back to article Scientific consensus that 2014 was record hottest year? No

So the results are in. The main US global-temperature scorekeepers - NASA and the NOAA - say that last year was definitely the hottest year on record. But they've been contradicted by a highly authoritative scientific team, one actually set up to try an establish objective facts in this area. On the face of it, there's no …

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  1. codejunky Silver badge

    Well

    You can torture statistics to mean anything. And if you play on peoples fears you can force them into action they wouldnt rationally choose.

    1. Stuart 22

      Cut the sh*t!

      OK Lewis you had your say. I'm a mere statistician specialising in timeseries analysis. I'm not going to argue. I hope to live another 20 years - I hope you do too. So what wager are you going to make that the mean temperature of the next 20 years will not be higher than the last 20 years?

      We can use any reasonable bucket of how that is measured. Over to you.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Cut the sh*t! @Stuart 22

        Try addressing the point of the article. As a statistician would you be comfortable saying "xxxx EVER" if its within the bounds of the margins of error.

        In this article that isn't the crux of what Lewis is saying.

        He's saying the previous 3 increments that led to the "hottest years ever" were all well within the margins of error for his dataset - if the same is true for the NOAA and other datasets then saying "hottest ever" is a bit dubious.

        Forget whether Lewis is a warmist or denier - he's saying its very disingenuous to be making such headline grabbing statements.

        1. Stuart 22

          Re: Cut the sh*t! @Stuart 22

          "Try addressing the point of the article. As a statistician would you be comfortable saying "xxxx EVER" if its within the bounds of the margins of error."

          To begin with the issue is since when records began and not EVER. So the direct answer to your question is no.

          The semantic point is that is if 2014 recorded the highest temperature using the accepted measures. The answer is probably yes. Though we can have another argument about whether those are appropriate or not. But the margin of error is not really relevant as it is the same for each recent year. So while it is possible it isn't the probability it is.

          But this is a digression I was seeking to avoid. The sub heading "Global warming probably still on hold" only applies if you take a very short term view of the series and cannot see the difference between a pause (the last ten years) as opposed to a reversal seen in previous cyclical perturbations.

          But we can argue statistics till we are blue in the face and accuse each other of cherry picking. That's why I suggest we cut the cr*p and put our money on our carefully considered positions. And not one without risk. My analysis doesn't exclude the cooling expected if we have a massive volcanic eruption. I can't predict those. But I'm still prepared to put my money where my mouth is. Are you frit in responding?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cut the sh*t! @Stuart 22

            So you would support the adjusting and fiddling with the raw data to fit the warmest message. They can't even use the same measuring stations every year.

            The other thing is that the old records didn't measure in the hundredth of a degree so why are they trying to do that now?

            Of course, if you massage the data enough you can get it to show anything you want which is what it appears they are doing.

            1. mikebartnz

              Re: Cut the sh*t! @Stuart 22

              It has been shown that in the USA they have actually been using phantom stations.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cut the sh*t! @Stuart 22

            > But the margin of error is not really relevant as it is the same for each recent year. So while it is possible it isn't the probability it is.

            You're obviously not a statistician otherwise you would not have made such a stupid comment.

            The people taking these readings are taking samples. They're not measuring the temperature at all places on the planet simultaneously and continuously. Therefore, what they are doing is called "sampling". Sampling can only ever tell you a limited amount about the whole which is why we have the concept of error and confidence intervals.

            Within those bounds, you can not be said to have made any reasonable correlation to the population. Outside those bands, you can with a calculable level of probability.

        2. Domino

          Re: Cut the sh*t! @Stuart 22

          @Gordon 10: Forget whether Lewis is a warmist or denier - he's saying its very disingenuous to be making such headline grabbing statements.

          His headline has "NO" not "MAYBE"..

        3. lee7

          Re: Cut the sh*t! @Stuart 22

          Well actually, I think the article's author was trying to suggest that we stop taking action to prevent GW. Read the whole article, and that's the impression I get.

          I'm really confused as to his motivations. Assuming that he is wrong, and that little action is taken, and that as a consequence GW continues unabated, and indeed, accelerates, what then of the cost, and effect on our lifestyles?

          Really, I just don't get this kind of position; it seems like complete lunacy to me - even if you're just taking a position in order to stir debate (or "trolling" as it's more often termed) - it seems quite astonishingly stupid. So, there's debate as to the exact extent of GW. To go from that to "don't let the nasty government tell me how to live" is just loony. But that fits with every other article I've read by Page. Ironically I'm sure I've read him argue that we should use nuclear energy to prevent GW. Blimey, he might actually be right on something.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Cut the sh*t! @Stuart 22

            @ lee7

            "Assuming that he is wrong, and that little action is taken, and that as a consequence GW continues unabated, and indeed, accelerates, what then of the cost, and effect on our lifestyles?"

            You do know that if you dont go to the place of worship your soul will go to hell. You also have to confess your sins etc etc. On top of that you must follow the right version because only one is right and every religion thinks its them. There are various books and they will point out their idea of proof regardless of scientific disproof and obvious snake oil statements which have been exposed.

            I assume since you believe the outcome could theoretically be so bad that you have signed up to religion? Because the outcome could cost you greatly. I assume you abandon all critical thought and submit to whoever claims to be the saviour to whatever ill they can claim to protect you from, even if you know its bull?

            You call him for trolling but then anyone not begging to be saved from the unknown fuzzy thing out there has been complaining of the sick trolling by the warmist cult. How many dumb statements and insane predictions have been trolled on the public? I lost count ages ago. And yet here is discussion, which is more than warmists allow. This is a place for thought and debate. Doesnt matter which way you may bias but you can read more about a topic which is so badly trolled on the public with adverts of drowning dogs and propaganda material which embarrasses the thinking population.

      2. Bruce Hoult

        Re: Cut the sh*t!

        I would place a reasonable sporting bet that it will be cooler in 2030 than it is now ... maybe not as cool as 1990, but maybe 1995.

        I should get pretty good odds on that, right?

        1. plrndl
          Happy

          Re: Cut the sh*t!

          It was pretty cool in the late 60's, but since then it's all gone to pot.

        2. Squander Two

          Re: Cut the sh*t!

          Why should we need to place our own personal bets when our governments have been placing massive multi-billion bets on this with our money for years? I'm forced to bet the CAGW alarmists are right every time I buy petrol or electricity or gas.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cut the sh*t!

          "I would place a reasonable sporting bet that it will be cooler in 2030 than it is now"

          Well it's certainly possible if we look at the natural variances in the historical data, but it's less likely than it being colder assuming that global warming continues unabated - as seems likely.

          "I should get pretty good odds on that, right?"

          Yes - I would say at a guess at least 2:1.

      3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Cut the sh*t!

        We can use any reasonable bucket of how that is measured.

        This is the key problem. There ain't one. The biggest problem with temperature data sets is that a significant number of ground stations which were originally located in the countryside upon establishment have ended with the grounds of the neigbouring metropolis over time.

        As a result the time series are:

        1. Not continuous while presented as such.

        2. The set within Eu/Western Russia and USA which is representative is actually quite small and covers only a relatively recent period of time when having automated stations with radio connectivity to the central office became technically feasible.

        3. I have yet to see a single study which instead of sucking numbers out of thin air (Berkley sets inclusive) uses strictly _ONLY_ stations which are outiside urban areas by more than 100km+. There are such stations (mostly coastal observations from stations associated with lighthouses), however there is no analysis which uses just them. Everyone finds it "essential" to stick into the equations Eu and USA data which is corrupted by _LOCAL_ industiral/urban heat.

        Note - I am not saying anything about CO2, models, etc. I just want to see statistics done on the only 100% clean dataset which is readily available - just stick solely to observations taken at maritime navigational facilities (lighthouses, etc) and throw out all the ones within 100km of a large city. I have yet to see any and I could not care less about the "scientific value of the guesstimate used in the correction factors for urban area data".

        1. Stuart 22

          Re: Cut the sh*t!

          "This is the key problem. There ain't one. The biggest problem with temperature data sets is that a significant number of ground stations which were originally located in the countryside upon establishment have ended with the grounds of the neigbouring metropolis over time."

          Please give people credit for not understanding the issue and trying to exclude it. I tried to do so by referring to the last 20 years against the next. That removes most of the urbanisation issues over the last century or so.

          There is no way I would want to con Lewis. It just whether there is a trend over 40 years of which 20 are yet to come. Can I add you to those who might wish to bet against me or are you frit?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cut the sh*t!

            There is one reliable global source.

            http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

            1. Fluffy Bunny
              Boffin

              Re: Cut the sh*t!

              "There is one reliable global source.

              http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/"

              Which, by the way, clearly shows that 2014 wasn't the warmest on record. About fifth in the last 20 years. Although the limits of the graph are too narrow. Temperatures were much higher in the recent past. Try here:

              http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-background-articles/2000-years-of-global-temperatures/

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Cut the sh*t!

                "Which, by the way, clearly shows that 2014 wasn't the warmest on record"

                This graph measures the temperature of different, deep layers of the atmosphere - and only from 14 points. It does clearly show a continuing warming trend.

                The 'warmest on record' for 2014 is for global the average SURFACE temperature.

          2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

            Re: @Stuart

            I'll wager if we can change the range to 15 years instead of 20.

            I'll bet you one pint of beer that the temperature over the next 15 years will be the within the margin of error the same as it was over the last 15 years.

            15 years ago I'd have bet you that the temperature would have continued to rise. I would have been proved wrong and we could be happily sitting somewhere enjoying a jar together.

            Both bets would have been made on the basis that this is the prevailing trend, and is therefore most likely to continue.

        2. manning120

          Re: Cut the sh*t!

          Larger cities worldwide mean higher average temperatures. Why should we ignore that? It's one of the forcings. However, I agree that not adjusting the thermometer locations could exaggerate the effect of urban heat islands.

        3. manning120

          Re: Cut the sh*t!

          The urban heat island effect is anthropogenic warming. It can't be ignored. Larger cities worldwide means that that particular forcing is becoming more prominent. However, I agree that not adjusting how temperature readings are taken could result in an exaggeration of the overall effect of urban heat islands. I can't believe that scientists would ignore that problem.

        4. bep

          Re: Cut the sh*t!

          Your observation about the location of measuring points may be accurate but you may be failing to draw the correct conclusion from it.

          Increasing urbanisation (and destruction of forests etc.) is part of the problem, so there is no reason to exclude that data. Increasing population is also a factor. So the climate is probably getting warmer because we are emitting more CO2 because there are more of us in more developed situations which tends to degrade the things that mitigate CO2 in the atmosphere. The population people say the growth in numbers will slow down IF, especially, life-expectancy for children continues to improve. But will that happen if the climate continues to get hotter? That's the flip side to the economic development argument. Reducing CO2 is unlikely to create an economic disaster, it hasn't so far where it's been done, it just creates new industries (wind, solar etc.).

        5. Ralara

          Re: Cut the sh*t!

          100km of a city within western Europe?

          heh good luck.

        6. BlackBearBill

          Re: Cut the sh*t!

          Richard Muller, the founder of Berkley Earth, famously affirmed the accuracy of the global temperature record in 2012. Concerns about the lost Soviet stations and "urban heat islands", for instance, were ungrounded.

          His finding, which was very high profile at the time--announced in a WSJ editorial--was that the global temp reporting system was sound and that it was telling us exactly what climate scientists had been reporting: that record highs have been outnumbering record lows by 2/1 for a good long while

        7. Tom 13

          Re: statistics done on the only 100% clean dataset

          That won't help. There's good reason to include the data from the once rural now urban settings: it covers a significant and important part of the surface of the Earth.

          What you need (and what we don't have) is a way to filter the data for the corruption of the heat island. And there will never be consensus about what the correct filter is.

          Granted your proposed study would be interesting, but I'm not sure it would be informative. It too would be too small of a data set to project over the whole Earth.

          Full disclosure: I'm on the skeptical side of this. Despite the fact that we with an mean life span measured in the 70-80 year range regard 200 years of data as long, it's not even detectable for the cycles of our ice ages. In other words, we don't have a reliable baseline against which to compare anything.

        8. gzuckier

          Re: Cut the sh*t!

          1) Urban stations are individually adjusted to remove the urban heat island effect, based on trends in other local weather stations which are not part of the network. (Denialists know this; this is part of the "The data is worthless because its adjusted" bleat of the denier. They assert that adjusted data is worthless, and likewise if the data is not adjusted then it is worthless, as here because of the UHIs)

          "Extensive tests have shown that the urban heat island effects are no more than about 0.05°C up to 1990 in the global temperature records used in this chapter to depict climate change. Thus we have assumed an uncertainty of zero in global land-surface air temperature in 1900 due to urbanisation, linearly increasing to 0.06°C (two standard deviations 0.12°C) in 2000." http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/052.htm#2221

          2) It's not a oneway process where the monitoring station has become hotter because of more pavement, fewer trees, etc.; in many cases the monitoring station's location has become a park, or has become shadowed by buildings, tree growth, etc. Thus the individual adjustments above.

          "Using satellite night-lights-derived urban/rural metadata, urban and rural temperatures from 289 stations in 40 clusters were compared using data from 1989 to 1991. Contrary to generally accepted wisdom, no statistically significant impact of urbanization could be found in annual temperatures. It is postulated that this is due to micro- and local-scale impacts dominating over the mesoscale urban heat island. Industrial sections of towns may well be significantly warmer than rural sites, but urban meteorological observations are more likely to be made within park cool islands than industrial regions." http://www.researchgate.net/publication/252960119_Assessment_of_Urban_Versus_Rural_In_Situ_Surface_Temperatures_in_the_Contiguous_United_States_No_Difference_Found

          3) Neither well established urban areas, nor areas which are currently becoming urbanized show a UHI trend that explains the scale of the AGW recorded:

          "We show examples of the UHIs at London and Vienna, where city center sites are warmer than surrounding rural locations. Both of these UHIs however do not contribute to warming trends over the 20th century because the influences of the cities on surface temperatures have not changed over this time. In the main part of the paper, for China, we compare a new homogenized station data set with gridded temperature products and attempt to assess possible urban influences using sea surface temperature (SST) data sets for the area east of the Chinese mainland. We show that all the land-based data sets for China agree exceptionally well and that their residual warming compared to the SST series since 1951 is relatively small compared to the large-scale warming. Urban-related warming over China is shown to be about 0.1°C decade−1 over the period 1951–2004, with true climatic warming accounting for 0.81°C over this period." http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008JD009916/abstract

      4. David Pollard
        Thumb Up

        @Stuart 22 - with you on that

        I've got a hundred quid that says the average temperature based on a 'reasonable bucket' will be higher in the next twenty years than it was in the last twenty. If you can get Lewis to match this, with the pot going into a tracker fund or similar, winner takes all, then I'm on.

        Come to think about it, if the 'deniers' will offer longer odds than evens then it might be possible to crowd fund climate prevention measures this way. The wager package might be a nice present to leave to one's grandchildren. I wonder what the tax position is?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Stuart 22 - with you on that

          I am prepared to bet two Kruger Rands that in the next 20 years the average temp will be higher. I make the odds 100 to 1

        2. jebdra

          $100 says it's getting warmer

          Nice idea, but I think you'll find that any real climate prevention measures will cost considerable more than $100 per person.

      5. flearider
        Childcatcher

        Re: Cut the sh*t!

        the only reason noaa has higher findings is they changed the way the use the information given to them. which I believe they have done 4 times now but always the temps go up ..

        the last 30+ years we have had a very active sun more heat ..so the first part of that time the temps rose then it equalled out ..last 15yrs or so

        now we enter another time of inactive sun emissions so it's going to get colder .. how much well we are not sure how long for ? best guess is 35+ yrs any longer and we are sure to lose 25%+ of the population on this rock we call home ..

        1. pierce

          Re: Cut the sh*t!

          solar activity such as sunspots and flares has NO measurable impact on the amount of sunlight and heat radiated. just because the sun is or isn't active does NOT mean its warmer/colder.

          1. Dan Paul

            Re: Cut the sh*t! @pierce

            Solar activity has a direct effect on the amount of the Suns energy being delivered to Earth.

            Solar Activity has way more validity than tree rings relative to actual temperatures. IT can be actually MEASURED.

            Tree rings and ice cores are STRICTLY subjective "measurements" that can only be inferred.

      6. Muncher23

        Re: Cut the sh*t!

        There have been a few AGW bets -- do a search on Armstrong-Gore (of course Gore didn't have the courage of his convictions) and there is the Evans-Schimdt bet and you can even bet for charity at Notrickszone.

      7. Al Black

        Re: Cut the sh*t!

        The hypothesis is that Global Warming stopped around the turn of the Millenium, some say 1998, some say 2000. Either way all argee that it was warming from 1975 to 1998, so your bet is dishonest. Make it 15 years and you're on.

        Al

      8. Marshalltown

        Re: Cut the sh*t!

