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

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

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  1. Anomalous Cowshed

    Climate report

    Disclaimer: what follows has nothing to do with science or climate change

    It was freezing in March, freezing in April and cold in May.

    Now it's June, it's warm and it's time to go to the swimming pool, yippeeee!

    1. Erwin Hofmann
      Stop

      Re: Climate report

      ... don't go swimming in the pool, go to the sea instead, it's really "warm", "Sea surface temperatures have been higher during the past three decades than at any other time since reliable observations began" (epa.gov) ... oh, by the way, higher sea temperatures means more energy in the atmosphere, which means more unpredictable, more extreme, weather ... shouldn't be hard to accept ... but it's really complicated since the way we humans produce CO2 is mostly related to atmospheric pollution which, through filtering and blocking of sunlight, has, at the moment, often a contradictory effect to global warming ... postponing and dampening any detrimental effects on the climate (as I said: at the moment) ... hence the confusion and often really stupid remarks ... hence, jet streams are not independent and self-reliant entities but an expression and phenomenon of the climate (atmosphere) as a whole ... don't jump to conclusions against the opinion of the majority of the scientific world (which accepts the danger of global warming and our involvement in creating it) just because of one publication ... don't forget, there was, once, convincing professional evidence produced that the Titanic was unsinkable ...

  2. g e
    Meh

    "a deficiency in these models"

    Really. Whodathunkit.

    Just when we thought they'd finally got there models utterly perfect and the End of the World was official.

  3. Khaptain Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Overpopulation

    Other research states that the world is overpopulated, how will the politicians deal with that problem.

    If mankind ever fully understands how nature works he will probably break it. ( Quote : Me)

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Overpopulation

      > how will the politicians deal with that problem.

      They won't. What politician is ever going to endorse a policy that produces fewer voters?

      Mother Nature has it in hand, excessive population problems have a way of sorting themselves out, one way or another. Famine, war, plague, etc. I suppose we'll be able to blame the politicos for the 'war" bit.

      1. Steve Crook

        Re: Overpopulation

        The quickest way to deal with overpopulation is development. As wealth increases population growth declines, stalls, and then reverses. Even in countries that notionally have an objection to contraception.

        I'm not the greatest fan of models and projections, but those that the UN are working with are predicting a peak in global population (10bn by 2100) and then a gentle decline as global living standard improve. Still, there's some solid data available from the developed and developing world that indicate that these forecasts may be reliable.

        So it may be that we won't have to bash out (is eating optional?) each others brains to solve the world population problems. However, there are plenty of other things going on that may yet lead to a sudden and unexpected correction to the worlds population.

        See http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=38253 small changes in overall fertility can lead to dramatically different outcomes with that population varying from 7bn to 15bn by 2100.

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: Overpopulation

          Steve, I agree from an academic point of view that developement has a role to play. Developement has a political basis which is governed by the bamking industry, an industry that is not very often associated with humanitarian efforts.

          People need to be educated in order to understand the effects of having 1, 2 or 3 children, they need to understand why religion should not be taken into consideration with relation to contraception. They need to understand that the worlsd has limited resources and that those resources are very precious. They need to be taught that they genuinely have a role to play in their future.

          But the wealthy and those that profit from the situation do not want to educate the people, in fact they need to keep the people dumb......and no amount of financial developement qwill change that fact.

          1. Squander Two

            What resources actually are.

            No, the world does not have limited resources. The world has a limited amount of stuff. But resources equals stuff times ingenuity, and ingenuity is infinite.

            For example, we can now get more energy out of a cubic metre of air than our recent ancestors could get out of a ton of coal. The amount of stuff decreased (we have less coal now), yet the resources have increased.

            According to the UN projections of twenty years ago, the world population is supposed to have crashed by now due to massive worldwide food shortages. The reason those projections were wrong was that the UN assumed that resources equals stuff. We're supposed to have run out of copper ages ago, too, but we invented fibre optic and didn't.

            1. That Awful Puppy

              Re: What resources actually are.

              Would you mind explaining to the unenlightened among us how exactly are we getting this energy from air?

            2. NomNomNom

              Re: What resources actually are.

              "No, the world does not have limited resources. The world has a limited amount of stuff. But resources equals stuff times ingenuity, and ingenuity is infinite."

              That is all very well, but ingenuity still requires time to come up with alternatives and yet we seemingly have no ability to ration use of finite resources in the meantime.

              Take oil for example, even ignoring the climate aspect of it, it's being used up at such a foolish rate it will be gone in no time. As an energy source it's a gift. High density of energy, highly transportable, cheap (we didn't have to make it). Yet rather than use this gift wisely by stretching it over centuries, we've greedily expanded our consumption to swallow it as fast as possible. All for the sake of a bit of extra wealth in the short-term, rather than spreading it over the longterm.

              The fact is our species, for all it's ingenuity, is highly flawed. Humans form highly-primitive societies that at a macro-level act as mindlessly as the bacteria they evolved from. Rapidly spreading over their petridish and exhausting their resource supply.

              Use of anti-biotics is another example. Everyone knows that overuse is causing resistance, and that rationing its use would be better in the long-term. But notice we have absolutely no ability to do a thing about it! Instead we all just kind of subscribe some apathetic, lazy, hope-optimism attitude that the problem will just fix itself because our ingenuity will just discover some new anti-biotics or alternatives in time.

              It's similar with climate and adaptation. We just kind of hope we'll be able to adapt to whatever it does, because we are powerless to change our own collective behavior.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: What resources actually are.

                @NomNomNom:

                "Take oil for example, even ignoring the climate aspect of it, it's being used up at such a foolish rate it will be gone in no time"

                You are obviously wrong and this is a major fail. This has been stated many times over many years and that is because we have not run out. Oil is not infinite but due to ingenuity we have got to more oil than was previously considered.

