back to article 'Sunspots drive climate change' theory is result of ancient error

A bunch of boffins has completed the first-ever revision of the world's most important sunspot data repository, along the way challenging the theory that climate change is substantially attributable to the prevalence of sunspots. It turns out, in fact, that the pro-sunspots argument relies on a statistical artefact introduced …

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  1. graeme leggett

    a golden rule

    If you rely on something to prove your point, check the data is solid

    And its corollary

    If you want to challenge something, check their data

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: a golden rule

      If you want to challenge something, check their data

      Yes, lovely, only the CRU hack showed widespread gaming of the system by climate 'scientists' who had destroyed the data upon which their central hyposthesis was based, precisely to prevent its being challenged.

      Too many careers, too much money, and too many ideological beliefs are now on the line for there ever to be credible, impartial, and persuasive science done around the issue now. With all the crying wolf, until the sheep are eaten, nobody is going to believe the little boy doing the shouting.

      1. rtfazeberdee

        Re: a golden rule

        get yourself a double walled tin foil hat and wear it permanently..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Deniers = red herring

      It's the inability of the greatly eco-concerned masses to plan their way out of a wet paper bag that is by far the larger impediment to efficient and effective progress.

      Has anyone even bothered to move past anguish and prepare a darn priority list? Ordered by effect, cost efficiency and speed of implementation. With coal and bunker fuels near the top of the list, perhaps methane leaks too. Big fat targets, some relatively cost effective.

      Blaming the deniers is in itself a dangerous distraction.

      It's past time to stop blaming the deniers, they that are likely living a lifestyle not significantly different than the wailing masses that haven't done much either.

      If somebody is managing the whole campaign of inaction, fire them.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Deniers?

    Mr. Chirgwin, your use of the derogatory term "denier" self-identifies you as a non-credible hack. Please go away.

    1. Antonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Re: Deniers?

      Thinking the same

      ...climate deniers use to “prove” ...

      I wonder when the next service at the cult of Warmism will be... so I can give it a miss.

      What's wrong with you Reg? I'm not sure how much more of this warmist/denier twattery I can take.

    2. RIBrsiq

      Re: Deniers?

      Would you prefer the term "faithful"? Maybe "believers"...?

      Because at this point in time, I cannot fathom what else can make any sane person deny anthropogenic global climate change.

      What are deniers waiting for? Bangladesh under water...? Because we're headed there.

      But I am sure the faithful will hand-wave that away as well: that is, after all, how faith works. Will probably claim the feared space goat pissed the sea level higher when no one was looking or something.

      Interesting times up ahead. And not in a good way.

      1. flearider

        Re: Deniers?

        18 yrs 7 months no warming .. nuff said ??

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Deniers?

        The problem that many of us "skeptics" (not deniers) have is not that the climate is changing but the reason WHY it is changing and the gospel of what must be done. To say it's CO2 and not embrace nuke power is folly. To say that big star in the sky has no effect is questionable... It's output does change and that is always discounted.

        Yes, the seas are rising. The overall temperature is rising. But why? There's as many answers as there are factions in the "warmist" camp and each sub-group likes to believe it/s answer is the only one.

        1. RIBrsiq

          Re: Deniers?

          A skeptic is a person who when presented with a claim demands evidence for said claim. But when staisfactory evidence is presented, a proper skeptic accepts it and proceeds accordingly.

          A denier or believer, on the other hand, will continue denying and believing regardless of any amount or type of evidence presented.

          Look at the state of the climate change deniers' camp. Can you see why they are described as deniers...?

          Of course not!! Because you believe and evidence will not sway you...!

          LOL!

          1. rtfazeberdee

            Re: Deniers?

            “If someone doesn't value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?”

            ― Sam Harris

            I think this covers the description of the deniers

            1. ITfarmer

              Re: Deniers?

              "rtfazeberdee

              “If someone doesn't value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?”

              ― Sam Harris

              I think this covers the description of the deniers"

              Really ? Well given the FACT that EVERY SINGLE climate model has been proven WRONG - not by a small margin either - the energies required to sustain these models is many factors over the total power output of the world power stations combined.

              When quoting "Denier" look the in the mirror and recognise your own failings.

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge

            @RIBrsiq -- Re: Deniers?

            Go back and re-read my comment... You'll see that skeptic != denier. I don't deny there are changes, I'm skeptical of all the fanatical solutions that aren't working... or not living up to the hype which worse.

            I see your screaming and venting at all who disagree with you. So scream away and show us the fanatic that you really are.

        2. John Lilburne

          Re: Deniers?

          [

          The problem that many of us "skeptics" (not deniers) have is not that the climate is changing but the reason WHY it is changing and the gospel of what must be done.

          ]

          What you are maintaining is the equivalent of saying "that if a building is on fire because of an electrical fire, then adding a bit of petrol to the flames will do no harm". Seems to me that regardless of the root cause (the science most likely has it right, but no matter) adding to the problem isn't a particularly smart way of proceeding.

        3. fitzsubs

          Re: Deniers?

          Yeah, that's it, nobody thought to check the temperature anomaly against TSI. Doh!

          Oh, wait, it has been. So have aerosols, methane, volcanic ash, ocean heat exchange, land use like deforestation, and every other factor that might even remotely affect the global mean temperature. And guess what...... GHGs are the only factors that have affected the century long trend of global mean temperatures. Not only that, but ocean heat exchange is the second strongest factor that has the greatest affect on global mean air and sea surface temperatures.

          And even more enlightening, total solar irradiance is negatively correlated with global mean temperature anomaly. While the Sun does provide the energy that heats the Earth, while TSI was decreasing, CO2 and other GHGs were increasing and trapping more and more the energy that the Sun provides.

          The problem is that in order to understand this requires either having an education in science and mathematics or simply accepting the analysis of credible professional scientists. Of course, this can be quite a conundrum because it requires some rudimentary level of science education to be able to read the material published by credible scientists. And lacking in even a rudimentary level of knowledge of science makes reading science literature an impossibility. So what is a person to do? Well, there is always the published positions scientific organizations that represent the larger body of scientists,like the American Institute of Physicists.

          The problem still remains, having learned to read. Even then, you can get past that by having a friend read it to you or taking adult night courses.

          So, all in all, there is no reason why you should not know the facts. Stupidity isn't an excuse.

          Ergo, the term "denier".

          1. MondoMan

            Re: "credible" scientists

            The problem, of course, is that climate science is an immature field, and it turns out that a significant number of climate scientists are not credible. Credible scientists don't respond as Dr. Phil Jones did: "Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Credible scientists don't publish articles based on novel statistical calculations without having any expertise in statistics nor a collaborator with such to prevent basic mathematical errors.

            Scientists in other fields look upon climate science as a train wreck -- you can't look away, but feel sad for all the people hurt by the sheer incompetence so often on display.

        4. Michael 31

          Re: Deniers?

          > Yes, the seas are rising. The overall temperature is rising. But why? There's as many answers as there are factions in the "warmist" camp and each sub-group likes to believe it/s answer is the only one.

          The point about carbon dioxide is that is that whil emany factors - solar activity for example, fluctuate the effect of carbon dioxide is one sided. It is also very long lasting: the CO2 we have the atmosphere now will warm us for another hundred years or so. ANd we have a choice about the CO2 we emit - we can change the amount we emit while - if we are smart - retaining our standard of living.

          I am not a 'warmist' - I am 'factist' and I hate to come over all 'factinista' on you - but to the best that it can be calculated - what is happening corresponds more or less to what we would expect from a CO2 warmed world.

          1. RIBrsiq

            Re: Deniers?

            Ah, well:

            Deniers gonna deny, one might say.

            Thanks to all for so effectively illustrating the situation. And even more thanks to those few voices of reason: you make me think there might still be hope... But then I read the next comment.

            For what it's worth, I personally wish the deniers were right. Because their being wrong means great social upheaval and suffering for millions, if not billions, of fellow humans the vast majority of whom did nothing to cause the problem.

            But I am afraid the evidence does not bode well for either my wishes or their denial. The laws of physics are poorly affected by wishful thinking.

        5. John Hughes

          Re: Deniers?

          To say that big star in the sky has no effect is questionable... It's output does change and that is always discounted.
          Nonsense. Solar output is always considered when looking for causes of warming. The simple fact is that there is no trend in any solar parameter that correlates with the observed warming.

          (Every time someone says something like "scientists haven't considered..." they are wrong. Thats what scientists spend all their time doing).

      3. Chris Miller

        @RIBrsiq

        Nice straw man - now point out who's denying "anthropogenic global climate change"? Very few ElReg readers, I'll bet. What some people may 'deny' is that catastrophic global warming is inevitable unless we change our ways, often in ways that would themselves be catastrophic for civilisation.

