot through the roof, to highs not seen for millions of years at a rate untypical in Earth's history, and they are going to soar much higher if humans continue to burn through all the fossil fuels reserves we can.

                Our infrastructure and the climate itself have great inertia. We can't just stop the ship the moment we see an iceberg coming. If we don't start turning this ship round now we commit ourselves to continuing the CO2 experiment much longer. In fact with an unrestrained grab for ever new fossil fuel sources such as shale oil to fulfill the energy appetite of our species, we are accelerating the ship into the fog.

                Experts are screaming of the danger. They realize the significance of the sharp rises in GHGs. They've seen the picture painted by everything from back of envelope calculations to complex models to realize these rises will have a very likely chance of inducing a substantial impact on the planet. Fundamentally they realize that a care-not/burn-all strategy is a huge gamble.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Analogy

                  @Nom

                  Woo complex models. Shame they have little relation to the real world. You can talk of ships and icebergs but you still avoid the fact I have stated over and over. The cultists are certain, the science is yet to find the truth. It has yet to distinguish the natural order from the unnatural changes. It has yet to identify a problem.

                  I will wait for science

                  1. NomNomNom

                    Re: Analogy

                    "The cultists are certain"

                    BS. You call me a cultist yet I have been clear there is no certainty.

                    You are a binary thinker: trying to force your own narrow binary want on the subject. Your argument is that either the science is certain or it's completely uncertain. That is the false dilemma you demand.

                    Why? Probably because it makes your argument easier. If you had to acknowledge a middle ground, ie the weight of evidence, rather than certainty/uncertainty then you wouldn't be able to dismiss the "cultists" so easily.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Analogy

                      @Nom

                      Now I am confused. You said-

                      "It's just as uncertain to predict the exact impact of a meteor as it is to predict the impact of 3C global warming." when I explained the difference between a real thing that is measured (meteor) and an unproven theoretical thing (MMCC co2 theory).

                      "There's a climate meteor heading towards Earth if you will, we know it will hit, but we don't know where and what the impact will be. It could be potentially devastating, or it could splash into the sea with little damage." where you again didnt get the difference between real and measurable (meteor) and theory (MMCC co2 theory). You seem to think they are as certain as each other. At lest that is what you argue.

                      "Perhaps you are not aware of the changes we are undertaking. The global geo-engineering project we are haphazardly performing. CO2 levels have recently shot through the roof" I see no doubt in your position, you are a believer. You are actively certain that we are having the impact you have pre-determined before science has caught up.

                      "Our infrastructure and the climate itself have great inertia. We can't just stop the ship the moment we see an iceberg coming. If we don't start turning this ship round now we commit ourselves to continuing the CO2 experiment much longer. In fact with an unrestrained grab for ever new fossil fuel sources such as shale oil to fulfill the energy appetite of our species, we are accelerating the ship into the fog." showing that you dont understand that anything we do is an experiment. Its all trial and error. And when a problem is proven we should solve it. Hence we need to wait for science. Not make devastating changes to find it was pointless and maybe even very wrong/bad. The loss of life to fix your theoretical problem is too high.

                      "Experts are screaming of the danger." This is a big oops because....

                      You now claim-

                      "You call me a cultist yet I have been clear there is no certainty."!!!!!!!!!

                      So you wipe out all your arguments and analogy by showing that science has not caught up because there is no certainty. Not little certainty or a mostly certainty but NO. Its a key word that you overlook. Your solution to a theoretical problem that has no certainty of existing will kill people. It will harm people greatly. And its result could be nothing, or bad, or good. Its unknown!

                      "You are a binary thinker: trying to force your own narrow binary want on the subject. Your argument is that either the science is certain or it's completely uncertain."

                      You have accepted there is NO certainty. No is an absolute. There could be degrees of certainty and there are on some elements of climate theory. But your single and very precise theory have no certainty. It is a distraction from fact and a scapegoat for those needing the easy answer. Easy answers come from religion, if you want reality then it takes time and work.

                      "If you had to acknowledge a middle ground, ie the weight of evidence, rather than certainty/uncertainty then you wouldn't be able to dismiss the "cultists" so easily."

                      And this is why I see you as a cultist. Yes I can dismiss cultists, of both sides. However a lot of those you see as cultists are people who look to science not the easy answer of the magic men. There are many pollutions in this world and the work to solve them is reduced by supporting some single minded theory which had the conclusion written before the work began.

                      P.S. I dismiss cultists of all kinds. MMCC, deniers, religious, religious atheists, windows/linux/apple groupies, etc. Your groups and predefined beliefs might make you all feel better about yourselves but I want answers to the world we live in, not fairytales.

                      1. NomNomNom

                        Re: Analogy

                        "You have accepted there is NO certainty. No is an absolute."

                        It means I am not 100% sure human emissions will lead to disaster. It doesn't mean I am 0% sure.

                        "I see no doubt in your position, you are a believer. You are actively certain that we are having the impact you have pre-determined before science has caught up."

                        On our impact on CO2 levels I am virtually certain. Man is sharply increasing CO2 level in the atmosphere and that levels have reached millions of year highs. Scientific evidence for that is tight. Also it is a scientific fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that CO2 has influences on processes in the carbon cycle.

                        Here’s an analogy: A man is about to swallow a newly synthesized and completely untested drug. We are certain this drug has a significant influence on certain systems in the body. But we are not certain that it will lead to disaster. Scientists scream about the danger of doing this.

                        Would you say swallowing the drug isn’t dangerous and accuse the scientists of being cultists because there isn’t 100% proof the drug will have any damaging effect? Would you argue that it's fine to swallow the drug because “anything we do is an experiment”?

                        And if someone proposed to tip millions of tons of iron into the oceans in an effort to spur CO2 absorption would you be happy with them doing that?

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Analogy

                          @Nom

                          "It means I am not 100% sure human emissions will lead to disaster. It doesn't mean I am 0% sure."

                          I urge you stop as you are digging a huge hole for yourself. You call me a binary thinker then so there is no certainty because you are not 100% certain. You also say human emissions yet that is a huge field with identified problems. Co2 is not one of them. You are piggy backing truth with an unproven theory. Also you may be sure (as you are) of something with no certainty (<100%) but so far that means nothing to me. Absolutely nothing. You could be some stranger approaching in the street ranting like a mad man about a a meteor about to hit. I wont believe you just because you repeat it. I want proof. So I look to science.

                          "On our impact on CO2 levels I am virtually certain."

                          There is no certainty because you are only virtually certain? I am virtually a soldier on battlefield but it dont make it so in reality. You obviously sincerely believe what you say but so do the Jehovah's who knock on my door. I ask them for proof too.

                          "Here’s an analogy: A man is about to swallow a newly synthesized and completely untested drug. We are certain this drug has a significant influence on certain systems in the body. But we are not certain that it will lead to disaster. Scientists scream about the danger of doing this."

                          So we are back to apples and oranges because you have no proof. Thats fine, its not a bad thing, it just means science needs to provide the facts which will take time. But you cant expect people to believe you when you dont have sufficient proof. Climate is still being worked out. Enjoy the ride.

