back to article Global Warming is real, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't Thermageddon

The "certainty" that underpins European and UK climate policy may be wildly misplaced, as the models that the climate science establishment presents to politicians as evidence run far too hot. That's according to a report released yesterday by UK think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation. And this is very good news, …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What utter rubbish. We are still on target for at least 2 Degrees Centigrade global warming of average surface temperatures by 2100. There is very little doubt statistically or scientifically that we will hit that at a minimum. Maybe a lot worse.

    1. El_Fev

      If your going to post AC

      Then at least have the guts to point out , why what he has said is rubbish!

    2. FartingHippo
      Black Helicopters

      Ah, the certaintly and expertise of the anonymous poster!

      Yeah, you don't know who I am either, but then I'm not pretending to be a climatologist...

    3. bigtimehustler

      Yea, sorry, I forgot that you, whoever you are, have the final word on all that is climate change. Jesus, stop preaching and start taking in facts, when you say there is very little doubt about 2 degrees, is this in your mind? Or have you surveyed the entire world?

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Facts

        "stop preaching and start taking in facts"

        Facts you want and facts you shall have:

        1.CO2 absorbs more heat than any other gas therefore ALL the global warming is down to CO2.

        2. If we stop breathing right now we will stop producing CO2 when we have rotted away. Let us get it all over with immediately and we could save the word in 10 or 20 years not counting skeletons.

        3. 2% of unknown parts of the atmosphere at any unparticulate time may be comprised of water. Climatologists can safely ignore this as it hasn't presented much of a problem in Blighty this winter. Unless you count some places. But they often produce lots and lots of CO2 too. (Or did.)

        How's that for a start?

        1. Fading

          Re: Facts

          1 - CO2 does not "absorb more heat" - CO2 absorbs a thin band of electro magnetic radiation in the IR frequency range by dipole moment changes. These IR photons do not have the momentum to increase the translational kinetic energy of the CO2 molecule (temperature) instead the dipole moment changes are transmitted via collisions (with non-IR absorbing O2 or N3) before the photon is re-emitted (or at least that's what the GHG theory postulates).

        2. Sirius Lee

          Re: Facts

          What!? "CO2 absorbs more heat than any other gas therefore ALL the global warming is down to CO2"

          How about Methane and Water vapor. Both are much more potent. But don't let facts get in the way of a good story.

          1. Tex Arcana

            Re: Facts

            Methane = unburnt hydrocarbons

            Therefore, my farts contribute more toward global warming than CO2? Awesome!!

        3. PatientOne

          Re: Facts

          "1.CO2 absorbs more heat than any other gas therefore ALL the global warming is down to CO2."

          *cough* Methane *cough*

          Oh, by volume? H2O.

          Ah, sorry, for Anthropomorphic... I'd have to check but you might have me there...

        4. Tex Arcana

          Re: Facts

          <quote>Facts

          "stop preaching and start taking in facts"

          Facts you want and facts you shall have:

          1.CO2 absorbs more heat than any other gas therefore ALL the global warming is down to CO2.

          2. If we stop breathing right now we will stop producing CO2 when we have rotted away. Let us get it all over with immediately and we could save the word in 10 or 20 years not counting skeletons.

          3. 2% of unknown parts of the atmosphere at any unparticulate time may be comprised of water. Climatologists can safely ignore this as it hasn't presented much of a problem in Blighty this winter. Unless you count some places. But they often produce lots and lots of CO2 too. (Or did.)

          How's that for a start?</quote>

          How about a few facts for you?

          * if we humans die, somethings take our places, and end up producing the same amount of CO2 we humans exhale on a daily basis.

          * however, the amount of CO2 from our energy usage will drop, at least until some sort of natural catastrophe (forest fire, coal mine fire, grass fire, volcanic eruption, crude oil fire, natural gas fire--yes, it's possible for these things to happen in the absence of human control) dumps tons of CO2 into the atmosphere; and that could easily equal our CO2 outputs.

          So, nature can be as bad as "polluter" as we are. Go figure.

          Now, some questions:

          * What, on this planet, uses CO2 to create oxygen and sugar?? (hint: they're green, they grow, we eat some of them, we make stuff from them, we even burn them for heat)

          * Given the answer to the previous question, doesn't it stand to reason that increased CO2 production provides more fertilizer for said green things?

          So why are we trying to kill plants by stopping all CO2 production? This planet has been around for a LONG time, there are periods where it produced more CO2 than we ever will (see: prehistoric sources of coal in the ground for that period), I don't think CO2 is nearly the culprit the environazis want it to be. Maybe the aerosols aren't helping, some of the unburnt hydrocarbons are doing their own damage, but all the CO2 we dump has been around since the very beginning, and is as much a part of the planet as any other element. Plus, when you take into account the fact that plants USE CO2 to make oxygen, it becomes a moot point (unless you're hell-bent on total planetary deforestation... oh, snap).

          To top it off, I have YET to see a proper thermodynamic analysis of the planet's atmospheric composition, especially including CO2.

          Besides (tip of the hat to Michael Crichton), most of the "environmental scientists" screaming the loudest are the ones looking for more paychecks...

    4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Trollface

      Do not feed.

      I'd suggest.

      But if you must...

      Well isn't the point of the article that ""still on target for at least 2 Degrees Centigrade " depends on a) The seed values on the Bayesian analysis and b)fudge factors for poorly understood aerosol and cloud physics and chemistry.