        Over the last century or two we've dumped perhaps 1,000 GtC into the atmosphere. As it's a greenhouse gas it would be surprising if this did not result in some elevation of temperatures. So there are two retrospective scientific questions that follow: (a) how much have global temperatures actually risen; and (b) how much of any rise is properly attributable to anthropic activity (this latter is what the article is about).

        There are also prospective scientific questions, such as "if we continue carbon emissions, how might that change future temperatures?" and "what would be the effect of such a change?" (note that this requires some estimate of future emissions over many decades, which is itself not really a matter for science alone). And it's clear we really don't have that good a handle on the correct answers. And if we establish the science, that leaves the biggie: "what should we do about it?", which is a political question, though no doubt scientific input would be a good thing.

        1. RIBrsiq

          Re: @RIBrsiq

          @ Chris Miller:

          No need to go far. Just read some of the other comments right here. You'll find that deniers come in all shapes and sizes and don't agree on what, exactly, they are denying. Just that they deny in general.

          The generic argument seems to go like this:

          "Climate is not changing! But if it is, it's actually cooling, not warming! Even if it is warming, it's not our fault. However, if it is our fault, we cannot do anything about it because it would destroy our way of life. And if it is proven that climate change will destroy things even more, then it is too late to do anything now...". Etc. Etc. Ad nauseam.

          1. Chris Miller

            Re: @RIBrsiq

            Can you point to any actual comments here that fit your far-fetched description? Or is it just the voices in your head?

            If I wanted to adopt your approach of erecting straw men, it would be easy to produce a description of alarmism:

            "An ice age is coming - WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! No, it isn't, but the Earth is warming - WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! I have a model that predicts a global temperature rise of 2 degrees over the next 20 years. (20 years later) temperatures haven't changed significantly, but that's not because my science is wrong, the heat is going somewhere we can't see it." etc etc.

            If a denier is your term of choice for someone who refuses to believe a fact in the face of irrefutable evidence (and not intended in any way to form a mental link to holocaust denier, that's just a coincidence), what's the equivalent term for someone who refuses to relinquish a belief after it's been contradicted by the evidence?

            1. g e

              @Chris Miller | Re: @RIBrsiq

              "Cultist" or "Fanatic", probably

        2. Michael 31

          Re: @RIBrsiq

          We can do nothing about history - but the rate of CO2 emission has risen exponentially and currently is at around 35 billion tonnnes of CO2 per year. We can choose what to do about that.

          Regarding your questions

          (a) how much have global temperatures actually risen;

          Look at http://www.surfacetemperatures.org/ or http://berkeleyearth.org/

          Our best estimates all agree

          (b) how much of any rise is properly attributable to anthropic activity (this latter is what the article is about).

          Pretty much all of it is attributable to carbon dioxide emissions

          The future is always uncertain - but th ebest estimates are that the temperatures will keep rising roughly as they have been.

          It seems to me that a precautionary approach should be the minimum response to this.

          1. Chris Miller
            FAIL

            @Michael 31

            You were doing so well ... and then you invoked the precautionary principle.

          2. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: @RIBrsiq

            (b) how much of any rise is properly attributable to anthropic activity (this latter is what the article is about).

            Pretty much all of it is attributable to carbon dioxide emissions

            While that point is debateable, what is not debateable is that "pretty much all" CO2 emissions are not attributable to humans. You've conflated two seperate issues as though one provides evidence of the other. If every human dies tomorrow, we're talking about maybe 6% reduction in emissions.

            1. John Hughes

              Re: @RIBrsiq

              While that point is debateable, what is not debateable is that "pretty much all" CO2 emissions are not attributable to humans.

              What we know is that human CO2 emissions are about 200% of observed the rise in CO2.

              I.E. about half what we emit is going into carbon sinks (plants, ocean acidification) and the rest into the atmosphere and all the atmospheric increase is us.

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: @RIBrsiq

                all the atmospheric increase is us.

                Let's assume for the sake of argument that was a proven fact. It isn't, but we'll just assume for now that it is.

                Emitting zero carbon is beyond our ability as a species - things we eat rot and the air we expel during breathing contains elevated CO2. So what we're left with is trying to minimise our collective output.

                Minimising our output can be achieved in just two ways - lower output per person,or fewer people.

                Efficiency gains should reduce our output per person, but they haven't, because we've found other uses for that energy - flight, air con, a lot of computers etc. People who were poor and had limited access to heating/cooling, transport, or power are now more wealthy and have raised their output per person.

                People simply won't go back to an agrarian lifestyle, they just won't, so we can only reduce emissions per person by changing how the power they consume is generated. As vehicle propulsion currently means hydrocarbons, we can only target coal/gas/oil fired power stations for replacement with nuclear.

                The above, if it could be implemented globally without proliferation of nuclear weapons, would reset our emissions by a generation or two. The issue then becomes flight. People are flying more often and further than ever before. Families don't live in the same town anymore - they don't even live in the same country or even continent. Only one couple I know are from the same country: the rest must fly to visit family. Jet engines are being made more efficient, but the increase in number of flights will dwarf engineering gains. Automotive uses will be a sideshow to air travel. Trains are still powered by coal (its just burned in the power station rather than the steam engine), which is the worst fuel in terms of CO2:Energy output.

                Absent a carbon neutral jet fuel and some realistic way to power electric cars from nuclear fuel, all we have done is extend the timeline until we inevitably come face to face with route #2 - fewer people.

                You can't double the population and expect emissions to fall. It isn't realistic. So how do you get the population to shrink? Well, you need to reduce the number of children being born. The debate on how best to achieve that can be expected to be heated & emotive, but ultimately you'd have to look to complusory sterilisation after the second child. A capitalist alternative would be to auction permits to have children. That's not something you could force on people without being absolutely certain the science is right this time and that the conclusions drawn from that science are also correct. We're simply nowhere near that point. Things like the CRU hack and all the crying wolf just discredit the 'science' more each year.

                Logically, to minimise economic damage - for society will still need an economy - the least harmful way to reduce the population is to reduce childbirth within the lower half of the economically active adults. The poor, in other words. We'd need to maximise economic activity per person with fewer people in order to minimise the reduction in econoic activity you see, meaning only the well off could breed.

                So what are your answers? What is your road map? There'll be plenty of downvotes for this, but predictably no answers. Slapping a few pence per litre on petrol, a couple of quid on the air passenger levy, and a few hundred on domestic power bills just doesn't change anything. So be honest about how you'd solve the issues... are we rationing child birth or auctioning permits to do it, or are we banning transport entirely and letting grandma freeze to death this winter? Are we having a really big war to whittle down the numbers, or making Logans Run real?

                Let's just say that you don't have any answers, because you don't. You'd never be able to convince the world to follow your plan. Even assuming all climate 'science' is accurate as presented, all we have left in the toy box then is learning to live with the effects of any climate change. To accept it will happen at an ever escalating rate, and to try to reduce its impact upon us. Anything else is just wasting time and resources, assuming you're right about AGW of course. I don't sweat it, because I know you're not, or people like the CRU wouldn't be spinning their research while hiding or destroying their data to prevent it being analysed by more rational minds.

                1. John Hughes

                  Re: @RIBrsiq

                  all the atmospheric increase is us.

                  Let's assume for the sake of argument that was a proven fact. It isn't, but we'll just assume for now that it is.

                  It is a proven fact. We do know how much CO2 we're emitting -- all you have to do is know how much oil, coal and gas is being bought and how much CO2 is emitted when that oil, coal and gas is burned. One is a matter of public record, the other is simple chemistry. (Simplification -- you also have to add the CO2 emitted by concrete construction, but that is also calculable).

                  When you check the numbers you find that our emissions are more or less exactly twice the observed increase in atmospheric CO2.

                  Emitting zero carbon is beyond our ability as a species - things we eat rot and the air we expel during breathing contains elevated CO2.

                  Are you a moron? The CO2 in our food comes from the atmosphere -- we, "as animals" are like all other animals carbon neutral. Unless you are suggesting that we eat fossil fuel.

                  As vehicle propulsion currently means hydrocarbons, we can only target coal/gas/oil fired power stations for replacement with nuclear.
                  Been there, done that. I live in France.

                  Trains are still powered by coal
                  Mine aren't. Mine are nuclear powered.

                  Things like the CRU hack and all the crying wolf just discredit the 'science' more each year.
                  Ah, you're a conspiracy theorist. End of conversation.

                  1. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: @RIBrsiq

                    The CO2 in our food comes from the atmosphere -- we, "as animals" are like all other animals carbon neutral.

                    Oh, I see. You're an idiot. I get it now.

                    If what you suggest was remotely accurate, in the faintest possible sense, then all we'd have to do to cut emissions was produce food and not eat it. You mistakenly assume people are carbon neutral, when self evidently they aren't, and miss the face that while the population of earth has soared the past 20 years, as have emissions, there has been zero degrees warming. None. Zip. Nada.