                          "Also it is a scientific fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that CO2 has influences on processes in the carbon cycle."

                          Ok. What are the effects? Well you can expect some things to happen but the carbon lifecycle isnt so simple. So while step 1 is pretty certain that means next to nothing. It means so little because the climate is made of so much more than just co2. Single out co2 and you can predict some stuff but not climate. Include the others and co2 becomes a part of a bigger picture. One where much more is going on and the simple cycle you could draw for a child turns into a complex web requiring computers. Each element of climate has its own complications of rates and effects. Suddenly this huge balancing act hits a little miscalculation of just one of these and any prediction could be thrown well off. This is the problem facing scientists and why this is still being refined, why it is still not understood. That is before we debate if clouds trap heat or reflect it away.

                          And you claim to have the answer? Do you predict the future too? Hang on that is what you claim to be doing!

                          I dont get why we would want to tip millions of tons of iron into the oceans? Or are you implying that if the monster under the bed isnt real it is impossible to be kidnapped walking the street alone at night?

                          1. NomNomNom

                            Re: Analogy

                            Here’s a summary of the situation:

                            1) Humans are elevating atmospheric CO2 to levels not seen for millions of years and at possibly the fastest rate in geological history. When I said this was virtually certain I meant something like 99% likely. Nothing is 100% certain in science.

                            2) The weight of evidence is that this rising CO2 level caused by man will have a substantial influence on climate. This isn’t as certain as the fact the CO2 rise is caused by man, but it still has strong evidence behind it. I would say this was nearer 90%.

                            3) The impact of the influence on climate, including any damage, has little certainty. The plausible range of impacts and damage range is large, from negliable to catastrophic.

                            Your strawman is that I am saying CO2 caused catastrophe is certain. That is a very big strawman considering my argument, as laid out above, is nothing like that.

                            "I dont get why we would want to tip millions of tons of iron into the oceans?"

                            I didn't ask you why. I asked you for your view on whether you thought such an act was dangerous or not. How about instead of iron we say 100 million tons of some new synthetic waste chemical. We have no idea what impact it will have when dumped. Some people want to dump it because they need to get rid of it. What's your view? Do you accept they can do it because there's no proof it's dangerous? considering there's no proof it's safe either?

                            Same with the drug example which you also didn't address. Is it dangerous to swallow an untested drug? For climate you argue an action is safe so long as we don't know the effect. I am wondering if you apply the same logic to drugs.

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: Analogy

                              Thats your summary. Your comment of no certainty is now 99% certainty which still means nothing to me. You could be certain the sky is falling but I wont believe you without proof. We are still not getting past that little hump.

                              "Nothing is 100% certain in science."

                              Very true, but we dont then start believing every little fairytale because someone says so. Even if they say it as passionately as you do. The only thing proven is that we dont know the natural state compared to the predictions and claims of the cults. You could turn out to be right, we will see.

                              "The plausible range of impacts and damage range is large, from negliable to catastrophic."

                              There is a similar range (the entire range) of risk to crossing a road or standing in the same spot. Without evidence to reduce the entire range of possibility down to the plausible the solutions are meaningless. We dont build pens for the invisible unicorns that might accidentally bump into us horn first do we? We dont do that because the range of possibilities ("negliable to catastrophic") is brought into realistic terms.

                              "Your strawman is that I am saying CO2 caused catastrophe is certain. That is a very big strawman considering my argument, as laid out above, is nothing like that."

                              You need to reread your posts. You are clinging on to this co2 doom we face as a ship about to hit ice and a meteor about to hit land or water, but you are still providing a religious reasoning to a scientific topic. I have built no straw men. I have directly discredited your comments which say we are doomed and need to make murderous changes (people die from the co2 reducing solutions). You are comparing co2 to dumping iron and synthetic waste while telling me there is no certainty, well virtually certain, well 99% likely. Your beliefs are unravelling that is all.

                              Lets put it this way- the solutions for reducing co2 are killing people. People are dying actually not theoretically. Damage is being done to the land/habitats and for all this our economies are paying a high price. This is happening and not theoretical. The cost of energy rises and people have to choose heat or food. This is enforced upon them.

                              We also have the theory you support. It might be right it might be wrong it will 99% likely need revising as facts come to light. So we have an unfinished theory making bold claims. It is bold because of the whole climate it focusses directly on co2. It blames co2 as the singular cause to fight and the problem. It ignores everything else that makes or contributes to climate (see other reg article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/15/other_things_than_co2_could_hold_back_seas/). And with certainty you tell us we need to change (to kill people, see above) while telling me there is no certainty that this is the case.

                              And in the middle are scientists and science. They are still trying to figure out how climate works and how it all fits together. But you are already sure we need to change and how it should be done. And we probably do need to change, but not necessarily with co2, it could easily be something else. Because we dont know the answer yet. Even if you want to tell yourself you do.

                              1. NomNomNom

                                Re: Analogy

                                " I have directly discredited your comments which say we are doomed and need to make murderous changes (people die from the co2 reducing solutions)."

                                I haven't even made a comment about CO2 reducing solutions.

                                Nor have I made a comment saying we are doomed. My comments, especially my last, has been very clear that I am not saying anything is certain.

                                Yet you persist in the strawman that I am predicting doom.

                                This is, as I mentioned before, because if you addressed my actual argument you would have no success. So you attack a strawman.

                                This is also why you won't provide an answer to the drug analogy. You won't because you can't.

                                1. Anonymous Coward
                                  Anonymous Coward

                                  Re: Analogy

                                  @nom

                                  You may want to read some of your previous posts because either your memory is short or someone else is writing for you-

                                  "It's just as uncertain to predict the exact impact of a meteor as it is to predict the impact of 3C global warming."- trying to support the idea that a real and measurable threat (meteors) is comparable to a theoretical and unproven threat (3C warming, unspecified cause, it just is).

                                  "Of course in the case of a real meteor heading for Earth, climate skeptics would probably argue the cost of mitigating a meteor is too high, plus we can't be sure it will even hit so it's better to just adapt to the impact (I am only half-joking)."- Attacking 'skeptics' which from talking to you previously is anyone not certain we all gonna die from MMCC co2 theory.

                                  "Perhaps you are not aware of the changes we are undertaking. The global geo-engineering project we are haphazardly performing. CO2 levels have recently shot through the roof"- Blame firmly on co2.

                                  "We can't just stop the ship the moment we see an iceberg coming. If we don't start turning this ship round now we commit ourselves to continuing the CO2 experiment much longer"- blame + threat of doom if we dont solve this still theoretical problem.

                                  "Experts are screaming of the danger."- claims of support to add weight to your theoretical and yet to be proven theory.

                                  "You call me a cultist yet I have been clear there is no certainty."- Denying certainty of your own claims.

                                  "You are a binary thinker: trying to force your own narrow binary want on the subject" ***and when I call you on no certainty*** "It means I am not 100% sure human emissions will lead to disaster. It doesn't mean I am 0% sure."- just because its funny.