        Ah, but which data will you be using to estimate that average. As it is, the estimated temperature change over the last century is pretty weak. When you research the adjustments applied to the raw data, and note among other things that these adjustments ALL BY THEMSELVES would impose a mild warming trend on raw series that is a constant value, then you have a problem. The adjustments are biased and the justifications are mostly either weak, or nonexistent. Only the TOBS seems to make any sort of rational sense. At the same the "adjustment" of historical data downward as you move into the past with an imposed trend is a problem. Some, possibly most, of the methodological decisions that drive these adjustments are clearly "theory" driven rather than developed to address empirical reality. You want to remember Kevin Trenberth's heart-felt complaint in the Climategate emails. He states in the same email where he describes the climate science community's inability to detect ocean warming as a travesty, that the data MUST be wrong. That, my lad, would have set Sir Francis spinning. The entire point of the scientific method as delineated by Bacon was to remove the observer's assumptions as far from the reality of the experiment as possible. To adjust the data prior to analysis based upon the theory being tested is to engage in echo-chamber science. No publication on climate change should report "analytical" results on adjusted data without summarizing the comparable results from the raw data as well. The GISS announcement regarding 2014 as the "hottest" actual assigned a probability of 38% to that assertion if you read the text. That would mean that in all likelihood, 2014 was nothing special with a 62% certainty. BEST's results in any other field using statistical methods would not have been reported, let alone attention drawn to the "rise." It was not significantly different from no change. If you are, as you say, a professional time series analyst, then you know that.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Well

      "Our best estimate for the global temperature of 2014 puts it slightly above (by 0.01 C) that of the next warmest year (2010) but by much less than the margin of uncertainty (0.05 C). Therefore it is impossible to conclude from our analysis which of 2014, 2010, or 2005 was actually the warmest year."

      Riiiight - but they are all in the last decade - so if the 3 warmest years since the 1800s are in the last decade, that sort of supports the global warming thing right? You are just arguing about the order of the deckchairs on the Titanic. Not to mention ignoring other overwhelming observable evidence like the on-going sea level rises every year, and that the oceans were the warmest on record too...

      1. TheTick

        Re: Well

        "so if the 3 warmest years since the 1800s are in the last decade, that sort of supports the global warming thing right? "

        It supports global warming from the 1800's (the end of the little ice age or thereabouts), it doesn't support anthropogenic global warming. Presumably something stopped the little ice age and I doubt there was enough CO2 released in the 18th & 19th centuries to be the cause of that temperature rise.

        Up until the late 90's there was a correlation between increased CO2, due to mankind's industry, and temperature, but that correlation between the two appears to have broken down in the last 15 years.

        My conclusion is that no one knows yet but that further study is warranted before governments start taxing the crap out of us and telling us how to live.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Well

          "it doesn't support anthropogenic global warming. "

          Yes it does when you match it to the CO2 readings for the last 150 years. Which by the way have just gone over 400 parts per million - for the first time in the last 20 million years.

          "Presumably something stopped the little ice age"

          Presumably you need to Bing Maunder Minimum.

          "that correlation between the two appears to have broken down in the last 15 years"

          No - no it doesn't. The correlation is still well within existing historical variations.

          "I doubt there was enough CO2 released in the 18th & 19th centuries to be the cause of that temperature rise"

          Sounds very scientific.

          That a) global warming is happening and than b) it is at least significantly anthropomorphic in nature have not been in any scientific doubt whatsoever for at least a decade now. You might want to argue about the impacts or what to do about, it but denying it is happening and that we are at least partly to blame is simply laughable.

          nb - we are also now statistically about 99% sure that man is not just a significant cause, but is the primary cause of global warming.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well

            'nb - we are also now statistically about 99% sure that man is not just a significant cause, but is the primary cause of global warming.'

            What the !!! is that !!!

            That statement would seem to be sadly disconnected from reality and any valid form of statistical analysis.

            This sort of hysterical myth, paints a very sad picture for humanities survival.

            Forget global warming, the real threat to the survival of the species is this sort of absurd twisting of the truth to support a just so story, and the number of people who actually believe it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Well

              "What the !!! is that !!!"

              The view of the many scientists involved with the IPCC climate reports. In words:

              "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.

              …It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century."

        2. Stuart 22

          Re: Well

          "Up until the late 90's there was a correlation between increased CO2, due to mankind's industry, and temperature, but that correlation between the two appears to have broken down in the last 15 years."

          I think you need to review your understanding of correlation. If you look at the timeseries in the last 50 years or so you will observe two distinct 'reversals' where temperatures fell. This shows not unexpectedly that other factors affect the annual temperature in the short term. The usual culprits are weather and water currents that behave cyclically. They have had a dramatic short term effect but little effect long term.

          Hence what should worry people with a more skeptic view of global warming is that the last ten years are at best a pause and not a reversal as before. Does this mean there is not a stronger underlying warming or just that the expected cooling cycles are diminished? I don't know the answer. But to say this has destroyed the previous correlation requires strong evidence. Would you like to share it with us?

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Well

            "Hence what should worry people with a more skeptic view of global warming is that the last ten years are at best a pause and not a reversal as before."

            They aren't even a pause. Oceans have continued warming and it takes a shitload more energy to heat those up than the atmosphere.

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Well

          "Presumably something stopped the little ice age"

          Most likely sunspots.

          The little ice age was more-or-less simultaneous with the Maunder minimum.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well

          "...trapped in the blazing cinema/mutely screaming I TOLD YOU SO from melting eyeballs as the whitehot fireball dissolves the Cathedral..."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well

        How do you justify your comments when the unadjusted data does not?

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Adam Selene

        Re: Well

        "Riiiight - but they are all in the last decade - so if the 3 warmest years since the 1800s are in the last decade, that sort of supports the global warming thing right?"

        Yes is supports the idea of global warming but it also shows the role that Co2 has, may be greatly over estimated.

        If over the course of the last decade the 3 hottest years are on record but of a similar record level but literally gigatons of Co2 have been released suggests that our understanding of Co2 is off and we need to be reexamined the situation so we can properly take action.

        Global warming has been empirically shown and highly correlated to human action however if co2 levels have jumped though the roof and temperature for the last decade has been in the same range the correlation between Co2 and temperature needs to be reexamined.

        Think of it as a trail: We are about to send the wrong guy to jail.

        1. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: Well

          "Global warming has been empirically shown and highly correlated to human action however if co2 levels have jumped though the roof and temperature for the last decade has been in the same range the correlation between Co2 and temperature needs to be reexamined."

          Maybe. Earth and its atmosphere have a good deal of thermal mass, which one would expect to produce a significant lag between the introduction of carbon dioxide and other similar contaminants and the warming effect that they bring. I have not seen this discussed quantitatively, but it seems likely that it could be, and has, been done. The atmosphere is big and dispersion of the additional carbon dioxide might take several years to diffuse; and the additional retained energy could take some more years to raise the temperature noticeably.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well

          If you look at the last 1000 million years, there is no correlation between co2 and higher temperature.

          In fact, at certain times there is a reverse correlation.

          1. Ian Joyner

            Re: Well

            Where do you get this nonsense from. Are you just putting it in here to confuse people? That seems to be the tactic these days:

            http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/nonlinear-warfare-a-new-system-of-political-control-2014/

          2. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Well

            "If you look at the last 1000 million years, there is no correlation between co2 and higher temperature."

            We only have records going back about 600,000 years (from ice cores). Which in fact show a very close correlation.

            1. Nial

              Re: Well

              "We only have records going back about 600,000 years (from ice cores). Which in fact show a very close correlation."

              The corellation is very close on a 600,000 timescale, and shows CO2 concentrations follwowing temperatures.

              Out of interest TheVogon, what do you do for a living?

              1. TheVogon Silver badge

                Re: Well

                "Out of interest TheVogon, what do you do for a living?"

                Build intergalactic highways and hyperspace bypasses...

                See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Co2-temperature-plot.svg

                (Actually this one goes back 800,000 years! Note where the current CO2 level of 400ppm is - the Earth hasn't seen levels that high for about 20 million years!)

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Well

                  Please stop the bull crap. All ice core "measurements" are completely suspect. The other gasses that would provide the real proportion data are all more permeable than CO2. IE most everything else leaked away besides the CO2.

                  1. TheVogon Silver badge

                    Re: Well

                    "Please stop the bull crap. All ice core "measurements" are completely suspect. The other gasses that would provide the real proportion data are all more permeable than CO2. IE most everything else leaked away besides the CO2."

                    These measurements are extremely widely accepted - and we now have multiple concurring measurements from different locations. What real proportion data? All gases tend to be permeable! What has 'leaked away' that would change these measurements? You are spouting fluent effluent.

                    If you actually had any knowledge of what you are trying to disparage, you would understand that no other gases are directly involved in the measurement other than CO2 and that the temperature at the time the ice was deposited can be measured by comparing the ratio of isotopes in the water.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well

            Why would anyone vote factual information down?

        3. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Well

          "If over the course of the last decade the 3 hottest years are on record but of a similar record level but literally gigatons of Co2 have been released suggests that our understanding of Co2 is off and we need to be reexamined the situation so we can properly take action."

          No it doesn't suggest that at all - graphs of increasing concentrations of CO2 matches the increasing temperature very closely in the medium and long term - and we have vast historical evidence for this - in fact going back over 400,000 years!

          That there are other factors that may speed up or slow down the resulting effects of CO2 in the short term is well known - just look at the natural variations in temperature in the short term since 1880!. But in the longer term the correlation is clear - the eventual and inevitable effects of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere are well known and not in any scientific doubt. The only real question is how fast will it happen and how bad will it get?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well

          " if co2 levels have jumped though the roof and temperature for the last decade has been in the same range the correlation between Co2 and temperature needs to be re-examined"

          CO2 levels have continued a long term steady increase - with a bit of varience - just like the temperature. They are now over 400ppm. The correlation and causation isn't in any doubt.

      5. Muncher23

        Re: Well

        TheVogon saith:

        Riiiight - but they are all in the last decade - so if the 3 warmest years since the 1800s are in the last decade, that sort of supports the global warming thing right? You are just arguing about the order of the deckchairs on the Titanic

        Let's try this for a thought experiment: when you were a kid and went and visited your granma' she would mark your height by getting you to stand against a wall. So over the years the marks got higher and higher (you were growing) but then they started to level out when you were in your late teens, over the next ten years sometimes they were slightly higher and sometimes they were slightly lower (measurement error) so sometimes granma would say you are taller than you have ever been --- but did this mean you were still growing? Over the ten years maybe the ten highest marks would be recorded but were you still growing? You are just arguing how much to charge for deckchairs on the Queen Mary.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well

          "Let's try this for a thought experiment" (rest of crap snipped).

          I would then expect to see an eventual steady state varying about a mean. Not a continued upwards trend as we have in the temperature records when measured over a meaningful period (say 30 or more years). The long term graphs of temperature measurements since 1880 do not resemble your analogy.

          Regardless of if you dispute the factual and long term temperature record - that statistical analysis (and simply looking at it) proves does show a CONTINUING warming trend, then the continuing sea level rise year on year also shows that temperature is increasing (as ice is melting and the water in the oceans is expanding).

          Next year is also likely to be another record warm year if as seems likely we get an El Nino event.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well

        The sea level is not rising, at least not as much as claimed. As with much of this 'debate' the evidence has been fiddled with, and there are few if any raw unadulterated measurements of the actual height (depth) of the sea.

        I am sure you can find some graphs and charts that supposedly show a rise, but they are probably afflicted with the same, 'lets increase the level because we think it should be increasing' philosophy.

        Beside how can you measure the height or depth of the sea when the land is constantly buckling up and down at random locations.

        Personally I have been visiting the same jetty for the last fifty years, and the average water level has not changed in that time. I know because I scratched my name in a post at the high water mark.

        1. Ian Joyner

          Re: Well

          High water marks change all the time. The highs and lows of tides are not constant. I have very amusing pictures of a king tide at Richmond last year when the Thames came up over the road and a jeep parked there looked like it was walking on water.

          Tides change the world over. Can be 1 meter in one place and 9 meters in others. Low-level island nations are complaining that the sea is rising on them.

          How much will sea levels rise if the arctic entirely melts - I'll tell you, by nothing! But the arctic ice is melting, and the antarctic will follow, which will result in rises.

          Even if we cannot be 100% sure - the safest course of action is to take evasive action. This will result in a whole lot of beneficial effects like cheap energy for many people who don't have it now.

          One thing about people and scientists who acknowledge AGW as real is that we hope we a proved wrong - but until then, don't take the risk. That is a huge gamble that denialists are taking.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Well

            @ Ian Joyner

            "Even if we cannot be 100% sure - the safest course of action is to take evasive action. This will result in a whole lot of beneficial effects like cheap energy for many people who don't have it now."

            100%. 90%? 80? 0.1 in a margin of error of 0.5? To provide such wonderful benefits as producing more co2 for new methods of 'ehem' energy production which doesnt really work (but dont say it too loud) and is massively inflating the cost of energy while increasing the chance of energy shortage.

            Head meets wall.

            1. Ian Joyner

              Re: Well

              code junky >>100%. 90%? 80? 0.1 in a margin of error of 0.5? To provide such wonderful benefits as producing more co2 for new methods of 'ehem' energy production which doesnt really work (but dont say it too loud) and is massively inflating the cost of energy while increasing the chance of energy shortage.<<

              Science is never 100% sure. Even Newton has been proven to be wrong - however his equations are still good enough to get us to the moon and planets.

              That is the same kind of certainty that we have with global warming. As I say, even if global warming is wrong (and we all hope it is), the effect of getting more efficient (read cheaper) less polluting (read expensive that polluters don't pay for) energy that is available to many more people, is a good thing.

              So irrespective of whether AGW is correct, it looks like a win-win situation and at worst a lose-win.

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: Well

                >>"Science is never 100% sure. Even Newton has been proven to be wrong - however his equations are still good enough to get us to the moon and planets. That is the same kind of certainty that we have with global warming."

                There are several people here who are making good and supported arguments for AGW. And then there's you who will cheerfully spout any hyperbolic rubbish because you think it's right to do so. No, AGW does not have the level of certainty that F=ma does. Not even the boldest of climatologists would make such ridiculous claims. Aside from the ad hominems and the dismissal of people who are skeptical as paid by the fossil fuels lobby, this is complete nonsense and you clearly just say whatever pops into your head that you think sounds good.

                >>" As I say, even if global warming is wrong (and we all hope it is), the effect of getting more efficient (read cheaper) less polluting (read expensive that polluters don't pay for) energy that is available to many more people, is a good thing."

                The thing is, I even agree that we should move away from fossil fuels - I am extremely pro-nuclear and nuclear is cleaner and doesn't result in us supporting nasty Middle Eastern regimes. But your reasoning is absurd. Things like wind turbines (the current darling of the "environmental" lobby (1)) are far more expensive than coal and gas and are demanding large subsidies from us to be viable. Nor are other energy sources inherently available to more people. Your argument that it is best to take costly measures just in case is flawed - as other people have pointed out. We could plough trillions into an asteroid defence system and maybe we should so we don't go the way of the dinosaurs. But then again maybe we shouldn't. There is a spectrum of cost vs. risk. Where does a cataclysmic meteor strike lie on that spectrum? Where do AGW counter-measures lie? Reasoned arguments can be made but all you do is argue that because there is a risk, counter-measures are necessary. That is flawed. Though I suppose if you believe that climate science is as certain as 9.8m/s/s you probably wont see that.

                >>So irrespective of whether AGW is correct, it looks like a win-win situation and at worst a lose-win.

                I know what you're saying, and have argued similar myself - we should be moving off fossil fuels but there are right ways and wrong ways to do it and panicked hyperbolic reactions such as yours lead to the wrong-way.

                (1) I put environmentalist in quotes because there are many of us who consider ourselves environmentalists but are excluded from having a voice because whenever we try to protest or vote for the Green party, Friends of the Earth or similar is ready to use our voice to push an anti-nuclear agenda. Every environmental cause gets co-opted by these groups.

              2. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Well

                @ Ian Joyner

                "That is the same kind of certainty that we have with global warming. As I say, even if global warming is wrong (and we all hope it is), the effect of getting more efficient (read cheaper) less polluting (read expensive that polluters don't pay for) energy that is available to many more people, is a good thing."

                You make a good point. But that is not what we are getting for this believable theory which has been proven over and over to be pushed by corrupt and lying bastards who sometimes claim to be scientists. We have had lies more lies and absolute lies pushed as fact to make these changes you talk of. And the result is not less pollution and cheaper/efficient energy. Instead we have more co2 produced, developed countries producing more pollution than we can keep up with and vastly less efficient and more expensive energy production.

                The only certainty over global warming is that there is a natural cycle and beyond that we know amazingly little. Full stop. The cults who are certain their version is right have little to support their views beyond distrust of the motives of the other. That is not science. But it is the warmists influencing policy and that is a lose lose situation which is causing massive harm for the 'dream' of saving their souls no matter how many people must be sacrificed.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Well

          Personally I have been visiting the same jetty for the last fifty years, and the average water level has not changed in that time. I know because I scratched my name in a post at the high water mark.

