Someday the gravy train of climate warning will come to an end.
I am skeptic of warming NO!
I am believer of the bad science and doom mongering to generate research funds... YES!!!
Top Indian physicists have concluded Himalayan glaciers show little sign of retreat – in one of the largest studies of its type ever carried out. I. M. Bahuguna et al, publishing in Current Science [PDF, issue index], studied changes to 2,000 glaciers in various Himalayan regions between 2001 to 2011. They conclude that 1,700 …
Probably it will, sometime after the gravy train of cheap energy from fossil carbon comes to an end as well.
Any suitably politicised field of study has difficulties with bad science; it's a problem, especially as, increasingly, scientists are actually required to politicise their work to get funding. This is made worse with climate change science because it is difficult to do, and intrinsically open to question. But, consider that the band-wagon of climate change has actually managed to make head-way against the main line express of oil. The argument is a serious one. That scientists also have other motivations is not a clear argument against.
I've yet to see some scientific research on the climate science gravy train. Now working from first principles - there must be three major markets for research:
1) Green governments/NGOs wanting doom fast - not very rich
2) Capitalist/Low Tax governments not wanting doom - a bit more money
3) Fossil fuelled Corporations who desperately don't want AGW - more money
Now as a marketing man for a group of obedient researchers I think I know which markets I would go for. The remarkable result is at least two of these are not getting clear cut results their money has paid for. I wonder why?
I guess there may be a market for people who just want the best objective information they find. You know academics who just want to discover stuff rather than a higher paid job in politics, industry and the media.
Not everybody wants gravy, just the unadulterated me^H^H truth.
> 1) Green governments/NGOs wanting doom fast - not very rich
Can we stop this silly nonsense that the likes of Friends Of The Earth and Greenpeace and the WWF are poor little cash-strapped organisations run from a basement on a shoestring, please? They started that way, decades ago. They are now extremely rich.
> 2) Capitalist/Low Tax governments not wanting doom - a bit more money
Are you kidding? Once a politician has poured money into "green" intitiatives, the last thing they want is for it to come out that that expenditure was unnecessary. Imagine for a moment that AGW was revealed to be totally incorrect. Would our political class breathe a big sigh of relief? No, the witchhunts would start: demands to know who knew what and when.
> 3) Fossil fuelled Corporations who desperately don't want AGW - more money
Well, largely, probably, yes, though it does push up the price of their product, so it's not as clear-cut as you imply.
The major fossil fuel producers have all diversified into 'alternative' energy sources - e.g. BP is now branded as 'beyond petroleum'. They're not stupid, and can smell taxpayers' money from a huge distance (and also understand that their primary product cannot continue to be produced indefinitely).
"Can we stop this silly nonsense that the likes of Friends Of The Earth and Greenpeace and the WWF are poor little cash-strapped organisations"
Presuming the payment may be lightly correlated with what they pay their CEO - then how would you compare that with the income of G8 leaders and those of leading multinational CEOs?
I just think I might be a bit smarter than you in picking the guy/guyess with the fatter wallet.
"Are you kidding? Once a politician has poured money into "green" intitiatives, the last thing they want is for it to come out that that expenditure was unnecessary."
You missed the point. Certain politicians of a certain hue do not want to spend tax they do not want to pay for green initiatives. They look for any straw to undermine AGW. They become energy ministers and Nigel Lawson and his interesting perspective on science is their friend.
Little is clear cut. Its how you measure and balance the risks that is the point.
> Presuming the payment may be lightly correlated with what they pay their CEO
Why on Earth would you presume that? They're not comparable types of organisation. Unless you're claiming that Greenpeace consistently hire CEOs who are motivated largely by personal profit.
Besides, you said they're "not very rich", not "very rich but not as rich as some other people". My wife works for a genuinely cash-strapped charity: I know what they look like. They don't get to behave like Friends Of The Earth, because they can't afford it. Very few organisations can.
> You missed the point. Certain politicians of a certain hue do not want to spend tax they do not want to pay for green initiatives. They look for any straw to undermine AGW. They become energy ministers and Nigel Lawson and his interesting perspective on science is their friend.
You didn't say "politicians"; you said "governments". Nigel Lawson is fighting against the prevailing direction of policy. The British Government (under all three parties) heavily subsidises wind turbines, believing that is so important that it's worth risking the stability of our electricity infrastructure for. The US Government (under both parties) enforces a minimum quota for the proportion of fuel that must be biofuel, believing that is so important that it's worth pushing the world price of grain through the roof for. Sure, governments may not go as far as environmentalist activists want, but that's partly the nature of politics and partly because they want the Moon on a stick. The fact is that environmentalists have won a major propaganda war over the last thirty years, moving "green" politics from fringe nutter territory to something every major party needs to incorporate if they want to be electable. There is not a government in the developed world that hasn't sunk a fortune into combatting AGW. If it turns out to be a boondoggle, heads will roll -- and yes, politicians like Nigel Lawson will be able to say "Told you so" and will have a great career opportunity to move into government, but, right now, they're not the ones holding the purse strings.