                                  "On our impact on CO2 levels I am virtually certain."- you are certain again.

                                  "Also it is a scientific fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas"- using established facts to return the blame of MMCC to co2.

                                  "The weight of evidence is that this rising CO2 level caused by man will have a substantial influence on climate"- co2 is to blame people! run for your lives.

                                  "The impact of the influence on climate, including any damage, has little certainty. The plausible range of impacts and damage range is large, from negliable to catastrophic."- and the damage will range from possibly nothing to catastrophic. Giving us a certainty of zilch.

                                  "We have no idea what impact it will have when dumped"- a well informed and correct statement. So why assume you already know the answer? Surely this is where science comes in?

                                  And now you say- "Nor have I made a comment saying we are doomed.". That is a mighty deep hole. Also if you aint talking of solutions what do you mean by- "If we don't start turning this ship round now". Surely your advocating the solutions, to your predefined problem of co2, which is killing people. It certainly contrasts with "My comments, especially my last, has been very clear that I am not saying anything is certain.".

                                  There is no drug analogy to answer, the facts have stood, your beliefs have not. Lets wait and see what science comes up with. You might yet be proven right. Maybe.

                                  1. NomNomNom

                                    Re: Analogy

                                    None of my points you have quoted are predictions of certain doom. Nor in any of them have I put forward a policy solution, despite your attempt to claim I have advocated killing people based on a quote about turning a ship around (??!)

                                    Lets just analyze that quote. What I conveyed is that unless we start tackling CO2 emissions now, the CO2 rise in the atmosphere will continue for far longer. I was conveying the fact that we can't just one day decide to instantly stop the Co2 rise, anymore than we can instantly stop a big ship as soon as we see an iceberg. It will take time to change all our energy infrastructure. This was in response to your claim that we should just act when a problem is proven (ie when it happens).

                                    The other idea of yours I challenged was the idea that an action isn't dangerous unless we can prove (100% certainty) that it will be harmful. This was why I put forward the drug analogy. Someone swallowing a drug that hasn't been tested. I asked you for your view on whether the act of swallowing the untested drug was dangerous. Of course you can't argue yes, because that would contradict your position that for an act to be dangerous harm must be 100% proven. And you can't argue no, because it's obviously absurd to claim that swallowing an unknown drug isn't dangerous. So with no options open you chose to evade the question.

                                    Lastly, you are conflating issues. There are many separate issues, including but not limited to:

                                    1) That CO2 is rising

                                    2) That humans are causing the rise

                                    3) That the rise is faster than known in geological past

                                    4) That CO2 levels are now the highest they've been for millions of years

                                    5) That Co2 is a greenhouse gas

                                    6) That rising CO2 will induce significant direct impacts (temperature, ocean pH, plant fertilization)

                                    7) That impacts will cause significant harm

                                    They all have different levels of certainty. When I state that one of them has high levels of certainty (in particular #1 to #5, that doesn't mean I am claiming the others have high levels of certainty too.

                                    So your tactic of searching by comments for instances where I use the word "certain" and then claiming i am predicting certain doom is wrong. You have to do a bit more work than that. Such as finding out what am I saying is certain.

                                    For example, I provide a fact: "The global geo-engineering project we are haphazardly performing. CO2 levels have recently shot through the roof"

                                    Your response is: "Blame firmly on co2."

                                    What does that even mean? Are you contesting the evidence that CO2 levels today are higher than they've been for millions of years? and that they've sharply risen over the past few hundred years? Or are you just hell bent on denying anything that concerns CO2 that could possibly lead you to accept my position?

                                    1. Anonymous Coward
                                      Anonymous Coward

                                      Re: Analogy

                                      @Nom

                                      You used the word 'certain', told me I was a binary thinker and then said that when you said no certainty you ment <100%. Damn right I am gonna enjoy dragging you over the coals for it.

                                      The solutions we currently have for cutting co2 are expensive and harmful. So saying "What I conveyed is that unless we start tackling CO2 emissions now, the CO2 rise in the atmosphere will continue for far longer" is saying that you advocate cutting co2 now. So maybe you need to clarify your beliefs by saying its a bad idea to cut co2 as we are doing? But that doesnt make sense based on your quote.

                                      "I was conveying the fact that we can't just one day decide to instantly stop the Co2 rise, anymore than we can instantly stop a big ship as soon as we see an iceberg."

                                      So co2 is like an iceburg? But as you said we expect co2 to cause the following range of damage- negligible to catastrophic! So co2 could do nothing or something. 0-100%. Therefore it is meaningless. You have a 0-100% chance of spontaneously combusting. The only cure is to drown! See how ridiculous it is. Dont you want proof it may happen before finding a suitable body of water?

                                      "This was in response to your claim that we should just act when a problem is proven"

                                      Assuming you are not currently blue and floating face down I will explain. The solutions are killing people. The problem is theoretical but the lives lost are real. So yes I would want proof before committing lives to a solution. Otherwise we should slaughter a load of virgins to the mighty god rah. What is the difference?

                                      "This was why I put forward the drug analogy."

                                      How many analogies have you gone through? Yet still we cant identify the difference between the natural change and the current rate of climate change. The models keep predicting incorrectly as they are further refined as more facts come to light.

                                      Your 1-7 issues dont talk about climate they talk about co2. So what about the pollutions we know are doing something? Co2 solutions (they kill remember) eat into the budgets for solving proven problems. So is co2 the theoretical problem worth taking money away from cleaning up pollution?

                                      "So your tactic of searching by comments for instances where I use the word "certain" and then claiming i am predicting certain doom is wrong."

                                      I did no search. You told me outright there was no certainty. Because you are not one of the cult that blames co2. You are not certain that co2 is the cause nor do you advocate reducing co2 on the 0-100% chance that we might solve a problem that may or may not exist. Except your comments seriously dont read like that. Instead you keep blaming co2 and we need to solve the possible (0-100% damage) problem of co2. But as you say you dont advocate any solutions.

                                      Confused yet? It sounds like a believer trying to claim not to be a believer while repeating said beliefs.

                                      "Are you contesting the evidence that CO2 levels today are higher than they've been for millions of years? and that they've sharply risen over the past few hundred years? Or are you just hell bent on denying anything that concerns CO2 that could possibly lead you to accept my position?"

                                      I am saying that people are conducting science to find the truth about what effects we have on the climate. They have yet to tell what is and isnt natural. They have yet to model the climate in a way that can be used to fix any problems or even identify any problems. They are working hard and producing a lot of data and facts which must contribute to the bigger picture. When this reliability comes about we may find that co2 is the lead cause, a minor cause, or nothing to worry about. We may find this is natural, or not. We will likely find that to control climate takes more than cutting down 1 gas.

                                      We will likely find that a lot of money has been spent for little gain. Premature solutions and the rush for snake oil may leave us without the money to actually put right real problems. Money that may be needed to clean real pollution.

                                      There is no way I can accept your position nom because I dont understand your position. You sound like a cultist but tell me your not. You provide contradicting statements while demanding I answer analogies which dont relate to the facts but might make the beliefs seem true. But I cannot accept your position because you tell me of a problem you have no proof of. I will wait for the science to confirm/contradict your beliefs.

