back to article Another climate change myth debunked by proper climate scientists

Proper climate scientists with PhDs in the subject and everything say they have "debunked" a climate change "myth" which is commonly repeated on the internet. The myth in question is the idea that global warming is causing an increase in the number of tropical cyclones/hurricanes. Certainly there's plenty of support among …

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  1. TheOtherHobbes

    Consensus

    is the word you're looking for, and not likely to find.

    Because - you know - cherry picking stuff just makes you look stupid.

    Just in case anyone wants to read what the abstract actually says, it's this:

    There is, however, considerable interannual variability in the number of storms making landfall over the countries investigated; most probably driven by cyclical atmospheric forcing, including El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO). Recent trends indicate an increasing number of tropical cyclones tracking to the south of Madagascar, potentially associated with the southward shift of the 26 °C isotherm, combined with a decrease in the steering flow during La Niña years.

    Now, it's true that you can't generalise global trends based on a sample based on one small geographic area.

    But then that's the difference between real climate science and 'journalism'.

    Oh, and you might want to look up what 'southward shift of the 26 °C isotherm' means.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: Consensus

      lol

      If lewis ever looked something up that would make his ass unavailable as a hat.

      same old same old

      yawn

      lewis long since lost any credibility as a "journalist" now he's just someones mad old dad with a laptop, who really should not be allowed out unsupervised.

      sad really

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Consensus

      Nice troll. By quoting the entire second half of the abstract, starting with "however", you provoked me into reading the first half, which is the principal finding and supportive of Lewis' take.

      That said, the "meh" interpretation of a later commentard is probably where I'd stick my flag.

    3. AndrewG

      Re: Consensus

      Consensus

      Is a word that means nothing in the world of "real" science

      In 1938 as part of a propaganda piece, 100 german physicists were induced to add their name to a report explaining how Einstein theories was totally wrong.

      Einsteins response: "If they could prove me wrong it would only take one of them"

      verifiable, repeatable experiments that can not be disproven are the difference between science and social studies, its a pity that too many people don't seem to know that any more.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Consensus

        verifiable, repeatable experiments that can not be disproven are the difference between science and social studies, its a pity that too many people don't seem to know that any more.

        I want to clarify what you have said here. One basis of the scientific method is that a scientific theory must be falsifiable, i.e. it can be disproven, if and/or when the appropriate contrary evidence is found. If a claim or explanation cannot be disproven, it is not scientific.

        A scientific theory is an explanation that repeatably fits the observable natural evidence. The scientific method does not deal with absolute positive proof.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Consensus

          So the question to be answered before we accept consensus is, "What would be the proof that global warming is not man-made or is not occurring?"

          The permutation you pick depends on whether you care about the cause or just the results i.e. do I think I can fix the cause, or am I just going to deal with the results?

          Vast amounts of cash and research appear to be going into, "is X caused by AGW?" (is there any research which comes back with "no" to this question?) and very little into, "how do we deal with the results?" The cynic in me thinks this might be SIG's trying to prove a point and politicians finding a convenient topic of distraction. How much interest would there be in the topic if warming was both real and natural, but just as disastrous?

          The cynic in me also thinks that in very large groups, humans are unlikely to disadvantage themselves for the benefit of others for a sustained period of time. Mostly we would destroy large parts of the earth and fight over the remaining scraps. That appears to be the reality of history.

      2. JimB17

        Re: Consensus

        No, this is not the case. The consensus referred to by the commentators, NOT the original author of the article, is an informed consensus of experts qualified in the specific field; precisely the people who are referred to then misrepresented in that note.

        The Einstein quote is accurate but mis-applied here.

        1. Fluffy Bunny
          Devil

          Re: Consensus

          "The Einstein quote is accurate but mis-applied here"

          Not so, There are numerous examples where warmist claims have been proven to be false. Tree rings, decades without warming, complete lack of rising sea levels, etc. However, because because consensus works on a belief system, not facts and science system, the believers choose not to notice anything contrary to their beliefs.

          No matter how much evidence is accumulated contrary to AGW, the believers will never change.

    4. Richard Barrington

      Re: Consensus

      The view of the climate scientists I've worked with is while the frequency of extreme weather events may not increase, the volatility and unpredictability will. ( more pressure in complex systems )

      It is true that one swallow does not a summer make, but when you're up to your gonads in water, keep bailing!

      1. Colin Tree

        Re: Consensus

        and the location..... we're getting more cyclones in NW Australia and less down the east coast

  2. Vociferous

    FTA:

    "However, long-term trends of tropical cyclone numbers in either direction are obscured by patterns of climate variability where records span less than a century.

    There are already notable cyclic patterns of inter-annual tropical cyclone counts, with periodicities exceeding a decade (Walsh, 2004; Chan, 2006; Knutson et al., 2010).

    Furthermore, these patterns of variability and cyclicity not only obscure statistical trends, but also act as drivers to decrease the impacts of global warming on tropical cyclone formation through hindering the development of tropical storms (Singh et al., 2001; Walsh, 2004).

    The impact of global-scale climate change on tropical cyclones may thus take longer to detect than for other weather systems (c.f. Singh et al., 2001; Goldenberg

    et al., 2001; Walsh, 2004; Knutson et al., 2010)."

    "Despite mean global atmospheric temperature having increased over the past century, consequently raising mean sea surface temperature, the trends

    and rates of change are not consistent worldwide or within individual ocean basins (Sugi et al., 2002; Webster et al., 2005; Xie et al., 2010). Furthermore, atmospheric conditions are not changing uniformly across all regions."

    Translation: Global warming actually predicts FEWER but STRONGER hurricanes in the studied Madagascar/Mocambique area, but as of right now no such pattern can be distinguished. The authors conclude that observed increase in number of hurricanes in the area can be explained by natural variability.

    This isn't a debunking, it's a "meh".