                "The fact is our species, for all it's ingenuity, is highly flawed. Humans form highly-primitive societies that at a macro-level act as mindlessly as the bacteria they evolved from"

                I will somewhat agree. In the struggle to understand the environment we live we have 2 groups. One group have answers, lots of answers, to almost anything. Those people are worthless spouter's of belief. The other group try to find the truth, this takes time and hard work but they find truth and fact. They used to be called scientists but that term has been sullied recently by spouter's of belief claiming to be scientists.

                The finders of truth are looking for truth but it is taking time. Then there is the MMCC crowd who claim to have answers but its based on belief. Yet no matter how much life improves by listening to scientists (the ones who actually do science) the simple minded primitive societies still hold on to religions and belief. So much religion. So many easy answers. It must be MMCC co2 theory because the man who drew a graph said so.

                The only thing demonstrated by the odd changes in this world is that we dont know what is happening. This could be seen as a good thing, a learning opportunity. Or we can listen to the wise folk who tell us we must be displeasing the gods because they are punishing us. Quick build more monuments to the god of wind and sun and dont forget to donate! It will save your soul.

                1. NomNomNom

                  Re: What resources actually are.

                  "You are obviously wrong and this is a major fail. This has been stated many times over many years and that is because we have not run out. Oil is not infinite but due to ingenuity we have got to more oil than was previously considered."

                  I took that into account, it doesn't alter my point, if anything it reinforces it. What did we do with the extra oil we found? We used it to increase our rate of consumption! It's like the bacteria finding a bit more petri dish, but unwisely using it to grow even faster.

                  It's not sustainable, even over the short-term. Wikipedia puts the current figure at about 1300 billion barrels of oil left as proven reserves and we are burning through oil at the rate of about 30 billion barrels per year. That's 43 years left of oil at current consumption rates. It's obvious that we are using the oil unwisely driven by short-term greed rather than using it in a more strategic long-term way.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: What resources actually are.

                    @NomNomNom:

                    "I took that into account, it doesn't alter my point, if anything it reinforces it. What did we do with the extra oil we found? We used it to increase our rate of consumption! It's like the bacteria finding a bit more petri dish, but unwisely using it to grow even faster.

                    It's not sustainable, even over the short-term. Wikipedia puts the current figure at about 1300 billion barrels of oil left as proven reserves and we are burning through oil at the rate of about 30 billion barrels per year. That's 43 years left of oil at current consumption rates. It's obvious that we are using the oil unwisely driven by short-term greed rather than using it in a more strategic long-term way."

                    Dont worry, those figures will increase, as they have done before, as we dig deeper for more. When we run out or its too much effort (expensive) to go deeper we will change to something else.

                    There is a reason we dont still sit in caves. Nor do we wait for the sun to provide light. We find another way.

                  2. Turtle

                    @NomNomNom

                    "It's not sustainable, even over the short-term. Wikipedia puts the current figure at about 1300 billion barrels of oil left as proven reserves and we are burning through oil at the rate of about 30 billion barrels per year. That's 43 years left of oil at current consumption rates. It's obvious that we are using the oil unwisely driven by short-term greed rather than using it in a more strategic long-term way."

                    It's a stupid point of view and for a very simple reason. Let's assume - for no good reason - that your figures are correct. If we make the clearly impossible assumption that we cut our use of oil in half, starting today, then the supply of oil will last, not 43 years, but 86 years. Do you *really* think that an extra 43 years before there's no oil, is going to make any kind of real difference in the long run? The chances against it are stupendous! Is there some sort of new technology that will not be ready in the next 43 years but will be ready in the following 43 years? No, those extra 43 years are highly unlikely to supply us with any new advances that couldn't be made in the 43 years which we already have and don't serve as a bridge to any sort of assured future. It's not as though we need to stretch the supply in order to last to some specific date.

                    And that's a 43 year reprieve under some clearly impossible assumptions. If we use more realistic assumptions, such as, let's say, a 10% reduction in oil consumption, the benefits of reduced oil consumption become positively ephemeral.

                    And one has to wonder if the modernization of India and China (37% of the world's population, bear in mind!) is going to make it impossible for the total world consumption of oil to do anything other than rise. And if it does rise, perhaps those 43 years of oil left to us becomes 40 years, or 35 years, or even less.

                    In the event that the supply of oil is such that will run out in the near term, then as a remedy, conservation is a complete waste of time. And the resources that would be invested into conservation of the oil supply would be more wisely and intelligently invested in finding petroleum substitutes that can be used with the current, already-existing and already-deployed infrastructure. And if you really believed in the impending exhaustion of the world's oil supply, then that's what you would be agitating for: massive investments in finding petroleum substitutes, and not some foolish and not-fully-thought-out ideas of solving the problem by conservation.

                    1. NomNomNom

                      Re: @NomNomNom

                      "If we make the clearly impossible assumption that we cut our use of oil in half, starting today, then the supply of oil will last, not 43 years, but 86 years"

                      It's obviously not impossible. What you mean is that it won't happen. The reason it won't happen is as I said: because humanities behavior is as mindless as bacteria on a petridish. It can't help chewing as much as possible in as short-time period. There is no strategic planning. I am not saying that can be fixed, I am pointing out a flaw in our species.

                      "Is there some sort of new technology that will not be ready in the next 43 years but will be ready in the following 43 years?"

                      Yes Fusion I suspect.

                      "And one has to wonder if the modernization of India and China (37% of the world's population, bear in mind!) is going to make it impossible for the total world consumption of oil to do anything other than rise. And if it does rise, perhaps those 43 years of oil left to us becomes 40 years, or 35 years, or even less."

                      You are absolutely right. But what you describe is my point about why humanity is flawed. Humanity has not wisely used the resources available, it's squandered them into swelling it's population and devouring the finite resources faster. It's created a bubble and the risk of that is a crash/correction later. We're creating problems and then hoping our ingenuity/luck will stroll along and solve them. That only has to go wrong once.