                                      1. NomNomNom

                                        Re: Analogy

                                        "You used the word 'certain', told me I was a binary thinker and then said that when you said no certainty you ment <100%. Damn right I am gonna enjoy dragging you over the coals for it."

                                        If something is certain it means it has 100% chance of occurring. If something is not certain it has < 100% chance of occurring. That's not binary thinking because I am accepting a range of values between 0 and 100.

                                        What you are doing on the otherhand does look like binary thinking, because you are arguing that if things aren't 100% likely (certain), therefore they are meaningless. You don't appreciate the power of something being eg 90% likely. You argue that if something isn't 100% likely (certain), therefore there is no grounds for danger.

                                        "The solutions are killing people."

                                        That's interesting. By your own standards, what 100% proof do you have that solutions are killing people? or more in general, what proof do you have that any solution to reduce CO2 emissions would kill people?

                                        1. Anonymous Coward
                                          Anonymous Coward

                                          Re: Analogy

                                          @nom

                                          "what 100% proof do you have that solutions are killing people?"

                                          Energy prices are going up. Over winter there are deaths due to cold. If the price of heating goes up fewer people can afford and so more deaths. The renewable energy push is increasing prices and so more people choose between food and heating. Or we can look to problems with crops as biofuels push up food prices which causes problems for poorer countries. That last one has a recent article on the reg.

                                          Remember the problem it is solving is theoretical and could cause damage ranging from negligible to catastrophic. Thats a huge range that tells us nothing useful.

                                          "If something is not certain it has < 100% chance of occurring."

                                          Which is why your statement means little. <100% can be 0%. So this is where proof and accuracy is required. I am still waiting on any of that. If its actually 0% then why are people dying for this? Why are we wasting money on this?

                                          "You don't appreciate the power of something being eg 90% likely."

                                          Yet this is what I am asking for still. If we dont know enough to know this then it could be 0% likely. The problem is we cant model climate enough to get a likely number. This is why co2 contributes all of warming, no half, well we think its more than half erm it does something.... we think.

                                          I dont demand a 100% certainty. But we can say with 100% certainty that we cant model what is happening with much accuracy. That is why so many stupid political statements are made and then made to look stupid.

                                          I accept it is possible that co2 may contribute. I find it hard to believe it is THE cause because science already highlights other pollutions for some causing problems often associated with MMCC co2 theory. But if co2 is a major problem then who will believe it when the truth outs? When it is salesmen who have been peddling this answer so far? When the facts come out we will look very stupid or very lucky to blame co2. Not informed though.

                                          I will not base my beliefs on your 0-99% certain belief. You could be 100% certain but I will still wait for the science. And when scientifically we can be somewhat certain (50-100%) of what is natural/man-made and we can be somewhat certain of how much damage (negligible to catastrophic) I will support an appropriate response. But for this theoretical exercise which doesnt know if it is natural or not nor if there will be any damage or not I will take it with a pinch of salt.

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                                          2. NomNomNom

                                            Re: Analogy

                                            "Energy prices are going up. Over winter there are deaths due to cold. If the price of heating goes up fewer people can afford and so more deaths."

                                            Yet you can't prove a single person this winter died from energy policies.

                                            It's interesting that you demand proof for CO2, but you don't require proof for your own claims about energy policies and deaths. What likelihood is there that energy prices are killing people? It could be 0% right? Economic models are not good enough right? "until they are" therefore it's not a concern right? By promoting the idea that energy policies are killing people it means you are part of a cult right?

                                            1. Anonymous Coward
                                              Anonymous Coward

                                              Re: Analogy

                                              @nom

                                              I will assume you accept the rising costs of energy due to the renewables. If not then we can end this discussion here with your cult status established. A quick search provided-

                                              "There were 26,156 excess winter deaths during 2009-10" source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/22/older-people-cold-energy-bills

                                              "The charity, which is launching a warm homes campaign this week with energy company E.ON, is warning that a combination of high energy prices, low incomes and poor heating and insulation standards will continue to pose a threat to the health of millions, particularly the elderly, in coming months." source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/articles/i/4662/

                                              I am quite shocked that you need proof of such an established problem. Fuel poverty isnt typically questioned but the second article does link to its sources to verify if you wish.

                                              Your last paragraph does at least demonstrate you see the shortcomings of your beliefs. Obviously you are free to believe what you want and I dont aim to change your mind, but by sharing your belief you may inspire others not to question and to seek easy answers skipping over science. I highlight the flaws in your beliefs so people can see that they are not so certain and the facts are very much unknown.

                                              There is nothing wrong with waiting for the facts before making a decision.

                                              1. NomNomNom

                                                Re: Analogy

                                                "I am quite shocked that you need proof of such an established problem. Fuel poverty isnt typically questioned but the second article does link to its sources to verify if you wish."

                                                You have no proof. That's clear. You are happy to cite evidence from a charity, and act shocked, shocked! that I might not accept that evidence.

                                                But if I quoted various authoritative scientific bodies as saying rising CO2 is a problem, would you consider that proof or evidence? No you wouldn't. You would dismiss it. Thus you operate a double standard.

                                                You obviously are failing at reading comprehension too. I didn't say *I* needed proof. I don't. Nor do I need proof when it comes to the danger of rising CO2. Weight of evidence works for me in both cases. It's you who demand proof in one case but not the other. The real cultist, it seems is you. Hell bent against anything green you apply special standards in order to deny it.

                                                You end by saying: "There is nothing wrong with waiting for the facts before making a decision."

                                                Yet we aren't. We aren't waiting for the facts before emitting 30+ billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually. Business as usual, and burning through all the fossil fuels we can find is a decision in itself.

                                                1. Anonymous Coward
                                                  Anonymous Coward

                                                  Re: Analogy

                                                  @Nom

                                                  I see this topic is very emotional for you and maybe that is why you dont question it so. I dont know. As I said I am not trying to change your mind, I am just providing some critical thinking to your beliefs otherwise people get the wrong idea (such as there is a consensus on MMCC co2 theory).

                                                  As you say "I didn't say *I* needed proof. I don't. Nor do I need proof when it comes to the danger of rising CO2." and that is obviously fine for your beliefs. But I and others do need proof. For beliefs to be accepted by science they need proof, which is what we are talking about.

                                                  "Yet we aren't. We aren't waiting for the facts before emitting 30+ billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually. Business as usual, and burning through all the fossil fuels we can find is a decision in itself."

                                                  So we go back to the fact that energy is needed to sustain our lives. Changing that with current solutions kills. So you are happy for people to die for your belief. Because as you say it is not proven and you dont need proof. So how do we cut down the co2 production without pushing more people into poverty? Give us a solution which wont kill people. Or shall we go back to slaughtering some virgins to the mighty god ra because we dont need proof, we have a theory? Look at the whole of history for those times and ask how many good decisions vs the bad ones.