"1) Green governments/NGOs wanting doom fast - not very rich"
- But consistently supportive of any project that supports eco-doom-mongering - so an easy means of gaining research funds. Plenty rich enough for most eco-research. Everyone wins but the consumer
"2) Capitalist/Low Tax governments not wanting doom - a bit more money"
- Therefore taking the opportunity to enforce new environmental taxes on businesses that in turn increase retail prices and in turn increase VAT - actually, very rich. Everyone wins except the consumer again.
"3) Fossil fuelled Corporations who desperately don't want AGW - more money"
- Great opportunity to increase the value of fossil fuels and ample opportunity to blame government initiated Tax increases while taking much of that Tax back again for state-sponsored environmental energy initiatives by private concerns (wind farms / solar) that in the long term may/may not return their development costs (totally de-risked by govt sponsorship). Guess what? Everyone wins except the consumer
In October 1997 the headlines in my local News Ltd newspaper were that the world would run out of oil by 1997.
Now the same sort of fear mongering "scientists" are saying that glaciers and ice caps melting now will cause the sea to rise at some distant time in the future, but can not say where all this water will hide in the mean time.
They also conveniently forget that when ice melts it shrinks and ignore the fact that during the Northern winter there is snow and ice on the ground that can be similar in volume to the Antarctic ice yet the sea level changes not one mm.
Similar "scientists" are now claiming that during the massive Australian floods of 2010 the sea level went down. Those of us who live in coastal Australia know there were actually record peak tides.
Man definitely causes local warming as shown so graphically by landsat heat photos but global warming is a farce.
Recently Sydney broke a 150 year old hgh temperature record. Alarmists say proof of global warming. Realists say heat island effect is proven to locally increase temperatures up to 6 degrees and having Sydney's thermometer close to the exhaust from an underground carpark makes the readings unreliable anyway.
‘Is 0.2pc "NOT MELTING?"’
You missed the part about the 1,700 stable glaciers. What would you prefer?
Indian climate boffins: Majority of glaciers we looked at are not melting, a few are and so overall, it's a 0.2% decline, or about 2.1m over a vast, vast area.
Cripes, the detail is in the article. The headline is there to get your attention. You know that bit in the Simpsons when Homer makes election posters with the words "SEX - now I've go your attention..."?
Same as it ever was :-)
I understand the need for a catchy headline but I feel this one was rather poorly worded.
The detail is in the article - good, that spares me the need to read the original paper. Unfortunately, I'm not much into glaciology and don't know much more than they are cold and mainly made of water and hence the article is not very conclusive. Is 0.2% decline within the usual up and downs of glaciers? Or is it a small but steady decline and should we still but to a far lesser degree be worried about rising sea levels etc?
...expected to advance again... No worries then, but is it before or after large parts of our civilised world drowned?
I'm highly sceptical, not only towards climate alarmists but also articles. And this one, while on a very interesting topic, was probably not Andrew Orlowski's best. Though criticising this article seems a bit unfair as I hardly ever spoke out when Andrew's articles were good, and as far as I remember, they mostly were good.
big brother - my mobile already has a microphone and a camera, and runs software I can't audit and can't trust; as do most of those of any people who might be in the same room as me; and by the time I buy a new tv it may well also have a webcam and microphone, software I can't audit or trust, and wireless networking (and even if I stop it talking to my router, it might borrow a neighbours). I may not be campaigning against government actions, corruption, or this or that politician now ... but that may change in the future, given some trigger event or other.
peak oil - might not be soon, but will happen sometime (mind you, I'm not especially alarmed about that, I think we'll cope)
nuclear winter - very definitely can happen (and according to more recent scientific literature, can have even more extreme than thought back in the 80/90's). Perhaps the odds of a us/russian nuclear exchange are lower but what about regional wars? Perhaps involving iran/pakistan/india or similar? (even regional wars can now have non-trivial global "winterish" consequences, apparently - old models didn't take into account secondary fires properly, iirc)
ice age - ok, that'll be even slower than peak oil, so I'm relaxed, Unless it's nuclear-winter triggered, I suppose)
sars/bird flu - very real threats - just because we were lucky recently doesn't mean there's no threat. Especially since that last set of precautions are now being widely trailed as an "overreaction", so that next time a viral threat comes along, I expect fewer precautions will be taken.