                      "and not some foolish and not-fully-thought-out ideas of solving the problem by conservation."

                      No, it's too late for conservation now, the rate of consumption has increased too much. Conservation was needed 50 years ago. If we had capped the rate of oil 50 years ago we'd have a far longer and sustainable period of use as being in better control of the supply. As it stands there will probably be some very sharp and fast economic "corrections" ahead.

                      1. Squander Two
                        Big Brother

                        Re: @NomNomNom

                        NomNomNom,

                        Just to be clear, when you say that "we" are wrongly using too much oil, which huge group of people is it that you believe believe need to sacrifice their wellbeing for the greater good? Presumably, you still want good food to be available in a shop near you, you want your computer and Net connection, and various other items that pre-industrial societies would regard as unbelievable luxury but some of us now get to take for granted. So who has to make the sacrifice? Maybe we could tell India to stop developing. Or Brazil. Or tell the working class to stop driving cars.

                        I reject the obnoxious premise that your entire argument rests on: that humanity is some sort of whole whose collective actions can be assessed as rational or irrational and can therefore be improved. Every political attempt to treat humanity that way has ended up killing them en masse. I am happier accepting that people are individuals, each trying to better their own little bit of the world, and the long-term net effect of those billions of individual attempts at improvement has always been to make the world better for all of humanity. Trying to impose a grand unified plan on us all... Jesus, how many corpses do we need, exactly, until that idea finally loses its power to seduce?

                        You will be proven wrong, just as all Malthusians have always been proven wrong. And no doubt you'll then just move the deadline back a few years but claim the doom is still imminent, just as all Malthusians have always done.

                        1. NomNomNom

                          Re: @NomNomNom

                          "I reject the obnoxious premise that your entire argument rests on: that humanity is some sort of whole whose collective actions can be assessed as rational or irrational and can therefore be improved."

                          That isn't even my premise. Reading comprehension isn't one of your strong points is it?

                          "I am happier accepting that people are individuals, each trying to better their own little bit of the world, and the long-term net effect of those billions of individual attempts at improvement has always been to make the world better for all of humanity."

                          Then accept that in that way humans are little different to mindless bacteria on a petridish who all act as individuals for the greater bad of the whole population.

                          You can't have it both ways.

                          1. Squander Two
                            FAIL

                            Your premise, Mr NomNomNom.

                            "rather than use this gift wisely by stretching it over centuries, we've greedily expanded our consumption"

                            "Everyone knows that overuse is causing resistance, and that rationing its use would be better in the long-term."

                            "we are powerless to change our own collective behavior."

                            "What did we do with the extra oil we found? We used it to increase our rate of consumption!"

                            "It's obvious that we are using the oil unwisely driven by short-term greed rather than using it in a more strategic long-term way."

                            "There is no strategic planning. I am not saying that can be fixed, I am pointing out a flaw in our species."

                            "Humanity has not wisely used the resources available, it's squandered them"

                            Everything you've written is completely immersed in two ideas: that humanity is a single collective whose actions should therefore be assessed as the actions of a single whole; and that we would be better if the entire collective were run according to a grand unified plan. Your words, not mine: the lack of a strategic plan for every person on Earth is "a flaw in our species". That's the obnoxious premise I reject, and I stand by my claim that all politics based on that premise result in genocide, because they do.

                            Again: Which millions of people need to sacrifice their wellbeing in your preferred plan? What will you personally give up?

                            > You can't have it both ways.

                            What? I can't claim that individuals acting in their own self-interest can achieve anything better than bacteria? Even the most hardcore Soviet Communists didn't go that far.

                            1. NomNomNom

                              Re: Your premise, Mr NomNomNom.

                              "Your words, not mine: the lack of a strategic plan for every person on Earth is "a flaw in our species". That's the obnoxious premise I reject"

                              You reject it because you are full of human pride and cannot accept the factual flaw in our species. You want to imagine your, my and everyone else's individual selfish actions add up to some wise, logical and strategic behavior. Well that just isn't the case. Our species emergent behavior is mindless, haphazard and relying on chance and luck. It's highly sub-optimal compared to what intelligence would produce.

                              For example how did the North Atlantic cod fisheries collapse?

                              Why are we even facing the prospect of an anti-biotics disaster?

                              "and I stand by my claim that all politics based on that premise result in genocide, because they do."

                              Another dogma. You haven't observed "all politics" to know that. You have no idea if there isn't a better political system than the current one that can produce long-term strategic policy. All you have is examples of of genocidal dictatorships and are assuming any strategy based politics would have to resemble that.

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                Re: Your premise, Mr NomNomNom.

                                @NomNomNom:

                                "You reject it because you are full of human pride and cannot accept the factual flaw in our species"

                                So by the flaw of pride you are too proud to accept your flawed support for a belief instead of waiting for the truth? Or are you better than human?

                                "Our species emergent behavior is mindless, haphazard and relying on chance and luck"

                                And so you are describing your approach of belief in a quick answer instead of seeking the truth which greatly improves our odds? Instead you mindlessly cry the sky is falling when the groups who make this claim have been demonstrated greatly untrustworthy? How many absolute certainties must they get wrong before you dont believe them? Or will you rely on chance and luck that they might be right eventually? Why not let the scientists work and then read the facts when we know something? Like how climate works.

                                "For example how did the North Atlantic cod fisheries collapse?

                                Why are we even facing the prospect of an anti-biotics disaster?"

                                Blind faith. Yet in both instances we seek to better ourselves by helping cod survive and looking to advance medicine. How much of that was achieved by sitting back and saying we are all doomed because the wealthy guys who make money on this scam tell us so?

                                There are real problems in this world nom. Real things we do know about. And of course we should keep looking for the answers of how climate truly works and what truly affects it.

                              2. Squander Two
                                FAIL

                                Re: Your premise, Mr NomNomNom.