                                                  1. NomNomNom

                                                    Re: Analogy

                                                    "For beliefs to be accepted by science they need proof"

                                                    Absolutely not. Science does not operate on proofs. You are thinking of maths. Science operates on weight of evidence. This is the thing you are not grasping, that an idea can have a strong degree of evidence behind it without being proven. Again and again you criticize me for believing in something that isn't proven or isn't certain. Again and again I try to tell you that's because the idea has evidence behind it. There is a consensus on MMCC co2 theory because the scientists recognize the evidence behind it too.

                                                    But you continue in arguing that unproven ideas must be completely uncertain. Which is odd because when it comes to *the cause* of excess winter deaths you have a staunch belief that ISNT based on proof, but on evidence.

                                                    MMMC CO2 theory has strong evidence behind it that humans will significantly alter the climate. The danger of the consequences of that are because altering a an active component of the carbon cycle and greenhouse effect on a global scale is a risk. It's fundamentally dangerous to do something like that when we have little idea what will happen. Yet you seem to think that altering the climate in such a way carries no more risk than getting up in the morning or crossing the road.

                                                    1. Anonymous Coward
                                                      Anonymous Coward

                                                      Re: Analogy

                                                      @nom

                                                      "Science operates on weight of evidence"

                                                      So the important questions- how much change is natural and how much isnt? Do we have any idea how much change is natural? At what point is ice melt unnatural?

                                                      The main problem with MMCC co2 theory is how do we disprove it? Various ideas of how it works have been refuted by the world not doing what was expected, which means the science isnt set. We are told that weather is not climate but most bad weather gets tarred as climate change. When the rate of temp increases we are told it is climate change but when it doesnt we are told it is climate change. MMCC co2 theory claims victories on natural occurrences yet when this is demonstrated the theory is still repeated. And this will be the case because salesmen and politicians (same thing) sell the theory. They pin it on definite certainties which dont exist (as you have agreed).

                                                      When nothing can disprove the theory except for a seriously unnatural event (e.g. massive global cooling) then everything becomes evidence. And even then such an event would be spun as a direct result of MMCC co2 theory readjusted with an alternative history rewritten.

                                                      "But you continue in arguing that unproven ideas must be completely uncertain."

                                                      Sorry that was your criteria. I ask for proof and was told its uncertain. I ask for the bare minimum we must need to call any weight of evidence, and I am still asking for it.

                                                      "There is a consensus on MMCC co2 theory because the scientists recognize the evidence behind it too."

                                                      As long as the scientists are selectively chosen. The consensus on climate change is likely to be high as climate is always changing. Tagging on the theory doesnt make it so. Otherwise the other pollutants acknowledged to be causing climate effects by other scientists wouldnt exist. Even some of the MMCC co2 lobby acknowledge these other problems which are cheaper and easier to solve. But instead we harp on about co2.

                                                      "MMMC CO2 theory has strong evidence behind it that humans will significantly alter the climate."

                                                      As you and the experts state with such clarity that we can expect anything from nothing to doom. The expected outcome is entirely unknown as is the important parts of the theory itself. Without knowing if something is happening nor if it will cause any damage at all is pretty fundamental I would think. That is why I dont worry when you say "The danger of the consequences". After you have said there may or may not be a danger and if there is it may or may not have consequences.

                                                      "Yet you seem to think that altering the climate in such a way carries no more risk than getting up in the morning or crossing the road."

                                                      There is a huge difference in risk. Cars exist, have a demonstrated impact and the danger of + consequences of an incident with a car is pretty well known and accurately modelled. Right now it is demonstrated that crossing the road carries a risk. Very different to MMCC co2 theory.

  9. birchanger_toper

    If this is the same study that was reported yesterday in that crazy liberal hippy rag The Sunday Times then it's possible to come to a very different conclusion from the study. But then I think we've all worked out by now where Mr. Page is coming from.

    1. Catweazle
      Pirate

      > But then I think we've all worked out by now where Mr. Page is coming from.

      Comes from the army actually (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/lewis-page).

      Hippie = anything not wearing a uniform.

      1. Laurie
        Facepalm

        @ catweazle

        Did you read you own link? "Actually" he comes from the Navy. The senior service. The chaps in the dark-blue suits. The ones with ships. Not the Army (green suits, no ships).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

    Another quote from the washington.edu article:

    "The same is not true for the Antarctic Peninsula, the part of the continent closer to South America, where rapid ice loss has been even more dramatic and where the changes are almost certainly a result of human-caused warming, Steig said."

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

      It's called quote mining - to misrepresent or outright contradict what a person thinks by selectively quoting their words out of context. It's a popular tactic amongst denialists of all stripes.

      1. Ian Yates
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

        "It's a popular tactic amongst commentators of all stripes."

        There, fixed that for you.

        Proponents do it as much as denialists; it's pretty standard rhetoric.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

          "Proponents do it as much as denialists; it's pretty standard rhetoric."

          Science isn't an exercise in rhetoric. And denying science using rhetoric should be seen for what it is.

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            1. danR2

              Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

              Specifically, non-catastrophic ACC. For example, under temperature regimes consonant with (claimed) projections for 2100, the Canadian north had flourishing larch, badgers, camels (no joke), etc.: a thriving ecosystem compatible with human life.

              Thus, at least empirically, Professor Emeritus and his acolytes can remove the hysteria-plank of their platform, and merely assert that the global warming is a fact, and the economic implications are bleak for the warm-clothing industry.

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                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

                  "So nothing for another 87 years until those making the predictions have coined it for the duration of their careers, collected every cent of their fat pensions and shuffled off their mortal coil?"

                  Do you actually know how much a climate researcher gets paid? I know a few post-doc climate researchers, atmospheric chemists specifically and one phrase that could never be applied to their jobs is "coining it in" another is "fat pension".

                  The oil industry however is a different matter...

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                  2. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

                    The PUBLIC SECTOR however is a different matter...

                    there... fixed that for you.

            2. Wilco 1
              Boffin

              Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

              We'd know 100% sure that man-made global warming is not happening if the global temperature returns to pre-industrial levels, if arctic ice no longer mostly disappears in the summer, if sea levels decrease again, if the retreat of most glaciers is reversed, if ocean heat content decreases - all while CO2 concentration continues to increase.

              Now what do you think the chances are this will happen?

          3. breakfast
            Megaphone

            Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

            The way I see it, the blanket term for someone who fights science with rhetoric should be "creationist."

            It doesn't matter who is paying you or what your cause is, if you are fighting evidence by making a lot of noise and throwing around a lot of anti science nonsense, then you're a creationist. Simple as that.

            If someone who is fighting against science and finds evidence to prove the science wrong then they can change the science. That is what science is. So if instead of doing that they have to spread insidious half-truths? Probably a creationist.

        2. Martin
          Thumb Down

          Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

          Proponents do it as much as denialists; it's pretty standard rhetoric.

          It's done most often, though, by people who are more interested in winning their arguments than the truth - you know, people like creationists. And I for one would be pretty damn embarrassed if I were caught using the same tactics as them.

          It's pretty shabby, no matter who does it.