          Cool. Nice to see the comment I made a little while ago supported by yours some time much further back. Wonder why you got a downvote for posting provable, observale fact though? (bet the same person will downvote me :) )

          How many other areas can you see where the sea level hasn't changed, and how many changes are because as you say land rises and falls/erodes?

          Oh, and isn't the idea not "because we think it should be rising/falling" but "well, we don't think they knew how to read their instruments so we'll make it up as we go along, er, I mean correct their readings, because they didn't know what they were doing!" :)

          Beer, coz hopefully In a few months you'll be able to sit down and have one in your summer (unless you're this side of the equator, in which case have it tomorrow - I hear it could be the warmest day this week.. SHIT! GLOBAL WARMING MUST BE REAL! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well

            "Personally I have been visiting the same jetty for the last fifty years, and the average water level has not changed in that time. I know because I scratched my name in a post at the high water mark."

            "From 1950 to 2009, measurements show an average annual rise in sea level of 1.7 ± 0.3 mm per year, with satellite data showing a rise of 3.3 ± 0.4 mm per year from 1993 to 2009"

            So going by the lower rate, in the last 50 years you would expect to see a rise of 8 cm or so. However in many locations the land is still rising by a similar rate due to the end of the last ice age. So just because you didn't notice it at a specific point, doesn't mean it isn't happening. The evidence that sea level rise is happening is overwhelming.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well

        It's actually misleading for the scientists behind this latest "warmest year!" claim to imply that temperature measurement in the 1880s was anywhere near as complete or complex as it is today. The level of sophistication used in today's temperature measurements has only ben in place for a few decades, so the timescale is much shorter than 135 years.

      8. BlackBearBill

        Re: Well

        Exactly, interesting how the question of context is omitted from the article. You'd almost think, from reading the article, that the planet was getting cooler or something. In fact, it's warmed a lot and is continuing to warm at rates seldom seen in the ice core record.

      9. GrumpyMiddleAgedGuy

        Re: Well

        Well, it's possible that the 1930s were the warmest decade in the last 100 years, before NASA and others decided to process the available data. There is a reason that the temperature graphs start in the 1950s.

        Saying that it is not an unreasonable things to do since the data needs cleaned. i.e. checked for reasonableness and outlining values removed. etc. However it add more uncertainty. Given that it has now been 25 years without significant temperature rise, the claims of global warming (originally 5 degree per 100 years!) have to be regarded as very suspect.

      10. Kiwi Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Well

        other overwhelming observable evidence like the on-going sea level rises every year, and that the oceans were the warmest on record too...

        Like many Kiwi's, I live in coastal areas. I've spent my entire life a few hundred metres to a few K away. Right now I am actually about 7 k from the nearest shore.

        Over Christmas I visited Opunake beach (very near where I grew up) for the first time in decades. I observed, quite plainly, that the sea was in the same place as last time I was there. If there were "observable" sea level rises over the last few decades, then I should've "observed" that, right?

        I also visited other beaches along the Taranaki coast, including Patea beach; areas I spent almost every summer day (and many non-summer ones) during my childhood and teens. Areas with ancient wharfs which were built many decades ago, some even before electricity was common (and Patea was IIRC the 5th place in NZ to have electricity!). I observed that the water still reached the same levels in these places as when I remembered them, and indeed looking at the design of the wharfs, the same level as when they were built.

        I recently visited Petone. Same thing with their wharf, built just a wee while ago (1907). Other beaches are the same as they were a long time ago, with the notable difference of the "shoreline 1840" markers a fair way inland on Wellington streets. These mark the old shoreine in 1840, but note it wasn't "global cooling" that moved the sea so far from where it used to be. it was largely (if my memory of history serves me right) a rather large upthrust of land from an earthquake that significantly altered the area, and a bit from "reclaimed land" as well. Mostly from the quake though.

        Same for Titahi Bay, the Centenial Highway, the Pauatahinui Inlet - sea levels unchanged for as long as I've known them, and looking at the placements of very old boat sheds, boat ramps, and other constructions, the levels change with the tides, but no more. What his high tide today was high tide a hundred years ago.

        So "observable" evidence is that the sea level has had no appreciable change in over 100 years. If you don't believe me, get on a plane and come over here. Plant a tree or two to offset the carbon of your flight like a good wee AGW-type, jetting around to prove how bad jetting around is... Er, anyway... If you want to observe it for yourself, get your arse over here and look for yourself.

        I take most "global warming" stuff with a grain of salt, and given the observable levels of rise around me, a grain of salt would probably be enough to raise the sea much more than it has done in recent decades.

        (One Wellington councilor did supposedly change his mind after a significant slip took out a chunk of the Hutt-Wellington rail line last year - but then I've always lived coastal, and I know that land erodes anyway, sometimes you get a big bit go in one storm (or even without the storm), sometimes you go decades without slips in a particular area - a slip during a storm is NOT proof or even evidence of global warming - I've been seeing them happen since the early 70's (when they were conclusive proof we were about to enter an ice age!).

        </midnight rant>

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well

          Its wonderful that your short trip was so productive of hard scientific data, and that your childhood memory was so precise. Lets say that sea level rose by the current global average, 3 mm a year. Lets also assume 'several' decades is actually 40 years. So you would expect to have seen 12 0mm of rise, about 10 centimetres, Taranakai has a tidal range of over 3 metres, so it's lucky you stayed there long enough to accurately establish the median level. I guess those scientists who actually 'measure' things needn't have bothered. Luckily they did - and they measured (you know that thing you do with tape measures and gps and stuff) a rise of 1.2 mm to 1.5 mm a year, so only 5 or 6 centimetres in your 'many decades' - but you must have known that with your keen eyesight and photographic memory. Or did you carve your name on a particular rock exactly at mid tide and revisit it? Please tell!

          Lets not bother with all the confounding factors, i.e. sea level rise varying over the globe, isostatic rebound, volcanism tectonics, earthquakes, whether peak tides and mean seal level are perfectly correlated, I'm sure a vague childhood memory is more accurate.

          Your post could is a textbook example of 'argument from personal incredulity' .

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: Well

            Its wonderful that your short trip was so productive of hard scientific data, and that your childhood memory was so precise.

            You do realise that realise that water tends to leave marks on things, like where tides come up to? You also realise that certain sea-born life forms cling to structures, giving a good indication of usual tidal heights? Do you also realise that engineering of warves and the like hasn't much changed for a long time, ie what was built for a certain size ship last century holds true for the same size ship today? High tide still reaches the same place today as it did when that structure was built. You can see that with one visit at low tide.

            As to isostatic rebound, is that what they're using to explain away why we haven't had the tens or hundreds of meters sea level rises we were promised in the 90's? We're in 2015 now. Weren't we all supposed to be drowning by now? Amazing how isostatic rebound so closely matches the exact rate of gw-based sea level rise!

            Don't take my word for it. Visit some of these places and have a good look and think for yourself. I know it's hard to do with all that screaming about how only stupid people look at the evidence and make up their own conclusions themselves (with appropriate levels of study involved), and really scary to stand up to the agw bullies for some, but it can be done and you'll soon see how much is truth, and how much really is fear-mongering.

            And for the record, I am very much pro cutting pollution, very much pro renewable and nuke (truly green energy if you take the time to look and think), and extremely pro looking after this planet. But that means making the right choices, not the ones some in the gw lobby wants to waste money and resources on.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Well

              "You do realise that realise that water tends to leave marks on things, like where tides come up to? You also realise that certain sea-born life forms cling to structures, giving a good indication of usual tidal heights?"

              Did you allow for that those tidal heights vary with the phase of the moon? You are seriously suggesting that your personal memory of 40 years ago is right but thousands of sea level measurements from hundreds of sources are wrong?!

              The UK National Tide Gauge Network, run by the Tide Gauge Inspectorate, records tidal elevations at 44 locations around the UK coast. See some of the measured long term trends here: http://www.ntslf.org/sites/ntslf/files/pdf/images/brecs.pdf

      11. Just a Framer
        Holmes

        Re: Well

        Unfortunately all the various Bureau of Mets have been fiddling the figures, invariably they have lowered temperature from 50-60-100 years ago so that the temperature they get now is the "Hottest"! Especially when they have reduced the number of stations they take readings from and a lot of the Metro thermometers are placed on concrete... next to air cond. vents and the like. It's just a very nice con job so that us,the great unwashed, get so scarred to be burned to a crisp that we keep on giving them "research Money!" Anyway the argument is not on the "Climate is Changing" bit but mainly on the Carbon, Co2 or whatever you want to call it. It has nothing to do with CO2, that wonderfull plant fertilizer, so much so that the warmist cannot produce ANY empirical eveidence that CO2 is the culprit in a change in weather......The temperature has not gone up, CO2 has increased expotentially, there is no heat in the sea, CO2 is not changing our climate (0.01 Deg. with a statistical margin of error of 0.05....!!)

      12. Marshalltown

        Re: Well

        In fact, the debate continues about the adjustments to the data that modify past temperatures downward without offering any serious kind of ground truthing. The regions showing the "greatest" warming are in fact all in areas lacking any real data: regions like large portions of South America, Africa, Asia, and the Arctic. These "data" are purportedly interpolated, but astonishingly, they seem to have larger "warming trends" than the actual stations used for interpolation do. These imputed "fictional" data are then used to calculate that "warmest year ever" figure. Seriously.

    3. Cheapster

      Re: Well

      You really can't, you can be selective or downright lie but statistics are usually pretty clear.

      This is what Lewis is doing, desperately trying to push his long failed campaign to support the polluters for whatever reason.

      The idea that there is a hiatus is idiotic.

      If there has been no increase in the last 10-15 years then you would expect the temps to demonstrate that, so at least 50% of the mean temps would be well below the 20th century mean. They are clearly not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well

        > The idea that there is a hiatus is idiotic.

        Hardly anyone of any credibility is denying that a hiatus exists. The masurements clearly show it on both sides of the debate camp. The debate is as to why.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well

          "Hardly anyone of any credibility is denying that a hiatus exists"

          Most credible scientific sources are denying this if as commonly quoted by sceptics you take 'Hiatus' to mean that global warming has stopped. There is overwhelming evidence that it hasn't. It just slowed down for a few years a bit on surface temperatures - but well within historical variances in the temperature record.

          CO2 levels are still rising so it is inevitable that the surface temperature levels will too - and will continue to do so for a good while after CO2 stops rising as the planet will take time to reach a state nearer equilibrium...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well

          "Hardly anyone of any credibility is denying that a hiatus exists. The masurements clearly show it on both sides of the debate camp"

          That's not true unless you mean Hiatus as a brief slowdown in the rate of warming - and well within previous historical variations. Most people would take Hiatus to mean that global warming has stopped which most definitely is not the case. As on-going surface and ocean temperature rises, and continued sea level rises demonstrate.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well

        But these are not mean temperatures. They are based on temperature anomolies - that is when the temperature is above average. They dont measure when the temperature is below average. This means that we cant see which years are below the average temperature. I know you think this does not make sense, but look up how temperature anomolies are calculated. The hottest years could also be the coldest years at the same time.

      3. Marshalltown

        Re: Well

        Why do you persist in this without actually reading up on the methods and debates regarding the adjustments applied to the raw data. The idea of filtering for long term, stable stations like houses and developing an independent data set is a brilliant one and could be done far more easily than the incredibly clumsy methods used by GISS, NOAA and HADCRUT now.

        Right now, given the available information supplied by the agencies that generate the major data sets, we *know* that that there will be a trend that pushes each succeeding year upward. The adjustments will not swamp the general pattern of any given year, but over the data span the adjustments force trends even on trendless data.

        The replacement of standard thermometers by electronic systems is also KNOW to impose a +1.5 C bias on the measurement. This increase does not seem to be removed from the adjusted data. It might be, but finding documented adjustment methods is far more difficult than it should be.

    4. BillG Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Well

      You can torture statistics to mean anything. And if you play on peoples fears you can force them into action they wouldnt rationally choose.

      And if you're really good at this you have a career in politics.

    5. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Well

      Of somewhat more importance that which specific year is hotter - the actual effects of the ongoing temperature increases. Here is more evidence that it's actually worse than we thought:

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/15/3611941/sea-level-rise-on-the-rise/

  2. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    On the BBC ... "2014 confirmed as warmest year"

    here

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: On the BBC ... "2014 confirmed as warmest year"

      You wouldn't want to believe those NASA scientists - just after more money to get off the planet so they just say its warming.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey, its still paused until the last polar bear melts!

    Hmm 3 reports, 2 say its the warmest, 1 says its the warmest but only just and maybe not significant, so clearly not the warmest because 2 of them are obviously biased, and the 3rd said it was warmest, but maybe not, and 2 yes + 1 maybe = almost certainly not!.

    1. theOtherJT

      Re: Hey, its still paused until the last polar bear melts!

      The real problem with here is that it's hard to convince anyone to do anything off the back of nothing more than balance of probability.

      "If we don't do something, something bad _might_ happen, we're not really sure, but on balance it seems likely." Is not very convincing. It's much easier if the message is "It will be unequivocally the end of the world if you don't." ...which is unfortunate, because even if you're right big bold statements like that in a field that relies heavily on statistics makes you look like a liar.

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Hey, its still paused until the last polar bear melts!

      One downvote from me on this. Scientific endeavor always is a work in progress, but the outcome is not determined by a vote of competing studies. It almost surely is true that the authors of all the studies did what they thought appropriate with the data sets they had. Where things go off is in arguing for or against policy changes, a matter at which scientists are no more qualified than historians and probably are less qualified than professional politicians. If, in addition, the scientists become suspect of cooking their studies to coincide with their opinions and policy preferences, it poisons the debate over policy.

  4. PhilipN Silver badge

    Earth: hotter. Life expectancy: up.

    There is a direct correlation between global warming and longevity, if your sample comprises news headlines.

    I do not mind if someone pays me a LOT of money to establish this on a scientific basis.

    Hell - pay me and I'll establish whatever you want!

  5. Mikel

    Thermometers

    Were all the thermometers used calibrated to 0.01 degree?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Thermometers

      a pertinent question for all the datasets - and for what time period were they that accurate? ie did they get upgraded at any point.

    2. Dani Eder

      Re: Thermometers

      For the US at least, NOAA accuracy standards are +- 1F (0.55C) with 95% confidence, which converts to a 1-sigma error of about 0.25 to 0.3C

      Source: page 7 of http://www.nws.noaa.gov/directives/sym/pd01013002curr.pdf

      However, it is a well known fact of physical measurements that if you average many independent readings, the error band will get smaller by the square root of the number of measurements. Thus for a year's worth, the average should be 19 times better, or 0.013 to 0.016C. Of course, that assumes the measurement conditions did not change during the year.

      If the worldwide accuracy is +/- 0.05C, and you want to find out if there is a significant trend, then the proper thing to do is take a 25 year running average. That will average out the significant annual weather variations, and bring the measurement error down to 0.01C, which is lower than the expected rate of increase (0.02 to 0.06C/year). But climate skeptics don't want to do that. They want to cherry-pick an especially hot El-Nino year (1998 or so) as the base point to determine a trend.

      As far as "hottest year on record", looking at air temperature alone is idiotic. The oceans have 5000 times the thermal mass of the atmosphere, and melting ice absorbs as much energy as raising liquid water 80C. The world's ice caps and permafrost only melt a little each year percentage-wise, but they account for a large amount of thermal energy. We also haven't had a large number of thermometers in the oceans until very recently, so it is difficult to see a trend. Satellites can measure ocean surface temperature pretty well. But the bulk of the oceans is below the surface, naturally.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thermometers

        @Dani Eder, Are you saying that that accuracy was followed in the 1800s all over the world?

        Regarding cherry-picking, why do the warmest's always 'massage' the old data and use that in their calculations rather than the real data of the period? Is it because it doesn't follow their preconceived ideas?

        Any data 'massaging' deing done should be to the current data to lower it because of the UHI that predominates present readings.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thermometers

          > Any data 'massaging' deing done should be to the current data to lower it because of the UHI that predominates present readings.

          A certain amount of massaging is necessary to normalise the data since different methods are used for measurement in different places. I would imagine that it is very tempting to massage the data so that it confirms your particular biases though.

      2. Mikel

        Re: Thermometers - Dani Elder

        >As far as "hottest year on record", looking at air temperature alone is idiotic. The oceans have 5000 times the thermal mass of the atmosphere, and melting ice absorbs as much energy as raising liquid water 80C.

        Ah, yes. Did you know how much energy it takes to raise sea level 120 meters by melting ice? 16 Yottajoules. This happened about 2,000 years ago. That is a lotta Joules. 32,000 times the world annual energy usage.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thermometers - Dani Elder

          "This happened about 2,000 years ago"

          Evidence?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    warmists or sceptics

    What warmists vs sceptics?

    Surely you mean scientists vs deniers?