                    At best we can esitmate what we emit in terms of emissions. What we can't claim, idocy aside, is that we fully understand the carbon cycle such that we can not only correlate our emissions with global warming, but can state them to be causal. Its BS.

                    You've conveniently rules out any natural increase in emissions and prescribed it all to humans, which is self evidently wrong unless every natural process is a constant. Given a small child could grasp that they are in flux, the prevailing CO2 level will increase and decrease due to NATURE.

                    Trains are still powered by coal

                    Mine aren't. Mine are nuclear powered.

                    So there's no coal fired power stations in France? Quack quack oops. Seriously, even basic research and logic are beyond you. I give up..... you won't learn a thing because you don't want to. Carry on with your religion if you must, but don't ever claim it to be science on this forum again.

                    1. John Hughes

                      Re: @RIBrsiq

                      If what you suggest was remotely accurate, in the faintest possible sense, then all we'd have to do to cut emissions was produce food and not eat it.

                      Yes, that would work. We'd have to make sure nothing else ate it either. Why do you think it wouldn't work? What do you think coal is?

                      At best we can esitmate what we emit in terms of emissions.
                      No, we know pretty much exactly how much we emit -- we're pretty bloody good at keeping track of money so we know how much money we're spending on fossil fuels.

                      You've conveniently rules out any natural increase in emissions and prescribed it all to humans
                      Simple logic. We know how much we're emitting. We know what the increase in atmospheric CO2 is. We know that our emissions are twice the atmospheric increase, therefore all the atmospheric increase is our emissions.

                      So there's no coal fired power stations in France?
                      There are a couple, but a quick visit to gridwatch will show that they generate less than 3% of the electricity.

      4. TheTick

        Re: Deniers?

        "Because at this point in time, I cannot fathom what else can make any sane person deny anthropogenic global climate change."

        Is there any solid, proven evidence for anthropogenic global climate change? Serious question.

        And yes the "denier" tag is disgraceful as it attempts to link skeptics with holocaust deniers (don't even think about "denying" that!).

        1. RIBrsiq

          Re: Deniers?

          "Is there any solid, proven evidence for anthropogenic global climate change? Serious question".

          Serious answer:

          http://theconsensusproject.com/

          Or just read anything accepted by the bulk of scientists and experts who study climate.

          As for the use of the term denier: first time I noticed any link with Holocaust deniers, personally. Which's funny, because I tend to fight extended battles against *those* deniers as well, being from the Middle-East.

          I just use the word to describe people who continue to deny something regardless of any evidence presented. Nothing more is intended.

          1. Mark 65

            Re: Deniers?

            Or just read anything accepted by the bulk of scientists and experts who study climate.

            At one time the bulk of scientists and, for that matter, the World's population actually believed the Earth to be flat. So what?

            The reason I am sceptical is because we are told it is all mankind's fault and yet nuclear power is not embraced but instead utterly pointless needs-to-be-backed-by-gas-turbine windmills are touted and get just as large a state subsidy. Ugly bastard things that, shock horror, don't live up to expectations in generating power. Solar is also a joke for most of the planet where power is needed.

            Sustainable is not covering the planet in windmills. It is also not trying to force people back into the stone age by penalising the poor with your shitty green energy subsidies. Cheap energy is the prime source of growth, without it your economy is fucked.

            If you want to get most people on board I'm afraid you are going to have to come up with some concrete proposals that don't fuck the poor, the economy, and the environment instead of all the subsidy grabbing "thou shalt not" evangelical bullshit.

            1. rtfazeberdee

              Re: Deniers?

              "At one time the bulk of scientists and, for that matter, the World's population actually believed the Earth to be flat. So what?" - no, that was the ignorance of the world at the time not the scientists but the evidence from the scientists came to the rescue to disple that myth

              "The reason I am sceptical is because we are told it is all mankind's fault " - no, its being accelerated by mankind.

              "Solar is also a joke for most of the planet where power is needed." how little you know"

              "concrete proposals that don't fuck the poor, the economy, and the environment instead of all the subsidy grabbing "thou shalt not" evangelical bullshit." and just how much does the CO2 producing industry get in subsidies? it plunges the green subsidies into insignificance.

              you need to read factual literature more and not base your ideas on troll posters

            2. DavidJB

              Re: Deniers?

              Just to be pedantic, there was never a time in the last 2,000 years when the bulk of scientists believed the earth was flat. The approximately spherical shape of the earth was established by the ancient Greeks and accepted by all informed scholars from then on, including medieval philosophers like Aquinas and the Venerable Bede..

            3. fitzsubs

              Re: Deniers?

              @Mark 65

              "At one time the bulk of scientists and, for that matter, the World's population actually believed the Earth to be flat. " - Mark 65

              Oh, geez. Never in the history of man has anyone that could remotely be called a scientist every considered the Earth to be flat.

              "Eratosthenes of Cyrene c. 276 BC[1] – c. 195/194 BC[2]) was a Greek mathematician, geographer, poet, astronomer, and music theorist. He was a man of learning, becoming the chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria. He invented the discipline of geography, including the terminology used today.

              He is best known for being the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth, "

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

              There are deniers... then there are complete morons.

            4. John Hughes

              Re: Deniers?

              The reason I am sceptical is because we are told it is all mankind's fault and yet nuclear power is not embraced
              A total non-sequitir.

              "I don't believe in global warming because if I believed in global warming I'd be for nuclear power and the greenies aren't for nuclear power so I don't believe in global warming".

              Which aside for being illogical is wrong. James Hansen is for nuclear power, George Monbiot is for nuclear power, I'm for nuclear power.

            5. Libertarian

              Re: Deniers?

              Telling it like it is and in plain basic English, too! Refreshing.

          2. TheTick

            Re: Deniers?

            @RIBrsiq

            "http://theconsensusproject.com/"

            That whole website has zero evidence for anything. Just a bunch of links to articles saying "we're right and that's that!". It peddles the discredited 97% of scientists statistic as if it's not completely and utterly bogus. If I remember they counted any paper that even mentioned climate as though they agreed with the "consensus". They also counted those who believed mankind has an effect on the environment but did not think it would be very significant.

            That website is more like a bunch of kids stamping their feet shouting "IT IS IT IS IT IS!!!".

            So I repeat my question: Is there any solid, proven evidence of *anthropogenic* global climate change? I'll add significant climate change to that question, as me farting adds to climate change, though only the missus notices that much.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Deniers?

            @RIBrsiq, If you believe that then I have a little used bridge you might like to buy. The so called consensus is another piece of fudged data that has been debunked by real scientists.

          4. Nigel 11

            Re: Deniers?

            "Is there any solid, proven evidence for anthropogenic global climate change? Serious question".

            Is it?

            By the time there is that sort of evidence, it will be far too late to do anything about the changes. we'll have to live with them, or perhaps die because of them.

            What is certain is (a) the measureable increase in atmospheric CO2 since the industrial revolution, and (b) the certainty that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. I'd far rather we stopped raising the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere *now*, rather than after it's too late. Especially since we now have the technologies to do without burning stuff for energy, and lack only the will to develop and deploy them. (Taxpayers are still *subsidizing* fossil fuel production, FFS! )

        2. John Hughes

          Re: Deniers?

          Is there any solid, proven evidence for anthropogenic global climate change? Serious question.
          Yes.

          Atmospheric CO2 has been increasing.[1]

          The extra CO2 is anthropogenic.[2]

          Without some mysterious unknown effect an increase in CO2 will produce an increase in temperature.[3]

          To avoid quibbles:

          [1] The first person to point out that Mauna Loa is a volcano please go and stand in the corner.

          [2] We know how much CO2 we're putting into the atmosphere using this complicated mathematical technique known as double entry book keeping. It turns out to be about twice the amount of the increase in atmospheric CO2.

          [3] Fourier, 1820. Arrhenius, 1879.

          1. MondoMan

            Re: How much temps will rise due to CO2?

            @John Hughes

            You're right as far as you go -- CO2's increase to currently around 400ppm is due to human causes, and it has/will raise the temperature.

            HOWEVER, the calculations you quote predict only a small rise in temps. Even modern, observational-data-based estimates of how much temperatures will rise for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration (the "climate sensitivity") give a value of around 1.5C per doubling. We expect the doubling from pre-industrial CO2 values to be achieved around the end of the 21st century; since we've already warmed about 0.85C from pre-industrial times (with no adverse noticeable consequences!), we can expect another 0.65C of warming by the end of the 21st century. No big deal.

            It's all in the IPCC AR5 "official science" report, so don't go calling them "deniers"!

            1. John Hughes

              Re: How much temps will rise due to CO2?

              1.5C is the low end of current thinking:

              there is high confidence that ECS is extremely unlikely less than 1°C and medium confidence that the ECS is likely between 1.5°C and 4.5°C and very unlikely greater than 6°C
              -- AR5

      5. DavidJB

        Re: Deniers?