    1. Fluffy Bunny

      "...no such pattern can be distinguished."

      That isn't a "meh". It's shoving it into a shredder and standing on the lid.

      1. Return To Sender

        "It's shoving it into a shredder and standing on the lid."

        Err, no. No it isn't. All it's saying is that the current data isn't sufficient to show a pattern. It's not saying that the pattern won't appear (or will for that matter).

        One of the reasons I generally pay little attention to populist media on this topic is that they have to present to an audience which struggles to think in long timescales and non-absolutes. The mass media have to be over-simplistic or they'll lose their audience. Big storms? - global warming. Summer droughts? - global warming. Makes a quick & easy headline, and guarantees a few more day's worth of stories as protagonists on both sides pitch in to ya-boo the others.

        Have we as a species made climate variation more extreme? Well, right now, nobody actually knows. Lots of data about, lots of theories in lots of directions, but no hard and fast evidence in either direction. I personally feel you can't go around dumping loads of energy in to the system without something happening, but that's a feeling, not a fact.

        It could be that the Hollow-Earthers were in fact correct, and Shamballa is now heated by a sophisticated system of heat exchangers drawing energy in at the holes in the poles; this is why we don't have tropical summers in Yorkshire or whatever global warming was supposed to produce according to earlier ideas. Of course, there will be excess heat, which has to go somewhere. I suggest that Shamballa is actually located somewhere under Yellowstone Park and is directly responsible for the so-called super volcano the geologists love to talk about. See - global warming will get you in the end...!

        1. Squander Two

          > One of the reasons I generally pay little attention to populist media ...

          But it's not just the populist media. It's a bunch of climatologists too. That's the problem. Your summary of the state of knowledge today -- "right now, nobody actually knows ... no hard and fast evidence in either direction" -- is spot on, but voicing it will have Michael Mann and his cronies calling you an "anti-science" "denier" and, if you're an actual scientist, diligently lobbying scientific journals to stop them publishing your papers and even putting pressure on your employers to sack you.

          The problem is not the media misrepresenting science. The problem, sadly, is a bunch of politically motivated scientists living in an echo chamber.

          1. Vociferous

            > right now, nobody actually knows ... no hard and fast evidence in either direction" -- is spot on, but voicing it will have Michael Mann and his cronies calling you an "anti-science" "denier"

            And rightly so, as you are opposing what (admittedly imperfect) evidence there is based on nothing but personal incredulity.

            1. Squander Two

              > And rightly so, as you are opposing what (admittedly imperfect) evidence there is based on nothing but personal incredulity.

              Well, firstly, calling the evidence "imperfect", as you just did, will have Michael Mann and his cronies calling you an "anti-science" "denier" etc etc. Seriously, go to his Facebook page and try it. He's quite absurdly thin-skinned and paranoid.

              Secondly, Judith Curry has more reasons for disagreeing with him than personal incredulity.

              And I'll say this yet again: I agree with Feynman that you can't get results out of models. Data, yes; results, no. Feynman was not God and it's certainly OK and probably sometimes even right to disagree with him, but agreeing with him is not anti-science and is not mere personal incredulity; it is an informed and principled position.

              1. Vociferous

                > calling the evidence "imperfect", as you just did, will have Michael Mann and his cronies calling you an "anti-science" "denier"

                No. Check your persecution complex.

                > Judith Curry has more reasons for disagreeing with him than personal incredulity

                The Judith Curry who state that she supports the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming, but feel that climatologists should be more "accomodating" to deniers, and occasionally makes unclear statemens on flimsy grounds? (Actually calling it 'flimsy' is too kind -- she intentionally cherry-picked the starting and ending point of her graph to achieve this effect, which is simply dishonest)

                > I agree with Feynman that you can't get results out of models. Data, yes; results, no.

                When people speak about models they really mean the simulations in which the models are used; data are observations, i.e. what you put in to your models when you run your simulations, not what you get out of them. What you get out of a simulation is a prognosis or an inference, or in other words a result.

                1. Squander Two

                  Paranoia.

                  > No. Check your persecution complex.

                  Well, I have, in fact, commented on Michael Mann's Facebook page before, when he first announced he was suing Mark Steyn. He said something about how awful it was that National Review were setting their lawyers on him and I pointed out that they were in fact employing their lawyers to defend themselves against his legal action. I also stated that he should feel free to sue National Review if he wanted, but that he realistically needed to expect that their lawyers would therefore mount a defence. That's all. I didn't say a thing about climate and didn't criticise his science. For that one comment, he permanently banned me from his page. The only people he's interested in conversing with are sycophants and he regards everyone else as an attacker.

        2. Tom 13

          Re: It's not saying that the pattern won't appear

          And if that were the actual claim from the Warmist cult, you might have a point.

          However the actual claim is that we have already seen strong evidence that this is happening. So yes, it is quite putting that claim through the shredder.

        3. Tom 13

          Re: they have to present to an audience which struggles to think in long timescales

          Which, objectively speaking is the longer time scale: 100 years or 10,000 years?

          Because all the Warmist cult postings I see reference about 50 years of real data, and all the skeptics are looking at stuff that starts at the 10,000 year and goes through 100,000 years.

  3. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Boffin

    I for one am sure!

    That any increase in cyclonic storms is due to the amount of hot air being generated by both sides in the AGW debate!!

    1. The Dude
      Flame

      Re: I for one am sure!

      Hot air is not difficult... just ignore it. "Carbon taxes" justified by such uncertain 'science' is simply robbery writ large.

      1. Fluffy Bunny
        Devil

        Re: I for one am sure!

        The Beatles had a song about taxing the air we breathe.

        1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: I for one am sure!

          "The Yellow Submarine"--perhaps a post-apocalyptic environmental anthem about how to escape global warming and sea level rise??

          John, Paul, George and Ringo really were WAY ahead of their time!!