    1. JayB

      Re: warmists or sceptics

      "Surely you mean scientists vs deniers?"

      Nope, he means Warmists vs Sceptics, because plenty of Scientists have disagreed with "wildly held beliefs". Let me guess, you work for the University of East Anglia?

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: warmists or sceptics

        "because plenty of Scientists have disagreed with "wildly held beliefs""

        For a very small and rapidly diminishing value of "plenty".

      2. Tom 13

        Re: you work for the University of East Anglia?

        Could also be a Mannist from Penn State. That man is more of a blight on my alma mater than Sandusky.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: warmists or sceptics

      "What warmists vs sceptics?

      Surely you mean scientists vs deniers?"

      I think this comment sums up the problem with MMCC co2 theory, climate change, global warming and goblins under the bed. The problem is the cults of the warmist/denier due purely to the fact that they are both ideological groups with the public image of pathological liers. Somehow the followers cling to whichever cult they belong to while looking like absolute nutters to the rest of us (I imagine to the scientists as well).

      Last I checked the scientists were still trying to figure out how the complicated system of climate works. They made observations, make predictions and some work while others fail. The conclusion is far from certain. The certainty is that our 'attempts' to deal with Co2 have had more to do with ideology and money than actually solving any problems.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: warmists or sceptics

        >Last I checked the scientists were still trying to figure out how the complicated system of climate works.

        Yes they are. The problem is that a model which shows that AGW either is not happening or is not a problem would be politically completely unacceptable to governments all around the world - and therefore funding around the world. In other words, the funding favours a particular result. It may be the correct result, but its still a biased result.

        There could be many reasons for the hiatus, the one that springs to my mind is the shift of manufacturing from the West, where most of the records exist, to China. The expansion of cities is a problem. From where I stand, it looks as though that invalidates the data from those areas. You can't really hope to adjust it and get a reliable data, especially if you're talking about 0.1C changes, which means we just don't know what's going on. That may be unacceptable for those who worship at the shrine of Science, but most people can accept that "we don't know" is the truth. They can also accept, "it looks as though it temperatures might have gone up very slightly, but our margin of error is more than the change, so we can't say for sure." Don't let the fact that a sentence is too long for a newspaper headline to change your message.

        Despite all the governmental "woe is me" conferences, no government appears to be doing anything. We all know telling people not to buy the next iphone is not going to work. Using fewer plastic bags won't work, neither will taxing things with inelastic demand, like petrol.

        If the science is settled and you want to put your money where your mouth is - start spending on setting up northern Canada for farming. Before you do that, I'm not sure you *really* believe the data or you're just generating bad news because it suits you politically. Tell the population why you need to tax them more, ring-fence the revenue so the public can see you aren't just fixing your irresponsible military spending deficit. No, we don't want drought-resistant GM crops, that just means people keep farming where they shouldn't, you eventually get a dust-bowl and it looks as though you're just giving hand-outs to your corporate sponsors to allow them to get a lock on their industry. Surely we don't need more studies if the science is settled, that just looks like scare-propaganda, especially if *all* you do is fund studies.

        Do something. Do something which doesn't equate to a hand-out to big business. If the action plan is painful for government it is more convincing and if it is just revenue raising or helping its corporate friends. Then I might believe that the government believes the data and is working for the benefit of the people.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: warmists or sceptics

          "There could be many reasons for the hiatus"

          What Hiatus? Warming of both sea and land continues. The warming of the land might have slowed down a bit, but it never stopped - as evidenced not just by long term increased measurements for both, but be the continual rise in sea levels for the duration.

          That there was some sort of Hiatus is a long discredited lie based on cherry picking time ranges from a major El Nino event about 18 years ago. In any longer term graph the continuing trend is clear.

          "especially if you're talking about 0.1C changes"

          We are talking about a 0.8 degrees rise since 1880. That might not sound a lot, but it's enough to cause significant melting of ice and other environmental change - which have a potential positive feedback on temperature. And due to the massive thermal capacity of our planet's oceans - and the gigantic volume of ice, the temperature is likely to continue increasing for several hundred years even if we stopped emitting CO2 now. So why bother to try and stop you might say? Because the more CO2 we emit the worse and the more catastrophic the final impact is likely to be.

      2. Fluffy Bunny
        Boffin

        Re: warmists or sceptics

        "They made observations, make predictions and some work while others fail"

        I know of exactly one model that actually predicted the present "hiatus" (pronounced reversal). I will look up the link later, if I get a chance.

        It took past history as a guide, from memory:

        1. residual warming from last ice age

        2. 150 year cyclic warming

        3. very, very small warming from CO2 increase (no made-up multiplication factors to make it catastrophic)

        But a more fundamental problem is: what does it mean if the globe is actually warming:

        1. plants grow better in the warmth (hint, go outside in a European winter and try foraging for food)

        2. plants grow better with more CO2 (at just 400 ppm, plants are actually starving, the grow much better at 1100 to 1200)

        3. much has been made of a mythical "tipping point" at +2 degrees over 1880, with absolutely no evidence

        But back to our model. If I remember correctly, it predicts a drop in temperature coming up quite soon, so if you bet on cooling it will pay off in just a couple of years.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: warmists or sceptics

          "1. plants grow better in the warmth (hint, go outside in a European winter and try foraging for food)

          2. plants grow better with more CO2 (at just 400 ppm, plants are actually starving, the grow much better at 1100 to 1200)"

          Yes, that's great for some of say Russia. But overall not so good for much of the world. Especially when lots of that land is now underwater.

          "But back to our model. If I remember correctly, it predicts a drop in temperature coming up quite soon"

          Based on what evidence / driver ? The scientific consensus is for at least a 2 degree rise by 2100 from 1880.

          "3. much has been made of a mythical "tipping point" at +2 degrees over 1880, with absolutely no evidence"

          Actually there is no universal claim of a "tipping point" at 2 degrees. The 2 degrees are an arbitrary limit from the IPCC of where the impacts of climate change are more likely to remain manageable on the whole.

          There most certainly are unknown risks of a tipping point existing though. If major ice sheets collapse or permafrost melts we risk vast (tens of metres) rises in sea level in only a few decades.

          The scientific consensus in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report is that "Anthropogenic warming could lead to some effects that are abrupt or irreversible, depending upon the rate and magnitude of the climate change."

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: warmists or sceptics

        "The problem is the cults of the warmist/denier due purely to the fact that they are both ideological groups"

        It's the vast majority of scientists and overwhelming observable evidence versus the deniers. I tend to believe the scientists regardless of my personal convictions. For instance every single national scientific member delegate of the UN from every state - EVERY SINGLE ONE - acknowledges that global warming is happening and the humans are at least partially to blame. That's pretty conclusive to me.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: warmists or sceptics

          "It's the vast majority of scientists and overwhelming observable evidence versus the deniers. I tend to believe the scientists regardless of my personal convictions. For instance every single national scientific member delegate of the UN from every state - EVERY SINGLE ONE - acknowledges that global warming is happening and the humans are at least partially to blame. That's pretty conclusive to me."

          The scientists and observable evidence also seems to be versus the warmists. The climate just refuses to behave as they demand it must. Both the deniers and warmists jump on partial statements as proof but since the scientists are still spending their time figuring out how it all works and most importantly how much humans can be to blame, it is not just the deniers who are deluded. The only conclusive points we have is that we dont know why is it happening and that it has become an ideological debate of 2 cults. However one cult is pushing dangerous and expensive politics which is causing actual harm. And it isnt the deniers.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: warmists or sceptics

            "The climate just refuses to behave as they demand it must"

            In the medium and long term, the average temperatures of both the oceans and the surface keeps rising and the ocean levels keep rising too. And the ice keeps melting. I think you are confusing weather and climate...

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: warmists or sceptics

              "In the medium and long term, the average temperatures of both the oceans and the surface keeps rising and the ocean levels keep rising too. And the ice keeps melting. I think you are confusing weather and climate..."

              As it does naturally with or without humans, for a long time! And still the climate refuses to do as the warmists (and deniers) demand. Instead it is a complex system which still isnt understood and so what our contribution is and what that can do is a guess at best. That is why scientists still have a lot of work ahead of them even if the 2 cults are certain they know what is happening.

              Weather and climate is often confused when making points, by both sides. Often when confusing science with politics/religion.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: warmists or sceptics

                "As it does naturally with or without humans, for a long time!"

                But at a MUCH slower rate than is now happening - usually thousands of years for such a change. If we raise temperature by say 4 degrees over a century or 2 - lots of things are going to die simply because they cannot adjust fast enough. Including likely a large number of humans.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: warmists or sceptics

                  "But at a MUCH slower rate than is now happening - usually thousands of years for such a change. If we raise temperature by say 4 degrees over a century or 2 - lots of things are going to die simply because they cannot adjust fast enough. Including likely a large number of humans."

                  And that is where the science comes in. How much should it change normally (still trying to work out) and how much are we influencing it (obv still trying to work it out). Followed by what should be happening, what is actually happening and what can we accurately predict will happen. All yet to be demonstrated with any accuracy. The scientists are increasing their knowledge of climate and seek to understand it, but until they do they cannot have the answer. So how can all these people who are certain?

                  The scenario you speak of and fear has yet to be demonstrated beyond Hollywood.

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: warmists or sceptics

          >>"For instance every single national scientific member delegate of the UN from every state - EVERY SINGLE ONE - acknowledges that global warming is happening and the humans are at least partially to blame. That's pretty conclusive to me."

          Many of those you term "deniers" believe the same. Generally critics of AGW agree that the climate changes (of course it does!) and agree that humanity is bound to have some effect on that (again - of course it does). But they don't necessarily agree that human activity is the primary driver of climate change. Saying that people acknowledge that warming has happened and that humans are a factor is meaningless. Worse, it's a strawman that ignores what AGW-critics actually say.

    3. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: warmists or sceptics

      " the warmists want to take away your money and your standard of living (for your own good, they would say)"

      Straw man, much?

      There's a significant difference between believing in man-made climate change vs not believing it, versus believing something should be done about it (and if so,what should be done) or not.

      Yes unfortunately there are radical greenpeace-hippie-types who want us back in the middle ages. However there are also many other policy options to inefficiently subsidised windfarms. Not to mention that wanting to burn less and less oil imported from terrorist-supporting autocratic dictatorships is good policy irrespective of whether global temperatures are rising or not.

      1. Preston Munchensonton
        Boffin

        Re: warmists or sceptics

        "Straw man, much?"

        There's nothing about the original comment that would warrant classification as a Straw Man fallacy, given that the comment is statement of fact and it does not refute arguments made by anyone. Statement of motivation is important in judging matters of public policy. Otherwise, we shouldn't care who lobbies politicians at all, should we?

        The flip side of the original statement is also not a Straw Man argument, insomuch that sceptics want to retain their monies and lifestyles without accommodation of concerns for the global climate trends. That statement of fact reveals much about their motivation, but it does not refute any facts stated in argument against or for AGW.

        In the end, all sides should really, readily admit that the AGW debate is not a matter of science, as yet, but a premature public policy debate without the overwhelming scientific substance that no one can refute (e.g. process of natural selection or standard model of particle physics).

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: warmists or sceptics

          Well said. Everything I've read is either "theory" or "hypothesis". Is the warming real? Does the sun play a role? Are cities the problem? The science is just starting and for the warmist or denier camps to flat statements of "truth" and set policy is absurd and to base policy on the "what if" statements is beyond absurd.

          What I see is that has become a personality conflict by the major players. Neither side will listen or even look at the other sides data. Are they fudging data? Is the methods of taking the data reliable? I

          I'm neither a warmist or a denier. I'm a healthy skeptic about both camps as there's just too much smoke being blown about in this whole thing.

      2. BanjoPaterson

        Re: warmists or sceptics

        Agree. Science is not about"believing" warmest or deniers, but about observation and data to support(or otherwise) ones hypothesis or climate model. Belief plays no part. And the climate models are continuing to improve and a stable temperature for a period of time means our current models, as they always will, need improving.

        As for myself. I'm a failed mathematician cum software engineer, and I hold no "belief" since I'm not qualified to speak on climate models. I've looked at the mathematics behind some of them when I was doing post graduate research, and found myself struggling to make sense of it. So much for a BSc.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: warmists or sceptics

        "Not to mention that wanting to burn less and less oil imported from terrorist-supporting autocratic dictatorships "

        Yes - the USA exports quite a lot now. Gas too.

    4. h4rm0ny

      Re: warmists or sceptics

      >>"Surely you mean scientists vs deniers?"

      I expect a few downvotes for this, but it is the truth that I started out as someone who just accepted what I was hearing about AGW and believed it, and have since become a skeptic largely because of the attitude of so many AGW proponents. Over the years I have seen such continuous dismissal of legitimate questions with accusations of bias or deflections or simple strawmen (the attempt to prove that the world is warming as a refutation that humans are the primary cause of it, is eternal), that I have now taken up a neutral position of not being certain, tending towards not believing it in my more emotive moments.

      The climate is extremely complex. No-one has ever shown to me that it isn't being affected by human activity, but endless aggression and strawmen and bad science in AGW-proponents posts has nullified most of my belief that it is. Your post pretty much epitomizes this with the use of "deniers" and its unscientific assumption that one must prove something isn't so.

      1. Ian Joyner

        Re: warmists or sceptics

        I think what you are describing is arguments on the denialists side of straw men, ad hominem attacks, cherry picking, false petitions, etc, etc.

        However, we should not be affected by the bad arguments on one side or the other. Truth is separate from the aggressive arguments of some.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: warmists or sceptics

          >>"I think what you are describing is arguments on the denialists side of straw men, ad hominem attacks, cherry picking, false petitions, etc, etc."

          Sadly not. In any online debate on this I find countless accusations of being in the pay of the fossil fuels industry (such as you have done here yourself), endless people trying to show skeptics wrong by showing the climate has changed which misses the point that they're criticising AGW, not saying climate never changes and of course denouncing people as "denialists" which is a name that assumes a priori that someone is wrong. Very occasionally I see a post that accuses pro-AGW people of having a financial interest in pushing it but that is vanishingly rare and I've never seen it used to try and refute a factual argument. IME, I find far more aggression and base tactics directed at skeptics - sorry, I should have said "denialists" than the other way around.

          As to "cherry-picking", there is so much data out there and so much variation, that "cherry-picking" is pretty much inevitable by any lay-arguer and is a trap either side falls into. You'd need a full-time career in the field to not cherry-pick data, to be honest. Of course sadly, even some who do have full-time careers in the field have been caught doing this so it seems that it is universal. :(

          >>"However, we should not be affected by the bad arguments on one side or the other. Truth is separate from the aggressive arguments of some."

          As I remarked, the bad arguments from the AGW-proponents have not made me believe that there is no AGW, they have made me lose my confidence that there is. An important difference.

  7. Paul Shirley
    FAIL

    risky move

    Highlighting a group that have repeatedly stated the evidence says warming is real seems a little desperate. Especially risky highlighting a 'we cant say yes or no, it's too close to the error margins' statement. Still, got to get your denialist crumbs somewhere.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bias much?

    "NASA and the NOAA, say that 2014 was definitely the warmest year on record."

    I see. So some PR puff should be taken over what the actual evidence says? http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/13/supplemental/page-1

    Lazy reporting. You are the Daily Mail, I claim my £5.

    "warmist or sceptics"

    You mean the vast majority of domain experts with various models and datasets to back themselves up, or head-in-sand-deniers.

    Pathetic article once again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bias much?

      "NASA and the NOAA, say that 2014 was definitely the warmest year on record."

      The Met Office say it was too:

      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/2014-temperatures

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think the computer models for global warming are still too crude to be reliable and possibly overestimate the impact of CO2.The fact the worlds population has doubled in the last 50 years a far more disturbing statistic.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Indeed. And this alone is likely to cause more hardship, hunger and other bad things very soon than the climate is/isn't changing and was/wasn't caused by man. (as an aside, fewer of us would probably also mean less CO2)

      I blame the economists who say that if everything isn't growing exponentially forever, then it's sick. I have yet to see an economist who weighs 1.5 tonnes and is still growing (although admittedly a few of their CEO friends are getting close)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I blame the economists who say that if everything isn't growing exponentially forever, then it's sick."

        This in spades. With a flat population and more efficient tech needing less resources, we could contract the economy whilst improving the standard of living.

        But economists would have kittens.

        1. Tim Worstal

          How excellent

          "This in spades. With a flat population and more efficient tech needing less resources, we could contract the economy whilst improving the standard of living."

          Because that's just what economists are predicting. In fact, in one of the economic models that is the start of the entire IPCC process that tells us about global warming they predict that in 2100 global population will be about what it is now (rising to 2050, falling back after) tech marches on and the planet's 6 times richer then than it is now.

          That's what we want. And that's the model that assumes more globalisation and capitalism of course....

          1. Graham Marsden
            Facepalm

            @Tim Worstall - Re: How excellent

            > That's what we want.

