back to article Pine trees' scent 'could prevent climate change really being a problem'

A "major enigma" has been cracked in atmospheric chemistry, revealing the details of a negative feedback mechanism which could "actually limit climate change from reaching such levels that it could become really a problem in the world". Can't smell the forest for the trees around here The negative feedback in question is …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smelling of pine forests

    I used to use Norska deodorant for the pine smell (In my defence it was the early 80's), but I think it went off the market due to cfc propellants.

    Looking forward to a comeback for this. I'll keep it in the black wood-effect cabinet with the brushed silver and red trim.

    AC just for the sheer shame the memories bring back.

    1. Mpeler
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Smelling of pine forests

      Ahhh....pine-ing away for your old memories then :)

      Not forgetting Jade East, English Leather, Polo, Brut, and Kouros...sometimes generated negative feedback of their own ....

      Paris, well, because....

    2. Faux Science Slayer

      Re: Smelling of pine forests

      "NATURE" can only find the elitist directed, false paradigm, 'feudal science'....

      see "Becoming A TOTAL EARTH Science Skeptic" at the "ppjg.me" site....

  2. Thought About IT
    Boffin

    Agenda

    I must have missed the day when Lewis wrote about known positive feedback mechanisms that really could make climate change a big problem.

    1. Turtle

      @ Thought About IT

      "I must have missed the day when Lewis wrote about known positive feedback mechanisms that really could make climate change a big problem."

      Why the fuck would he bother? There's already a whole industry dedicated to doing that.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Why the fuck would he bother?

        In order to appear less unbalanced?

        1. dogged

          Re: Why the fuck would he bother?

          If you want balance, watch the BBC where they ask for homeopath's opinions on medical emergencies.

          Oddly, however, the standing orders on journalistic policy at the Beeb are explicitly NOT to report items that cast doubt on climate change nor offer debates on the subject.

          Maybe this is our balance.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Why the fuck would he bother?

            You must have missed Lord Lawson on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme, then.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. stratofish

            Re: Why the fuck would he bother?

            > the standing orders on journalistic policy at the Beeb are explicitly NOT to report items that cast doubt on climate change

            I guess they screwed up yesterday then when they posted the same thing -

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26340038

            I hope this is true and it has a major limiting effect.

            Even if it does it still won't make the deniers correct, just lucky. Opinion and guesswork can align with facts but that doesn't validate that they were right all along any more than correctly 'predicting' a coin toss does.

            1. bigtimehustler

              Re: Why the fuck would he bother?

              Perhaps not, but it would make us right in that we have always said all along we shouldn't waste billions in funds on an issue that we don't fully understand and so may well be wasting the money while other countries carry on polluting and gaining economic advantage.

              1. kirovs
                Facepalm

                Re: Why the fuck would he bother?

                Yes, let's study only things we do understand. Who would like to do research on things we do not understand? Right? Oh, wait....

            2. Fluffy Bunny
              Coffee/keyboard

              Re: Why the fuck would he bother?

              Your comment, "Opinion and guesswork can align with facts" is amusing because you've missed the main point, which is that if your carefully worked out and computer modelled theory produced wrong answers. They don't align with the facts.

            3. Tom 13

              Re: Even if it does it still won't make the deniers correct

              Actually, it does. Our contention all along has been that the data (screaming and wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Warmist Cult not withstanding) don't match the models so the models are utter bollocks.

        2. Turtle

          @ sabroni

          "'Why the fuck would he bother?' In order to appear less unbalanced?"

          I'm just wondering if you have ever made any comments to the effect that AGW-alarmists should also be "less unbalanced" (although they certainly *are* "unbalanced" although in a different way) or whether your idea that only AGW skeptics should be "balanced" and that it's perfectly okay for you to be an intellectually dishonest hypocrite - which seems to be the AGW-alarmist way.

          1. sabroni Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: @ turtle

            You can read as much as you like into my simple answer to the simple question. I didn't ask him to be more balanced, I merely suggested that it might be a reason for him to mention the positive feedback theories.

            Check my other posts (just click on my name) you'll see your name calling is unfounded and just plain fucking rude.

            You prick.

            1. Tom 13

              Re:Check my other posts

              Don't need to. I follow Lewis's articles with some regularity and recognize your nom de plume.

              I'd say he's spot on and quite justified. Now, I know you limeys have different standards about name calling, but I was quite under the impression that telling the truth was still more than sufficient to obtain dismissal of charges about impugning one's honor.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Thought About IT

        "Why the fuck would he bother? There's already a whole industry dedicated to doing that."

        I was going to say the same, but as you have already said it I'll just say that I would probably quite enjoy reading* Lewis' take on the obvious, if unstated in the source, flip-side of these two:

        If turbines can tame hurricanes...

        If the hotter 'hots' are getting hotter, and the global average is stalled, then the colder 'colds'...

        *I rather actually enjoy reading Lewis' articles, even if it is mainly because I get to peek into the soiled mind of the occasional CAGW, geo-engineering advocate/loon).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Thought About IT

          The UNSW article was from a University known for being about as biased as they come, certainly as biased as the BBC.