          1. Squander Two

            Yellow Submarine

            > a post-apocalyptic environmental anthem about how to escape global warming and sea level rise

            That actually makes as much sense as the song's other interpretation, in which the submarine is obviously a coffin, because Paul is dead.

  4. Charles Manning

    That's the problem with all this cool new NASA data

    In the past we had a few blokes taking measurements a few times a day at specific points, or bobbing about in boats measuring ocean temperatures.

    Now we have satellites measuring the whole planet's data 24/7.

    The problem though is that until there is at least 30 years of consistently gathered data we really have nothing from which to actually make any good predictions. Now the NASA satellites are up there we need a long wait until the data set is big enough.

    It is not at all suprising that we have alarmists being able to get away with the looming ice-age predictions of the 1970s and the predicted overheating of the 2000s.

    1. Gannon (J.) Dick

      Re: That's the problem with all this cool new NASA data

      Somewhere an Alien astronomer is looking at Earth and saying "Wow, look at the water and that rock-Moon-thingy. If my math is right, they probably have tides, and dare I say it, maybe even tsunamis. Too bad for my Tenure I can't prove it"

      There is settled science and settled math. They are not the same thing, unfortunately.

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: That's the problem with all this cool new NASA data

      "The problem though is that until there is at least 30 years of consistently gathered data we really have nothing from which to actually make any good predictions"

      We have over 100 years of surface data and it's fine. It's been analyzed and re-analyzed to death and which ever set of eyes take a look find the same result.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: That's the problem with all this cool new NASA data

      More accurately:

      Now we have satellites we believe are measuring the whole planet's data 24/7.

      Because all the measurements are done by proxies, and then mathematically massaged. We think we have good cause to trust the proxies, but we could find problems with them.

      There are more problems processing the data than the data processors want to admit. Simple things like not having end of file markers on a data set during data storage and transmission from the satellite. Or questions about the reliability of the calibration technique the satellite uses to set its sensors. This is information I've gotten from an AWG agnostic who works directly in processing the data.

      1. -tim
        Holmes

        Re: That's the problem with all this cool new NASA data

        Reading data by proxy can be dangerous and it must be full of errors and scientist need to isolate those errors in the data. For example NASA will often use parts of the Australian desert to calibrate their systems but most of the time, the old sat and the new sat aren't in orbit at the same time so there is a slight gap between the data. Add in the fact that the new system will use different technology than the old one, they can't even measure the same things. Then you can throw in the calibration of the old records and modern modeling that loves to consider nearest points. The problem with that and using the Australian outback as a yard stick is that one of the 5 nearest calibrated thermometers are in Melbourne and Darwin which are very far away and have much different climates. I've seen a few of the early official weather instruments used to collect the early data points and I expect the non-linear, factory seconds state of some of them means their scale is not best to count on for high accuracy data. Science is a fractal, the closer you look, the more detail you can see. Data isn't much different.

  5. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Erm. Yes. Known for a while now?

    The point you're trying to occlude is that it's not the number of storms that's going up - it's their power.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7596643.stm

    http://www.upi.com/blog/2014/02/10/UK-Met-Office-stronger-storms-linked-to-global-warming/9501392054013/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Erm. Yes. Known for a while now?

      And this ace research that I posted here a couple of weeks ago:

      Fewer but much bigger cyclones

      I'd rather deal with twenty Cat 1 cyclones in one season than one Cat 5.

  6. Forget It
    Joke

    microclimate

    So it's all a storm in a teacup then.

  7. Spotthelemon

    The best simple explanation of how global warming affects severe weather is to look at it as thows of a dice, middle numbers represent middling weather, high & low numbers are extremes of weather. changes to weather patterns from warming tend to weight the dice in favour of high & low numbers but you can't tell when you throw a high or low weather number whether it's down to the dice being weighted or whether its one of the those that would have been thrown with an unweighted dice anyhow

    1. Fluffy Bunny
      Devil

      But that is only a theory. It's no good going to your keyboard and claiming the latest evidence from your computer model says, because it's all just castles in the air until you do an experiment and successfuly predict the outcome in advance. The computer models haven't even been able to predict the lack of warming in the last decade, how could we trust them with a subtle feature like more/less storms?

  8. Tom 35 Silver badge

    It's amazing

    How you can tell it's a Lewis Page story right from the home page just by reading the title.

    Tom.

    1. Grikath Silver badge

      Re: It's amazing

      Or the usual suspects in the comments who can't resist lashing out at either end of the spectrum of this old and tired discussion.

      It evens out....

      1. Rob

        Re: It's amazing

        The most valid comment in this entire discussion, I'm now neither a denier or a believer, I'm the apathetic one in the middle.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh

    Climate change (in all of it's guises, natural periodic, AGW or otherwise) is open to apophenia - by both sides of the debate.

  10. Andy Roid McUser
    Pint

    you can avoid nasty weather...

    Sitting on your deckchair in a lovely walled garden running iWeather.

    Problem solved. Thanks Apple.

  11. Bloodbeastterror

    Risk

    I've thought for a long time that the opponents of the global warming proposition are like those people who play Russian Roulette. Sure, there's only a small chance of death, but personally I won't take the risk.

    And in 2040 when the chairmen of Shell, BP, Exxon, etc. look at their grandchildren's deteriorating world, will they look back and console themselves with "Ah, but in 2023 we had *record* profits!"

    1. BillG Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Risk

      I've thought for a long time that the opponents of the global warming proposition are like those people who play Russian Roulette. Sure, there's only a small chance of death, but personally I won't take the risk.

      You are taking the "just in case" position. Problem is, what if there really isn't any man-made global warming? Then the "solution without a problem" could be what really causes global planetary damage!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Risk

        > You are taking the "just in case" position. Problem is, what if there really isn't any man-made global warming? Then the "solution without a problem" could be what really causes global planetary damage!