                                > You want to imagine your, my and everyone else's individual selfish actions add up to some wise, logical and strategic behavior.

                                Not at all. I believe that the cumulative effect of large numbers of individuals acting in their own interests produces, on aggregate, effective solutions. No wisdom, logic, or strategy required. Adam Smith and Charles Darwin say I'm right.

                                >Why are we even facing the prospect of an anti-biotics disaster?

                                Even if we have an antibiotics disaster, it will follow a hundred years of successful use of antibiotics to save millions of lives. You wish to classify that as complete failure and proof that humans make no progress other than a bit of blind luck. That's ridiculous. It's like saying that none of the achievements of the Romans count for anything because their empire eventually fell.

                                I might add that one of the major reasons why so few new antibiotics have been developed recently is that it has been made clear to pharmaceutical firms that their patents on useful drugs will be ignored and broken by certain governments and cheap generics will be given to millions of people for free. Faced with the prospect of investing billions in R&D over decades and then not being allowed to make any resultant profits, the R&D has of course shrunk. In other words, one of the root causes was strategic planning by governments and charities and campaigners. Really crappy strategic planning, which is usually the only kind on offer. Give me unplanned progress any day.

                                That aside, I note that you are now vigorously defending the premise which you claimed you didn't actually support at all.

                                1. NomNomNom

                                  Re: Your premise, Mr NomNomNom.

                                  "I believe that the cumulative effect of large numbers of individuals acting in their own interests produces, on aggregate, effective solutions. No wisdom, logic, or strategy required."

                                  Just because they aren't required doesn't mean the solutions are the best or that they cannot be used to improve the solutions.

                                  Look up something called Tragedy of the Commons for example. An example where individuals acting in their own self-interests will destroy all their interests. In such cases wisdom, logic and strategy must be used to avoid it.

                                  Businesses don't work in the way you describe and neither does the military. Like me they seem to believe wisdom, logic and strategic planning are important parts of driving solutions. They don't just say "hey all you employees/soldiers, do what you want according to your self-interest and a great company/army will emerge"

                                  Examples keep popping into my head. Rationing for example. I guess you disagree with the use of rationing during the war, the better solution would have been to not impose any restrictions on food and instead let self-interest produce a solution?

                                  Antibiotics are being used for trivial shitty selfish reasons like if someone visits their GP with a sore throat, or used by farmers on cattle for example, which hastens the increase in bacterial resistance. So your effective solution of just letting people act self-interestedly is actually wasting the lifetime of antibiotics, because it's in people's self-interest to stupidly try and treat minor ailments with antibiotics.

                                  Yet rather than restrict antibiotics you argue such intervention would be worse. Your chosen generic solution to any scarcity problem is that the problem will just go away. That an alternative will be found before it runs out. Why can't you see that's a dogma? There is no logical basis behind that belief. There's no law of the universe that states Humankind will always find an alternative before a resource runs out. Or maybe you are going on odds? Maybe you are willing to sacrifice the odd occasion when an alternative cannot be found in time?

                                  1. Squander Two
                                    Mushroom

                                    Keep digging.

                                    The military are able to run a large organisation according to complex plans thanks to certain principles: Absolute control, strict obedience, severe punishment for failure to obey orders, even if those orders are suicidal. Funnily enough, other people who, like you, think we should run society according to centralised planning always end up applying those same principles to the general populace. Because thats the only effective way to do it. Which is my point.

                                    It's worth doing when under threat of invasion. But you want to do it today.

                              3. Squander Two

                                Re: Your premise, Mr NomNomNom.

                                > Another dogma. You haven't observed "all politics" to know that. You have no idea if there isn't a better political system than the current one that can produce long-term strategic policy. All you have is examples of of genocidal dictatorships and are assuming any strategy based politics would have to resemble that.

                                Sitting atop a pile of skulls singing "Let's try again!"

                      2. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: @NomNomNom

                        But surely "If we had capped the rate of oil 50 years ago" we wouldn't have bothered developing the much more efficient engines that we have today over 50 years ago?

                        1. NomNomNom

                          Re: @NomNomNom

                          "But surely "If we had capped the rate of oil 50 years ago" we wouldn't have bothered developing the much more efficient engines that we have today over 50 years ago?"

                          Sure we would have, it would have still meant more energy per unit fuel.

              2. Nial

                Re: What resources actually are.

                NomNomNom wrote: "Take oil for example, even ignoring the climate aspect of it, it's being used up at such a foolish rate it will be gone in no time. "

                The Chinese have coal -> oil conversion plants that are economic at todays oil prices, they're building more.

                Oil, or an equivalent, will be available for a _long_ time.

                1. NomNomNom

                  Re: What resources actually are.

                  "The Chinese have coal -> oil conversion plants that are economic at todays oil prices, they're building more.

                  Oil, or an equivalent, will be available for a _long_ time."

                  If you run the numbers that just isn't the case. There's a reason why the price of oil is rising. Demand is already being squeezed by scarcity.

                  The pattern is that making more of a resource available then humans will just use it grow so they consume the resource at a faster rate. It's a recipe for rapid exhaustion of the resource.

                  The idea that man can just switch to a better alternative in time is an untested dogma. There's no logic reason that every resource A has a better resource B that can be developed before resource A is exhausted. People act as if peak oil is something that didn't happen, not realizing that it is already emerging.

                  Exhaustion in this case doesn't even mean the end of oil. There's only 43 years of proven oil reserves left at current consumption, but that doesn't mean the extraction rate of today will survive that long. I think a lot of naysayers are going to be very surprised in coming decades.

                  1. Nial

                    Re: What resources actually are.

                    I said:"Oil, or an equivalent, will be available for a _long_ time."

                    NomNomNom replied:"If you run the numbers that just isn't the case. There's a reason why the price of oil is rising. Demand is already being squeezed by scarcity.".......