          Obviously anything that comes from Stanford is equally biased in favor of AGW because that's where the funding is.

          All education is suspect because they are ALL "Beleibers" it's a religion doncha know?

          I built windmills in the late 80's here in the US and one went to Cardiff and I don't care HOW you build them or what you make them out of; they will not stop or slow down Hurricanes because the tower and blades will just break off like a twig in the face of that kind of storm.

          I call bullshit.

          1. Mpeler
            Mushroom

            Re: @ Thought About IT

            Agreed...just like Millibrain and Camerooooooon with his windfarm windfall....

            I think XKCD says it best: http://xkcd.com/556/

            I remember bonnie prince chuckles talking about a building being a carbuncle....

            He should have a look at what the windmills are doing to Europe (and CA, etc.).

            I used to live near Altamont in California....they were beautiful, in an odd sort of way...

            until you drove by them, and heard the Whoooa Whoooa Whoooa and saw the

            shadows flashing by....all of a sudden, not so graceful anymore.....

            P.S: We need a broken (burning, etc.) windmill icon....

            1. cortland

              Re: @ Thought About IT

              Ahem!

              In 1997 I said goodbye to the only woman I'd ever loved, and drove North following Comet Hale Bopp, passing at dawn through the Altamont pass where hundreds of metal monks were doing Tai Chi to welcome the day....

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Agenda

      As others have pointed out, there are plenty of places in the media where you can read about any positive feedback mechanisms. If you read/watch mainstream media you'd be hard pressed to find anything remotely balanced in climate science.

      If you think every single journalist must provide balanced views then there are many more who are failing in this by not providing news that goes against AGW than there are guys like Lewis who are failing in this by not providing news that goes for AGW.

      Any individual source can have a bias, so the best way to avoid or minimize bias is to choose multiple sources. If you're in the UK, going to the BBC and the Reg would be a good way to get a more balanced view of global warming. Those sources may be identical in other stuff so perhaps you choose two different sources if you want a balanced view of politics in the UK and yet others if you want a balanced view of banking regulation.

    3. Fluffy Bunny
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Agenda

      Er, what positive feedback mechanisms? All the theories proposed to date have been shot down.

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: positive feedback mechanisms?

        What about the warming climate reducing the extent of boreal forests, thus reducing the cooling effect of organic aerosols?

        Help, help, we're all going to burn...

  3. Anonymous Blowhard

    So it's OK to spray my 'pits as long as it's pine scented?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Yes, but remember not to use pine-scented bleach...

      Talking of which, I found some Christmas mulled wine spiced bleach in Sainsbury's this Christmas. I really do wonder what marketing people are on sometimes.

      1. Bogle
        Happy

        A present for Father Jack for when the Toilet Duck runs out?

      2. Piro

        Probably all that mulled wine spiced bleach they were sniffing.

      3. hplasm Silver badge
        WTF?

        Scented bleach-

        can't be very good at bleaching. The same goes double for coloured bleach, pink or blue etc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      OK to spray my 'pits as long as it's pine scented?

      Sure, better yet, use pine tar like the Yanks do on their rou ^h^h^h baseball bats....be like Mr. stiffy on a bad day.....

  4. aidanstevens
    FAIL

    Phew

    Thank god for that, now we can carry on burning fossil fuels to our hearts' content safe in the knowledge that pine trees are guaranteed to save us from catastrophic climate change. Cheers, Lewis!

    1. Daemon-Byte

      Re: Phew

      Why is it that if you don't believe in MMGW you automatically must want to burn tonnes of fossil fuels? That's the biggest issue with the whole climate change debate these days. It's shifted so you can't talk about sustainability without being absorbed by this practically religious debate. Do you honestly believe that if we invented a magical box tomorrow that gave you unlimited clean energy the world would be fine? We're still pumping ass loads of chemicals into waterways, dumping plastic in our seas etc. What use is crippling our economy and pumping all our money into some futile attempt to stop the climate from changing when we're destroying everything else anyway? I've never seen Lewis ever advocate that the status quo is good, merely that we don't need to become tunnel visions on a myth

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Phew

        This. I think the GW crowd is doing the earth a disservice. If it doesn't heat up the planet, that does not mean it's fine to do. Mkay? Greedy slime...

  5. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Physics, Chemistry, Biology

    In order of increasing importance to the climate models.

    In order of increasing difficulty to include in the climate model.

    1. malle-herbert
      Coat

      Re: Physics, Chemistry, Biology

      You forgot economy... THE most important factor in climate change...

      1. JP19

        Re: Physics, Chemistry, Biology

        "You forgot economy... THE most important factor in climate change..."

        No that would be politically correct twats using it as a windmill to tilt against.

        Anyone else see PMQs the other day when Milliband attempts to discredit Cameron by trying to get him to acknowledge that there are some AWG sceptical Tory MPs? Of course he called them deniers.