        Isn't the "solution without a problem", as you put it, to not continuously shovel shit into our atmosphere? Surely not polluting is the absolute opposite of "planetary damage", whether or not such pollution causes climate change?

        1. BillG Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Risk

          Isn't the "solution without a problem", as you put it, to not continuously shovel shit into our atmosphere?

          CO2 isn't shit. It's needed for plants to survive and is balanced by the world's oceans. And alongside advanced irrigation techniques it's one reason why agriculture is thriving today.

          Do you want to take the risk that the planet hasn't adapted to increased CO2 by growing more plants to process it? Do you want to take the risk that dramatically reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere might result in massive crop failures and global famine? Or are you incapable of doing that math?

          Or are you Dilbert's pointy-haired boss whose motto is "anything I don't understand must be easy"?

    2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: Risk

      ...Sure, there's only a small chance of death, but personally I won't take the risk...

      Can I cut off your legs, then? There's a small chance that you'll walk under a bus tomorrow, and I'm sure you wouldn't like to take the risk...

      In other news the BBC reported on increased green levies on energy, so they're starting to cut our toes off already...

    3. Fluffy Bunny
      Devil

      Re: Risk

      The trouble is the massive amount of fraud in the AGW argument. The claim is that the risk is massive, but if you look at it rationally, what is being claimed?

      The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is going up. It is now double the level when people started measurments. However, CO2 is a plant nutrient and needed for trees and flowers to grow. We are presently living in a (relatively) starved invironment. The increase in CO2 has meant that agriculture has recieved a big increase in productivity. Somehow the warmists never point that out.

      As a result of the increase in CO2, it is asserted that (using the flawed radiative forcing model), that the Earths temperature must increase. If (when?) the Earth warms, then agriculture will receive another boost to productivity.

      The sea may rise. It hasn't yet, but it may rise by a metre by the end of the next century. This used to be the biggest threat from the warmists, back in the days it was going up by 35 metres gauranteed. So we have 187 years in which to stop using houses built on the ocean shore and build them futher inland. Cities can build sea walls.

      The adaptations are simple and nothing like the gigantic costs to stop emitting CO2 in a futile attempt to stop warming that hasn't even eventuated. Remember that humans add 5% of the CO2 to the planet. The rest comes from nature. How are we going to stop that? Plug Mount Etna?

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Risk

        "Remember that humans add 5% of the CO2 to the planet. The rest comes from nature. How are we going to stop that? Plug Mount Etna?"

        That 5% is cumulative and is the sole reason CO2 is rising. If man stopped emitting CO2, CO2 would stop rising.

        I wouldn't be so sure adaptation will work when the impacts are unknown and forward loaded.

    4. Squander Two

      Record profits

      Well, first of all, according to the Precautionary Principle, we shouldn't use the Precautionary Principle, just in case.

      That aside, let's say, for the sake of argument, that the very worst predictions of the AGW alarmists are correct and that we therefore need to cut pollution as much and as soon as we possibly can. How do we do that?

      Well, handily enough, an absolutely superb experiment was conducted on this matter. They took a whole continent and split it down the middle -- even cutting a country in half, to minimise ethnic or cultural differences that might have influenced the experiment -- and tried (broadly) market capitalism on one side and (broadly) state socialism on the other. After half a century, we were able to observe pollution and environmental damage on each side. And what did we find?

      Well, what we found was that socialism utterly fucks the environment. Environmentalism, it turns out, is a luxury good, which people are willing -- even eager -- to spend money on when they have surplus wealth, whilst people without wealth are perfectly happy to screw the environment to bring the cost of living down a penny or two. So what we need, if we want to cut pollution as much as we possibly can, is as wealthy a society as possible. So, to answer your rhetorical question:

      > And in 2040 when the chairmen of Shell, BP, Exxon, etc. look at their grandchildren's deteriorating world, will they look back and console themselves with "Ah, but in 2023 we had *record* profits!"

      Those record profits -- which both reflect and contribute to record wealth in society -- are the best known chance at preventing the deterioration of the world.

      Yet environmentalists are all socialists for some reason. Go figure.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Record profits

        "Those record profits -- which both reflect and contribute to record wealth in society -- are the best known chance at preventing the deterioration of the world."

        You could have made a similar argument 200 years ago - all those mills and factories spewing smog into the London air and dumping waste into the Thames. Gave them great profits and contributed to record wealth in society. Letting raw sewage be dumped into the Thames 'is the best known chance at preventing the deterioration of London'.

        But those environmentalists and socialists want to force through clean water and air laws - force the expensive construction of a sewage system under london - and destroy the economy of London in the process! Thank god that didn't happen.

        My bet is that if we DID abolish fossil fuels the economy would adapt just fine to other energy sources, just as no-one today blinks an eye at the cost of clean water and air.

        1. Squander Two

          Re: Record profits

          > You could have made a similar argument 200 years ago - all those mills and factories spewing smog into the London air and dumping waste into the Thames. Gave them great profits and contributed to record wealth in society. Letting raw sewage be dumped into the Thames 'is the best known chance at preventing the deterioration of London'.

          Considering that the Thames is now one of the cleanest city rivers in the world and has cormorants and grebes swimming on it, and that London no longer has smog, it's difficult to see what point you're making.

          1. NomNomNom

            Re: Record profits

            "Considering that the Thames is now one of the cleanest city rivers in the world and has cormorants and grebes swimming on it, and that London no longer has smog, it's difficult to see what point you're making."

            The point is that came about through environmentalist and socialist policies.

            If we just let maximizing short-term profit rule then the Thames would be caked in toxins and effluent to this day with the air thick with smog. That's because the people making the profit would make less profit if they ever had to pay the cost of cleaning up after themselves.