                    Just in case you missed it the first time round I'll repeat this again....

                    The Chinese have coal -> oil conversion plants that are economic at todays oil prices, they're building more.

                    There are hundreds of years of coal reserves worldwide. This is a newish process, but it's economic at today's oil price. IE They can generate an equivalent from coal at today's oil price.

                    1. NomNomNom

                      Re: What resources actually are.

                      "The Chinese have coal -> oil conversion plants that are economic at todays oil prices, they're building more.

                      There are hundreds of years of coal reserves worldwide. This is a newish process, but it's economic at today's oil price. IE They can generate an equivalent from coal at today's oil price."

                      Not only is it an extremely inefficient method of obtaining oil, with massive implications for climate (so much for shale oil supposedly reducing coal use and emissions! the truth is now clear), for it to ramp up enough to replace oil would threaten the imminent exhaustion of coal itself. Humans will lap up any extra oil and exhaust it even faster. Energy use is doubling every two decades or so. Fossil fuel reserves are clearly not! It is a recipe for disaster.

                      I've had enough of people who think because the shock hasn't happened by 2000 therefore it never will!

                  2. Squander Two
                    FAIL

                    "If you run the numbers that just isn't the case."

                    If you run the numbers, we will all run out of oil by the mid-90s. Oh, hang on, no, make that the year 2000. Er, no, 2010. Definitely 2010. Oh, hang on....

                    I've been listening to this my whole life. How many predictions do the Malthusians need to get utterly wrong before they realise that all the evidence points to their ideas being utter bollocks?

                    1. NomNomNom

                      Re: "If you run the numbers that just isn't the case."

                      "I've been listening to this my whole life. How many predictions do the Malthusians need to get utterly wrong before they realise that all the evidence points to their ideas being utter bollocks?"

                      They only have to be correct once. That's your mistake, dogmatically assuming that a prediction either must be chronologically bang on or cannot happen at all.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: "If you run the numbers that just isn't the case."

                        @NomNomNom:

                        "They only have to be correct once. That's your mistake, dogmatically assuming that a prediction either must be chronologically bang on or cannot happen at all."

                        So you use the boy who cried wolf methodology? Not very scientific is it?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Overpopulation

            Khaptain, while I agree that "research" states that the world is over populated. I personally think (yeah anon and all) that we can grow in population a bit more if we stop polluting so much. This is the problem I have with the climate gazers. They are too far in their thinking. Sure we can destroy the earth, but I think it is being destroyed in other ways much faster than the climate. With this in mind, yes, the earth is over populated. However, if we change a few bad addictions (there are political problems with this) then I think the earth can sustain larger population before we have to start migrating to other planets. In other scenarios we eat each others faces off, convert to zombieizm, become "enlightened" by machines, are attacked by the mothership, yada yada yada... </nerd_talk>

      2. Mister_C

        Re: Overpopulation - @ Phil O'Sophical

        I think there are probably quite a few politicians who would be happy with a policy that reduces the number of _opposition_ voters.

      3. Tom 13

        Re: What politician is ever going to endorse a policy that produces fewer voters?

        Apparently most of them in China. But don't let a few ugly facts get in the way of a good rant.

    2. Great Bu

      Re: Overpopulation

      So you're saying it's time to crack open each other's skulls and feast on the goo inside ?

      1. wowfood

        Re: Overpopulation

        Yes I would Kent.

      2. dkjd

        Re: Overpopulation

        Maybe, but judging from the comments here, its gonna be a lot of effort for very little goo :P

    3. John Hughes
      FAIL

      Re: Overpopulation

      "Other research states that the world is overpopulated"

      No it doesn't.

      Why do you just make shit up? What the hell does "overpopulated" mean?

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Overpopulation

        Quick thumbs down for John for not understanding that we are on El Reg.

      2. Tom 13

        @John Hughes

        It's out there. Try doing an Amazon search on the word and seeing what titles pop up. Same group who push AGW, just a different committee within their organizational table. Their general operating principle is that people are the source of all these problems and the world would be better off without them. Or at least without the ones who don't support the group's political agendas.

        1. John Hughes
          FAIL

          Re: @John Hughes

          Oh, it's "out there" is it.

          In other words you don't have a clue.

          Please provide a citation for peer reviewed research that "states that the world is overpopulated".

    4. Wzrd1

      Re: Overpopulation

      Other research suggested the very same conclusion when I was still in diapers.

      JFK was still alive back then.

      Did the cold war thing, wasn't much fun.

      Managed to miss Gulf War I. No biggie.

      Didn't miss Gulf War II, real biggie, didn't agree with it, but some oath and contract thing and all.

      Later, got to see Afghanistan. Far, far, far prefer home. Nicer climate. Won't go into more, it's unpleasant and not worthy of mixed company or something.

      OK, it sucked, killing, buddies getting killed, carnage, dead guys who tried to kill...

      Still, we're still plowing crops under and feeding the nation and a hell of a lot of the world.

      But, we're overpopulated.

      Or something.

  4. Tim Roberts 1

    climate an weather

    Now we will hear from everyone who confuses climate with weather. " it was cold this winter so climate change is a scam" and other utter bullshit. Is what is happening in Greenland climate or weather? Not having the expertise I have no opinion, but the observations are interesting anyway.

    1. albaleo

      Re: climate an weather

      "it was cold this winter..."

      Isn't a whole season's weather some kind of indicator of climate? And of course everyone confuses climate and weather. It's confusing. If climate is a long term average of weather, climate can only change if the weather changes. So all those climate change scientists are really looking at things that change the weather. Perhaps they should be called "things that change the weather and therefore change the climate" scientists.

      1. John Hughes

        Re: climate an weather

        "Isn't a whole season's weather some kind of indicator of climate? "

        No.

        Odd years happen quite often - see El Nino/La Nina.