            And of course TW wants us to believe that we can't get that *without* more globalisation (shipping raw materials all around the world to the cheapest place to make goods, then shipping those goods back around the world to people who can afford to buy them, thus increasing their carbon footprint) and capitalism (going for the cheapest way of manufacturing goods, without worrying about the environmental consequences of that cf my previous in brackets)...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Tim Worstall - How excellent

              It's not really very efficient though is it, shipping stuff from here to there and back again just to take advantage of slacker regulation or lower worker pay ?

              What Tim wants is socialism, global regulation of both rules and opportunity.

              Tim (bless him) thinks that optimum capitalism, the maximum return on capital is different from optimum socialism, the maximum return on labour.

              They are one and the same. (maximal return on investment)

              Cooperative Competitism.

              Competitive Cooperation.

              Anything less produces a suboptimal outcome and we all lose.

              It might take some time for it to sink in (entrenched ideals and all that)

        2. Dani Eder

          Economists only measure money

          > But economists would have kittens.

          Economists only measure when money changes hands. They don't count work or production in the home. Thus housekeeping, home improvement, gardens, or solar panels for home consumption don't show up in the GDP statistics. As robots and home automation get better, we would expect more to be done locally. As solar panels and electric cars get more common, and are used for self-charging, there is no money changing hands, but it displaces fuel sales at the pump.

          So, as you say, unless economists update how they measure things, they will have an inaccurate view of what is really happening in the world.

          1. James Micallef Silver badge

            Re: Economists only measure money

            "They don't count work or production in the home. Thus housekeeping, home improvement, gardens, or solar panels for home consumption don't show up in the GDP statistics"

            Only partly true. Actual work does not show up in the stats, but home improvements, solar panels etc that you buy will show up. Even f you are doing only DIY, the raw materials that you buy will show up in the stats. I expect the trend as tech gets more complex is less and less people can DIY and more and more improvements will show up in the stats

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is it with the registers coverage of global warming.

    I know its great to be the only person who knows something 'special', but one thing to bear in mind if the global warming crew are wrong and we go with their suggestions as to remediation etc there's no massive impact if the deniers are wrong and we go with their lack of suggestions we royally ****ed. As a gambling man I'm afraid that I have to go with the remediation measures every time.

    1. Bruce Hoult

      Re: What is it with the registers coverage of global warming.

      No, that's not really the case. Even under the most extreme predictions, it is vastly cheaper to adapt to changes in climate than to try to make deliberate adjustments to the climate of the whole world.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: What is it with the registers coverage of global warming.

        "Even under the most extreme predictions, it is vastly cheaper to adapt to changes"

        Where "adapt to changes" means possibly abandoning coastal cities and large-scale population movements.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: What is it with the registers coverage of global warming.

          Where "adapt to changes" means possibly abandoning coastal cities

          Scary thought.. Auckland is a effectively a coastal city.. Last thing we want is them abandoning their city and spoiling the rest of the land!

      2. bjpatin

        Re: What is it with the registers coverage of global warming.

        We have never as humans had to adapt to the extent required, if the predictions hold true.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What is it with the registers coverage of global warming.

        "Even under the most extreme predictions, it is vastly cheaper to adapt to changes in climate than to try to make deliberate adjustments to the climate of the whole world."

        Complete rubbish - even under the least extreme predictions, its MUCH cheaper to reduce our CO2 use now than to deal with the consequences - just looking at sea level rise - let alone the many other potential impacts.

        "If we do nothing until the temperature trend is known, maybe another 15 years, we have lost nothing."

        The long term trend is already very clear, and actually even with just 15 years we have lost the chance to change things significantly - see the graphs here:

        http://www.climateworks.org/imo/media/doc/ClimateWorks%20Costs%20of%20Delay1.pdf

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: What is it with the registers coverage of global warming.

      "As a gambling man I'm afraid that I have to go with the remediation measures every time."

      How do you have time in the day? I mean you must certainly be a member of every religion regardless of their contradictions or incompatibilities because the worst case is your eternal soul going to hell!

      But it doesnt end there! In every action, decision, choice or even external event we have no choice over there is an element of risk which could end your life or cause you massive harm. I can only imagine the agony you go over to gamble in favour of the remedial option regardless of the reality of a potential threat nor its probability of occurring. I feel so sorry for you.

      I am not sure how you could be a gambling man when your presumption of risk is based on such fragile grounds. I hope my highlighting of the real world has not caused you to reassess the possible dangers of life and cause you to hide in a bunker wrapped in cotton wool or bubble wrap. Not only because I would hope you had a rational mind to analyse the world and not fret over nutters screaming about the end of the world, but also because you might suffocate yourself in your protective measures.

    3. Al Black

      Why is it the Register's coverage of global warming is the truth?.

      Wrong, if we take all the actions proposed to cut CO2, we dramatically cut our standard of living, and we destroy the natural environment with the land covered in Solar Panels, and Wind towers slicing our birds and bats into confetti. If we do nothing until the temperature trend is known, maybe another 15 years, we have lost nothing. Climate change is slow and gradual, so slow and gradual some of us don't yet believe it is happening. There is no urgency to take draconian actions to reduce our wealth and welfare while simultaneously bribing the third world to stay in poverty.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Why is it the Register's coverage of global warming is the truth?.

        "Wrong, if we take all the actions proposed to cut CO2, we dramatically cut our standard of living"

        Most of the actions proposed are rearranging deckchairs. Renewables (solar and wind) are mostly about subsidy farming, not actually reducing CO2 production

        Nuclear energy is the way forward but safer designs need to be deployed.

    4. Tom 13

      Re: What is it with the registers coverage of global warming.

      The real denialist in this argument are the ones who deny the adverse impact their prescription for curing CO2 caused warming have on the poorest of the poor. They're the ones willing to sacrifice millions of people to Baal.

  11. caldini

    Does it matter?

    Can't we just get on with sorting out things like:

    pollution

    energy innefficiency

    habitat loss

    They're definitely problems, and I can't help thinking that fixing them (amongst other things) would also have the side-effect of reducing the changes to atmospheric composition that may/may not be warming the planet.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Does it matter?

      @caldini

      If i could upvote you ten times I would, this is the most sensible approach to take.

      - Pollution generally and particulate pollution specifically is a huge health hazard (Beijing smog, anyone?), burning less coal/oil is a good thing, whatever the global temperature

      - Energy in oil/coal is a billion years' worth of stored sunlight that we are one course to burn through in less than a millenium, and once it's gone it's gone. the least we can do is use it a bit more efficiently.

      - The world is a beautiful place because of the wonderful variety and abundance of nature.Conserving it is a good thing. Humans + plants/animals for human consumption are already by far the dominant biomass on the planet, let's keep some variety for the sake of beauty and wonder instead of drab uniformity.

      To all of that, I would add, it's a good thing to have relatively local sources of energy that are under your own control and have a long-term sustainable output. It is a BAD idea for the western world to be sending billions of $€£ to countries where that money is simply propping up backwards misogynist fundamentalist autocratic regimes, who are then using a portion of that money to export their outdated ideologies back to the rest of the world, including the resultant threats and violence.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Does it matter?

        - Pollution generally and particulate pollution specifically is a huge health hazard (Beijing smog, anyone?), burning less coal/oil is a good thing, whatever the global temperature

        THIS is one of the biggest points which needs bringing up.

        Just as one data point, the world's oceans have _doubled_ in mercury levels since the start of the industrial revolution and almost all of that is down to burning coal.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does it matter?

      Lordy lordy!

      DO Have an upvote on me sir.

      Like some of the less polemic participants in this debate (deniers, skeptics, whatever, I prefer balanced), I also believe the right approach is to reduce fossil fuel consumption, wherever practical, and emphasize the adoption of working, proven energy sources like nuclear fission (preferably thorium reactors) and continue research into fusion..

      Solar and wind have their part to play in the mix, but remain marginal, not very scaleable solutions. Unless of course we plan to harvest wind power from entire coastlines or cover the Sahara Desert with mirrors. These would fully qualify as anthromorphogenic activity, assuming they are even feasible or affordable.

      Like virtue, reducing energy consumption and improving efficiency provides its own rewards. They are much more attainable objectives with real returns and benefits.

      Thinking we will ever fully manage something as complex as the world's climate and ocean systems borders on the fantastical.

      I put it in the same category as asteroid defense systems. As they say, if you can't measure it, you can't manage it.

      We might be able to lower our home thermostats (I do) and drive electric cars (I don't, yet) but humans are unlikely to dial back the globe's temperature any time soon, assuming that we can measure it correctly in the first place.

      "Show me a doomsayer, and I'll show you a bottle of snake-oil"

      (was that Ken Olson? No wait, he was talking about UNIX).

      I'll get my coat, it's next to that oil barrel I recently converted into a coffee table.

  12. SolidSquid

    Worth mentioning, the ocean surface temperature they found had increased enough to be considered the highest since records began. Land surface temperature wasn't the highest (it rated 4th), but that ranks close enough that margin of error becomes an issue.

    Also, weirdly the margin for error from last year was significantly higher than previous years than any other in the top 10 hottest, which they don't seem to explain

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So it is one of the last 10 years then...?

    So the only real controversy is whether the hottest year ever measured occurred since 2005?

    That's it?

  14. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    FAIL

    Nope

    In other words the warmists want to take away your money and your standard of living (for your own good, they would say)

    No Lewis, that would be the bankers

    1. Dani Eder

      Re: Nope

      > In other words the warmists want to take away your money and your standard of living (for your own good, they would say)

      Nope. When I insulate my home or get solar panels, I do it when it makes economic sense. Thus I keep my money and improve my standard of living - I can afford to keep the house warmer in the winter because my heating costs are lower.

      As a tree farmer, I could absorb 100 tons/year of CO2, make money at it in the long run, improve the utility (mature forest looks nicer and is easier to walk through than when full of young saplings) and improve the habitat. Once the forest is mature, you can store carbon in the form of durable wood products (houses and furniture) and biochar (a long lasting soil-improvement). So long as you limit harvesting to the rate the mature trees regenerate, you can continue to remove carbon for a very long time.

      My point here is if you are smart, you can enjoy benefits *and* help reduce the risk of climate problems, at no net cost.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nope

      "In other words the warmists want to take away your money and your standard of living"

      I'm getting rather fed up with that particular piece of BS being peddled as a way of dismissing any idea proposed that humanity might be influencing the environment in negative ways.

      While a very small minority of people are in fact barking mad and would prefer us to live in mediaeval communes, the vast majority of those who consider 'warmist' theory to be reasonable are actually quite attached to their decent living standards - and would really like them to continue into the future thank you very much.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nope

        It's not entirely bogus.

        Levies on fuel are really hurting a lot of people who don't live in cities for which fuel is their only option for getting around.

        The whole point of fuel levies is to make fuel so expensive that it changes the behaviour of consumers so that they will use less fuel. This might mean buying more fuel efficient cars which is a good thing, but inevitably it also means that they make fewer journeys which is probably a bad thing if your living depends on it.

        These crude measures will inevitably affect some people disproportionately and unfairly while having positive effect elsewhere.

  15. TRT Silver badge

    Cause of hottest year on record discovered!!

    A 1°C rise in global temperatures was attributable to a 10,000% worldwide increase in new computing power coming online in order to simulate a variety of climate change models.

    1. John Arthur
      Thumb Up

      Re: Cause of hottest year on record discovered!!

      Have an upvote! I do think you should have used the "joke" icon though.

      On the other hand perhaps not.....

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Cause of hottest year on record discovered!!

        It was a reworking of the idea that astrophysicists failed to realise that the missing matter of the universe was accounted for by the packing materials for their ever bigger, ever better telescopes.

    2. Dan Paul

      Re: Cause of hottest year on record discovered!!

      And the heat from those computers was responsible for more "Global Warming" than burning fossil fuel was.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    consensus

    The scientific consensus (something like 97% of scientists involved in climate research) is almost uniformly agreed that the earth is warming, and that it is due to man-made CO2 emissions.

    Only a plucky band of creationist politicians, oil-company billionaires and Register hacks are bravely standing up to this oppressive scientific tyranny.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: consensus

      @ cap'n

      "The scientific consensus (something like 97% of scientists involved in climate research) is almost uniformly agreed that the earth is warming, and that it is due to man-made CO2 emissions."

      But we are 100% certain that 90% of the bull from the 97% consensus is created by the 70% of made up statistics and 30% from cherry-picking figures which leads to an absolute certainty of the result by the 2 opposing groups of 100% while almost 0% of them can be trusted to use a calculator without fudging the answer. Of course 100% of actual scientists who are trying to discover how the climate works is still trying to figure it out while having their work corrupted for the meaningless statistics of the warmist/denier cults.

      I knew climate science would do a lot of harm to the term 'scientist' as every mouthing off moron for either camp claims to either be one or be supported by them.

    2. Bobcat4424

      Re: consensus

      I would also point out that John Cristy, the Koch-owned "climatologist" at the University of Alabama (Huntsville), says that it is all nonsense. He states the current "official" denier position that warming is happening but is not caused by CO2 and methane, but rather by building buildings, roads, etc and by farming. Considering that this activity accounts for only 1.2% of the Earth's surface, 71% of which is covered by water, 8% by ice, and 1.5% uninhabited desert, that is a great deal like the tail wagging the climatological dog.

      And as for the courageous band of "scientists", 31,000 according to the deniers, you should take the global warming challenge and select five of their names at random from the ones posted online. Go to Google Scholar and see what their credentials are. My five had no publications at all and were not listed on the faculty of the universities they claimed to be affiliated with. The largest group of "scientists" were nurses and physicians --- who mostly don't even have an academic degree, let alone any knowledge of global warming.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: consensus

        "And as for the courageous band of "scientists", 31,000 according to the deniers, "

        Presumably mostly Tea Party Republicans and / or Faux News presenters...

        A surprisingly high number of Americans with scientific credentials believe in a god despite the logic failure that this implies. So that there are hordes of the gullible out there is not of note. What is of more note is that those people make up a tiny percentage of scientists - and particularly of climate scientists.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: consensus

      100% consensus among religious people is that God is real.

      Unfortunately, they are all wrong.

      Please don't quote consensus as being a reliable measure of anything here. We can see past it. OK?

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: consensus

        "100% consensus among religious people is that God is real."

        unless declared integer

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: consensus

        We will see when you are dead and gone to hell.

    4. theOtherJT

      Re: consensus

      This is a serious reflection of the actual problem. Science is not based on consensus, it's based on testable facts. It doesn't matter a damn if everyone agrees on something if that something it provably false, and no one seems to be listening to anything that might prove their particular dogma false on either side of the "debate", if one can even call it that.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: consensus

        Exactly. It wasn't too far back in history where the "scientific consensus" was that the earth was flat and also at the center of the universe.

  17. sisk Silver badge

    I've said it before, I'll say it again

    Even if CO2 isn't behind global warming it makes sense to clean up our act.

    First, fossil fuels are a limited resource. That means that sooner or later (realistically later--like around 200-300 years from now) they're going to run out. Better to start transitioning to other energy sources and perfect the technology behind them before that happens than to keep burning fossil fuels until they start to get hard to find.

    Second, anything we do that puts out CO2 also puts out other pollutants. Global warming isn't the only issue of concern here (and I wouldn't even call it the biggest one).

    The difference, of course, is that if our CO2 isn't behind the warmer temperatures then it becomes much less urgent. That doesn't mean that it doesn't still need done though.

  18. Identity
    Stop

    Propaganda!

    "...arguing for massive government and economic action, action which people would not take voluntarily - that is action which will make people poorer, then."

    Really? Here in the states, while there is a government subsidy (which is paid for by the tax-payers), it is entirely voluntary and if you should decide to take advantage of it and reduce the cost of a solar array, you may very well wipe out your electric bill (according to the late, lamented roofrays.com, I would), which at worst would be a wash, and might even make you richer, as electric rates keep going up (15% this year alone, here). But don't fret about the poor downtrodden corporate utilities. They want you to pump the free solar energy back into the grid (to run your meter backward). Should you pump in more than you use, they don't pay you for it, no — they get free power to charge others for!

    1. uncredited

      Re: Propaganda!

      " while there is a government subsidy (which is paid for by the tax-payers), it is entirely voluntary"

      Eh?? So people get to choose whether or not they pay these taxes?

  19. Gregor401

    Wait Whaaa?

    So is the debate here that global land (sea temp isn't part of the debate because its a losing argument) temperatures havent really changed in the past ten years, thus climate change doesnt exist or isnt as bad as thought? Are you serious? First off after reading the comments one of my peeves was hit, no one in the field says man-made climate change (it isn't man-made) as it was greatly exacerbated by human activity not solely caused by it.

    Secondly, "skeptics"? What skeptics? 98% of people in the field or with a deep knowledge of climate and weather patterns agree that the temperatures and climate patterns are changing due to human involvement with almost another percent saying that things are changing but they arent sure humans are the root cause. Almost no one the field thinks nothing is going on, that is the plebes who think that because of what they are fed. Mostly because global averages are seen as a powerful thing to say to the public. Saying that one part of the world is breaking every heat record they ever had while another is breaking every cold record which causes an average to be somewhat normal, also that droughts and excessive rain fall are occurring in regions more frequently than before, sounds boring and loses people.