            Regulation comes first. That prevents the deterioration of the world. Then industry - constrained by the regulation - finds new ways to make profits.

            1. Squander Two

              Re: Record profits

              > The point is that came about through environmentalist and socialist policies.

              Which people in a wealthy society were willing to vote and able to pay for. Or did you think the policies just appeared one day out of nowhere? Environmentalism comes from people in wealthy societies. It does not come from poor people.

              > Regulation comes first.

              But this is largely impossible, because, until a problem occurs, we have no idea what to regulate. People didn't pour sewage into the Thames because they were gleefully trying to kill fish; they poured sewage into the Thames because they were descended from thousands of generations of people who had been able to shit in rivers without harming the rivers and they simply did not know that their new larger populations would change that dynamic. Once they figured out the problem, they were able to get Joseph Bazalgette to build the greatest sewers on the planet -- a hugely expensive undertaking -- because they were wealthy. A poor society would have just kept pouring shit into the river -- and, indeed, looking round the world, you see that that is what poor soceties do.

              > Then industry - constrained by the regulation - finds new ways to make profits.

              This is why environmentalist organisations are spending money on sending campaigners out to the developing world to tell piss-poor farmers who are finally dragging themselves out of subsistence lifestyles and total life-or-death dependence on the whims of nature and into modern low-infant-mortality surviving-poor-harvests being-able-to-read-after-sunset civilisation to turn around and go back to their wonderful sustainable lifestyles. Personally, I say that's inhumane. Murderous, even.

            2. Apriori

              Re: Record profits

              Don't let a few facts get in the way.

              The act of parliament which ended the 'London pea souper' was passed in 1956, under the Eden (Conservative) administration. The most recent Clean Air Act was passed in 1993, by a government under the leadership of John Major. There was an act in 1968 passed by the Wilson government, but it was little more than an extension of the 1956 Act using what had been learned in the meanwhile.

              Socialism usually results in such wonderful environmental successes as the elimination of the Aral Sea, the pollution of Lake Baikal, the wonderful steelworks of Nova Huta, situated just so that the difficult inhabitants of Krakow would get the maximum amount of crap in the air.

              Oh yes, the Wilson government was, of course, the one that sank decent modern music radio in the UK forever. But then we got the "socialist version" from Richard "No Problem" Curtis where Anthony Wedgewood Benn was replaced by a sort of composite Tory.

              "Regulation" brought us the delights of the financial crash, all the NHS scandals, and all the glories of the various OFcraps.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: Record profits

        Those record profits are only records because the government has forced what use to be a lot of competing small companies to merge into ultramegacorps to deal with regulatory paperwork. Break them back into smaller companies and those numbers wouldn't even make the slush pile reports. Furthermore, if you calculate the percentage of profit per dollar invested I think the only worse stock market category in which to invest is airlines.

    5. Tom 13

      Re: Risk

      Wow, talk about rolling all of the classic risk assessment errors into one statement.

      1) Assuming there is no risk with one action and risk with the other.

      2) Assuming that something that is 10% probable but will kill everyone is more problematic than something which will always kill 10% of the population.

  12. 45RPM Silver badge

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    Can we have a 'Report Abuse' button on all articles by Lewis Page, please?

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

      It would help to report comments with no actual value but just complaining that they dont like the writer.

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

        I've never met Lewis, so I don't know if I like him or not. I haven't read anything by him that's at all balanced, or that couldn't be construed as trolling.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

          @ 45RPM

          I have never met him either and yes I too find his articles are biased in a particular direction. That direction always seems to be the opposite of the bias applied by the various media. For example if I want to hear about the consensus of the absolute certainty of MMCC we all gonna die then I can read/watch most news sources. If I want absolute honesty I just need to look to actual scientific work but who has the time? And if I want some balance to the general party line I read lewis and andrew on the reg.

          Same with the effectiveness of wind farms, MOD spending, nuclear energy, etc. Yes lewis is biased but no more so than the general media, just leaning the other way. You may find his articles trolling but how many commenter's on here troll the general misinformation out there? I find lewis provides some necessary balance in the media.

  13. Tyrion
    Thumb Up

    Irony

    AGW religious nut claims debunked by climate scientists haha, so so ironic.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well done Lewis. Sad to see that mainstream remains brainwashed though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, and the scientific establishment... they've all been brainwashed too.

      Remember guys, keep the shiny side out or you'll get brainwashed by them too.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    religion and politics

    When I see those who lack the appropriate scientific credentials laying into the clear scientific consensus on the basis they seem to *know* what is really happening, seizing on any morsel of 'evidence' they perceive helps make their case I cannot help but conclude the person is either a religious or political nut.

    1. dan1980

      Re: religion and politics

      @cap'n

      I have never met, nor spoken to the author but I don't believe he is a 'religious or political nut'.

      What I do see, however, when looking through his past articles on climate change, is a common thread of presenting reports/quotes/stories/studies/criticisms that are clearly aimed at casting doubt.

      FUD without the 'F', I suppose

      This can bee seen in areas such as ice sheets:

      • Antarctic glacier 'melted JUST as fast LONG before human carbon emissions'
      • Hello Warsaw: Greenland ice loss will be OK 'even under extreme scenarios'
      • Steady Antarctic ice growth 'limits confidence in climate predictions'
      • Greenland ice SIMPLY WOULD NOT MELT in baking +8°C era 120k years ago
      • Ice sheets may stabilise for centuries, regardless of warming

      So, is the take-away that the ice is melting or that it isn't? Neither. Lewis' goal seems to be to throw as much contradictory information as he can and thereby cast uncertainty on those scientists who support the AGW line.

      Similar is his reporting on sea levels: sea levels aren't rising; sea levels are rising but this is normal; sea levels are dropping; sea levels are rising but this is a good thing, etc... Likewise warming: the planet isn't warming; the plant is warming but it's due to solar cycles; actually, the planet is cooling; the planet is warming but it's a good thing (it'll help us avoid that looming ice age). And so on.