        The land area of Bangladesh is increasing. It is part of a massive river delta system. Rising sea levels *might* in the long term leave 'Bangladesh under water', but we are not seeing it yet.

      6. ITfarmer

        Re: Deniers?

        "What are deniers waiting for? Bangladesh under water...? Because we're headed there."

        Just what are you going on about ?

        The Earth has lost and reformed Ice caps many, many times since it was formed - there will someday be ice sheets over most of Europe and North America will get a massive volcanic eruption in Yellow Stone park.

        The seas will rise a bit - so what ? welcome to life on Earth.

    3. Leslie Graham

      Re: Deniers?

      Oh perleeese.

      The word denier dates from the 15th century and simply means 'one who denies'.

      Its shorthand for "people who persist in denying that global warming is happening, and primarily driven by human-emitted greenhouse gases, and is likely to be very disruptive, all in the face of an overwhelming consensus of expert scientific opinion, which in turn is based on a mountain of convergent evidence."

      That's sort of a mouthful, so "denier" will just have to do.

      The dictionary definition is equaly damning of deniers:

      "...Denialism is the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none. These false arguments are used when one has few or no facts to support one's viewpoint against a scientific consensus or against overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They are effective in distracting from actual useful debate using emotionally appealing, but ultimately empty and illogical assertions...."

      That definition fits climate change deniers to an absolute 'T'.

      There is simply no other word in the English language that is more apt.

      The attempt by deniers to falsely equate the term with the Neo-nazi holocaust deniers is disgusting. It is as cowardly as it is disingenuous.

      Though since the deniers have brought it up I have to point out that the evidence for man-made global warming is as final as the evidence of Auschwitz

      If the cap fits wear it and spare us your faux outrage.

      1. eesiginfo

        Re: Deniers?

        What dictionary did you use?

        Dictionary's do not write definitions in that manner.

        Try these definitions:

        Denialism: is the refusal to accept well-established theory, law, fact or evidence. "Denialist" is pejorative.

        Believer: to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What dictionary did you use?

          Downvoted for not managing to correctly pluralize "dictionary"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Deniers?

        "...Denialism is the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none. These false arguments are used when one has few or no facts to support one's viewpoint against a scientific consensus or against overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They are effective in distracting from actual useful debate using emotionally appealing, but ultimately empty and illogical assertions...."

        That definition fits climate change deniers to an absolute 'T'.

        It also, of course, perfectly fits the global warming catastrophists.

    4. eesiginfo

      Re: Deniers?

      Agreed entirely, you cannot be a credible journalist, if writing in a moronic manner.

      By using the term 'denier' I guess this makes you a 'believer'.

      This is nutter territory, more applicable to religious leaflets.

      What about writing an interesting article on the review of sunspot records, and how this might impact on our ability to predict the effects on our climate.

      1. John Sanders
        IT Angle

        Re: Deniers?

        Here I was...

        Thinking that sunspots were being used to study the relationship between their presence and the amount of sun's activity through the decades.

        Also I was thinking that all literature that I have read about the subject I have never found a single reference where anybody says: "climate change made by sunspots".

        However I have managed to find "The sun drives most of the climate" and more sunspots mean more solar activity, hence the more sunspots the more of the sun's energy that reach us hence climatological impact changes.

        Just saying.

        I think the "believers" have been trying to rule out the influence of the sun in the climate since almost the beginning because their equations (Which simplify reality and only work if you massage the data) do not give that much importance to the sun.

        The whole sunspots (and most of the man-made climate change stuff) thing reminds me of: "If...she...weighs the same as a duck......she's made of wood. a witch!!!!"

    5. Ilmarinen
      Thumb Down

      Re: Deniers?

      Normally Trolls infest the comments, not write the article itself.

      That said, I'll check out the source data because I'm interested in the subject.

      But "climate deniers" - really?

    6. ravenviz
      Devil

      Re: Deniers?

      I hereby declare climate change article comment up and down votes to adhere to the following algorithm:

      If UpVoteSelected Then

      UpVote = UpVote + 1

      DownVote = DownVote + 1

      ElseIf DownVoteSelected Then

      DownVote = DownVote + 1

      UpVote = UpVote + 1

      EndIf

      1. ravenviz
        Facepalm

        Re: Deniers?

        2 thumbs up & 2 thumbs down

        Very clever I see what you did there.

        On balance, as of now, there have been 138 posts with an average:

        8 thumbs up & 5 thumbs down

        So: I hereby declare climate change article comment up and down votes to adhere to the following algorithm:

        If UpVoteSelected Then

        UpVote = UpVote + 1

        DownVote = DownVote + (5/8)

        ElseIf DownVoteSelected Then

        DownVote = DownVote + 1

        UpVote = UpVote + (8/5)

        EndIf

        There.

    7. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Deniers?

      "your use of the derogatory term "denier" self-identifies you as a non-credible hack"

      Speaking only for myself, but you would probably consider me to be a denier. Thing is, I'm not really.

      The climate IS changing. Any fool can see that weather is "most X since records began" a little too often for comfort.

      What I do deny is our (humanity's) involvement. By reducing some emissions and taxing more we can make the problem go away? Yeah, pull the other one, it has bells on it.

      By all means strive to be more efficient, but take steps for the inevitable as well.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Deniers? @heyrick

        What I do deny is our (humanity's) involvement. By reducing some emissions and taxing more we can make the problem go away? Yeah, pull the other one, it has bells on it.

        So we should just do nothing then?

        I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting we can reverse the changes already seen - at least not overnight. But reducing CO2 and/or CH4 emissions might at least slow down the rate of change enough to essentially buy us some time to develop proper solutions - or at least figure out how to relocate several billion people within the next 30 years.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Deniers? @heyrick

          or at least figure out how to relocate several billion people within the next 30 years.

          Only, we won't. And I rather suspect that deep down you already know that.

          50 years ago the same "cult of less" people demanded we had only 50 years of oil and by now we'd be riding horses to work again. Only, that didn't actually happen.

          30 years ago, the alarmists demanded that if people kept driving, the UK would by now have the climate of Portugal.... Only, it doesn't.

          10 years ago we were "at tipping point" where if things didn't change immediately it would be too late. Only, emissions increased over the period and there was once again no warming.

          So this year you say we'll have to relocate billions people within 30 years... well, I'm sorry, but I just don't believe you.

          At every turn your ilk have demanded that "science" backed their view, chiefly by dismissing all contradictory science as wrong, only for reality to prove time and again that it is you who is wrong. The fundamental problem is that you always start with the conclusion that people must make do with less, which is the failed political dogma of communism rather than an objective hypothesis. Watermelons then, given every single "solution" to AGW is the mantra of less; communism, rather than capitalism.

          The world isn't going back to communist policies (even if Labour is), it isn't going to accept less, and it isn't going to heed your message. Collectively we've wasted a lifetime listening to you forever change your minds on why reality hasn't fit with your beliefs; for the sake of our children its time to accept that you're wrong.

          AGW does not exist because there is no proof of it despite spent billions looking for it over the last 50 years. If you want to be a communist, then be a communist and stop being ashamed of it; but don't try to frighten the rest of the world into communism 2.0 via the back door by pretending the sky is falling. It just isn't.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Deniers? @heyrick

          > So we should just do nothing then?

          It is an option that we should seriously consider.

          Consider the options:

          1) Changing the climate of the planet

          2) Changing our circumstances to suit.

          I'm not sure which is harder but they are both undeniably hard.

    8. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Deniers?

      To be fair to both sides I repost once again nothing beats El Reg the amateur climate science blog that does IT on the side.

  3. Justin Clements

    Here we go again

    When the historical data doesn't match your results, change the historical data. NOAA did it earlier this year, University of East Anglia do it as a matter of course, and ow the pesky sun spot data, let's change that as well.

    Is this really science any more?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here we go again

      It stopped being science a long time ago.

      1. Antonymous Coward
        Boffin

        Re: Here we go again

        "Climate science" has never been science. Think more along the lines of sociology, cosmetology or astrology.

        (Not meaning to "diss" the geologists, chemists, physicists, astronomers, etc who definitely aren't "climate scientists" and would doubtless hate to be mistaken for such)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Here we go again

          Climate science is a real thing, but since the 80's it's been warped out of all recognition by enviro-wackos intent on snuffing out western civilization for its many eco-sins. Fossil fuels are the main energy supply for that civilization, so a theory that ties those fuels to thermal armageddon fits the agenda perfectly. It's just gravy that venal politicians find it convenient to jump on board a train that promises them more power and wealth.

          1. John Hawkins

            Re: Here we go again

            Wackos on both sides of the fence if you look.

            Me - I'm sitting comfortably on the fence and enjoying the screaming...

            1. rtfazeberdee

              Re: Here we go again

              You'll get a sore arse sitting on the fence too long

            2. Martin Budden

              Re: Here we go again

              Me - I'm sitting comfortably on the fence and enjoying the screaming...