      IOW in your model, with your seed values and your parameter settings that may be true.

    5. JeremyP99

      And how do you know that an extra 2 degrees may not be beneficial?

    6. Tyrion
      Stop

      2100

      >What utter rubbish. We are still on target for at least 2 Degrees Centigrade global warming of average surface temperatures by 2100.

      Do you ever listen to yourself really? No one can predict what it's going to be like in five years, let alone 76. As stated in the article, all the models assume a linear growth pattern. It never pans out, and every model that's overlapped with the present has been completely wrong.

      IPCC reports are poorly written works of fiction.

      1. Steerpike13

        Re: 2100

        I don't know where you get the idea that all models show a linear pattern of growth. They actually show abrupt changes not a gentle linear increases. I work with more than 140 climate scientists and none of them have found a gentle linear motion.

        And, as you can see here, climate sensitivity is actually more than we expected not less. http://www.climatescience.org.au/content/680-solution-cloud-riddle-reveals-hotter-future

      2. NoiTall

        Re: 2100

        T: ¿ (2100 - 2014) equals how many years again? My bet is on 86.

      3. NoiTall

        Re: 2100

        It is amusing when folks argue the computer models are wrong while they themselves are incapable of figuring the remaining number of years in the current century. How about that being 86 years?

  2. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Happy

    Oooh, for a second, I thought this was going to be another Lewis article!

    I've got the popcorn going anyway--extra butter. Who wants some??!

    1. MondoMan
      Joke

      Re: Oooh, for a second, I thought this was going to be another Lewis article!

      3 Dogecoins for a bag?

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Oooh, for a second, I thought this was going to be another Lewis article!

        The last guy paid me with Bitcoin, but now it seems to be missing...

  3. Paul Kinsler

    Presumably this is the peer-reviewed version?

    An Objective Bayesian Improved Approach for Applying Optimal Fingerprint Techniques to Estimate Climate Sensitivity

    Nicholas Lewis

    JOURNAL OF CLIMATE 26, n19, 7414-7429 (2013)

    DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00473.1

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00473.1

    A detailed reanalysis is presented of a Bayesian climate parameter study (as exemplified by Forest et al.) that estimates climate sensitivity (ECS) jointly with effective ocean diffusivity and aerosol forcing, using optimal fingerprints to compare multidecadal observations with simulations by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2D climate model at varying settings of the three climate parameters. Use of improved methodology primarily accounts for the 90% confidence bounds for ECS reducing from 2.1-8.9 K to 2.0-3.6 K. The revised methodology uses Bayes's theorem to derive a probability density function (PDF) for the whitened (made independent using an optimal fingerprint transformation) observations, for which a uniform prior is known to be noninformative. A dimensionally reducing change of variables onto the parameter surface is then made, deriving an objective joint PDF for the climate parameters. The PDF conversion factor from the whitened variables space to the parameter surface represents a noninformative joint parameter prior, which is far from uniform. The noninformative prior prevents more probability than data uncertainty distributions warrant being assigned to regions where data respond little to parameter changes, producing better-constrained PDFs. Incorporating 6 years of unused model simulation data and revising the experimental design to improve diagnostic power reduces the best-fit climate sensitivity. Employing the improved methodology, preferred 90% bounds of 1.2-2.2 K for ECS are then derived (mode and median 1.6 K). The mode is identical to those from Aldrin et al. and [using the same Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Research Unit temperature, version 4 (HadCRUT4), observational dataset] from Ring et al. Incorporating nonaerosol forcing and observational surface temperature uncertainties, unlike in the original study, widens the 90% range to 1.0-3.0 K.

    1. Enric Martinez

      Re: Presumably this is the peer-reviewed version?

      +3 UP,

      Knowing the readers of El Reg I assumethat they haven't understood shit and focused on the few times the word "reduce" appear.

      Well, the whole paper talks about an improved analysis method to reduce THE UNCERTAINTY of some variables... what this means in terms of warming, etc is impossible to get from only this statement. But well, it allows a good inference of how the anti-climate guys work ;)

      dont' take me wrong: I hate climate, I certainly do and all the Climate Scientist should be hanged and shot (at the same time) but I am still waiting for this year's Little Ice Age :_(

      But well, 17 years of missing Elfstedentocht will not make me loose my faith in Global Cooling!!!

  4. Dr Stephen Jones
    FAIL

    To the first AC:

    I'll believe you when you can show me your workings. To save you the headache, the 2C is over pre-industrial levels. Lewis is with the IPCC bounds, but at the lower end of the 5-95 probability range. And the IPCC has lowered, not raised its estimates.

    You do not seem to have read or understood the literature - and I smell panic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To the first AC:

      Averaged over all land and ocean surfaces, temperatures warmed roughly 0.85ºC from 1880 to 2012. Following that rate alone will take us to ~ 1.5 degrees of warming by 2100.

      However, we know that warming is almost certain to accelerate - so 2.0+ degrees of warming is highly likely.