      Again, I don't know Lewis and I can't speak intelligently about his mind or motives, but looking at his articles on this subject, the common thread is that he appears to support and promote any scientist or study or result (however narrow or minor) that contradicts or throws doubt onto the proposition that climate change is (at least partly) man-made and that such climate change is a bad thing.

      To be fair, in many of his pieces he does at least attempt some degree of balance, but equally often he uses loaded language (such as calling AGW proponents 'alarmists') and 'poisons the well'. For example, in his article: SpaceShipOne man, Nobel boffins: DON'T PANIC on global warming, he felt compelled to inform readers that one of the dissenting 'warmist' scientists, Peter Gleick, proclaims bottled water as 'evil' but didn't see it as relevant that one of the 'eminent scientists' who contributed to the letter had previously claimed that two objects with different weights, sizes and aerodynamic properties (a petanque/boule/bocce ball and a tennis ball) would, if dropped from a tower, fall at the same speed and reach the ground at the same time*.

      Sorry for the length and to Lewis, I don't mean any disrespect to you but I find your articles on military and related matters, such as your article about shooting down drones far more interesting and informative than your articles on climate change.

      * - Any even half-way educated person knows that the critical condition for this to work is that the objects must be dropped in a vacuum, but, despite being corrected repeatedly, he stuck to his erroneous and demonstrably false statement.

    2. Fluffy Bunny
      Devil

      Re: religion and politics

      You do know that "scientific consensus" is an oxymoron. Consensus is a commonality of opinion. Opinion is not science. Science is evidence based. When so much evidence exists that your opinion is wrong, you can either:

      a) recognise your theory is wrong and find a new theory that meets the facts, or

      b) keep your opinion and tell everybody they don't believe enough.

      b) is clearly in the field of religion, which is where all the AGW pushers are.

      1. dan1980

        Re: religion and politics

        @Fluffy Bunny

        Without coming down on one side or another and with respect to you, I think you present this simplistically.

        'Evidence' is data used to support a particular theory or hypothesis. The crucial part you are missing is that a given observation/measurement/etc... may be interpreted in different ways and used as evidence for a position by one party and for a different position by a different party. These positions may even be opposed to each other.

        The 'consensus' spoken of (whether it exists or not) is to mean that the majority of scientists are in agreement as to if the current observations, measurements, historical data support AGW or not.

        My point is not to say that that consensus exists or does not, just to try and explain what I take the word 'consensus' to mean in this context.

        The other way 'consensus' might be used is to say that data from multiple, separate fields and gathered by multiple researchers and through multiple experiments, all point strongly in a particular direction. I think that is not the intended meaning in this context but it's still a possibility.

        1. dan1980

          Re: religion and politics

          To try and clarify (was in a hurry, sorry) - evidence may well be either for one position or another. That is, so far as I view the term, the very definition of 'evidence'.

          Data, however, can be used as evidence to support multiple positions, even mutually exclusive ones.

          For a scientific experiment to be useful, the variables need to be isolated as much as possible so you can test precisely the thing you want. Elaborate, costly and time-consuming precautions are usually taken to ensure that potential sources of error and noise are eliminated - detectors built beneath mountains, apparatus cooled to near absolute zero, conducted in isolated areas at the dead of night, etc...

          The problem with climate science is that it is next to impossible to design and conduct experiments in that fashion. Climate is a horrendously complex beast with factors derived from every branch of science from geology or physics, biology, chemistry, etc... and no one experiment, historical comparison, statistical analysis or data point can contribute anything more that weak evidence one way or the other.

          Hence all the vitriol. As with religion (and I don't mean to offend anyone) the most spirited arguments seem to happen when evidence is scant or ambiguous.

          Apologies for any errors - have to dash.

          d.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: the very definition of 'evidence'.

            Science is also not about evidence.

            Science is about accurately predicting something in the physical universe based on past experience. AWG completely fails this, which is the only test of science. When Einstein proposed his General Theory of Relativity, one of the things it predicted was the deflection of light due to the presence of a massive nearby object. It had never been thought of or tested before. During the next solar eclipse the position of Mercury was observed. We could calculate its actual position using Newtonian equations. If light didn't bend it would appear in that position. If it did bend according to it would be in another. If it were anywhere else, both theories would have been falsified. Mercury appeared exactly where Relativity predicted it should be. That is science.

            Science seeks to isolate variables only so that it can more accurately predict future events.

        2. Tom 13

          Re: explain what I take the word 'consensus' to mean in this context.

          Science is NEVER about consensus. If you find yourself talking about consensus, it isn't science.

          It really is just that simple.

  16. dan1980

    Register author in climate change SHOCKER

    Lewis . . .

    This just isn't an article; it's a PR release.

    Where is the analysis? If I was a climate change specialist, I would already know about this paper and have gone through it. As a non-specialist (as most of us are,) the value of a site like The Register in reporting science news is to provide an overview of such news and present the main points so we lay-people can get an idea of what it means.

    I have nothing against you, Lewis but reading your bio it seems that your area of expertise is on Military matters and yet the subject you seem to report most on is climate science.

    Of note, skimming through all the climate articles written by you over the past few years, I can find not a single one that strays from these two formulas:

    "Isolated study shows climate change is TOTES WRONG"

    and

    "Cherry-picked quotes PROVE climate change is TOTES WRONG"

    Is there someone else on staff here who can actually go through this paper (and future ones) and provide a critical, unbiased breakdown of what it says and how it relates to other studies?