        You need around 30 years to be able to talk about climate. You need to see a trend over such a period to talk anout climate change.

        Unfortunately we can see such a trend.

        1. Tom 13

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

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

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

          1. ecofeco Silver badge
            Holmes

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

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

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

            Maybe you've heard of them?

    2. dogged
      Stop

      Re: climate an weather

      Now we will hear from everyone who confuses climate with weather

      Oh fuck off. How is global warming not reflected in weather? Is it invisible like tiny fairies who will KILL US ALL but they're invisible and magic so we'll never know?

      "It's climate, not weather". Guaranteed always always the first response of the fervent religious believer (who doesn't understand either).

    3. Turtle

      @Tim Roberts 1: Re: climate an weather

      "Is what is happening in Greenland climate or weather?"

      If you believe in AGW it's climate, but if you don't, it's weather.

    4. Tom 13

      @Tim Roberts 1

      Why is it that every time somebody points to a single season in which there is a problem with AGW we hear "climate =/= weather" but every time there is a single season which supports it we hear "see, AGW is destroying the earth!"?

  5. Natalie Gritpants

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

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

  6. Steve Crook

    Climate models?

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

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

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

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

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Climate models?

      You are incorrectly lumping various subjects into one.

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

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

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

      1. Steve Crook

        Re: Climate models?

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

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

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

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

        Good news.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Climate models?

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

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @NomNomNom

        "That man is changing the climate is settled."

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

        1. Martin
          Unhappy

          Re: @NomNomNom

          I've heard that argument before.

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

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

          "That smoking causes lung cancer is settled".

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

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @NomNomNom

            @Martin:

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

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

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

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

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

      3. Nial

        Re: Climate models?

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

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

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

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

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

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Climate models?

          "That's what the 'models' predict"

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

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

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

          1. Nial

            Re: Climate models?

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

            Recent papers have reduced their estimates down to about this.

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

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

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

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

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: Climate models?

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

              No the estimates are higher than 1.2C

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

              Has been found, in the deep ocean. See:

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

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

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

              1. Nial

                Re: Climate models?

                > No the estimates are higher than 1.2C

                Plenty of recent work has concluded this is about right.

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

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

                No it hasn't.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                1. NomNomNom

                  Re: Climate models?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  1. Nial

                    Re: Climate models?

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

                    No.

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

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

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

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

                    You're right, I mis-read that.

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

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

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

                    1. NomNomNom

                      Re: Climate models?

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

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

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

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

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

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

                      1. Nial

                        Re: Climate models?

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

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

                        That energy scale makes things look much scarier.

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

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

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

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

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

                        "He makes howlers"

                        An example being?

                        "He doesn't understand GCMs"

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

                        "Find someone who has a clue."

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

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

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It just shows

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

  8. Chris G Silver badge

    Our opinion is that we don't have an opinion

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Roby

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

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

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

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

  9. Frederic Bloggs
    Happy

    Disclaimer

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

    1. Frederic Bloggs

      Re: Disclaimer

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

  10. Thought About IT

    Still pursuing his agenda

    Interesting juxtaposition of headline and subheader:

    'nothing to do with Arctic ice or warm oceans'

    Could have been 'natural variability'

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still pursuing his agenda

      @Thought About IT:

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

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

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

      1. Thought About IT

        Re: Still pursuing his agenda

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

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

        1. Squander Two
          WTF?

          Re: Still pursuing his agenda

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

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

      2. James Micallef Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Still pursuing his agenda

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

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

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

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Still pursuing his agenda

          @James Micallef

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

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

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

          1. James Micallef Silver badge

            Re: Still pursuing his agenda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: Still pursuing his agenda

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

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

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Still pursuing his agenda

                @NomNomNom:

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

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

                1. NomNomNom

                  Re: Still pursuing his agenda

                  I believe it because it's scientific fact.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Still pursuing his agenda

                    @NomNomNom

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

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

                    Of course this applies regardless of which you believe in-

                    a) Windfarms are carbon negative

                    b) Elvis is still alive

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

                    1. NomNomNom

                      Re: Still pursuing his agenda

                      Windfarms ARE carbon negative.

                      I have no frickin idea why you think otherwise.

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

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

                      1. James Micallef Silver badge
                        Headmaster

                        Re: Still pursuing his agenda

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

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

                      2. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Still pursuing his agenda

                        @NomNomNom:

                        "Windfarms ARE carbon negative.

                        I have no frickin idea why you think otherwise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  2. dogged

                    Re: Still pursuing his agenda

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

                    Or I could have said [citation needed].

  11. Mike 140
    FAIL

    Bit late aren't they?

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

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

  12. Doug Bostrom

    Shrinkage

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

    Jennifer Francis et al, much?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Whinge

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

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

  14. SnowCrash

    Energy vs Temperature

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

    But I do like Lewis's scepticism!

  15. Scott Broukell
    Meh

    What if .....

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

  16. croaker
    Alien

    Ming

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

    It's Ming the Merciless screwing with us.

  17. nsld
    Mushroom

    With this

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

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

  18. JeffyPooh Silver badge
    Pint

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

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

  19. Adam Inistrator

    Global climate "science" isnt science

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

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Global climate "science" isnt science

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

      1. Adam Inistrator

        Re: Global climate "science" isnt science

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

    2. John Hughes
      WTF?

      Re: Global climate "science" isnt science

      Astrophysics isn't science for you?

      1. Adam Inistrator

        Re: Global climate "science" isnt science

        I think you missed the point.

  20. Eric Olson

    It's all about heat transfer

    As discussed in many stateside papers and pop-science articles, the thought is that a higher-than-global-average warming at the poles is creating a more "uniform" distribution of heat across the globe. Since the air currents (upper and lower level) are mostly a function of such heat differences, it's easy to theorize that there would be a reduction in the speed and strength of those air currents. As those winds (especially the upper level ones) are integral to the movement of weather systems across the globe, any slackening of those winds would easy cause "stuck" patterns and allow the tropical and arctic air masses more time to intrude upon the temperate latitudes. The jet stream buckles more and only a kick in the teeth from a larger-scale phenomenon, such as changes to the tilt of the planetary axis, provide the necessary energy to move the jet stream around.