        PMQs generally makes me want to puke, but, boy, that one was scraping the bottom of the barrel. Of course Cameron being an almost equally slimey twat could only be evasive.

      2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Physics, Chemistry, Biology

        Economy, yes.

        Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physcology, Socialogy, Economics...

    2. Mikel

      Re: Physics, Chemistry, Biology

      It was biology that made the planet this cold in the first place.

    3. Grikath
      Facepalm

      Re: Physics, Chemistry, Biology

      except that biology on this level is nothing but applied chemistry and physics.

      But hey.. Biology is still counting bugs in the night, just like it was ... oh wait.. it wasn't even that a century ago...

    4. Tom 13

      Re: Physics, Chemistry, Biology

      Which wouldn't be so bad except they don't even have the physics bit worked out properly yet.

  6. OffBeatMammal

    vast forests... those things we're busy cutting down for housing estates or to raise mutant beef to feed the satanic mills of the Golden Arches?

    1. Uffish

      mutant beef forests

      Since when were there pine trees in the amazonian rain forest?

      1. ToddR

        Re: mutant beef forests

        There aren't any, but the largest forest isn't the Amazon, it's the Taiga covering Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia and much of norther Asia

        1. Grikath

          Re: mutant beef forests

          Ah yes... But that doesn't look as good in the Papers.

          Nevermind that the Amazon *as a fully mature rain forest* is rather insignificant in the global carbon cycle, as it's total input/output is next to even. ( and before peeps start howling... that one is scientific FACT.. Get over it. There are plenty of other reasons why it's a Bad Idea to indiscriminately destroy a mature rainforest on the scale that happens now, but CO2 balance is not among them.)

          Now the (semi)permafrost steppe plains.. There's a true carbon sink for you, especially if it keeps thawing out. Grasses and herbiferous plants building layer upon layer of eventually-to-be peat.

          But it's a lot less Glamorous than a rainforest...

          1. Tom 13

            Re: it's total input/output is next to even.

            minor nit: true so long as the rain forest remains in place. When you burn it you do transfer a fair portion of the previously cycle locked carbon into the atmosphere.

            But I concur the Warmist Cult distorts the real facts in this case.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: mutant beef forests

        Whale Oil Beef Hooked

    2. Barely registers
      Flame

      Actually, we're cutting down the trees because

      then we can burn them in "CO2 neutral" biomass power stations.

      (having shipped them across the ocean in bunker diesel powered ships).

      You know it's fucking stupid when even the Guardian quotes people calling it an insanity.

      May 2011 http://science.time.com/2011/05/10/why-does-the-ipcc-want-us-to-cut-down-trees/

      April 2012 http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/apr/02/eu-renewable-energy-target-biomass

      May 2013 http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-22630815

    3. nsld
      Facepalm

      that reminds me

      Will take the polar bear unfriendly Subaru turbo to the golden arches drive through and order a couple of "Mutant Beef" quarter pounders.

      Its ok, I have a pine tree on the farm

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this could help to account for the fact that the world's temperature, following significant warming in the 1990s, has been stable for the last 15 years or sohas been stable for the last 15 years or so

    Also, its possible that the "significant warming in the 1990s" was linked to the reduction in aerosol particles from changes made to combat acid rain and/or the ozone hole - these changes meant a reduction in the production of the sorts of particles that reflect sun/heat out of the atmosphere while the sooty particles that trap the heat remained the same

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Exactly...

      what the issue is and we ALREADY did all the cleanup we CAN do in the first world.

      Have you seen what 10% of China looks like under an Orange Alert? Like mid 1800's London, thats what.

      BTW, the US EPA and the Liar in Chief want to ban all woodstoves in the US

      1. Irony Deficient

        this word, “ban” …

        Anonymous Coward, the proposed rule from the EPA regarding emissions from woodstoves was published in the Federal Register here. Note that woodstoves have been regulated by the EPA since 1988 (which Somebody-in-Chief was at the helm then?); only newly manufactured woodstoves would be affected by this rule, should it take effect; and that 22% of the adjustable burn rate woodstoves (i.e. those with dampers) on the US market in December 2013 already meet the proposed emission limit for 2020 of 1.3 g of 2.5 μm particulate matter per hour — and that includes several non-catalytic models. The public comment period lasts until the 5th of May, so you still have a couple of months to perfect your give-me-woodsmoke-or-give-me-death manifesto. Give ’em hell, Nonny!

  8. squigbobble

    Specific Pacific Heat Capacity

    I thought the slowdown in warming was 'cos the Pacific was soaking it all up?

    1. Mikel

      Re: Specific Pacific Heat Capacity

      They better hope not. The oceans can absorb enough energy to chill the entire atmosphere by 60C without warming the seas by one degree.

  9. PassiveSmoking
    WTF?

    Limit climate change?

    But climate change isn't happening. You've posted about a thousand articles saying so.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Re: Limit climate change?

      "But climate change isn't happening. You've posted about a thousand articles saying so."

      No. The climate is changing. That is not – and never has been – in dispute. It's been changing ever since the Earth formed.