    2. MondoMan
      Facepalm

      Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

      The real problem with the underlying journal article may be Dr. Steig's demonstrated difficulty in tackling advanced maths procedures. A few years ago, he authored a marquis article (in Nature?) that supposedly identified a new region of warming in Antarctica; unfortunately, the "warming" turned out to be a mathematical artifact (a Chladni pattern) of the poorly-characterized analysis technique he had introduced for the work. At the time, he was quite hostile to those pointing this out.

    3. Mephistro Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?

      Egg, meet Lewis' face. Again.

  11. JeeBee
    FAIL

    This article is lies, isn't it?

    This is a very different interpretation of the research than what I've read elsewhere, which said that the melting was a real problem. Here we go "Ice melt on Antarctica fastest for 1000 years" (they didn't look any further back) and "rate has intensified since the mid-20th century", and "current rate ten times higher than 600 years ago". Two different research teams found this as well. Ten times higher is a massive problem that cannot be denied - but Mr Page will try his darndest to misreport research like this in the hope that people believe him.

    (and btw, increased Antarctic sea ice extent (not thickness) during winter is another indicator that there is increased land ice melt - the cold non-salty water from the land ice melt freezes easier).

    1. Denarius Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: This article is lies, isn't it?

      " Two different research teams found this as well. Ten times higher is a massive problem that cannot be denied " Uh, why not ?

      Warmest in 600 years. You know the last warm period ended then and it cooled a lot ? March 1315 in northern Italy to be precise. So warming up in last 80 years or so might not be unusual? I love a good data selection. You can make any series seem abnormal. Sells papers, careers and feeds the need to be frightened now no-one believes in hell, or universal socialism or the free market. Select your damnation to taste.

    2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: This article is lies, isn't it?

      I doubt very much whether this article has any willfully false or falsified statements in it. Lewis Page highlights the articles that reflect his point of view. It is up to you to find other sources and to compare and contrast what each side has said. Hence the importance of developing of critical thinking in school.

      Being a lazy, comfortable, latent treehugging leftie, I don't like the tone and conclusions of Lewis Page's articles, but I do read them because it is good to have one's point-of-view questioned and proven otherwise. I would never stoop to questioning the truthfulness of journalism though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This article is lies, isn't it?

        Did the investors think they were funding an IT news site?

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: This article is lies, isn't it?

        " It is up to you to find other sources ..."

        Or in this case, the same source.

    3. Wilco 1
      Facepalm

      Re: This article is lies, isn't it?

      How long have you been on here? Of course it is all lies.

      The way to read Lewis' climate articles is to invert the meaning of everything he claims. You'll be a lot closer to the truth.

      I wonder when we'll see another one of his "there has been no warming in the last 15 years" articles...

  12. Armando 123

    So ...

    ""... London, Bangkok and New York, Shanghai and Mumbai will be among a number of cities which will eventually end up below sea level ...""

    And the problem is ... ? You can add DC, Boston, New Orleans, and LA to that list and I wouldn't get too worked up about it.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge

      From HHGTTG

      England no longer existed. He'd got that - somehow he'd got it. He tried again. America, he thought, has gone. He couldn't grasp it. He decided to start smaller again. New York has gone. No reaction. He'd never seriously believed it existed anyway. The dollar, he thought, had sunk for ever. Slight tremor there. Every Bogart movie has been wiped, he said to himself, and that gave him a nasty knock. McDonalds, he thought. There is no longer any such thing as a McDonald's hamburger.

      He passed out.

    2. Armando 123
      Windows

      Re: So ...

      "And the problem is ... ? You can add DC, Boston, New Orleans, and LA to that list and I wouldn't get too worked up about it."

      For the record, I typed that yesterday BEFORE the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon. As usual, my timing is peccable.

  13. Lloyd
    Alien

    I think I've worked out Lewis' angle (or many angled as the case may be)

    I've checked his CV and sure enough he went to Miskatonic University, he's not pro-global warming per se, he's pro-Cthulu, he wants Antarctica to melt and the Shoggoths to be released. All hail Azathoth, Cthulhu, Ghatanothoa, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep and Yig,

    I for one welcome our new tentacled overlords.

    1. IT Hack

      Re: I think I've worked out Lewis' angle (or many angled as the case may be)

      New overlord? Don't think so....more like the return...

      1. Lloyd

        Re: I think I've worked out Lewis' angle (or many angled as the case may be)

        They're new to me, I've never had a tentacled overlord before. Although the missus does have a couple of pointy appendages but I don't think they count as tentacles.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lack of Logic Lewis

    Dumb title, counter to the thrust of the article and the other news stories written on the press release.

    Look to the author line - sure enough, its another lewis page.

    Honestly, why hasn't this hack been shown the door yet? Does he have photos of the editor or something?

    1. Brenda McViking
      FAIL

      Re: Lack of Logic Lewis

      He IS the editor.

      proof: http://www.theregister.co.uk/about/company/contact/

    2. Dr Stephen Jones

      Re: Lack of Logic Lewis

      "Dumb title, counter to the thrust of the other news stories written"

      Because sheep are never wrong.

      1. Wilco 1

        Re: Lack of Logic Lewis

        Most other journalists do appear to have a better integrity and actually report on the science, not distort the science to make it fit within their particular worldview. As several others have already shown, the actual science shows unprecedented melting.

  15. JDX Gold badge

    Krakens

    Did Greenpeace just read John Wyndham's book? Are they also warning of giant sea tanks?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wonderful! Rationality speaks again. Of course this would never be mentioned by mainstream newspapers or tv. Only alarmist messages sells commercials.

    Well, at least I havethe choice of not buying and reading som Page-prose instead.

  17. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Global warming? Bring it on!

    After the very chilly start to April I'd have to say we need a little global warming, please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Global warming? Bring it on!

      Repeat after me:

      Weather is not Climate.

      Weather is not Climate.

      Weather is not Climate.

      Weather is not Climate.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I am developing a certain level of contempt for The Register.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Rayzer1
    Holmes

    Of course the ice-sheet melts are 'not unusual', sure they happen all the time. They 'll come back when they're ready just like they always have done... and just like all fairytales, this one will have a happy ending !! Btw, I wonder is there much gas or oil under all those damn ice-sheets?

  20. d0ubs
    WTF?

    Who's right?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/15/antarctic-ice-melt-record-rate

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. d0ubs

        Re: Who's right?

        Ok but not quoting entirely what Eric Steig said seems a bit dishonnest. Especially since he cleary talks bout a link between human activities and ice melt and Lewis Page does not look like a big fan of that theory (at least from the articles he has written on El Reg)...

        1. MondoMan
          Meh

          Re: Who's right?

          d0ubs: Dr. Steig is a strong advocate of the view that human actions are responsible for many recently-observed events in the climate system. For example, he is one of the folks behind the PR website www.realclimate.com . It's a bit tricky to figure out a priori whether Dr. Steig is a bigger advocate than Mr. Page or vice versa.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Who's right?