    This is the "extreme" weather phenomena that is predicted to occur more, as those buckles are more amplified and move slowly across the globe. So one season might be extreme heat, the next might be extreme cold.

  21. Leslie Graham

    Report says the opposite of your claim.

    "Taken together, our present results strongly suggest that the main forcing of the extreme GrIS surface melt in July 2012 was atmospheric, linked with changes in the summer North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Greenland Blocking Index and polar jet stream which favoured southerly warm air advection along the western coast."

    The GBI index and changes to the polar jet stream are the result of the Arctic melt, which is of course the result of global warmng. The NAO is also a warm ocean current oscilation

    That you somehow manage to tortuously twist this information into a headline that says exactly the opposite is typical of the denialist cult's tactics and doesn't fool anybody except those who want to be fooled.

    Shame on you yet again.

  22. Zippo

    Climate model theory

    Just testing the waters with a theory here ....

    I know a lot of very smart mathematicians. Back in the years up to 2008 they devoted a massive amount of time and energy (and a lot of CPU power) to modelling financial risk. Their calculations showed that there was an acceptable level of risk, and so the institutions they worked for continued to pile on more of the same kind of risk.

    We now know that their assumptions were wrong, and there was plenty of unacceptable risk in what a lot of them were doing, and there was a systemic meltdown.

    The calculations they were doing are really not that complicated, especially compared to the massive complexity of the entire planet's climate system.

    So, if some of the smartest and best paid mathematicians in the world in every major country, were unable to understand a relatively simple system, what is the likelihood that climate scientists have the remotest handle on how the massively more complex climate of the planet really works ?

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Climate model theory

      Indeed you are correct. There could be a systemic climate meltdown in coming decades that climate scientists haven't seen coming.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Climate model theory

        So do you think your smarter than the climate scientists oh oracle? Or are you just saying something which is likely to come about anyway over an unknown nor specified amount of time and possibly for events that have yet to happen?

        1. Zippo

          Re: Climate model theory

          Smart ? Not me.

          I was just observing that a good proportion of the brightest people follow the money (we are talking about Science and Maths PhD's from the best universities on the planet), and that those super smart brains couldn't reliably predict the outcome a relatively simple equation (a dozen or two factors), over a very short period of time (12 months).

          Yet there are others, perhaps equally brilliant, who fervently believe that they can predict the outcome of a far more complicated set of equations (perhaps 100's or 1000's of of factors) over decades.

          I suspect that the majority of both groups were pre-disposed to a particular outcome, but perhaps I am just a bit of a cynic.

      2. Zippo

        Re: Climate model theory

        Of course there could - or - there could not - I suspect that they do not have the models to demonstrate it either way.

  23. MrEsp

    Arctic "air conditioner" effect?

    Focus seems to be on what caused the ice to melt. Regardless, the state change itself will have absorbed latent heat energy from surroundings. Not as much as evaporation but still something. Given circulation-of-air (wind) around low pressure systems (typically around or north of Scotland), this looks to me a bit like an air-conditioner.

    Could such an interpretation help explain the air temperature and the location/path of lows and jetstream? Without being an expert, the overall phenomenon (climate/weather) feels like a dynamic system of interactions, rather than plain cause-and-effect between single factors. Conversely, at the end of summer, might the reverse effect (liberation of thermal energy on re-freezing) increase the chance of warm sunny days?

    (Started writing this earlier today but work distracted)

  24. Battsman
    Headmaster

    What do "deniers" actually believe?

    I see the fervent commentary in here - much of it implying some vast conspiracy regarding climate science and I find myself really curious what the average AWG "denier" does believe?

    1) Do you believe that carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse gas?"

    2) If yes, to 1) is this an issue of doubting the degree of energy retention?

    -or if no to 1), are you aware that Venus's atmosphere is 98+% CO2 and without an energy retention effect, it wouldn't be anywhere near as hot as it is - or that similarly the Earth's average temperature would be around freezing without said effect? (Alternately, were you aware that 40 years of satellite data show that the energy reflected back into space by the Earth has declined over the past 40 years and similarly that surface instrumentation on Earth shows increasing downward infrared radiation over the same period??

    3) If you believe that CO2 does help the Earth retain solar energy, but question the temperature changes predicted because the current temperatures don't appear to have increased as alarmingly as predicted are you open to the possibility that our oceans are acting as a big heat sink and sooner or later said sinks will fill up?

    I ask these questions seriously and not to be deliberately argumentative, but because I am really trying to understand the hard pushback? I get that attempting to thwart AGW is perceived to be economically disruptive - although I've always observed that there is always profit to be made in changing markets. What I don't understand is the absolute heels in the sand reaction. If we identified an asteroid and 97% of astronomers polled said that it appeared to be on a collision course with Earth in 30 years, would we wait to see if the 3% were right? Or would we work on contingency plans in case the 97% actually have it right?

    I'm obviously in the camp of believing that humans impact climate, but I am certainly not a climate scientist. I am pretty comfortable with the understanding that CO2 (like water vapor) is really good at absorbing infrared energy around 15 µm. It seems pretty logical to me from knowing that, that it will act as a greenhouse gas. I am also pretty comfortable with that energy is neither created nor destroyed thing. Consequently if CO2 absorbs infrared and the amount of CO2 is rising in the air then I would expect the amount of energy retained is going to increase (assuming a constant solar output - which obviously is inaccurate, but for the sake of basic logic an arguably reasonable assumption to make for clarity), If our climate models are doing a poor job of predicting the effects of said retained energy then the models need improvement. (for example they may not be adequately accounting for ocean's as energy sinks.) That doesn't however negate the fact that more energy is being retained by the system than previously - we can't expect that to continue without impact can we?