      The "debate" – and I use that term in its loosest possible sense – is about humanity's contribution towards it, and the resulting level of catastrophism – if any – that will result.

      The opposing sides of the debate – and there really are more than two sides to it – are:

      1. Who the f*ck cares what the human contribution is? Surely all that matters is what should we do about it?

      2. Okay, if humans are contributing towards Climate Change, is it really as much as the media says it is? If not, see 1.

      3. Are things really going to be as catastrophic as the Chicken Littles are claiming? So far, there is little evidence to suggest that the skies really are about to fall on our heads.

      4. Where's the evidence that we have a real handle on how this complex system works in the first place? We hear endless talk about computer models, yet we also see articles like the one Mike Lewis just reported on in this very item that prove we don't have all the information necessary to create accurate climate models.

      That last point is also the reason why Mike Lewis is reporting on this debate in a website called "The Register" aimed at IT professionals: the AGW camp's incessant blethering on about "computer models"...

      Anyone who has ever programmed a computer knows that a computer model is merely an interactive illustration. Illustrations prove nothing. They are also only as good as the data that went into their construction. Ergo, a computer model cannot be used to support a hypothesis. It can only be used to illustrate it.

      The fact that we are still seeing articles in major peer-reviewed journals like Nature that reveal previously unknown facts about how the Earth's complex climate actually works is sufficient proof that we do not have all the data needed to create wholly accurate predictive climate models. Which means the old IT "Garbage In, Garbage Out" cliché applies in spades.

      The more complex your computer model, the more bloody accurate the data it's derived from needs to be. Given how easily even a computer model can spin off into the realms of utter bollocks given even a slightly incorrect data or algorithm, anyone claiming to have cracked this stratospherically difficult nut is, for the present at least, either lying, ignorant, or both (i.e. a politician).

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Limit climate change?

        "The fact that we are still seeing articles in major peer-reviewed journals like Nature that reveal previously unknown facts about how the Earth's complex climate actually works is sufficient proof that we do not have all the data needed to create wholly accurate predictive climate models."

        Would you also argue that because we are finding new fossils all the time therefore no conclusions can be drawn from the fossil record?

        Just because knowledge is incomplete doesn't mean you have zero knowledge.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Limit climate change?

          Nobody is using the fossil record to predict what animals will look like in the future, and thus whether individuals should be allowed to breed.

          That's one difference.

          Aside from that, fossils are used to model what the world looked like millions of years ago, and when new fossils are found, the models have been updated.

          There are hundreds of examples of radical changes in fossil reconstructions based on new evidence.

          For example, Velociraptors are now believed to have looked completely different to how they were portrayed in Jurassic Park!

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Limit climate change?

          @ NomNomNom

          "Just because knowledge is incomplete doesn't mean you have zero knowledge."

          We know we dont have enough knowledge to draw a conclusion when the theory and the fact do not match up. Instead that is a good thing for science as it means there is more to learn and something interesting to look into.

          1. NomNomNom

            Re: Limit climate change?

            "We know we dont have enough knowledge to draw a conclusion when the theory and the fact do not match up."

            Just because they don't match up completely doesn't mean they don't match up at all.

            There's a pattern here isn't there.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Limit climate change?

              @nom

              "Just because they don't match up completely doesn't mean they don't match up at all.

              There's a pattern here isn't there."

              That is a sign of having some knowledge but not having enough to know the answer. When the theory/model fails it offers clues as to why it failed. And by continuing to seek the truth we will eventually have the answer. Science is about finding the answer, not guessing the answer.

              1. NomNomNom

                Re: Limit climate change?

                You continue to paint everything as black/white:

                -Models either fail or are correct.

                -Knowledge is either complete or zero.

                -Answers are either known or unknown.

                1. DropBear Silver badge

                  Re: Limit climate change?

                  Here's a black/white statement for you: models either predict something with good enough precision, or they don't. And frankly all our current models seem to be piss-poor at predicting anything in a subsequently verifiable fashion.

                  1. NomNomNom

                    Re: Limit climate change?

                    "Here's a black/white statement for you: models either predict something with good enough precision, or they don't."

                    If a model is 60% "good" why not take it as 60% good? Why must you all insist at some arbitrary threshold that converts all models below to zero and all above to one?

                    1. Tom 13

                      Re: If a model is 60% "good" why not take it as 60% good?

                      Well that's a new number coming from you.

                      If Warmist Cult were advertising a 60% good model I might have been interested. You didn't. You claimed it was "settled science" and that skeptics were "denialists". And that we need to divert Quadrillions of dollars RFN to avert the death of the earth as we know it within the foreseeable future.

                      So, no I don't have any interest in your new-found reasonableness. You blew up the bridge of goodwill a long, long time ago. The frog may have fallen for the scorpions sob story, but I'm not a frog.

                2. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Limit climate change?

                  @ NomNomNom

                  "You continue to paint everything as black/white:

                  -Models either fail or are correct.

                  -Knowledge is either complete or zero.

                  -Answers are either known or unknown."