/departs scene in state of alarmed, paranoid distress ... :-)
I think fracking puts peak fossil a long way off, which is a shame because no matter how much Mr O stamps his foot and screams and throws his toys and tells us the data he didn't cherrypick is not real science, climate change is happening and peak oil might have been about the only thing short of working fusion that could mitigate it somewhat.
... because how something is said is also useful:
The results of the present study indicate that most of the glaciers were in a steady state compared to the results of other studies carried out for the period prior to 2001. This period of monitoring almost corresponds to hiatus in global warming in the last decade . It may happen that an interval of one decade could be smaller than the response time of glaciers to be reflected in terms of any significant change with 23.5 m spatial resolution of data. This point requires further studies using high-resolution data for a longer interval of time.
So, should we trust these results now, even though the authors themselves worry about the data resolution on which they are based? Or should we wait for a more solid confirmation before using them to inform our actions?
"period of monitoring almost corresponds to hiatus in global warming in the last decade"
There's your problem. You think the current level graph is just a hiatus before it start to go up again. The likelihood is just as great that it actually marks the turning point before it goes down. I think you're going to feel really foolish telling everybody about global warming while you're hunkered down in 4 feet of doonas and the polar bear is at the door.
Yes, a new ice age is due. Past due even. If you don't believe me, well I have just as much evidence on my side as you have on yours.
I have no idea where Lewis is but thank you Andrew for adding some balance to the climate discussion. I do wonder how long the IPCC can continue but as this is still analysing the 2007 IPCC report it shows an amount of drag between the claim and the science.
Obviously it could turn out that these scientists are wrong but as long as the actual science is being conducted we will get real answers.
That is because the result is insignificant. The publication states that a full measurement has failed to show (scientifically) significant of glacier melt as opposed to what was previously claimed.
Sometimes a "nope, isn't there/doesn't work/can't find it" result is just as important and worth publishing as a fat positive or negative. Especially when the original positive result proves to be dodgy indeed.
Well, it was definitely within the margin of error, which was showing as 2.5%, or more than 10x higher!
But if they publish that there is no statistically significant decrease in glacier melt, the alarmists will claim they're deniers and try to link them to being funded by big oil. While simultaneously seizing on the margin of error and claiming that Himalayan glaciers could be gone in a little over 40 years in the worst case scenario of losing 2.3% of their ice each year (with some hand waving about how that will probably accelerate so the discredited 2035 date may have been right after all)
not really... In programming your compiler ( assuming you're using a decent one....) will toss your garbage right back in your face, and refuses to eat it.
And yes... before peeps start.. "So you rig the rules" applies... Which is why politicians are usually lawyers, or lawyer-trained.
([several sources, paraphrased and condensed] "The one reason to study Law, is to protect oneself from Lawyers....)
Absolutely agree. What on this thread do not seem to understand or even comprehend, is that the glaciers in the himalayas are the least likely to melt, given that they are in the highest mountain range in the world they are going to be in a cold place. Furthermore, people say "the antarctic ice sheet is getting colder in places", what is that supposed to mean? That is the worst conclusion you can make, that because "in places" it is getting colder, global warming is a myth. All glaciers get larger in places, its called accumulation. The fact is, they are melting in other places faster than they are growing. The antarctic ice sheet is getting colder in some places, correct. It is melting in many, many more places at an increasing rate however - and these places are at the edges of the glacier, where melting ice goes directly into the ocean, where sea levels are gradually rising.
Its not as if we dont know if global warming is real or not, we know it is.
If you ever decide to visit any areas of glaciers, such as Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand or the Rhone in the Alps, you might be aware that although these glaciers have shown signs of advance, for maybe 1 or 2 years, they have infact receeded about hundreds times more than they have advanced, thats why both of them have lost over a kilometer in length since records began.
And its not just these, Chasing Ice is a perfect example. Watch it. Even if you don't believe it just watch it, it's not a group of 'environmentalists' claiming that more money should be funded into research, it's simply a man and two friends who take picture's and don't even need to voice their opinions, the evidence is in the photos.
>Glacier melt is important because it presages rising sea levels in the future
Nope. Glacier melt is important because glaciers are important storage mediums for agricultural & drinking water. If there is no substantial rain/snowfall over the winter, there is still water for spring, stored in the glaciers. If the glaciers go, there's no buffer. A dry winter means a dry spring - which can lead to famine.
Just take a trip back to the 1970s, when all the talk, fear, and funding was about glaciers PROCEEDING and the imminent ice age. The only thing really increasing anymore is bad (or non) science.