            @MondoMan - Real Climate does a pretty good job at debunking myths as well as confirming things which you would generally expect from the likes of Greenpeace.

            I would also point out:

            Dr Steig

            Mr Page

            The title is important here.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Who's right?

              Err... Wouldn't expect from the likes of Greenpeace that is...

            2. MondoMan
              Pint

              Re: Who's right?

              @AC 15:23:

              I've been reading RealClimate for almost ten years and agree with you that they can usefully be likened to Greenpeace. However, RC is pretty much wholly funded by PR organization(s) while Greenpeace has some genuine public donations.

              Personally, I favor the logic of an argument over the title of the person advancing it, but if you want to go that route, I would also point out that it's Dr. MondoMan and Mr. Anonymous Coward. :)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <yawn> I'm heartily sick of climate change doomongers. Realistically, there is no way you can reduce CO2 usage across the planet unless you want to plunge us back 200 years. Face it, despite all the predictions and panic over so-called extreme weather events, nothing is really happening. There's a big difference between weather and climate. Melting ice to cause a 43 foot rise in sea-levels? Utter scare-mongering nonsense. This is all bluster to panic folk into commissing ever more research for a bunch of self-appointed climate 'scientists' to fleece our idiot governments. A waste of moneym and a con.

    I'll drive what I like, consume what I please and burn all the diesel, gas, electricity and wood I like. I pay my way and frankly don't give a flying fig about the planet. It was around before I arrived and isn't likely to change before I go. And if you think I'm changing my lifestyle to suit the next generation, you're wasting your breath. You green Luddites can downvote all you like, apparently we have free speech and I'm exercising mine. I'm convinced this whole scam will become clear once precisely nothing happens to the climate over the next 50 years.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      CO2 is fixable.

      Q: How do I reduce the amount of CO2 usage?

      A: Reduce the population.

      I'm sick of hearing about climate change/etc because even the people up in arms about it clearly don't give a shit themselves. If they did, they'd be talking about population growth - which drives CO2 usage, results in deforestation, extinctions, and increased viewing of reality TV - all bad things. If I had a big red button which would vanish 50% of the population, including the rich, the poor, people I know, people I don't and even myself, I'd press it, and the world would be saved.

      For a little while at least.

      Since nobody will do that or provide me with the relevant red button, the planet is utterly doomed. No other solution will do anything other than annoy people and delay the inevitable.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: CO2 is fixable.

        "If they did, they'd be talking about population growth - which drives CO2 usage, results in deforestation, extinctions, and increased viewing of reality TV - all bad things."

        Sure but there's no simple (moral?) way to halve emissions by halving the world population. So we instead need to work on reducing emissions directly. The French went a long way with generating the vast bulk of their electricity from carbon-free nuclear. The actual cost of that I don't know, the French generally state subsidize a hell of a lot meaning their nuclear plants might not necessarily have been profitable.

        1. MondoMan
          Thumb Up

          Re: CO2 is fixable.

          NNN: It turns out the Germans are planning on buying French nuclear-generated electricity to fill the power gaps that their future no-coal/no-nuclear plant setup will otherwise cause. I'm sure the French will not be subsidizing the prices they charge the Germans for this, especially since it will still be cheaper than the Germans' own solar and wind power.

          Whatever you say about the French, they make sure they're not lacking in electricity (France and nuclear plants, Quebec and hydro plants).

    3. doctariAFC2

      Well said, and lots of truth in this post. But, as history has shown, when that 50 years goes by and nothing happens, another made up reason cloaked in science will be thrust upon us yet again. Which is why in a previous article I provided some historical references, which illustrate your point, and mine, to a tee.

      The Earth has been doing what it is does for a long, long time. Independent of us, as we are but an insignificant pimple on the arse of planetary "progress" (evolution). Of course, understanding the realities isn't very good for receiving cash from taxpayers, in the form of grants to continue the baloney these pukes went to "school" for.

      But you can see the religious zealots hard at work. Stunning that many of these doom and gloomers will deny any existence of God, gods, etc., yet adhere to this nonsense like the most fervent Jim Jones follower ever could.

      Bear in mind that besides being a database developer and administrator, I am also a Conservationist, and very active in natural resource, wildlife and fisherie conservation, spending a LOT of time afield, across a wide array of differing habitat units. I interact with nature on a far closer basis than many. I am listened to very closely by the State Conservation officials in my State, oftentimes (like always) being vindicated in my observations and concerns after a couple years of study by the biologists and ecologists. And my work has earned may peer recognition awards and US Congressional Recognition to boot.

      I think we all should realize that the planet itself cares on a whit about what we tax, what we use, and what we spend. No one has been able to successfully explain how taxing and spending will make any difference at all with planetary dynamics that drive climate. And let's not forget about the Sun in all of this as well, as this is what is truly responsible for temperatures on the planet (every planet in the solar system, in fact).

      But I do find it humorous to read the posts of both sides. Yours, however, has made the most sense, and I salute you.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Coldest March Since Records begun

    That we have just had the coldest March since records begun, should suggest that the climate debate is about to get hotter.

  23. Steve Murphy
    Mushroom

    What Lewis did not report...from Steig's press release.

    "That's not to say that the melting isn't unprecedented on a larger timescale, though. What happens to the ice sheet in the coming decades will depend greatly on what happens throughout the rest of the world, but it is likely that more melting will occur."

    Mushroom cloud so that Lewis will probably c*m

  24. nsld
    Mushroom

    So

    Last March I was cycling into and out of work in shorts and a short sleeve top on my mountain bike in dry, warm conditions.

    Today, six weeks later than last year was the first ride into work in shorts with a reasonably dry route (its all off road)

    In short, year on year we see climate variation but anyone who claims this is "warming" is talking bollocks.

    If we want to lessen our impact on the planet we need to live a simpler life, use less fossil fuels, own less shiny gadgets etc etc. The only problem with this is that despite all the bleating of the tree hugging, sandal wearing liberals they are not going to give up all that modern consumer lifestyles can deliver.

    The French went Nuclear and Hydro and electricity is dirt cheap compared to the prices we pay in the UK its an example we should follow.

    We dont really need more research to know that pollution in general is bad for the planet and that we need to reduce it but we need to take significant action and not keep arsing around with expensive and ultimately pointless renewables like wind.

  25. Panicnow

    Fire Lewis, - Selective quotations error

    "If we could look back at this region of Antarctica in the 1940s and 1830s we would find that the regional climate would look a lot like it does today, and I think we also would find the glaciers retreating much as they are today," said lead author Prof Eric Steig, from the University of Washington.

    He said the same was not true for the Antarctic peninsula, the part of the continent closer to South America. Here, more dramatic changes were "almost certainly" a result of human-induced global warming.

  26. Stevie Silver badge

    Er...

    All the maps I've seen for periods where the ice sheet is in retreat have large areas of where we now live or crow crops depicted as "shallow seas". Coventry, Leamington, Alberta. All under a few feet of water for a very long time.

    Which was normal for then.