      1. Fading

        Re: To the first AC:

        "we know that warming is almost certain to accelerate"

        Erm no we don't and if the last 17 and a half years of no global warming (RSS) is anything to go by then acceleration is not the word you are after.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: To the first AC:

          "Erm no we don't "

          Yes we do - there are various known feedback systems that will effect this - and it already is accelerating: http://www.skepticalscience.com/new-research-confirms-global-warming-has-accelerated.html

          "if the last 17 and a half years of no global warming (RSS)"

          Not true, and well debunked rubbish - only works for a very specific date range, and if you ignore the Arctic and the oceans. If you take a scientific view, the world is clearly still warming.

          1. Fading
            FAIL

            Re: To the first AC:

            So you've Debunked the RSS satellite temperature record have you? SkS is a propaganda site run by a comic strip artist (John Cook)

        2. Enric Martinez

          Re: To the first AC:

          I would change the "we" for "I"

          Because what you (and many others) are doing is saying that other peopler aren't right but YOU are.

          Why aren't you then in charge of the Golbal Climate Science conspiracy thingy?

          Or... you could as well sing your emails with a signature such as "Climate Scientist(TM)" and influence the politicians... they as all so stupid as to let themselves be talked nto stuff by a bunch of idiotic nerds such as the climate scientists... thousands of stupid nerds that barely understand their own job yet somehow manage to create a Global Conspiracy and influence politicians and whole governments to do what they want instead of following the obvious trail of money left by the oil lobbies... and all that just to justify their salary!!!

          Mate I think I want to get myself a lobotomy and become Climate Scientist!!

      2. MondoMan

        Re: To the first AC:

        "Averaged over all land and ocean surfaces, temperatures warmed roughly 0.85ºC from 1880 to 2012."

        You've got the wrong units. According to data such as NOAA's (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/images/indicator_downloads/sea-surface-temp-download1-2013.png), it's roughly 0.85 degrees F, not C. Your naive linear extrapolation to 1.5 degrees F of increase by 2100 is about 0.85 degrees C (strangely enough), which seems to fit well with Lewis' work reported in this story, and to be much lower than the 2+ degrees C warming you warned of without any calculations.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: To the first AC:

          NO, it's 0.85C (1.83F) rise to date as per the IPCC:

          https://www2.ucar.edu/climate/faq/how-much-has-global-temperature-risen-last-100-years

          1. NoiTall

            Re: To the first AC:

            AC, one thing is for sure: You do need glasses. Not that I think temperature should ever be formulated in terms of Fahrenheit, but if you so insist, do it right and make that 0.85°C into 1.53°F.

      3. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: To the first AC:

        I. e., "the future will be like the past". That's one model, a really simple one, and maybe not the worst. The real questions are (a) has this occurred because we are burning the carbon based combustibles many orders of magnitude faster than the sun is remaking them; (b) if that is so, is there anything even remotely possible, politically, that would change it favorably; or (c) would it be better to try to anticipate and mitigate the effects?

      4. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
        Paris Hilton

        Three Little Words:

        Multivariate Regressional Analysis.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Three Little Words:

          And?

          We are not talking about inferential statistics here,

          This is experimental data.

          AND even with MRA you can fuck up applying wrong techniques...

          But hey, go ahead and do it. I bet the people of the IPCC etc have already done it themselves, don't they?

      5. Tex Arcana

        Re: To the first AC:

        <quote>Re: To the first AC:

        Averaged over all land and ocean surfaces, temperatures warmed roughly 0.85ºC from 1880 to 2012. Following that rate alone will take us to ~ 1.5 degrees of warming by 2100.

        However, we know that warming is almost certain to accelerate - so 2.0+ degrees of warming is highly likely.</quote>

        So where were these temperature measurements taken?? Airports? Major cities? Places with large concentrations of people, buildings, energy usage (waste heat), and a fuckton of concrete, which absorbs and holds even more heat. That alone can explain those temperature rises.

        About 15 years ago or so, Scientific American published an article in which an environmental scientist performed numerous temperature measurements, all well outside of the cities and airports, including mid- to high-altitude measurements, and found that average temperatures were actually DROPPING. I forget who he was, or the date; but what stood out to me was the fact he got away from the "heat islands" of the cities and airports, and any other heat-generating locations (power plants, manufacturing, mining, etc), to get the actual temperatures.

        But because his work went against the environazis desires (OMFG SCARE EVERYBODY GIVE US MONEY SO WE CAN SCARE YOU MORE WITH IMMINENT ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER!!!), I think he didn't get much credit. But that's politics for you.

  5. Professor Clifton Shallot

    Doesn't the GWPF take

    An a priori view that there is an overreaction to human driven climate change?

    And if so how surprised should we be that they publish some science that appears to demonstrate precisely that? And how much credence should we give it?

    It's so tiresome not knowing what motives if any prompt a given bit of research and analysis.

    1. bigtimehustler

      Re: Doesn't the GWPF take

      I do actually agree with you, but the problem is, it happens on both sides of the argument, in both the for and against side.

    2. Dr Stephen Jones

      Re: Doesn't the GWPF take

      "An a priori view that there is an overreaction to human driven climate change"

      Reading comprehension #fail.

      Which part of "the IPCC has lowered its estimates" don't you understand? The IPCC took into account a range of literature and observational data, including Lewis' own 2012 paper. The GWPF does not run the the IPCC. Lewis 2012 was peer-reviewed and published in the American Metereological Association's Journal of Climate - the abstract is posted in an earlier comment

      "what motives"

      The reason you are madly scrambling around for motives is because you do not want to look at the science.