    1. Squander Two

      Re: Register author in climate change SHOCKER

      For the last few years, every single "extreme" weather event has been presented to us as proof that AGW is definitely happening and we have been told that such events are going to become more and more frequent. Two years ago, when we had a dry Winter in the UK, we were told that exceptionally dry Winters and drought conditions were to become the new norm, because Climate Change. This year, we are being told that exceptionally wet Winters and disastrous flooding are to become the new norm, because Climate Change. A lot of this comes from the media and politicians, yes, but a lot of it comes from climatologists too.

      So it is certainly valid and interesting news reporting to show that a group of proper climatologists have declared, based on actual research, that this is a myth. That there may be other results in their paper which are not being analysed in the article doesn't change that.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We DID have an Ice Age

    And it is warmer now. Get over it. Temperatures fluctuate on this third rock from the sun, and will for some time. Human involvement in the process is probably unlikely, and to attempt to alter it by human action will most likely be futile.

    Just remember that when the ice melts in your glass of water, the level DOES NOT change one bit.

    1. Trixr Bronze badge

      Re: We DID have an Ice Age

      Dude, that is because ALL the ice is currently floating in your glass of water.

      I haven't actually looked at the real science behind the rising sea levels theory - which seems pretty well-established - but simple logic and observation tells us that a lot of ice is sitting locked up in glaciers on LAND, or covering entire land masses like Greenland. So when all (most, some?) of THAT melts and enters the ocean, it seems to me it'd be just like going to the freezer and dumping another handful of ice in your glass.

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: We DID have an Ice Age

      Several in fact, but like before, I would like us to concentrate on keeping the air clean, I think a few in China will agree. The ice cube in the glass of water is a nice one, I have won a number of beers with it. But most of us know that dropping a ice cube into the glass of water will change the level.

    3. Big_Ted

      Re: We DID have an Ice Age

      Its dickhead comments like yours that show you have no idea what you are talking about.

      Sea level rise is down to 2 things, as stated the ice from land melting and temperature rises.

      Yes thats right, water like almost everything else expands as it gets warmer.......

      Now go stick your head back in its hole and leave the discussion to those with some brains.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We DID have an Ice Age

        Big_Ted downvoted for being nasty - you don't mock the afflicted...

      2. Apriori

        Re: We DID have an Ice Age

        Since this is a pretty geeky site you might remember that between 0 and 4C water (ie the liquid stuff) actually contracts.

        But then let's not let facts get in the way of a bit of abuse.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Terry Cloth
    Joke

    Better detection, eh?

    Does that mean we wouldn't have noticed Sandy if the high-tech monitoring hadn't told us about it? :-)

    (Joke Alert because I suspect a smiley it too subtle for some of the participants in climate-change discussion.)

  20. Adrian Midgley 1

    The BBC quote is exactly

    correct though..

    BBC says more storms reported.

    Quote from paper says increase due to better detection.

    And?

    Now, if you were to comment on Darius Jedburgh's Plutonium device in the edge of darkness, then I'd be more interested.

    1. dan1980

      Re: The BBC quote is exactly

      My take-away from this is that an in-depth study has shown that over a relatively long period (as compared to recent memory appealed to in sensationalist news stories), the evidence suggests that storms have not actually increased.

      To me, that fact says nothing about the validity of climate change or the specific hypothesis of man-made climate change and should be seen as neither a blow to 'warmists', nor a vindication of 'skeptics'.

  21. Shannon Jacobs

    Tripe

    Is there anyone left who reads a word past that byline? I think I saw two or three, but I'm obviously commenting for the sake of NOT having to read farther. Hmm... Maybe I should peek at some of the other comments to see if any of them did read farther, and even more amusingly, if any of them found anything interesting or amusing in the rest of the tripe.

  22. Gordon 11

    Study A, then comment on B?

    The study looked only at the Indian Ocean.

    So the comments about the Atlantic could all still be true.

    1. Fluffy Bunny
      Devil

      Re: Study A, then comment on B?

      There is so much cherry-picked evidence quoted on both sides, it isn't worth worrying about this. Warmists point to the latest storm as proof of AGW. Skeptics point to the recent ice storm on the east cost of the US as counter proof. The argument provides considerable entertainment to all parties (except the scientist that got fired for proving the ocean isn't rising).

      The only thing that is definitely wrong is action without evidence.

      1. janimal
        Mushroom

        Re: Study A, then comment on B?

        Fluffy Bunny:The only thing that is definitely wrong is action without evidence.

        I have to disagree there. Many of the strategies required to mitigate against possible A.G.W are beneficial in their own right reducing pollution and increasing efficiency, finding alternative energy sources to oil & gas.

        We don't just use oil for fuel. We are completely surrounded by its direct and indirect by-products. When you distil the activities of the human race you realise all we are actually doing is digging shit out of the ground, using it to make junk, which for some reason generates paper, and then we bury the junk again usually in a form where it won't be useful again except on geological time scales.

        I'm sure you've heard of built-in obsolescence. These days it is built-in to everything. Often if we buy a tool, let's say a first world problem - a garlic crusher. Made in China from materials potentially shipped from further afield. Chucked on a boat half way round the world, trucked across Europe to my local supermarket and bought by the missus.

        That garlic crusher then managed to only half crush a single clove, from which it was impossible to scrape the results because the cage is 3mm shy of the outer housing. All that digging, all that fuel to do the job a single time so badly that it immediately gets discarded with a mutter. Probably to be buried rather than recycled because the quality of the materials are so low. Multiply that by millions of garlic crushers and then add all the other 'hardware' sold in supermarkets, everything in all pound-shops, pretty much all Christmas decorations and everything technological bought by an elderly relative on the cheap. etc... etc... ad infinatum.

        Even the pieces of paper they make from this activity is no longer backed up by anything of real value.

        Most of what we do is utterly wasteful. Multiply that by 7 billion people & the eventual outcome is inevitable; resource scarcity,starvation, civil disorder, war etc... these are the real potential killers of global warming.

        Yes it has been warmer in the past, but then we didn't have 7 billion people relying on a society built almost entirely on consumption.