                  What rubbish. If you know how to connect a AA battery do you have the knowledge to connect to the national grid? No. You have to learn the rest although you at least have some knowledge to build on. And so with climate science, we know an amount but the models and theories are still being continuously modified to account for new found mechanisms and the fact that the actual reality is reacting different to the predictions.

                  Interestingly I will point out that models are correct or fail. And when they fail they provide answers to then base the next theory and so the next predictive model. It helps to isolate what is and isnt correct. To think that constantly getting the answer wrong means we know the right answer is religion. Taking mistakes and failures and getting meaningful knowledge out of them to find the right answer is science.

                  I would suggest you see things in black and white. People who agree with you on your religion is right and everyone else is wrong. The fact that you argue against people who accept we dont know enough because we cant yet predict anything correctly shows that you are very detached from the scientific method.

                  You might be certain but the search for facts is ongoing

      2. PassiveSmoking

        Re: Limit climate change?

        Yeah, I think you might just have failed to spot my sarcasm.

        Lewis is constantly posting articles about how climate change isn't happening, so it seems odd that he's start posting articles about ways to limit the impact of something he says isn't happening.

      3. Tom 13

        Re: Ergo, a computer model cannot be used to support a hypothesis.

        Not exactly true, and the exactly true statement is the more damning.

        A computer model can be used to support a hypothesis. If you have an equation or set of equations which interact in a subtle way to describe a slowly changing characteristic you can build a computer model using those equations. Then you input data about the current state of the system and run the model faster than the actual event. If when you arrive at the elapsed time the data match the prediction from the model, you have support for your hypothesis.

        The problem for AWG is that so far:

        model prediction =/= data

        in real science this invalidates the hypothesis. In the Warmist Cult it means you try to convince the rest of the tribe to sacrifice the denialist to appease the Climate Gods before you throw the bones again.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Ergo, a computer model cannot be used to support a hypothesis.

          "model prediction =/= data"

          "in real science this invalidates the hypothesis."

          No it doesn't. The scant evidence of gradual transitions in the fossil record didn't invalidate evolution did it.

          The world has warmed since the 80s, and there's one very good explanation for that.

  10. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Lewis Page

    Must have a side job selling cherry pie.

  11. Vociferous

    The sad effect of climate change on science.

    Yeah. It is nearly impossible to get funding for fundamental science unless you tie your results to climate change.

    Studying volatile terpenes? That's so 19th century! Exactly the same work but framed as a study of possible terpene aerosol effects on climate? Publish in Nature!

    It's actually reached the point that it's a running gag in the scientific community. Sadly it also has real-world effects, seen in the complete ignoring of current and on-going problems such as deforestation, overfishing, water shortage, overpopulation and biodiversity loss, in favor of the looming possible future threat of climate change.

    Note, however, that this isn't in any way an argument against climate change, or in any way invalidates the actual climate studies which show that climate change is real.

    It is, however, a damning indictment of the way funding organizations and leading science journals work.

    1. Fluffy Bunny
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: The sad effect of climate change on science.

      "Yeah. It is nearly impossible to get funding for fundamental science unless you tie your results to climate change"

      I gave you an upvote for this one. $100B of funding to prove human caused climate change will lead to $100B of scientific fraud.

      "... actual climate studies which show that climate change is real"

      but this one deserves a downvote.

  12. Sean Houlihane

    Best thing about this - more forests is good. Shame the watermelons won't take notice of that.

  13. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Boffin

    "Natural pine aerosols could prevent climate change"

    So it might be doubly effective to go overboard on the pine-scented air freshener at home??? (And it will probably finish off any flying insects in your home as well!!)

  14. mememine69

    Science says they are certain that evolution is "proven" and that comet hits are "inevitable" and smoking WILL cause cancer but you will never find one IPCC warning that agrees beyond "could be" so what are you remaining "believers" "believing" in?

    1. Vociferous

      Well, you see...

      * Evolution is directly observed fact. The "theory" of evolution is the explanation for the observation, namely "natural selection working on genetically diverse populations".

      * Comet/asteroid hits has happened every few thousand years for 4 billion years, and really big-ass OMG RUN FOR YOUR LIVES impacts every 200 million years or so. That makes rather unlikely to stop now.

      * smoking increases your lung cancer risk by a factor of what we scientists call "a shitload". About one third of all cancers can be attributed to smoking. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!

      * the IPCC bases its reasoning on simulations of chaotic systems which make only moderate sense even when viewed over long time periods.

      Hope this helps.

  15. Jimbob...
    FAIL

    Clutching at straws?

    Once again, a climate related story where the actual paper (unfortunately hidden behind Nature's paywall unless you have university access or similar) doesn't back up the Reg's conclusions. It's a highly technical piece on aerosol formation, and yes, they have discovered an important mechanism for that. What they don't do however, is make any suggestion at all about what this means for climate modelling. They don't attempt to quantify the effects of the process on a global scale. No doubt this can be done in follow up work, and hopefully improves the quality of climate modelling, but claiming this proves climate change won't be a problem is just plain wrong. The lead scientist speculates for the BBC about possible implications, yes, but he also says "The scientists stress that the new understanding is not a panacea for climate change as forests will stop emitting vapours if they become too stressed from heat or lack of water". And either way, at this stage that's just speculation anyway. As the cliche goes, further research needed...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clutching at straws?