    3. Chris Miller

      Re: Doesn't the GWPF take

      Since you're not a real professor*, you can be forgiven for not understanding how science works. In so far as climate science is a real science (capable of falsification, etc) its findings are unrelated to the personal views of the investigators. Just because you may disagree with Heisenberg's politics doesn't make the uncertainty principle wrong.

      In any case, the GWPF have not published the scientific research, they've asked its author to comment and have published his thoughts in order to draw attention to it, as it has unaccountably been overlooked in most MSM.

      * +1 for the Marvel Comics reference, though.

      1. Professor Clifton Shallot

        Re: Doesn't the GWPF take

        "The reason you are madly scrambling around for motives is because you do not want to look at the science."

        It is you making the assumptions, I am afraid. Specifically you are making the assumption that just because I did not post something 100% supporting and welcoming these findings I am therefore dismissing them due to having a position on the whole global warming issue.

        I would love to look at and fully understand the science but that is not possible in all cases as any of the science that is of any real use is of necessity beyond my meagre intellect given the time I do not have available to devote to it.

        So like the majority of people, even the commentards of the Register, I am to a large extent reliant on the presentation of the science and part of the presentation as far as I am concerned includes the source.

        When a political body starts out with a stated aim and then funds or publishes science that supports or can be plausibly presented as supporting that aim then I find myself unable to avoid questioning if the science does in fact support that aim quite so strongly and fully as it appears.

        This, as has been pointed out above, applies to both sides of this tediously polarised "debate".

        Each side presents their own science as exhaustive and definitive, each rubbishes the science of the other as insufficient or flawed.

        Normally one might rely on the scientific consensus but for this topic "consensus" appears to be a dirty word, hotly debated in itself.

    4. Lars
      Coat

      Re: Doesn't the GWPF take

      http://www.gocomics.com/shoe/2014/03/06#.UxnU-1bgM7w

  6. Chris Miller

    Sadly, this discussion is long past the point where rational debate can have much effect. True believers in the thermapocalypse aren't going to pay any attention to a paper, no matter how scientifically sound and well argued, issued by the GWPF who are ALL IN THE PAY OF BIG OIL. They tend to foam at the mouth and fall over when anything associated with Lord Lawson comes into view.

    1. Barely registers

      If this was Wikipedia, that reply would look like this

      "issued by the GWPF who are ALL IN THE PAY OF BIG OIL" [citation needed]

    2. Jim Hague

      As opposed to true unbelievers in the thermapocalypse who don't pay any attention to a paper, no matter how scientifically sound and well argued, because it is written by scientists receiving GUBMINT GRANTS - which it appears are of such lavish magnificence that they dwarf anything a mere oil multinational could stump up.

      Few of us are competent to judge the details of the science. I'm certainly not. All I can say is a quick shuftee at the GWPF website leaves me with the feeling that their stance of being 'open-minded on the contested science of global warming' comes from the same stable as Fox News' 'fair and balanced'.

      1. veti Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: If this was Wikipedia, that reply would look like this

        If you are going to put [citation needed] tags in there, there are at least four unsubstantiated assertions in the post you're responding to:

        "Sadly, this discussion is long past the point where rational debate can have much effect [citation needed]. True believers in the thermapocalypse aren't going to pay any attention to a paper, no matter how scientifically sound and well argued [citation needed], issued by the GWPF who are ALL IN THE PAY OF BIG OIL [citation needed]. They tend to foam at the mouth and fall over when anything associated with Lord Lawson comes into view [citation needed]."

        Putting in just one of these makes you look like Just Another Partisan.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "open-minded ... comes from the same stable as Fox News' 'fair and balanced'."

        Just like Fairfax press. They won't publish anything that disproves the "consensus science".

        Notice their motto "independent always". Straight out of Orwell. Translate it out of it's newspeak and you see what they really think: "out of control forever".

        And let's not get started on thoughtcrimes.

    3. Fluffy Bunny
      Black Helicopters

      A very apt quote applies here...

      To those that don't believe, no proof is possible.

      To those that truly beleiver, no proof is needed.

  7. Mark Jan

    The Bollocks that is "Global Warming" is Slowly Beginning to Unravel

    Climate change (aka global warming until observations made a nonsense of the models), saturated animal fats causing heart disease (they don't), grains being good for you (they're not) etc etc etc - the truth eventually pops its head out from amongst the throngs of vested interests keeping the myths going.

    This generation of scientists and spineless politicians will eventually go and the truth will slowly come out. In the meantime, we'll have paid billions in "green" taxes at the climate change altar.

    1. Fluffy Bunny
      Black Helicopters

      Re: The Bollocks that is "Global Warming" is Slowly Beginning to Unravel

      The trouble with these wrong theories is that they can last for hundreds of years. The Earth-centred universe is a good example. Another is blood-letting as a general cure-all. An American president died from blood-letting.

      So it's easy to laugh at the naivety of these people, but they do cause immense damage before they disappear. If you think it's bad how much you're being taxed to appease the god of CAGW, try reading "Fallen Angels" to see how much worse it can get.

  8. Dr Stephen Jones

    How times change

    2006:

    Peer reviewed science publishes catastrophic climate predictions.

    Activists response: "We come armed only with Peer reviewed science. We must do what the science says."

    2014:

    Peer reviewed science publishes climate predictions much less catastrophic than before.