    But even if I take what I assume to be the denialist position that the rising CO2 levels won't cause the temperature change predicted, should we ignore the demonstrably proven ocean acidification associated with increasing CO2 levels? Unlike complex computer climate models CO2 acidification is pretty easy to demonstrate with chemistry - as are the realities of ocean acidification with regard to broad groups of ocean life - personally a 30% increase in H+ ion concentrations in the past 250 years isn't something that I think should be ignored - especially when one looks at the human population increases accelerating over that period of time and when one realizes that at least a billion humans rely on fish as their primary source of protein. So what about that - what if the climate scientists are 100% wrong about CO2 based temperature change and we are still drastically harming ocean organisms that rely on calcium carbonate - and the organisms that feed on said organisms, and the organisms that feed on them... and... etc. etc. etc. (all the way back to us).

    1. Zippo

      Re: What do "deniers" actually believe?

      Most of what you say is thoughtful and thought-provoking, but you may want to revisit your last paragraph. A 30% increase in H+ ion concentration over the past 250 years is not well correlated with the growth fossil fuel use by humans in the last 100 years or so and mostly in last 50 years .....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What do "deniers" actually believe?

      @Battsman:

      "what the average AWG "denier" does believe?"

      I dont speak for everyone just for myself, maybe you will get some more responses to try to bring out an average?

      My first problem is in your question. I am on the fence because the facts absolutely prove we do not understand what is happening. Yet people like you (maybe not on purpose) make a 2 camp system of believer vs not a believer. In a less biased position I can tell you there are 3 points on a scale and everyone falls in somewhere- extreme non-believer in any climate change, believers in the facts, the extreme MMCC co2 believers.

      The first and last points on the scale are what I call cultists. You are certain even though the proof isnt there. Those who believe the climate doesnt change ignores history but those who believe its MMCC co2 theory have ignored the lack of knowledge and jumped to an easy answer by the unknowing.

      As to your questions- 1 is true, it is a greenhouse gas and I have problem with this fact. 2 and 3 demonstrate a belief without understanding the flaw of the belief. 2 talks about a rock in space with no plant life, beast life, intelligent life, water, etc. By ignoring all variables except the one you want you can prove anything. But in our real world of complex webs of interactions there is a possibility you are right with MMCC co2 theory, but it is one of many possibilities and so means nothing without proof. 3 talks of a finite heat sink which again ignores the web of interactions. The fact is the web makes the environment stronger and weaker with much greater uncertainties of our actions.

      So I support the actual research being done including into co2. But I dont agree with blind tunnel vision and religious ignorance which is the MMCC co2 theory believers. Your no better than the absolute deniers but at least they are not the ones screwing up economies and squandering resources on monuments to wind and sun gods. The technologies are worth investigating but have yet to be effective at their primary job (power).

      A lot of claims have been made 'scientifically' (used loosely) and politically which have been shown to be wrong and clueless of the real world. We cannot predict what is happening nor do we have any understanding of it. So when a claim is made I have come to disregard it as the rantings of loons just like all the other claims before turned out to be. I can see why people believe this new religion because the con is fairly clever. Weather is not climate and so cannot disprove it. But climate will produce weather so a change, or no change will be claimed as proof (as it is). And with the self re-enforcing beliefs that exploit human fears you are now the person saying we are all doomed. Just like the nutters in town with their sandwich boards telling us of the end of the world.

      You have been tricked by reasonably clever social manipulation to be the doom claiming nutter. Abandoning science or even reason. And not questioning your faith even when the claims and predictions are proven wrong and your leaders demonstrate no knowledge of what is happening. But you are certain. You believe.

      You may not understand me but I understand you. May your god go with you.

    3. Nial

      Re: What do "deniers" actually believe?

      The only thing I 'deny' (and I'd say dispute) is that we're doomed because of AGW.

      > 1) Do you believe that carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse gas?"

      Yes, in the sense it can be shown in a lab to block radiation, then re-dadiate it.

      > are you aware that Venus's atmosphere is 98+% CO2 and without an energy retention

      > effect, it wouldn't be anywhere near as hot as it is

      References?

      The atmospheric pressure on Venus is 92* that on earth. I have read that alone is enough to explain the

      surface temperature (without any CO2 'effect').

      It would be interesting to look into this further.

      > If we identified an asteroid and 97% of astronomers polled said that it appeared to be on

      > a collision course with Earth in 30 years, would we wait to see if the 3% were right?

      > Or would we work on contingency plans in case the 97% actually have it right?

      We'd ask to see their calculations and these would be checked by independent mathematicians and physicists to verify who was right.

      > Consequently if CO2 absorbs infrared and the amount of CO2 is rising

      > in the air then I would expect the amount of energy retained is going to increase

      Agreed. The big question is by how much.

      CO2 is only 0.0004 of the atmosphere. Water vapour which is a much better 'greenhouse gas' is about 2% or 0.02, ie there's about 50* as much of it.

      Which one do you think is going to have the dominant effect?

      > If you believe that CO2 does help the Earth retain solar energy, but question the

      > temperature changes predicted because the current temperatures don't appear to have

      > increased as alarmingly as predicted are you open to the possibility that our oceans are

      > acting as a big heat sink and sooner or later said sinks will fill up?

      No. I'm an engineer and this smacks of a hastily thought up excuse to explain the divergence in the 'models' and real life.

      BTW my position is on the basis of what I've read and seen and not on any fundamentalist belief we have a right to get through the world's resources as quickly as possible. I read both 'sides' and do regularly stand back and look at the current state of play. I've two wee girls and think we have a responsibility to following generations. I don't think that pi$$ing the billions that have been spent on 'battling' CO2 worldwide up the wall is the right way to do it.

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