Good to see both sides of the issue...the earth has been warming since the last ice age, but what scares me is what will happen when the next ice age comes...granted, we have a lot of technology to throw at it (provided we have any money left :) ), but I don't fancy living a few miles underground, etc., just to stay warm... point being, we're in an interglacial, and those appear to end abruptly....brrrrrrr,,,,just cold enough for beer (and warm enough to need it :) )....
P.S. How come we got a second April instead of May? April showers bring, er, May showers????
In all this climate debate, I have yet to see any suggestion as to what can be "practically" done to overt the crises that are predicted for us all.
Levies, taxes and carbon trading have not made one whit of difference to our use of energy sources.
They've just made everyone a lot poorer.
The industrial nations are accelerating their output and we're egging them on by buying all their stuff, an awful lot of it crap.
I'm heartened by the efforts of those pursuing fusion and alternative sources, but in all honesty it's not going to make much difference in my lifetime as our increasing energy demands continue to outstrip our means to cleanly generate it.
I am a little unclear what you mean by "avert the crises that are prdicted for us all". First, ocean levels won't go up 4 feet this century. They won't go up next century. They may go up the century after that - but only if the latest predictions don't turn out to be just another bunch of hogwash.
If the world's temperature were to go up a degree (most popular figure - not most accurate) by the end of this century, this is too small a change to harm anything but the most endangered species. Certainly it will improve farming viability in many parts of the world.
Finally, CO2 is plant food. Experiments have demonstrated the improvement in plant growth with simple increases in CO2 concentrations. Worldwide agricultural output has increased steadily with the increase in atmospheric CO2. And yet this half science, climatology demands the world cut CO2 concentrations. This would cripple the world's agriculture and cause widespread famine. It has the potential to kill more people than all the imaginative problems the CAGW would, even if it hit it's worst levels.
"Finally, CO2 is plant food. Experiments have demonstrated the improvement in plant growth with simple increases in CO2 concentrations."
Yes under lab conditions. Assuming all other things, such as nutrients, are equal. But they are not.
"Worldwide agricultural output has increased steadily with the increase in atmospheric CO2"
So has global temperature.
"And yet this half science, climatology demands the world cut CO2 concentrations. This would cripple the world's agriculture and cause widespread famine."
That's both alarmist and wrong.
'At 0.2% (linear) the glaciers disappear in 500 years'
Here's Mark Twain on that line of thought.
'In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod.
And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
- Life on the Mississippi
Notwithstanding any argument about the merits of either study, I find the measurement of loss to be very strange.
"248 glaciers exhibited a retreat, and 18 an advance. The scientists estimate a net loss of glacier area of about 10,000 km2 – that's a 0.2 per cent decrease (+/- 2.5pc), and an average retreat of 2.1 metres annually."
That is an measurement of area, which although might be useful is not the same as a measurement of volume. An area that size 1 metre deep is quite different from a measurement of 100 meters deep. Its the volume after all that is supposed to be getting dumped into the oceans...
And yes I do understand about albedo which is why I said area might be a useful measurement, but not sufficient.
Maybe there is a correction...?
Huh? I wasn't saying the glacier was 100 metres deep, I was saying there is a difference when using volume.
So what you are saying is that 10,000 km2 of glacial edge that has gone.
Or maybe not - since you linked the Wikipedia reference:
"Glaciologists consider that trends in mass balance for glaciers are more fundamental than the advance or retreat of the termini of individual glaciers. In the years since 1960, there has been a striking decline in the overall volume of glaciers worldwide. This decline is correlated with global warming. As a glacier thins, due to the loss of mass it will slow down and crevassing will decrease."
So maybe volume would of been useful to mention.
There is a 22,000 years glacial cycle and a 26,000 year cycle of rotation around the Milky Way Galaxy. Have to wonder if there is a correlation. When India's economy is threatened they are challenging the "science" of man made global climate disruption. Given the choice of U.N. funded scientist and India Institute of Technology research, I'll have to go with IIT research.
You're talking nonsense. It takes 225 million years to go round the Milky Way. If you make ridiculous falsified claims such as these, why should anything else that you say be correct aswell? India is just one country, one country which had only 1 study showing that glaciers are 'not melting fast enough to be classed as melting'. Meanwhile, in the Alps I ski-lift operators have stopped summer skiing because theres simply not enough glacier left to ski on, a change that has occured only in the last 20 years.
I've been wondering what had happened to El Reg. There have been two or three recent articles which have simply reported climate change stories without any obvious bias. But this is back to normal - publishing an article which clearly indicates that global warning is nothing to worry about, and a sideswipe or two at the IPCC. What a relief.
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