              Careful... get splinters in the wrong place, you'll be the one screaming.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Here we go again

            "warped out of all recognition by enviro-wackos"

            Regardless of one's views on which side of the argument is correct, you do yourself no service by in one post complaining that the use of the term "denier" makes the article suspect, and then referring to "enviro-wackos." Cognitive dissonance.

            1. fnj
              Holmes

              Re: Here we go again

              <blockquote>Regardless of one's views on which side of the argument is correct, you do yourself no service by in one post complaining that the use of the term "denier" makes the article suspect, and then referring to "enviro-wackos." Cognitive dissonance.</blockquote>

              There is wisdom in your point. Caution in the review and examination of one's terminology is always wise. However, the religious fervor I perceive is essentially all on the side of the pro-anthropogenesists. It's not that surprising, because generally those convinced that "we're all going to die" tend be passionate about it.

              At the same time, when the pro-anthropogenesists label with derogatory terms those who are not buying what they are selling, it is only natural that there will be a backlash in kind from the latter.

          3. Alien8n Silver badge

            Re: Here we go again

            "warped out of all recognition"

            I was wondering what had happened to Slaine...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Here we go again

          "...Think more along the lines of sociology, cosmetology or astrology...."

          You forgot "computer science" from your list...

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Here we go again

            You forgot "computer science" from your list...

            Uh.. no.. Comp Sci people have much in common with the rest of the mystic types. Normal people have no clue what they/we do yet they believe and trust in us. We work in the dark, eat strange foods, and mumble a language unto it self. Yep.. we're not scientists but mystics.

            1. Chris Miller

              Computer science

              Computer science is to science as plumbing is to hydraulics.

              The Devil's DP Dictionary (1981) Stan Kelly-Bootle

    2. scatter

      Re: Here we go again

      What, so you'd prefer that we continue to use unadjusted data that is known to be faulty? That would be useful...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here we go again

        What, so you'd prefer that we continue to use unadjusted data that is known to be faulty?

        Scatter, just how do know that the unadjusted data is faulty? Is it because it doesn't fit the uncertified computer models that don't include correct sun and cloud data - or something else?

        1. scatter

          Re: Here we go again

          No, it's because a bunch of sunspot experts (astronomers, not climate scientists) worked together to fix a discrepancy in the data. Quite understandably astronomers don't want to use data that is known to be dodgy in their research. As to the ins and outs of the work, I couldn't help you but it'll all be out there in the literature if you care to take a look.

          If it also happens to poke a big hole in the sunspots drive climate change hypothesis well... that's just tough luck for the proponents of that hypothesis and it's probably about time for them to move on.

      2. Justin Clements

        Re: Here we go again

        What is faulty about the data?

        I really don't know of another science that goes around changing data on the basis "it's faulty" to prove a computer model!

        How convenient "faulty data" has become. What is the point of recording anything, if you are just going to say in 100 years "the data is faulty".

        And finally, the data a few years ago wasn't faulty, it was fine, it suddenly became faulty recently. Because it annoyingly didn't prove what they are trying to prove. An inconvientant truth.

        1. John Hughes

          Re: Here we go again

          I really don't know of another science that goes around changing data on the basis "it's faulty" to prove a computer model!
          The science in question being astronomy?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here we go again

      Yeah, because telescopes and other instrumentation is exactly the same 400 years ago as they are today.

      The satellite used by Galileo, in the 1600's, is on display at the National Academy Of Science. Few people know that it was Galileo that first launched a satellite into orbit, not the Russian satellite Sputnik.

      The same can be said of ocean temperature measurements. The modern Argo array of buoys is no better at measuring temperature than the age old methods of hauling a bucket of sea water onto deck and using a thermometer. And everyone knows that engine coolant water is exactly the same too.

      In fact, this centuries long practice of "inventing" new scientific instrumentation is just another example of scientists and engineers scamming the public to get that gov't grant money.

      When will the madness stop.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Here we go again

        When will the madness stop.

        I give up. Are you being sarcastic or trolling?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Here we go again

          "I give up. Are you being sarcastic or trolling?"

          Neither. I am not the OP, but I could tell it was irony from the first sentence.

          Sarcasm is "fleshy" remarks (literally, from the Gk. he sarkhe, flesh) - "Stick that in yer cakehole and chew on it" is a sarcastic remark.

          Trolling is when you make a post designed to get the less than clever to agree with it or the well intentioned to point out your mistakes. This was not that - it was obvious.

          Irony is writing the exact opposite of what you mean in such a way that people will understand your real meaning. Antony's speech in Julius Caesar may be the best known bit of irony in English.

          It is often said that Americans don't do irony, but thier euphemisms ("collateral damage") come close.

        2. Chris 239

          Re: Here we go again

          @Nick Ryan "I give up. Are you being sarcastic or trolling?" -

          I can't believe anyone doesn't recognize the AC post as sarcasm ( sarcasm is the use of irony, I think) so you must be being trolling.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF

    What is this 'statistical artefact'?

    What is this data?

    They counted sunspot activity, and 68 years later you decide the data was wrong?

    How is this possible?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF

      I have to concur. Having read the article I have no idea what the error was - simply that a group of people have now rationalised two inconsistent data sets by modifying one of them.

      1. Tom 13

        @JustaKOS Re: WTF

        Oh, it's worse than that. I followed the links in the story and they shed no more light on the corrections than the article itself. If you're adjusting the number down, for a decent scientific reason, you CAN put it into terms that technically proficient laymen can understand.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: @JustaKOS WTF

          "If you're adjusting the number down, for a decent scientific reason, you CAN put it into terms that technically proficient laymen can understand."

          I don't know anything about you, but have people ever thought that, just perhaps, statistics and analysing experimental data is complicated, and you might not be able to understand it? Some things are hard, and there isn't a dumbed down version for us all to understand. This is why we have experts in the first place.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: WTF

      They counted sunspot activity, and 68 years later you decide the data was wrong?

      For decades the treatment for stomach ulcers was a scalpel and then in 1958 a Greek doctor discovered that antibiotics did a much better job. The data was wrong.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF

        "The data was wrong."

        My GP uses the helicobacter example to which you refer as evidence that medicine tends to be tradition driven rather than science driven.

        The tabloids, for instance, one minute announce "medical breakthroughs" and the next denounce scientists who change their minds about things. They have a view of science in which everything in the past is fixed and unchanging, and "breakthroughs" merely add to knowledge. This is part of the reason they and their readers don't understand what is happening with earth sciences; the idea that new science falsifies previous dogma is alien to them.

      2. graeme leggett

        Re: WTF

        The treatment for ulcers was milk diets, antacids and bismuth. Which worked up to a point

        Since prevailing view was that bacteria would not thrive in stomach, there was no expectation that an antibacterial treatment was an avenue worth pursuing.

        Its not until Marshall et al in the 80s challenge view and prove existence and role of helicobacter pylori (as it is now known) that antibiotic (with acid suppression) therapy adopted.

        Possibly complicating pre-Marshall situation/data is fact that bismuth compounds do have an antibacterial action on h pylori.

    3. graeme leggett

      Re: WTF

      Different equipment, different sampling, different processing are three of the most common ways for two entities trying to measure the same thing.

      So far as I can tell from reading the published paper, the issue is how to make the modern measurements consistent - as in if you took your modern telescope back in time you would get the same result as the 18th century astronomer - with older measurements so that then you can see if there has been a trend change.

    4. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: WTF

      What is this 'statistical artefact'?

      I have no idea. I would expect the experts to have described what it is somewhere but my guess is that it is about weighting; having something meaningful regardless of large or small spots, the same whether a peanut-shaped spot is counted as one or two.

      If there was a change in counting methodology back in the 40s there should be a jump from one day to the next when it changed, and that jump will have stayed with us. There is nothing wrong in factoring that jump out so pre-change and post-change can be better compared.

      1. Denarius Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: WTF

        Jason, about my puzzlement too. I understood there were decades after Galileo when no sunspots were seen. So has the Maunder Minimum not to mention the Dalton, been adjusted out of the figures ?

        All I know is a growing public distrust of of the great grandchildren of the natural Philosophers has made it hard for anyone but the easily frightened to be persuaded of anything without taking on board some blind authority. The Copenhagen Conference with Bohr and Einstein seems to have been from a golden age of civilised dispute.

        As it is, failed predictions of doom "real soon now" with hilarious timing have left me a sceptic. Never have big rains again predictions in OZ and Merkin land. Months later the floods are near record breaking. Aside from that, if there was a real crisis I would expect rational responses instead of windmills.

    5. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: WTF

      "They counted sunspot activity, and 68 years later you decide the data was wrong?

      How is this possible?