    Activists response: stick fingers in ears, shout: "Tra-la-la - I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How times change

      This topic is often discussed in an academic context but my interest is very real and its this. I live in a flood prone area, and so I can empathise with those that live at opposite end of the spectrum with brutal heat-waves and drought.

      For my own part, I'm at a total loss what to do. Selling up isn't the answer as property is still depressed, and if you have a local business moving isn't the answer either. Occasionally local government hands out flood relief funds derived from the EU, but they are difficult to get, unless you are politically connected.

      This issue is not being explained or properly addressed by anybody.... Even the BBC reported that little quality research is being done in this area... For instance, we don't even local models to predict where problems might hit home next, so we can't plan.

      Meanwhile the academic debate rolls on indefinitely, with few answers for those living at the front lines.... Frankly, I don't care whether the cause is manmade or cyclical, or whether we've hit the peak or doomsday scenarios are coming. I need reliable information now... I don't have the luxury of waiting until the academic dust settles..

      1. bep

        Insurance

        Follow the money. There is healthy scientifice debate and plenty of public skepticism about global warming but the insurance industry is in little doubt and that is reflected in premiums. Funnily enough, most of the people involved in the insurance industry are pretty good at this statistical stuff. They aren't betting against global warming and I'd suggest that you don't either. Local effects are another matter and individuals are notoriously unreliable in knowing whether it's got hotter or colder or wetter or dryer in their locality over the years. What do the insurance companies covering your area think is going to happen?

        1. <shakes head>

          Re: Insurance

          funny as i'm currently working on this area you would be supprised at why your premiums are so high, and it is not to with statisitcal analysis of futer events but risk aversion to past events.

        2. Jeff M

          Re: Insurance

          On the other hand, if you look at long-term equity markets, you will see investors are betting on future reserves of oil and gas that theoretically should not be usable as they will be banned due to CO2 legislation.

          A UK parliamentary committee criticized them for this just this week.

          If they are betting on fossil fuel reserves continuing to be exploited, this strongly suggests that the money men either do not believe global warming is a significant long-term problem and that current environmental legislation will be dismantled, or that climate change is happening but carbon mitigation will not have any discernible effect on it.

          For the insurance industry, global warming could simply be another way of profiteering by raising premiums. I don't think you can say their behaviour is necessarily evidence for global warming.

        3. Tom 13

          Re: Insurance

          No they aren't. They're looking at the demographic and investment data that show they'll have to pay out 10 times as much in the future for events that have happened in the past.

        4. Bob Armstrong
          FAIL

          Re: Insurance

          See the Clips of Warren Buffet whose Berkshire Hathaway own several large insurers and reinsurers say it ain't true , but for the profitability of his companies he's happy if everybody is scared as hell by the catastrophists .

      2. Tom 13

        I need reliable information now...

        You won't get it. You'll have to make your best educated guess and act on it.

        The academic dust isn't going to settle because the real time scales needed to gather data and interpret it exceed our lifetimes by orders of magnitude. That's the real truth the politicians and the Warmists are hiding from you.

        Frankly, it sounds like you already know the facts and know what to do. You live in a known flood plain. That means you've got two choices: move or mitigate. Sounds like you've already ruled out move for reasons beyond your control. That means you plan to mitigate, including setting aside money in case you need to evacuate during flooding. Either that or re-asses your move options.

        I grew up in a minor flood plain. We routinely got water in the basement during storms. At first it was a real problem. My Dad bought a sump pump and attached a garden hose. It sort of worked, but not really because the garden hose didn't really handle enough water. Later he bought a second sump pump. Then he added fixed in place plastic piping to move the water out of the house and through a hill so it came out on a flow path away from the house. Later he did some landscaping that moved the ponding area for the water away from the house. These days he still occasionally gets water in the basement, but the pumps move it with little or no damage to the finished basement. The mitigation plan works for him.

        Maybe your issues are bigger, maybe something similar works for you. But ultimately that decision is up to you and you alone. Not the academics. Not the government. Just you. (In conjunction with your spouse if you have one.)

      3. Fluffy Bunny
        Black Helicopters

        Re: How times change

        I assume you live in the south of England, so I have good news and bad news for you:

        Good news: CAGW, if it existed, would only cause significant warming after 2100, therefore small sea-level rises later still.

        Bad news: The south of England is sinking through natural geological processes. Nothing we can do about it, so you will have more floods and they will get worse.

  9. PyLETS

    windpower reduces hurricane damage caused by hot air

    If this article based upon a paper by Marc Jacobson from Stanford University to the American Association for the Advancement of Science is to be believed, having more offshore wind electricity generation, by reducing the surface windspeed influence upon hurricane formation, will directly reduce risk to coastal areas of hurricanes and storm surges.

    1. MondoMan
      Paris Hilton

      Re: windpower not practical to reduce hurricane damage

      Sadly, it's not to be believed by realists, since the modeled reduction in storm surge is as low as 7% even for a giant array of 86,000 (yes, 86 thousand!) wind turbines located in an offshore wedge to the SW of New Orleans. Of course, the storm also has to approach from the SW. Thus, "full" protection for New Orleans alone would require 500-600,000 (yes, half a million or more!) turbines.