    Also "Warmists" want people to be poor and take their money? Are you f-ing kidding me?! God forbid that we invest in clean and renewable energies or make vehicle and building more efficient with a short term financial cost and long term financial saving. Its a logic a truly hate, "If we spend a million dollars, sure we'll be saving 50 million dollars over the next 25 years but do we really want that upfront cost?" This is the logic of idiots, and sadly too many people have it. (I'm aware that is a pseudo straw-man so excuse me)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait Whaaa?

      > So is the debate here that global land (sea temp isn't part of the debate because its a losing argument) temperatures havent really changed in the past ten years, thus climate change doesnt exist or isnt as bad as thought?

      Erm, well actually no, that's not what the debate here is.

      It is about the statistical reliability of one report about 2014's climate measurements.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wait Whaaa?

        @skelband,

        If you read the full report and not just the headlines then you find they say they are only 38% sure.

        http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/gavin-schmidt-now-says-they-are-only-38-sure-2014-was-the-hottest-year/

        http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2015/1/17/look-back-in-wonder-josh-309.html

        1. Tom 13

          Re: only 38% sure.

          Surely they could have been up front about that fact.

          Of course, that wouldn't advance the warmist money train now would it?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wait Whaaa?

          > If you read the full report and not just the headlines then you find they say they are only 38% sure.

          And your point is what exactly?

          So they are 38% sure. If their 38% sureness is well within what would reasonably be called random variation, then their 38% statistically counts for exactly nothing. That's the point.

          And as someone else said, they're not exactly up front about the fact that they cannot draw any reasonable conclusion other than there is no statistically significant evidence to support a change in the temperature.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: Wait Whaaa?

      >>"So is the debate here that global land (sea temp isn't part of the debate because its a losing argument) temperatures havent really changed in the past ten years, thus climate change doesnt exist or isnt as bad as thought?"

      No, you should have read more. It's about if there is a hiatus. If global warming has paused but the alleged causes of global warming are continuing to build, then it suggests those alleged causes may not be as significant as claimed / not the primary driver.

      Also, apostrophes are good.

  20. Tom 35 Silver badge

    You can always spot a Lewis story from the headline

    And you always know what it's going to say.

  21. Bobcat4424

    A laughable objection at "best."

    The problem of the "objection" is that they have taken the computed margin of error, which is expressed as "plus or minus" and insisted that it can only be taken as minus. By ignoring this, they also ignore the equal possibility that the temperatures have risen .05C as well, This is the worst kind of unscientific balderdash.

  22. flearider
    Childcatcher

    the only way is down

    the only reason noaa has higher findings is they changed the way the use the information given to them. which I believe they have done 4 times now but always the temps go up ..

    the last 30+ years we have had a very active sun more heat ..so the first part of that time the temps rose then it equalled out ..last 15yrs or so

    now we enter another time of inactive sun emissions so it's going to get colder .. how much well we are not sure how long for ? best guess is 35+ yrs any longer and we are sure to lose 25%+ of the population on this rock we call home ..

    1. Bobcat4424

      Re: the only way is down

      That's complete nonsense. Since 1960, the sun has been in a cooling cycle. You are confusing sunspot activity with heat emitted (solar irradiance.) When sunspot activity is up, solar irradiance is down. This has been very obvious since 1960 when the peak in recorded solar observations occurred. The bottom line is that when the sun is the "most active" is is also emitting slightly less heat.

      1. flearider

        Re: the only way is down

        I'm sure your wrong ..the more the sun spots the more the activity .. hence in both the Dalton and maunders min there where very little to no sun spots .

        you also have the height of the cycle and a low (11 to 14 yrs) where the spot difference go's up and down ..

        http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/imagenes_ciencia/globalwarmingpseudo32_01.jpg

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: the only way is down

          And either way, unless we have accurate models for how much global temperature lags behind the effect of the Sun's varying output we can't simply relate Sun to temperature by year. After all, if I turn a heater on or off, my room doesn't immediately become warm or cold!

          1. Tom 13

            Re: how much global temperature lags behind

            While I concur with your theoretical point, on a practical basis the lag should be negligible. Heat transfer from the sun is primarily via radiative transfer, with secondary effects for things like charged particle interactions. In either event, those energies reach and impact the Earth in under 24 hours, which is the interval over which we're measuring temperatures. Now it might take a couple of weeks for those energies to bounce around, but certainly within 3 months the instantaneous energy will have been absorbed/dissipated. All of which are short compared to the time cycles for GW.

            In fact, that's one of my other primary gripes with warmists. I once hunted down the radiative output data for the sun and computed its variance. That variance seemed well matched to the variance we see in average yearly temperatures.

  23. Sapient Fridge

    Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

    So the climate change "skeptics" have finally given up on saying that the temperature hasn't risen since 1998, and are now choosing ever later dates such as 2005?

    Climate changes slowly. Of course if you choose a short period of time it's possible to say that it's not certain that temperature rose in that time, because natural variation swamps the signal. That's what the whole article is about, and it's misleading.

    Look at the temperature record over the 30 years that climate scientists use as the period to define climate change. What do you see?

    Also there never was a pause or hiatus:

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/global-temperature-the-post-1998-surprise/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

      Just who actually stated "30 years" as the magical boundary between weather and climate first?

      Serious question.

      It is a totally bogus figure without any scientific basis whatsoever.

      And as far as anyone with any faith in physics and chemistry is concerned, not to mention rocket science, there is only one definitive data set for the earth, and it is 35 years old (more or less).

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

      Surprisingly enough, this data set seems to show the expected slight upward trend plus various cycles and unusual events, without portending themageddon.

      The earth surface measuring network is so flawed that it beggars belief that so much bad policy is based on it as the primary source.

      1. Ian Joyner

        Re: Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

        Anonymous Coward cites:

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

        Looking at this site - it is a climate denier site and says:

        "Believe it or not, very little research has ever been funded to search for natural mechanisms of warming…it has simply been assumed that global warming is manmade"

        This is a common anthem of climate deniers of the warming figures don't take into account natural causes (Bob Carter quotes volcanoes and heat island effect of cities). But this is not true, climate change science does take into account these factors.

        >>The earth surface measuring network is so flawed that it beggars belief that so much bad policy is based on it as the primary source.<<

        Where do you get this assertion from?

        1. Rob Moss

          Re: Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

          I've got about halfway through the five pages of comments and the only concrete conclusion I've got is that anyone who describes another human being as either a "warmist" or a "denier" has very little useful information to divulge. Almost everything that goes with it is rhetoric. There are even pages such as this one which train warmists on how to argue with deniers, and others that provide the opposite service. Science is cold, heartless, emotionless and impersonal. If you can't prove something to the point where nobody argues with what you've said, it isn't really science, it's more speculation. As soon as the answer becomes something to be discussed rather than something that is accepted, your question remains unanswered.

          Ignoring the rhetoric both on the site and in Ian's post, the data contained on this site appears to be sound. What does it show? That temperatures are going up. A bit. That's nice. It doesn't tell me anything apart from that the temperatures are going up a bit.

          But do I really care? Another thing I've come to realise having followed this discussion is that considering the complexity of our global climate, people who are arguing over whether the temperature has gone up by a bit, a lot or not at all are not the sort of people we should be listening to.

          Building enough wind turbines to provide all the electricity we need all of the time would be an interesting thing to hear about. Will it turn enough kinetic energy into electrical energy to stall winds enough to further change climate? I want to know. Building enough nuclear power plants to provide universal free domestic electricity in the UK would apparently cost around £100bn. If we assume everyone suddenly dumps petrol and gas for electricity that jumps to no more than £150bn. Why has nobody asked me if I want to do that instead of "grow the green economy"? And why do people keep bleating on about global temperature change and sea levels when what I actually care about is my utility bills and my tax bill? I don't live near the sea, and for most of the year I'm cold.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

            Building enough wind turbines to provide all the electricity we need all of the time would be an interesting thing to hear about.

            You might want to have a really good look at that. How many turbines would you need - and don't forget that when the wind drops you need another turbine to cover the stopped one (yes I know, they have quite a lot of momemtum once moving...). Also look at how much energy and resources are required to make one turbine, how long it lasts, what it's limits are (how many times can it turn before needing to be replaced, and how much energy could it generate).

            No idea where to find these numbers, but it could well be worth a look. Are large wind farms anything more than an expensive joke? Can they really generate more energy than the resources that went into making and maintaining them? I've known some small-scale operations that work well, but do they scale up?

            Is it worth the loss of landscape, birdlife, and peace for those who live near them?

            (Me would much rather some nice green nukes!)

            1. Rob Moss

              Re: Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

              What we have today is 73GW of capacity, and most of it goes spare to cover outages - peak winter output is only 59GW. In which case, to simply replace what we have today, we would need 36,500 2MW £4m wind turbines at a total cost of £146bn. If your rule of thumb applies and we really need double for when the wind isn't very good, we need 73,000 at a total cost of £292bn. I'm sure we'd get a volume discount, but I'm not sure how environmentally friendly that idea is. I think your rule of thumb is probably a little conservative, though - I don't think that would be anywhere near enough to be able to rely on it.

              The best (EPR) nuclear power plants put out around 1600MW of electricity and run 24/7, whatever the weather. We'd need around 45 of them. The cost of these things is currently running to around €8.5bn, or around £6bn. That puts us at around £270bn for a wholesale replacement of everything we currently have, which would be a bit unnecessary - we just want to get rid of the crap stuff (like wind and wave stuff). But even if we did, it's still cheaper and a hell of a lot less of an eyesore (more fag packet maths says that would be around one turbine every 200 metres of suitable terrain - and that's using ALL suitable terrain - every hill in the country) to take the nuclear option. And these things don't cost that much to run, certainly nothing like as much as a hoard of 73,000 wind turbines, and electricity could genuinely be a free public service, meaning your fossil fuels could go tomorrow and people could stop dying in the winter. I'd take the hit and invest the money if I were in charge. The flood of international investment from businesses who wanted to move all their operations here would be overwhelming and insanely profitable.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

          ">>The earth surface measuring network is so flawed that it beggars belief that so much bad policy is based on it as the primary source.<<

          Where do you get this assertion from?"

          Due to the high variation from the satellite record?

          Are you suggesting the satellite record is faulty? It is by far the soundest data set available.

      2. Sapient Fridge

        Re: Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

        Anonymous Coward wrote:

        > Just who actually stated "30 years" as the magical boundary between

        > weather and climate first?

        The World Meteorological Organization:

        http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/518.htm

        Defines climate as:

        Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the "average weather", or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.

        The reason for picking 30 years is that it is long enough to average out natural variation such as ENSO. As soon as you look at 30 year periods then the current warming trend is completely obvious.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

      "Climate changes slowly."

      Yes, over _decades to centuries_

      Everything else is "weather"

      The hard part is trying to predict where it's going based on short term data but every indication is that the trend is generally upwards - and that's _despite_ reduced solar irradiance over the last few years.

      Deniers like to point to short term declines and say everything is cooling, but when you string the graph back together you find a general trend of an upwards pulse followed by a few years of minor cooling, followed by another pulse and the cooling doesn't outweigh the pulse.

      1. flearider

        Re: Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

        and how far back do you want to go ?? the cycle is simple glacial -interglacial-glacial ..

        it's finding out where we are in that period .. we warm we cool to protect the future and we know it's coming we need to prepare instead of fighting over a few hundred years of weather ..

  24. Graham Marsden
    Holmes

    "the idea that...

    "... Lewis Page is in some way unbiased and objective about all this - is quite plainly rubbish"!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not just the warming climate

    I've noticed that the days are getting longer as well, if it continues at this rate then sometime in March/April the days and nights will be equal length, by the end of September there will be no night left.

    I've also noticed that there are many more wading birds than last summer, if trends continue we will be up to our eyeballs in wading bird shit by 2025.

    Of course it might be cyclical, I haven't measured for long enough.

    It might be local, my increase is someone else's decrease.

    I'm just messin' with the above, however -

    If the whole of the climate is warming then surely either the atmospheric pressure will increase or the atmospheric volume will increase or some combination of the two.

    Has anything like this been observed (by scientist or denier alike) ?

  26. Colin Tree

    you're idiot doubters

    Stop perpetuating the climate doubting myths you idiots.

    I have been watching the effects of man made climate change since I was young.

    If you have your heads stuck up your fundamentals and can't see what is in front of your eyes, please stop making comments.

    The fossil fuel industry is the main culprit and the have spent a fortune sending out propaganda which you digest and regurgitate to your readers.

    The fossil fuel industry is in it for the money and doesn't give a rats about our children's future.

    Wake up you little toe rag.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: you're idiot doubters

      Colin Tree,

      is atmospheric pressure increasing ?

      is the atmoshere expanding ?

      is there a combination of the two ?

      If not then temperature is not rising.

      (or was Boyle wrong ?)

      I'm wide awake, did you bump your head when you stirred ?

    2. dan1980

      Re: you're idiot doubters

      @Colin Tree

      "I have been watching the effects of man made climate change since I was young."

      What you have been watching - presuming your observations are accurate, recollections are reliable and your own subjective experience is constant* - is a series of changes over time, some of which have trended and others which have oscillated or changed in an unpredictable, seemingly random fashion. Many of these have some links with each other (as climate is a massively complex interrelated system) but precisely what these are can be difficult for even experts to disentangle.

      Nothing in what I just said precludes some - or even most - of the effects you have seen (again, presuming your observations and memories to be accurate) from being due to human factors, but neither does anything you said demonstrate that they must be.

      As a disclaimer, I believe humans are having an effect on the climate system and that some of those effects may manifest in the future as noticeable changes and may have already done so. I believe, however, that these effects are very difficult to disentangle and this is where much of both the disagreement and confusion comes in.

      Seeing some changes and simply assuming - or asserting - that they are due to some human factors does nothing to ease that confusion.

      * - I know that mine is far from constant and as I get older I feel the cold far, FAR more than I used to - 18<super>o</super> used to be comfortable for me but now I find my self needing a long-sleeve shirt.

    3. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: you're idiot doubters

      The fossil fuel industry is the main culprit and the have spent a fortune sending out propaganda which you digest and regurgitate to your readers.

      Just once I'd love to see some more this so-called propaganda. I'm nearly 42 (and proud of it!) and I'm yet to see anything like it.

      Can you point me to some please? Or stop spouting this stuff because if no one can show it, how can it be real?

  27. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

    FFS lets get real!

    The point of the article is that the rise in temp is less than the margin of error.

    OK?

    In short. Its bad science to suggest that it means anything in either direction.

    Shouldn't we all agree that BAD SCIENCE doesn't help anyone?

    Lets face it. I'd love to get rid of pollution and smog. But there isn't enough research in to fusion and nuclear energy has a slight problem Bad people will want to do bad things with the waste product.

  28. Martin Budden
    Alert

    "look here wait a minute"

    The thing is the skeptics are NOT merely saying "look here wait a minute" as Lewis Page suggests. The skeptics are actually saying "look here wait several decades", and the thing about that is this: if* the warmists happen to be right then several decades is too late.

    *(however big an if that may or may not be)

  29. Ian Joyner

    >>But it might be worth remembering that the former are arguing for massive government and economic action, action which people would not take voluntarily - that is action which will make people poorer, then. In other words the warmists want to take away your money and your standard of living (for your own good, they would say).<<

    Now that IS complete rubbish. People who are concerned about global warming are concerned about preserving our way of life, making it even better, NOT destroying it. Lewis' statement here is alarmist against the 'warmists'.

    The proof is in Lewis' next sentence:

    >>And standard of living is not just consumer goods, it's health care, it's regular showers and clean clothes, it's space programmes<<

    Right, so NASA is really behind the warming agenda trying to kill off their own programme. If NASA were dishonest they would be keeping global warming a secret. Either that of Lewis statements about 'trying to destroy lifestyle' are wrong.

  30. Ian Joyner

    Lewis Page's reading of the BEST study

    http://static.berkeleyearth.org/memos/Global-Warming-2014-Berkeley-Earth-Newsletter.pdf

    is extremely selective. Note they say.

    >> The'global'surface'temperature'average'(land'and'sea)'for'2014'was'nominally'

    the'warmest'since'the'global'instrumental'record'began'in'1850;'however,' within'the'margin'of'error,'it'is'tied'with'2005'and'2010'and'so'we'can’t'be' certain'it'set'a'new'record.''