      I've got to page two of the article. And sunspot number, properly called, relative sunspot number, is defined as

      R = k (10 Ng + Ns)

      So it's not a dumb count of sunspots but a weighted sum of sunspot groups (Ng) and single sunspots (Ns) scaled by an arbitrary constant, k, "...usually called the personal coefficient of the observer..." which compensates "...for the differences in the number of recorded sunspots by different observers [and] depends mainly on the ability of the observer to detect the smallest sunspots (telescope aperture, local seeing, personal experience) and on how groups are split by the observer."

      So, the sunspot number is a blend quantitative measure with qualitative opinion of an observer. Do you begin to see how this might suffer some bias and why astronomers might want to revise it?

      I do agree that, once again, that El Reg's reporting could have made this clearer.

  5. FelixReg

    Count or area

    Looking at some of the charts at the sidc.be site, a first thought is any sunspot *count* would be a very fuzzy value. Overlapping spots could be counted in so many ways

    Total sunspot area could be used as a measure for modern values. I wonder how much of the historical data includes pictures from which area could be computed.

    And, I also wonder whether the whole sun is included in the values. Or whether the values come from samples of the sun visible at a particular time.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Count or area

      One basic consideration when comparing historical data is are are you comparing apples to apples? What instruments were used then compared to now? Do they reliably measure the same thing? Are measurements taken with the same frequency? Are there any other areas in which inconsistencies might skew the data and introduce an artifact? I believe that in the case with the NOAA update many of the the differences were down to measurements by ships in the older data versus measurements by buoys in newer data. More details can be found here. It wouldn't surprise me at all if there were some similar issues with this data set.

      1. FelixReg

        Re: Count or area

        Didn't know about that ship/buoy difference. Makes sense.

        Yep, if you ever see raw data these climate guys have to work with you sure can understand why the group picture at that site shows a big group. Lotta work to clean that historical stuff. Heck, back in '80 I saw real-time temperature readings from all around the world. Lotta typos.

        Another more subtle problem is, how do you know you've improved the data when you fix it? Correlate the fix-up program's output with something else, generally. That process gets knarly when the only "something else" you have is your expectations and common sense. Dang, my program says the winter temperature in Nome is 124 degrees! Time to find a bug. But if that temperature is -20, well, move on. Other stuff to do. And maybe you miss a bug.

  6. David Roberts Silver badge

    The article seems to suggest that groups of sunspots are now being counted as one.

    I think.

  7. flearider

    it is getting cooler

    take a look at the bigger picture .. we are coming to an end of this interglacial we have had a long run this time ..

    what do we have left 50-100 -150yrs ?? then like a cycle we will be plunged into a glacial event theres no stopping it ..

    are we prepared no will we be prepared .. prob not . warmth is good everything grows .co2 is good more the co2 better and more robust is plant life . cold well it not so good is it ..

    stop the arguing and do something about it ..

    1. ToddR

      Re: it is getting cooler

      Ah the plants. The largest organisms on earth and in the ocean, which grow faster in higher concentrations of CO2.

      Why are botanists never asked to comment on global warming?

      1. John Hughes

        Re: it is getting cooler

        Why are botanists never asked to comment on global warming?
        Why do you think botanists are never asked to comment on global warming?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: it is getting cooler

        "Why are botanists never asked to comment on global warming?"

        They are. Extensively. They can tell you exactly how the ranges of various species are changing as a result of warming; even within the UK species are on the move.

        For just one, Google for "apple tree sensitivity to climate change uk" and be surprised at just how much comes up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: it is getting cooler

      Orbital mechanics that trigger ice ages don't operate over 50 to 150 years. If we weren't overiding the trajectory of climate change by our activity, we might be back in an ice age in 10,000 or 30,000 years.

      And your statement re plant life being more robust is equally naive. In the real world water, soil, pests, temperatures, nutrients etc all determine growth. Real science (rather than idle speculation) suggests that the negatives will outweigh any hypothetical positives. You might have noticed that farmers and gardeners tend to add water and compost rather than dry ice to get a good yield!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: it is getting cooler

        Are you saying that historical temperature data sourced from trees (Mann style) can't be correct as trees don't have 1 factor that controls growth?

        You must be a denier!, that can't be true, Mr Mann would not lie surely!!!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: it is getting cooler

          Good try. Again, real world science doesn't depend on one single source of measurement. We build up climate histories from multiple sources, of which tree rings are one. For a tree to be a good indicator of temperature you tend to need trees selected from habitats where temperature is the dominant control. But if you don't like trees, try ice, don't like ice try geothermal gradients, or pollen, or coral, or lake sediments. You could even look at thermometers!. Multiple independent lines of evidence supporting the observation that the world is warming at geologically unprecedented rates, either because of our profligate emission of green house gases or because the giant turtle has the flu.

      2. ToddR

        Re: it is getting cooler

        That's because dry ice would kill the plant and he doesn't want to do that as he's a farmer

  8. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Boffin

    The Hitchiker's Guide sums it up nicely

    Whenever I read the latest climate chance story I'm reminded of this...

    "And it occurs to me that running a program like this is bound to create an enormous amount of popular publicity for the whole area of philosophy in general. Everyone's going to have their own theories about what answer I'm eventually to come up with, and who better to capitalise on that media market than you yourself? So long as you can keep disagreeing with each other violently enough and slagging each other off in the popular press, you can keep yourself on the gravy train for life. How does that sound?"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is a "climate denier" someone who thinks we should all have the same weather ?

  10. F0ul

    1984, Anyone?

    A quote from George Orwell's 1984:

    It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it.

    This 'correction' of the data story reminded me of it for some reason!

    Throwing all the facts in the world at me to tell me its getting warmer doesn't alter the fact that I've had to put the heating on in my house - and its August!

  11. Craig 2

    Another day, another "What we thought we knew might be wrong" article....

    For the record I'm not a denier, skeptic or believer. I just think the question of what's driving (possible) global warming is way beyond solving by us, given our present scientific & technological abilities.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      > ... the question of what's driving (possible) global warming is way beyond solving by us ...

      It (reading your "solving" as "understanding") is challenging, but not beyond us. There is scientific consensus that the impacts of various factors are known within established errors.

      The article reports a correction or one such "established error". Such corrections are infrequent but not hugely surprising. Anyone suggesting that climate research is not science should look at the history of (the corrections of) the Hubble constant. I am quite certain nobody will doubt astrophysics being science because of these corrections.

      Some comments here slag off climate research because it does not achieve a precision that is (and will continue to be) simply beyond the capabilities of scientific research.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Some comments here slag off climate research because it does not achieve a precision that is (and will continue to be) simply beyond the capabilities of scientific research.

        Yep, largely because the entire biosphere is extremely complicated with lots of interacting cycles, altering one may not be serious because others may compensate, others may be created (even small, previously unoticed cycles) or the effect may or not be predictable.

        The climate modellers can only genuinely prove their models after the event and even then there would be questions as to whether or not they got the correct answer through coincidence or through accurate modelling. It's made worse because if they are predicting something unpleasant that we'd rather didn't happen it's a bit late at that point.

        Dumping pollutants into the environment is demonstrably and quantifiably bad in a local area. Somehow there are those who find it in themselves to deny even this. Past the local area it becomes harder and harder to accurately predict and even measure impact because many aspects are cumulative with time based modifiers. Weather forecasting is hard enough (and is largely built from previous recorded experience of weather patterns), biosphere forecasting is next to impossible except for broad generalisations.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: can only genuinely prove their models after the event

          That's nice. It is after the event. The models were wrong. Not "I need to tweak it here" wrong, just flat out wrong. Yet the warmists continue to ape Marx: "Who are you going to believe: me or your own lying eyes?"

      2. MondoMan

        why comments here slag off climate research

        @grumpen

        It's not because "it does not achieve a precision...", it's because prominent practitioners within the field don't behave like scientists, and other prominent practitioners don't denounce that anti-scientific behavior. See, for example, Dr. Phil Jones' infamous "Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" comment.

  12. JohnMurray

    Nipped over to SILSO web page for a look...noted Dr L Svalgard (Mr Stamp-on-anything-to-suggest-sun-may-be-anything-to-do-with-warming) in the list of data-alterers....dumped the site and will wait for some real science to come along for an objective report. I may be waiting for a long time for real science to do Real Science though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah yes.

      Take one political activist with an agenda, add several scientists in search for more funding, stir well and you end up with an attempt to rewrite facts.

      This is an obvious move to try and pump up some doom and gloom for the Paris meeting at the end of the year as well as an attempt to get more research money - in other words a propaganda exercise.

      Unfortunately a lot of people will take this announcement from authority as true and not look at the reasons behind the change.

  13. Sykobee

    Reading the comments here is enough to show that we are pretty much doomed to suffer whatever is going to happen to the climate, whatever the reasons for it changing.

    However it is nice to see yet another foundation belief of man-made climate change skeptics fall away. They had been relying on bad data!

    Note that the skeptic arguments these days isn't about there being climate change, just the reasons (anything but CO2 emissions, we lurve our gas guzzling cars and not having environmental checks on our heavy industry).