      Not sure how many would be needed to protect Paris...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I assume

    This does nothing to change the polarisation in this debate and we still have "Something must be done. And coincidentally this makes me money" versus the "Nothing need be done. And coincidentally this saves me money."

    1. All names Taken
      Paris Hilton

      Re: I assume

      Dude, there ain't nuthin that will save one money given the Wests extravagant dash for moral, social , ethical and financial bankruptcy

  11. Jim O'Reilly

    At Last - Real Science

    For years I've watched articles nibbling away at the AGW issue, and many end with an obligatory sentence that, "Notwithstanding the above, AGW is warming the Earth", or some similar platitude.

    It was career suicide for a scientist to open break with the Warmists. Now we find what we suspected. The models are subjective, and worse, look like they've been played up by unscrupulous or gullible people.

    This is good science, insofar as it shows that much of the Warming story is POOR science. Heck, any model that ignore solar activity is broken! It's time we got real. We aren't going to roast. We aren't going to drown!

    Of course, we could be like China and choke on our own pollution, and we are using up gas and oil faster than we should, so moving to alternatives makes some sense. Wind power is on the edge of a scam though, and solar may already be there. We need serious alternatives such as thorium reactors.

  12. Risky

    I'm actually less worried by the accuracy of the predictions of the problem than by the disasterous nature of some of the solutions. There may well be some bad climate science out there, but for sure there is a hell of a lot of bad climate policy.

  13. Charles Manning

    Not one mention of latent heat

    Warming means adding heat. It does not mean raising temperatures.

    The biggest problem I see with any of the models I have looked at closely is the omission of latent heat.

    The leaked models from CRU, and enverything else I have looked at, try to directly model temperature change from inputs.

    The earth has ice, water and water vapour - like a pot of water with ice in it. Put the pot on the stove and start heating. The water does not increase in temperature by much because the heat is being used to mealt the ice. Thus, there is very little commection between heat absorbed by the system and its temperature. Once all the ice is gone though, or it becomes so small as to have very little effect, the temperature will start to rise. The same happens again as water changes to water vapour.

    In other words, modelling temperature is broken, we need to model heat then figure out temperature as a secondary effect.

    We have a lot of ice and water vapour on this planet and unless these are factored into any modelling

    the models are just broken. People will get "results", but they will just be the output of tweakery to reflect the modeller's bias.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not one mention of latent heat

      "Warming means adding heat. It does not mean raising temperatures."

      Only if all the warming was used to melt ice. However this is clearly not going to be the case as the earth is not entirely ice...

      However, this is a good point as to why Global Warming is actually much worse than is indicted by temperature rise alone. Once we start to run out of ice, the temperature rise will be much sharper...

      1. Fluffy Bunny
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Not one mention of latent heat

        If energy input is going into ice instead of raising the atmosphere's temperature, it can only happen by melting the ice. However there is no evidence of this. Short-term reductions in ice cover in the '90s have been reversed by recent increases.

        Look at the oceans to see the net effect. Here, the result is much clearer. No increase in the ocean's level has been found. The conclusion is clear - extra energy isn't going into warming the atmosphere, nor melting ice. Hence there is no extra energy.

  14. David Pollard

    A worrisome trend

    Given that the GWPF started out, as their logo testifies, with a proclamation that global warming isn't happening at all, this marks a notable upward trend in their estimates. Extrapolating on the basis of this latest claim it rather looks as though by 2025 their estimate for warming will be around 3.4 ºC, slightly higher than the IPCC's present mean value.

    Meanwhile, there is what looks to be a sensible review by Graham Readfearn over at the Grauniad:

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2014/mar/06/lord-lawson-climate-sceptic-thinktank

  15. Herby

    Chicken Little??

    No further comments needed here.

    If you yell it loud enough, someone will hear you. Of course if you keep being wrong, you do have some problems.

    I guess governments want us to go back to the ice age, but I'll let others comment further.

  16. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    *Excellent* article that made a lot of sense.

    Thank you.

    I came across an old Byte from the early 80's on Forth.

    A climate researcher was using it to model clouds.

    He said the subject was complex and not fully understood.

    30 years later looks like it still isn't.

    1. MondoMan

      Re: Forth Byte.

      I remember that one - Byte sure had nice cover art back in those days. But programming anything at all complicated in Forth messed up your head even more than HP RPN calculators!

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Forth Byte.

        "I remember that one - Byte sure had nice cover art back in those days. "

        True.

        "But programming anything at all complicated in Forth messed up your head even more than HP RPN calculators!"

        Kind of true. My impression was that Forth offered phenomenally good use of scarce memory and processor cycles but once you reconfigured your brain to "Forth mode" it was very difficult to get back to more conventional languages. Shades of LISP.

        That said all of Rockwell Collins hardware runs (or ran) on a proprietary in house designed stack processor and I'd guess Forthers would also be quite comfortable with the Transputer.

        Forth. It's not a language, it's a lifestyle.

        1. Chemist

          Re: Forth Byte.

          "Forth. It's not a language, it's a lifestyle."

          I wrote a full 6809 disassembler once in Forth ( on a 6809 system). Given the vast number of addressing modes on a 6809 its source was a mere 6K and compiled to add very little to the system ( can't remember but maybe 1K )

          Does mess with your head a bit I agree

  17. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Base assumptions silly?

    Known knowns

    Known unknowns

    Unknown knowns

    And

    Unknown unknowns

    (Game theory?)