      > doesn't back up the Reg's conclusions.

      The Reg's conclusions where: 'could prevent climate change really being a problem'. Note the "could", I've even put it in bold so you can see it.

      To back up the Reg's conclusions they included a quote from one of the authors:

      "If you go into a pine forest and notice that pine forest smell, that could be the smell that actually limits climate change from reaching such levels that it could become really a problem in the world."

      Note what the author of the paper said. If the conclusion doesn't conform to your religious views then take it up with the author.

      > claiming this proves climate change won't be a problem is just plain wrong.

      Where exactly does the Reg make that claim?

      1. Jimbob...

        Re: Clutching at straws?

        My problem isn't that the Reg's conclusion doesn't conform to my "religious views", the problem is that the paper itself doesn't make that conclusion! It's a careful and rather narrow bit of science focused on aerosol formation in boreal forest, not global climate research. The quote from one of the authors is their subsequent speculation, not research that has been done, and is balanced by the bit I quoted about problems with a hotter dryer world. As you'd expect from scientists, they're basically (and carefully) saying this is a new process that could have an effect. They are not saying what or how strong that effect will be (yet). None of which stops the Reg presenting the whole thing as a landmark of anti anthropogenic climate research. Yes, they say "could", they could equally well have said "could not". They could have reported both sides of the speculative statements. Hedging a whole lot of statements all going in one direction with "could" doesn't disguise the intention behind doing so.

        For the record, I'm not trying to downplay something because it conflicts with my beliefs, it's interesting research will doubtless feed into climate science in a useful way, but what the conclusions of that will be, neither you, me, the Reg or the authors know yet....

        1. Vociferous

          Re: Clutching at straws?

          > the problem is that the paper itself doesn't make that conclusion!

          Welcome to The Reg. The first thing I do whenever a climate story is posted, is to check how the reported story differs from what the article actually says.

  16. Yugguy

    So we need more trees. This is a good thing, they suck in carbon dioxide and give us oxygen back.

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      Only during the day.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Only during the day

        True, but the material presence of the tree (compared to the seed that it started from) *is* the extent to which the daytime activities have exceeded the night-time ones.

        1. Tom 35 Silver badge

          Re: Only during the day

          As long as the tree stands, or if it's turned into a table. But if it's burnt for power, or made into arse wipes and flushed it's back where you started.

      2. Vociferous

        > Only during the day.

        During the nights they don a cape and patrol the mean streets. They're not the trees we need right now, but the trees we deserve.

  17. brain_flakes

    Of course, since the greenhouse gases are still building up, pine forests must release more and more aerosols each year. Thus solving the problem once and for all.

    ONCE AND FOR ALL!

    1. Lars

      ONCE AND FOR ALL!

      Please.

  18. David Ireland

    Yes - but we _need_ the sunlight

    Great: so we can keep the temperature the same by blocking some of the sunlight. We were always going to be able to make more aerosols artificially. But now how are we going to grow enough stuff, so we can eat?

  19. bigtimehustler

    I'm not a climate change denier, it may well be happening, the problem is the models can't be said to be proved correct as a lot of people say. This is simply because there are a few new things every year discovered that are not covered by the models. I am simply of the view that we shouldn't be wasting billions on solving a problem that we don't yet fully understand, so many new things come to light each year that it shows we must barely understand what we are talking about. Some of you may say we should act anyway, just in case, but act how? without a full knowledge and understand there is no information about how best to deal with the problem, the complexity of the problem changes every year.

    1. NomNomNom

      "without a full knowledge and understand there is no information about how best to deal with the problem"

      Sure there is. If greenhouse gas emissions stop rising there is no possible impact.

      There's only a possible problem caused by GHG emissions if they continue.

    2. Vociferous

      Reducing the amount of sunlight which reaches the surface by pumping out aerosols is probably the worst possible solution to global warming.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evolution

    Human beings are not the only species that have evolved to modify their own environment to their advantage (or disadvantage). It's known that forests and woods create their own micro-climates, which just happen to be more suitable for trees. It would not be odd if gymnosperms have evolved so as to reduce temperatures at the warm end of their range and so extend it. Trees are mostly really aggressive, always trying to extend their territory (and they drop resin (gymnosperms) or dead leaves (deciduous) on the ground so as to suppress other plants under their canopy - biological warfare.)

    However, a world full of Forestry Commission pine monoculture is going to be pretty boring to look at, as well as reducing crop growing capacity. It might not prove to be a cureall.

  21. Johnny Canuck

    Pity the poor tree that spends years growing into a mighty pine, only to give its life to be arsewipe.