  14. thx1138v2

    Model Accuracy

    The last report I saw on the accuracy of the model being used to predict the future climate said that the model could be proven to be 30% accurate. Basing decisions on that model is like playing Russian Roulette with four bullets in the gun. Which reminds me of my favorite Yogi-ism:

    In theory there is no difference between practice and theory. In practice there is.

    Has anyone seen any recent reports on the accuracy of the model?

    I have no problem with climate change. I have no problem with the idea of man made climate change. I do have a problem with using a 30% accurate model to predict anything at all with any confidence and especially anyone saying that the science has been settled using that model. Science, as far as I know, is never settled. Do a little research and you'll find Einstein's theories and the Big bang theory are still theories, not settled science.

    There's another explanation for global climate change and there's absolutely nothing mankind can do about it.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100406133707.htm

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Model Accuracy

      Your link is about climate being driven over long periods by orbital variation - which we have known for a long time. Not really 'news'.

      I don't know where you get your '30%' accuracy of 'the climate model' - firstly there isn't one model, there are many models. Not all of them give the same predictions, but there is good consensus over direction of travel. None of them accurately tell you the weather on the 9th of August in Woking in 50 years time, so at one level none of them are accurate, but if accuracy is about accurately predicting trends, they are pretty good. No scientist has said that the 'science is settled'.

      The reality of life is that we use many models all the time that aren't 100% accurate, or even 30% accurate. Economists would love to have a model that was 30% accurate over a week. Oncologists would be delighted with a model that predicted 30% of a cancer risk over 5 years. We use the best models available, use them to guide us to sensible decisions and continually revise and improve.

      If I gave you a gun in Russian roulette, but said I wasn't sure how many bullets there were in it, would that make you more or less likely to pull the trigger? Climate change is the gun at our head, the sane thing to do is not to pull the trigger, and if we aren't sure, still don't pull the trigger.

  15. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Trollface

    Wow, people get worked up over this...

    Now listen carefully: It's been proven that accepters of Global Warming use Apple devices, while "Deniers" all use Android... Let the debate begin :)

    Oh, btw, regardless of what we are doing to our planet, and I have to admit I'm a bit of a skeptic and no matter how sunspots are being counted, stellar output MUST have a lot to do with our climate. While I certainly believe that we are harming our world and need to stop, denying old Sol's involvement is like blaming the chef because the soup is too cold or hot and he's been seen stirring the pot, while not noticing someone is also turning the stove burner up and down.

    1. John Hughes

      Re: Wow, people get worked up over this...

      stellar output MUST have a lot to do with our climate. While I certainly believe that we are harming our world and need to stop, denying old Sol's involvement is like blaming the chef because the soup is too cold or hot and he's been seen stirring the pot, while not noticing someone is also turning the stove burner up and down.

      Any argument that starts "scientists haven't considered..." is bollocks.

      Of course solar output influences our climate.

      The only thing is solar output isn't changing. It wobbles up and down a bit, introducing noise into the system but there is no trend over the timescales we are looking at.

      P.S. I use Maemo and Sailfish, not iOS or Android.

  16. Pete4000uk

    Article ice

    Still plenty of it despite the scare stories of a decade ago.

    Yes the climate is changing, but we are still scrabbeling around to find out what drives all this.

    It's to complicated to say we know it all.

  17. Fun Fun

    Current temperature maximum is weak

    There has been 3 temperature maximums in the past 2000 years.

    One 2000 years ago, second 1000 years ago and the third is now.

    The current maximum is the coldest of the three.

    In Roman times they used to cultivate olives and graped norther than now. Mountain passways in Alps were also passable, that are now frozen and unpassable.

    1000 years ago vikings grew barley. Barley grains still attached to stems have been found from greenland.

    Sunspot data may be doubtful but we still live in a temperature maximum, a sunspot maximum, and our temperature maximum is apparently the weakest maximum in 2000 years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Current temperature maximum is weak

      You are cherry (grape?) picking! There have been warm periods in the past 200 years, and Vikings in Greenland may have grown Barley for a few seasons. But it wasn't global and it wasn't warmer globally than it is now.

    2. fnj
      Stop

      Re: Current temperature maximum is weak

      What makes you think that "now" represents a maximum? By definition a maximum is both preceded and followed by downward slopes. What makes you think that it will start getting cooler from now?

  18. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Science?

    Nice to see that most of the posts here are cased on politics not science ... :-(

    One problem not addressed by the data is the relationship between sunspot activity and the total radiative output of the sun. This is something that has only been worked on in recent years (by its very nature much of the output cannot be measured on the Earth's surface) and scientists will need time to correlate long term sunspot activity against output. It may be that there is a hard relationship or perhaps a very tenuous one (imagine basing the total thermal output of the Earth on number of volcanic eruptions). Current estimates put total variation over a sunspot cycle at only 0.1% ... can this explain the significant Earth surface temperature dip during the Maunder Minimum? Probably not ... but the only other continental scale forcing factor was some volcanic activity which didn't last that long. I think there's more to this sun/climate relationship thing than sunspots.

    1. -tim

      Re: Science?

      The total radiative output of the sun seems to be about the same in times of high sunspots vs low. Sunspots can make about 2% of the sun appear cooler yet the total energy seems to be the same within about 0.2% variation of which some is not related to sunspots. There are minor shifts in the intensity of very small areas of the spectrum and most of those aren't near the IR range where they would have the most effect. It is more likely but still very improbable that some chemical like a CFC in the high atmosphere has a higher green house gas equivalent if the sun is producing light that is shifted slightly closer to the blue side of the spectrum but that is very unlikely considering the ease that most university chemistry labs could prove or disprove that.

      One of the two main theories that haven't been fully tested yet involve the concept of how gases in the high atmosphere align based on the electromagnetic field and the magnet field consistency changes more that the total radiative output due to sunspots. The theory is that gases align in the magnetic field and that effects how much they radiate back to the ground increasing their green house gas equivalent. It is like the concept of how LCDs work by blocking or unblocking light based on an electric field. There have been some attempts to study this at the limits of where balloons can fly but a theory says it will be happing above that which happens to be a region where it is very hard to get accurate data. Another untested theory involves links between the sun and earth core magnetic fields but the scale of the numbers put that way beyond the butterfly in Africa flaps its wings to cause a hurricane in the Atlantic sort of provable.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The one thing I've never understood about the denier camps position is the victim attitude that is displayed because all these tree hugging hippies aren't going to let them burn all the coal any more.

    Lets pretend we live in a world where climate change isn't happening for a second, we'd still have a no end of problems with our current reliance on fossil fuels. As a starter for ten: I don't know if we've reached peak oil yet but at some point we will and then later we'll run out so we'll have to move away from oil at some point (yes, there's a small number of crazies who think oil is renewable on human time scales). It's probably fair to assume that rapidly growing countries with large populations like China and India will start to use significantly more oil, this is likely going to massively increase the price. A large proportion of the worlds oil comes from countries that aren't know for their stability and giving them huge amounts of money isn't helping.

    Now a quick look at coal... on the plus side we aren't going to run out any time soon but the pollution produced is a real health problem with estimates of around 20 thousand preventable deaths a year in Europe alone.

    If we ignore climate change gas doesn't look like a bad option but there are too many unanswered questions around fracking at the moment and non-fracking sources aren't going to provide enough gas long term.

    With all the problems with fossil fuels we'd be crazy not to be trying to move to renewables. If anything we should practically be thanking climate change for giving us the kick in the rear we needed to get on with the job.

    1. MondoMan

      ever heard of "fracking"?

      There's lots of oil, gas (and of course, coal) in the ground, almost none of it accessible at the surface or by using hand tools. It's the current state of extractive technology, not the total fuels in the ground, that determines how much of those fuels we have access to. That technology is constantly improving, making more fossil fuels accessible -- as with fracking.

      Those who claim we need to worry about "peak oil" or "peak gas" are ignoring the consistent history of technological development enabling access to ever larger amounts of fossil fuels.

  20. Richard 126

    Lot of global COOLING deniers on here at present

    Lot of global COOLING deniers on here at present

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's simple

    The Earth is getting warmer.

    It is caused by several factors over the last 100 years - increased population, increased industrialisation, increased usage of fossil fuels, increases in farming cows, reduction of forest areas. The combination of increased CO2 and Methane output into the atmosphere, at the same time as the reduction of trees which can absorb it has led to a greenhouse effect causing temperatures to rise.

    The solution is to build more nuclear power and reduce fossil fuel usage - since a reduction in power consumption is unlikely as this is required for economic activity. (There's no point having electric cars for example, if they are charged by carbon emitting power stations). We should also invest in modifying cattle diet to reduce methane output.

    The issue is not technical - we know how to build nuclear. The problem is the balance of power is held by the oil industry, who are not about to loosen their grip on the multi-billion dollar revenue stream it generates.