    2. For'the'land,'2014'was'nominally'the'4th'warmest'year'since'1753'(when'the' land'surface'temperature'record'began)'

    3. For'the'sea,'2014'was'the'warmest'year'on'record'since'1850'

    4. For'the'contiguous'United'States,'2014'ranked'nominally'as'the'38th'warmest'

    year'on'record'since'1850.''<<

    Point 3 says for the sea 2014 WAS the warmest year on record. The oceans account for 70% of the Earth's surface area and absorb most of the heat (90% if I recall right). Combine this with point 2, the land being the 4th warmest year, and it is easy to see that for the whole planet that 2014 was the hottest. Of course, that could still be an anomaly and if so, denialists in the future will be cherry picking 2014 and saying "there has been no appreciable warming since 2014", just as they cherry pick 1998 and 2004/5.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      @ Ian Joyner

      "Point 3 says for the sea 2014 WAS the warmest year on record. The oceans account for 70% of the Earth's surface area and absorb most of the heat (90% if I recall right). Combine this with point 2, the land being the 4th warmest year, and it is easy to see that for the whole planet that 2014 was the hottest."

      Easy to see? Without any doubt I guess? Lets see-

      "Our best estimate for the global temperature of 2014 puts it slightly above (by 0.01 C) that of the next warmest year (2010) but by much less than the margin of uncertainty (0.05 C). Therefore it is impossible to conclude from our analysis which of 2014, 2010, or 2005 was actually the warmest year."

      So your absolute certainty is massively within the margin of error. Both warmists and denialists do this. That is politics/religion not science

  31. Shannon Jacobs

    The stupid. It BURNS.

    Knew the author from the title. Didn't read his tripe since he has ZERO credibility left.

    Unfortunately, a media website, such as the Register, only has two assets. Integrity and credibility. If the author doesn't shut up, he's going to finish destroying the Register.

    In conclusion, hey, Mr Page. Why don't you stop punching yourself in the face?

    1. Bruce Hoult

      Re: The stupid. It BURNS.

      Interesting the amount of ad hominem against Mr Page. An argument equally as invalid as "consensus".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The stupid. It BURNS.

        When somebody is advancing a personal agenda from a personal perspective that is contrary to the evidence, repeatedly, then an ad hominem attack is entirely approrpiate, actually. If Page is saying it, it needs to be looked at with profound skepticism, given his track record on the topic.

        And if by "consensus" in "scare quotes" you mean "nearly every competent scientist working in the field agrees", and you think that's not a valid argument... well, I think that tells every intelligent reader everything they need to know.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: The stupid. It BURNS.

          given his track record on the topic.

          An AC, talking about credibility and track records?

  32. ian 22

    So climate change not a problem then?

    So glad to hear that everything will be back to normal next year.

  33. David Gale

    Let's not forget that the warmists were caught moving the temperature sensors to sites that would show a higher reading. I remember fledgling climate modellers predicting a New Ice Age. Many later joined the AGW cabal. See 6m 23s for the 'incontrovertible science':

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_861us8D9M

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So is climate change or global warming or whatever the hell it's now called...

    ...actually happening or not?

    Can anyone actually answer that question with a degree of certainty? Because if not there's a fuck of a lot of financially costly bs been spouted.

  35. Rik Myslewski

    Let's get busy

    Folks, chums, friends, amigos y amigas ... let's not waste our time arguing about this denialism silliness with those who might be drawn into the shallow intellectual pool flooded by Lewis's data-twisting, reverse-engineered arguments — he's merely a denialist losing an argument, swamped by real-world data and interested only in supporting his beliefs rather than acting as an honest observer accepting new data and refining his view of reality.

    Global warming? Well, duh ... just look at the GISS stats (yeah, and HadCRUT3, NOAA NCDC, and others) for the last century-plus. It's happening, folks, and its decadal-scale regularity is irrefutable. Anthropogenicism? Damn, if you have even a high school–level understanding of basic physics you can understand radiative forcing, right? And if you can step aside from your denialist predjudices for a nanosecond, you can understand the science behind the infinitesimal effects of "urban islands" or solar effects.

    Grow up, folks. We have a problem. It's a hard one. Decisions need to be made intelligently — start thinking, and stop bullshitting yourselves.

    There's work to do. How do we turn this around without governments using climate change as an excuse to squeeze our balls? How do we prevent corporations from using a "climate emergency" to pick our pockets?

    Any help here?

  36. james 68

    You want some real nonsense?

    "that is action which will make people poorer, then. In other words the warmists want to take away your money and your standard of living (for your own good, they would say). And standard of living is not just consumer goods, it's health care, it's regular showers and clean clothes, it's space programmes and education for your kids and many many other things that you will have less of in the green future advocated by warmists."

    Sooo, NASA is trying to do away with the evil space exploration and education - their very reason for being. That is patently ridiculous.

    Oh and calling the people you disagree with derogatory names ("warmists" in this case) makes you look like a 5 year old who is jealous because someone else got a bigger lolly.

    1. Ian Joyner

      Re: You want some real nonsense?

      You got it exactly James. This isn't the first topic where I have had to point out Anonymous Coward's nonsensical statement. He or she can't even put their name to what they say - too ashamed I'd say.

  37. Schultz

    They "want to take away your money and your standard of living ...

    ... it's health care, it's regular showers and clean clothes, ... it's your whole life."

    For someone arguing against undue alarmist statements, you sound awfully alarmist to me.

    Just my 5 cents.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Decide for yourself.

    People should decide such things for themselves. Of course if you are young and new to the topic that is more difficult but for those that can recall the 80' or 90's they will remember the claims. The claims of rising temperatures, hockey stick increases in the rate of warming, claims that ocean levels will be 1 meter higher in 30 to 50 years.

    And today those that recall can go down to the ocean and see that the ocean isn't a meter higher and has risen pretty much as it has in the past, cities are not underwater.

    For myself it was easier than that to see this was not about science. I accept the idea that increase GHG, mainly CO2, is going to have an effect. What effect I'm not sure but CO2 levels are going up.

    BUT it isn't that easy. There is after all a carbon cycle, natural processes that use and sink CO2 and that means we can have at least some fire and CO2 emissions as long as those emissions can be handled by that cycle. Stay within what ever the carbon cycle can handle and levels will not increase, or at least not as they have.

    While that seems obvious it is completely rejected by the Global Warming and Climate Change lobbyists. Their only concerns seems to be money and power.

    Which is why they target countries like Canada and label Canada as the worlds worst climate change villain. Canada with of 3.5 people per sq/km and huge natural carbon cycles and sinks is a climate villain. India with 350 people per sq/km, mostly urban, few wilderness areas, and emitting 550 tons of carbon per sq/km (compared to Canada's 50) is not a threat to the planet.

    The actions of those claiming concern for the planet shows they are only after money and power. That has to be taken in to consideration when considering the "science" they claim backs up their demands.

    1. Ian Joyner

      Re: Decide for yourself.

      Complete lies Haefen. Scientists are not after money and power - it is the climate-change deniers who have money tied up in fossil fuels that are after money and power.

      I see so many lies going around on the part of climate deniers that they have no credibility left. Money and power is just one of the lies. Cherry picking hot years, lack of understanding about what CO2 is, etc, etc.

      Having concern for the planet and people is not being after money and power at all.

      1. Preston Munchensonton

        Re: Decide for yourself.

        "Scientists are not after money and power - it is the climate-change deniers who have money tied up in fossil fuels that are after money and power."

        Ever heard of grants? Follow the money, not the veneer of objectivity. That's not intended to paint any particular scientist with a negative brush, but such a hypothesis needs data, not more rhetoric. And the data is there if you look at the huge sums of grant money that essentially require lobbying on the part of scientists the world over.

        It's also true that this applies to the vast, vast majority of sciences, not just climatology.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Decide for yourself.

      I'd pick China over India, but certainly taken together they are the place where action ought to be focused IF climate change as proposed by the warmists were real. That the focus of warmist every has been anywhere BUT those locations tells me all I really need to know about their "science".

  39. Mysterion

    Why is the Reg so into this?

    What the hell does air and water quality have to do with IT? Secondly, Lots of things are damaging and we try to protect ourselves from them. So, whether global weirding is caused by humans or aardvarks, we might want to do something about it.

    Pollution=bad. Crap in my air=bad. Crap in my plants=bad. Tornadoes=bad. Letting a few million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico=bad.

    I think the Reg is off the rails and should work on something else. It's tedious and irritating that the Reg spends so much time on something they know nothing about.

    Show me your climatology degree and I'll maybe listen. Otherwise, how about changing your focus. Mmm, computers? Maybe?

    Last, if we try not to screw the planet up, a few obscenely rich people might have to put off that new 800 foot yacht for another month or two. Not a single soul that reads this rag will be put out more than a dollar or two. But, if the hacks that the Reg digs up are wrong, we could suffer mightily.

    I simply do not get the Reg's purpose for this subject.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Why is the Reg so into this?

      Not a single soul that reads this rag will be put out more than a dollar or two.

      Really? I'm not rich, but with the "carbon tax" type increases in taxes on fuel, electricity, and all sorts of other things, I am out by several thousand dollars over the last few years. And I am very very far from "rich".

      (And just for the record, I would much rather use totally renewable energy, and would love to not have to buy one drop more in fossil fuel or oil - not even for lubrication, and would love to cause no pollution (carbon is not necessarily pollution as it is a very important bit of plant food, and more carbon means plants can grow larger and faster)

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For the record, there have been so many lies perpetrated by officials of all of the Western countries, that I think it is a healthy thing to distrust and verify even claims of AGW by the mainstream scientific establishment. So far, however, that establishment seems to be the most believable in regards to AGW.

    I was going to mention that recent studies have shown that the ocean temperatures have risen more rapidly of late than the surface temperatures. This has caused many of the weather effects we have seen and, along with more acidic water from CO2, is distressing sea life. I will admit that trying to get a handle on the complicated methods of determining the temperature of the atmosphere and lithosphere is not easy and often leads to controversy. But so far, all that the global warming deniers have put out have the reputation of being decidedly cherry picked. The other arguments put out by global warming deniers are irrelevant falsehoods deliberately chosen to stir up emotions in their favor, such as this one:

    "And standard of living is not just consumer goods, it's health care, it's regular showers and clean clothes, it's space programmes and education for your kids and many many other things that you will have less of in the green future advocated by warmists - it's your whole life."

    This is where the author reveals his agenda. This is the standard disinformation put out by oil companies and their financiers to discourage any transition away from the polluting wares they sell. "Green" does not mean we can't continue to clean our clothes or take hot showers, they will just be heated by solar power. Space programmes are not being shorted by not using oil. Rocket fuel does not use oil. Space vehicles use either solar or nuclear energy. The education for our kids will not be affected, except that it may become more honest and less driven by extremists and oil and big agriculture companies. And regarding health care, we will all be much healthier without the toxic chemicals derived from oil, but otherwise, lack of oil will not affect what doctors do to us.

    1. caradoc

      "along with more acidic water from CO2, is distressing sea life." This is another hype to try and scare people. CO2 in the atmosphere indeed produces the weak carbonic acid in water, as it does in rainwater, but the oceans are NOT acidifiying.

      IPCC WGI state that the mean pH of surface waters ranges between 7.9 and 8.3 in the open ocean, so the ocean remains alkaline. It is dishonest to present to a lay audience that any perceived reduction in alkalinity means the oceans are turning to acid.

      The claim that “ocean acidity” has increased by 30% since before the industrial revolution was calculated from the estimated uptake of anthropogenic carbon between 1750 and 1994, which shows a decrease in alkalinity of 0.1 pH unit, well within the range quoted by IPCC.

      One of the authors of a prominent paper used by IPCC, sits on specialist panels on other bodies, such as the Royal Society, that come to the same conclusions. This is then presented in a manner to imply a consensus view from an apparently independent separate body.

  41. BlackBearBill

    The Register Has Failed to Register the Larger Context of the 2014 Record

    It's ironic that the Berkeley Earth Center should be the source of doubt about the validity of the temperature record. In 2012, Richard Muller, the founder of Berkeley Earth, famously upheld the accuracy of the global temperature record, surprising a lot of "sceptics" since Muller was probably the best credentialed of their lot. Back then, Muller found, as I recall, that record highs were outpacing record lows by 2/1, which was exactly what climate scientists were saying the record was telling them.

    Altogether lost in the analysis here, further, is the larger context of the Berkeley Earth "uncertainty", namely that every year since 2000 would have broken most if not all previous records in the 20th century, and that the three warmest years we know about all appear to have come in the last ten years. In other words, the planet is still warming at a relatively rapid rate.

    Finally, this article neglects to mention that 2014 is at or near the warmest ever, without El Nino. 1998, the previous record warmest year, was an El Nino year, and it was so warm that it was discerned as what statisticians call an "anomaly". Now, the formerly anomalous 1998 high has, in 2014, become the norm, without an El Nino. If you follow this topic, and I'm not sure The Register does--it looks like a trade paper for IT managers, and, to be frank, I never heard of it before--the fact that 2014 was not an El Nino year should scare the hell out of you.

    1. Fading Silver badge

      Re: The Register Has Failed to Register the Larger Context of the 2014 Record

      Muller was never a skeptic - more than enough evidence online to disprove this line. Warm does not equal warming - if CO2 drives temperature, warm doesn't cut it only warmer will do.

      2014 was "almost" an El Nino year (under certain definitions it was) - it was predicted to be one and hoped for by many on the warmer side of the debate (that it wasn't might be a concern to amount of energy "stored" in the oceans) .

      The complete failure of the models to predict temperature would imply our understanding of the climate is not good enough for scientists (google Prof Phil Jones and 15 years) and definitely not good enough for policy - especially ones designed to keep developing nations poor and to kill the old in the UK.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Register Has Failed to Register the Larger Context of the 2014 Record

        "2014 was "almost" an El Nino year (under certain definitions it was) - it was predicted to be one and hoped for by many on the warmer side of the debate (that it wasn't might be a concern to amount of energy "stored" in the oceans) "

        Like 'almost' scoring a goal? The fact is a real El Nino year is due and is going to be even hotter. After apparently slowly down for a little, it seems that land warming is back with a vengeance...

        1. Fading Silver badge

          Re: The Register Has Failed to Register the Larger Context of the 2014 Record

          It depends on whose measure you use - 2014 was an El Nino year if you use Japan Meteorological Agency's metric http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/elnino/outlook.html

          I'm not sure where you get your land temperature data from but given as the "back with a vengeance" cannot be seen in the lower troposphere data (https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/05-rss-tlt.png) then I suspect it is a figment of your imagination.

  42. Forest Racer

    Only one comment - it's hotter at my house

    My local weather website shows the month's climate data, and every month I see that the current month is 1-1.5 degrees above average (both minimum and maximum). It should be noted that the peak temperatures don't seem to be up (the January maximum was set in 1954), but the average is. The data only starts from 1942, so it is not an extensive data set, which I assume is result of the location of the weather station being moved in 1941.

    Along with it being hotter it is getting drier.

  43. scatter

    What a desperate article, all the way to the final paragraph of scaremongering. It's almost comical.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny things is...

    Unlike most people casting doubt on climate change, this guys not getting paid for it.

    1. Rosco

      Re: Funny things is...

      You think he's writing articles for The Register out of the goodness of his heart?

      You think The Register's editorial stance on climate science reporting stems from the purity of a thirst for truth?

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Funny things is...

        One thing you can guarantee about Lewis' anti-AGW articles is that they drive heavier advertising hits along with postings in the forums.

        I can almost imagine him laughing manically whilst stroking a bald cat.

  45. boatsman

    really ? check this

    simple picture. that shows that the coldest places on earth were (in 2014) quite a bit more warm than normal.

    upto 4 degrees.

    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/80328000/png/_80328072_2014_annual_w-colorbar.png

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: really ? check this

      But we all know the BBC is into the global warming religion in a big way. They won't let anyone that doesn't chant the CAGW mantra have any air time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: really ? check this

        "They won't let anyone that doesn't chant the CAGW mantra have any air time"

        Because there isn't any credibility left in denying it anymore. It's something left now to Fox News and the looney wing of the Republicans. And even most of them don't dare stand up and say it publically any more, as they know the evidence for it is so past overwhelming that they will be subject to public ridicule.

        That global warming is happening and that a significant cause is anthropomorphic is no longer in any doubt at all.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm one of the idiots that lives on this planet

    So let's recap: The denialist argument has gone from denying that there's enough data; to accepting that there's data but deliberately misrepresenting it ("but... but... 1998!!!"); to insisting that if the data implies warming, NASA, NOAA and every other climate scientist must be fudging the data and adjusting the water gauges (to what end is never quite explained). Awesome.

    What I don't get, though, is the psychology. Why are some people so desperately attached to their position that no amount of evidence will shift them from it? What do you possibly stand to gain by clinging to this position so passionately?

    Speaking as one of the idiots that has to live on this planet, personally I'd prefer that it didn't go to shit in my lifetime.

  47. Sarah Balfour

    Well, I've no clue one way or t'other…

    …but I don't think it's normally necessary to be needing to break out the wasp/mozzie repellant in December, is it…?!

    Last Crimbo, I awoke with several large (felt the size of a 1p coin) bites on me arse, and several more at the back of my left knee.