  27. gardener21
    Thumb Down

    Cherry picking

    It is interesting that Nature Geoscience published two papers about Antarctica yesterday:

    Recent climate and ice-sheet changes in West Antarctica compared with the past 2,000 years

    Eric Steig, et al

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1778.html

    Acceleration of snow melt in an Antarctic Peninsula ice core during the twentieth century

    Nerilie J. Abram, et al

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1787.html

    The first is the one referred to in the El Reg article. it reports that normal variation in West Antarctica is quite large, so the recent warming can't be confidently attributed to a long term warming trend. The latter article reports that recent levels of summer melt in the Antarctic Peninsula are unprecedented over the last 1000 years.

    Curious that only one of these papers gets reported by El Reg.

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. TheWeddingPhotographer

    amazing

    Fossils at the top of the Himalayas were formed in the (very old sea) bed of the Tethys Sea

    Go to the lake district in the UK, and see valleys carved by glacia

    The continents have shifted (a lot) we have had many cycles of ice, weather and the like... this is all pretty normal behaviour on our planet

    Of course the ice is going to melt, and it will all refreeze again, an we will be able to walk over the sea from the UK all the way to Greenland and beyond. Some time after that we will be experiencing droughts and the like

  30. Leslie Graham

    Melting is unprecedented for at least the last 1000 years.

    Another bare-faced flat out lie from the denial machine.

    What the research paper ACTUALY SAYS is:

    "...Summer melting is now at a level that is unprecedented over the past 1,000 years. We conclude that ice on the Antarctic Peninsula is now particularly susceptible to rapid increases in melting and loss..."

    And yet The Register somehow manages to twist this simple statement of fact into 'nothing to see here folks' Just how stupid do you have to be to fall for this junk week in week out?

    1. Wilco 1

      Re: Melting is unprecedented for at least the last 1000 years.

      Funny how you got downvoted there for reporting the actual facts...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  31. Leslie Graham

    Read the research paper not the denierblog version.

    What thex research paper itself actualy says is:

    "Summer melting is now at a level that is unprecedented over the past 1,000 years. We conclude that ice on the Antarctic Peninsula is now particularly susceptible to rapid increases in melting and loss"

    What the denial industry says is: "nothing to see here folks".

    What a surprise.

    Just how stupid do you have to be to believe a fossil fuel funded denierblog telling us that fossil fuels are harmless?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. AidanCheddar
    Facepalm

    And the debate contines!

    Oh boy, here we go again. This is just gonna mess people up even more.

  33. Volker Hett

    And I nearly believed in another report.

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1787.html

    Now I have to convince the north sea, that the dikes are high enough and we don't have to spend more money on those.

  34. Jim Birch
    FAIL

    More tribalism

    X happened in the past, X is happening now, therefore nothing has changed.

    Anyone notice the logical fallacy?

    The hippies believe X therefore X is wrong.

    Again.

    This is yet another piece of tribalism from Mr Page. It's funny but Page's mob and the "hippies" he despises so vehemently are both completely hooked into the tribal way of knowledge. Choose what is "obviously" true - that is, what resonates psychologically - then come up with whatever to support it, crap, truisms, logical fallacies, cherry-picked science, it really doesn't matter at all. The difference between the two sides is just which hole they happened to fall into. It is just like being born a Christian or Muslim, nothing to do with any kind of smarter process for working out which beliefs actually correspond to the world out there.

    Yes, Mr Page, you are in AGW Denier Tribe, we know that, and yes, you can find quite a few factoids to beef up your position. Cool.

  35. Seán
    IT Angle

    Spotty arsed clowns

    Lots of AGW denialists seem to be getting a semi over this stupid piece of idiots propaganda. Just because your clown leader publishes this tripe is no reason to fall for it.

  36. tempemeaty
    Holmes

    Sucks when you build stuff in a bad place

    The weather, temperature, land masses, level of the ocean have changed vastly over millions of years and are right now continuing to. Some shifts in any of these variables can come quick in just a short number of years. The only difference now is that human kind suddenly expects the weather to stop changing now because people have just built modern cities on the oceans edge. People would rather tell earth to stop changing than stop building stuff where more sudden earth changes could ruin it.

  37. zooooooom

    Does anyone know

    A good, amusing, fact based, IT news site?

  38. Pat Volk
    Holmes

    Damn lies, statistics, and the big picture

    The relativistic argument can be a bit of a stretch. 4 billion years ago, the earth was 40 C warmer across the board, so it's not 'unprecidented'. Specific areas can be cherry-picked to make either sides' argument, so I take it all with a grain of salt. Many natural events can greatly affect the amount of CO2, making our contribution seem small in comparison. I'm not a big believer in doom and gloom.

    That said, amazing things have happened when we try and cut down our pollution levels. It forces us to find better sources of energy, and in the long run it can save money. I'm sure Lewis would've downplayed the role of tetraethyl lead, bituminous coal in London, and the use of solvents in industry and their impacts on the environment, just to name a few. DHMO-based solvents have proven to be much cheaper, and also less polluting. Less NOx and SOx mean less smog, and the engines run fine without TEL. I also know there's no free lunch when it comes to energy (nuclear seems to me still the way to go), but pressure to improve the process isn't bad.

    1. Wilco 1

      Re: Damn lies, statistics, and the big picture

      Nothing is unprecedented if you go back to the start of the Universe. In the early years of earth's existence it didn't support life at all, let alone human life! What matters however is our existence and how much we rely on the current climate and sea levels. So the big picture is this: if our climate is changing it will be a major problem for billions of people - whether it happened 100 millions of years ago as well is irrelevant.

      As for our CO2 contribution, humans emit 100 times more CO2 every year than all vulcanoes combined. That should give you an indication of the scale of the issue.

      And yes, we are agreed on cutting pollution, improving energy efficiency and using renewable energy.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Wilco 1

          Re: Damn lies, statistics, and the big picture

          30% of all CO2 in the atmosphere is man-made. That's less than half we have actually emitted so far (the rest is absorbed by the ocean). Is that not very significant either?

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Wilco 1
              Thumb Down

              Re: Damn lies, statistics, and the big picture

              "Allegedly"? Do you have evidence that proves the extra CO2 is not man-made? Or you simply wish to ignore that fact?

              Yes the 30% increase is significant especially since it is unprecedented since at least 500 million years. And according to measurements there is no divergence. Warming trend is accelerating in the last few decades and all of the other climate indicators point to continued melting of ice and increasing sea levels:

              http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators/

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

                1. Wilco 1
                  Facepalm

                  Re: Damn lies, statistics, and the big picture

                  You're entitled to stick your head in the sand and pretend nothing is going on. But I will laugh at you for being a denialist, especially when the reality turns out to be worse than any predictions so far.

                  Anyone with any sense of intellect will understand that spewing out an ever increasing amount of pollution is going to do serious long-term harm to our environment and health.

  39. Andrew Davenport
    Linux

    Pardon my science but...

    Doesn't the thawing of ice reduce the overall mass? I seem to remember from science that water expands as it freezes, so technically the sea levels should fall given that most of the ice mass is under the surface anyway?...

    Penguin because they will be homeless!

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