  22. ReduceGHGs

    This article states... "both sides of the climate debate"

    It implies that there are TWO reasonable sides to the issue of human-caused climate change. There aren't. Human-caused climate change is well established science and has been for decades. Among the world's respected scientific institutions that considered the issue, ALL of them agreed that the we are contributing to the warming. The consequences are not good. It amounts to global deterioration of the biosphere's habitability.

    More of use need to do something about it. Join the efforts insisting that US Congressmen/women enact meaningful laws to reduce emissions. Apathy/inaction only advocates more of the same destructive behaviors.

    ExhaustingHabitability(dot)com

    1. Fluffy Bunny
      Coffee/keyboard

      "Human-caused climate change is well established science and has been for decades"

      Well established for decades? Certainly not for the last decade and a half - it's predictions have been completely falsified by the facts. Worse, an increasing amount of evidence is being collected about complete scientific fraud by the protagonists.

      1. Vociferous

        > Well established for decades?

        Yes, since the 80's.

        > for the last decade and a half - it's predictions have been completely falsified by the facts

        No.

  23. Dick Pountain

    Clutching

    This is a new one, clutching at pine needles. It used to be straws.

  24. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Interesting.

    Thumbs up for trying to color in a bit more of the Earth's weather model.

    Let's hope this feeds back into GCM's soon.

  25. SmallCarbonFootprint

    Warming Occurring Rapidly Despite Pine Forests

    The idea of a pine aerosol having a cooling effect is interesting although very unproven. What is known is that the world is warming extremely rapidly in geologic terms despite already massive pine and conifer forests. Also, many of the pine forests are already dying thanks to the spread of various pine beetles, at least in part due to the warming which has occurred so far. Thus, the implication that we can relax in the comfort of knowing that a pine aerosol is going to buy us time is seriously misplaced.

    In fact, just this past week another study found by using satellite measurements of the actual amount of albedo effect light reflection from Arctic Sea ice rather than the previously used estimates based on land measurements that the amount of solar energy being absorbed by the Arctic Sea due to the loss of sea ice is three times greater than previously thought and equal to the impact of roughly 100 more parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere. Since the melting is bound to continue and even accelerate, we should be very worried indeed.

    The IPCC has always underestimated how fast and how seriously global warming is going to impact life on Earth. Of course, some life will go on in some areas and humans won't go extinct, but it is likely that billions of humans will die this century due to global warming along with millions of species of plants and animals going extinct. And it will get worse in future centuries. It may be as bad as the end-Permian extinction when the only life persisting at the latitude of the U.S. was microbial. We must act now and dramatically. This is much, much worse than World War II and yet few people are making any sacrifices to stop this calamity from happening.

    1. Slawek

      Re: Warming Occurring Rapidly Despite Pine Forests

      " but it is likely that billions of humans will die this century due to global warming "

      You are mad.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Warming Occurring Rapidly Despite Pine Forests

      We REALLY need a Zealot icon.

      1. James 36
        Happy

        Re: Warming Occurring Rapidly Despite Pine Forests

        surely just a couple of fanboi icons , one of a yurt or windmill , the other of a factory or oil rig for example

  26. Sandtreader

    Negative feedbacks only as good as the ecosystems that produce them

    I asked James Lovelock at a talk once why he was so concerned about positive feedbacks when all his work on planetary homeostasis ("Gaia") suggested the predominance of negative ones. His answer was that we are destroying the agents of negative feedback, in particular the forests...

  27. Slawek

    Communism and China

    It's not just pines. The changes of temperatures or recent lack of expected changes may be due to

    1. Collapse of communism at the end of 90-ties. During following few years very dirty heavy industry in East Europe and Russia collapsed or filters were put in place - improvement in air quality was very noticeable, and therefore less cloud formations happened.

    2. But then China took over and started releasing a lot of real pollution into atmosphere (I am not talking about CO2 :-) ) and more clouds have been forming.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    It's the sun.

    It can't be us. We simply lack the capacity to change enough of the atmosphere to have an effect on global temperatures. Besides, if you really do believe all this nonse and you are not a misanthrope, you'd be championing nuclear power. If you are not a champion of nukes and you are claiming to be a "green," then I am obliged to label you a misanthrope.

    1. pacmantoo
      FAIL

      Re: It's the sun.

      Collectively we have been changing the atmospheric balance since we started clearing the primordial forests at the end of the last ice age. And then for the last, say, 500 years burning lovely carbon rich fuels like they were going out of fashion (which they are). Yes nuclear might appear 'greener', then again - that's debatable once you add all the energy in the whole production and commissioning / de-commissioning chain (the calculations just too full of approximations to be reliable) and we know it is dirtier in a different way. It is because greens are concerned about people as much as the climate and fluffy animals that they say nuclear is not the answer. Do the math - enough sunlight falls the Earth each day for all our needs (actually if you covered the Arabian peninsular with PV panels you would get enough power for what our global power needs were in 1985 (that was the last time I did the calculation))...The problems are political - no state wants to share, and no start wants to be dependent.