        Do you think that there aren't people in power who can see this coming? There are parliaments and board rooms all over the world full of people feathering their nests and preparing their bunkers, whilst doing all they can to muddy the waters so the proles don't see it coming.

        Rant End. phew!

        Flames because we're all doomed I tell ya!

        1. Tom 13

          And here we finally get to the elephant in the room:

          Many of the strategies required to mitigate against possible A.G.W are beneficial in their own right reducing pollution and increasing efficiency, finding alternative energy sources to oil & gas.

          AWG isn't really about saving the planet in 100 years. It's a Trojan horse to get through other ideological objectives which the general public have rejected.

          You can tell they are ideological objectives because real people don't do things because they are good in this sense or that sense. They do them because weighed amongst a whole range or possibilities both good and bad, that person selects the thing he believes will do the most good for him. It may be that removing pollution is a good thing. It is likely that growing food to live is a better thing. Until you have sufficient food that you can live without considerable concern, removing pollution is a non-starter. Which is precisely the point raised in a post above: cleaning up the environment is a luxury good, and therefore any activity which harms the creation of real wealth harms cleaning up the environment. Current case in point: China.

        2. Apriori

          Re: Study A, then comment on B?

          It is of the essence of a working capitalist society that engineering and scientific progress will move automatically towards less energy intensive and the use of less and less rare and expensive and heavy materials. Because that's how you improve profits. Think: planes, computers, phone systems (from handset to transmission methods), cars, warn clothes (compare Mallory's rubbish kit for Everest with what you can buy at Millets for walking the dog).

          Ideologically driven "progress" tends to produce things like windmills which are, quite simply, rubbish. Without the East German subsidised CND and Russian backed TUC in this country we would probably have had a proper nuclear energy based economy, which might well even have had us driving round in efficient electric cars on roads which take over driving.

          Just think, if the morons of Brussels/Brighton get their way, there will be no cheap, clean fuel (fracked gas), all crops will need regular saturation with genuinely nasty chemicals (which will kill most of the pollinating insects) because we know that GM is Frankenfood, all medical statistics will be accessed only by their subjects - so don't bother with your Big Data epidemiological and genomic analysis developments. The good thing is that the Chinese and Indians may eventually send us aid and anthropologists who will be able to study how a once thriving civilization was reduced to a mud hut starvation where anyone who couldn't survive the winter with no heating died off.

      2. NomNomNom

        Re: Study A, then comment on B?

        "(except the scientist that got fired for proving the ocean isn't rising)."

        Uh it is. You've made this absurd claim that sea level isn't rising several times on this thread.

        Sea level IS rising.

  23. Jim Birch

    Misreporting

    Another piece of tribal antiscience junk from Lewis Page. Anyone surprised?

    This is basically a null result because of lack of data. Nothing proved, nothing disproved, not enough data yet for the noise level in tropical cyclone frequency. How hard is that to report correctly?

    As usual Lewis has selectively reported it as a goal by the Good Guys. Pathetic Dill.

  24. Hairy Spod

    is it not a bit simpler..

    Green house effect = an increased amount of energy in the system.

    More heat energy to dissapate and transfer around the globe would logically result in increased winds and storms

    Surely that then limits the debate to arguments about how much more energy is in the system and where on the planet it's effects are most likely to be felt, not is it happening or not?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ignorance of Sandy (AGAIN)

    I guess from many of your responses that people on this site few of you are old like me.

    I hate to use "when I was a boy" but back then in the '70's we had strong winters with lots of cold and snow and strong summers with huge hurricanes, pretty decent rainstorms and they were WARM.

    Hurricane Sandy's PATH and the timing of the storm that co-incided with high tide was the issue, not the affect of AGW.

    Bad luck all around regarding Sandy; but I no longer have any sympathy for people who rebuild on a flood plain or governments who promise to pay for their stupidity. At least make the buildings flood proof. Building the same way in the same place is the very definition of insanity.

    A hurricane, however devastating is no proof of AGW but NYC and NJ overreact and get emotional about everything.

  26. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I came to the same conclusion two weeks ago when I wondered idly about the number and frequency of storms (during a particularly harsh winter one here in NY) and toodled over to The Wunderblog and cross referenced that with Wikipedia.

    No expensive grants needed. The answers are all there for the reading.

  27. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Pint

    Not going to weigh in on either side of these arguments. Just pulling up a comfy chair with my beverage and popcorn.

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, I fail to see what the point of constant articles like this on an IT website is. It just looks like you don't know how to control your journalists.

  30. Someone Else Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Then, and now

    By analysing three storm track records spanning periods of 66–161 years, we establish that much of the perceived change in storm numbers can be attributed to improvements in storm detection methods over the past century.

    66 to 161 years ago: "Gee, wind's picking up, and it's gettin' a bit dark. Ya think a storm's a-comin'?

    Now: "Gee, wind's picking up, and it's gettin' a bit dark. Must be a storm's a-comin'?

    Really, Lew, that's all ya got?

  31. Joe Gurman

    Depends on the side of the Atlantic?

    I guess you get the news media you deserve if you let your science stories be written by arts graduates. Whatever our other, manifold failings, the US at least still gets the occasional science reporting by people with technical educations, and the mainstream US media have been at pains for some years to report National Weather Service statements that the frequency and tracks of hurricanes do not appear to have changed much with global climate change, but that the intensity of at least some fraction of the storms appears to be increasing. Anecdotally at least, that appears to coincide with the storms the US has had over the last decade.

  32. sniperpaddy
    Meh

    They cannot have it both ways

    I can understand that it is inaccurate to extrapolate from only a few years data.

    However, in the longer term, climate warming DOES lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of storms.

    That is basic thermodynamics e.g. the Arrehenius equation.

  33. lizbit

    Frost

    Dammit my strawberries hate the frost.

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