    November the previous year, whilst my parents were visiting friends in Port Elizabeth, ZA, for a month, I awoke to a swarm of extremely angry wasps on the landing. That was a real problem, because I'm allergic. Thankfully, one of Dad's golf mates contracts for Rentokil - fuck knows how they got in, he couldn't find anywhere; we've had nests in the loft before (there's a hole in the pebble dash, just above my bedroom window, which I wanted him to get the builders to fill in when they were having the kitchen/garage extension built, but he didn't). Anyway, the only nest in the roof was an old one.

    All very strange…

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scientific Consensus?

    Does science require consensus? If it does then it can't be science. Only expert opinions require consensus.

    Science: Greenhouse Effect

    Faith: Climate Change

    Ridiculous: Climate Impacts

    BTW, thanks to UKMet for redefining "impacts" to mean something worse. Between Greenhouse Effect (Science) and Climate Change (Faith), the climate boffins have made a big mess. They were always trailing behind climate skeptics. For example, it it were not for climate skeptics, the boffins would not have included aerosols in the climate models to establish how well the models reproduce the past temp variations during the last century.

  49. david 63

    Satellites say no.

    The elephant in the room is that neither UAH or RSS is claiming hottest year ever.

    I wonder why we put them up there if their data is less reliable than the ground stations.

    And it now turns out that there is a 38% certainty on the hottest year ever based on adjusted land station claims...that should have at least been used to caveat the press release rather than having prised out a 2 weeks later.

    1. GoFigure

      Re: Satellites say no.

      .... Actually 38% "certainity" is a really dubious statement. How about a 62% certainty that 2014 is NOT the hottest?

      1. david 63

        Re: Satellites say no.

        The term medium certainty was discussed in the climategate emails and it was decided the lower threshold should be 34%.

        I have offered anyone who accepts this a little wager. If you are medium certain that a dice will come up 1 or 2 we can play a game:

        Every roll that comes up 1 or 2 I will give you £1.30 (because 34% is more than 33% I'm giving you odds)

        Every roll that comes up 3,4,5 or 6 you give me £1.00

        After we have done 20 rolls you can decide to stop or continue. I'm happy to play until your money runs out.

  50. WalterAlter
    Angel

    Blind to the POLITICAL Implications for Some Stupid Reason

    Let's just get one thing straight about Anthropogenic Global Warming or Anthropogenic Climate Change or Anthropogenic Weather Perception...it does, in fact, have some rather startling political outcomes attached. Let's imagine this truth for a moment- AGW supporters are left wingers and AGW "deniers" are right wingers. What the Sam Hell else you got to know? Just factor the relevant interpretive frameworks into the data. Since there are more left wingers than right wingers globally, we'll need to skew the numbers to filter for the volume of noise from the left using the U. of East Anglia data massaging models as revealed in those pesky "pirated by the Ruskies" emails. Keep in mind that truth can elude detection. Keep in mind that the projected changes to global economies favor the left and Al Gore's investment portfolio by a huge margin. What the Sam Hell else, etc.

  51. Maxmet

    Far more benefits than losses

    This is pure scaremongering, and it's also incorrect:

    "But it might be worth remembering that the former are arguing for massive government and economic action, action which people would not take voluntarily - that is action which will make people poorer, "

    Lagging homes to keep heat in, switching off unneeded "standby" items" walking 10 minutes to the shops instead of driving there - all of these will save your money.

    On a country-wide scale, more use of public transport = less petrol/diesel fumes affecting individual's lung capacity. Local electricity production cuts transmission losses. There is practically no waste costs with wind farms, can the same be said of nuclear or fossil fuels?

    Dealing with climate change can bring far more benefits than losses. Leaving it until some unspecified time later will cost our children and grandchildren far more.

  52. Matthew 17

    When people state that they've seen the effects of climate change..

    How old are they? They must have lived for thousands of years to have been able to observe these changes.

    The planet is 4,000,000,000 years old (ish), therefore 4,000,000,000 (ish) of weather and climate.

    If the average temp is 0.02 degrees warmer than last year or the other year or whatever then how can you draw any conclusions from it given the miniscule pluck of data?

    We've about 80 or so years of temperature records, less for global data, for the most part these weren't very accurate, the conditions where temperatures have been recorded have changed so difficult to really conclude anything.

    If we get some hot or cold weather that we've not had in a region for 10, 100, 1000, or 10000 years you still can't really draw any specific conclusions from it given we're talking about 4,000,000,000 years of history.

    The correlation between temperatures and Co2 is not that stark and breaks down over the last 15 years. With ice-core samples it showed that Co2 rises follows temperature rises when the oceans warm and degass.

    It's been colder, hotter, dryer, wetter, the Co2 has been lower, it's been much, much higher yet the only time bad things seem to have happened was when it was cold (huge storms). For the most part the Earth has been ice-free.

    The press are putting out these panic-stricken stories implying that a tiny increase in average temperature over a dataset of only a few years is proof that mankind is fucking things up. But the reality is, whether we're affecting the climate or not the rate of change is tiny and it's always changed. In a hundred years all our fossil-fuel shenanigans will be obsolete and the Co2 we emit will have long dropped and the world will continue doing what it's always done. They're spending an absolute fortune studying a problem that isn't really a problem, there's a million more pressing issues facing humans which are being ignored because of the obsession with the weather.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When people state that they've seen the effects of climate change..

      "With ice-core samples it showed that Co2 rises follows temperature rises when the oceans warm and degass"

      No, that's not what they show. In times of increasing CO2, the oceans are generally absorbing CO2.

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2009/01/15/203547/something-else-for-deniers-to-deny-ocean-absorbing-less-carbon-dioxide/

      1. Preston Munchensonton
        Meh

        Re: When people state that they've seen the effects of climate change..

        "No, that's not what they show."

        Huh, funny that. Seems that the rise in Co2 following temp rise was covered a couple years ago:

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ice-core-data-help-solve/

        I don't know that either is mutually exclusive, mate. Perhaps it's best to take a deep breath before you type.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: When people state that they've seen the effects of climate change..

          "Huh, funny that. Seems that the rise in Co2 following temp rise was covered a couple years ago:"

          Nowhere does that say that the CO2 was coming from the oceans. In natural climate cycles caused by orbital changes over many thousands of years, such CO2 release is believed to be caused primarily by melting ice sheets and melting permafrost freeing carbon into the atmosphere.

  53. GoFigure

    Not mentioned in this article is the fact that the NASA & NOAA claim are both based on surface temperature recording stations which cover less than 30% of the earth's surface -- actually MUCH less, since there are few, if any, termometers in large uninhabited regions. Then there is the problem of having to revise the raw data for those (most, actually) which are in Urban Heat Islands. And there are also siting and consistency problems.

    Also not mentioned is the fact that satellite data shows that 2014 is NOT the "hottest" year, and that satellite data covers most of the earth (and the troposphere is an integral part of the AGW dubious hypothesis.

  54. oneeye

    It's easy to tell those who have studied both sides of the issue. Those who are INTELLECTUALLY HONEST! But is is we who are demagogued as deniers and worse by the ideologues. Anyone who has studied history,and this subject in particular knows that there are cycles and fluctuations due to factors beyound man's control,and that means creating an abundance of co2,which happens to be great for plant life that produces what........wait for it.....OXYGEN ! Which I know I for one like to have more of.

    Those who believe the lies,and fail to check things out for themselves, really don't want to know the TRUTH ,because that is an INCONVENIENT FACT.

  55. rbw152

    The main point of the article is actually about the measures governments feel they should enact to 'combat' global warming. That's what most sceptics take issue with.

    Yes we can all argue until we're blue in the face about stats but the fact remains that although record amounts of CO2 have been pumped into the air over the last few years the temps haven't changed much either way and certainly not in the significant manner they were predicted to by computer models. Models which we know are based on adjusted data with missing chunks and unreliability. So, there may be something wrong with them and since they are all wrong in the same direction i.e. upwards, it may be that some sort of bias has crept in.

    And yet in the face of all this and in the name of the precautionary principle, governments have forged ahead with measures that by and large are futile and expensive. Wind turbines do not reduce CO2 and probably never will, unless many thousands are built in the countryside. These things have a very low energy density, are unreliable and intermittent, are supported by expensive subsidies on the gamble that energy prices will go up (which they obviously haven't) and need to be supported by large numbers of pylons which are also visually polluting.

    This is this sort of thing that sceptics object to. On top of that, because 'alarmists' notionally reject processes like fracking out of hand, which would supply us with a fuel that would halve CO2 emissions, sceptics suspect something else is going on here - and let's face it - they're probably right.

    Those on the left politically see a global, uniting, battle against the common enemy of climate change as the ideal way to introduce measures which appeal to them. As do deep-greens who don't like humans very much. There is simply no doubt that the debate is so highly politicised now that you can hardly believe anyone on either side.

    Tie this with the demonstrably futile and expensive measures mentioned above and a seemingly wilful refusal to accept more efficient, cheaper measures such as shale gas - or anything involving fossil fuels at all - then there is no wonder that sceptics are suspicious.

    If 'alarmists' would stop being so shrill, stop refusing to countenance alternatives that are logically more suitable and stop getting so nakedly excited about an issue they see as an ideal route to global socialism, then perhaps we could all move on in a more sensible manner.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " because 'alarmists' notionally reject processes like fracking out of hand, which would supply us with a fuel that would halve CO2 emissions"

      You might think it will help because of 'lower emissions' but really the gain is much more limited than halving CO2.

      See http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/natural-gas-and-fracking-do-not-reduce-co2-emissions.html

      1. rbw152

        So how has the US reduced its CO2 emissions to below that which it would have been required to by the Kyoto Protocol, had it signed it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'Yes we can all argue until we're blue in the face about stats but the fact remains that although record amounts of CO2 have been pumped into the air over the last few years the temps haven't changed much either way and certainly not in the significant manner they were predicted to by computer model'

      Except temperatures have changed, and many of the models hold up rather well. Do you apply your 'argue until blue in the face' to many other issues in your life? I can see it as appropriate for discussions over football or which is the tastiest pint, but arguing in the face of fact is pointless - you could choose to believe and argue that pi should be rounded to 3, but it will still be 3.1415926535897 or thereabouts.

      This really isn't a left/right political issue. It's an issue about science and the environment. The irony is the way in which you want climate science, with its factual base and proven record of accurate prediction to embrace the belief system of the financial markets, with their booms, busts, corruption and inequality.

      'If denialists' would stop being so shrill, stop refusing to countenance alternatives that are logically more suitable and stop getting so nakedly excited about an issue they see as some sort of threat to their personal liberties, then perhaps we could all move on in a more sensible manner.'

    3. Rik Myslewski
      Headmaster

      Deep-green, here

      @rbw152 — That's an interesting reference to "deep-greens who don't like humans very much." As a well-informed and scientifically literate greenie, let me assure you that I do, in point of fact, like humans quite a bit. In fact, if memory serves, over my years I have "liked" about four dozen of them quite actively and ardently, indeed (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

      On a more-serious note, let's not conflate environmentalism with nutcaseism, okay? Reason-averse clods exist in all flavors — there is a seemingly inexhaustible supply of well-ripened fruitcakes on both sides of the "What shall we do about climate change?" debate.

      Oh, and "alarmists" being "shrill"? First, cf. nutcaseism, above; and second, I trust you've read enough over-the-top references by skeptics/deniers/whatever to climate-change analysts as "watermelons" (green on the outside, red on the inside), anti-liberty commies, and ruthless anti-capitalist control freaks to know that shrillness is not merely a quality reserved for the former group, but one also shared by the less-reasonable members of the latter.

      Let's talk this over like adults, shall we?

  56. Rik Myslewski

    A well-reasoned read

    Here's a thoughtful, well-reasoned article on the "hottest year" discussion. Definitely worth a read.

  57. caradoc

    "last year was almost exactly as hot as 2005 and 2010"

    2005 was a bit iffy anyway and probablty 2010 on the same basis. Check out Elusive Surface Air Temperature, http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/abs_temp.html

    In 2005, the UK Met Office was claiming the year as the "hottest on record", but with this caveat,

    "All the temperature values have uncertainties, which arise mainly from gaps in data coverage. The sizes of the uncertainties are such that the global average temperature for 2005 is statistically indistinguishable from, and could be anywhere between, the first and the eighth warmest year in the record.

    Similar analyses in the United States rank the year as warmest on record (GISS) and second warmest (NCDC). However, NCDC also note that uncertainties arising from sparse observations or measurement biases make 2005 statistically indistinguishable from the warmest year, 1998, as well as from other recent years such as 2002 and 2003."

    James Hansen (NASA) thought 2005 was the hottest year ever.

    “A surprising Arctic warm spell is responsible for a 2005 that was likely the warmest year since instrument recordings began in the late 1800s”, added Hansen, who nevertheless admitted that the analysis had to estimate temperatures in the Arctic from nearby weather stations because no direct data were available.

    As a result, he said, “we couldn’t say with 100 percent certainty that it’s the warmest year, but I’m reasonably confident that it was”. Hansen and other researchers wrote in the analysis that “the inclusion of estimated Arctic temperatures is the primary reason for our rank of 2005 as the warmest year.” (Mercosur News Agency, 27/01/06).

    I do like this settled science....

  58. Brian Allan 1

    Where is it going?

    A lot of CO2 into the atmosphere over the past 50 years! Not much warming to report. Are we even up to the task of modeling the environment or are we just kidding ourselves!?

  59. Spotthelemon

    If just sea temperatures are used then 2014 was unequivocally the warmest year accorrding to Berkeley even taking uncertainty into account, For land, 2014 was nominally the 4th warmest year since 1753 (when the land surface temperature record began)

    some posters have suggested the 3 warmest years since 1850 are in the past decade

    Berkeley point out that that all 10 of the warmest years since 1850 have occurred since 1998 & 7 are in the past decade however "average temperature for the last decade has changed very little"

    They also point out 2014 was a year of extreme Temperatures.

    "we estimate that 8.4% of Earth’s surface and 5.6% of its land surface set all time record high annual averages in 2014; 0.11% of the Earth’s surface and 0.03% of land set all time record low annual averages in 2014"

  60. mhenriday
    FAIL

    That noted climate scientist, Lewis Page,

    who regularly publishes in the renowned scientific journal, El Reg, where his contributions are reviewed by an equally renowned circle of scientific peers, doesn't agree with the vast majority of those working in the field of climatology. Conclusion ? Mr Page, whose background in the Royal Navy qualifies him to pick and choose among works published in the field, is right, those who actually perform the research and have the temerity to disagree are, of course, wrong and deluded, if not actually in the pay of some sort of «warmist» mafia....

    馬鹿に付ける薬は無い。。。。

    Henri

  61. PeterM42
    Alert

    "Global Warming" is a SCAM

    0.01 degrees C - From my experience working with scientific equipment, that constitutes "NOISE".

    Lies,

    Damn Lies

    and Statistics.

    Any opportunity business and government can take to screw the public, more like!

  62. relmasian

    Replace the "No" in the title with a "Maybe." All the article can claim is that the data was too close and noisy to be certain. A new analyses and subsequent years' data could change the certainty.

  63. Whatever city

    What if it's all a big hoax

    and we end up creating a better world for nothing?

    1. EquusMtn

      Re: What if it's all a big hoax

      Excellent comment, "Whatever"! It's baffling to me that we have to argue with people about whether or not we should oxidize every last molecule of fossil fuel on Earth before we convert to more intelligent alternatives. And by the way, the article errs in its assertion that converting to renewables will involve "sacrifice." Energy is all around us. The economic activity associated with converting to alternative energy sources will benefit everyone -- it's a win-win. Conversely, the current path of footdragging on conversion is harmful to every person on the planet, and to life in general.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What if it's all a big hoax

        Harmful? Any suggested harm would have to be measured against known benefits, which just happen to be everything for the extra 5 or 6 billion people who could not be here if we stayed with ancient technology.

        As for the idea that everyone "wins" you need to review what AGW believers are demanding "we" do. They demand that Western countries, even countries like Canada who, with 3.5 people per sq/km, and massive natural carbon sinks, are sinking more carbon than they emit, cut back on fossil fuel use, while over populated countries like India with 350 people per sq/km get subsidies to burn even more fossil fuel that they are unable to sink and dump directly into the commons.

        There is nothing "we" can do if you are concerned about the environment. Asia with over 4 billion people are the only "we" that matters and they have made it very clear they only care if they get more money and resources.

        Which is why so many question the science. A science that says Western countries with large natural carbon sinks and declining carbon use is the problem. Meanwhile massively over populated Asian countries with almost no environmental laws or concerns can continue to consume the planet at ever increasing rates and deserve Western money, resources and subsidies. That does not sound like science, it is in fact politics.

        A read of the many "agreements", Kyoto for example, will show that this isn't about science or making a better world for all.

  64. TomMariner

    Politics

    Thank you for the "inconvenient truth" that the temperature recordings being the highest ever is not scientifically sound.

    But don't interrupt a political party while it grabs anything it can to get or stay in office. Ethics and truth do not belong in a one-way discussion of pseudo-science.

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