      So yes it's the Sun - that's where ultimate ALL energy sources originate (or in other stars). The challenge is harnessing it safely and cleanly - which excludes fission but not fusion! So until that happy day, lets just get on with renewables and try not to break the planet before we have learnt how it really works?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Sun is the source.

    It can't be us. We simply lack the capacity to change enough of the atmosphere to have an effect on global temperatures. Besides, if you really do believe all this nonse and you are not a misanthrope, you'd be championing nuclear power. If you are not a champion of nuclear power, and you are claiming to be a "green," then I am obliged to label you a misanthrope--a person who is not to be trusted. Real greens are champions of nuclear power. Why? Because we cannot survive without energy! We cannot go back to pre-industrial times. We just can't. Think about what that would take. It would require us to die off by the millions, perhaps billions. Do you really want to be worse than Hitler and Stalin combined?

    1. Thought About IT

      Re: The Sun is the source.

      As Senator Moynihan put it, "You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts". The argument that the sun is the source has been debunked so many times that it's like trying to kill a zombie.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: debunked so many times

        The argument that the argument that the sun can't be the source has been bedunked so many times it's like trying to kill a lich.

        And I do wish members of the Warmist Cult would listen to Moynihan instead of merely trying to use him as a cudgel.

  30. GaryDMN

    The Earth is self healing

    CO2 rises, temp rises, CO2 creates more foliage, which consumes CO2 and produces oxygen, warmth allows foliage to grow in higher latitudes and foliage everywhere grows faster, larger and coverage is more dense. The plant life stores water, so there is less run off and heat raises the evaporation rate and ocean levels don't rise. Plants die and decay, creating a future energy source.

    1. pacmantoo

      Re: The Earth is self healing

      WITHIN LIMITS WHICH WE ARE PASSING!

  31. GaryDMN

    Climate scientists

    Exactly how many scientific conclusions are a tax? Are climate scientists practicing social science or political science, instead of a physical science?

    1. pacmantoo

      Re: Climate scientists

      No they are real scientists and honest about their own failings...unlike the politicians

  32. James 36

    Rumsfeld

    summed it up in an unrelated quote that applies to to this situation , for those unfamiliar here is it

    "there are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know."

    this article describes one thing going from known unknown to known known,

    How many other known unknowns are there ?

    which proportion are positive feedback and which negative ?

    as always with climate science it is a developing science which makes it a risky business making definitive statements and as climate is a complex system reducing these complexities to soundbites also leads to trouble and much bollocks.

    I , for one, am convinced of one thing, climate is changing, as to the rest more info and analysis needed

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Rumsfeld

      Like Rummy, it's not the known unknowns that bother me so much. It's the unknown unknowns that do.

  33. Squander Two

    Models.

    Sorry, Lewis, but this is plain wrong:

    > This powerful negative feedback is not included in today's climate models, so they are predicting a warmer future than can be expected in reality.

    That conclusion would only follow if this were the only mechanism not included in today's models. But we keep discovering more of them, and there are lots of others, quite probably hundreds, that we still haven't discovered. So maybe you're right, or maybe the IPCC's models are drastically understating the problem, or maybe their predictions are correct by sheer fluke. What we can say for sure is that there are lots of mechanisms in the real climate that aren't modelled in any current climate models.

    So allow me to reword:

    This powerful negative feedback and lots of other influences are not included in today's climate models, so we should take any predictions based on said models with a huge sack of salt.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Models.

      I think you stole that last paragraph from an old Page article.

      The Warmists have been on him for years. They have manage to wear him down just a bit as that bit in this article shows. Still he's in good shape as one of the last hold outs for the facts.

  34. kd6iwd

    pine scented mirror dingles to the reacue

    And in a totally unrelated incident- a small manufacturer of pine scented car rear view mirror dingles reported a order for infinity minus one "pine trees". I was gob smacked -the owner of the company gushed. I am going to have to hire more help to fill this order. Next the unemployment rate mysteriously falls to zero in one day. Logging and the total consumption of all forests for cardboard is projected. Trees are overrated says logger. I hate trees and love to cut them down so as to improve the view says cutter destructo.

  35. Richard Altmann
    Mushroom

    Arctis

    Well, that thing and a great deal of Tundra Perma Frost just melted away while the Athmosphere did not heat up "The last 15 years or so"?

  36. pacmantoo

    good news...maybe?

    If this really will produce some global cooling then great. Maybe someone should tell the Canadians to stop ripping up so much of their arboreal forest to get at the tar sands beneath (gee thanks Uncle Sam) The question is to what extent this mechanism feeds back into the whole climate...and how much acreage of forest, at what density of planting is need to balance the warming effect per ton of CO2 released. Of course, never mind the fact that, presumably, as the aerosols seed more clouds, less sunlight falls on the trees, producing less aerosol...don't pin your hopes on this one...

  37. Martin Budden Bronze badge
    Holmes

    Well who'd have thought it!

    LP's answer to global warming is to plant more trees!!!

    (see icon mouseover text)

  38. paul 194

    so now the mad pro global warming lobby, will cut down the pine trees to prove they are right....

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