    Means all modelling predictions are, of course, wholly dependent on the models basic assumptions.

    A change in observables might have minor/major consequences pending the assumptions of the model no?

  18. dan1980

    The follow-up.

    Okay, okay - let's put aside the argument over how much warming there will be and just take the 0.5c figure provided in this article.

    The follow-up question, which was not asked is: what repercussions (if any) can be expect from such a rise.

    As I understand it (very imperfectly,) the ecosystem is a fairly sensitive thing so while 0.5c seems like a trifling amount to us - certainly not worth turning on the fan for - that doesn't necessarily mean that it is trifling where the overall effects are concerned. Or maybe it is but saying that warming is less than predicted is not the same as saying it is not concerning.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: The follow-up.

      There are a lot of other human activities that have a vastly greater effect than any amount of CO2 emissions.

      Deforestation, desertification, building on flood plains, draining swamps, paving over soakaways etc.

      Some of these are being actively encouraged by the climate change policies - eg palm oil plantations created for biofuels are likely to destroy entire rainforests in the coming decades. Goodbye orangutans, you were sacrificed to the altar of climate change policy.

      Desertification or flooding tends to follow the above.

      None of this is climate change but all of it has a much greater effect on the ecosystems and indeed humans.

    2. dan1980

      Re: The follow-up.

      Climate change articles are always volatile here and people down-vote simple because they disagree; it's always particularly amusing to bring up a question and be downvoted without an answer.

      The question remains - is a 0.5c warming the kind of thing that will have noticeable repercussions? Down vote again if you want but, if so, why don't you at least explain why asking this questing warrants disapproval.

      1. Fluffy Bunny
        Black Helicopters

        Re: The follow-up.

        "at least explain why asking this questing warrants disapproval."

        Quite simple - where on Earth do you get 0.5 degrees of warming? Based on what starting point (date, location and termperature there). When does the 0.5 degrees come (at least what century).

        There is very little science in "climate science" and the appalling mess they make trying to "normalise" all the different temperature records (none of which run unchanged over the entire period) into a single "global temperature" should be an eternal embarrassment to them.

        Second, these big temperature predictions are always from computer models. They are completely untrustworthy since none of the models have been validated. Many of the earlier models even predicted forests where the Sahara Desert is. This is why you can't just talk about 0.5 degree of warming as if it is an established fact. It's a prediction at best and more than likely just another attempt to scare the public into accepting more taxes and worse.

        1. dan1980

          Re: The follow-up.

          @Fluffy Bunny

          Thanks for the reply (and sorry for the delay - big weekend).

          "Quite simple - where on Earth do you get 0.5 degrees of warming?"

          Equally simply, I get it - as I said in my original post - from this article; the one were commenting on.

          To recap, as it's been a while, the article was about a chap who appeared to be thinking much the same way that you are: that the models are just crazy and he felt they were too high. His contribution was to rework the lot and come up with a significantly lower figure by analysing the assumptions that had been made (around aerosols and sensitivity, if I read correctly) and thereby coming out with a figure he felt was much more realistic and in keeping with the data.

          I was pointing out that there was a follow-up question that was (to me) conspicuously absent: what effect will the predicted temperature rise have?

          In asking that question, I am not saying that this guy must be correct - I am emphatically not "talk[ing] about 0.5 degree of warming as if it is an established fact". I am addressing what I see as an unfortunate omission in the scope of an article analysing what the authour (Mr Orlowski) believes to be ". . . the most important climate discovery in recent years . . .".

          I would think an article discussing a "discovery" of such seminal importance would warrant at least a mention of effects.

          My point is that if the report is valid, then one must look at the data that was fed in. In large part, this appears to be observational measurements of actual warming. The apparently more accurate measurements are used to revise the sensitivity numbers which are then used to make better (lower) predictions of future warming.

          Given that to accept the report, one must accept that warming has, is and will continue to happen, I was wondering why there was no mention of what this effects this warming might have. The other option is to dismiss this report as based on a faulty model and conflicting data (as some people contend all of climate science is), but that hardly seems to be what is happening, given the supportive three-page treatment and interview.

  19. MondoMan
    Pirate

    ecosystems and sensitivity

    Ecosystems usually tend to be pretty robust; if they weren't, they'd die off the first time day became night or spring became summer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ecosystems and sensitivity

      Like the Dinosaurs? Or the end Permian mass-extinction you mean?

      1. Fluffy Bunny
        Black Helicopters

        Re: ecosystems and sensitivity

        "Like the Dinosaurs? Or the end Permian mass-extinction you mean?"

        These were caused by massive external factors - things like meteor strikes setting off a gigantic level of vulcanism which extended for thousands of years. In the absence of these external factors, the climate is actually quite stable and won't go outside certain limits:

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/ca/EPICA_temperature_plot.svg/800px-EPICA_temperature_plot.svg.png

        Please note that the warm period we are presently experiencing is quite natural. More important, the glacial period we will soon be in is also just as natural. We can't do anything to influence either of them.

  20. Ronny Cook

    Orlowski supporting climate change is the REAL news

    I think this is the first article I've seen by Orlowski where he doesn't preach the straight Climate Skeptic line.

    Admittedly, he's decided that one particular climate scientist (one who has made fairly low predictions) is superior to all the others, most of whom have been studying the climate for much longer. The interesting part will be to watch responses to the paper to see if (and if so, where) others can punch holes in his assumptions as he has so happily done for others.

    For myself, the evidence I've seen is heavily on the side of anthropogenic climate change and I would rather not see several million pacific islanders swimming to their new homes if I can avoid it. Given a notable lack of public will to accomplish this, I suspect I'm fresh out of luck.

    New Scientist has an interesting overview:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11462-climate-change-a-guide-for-the-perplexed.html

    1. MondoMan

      Re: Orlowski supporting climate change is the REAL news

      Ronny, if the climate system does indeed have a low sensitivity to added CO2 and other human-affected greenhouse gases, then the islanders will be fine for hundreds or thousands of years yet. Most of the other climate scientists we hear about in the news have been working on subfields with inherent massive unknowns/uncertainties that make them much less useful for current policy.

    2. MondoMan

      Re: New Scientist overview

      I checked it out -- as it's dated 2007, it turns out to be seriously out of date on some of the most controversial issues, such as the current so-called "hiatus" in global surface temps and the "Hockey Stick" controversy.

    3. Fluffy Bunny
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Orlowski supporting climate change is the REAL news

      "I would rather not see several million pacific islanders swimming"

      I don't mean to upset you, but the pacific islanders will be swimming anyway. Not because the ocean is rising, but because their homes are sinking. Most of these problem islands are coral atols. They erode quickly once the coral that formed them dies (when it get out of the water).

  21. Growly Snuffle Bunny
    Unhappy

    At what point...

    Do we start to admit something IS happening and something *sensible* MUST be done?

    0.5C, 1C, 1.5C, 2C - all we're doing is pushing the "we are really in the crapper now!" date around. Will it be our problem? Our childrens? Our grandchildren?

    MondoMan, it is true that in general large ecosystems are quite robust. Small ones not so much, and ultimately it's economic systems that will cause the real misery as the climate adversely affects us in a myriad of ways.

    1. MondoMan
      Childcatcher

      Re: At what point...

      I find it useful to compare predictions with what's happened in the recent past in order to gauge possible consequences. For example, we've measured the world's surface temps rising about 0.75C on average over the past 130 years, which includes both the 1900-1940ish warming and the 1975-2000ish warming. AFAIK, storms, flooding and so forth are not significantly worse today than in 1880.

      If the *rate* of warming increased dramatically (say, 5x) over that seen in the past 130 years, I'd be much more concerned about taking *dramatic* and *immediate* action. As it is, it seems to me that another 10 years of research might really help clarify the situation (there's always the hope that the climate modelers might have figured out if clouds have net positive or negative feedback by then :) ).

      1. dan1980

        Re: At what point...

        @MondoMan

        Waiting for more evidence is often a just sentiment. Sometimes, however, you find yourself in late October, with $30bn wiped off the market or a decade later in early September with bombs being dropped on Warsaw.

        The touting of the 'warming plateau' as proof that the predictions are all FUD may yet be found to have the ring of "Time to buy stocks" or "Peace in our time".

  22. PghMike

    Didn't realize that the direct CO2 contribution was so low

    One thing I learned from this paper was "It is almost universally accepted that by itself the equilibrium warming effect of a doubling of the carbon dioxide concentration is slightly more than 1◦C," even though the models are predicting 3 degrees C.

    For years, I've been assuming that the global warming estimates were due simply to computing how much more energy the atmosphere would absorb given the additional CO2. I didn't realize that the majority of the predicted warming is due to feedback effects, where the models are somewhat more (or if this article is to be believed, significantly more) uncertain.

    In other words, probably still time to design and deploy some safer nuclear technology.

    1. Fluffy Bunny
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Didn't realize that the direct CO2 contribution was so low

      Most of the feedback numbers appear to be made up to make the models deliver the temperature results desired. If you want a different prediction, plug in a different feedback ration. It's as cynical as that.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. pacman7de
    Facepalm

    Global Warming Policy Foundation ..

    We can assume that the 'Global Warming Policy Foundation` is funded by BIG OIL ...

    "Michael Hintze, a leading Conservative party donor who runs the £5bn hedge fund CQS, has emerged as a financial backer of the climate sceptic thinktank founded by former chancellor, Lord Nigel Lawson - Guardian

  25. Liam Proven

    As usual, XKCD offers deceptively profound insight...

    http://xkcd.com/612/

    The point being, there is disagreement over how fast it's going, partly over the maths, partly because of incomplete models, partly because we don't know all the factors yet.

    But that doesn't mean it /isn't/ happening, and it is extremely foolish to think "hey, some estimates say no problem, so we're FIIIIIIIIIIIINE!"

    1. Fluffy Bunny
      Black Helicopters

      Re: As usual, XKCD offers deceptively profound insight...

      That would be fine it it wasn't for the enormous level of fraud in the "climate science" community. It has gotten blatantly political, too. Holding a climate tax conference? Trot out terrible new predictions of disaster.

  26. Goro

    what happened to the NASA study

    i did not see 1 reference to the NASA study that said the Earth cooling from the upper atmosphere to the the cold of space was a dynamic interface and did not seem to be matching any of the present models of global warming . Our Earth is a dynamic living thing . Also what about some ice melting on moons further out in the solar system . Personally i am more worried about poisons and radiation then global warming .

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