    1. PatientOne

      Re: It's simple

      Actually, reforrestation would help, too.

      I've been wondering about just how much impact the changing topography has been having on the changing climate: The expanses of concrete, tarmac, houses, short crops (fields) loss of taller plans (including trees) - all this will have an impact but does anyone know of a study into the extent? Also, as I understand it, the whole global warming argument was started over satelite measurements of IR frequencies escaping the atmosphere - but has there been corrisponding studies over the production at ground level? Have these been tallied? Did try to google it but my google-fu was weak or there was nothing available online.

      I'm keeping in mind the principle of chaos theory, of cause: One butterfly flapping its wings diverts a hurricane, but what effect does a hundred butterflies in different countries have?

    2. Tom 13

      Re: The Earth is getting warmer.

      Except it isn't. There hasn't been any warming for 20 years. Now, 10 years ago when this was pointed out, they said it was a statistical fluke and we'd need 15 years before it could be regarded as anything else. When we hit 15, it jumped to 20. Now that we've hit 20, they've bumped the number again. The Warmists really need to go march on the streets next to the guy holding the sign saying "The End of the World in Near."

      1. John Hughes

        Re: The Earth is getting warmer.

        You silly boy, you've picked the wrong cherry. Even the dodgy RSS dataset gives positive warming if you go back to 1995.

        Anyway, since 2015 is likely to break the 1998 record the whole "no warming since" thing is going to need a reset. "No warming since 2015". You heard it here first.

    3. ToddR

      Re: It's simple

      we know how to build nuclear

      Actually we don't anymore. We have to rely on an iffy, (10 years late), PWR design.

    4. Kumar2012

      Re: It's simple

      "The issue is not technical - we know how to build nuclear. The problem is the balance of power is held by the oil industry, who are not about to loosen their grip on the multi-billion dollar revenue stream it generates."

      Last time I checked the same people screaming at the oil industry from their mum's basement are also the same people screaming against nuclear power...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Erewhon

        Re: It's simple

        "Last time I checked the same people screaming at the oil industry from their mum's basement are also the same people screaming against nuclear power..."

        Correct. The Greens are their own worst enemy. They support solar and wind despite them being inefficient & incapable of meeting the power needs, whilst refusing to support zero carbon nuclear. No need for the oil lobbyists to do anything except sit back and laugh.

  22. JHC_97

    Global warming is irrelevant. We are running out of fossil fuels and we don't have that many decades of fission supplies left. We need to develop alternate energy sources. At the moment that means fusion and renewables. If anything produces more electric than the energy used to make it its worth investing in.

    1. Chris Miller

      "We are running out of fossil fuels"

      You're new here, aren't you.

    2. Ilmarinen

      "We are running out of fossil fuels"

      Actually, we don't seem to be. Most of these scares seem to come from a confusion between reserves and resources.

      Have a look at some of Tim Worstall's stuff on this site for examples.

      I also saw an interesting fag packet calculation (Philip Foster) which started from the observation that the earth's early atmosphere was very dense and mostly CO2 and that the O2 bit had largely gone to oxidize the iron in the crust. Which leaves a very large amount of carbon in there somewhere - not including C in carbonates (although this doesn't mean that it's easily accessible).

    3. jlabute

      A good time for Molten Salt Reactors to make the scene... plenty of fuel for them.

  23. Brandon 2

    ???

    Why is it so hard for people to admit they simply don't know? Oh yeah, big grant money isn't given if all your research shows no correlation... no no... you have to tell a convincing story for those big contracts... and if you don't follow through... you don't get another one. So yeah, I can see the motivation to "cook the books" or interpret data in a way that gets you paid. There is HUGE money in global warming, and whether you "believe" or "deny" it, you should acknowledge that and the possible motivations for people to write and say what they say. I'm a skeptic, and I follow the money when science gets fuzzy... hasn't failed me yet.

    1. James Loughner
      Thumb Down

      Re: ???

      And spewing gig tones of carbon into the atmosphere has absolutely no effect?? LOL what idiots.

      Think of all the jobs there would be converting to a more rational energy source. Oh wait the multi billionaire ruling oil producing class does not want that it might cut into their greed. They are dinosaurs since the can't or won't change.

      1. Kumar2012

        Re: ???

        "Think of all the jobs there would be converting to a more rational energy source" - government sucking money out of the private sector to subsidize inefficient and overly expensive 'energy sources' doesn't create jobs, just ask the Spanish how it all worked out for them. Or on a broader scale ask the Greeks how government spending 'created jobs'.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ???

      So follow through your own rhetoric and follow the money:

      Senior Research Associate, Climate Change £31k to £37k

      If you really think that climate science is where the money is I might be able to give you a really good deal on a bridge I have for sale down in London. It's why Ferrari dealers mostly advertise in 'Weather', and almost all climate scientists have private jets. It's why all the big climate change research companies are in the FTSE 100.

      Even within government research budgets there are way sexier and more lucrative research fields - just about any medical field, defence, agriculture, materials science.

      Just in the UK fossil fuel companies get about £0.75 Billion a year in tax breaks and subsidies. Oil and Gas companies made £46 billion in revenue. UK Govt Climate Change Research Budget - about £21 Million.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ???

      "and I follow the money when science gets fuzzy... hasn't failed me yet."

      So do I. I note how much the Koch brothers and their kin spend on lobbying Congress and trying to buy candidates, and I draw the obvious conclusion.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Climate denier"

    What are those supposed to do? You peer outside and exclaim "I deny the UK has a its own particular weather!"?

    Anyway wake me up when they actually publish a paper that's not fudged by "subjective coefficients". Or even better, when we can actually understand how stuff works other than wild handwaving and lots of "but think of the polar bears!".

  25. x 7

    Climate deniers

    I thought climate deniers were thick grades of stockings for use in adverse weather......

    Why not use the unambiguous spelling of "denyer" ???

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anybody else notice the journal?

    Anybody else notice the impact factor of the journal is 0.29? if the study were a definite and reliable study surely a higher impact journal would have been interested?

    Also, does anybody know what lasting effect the O-Zone hole has had on the warming and environment?

  27. jaffa99
    WTF?

    Those who get upset by the 'denier' tag are idiots, it's a distraction and it works a treat every time. The entire thread of discussion here is dominated by people crying about being labelled a 'denier', so what get over it and discuss the issues.

    The warmists know there's no actual evidence to support CAGW, just a theory and computer models programmed to run that theory. So stop letting them distract you with name calling. Fools.

  28. jlabute

    OCO2 measurements

    New satellite CO2 map

    http://www.livescience.com/49196-nasa-satellite-oco2-carbon-maps.html

    Previous CO2 maps

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1SgmFa0r04

    The latest NASA satellite (OCO2) to measure CO2 shows results that are completely different from previous models & measurements. The satellite images prove our previous understanding of CO2 to be wrong. In fact if you average the 387 to 402.5 regions and notice that the tiny regions of high CO2 concentration are not in industrialized areas but in rain forest areas I would guess the current global concentration to be around 394ppm.

    Saying that, 400ppm is 0.04% which is barely a trace gas. You wonder how plants survive at all. Once our oily fossil fuels run out we might even be as high as 460ppm which is still nothing. CO2 levels have been as high as 6000ppm when life flourished on earth.

    A pending disaster is what'll happen when we run out of CO2 after fossil fuels are all used up. If plants starve so will we. Wasting trillions of $ trying to keep CO2 levels under an arbitrary level or 'the same' every year is futile. I'd worry more about industrial pollutions. Man made CO2 is not controlling global temperatures.

    Jeff

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: OCO2 measurements

      The first image is the average over a 40 day period. The video on the otherhand is showing single days. They are not directly comparable by eye.

      "I would guess the current global concentration to be around 394ppm."

      which matches the level in October 2014

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/global.html

      "Once our oily fossil fuels run out we might even be as high as 460ppm which is still nothin"

      So fossil fuels are going to run out within 30 years?

      "CO2 levels have been as high as 6000ppm when life flourished on earth."

      sure so lets slam the climate suddenly back the Jurassic, that won't cause problems...

  29. opigg

    Who claims sunspots drive climate change?? How about solar flares - they do.

    In all of the articles i have read I have not found any which points to sunspots as a driver for climate change. However I have read many who contend that solar flare activity and its 11 year cycle is a primary driver in climate change. We are entering a cooling period because of lower solar flare activity. People who claim that CO2 is a primary driver for earth warming and ignore the sun input just have apolitical agenda to distribute the world's wealth and some want it in their pockets (like Gore).

    Of course EPA says that the science has spoken which is a gross lie.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Attention non-deniers...

    What have YOU *done*?

    And arguing on the Internet doesn't count.

    Oh. 'What have I done?' you ask?

    Built an energy efficient, well insulated, passive solar house...

    24 square meters of solar gain, shaded in summer, no need for AC so far...

    Space heating (this in Canada), about the same as Internet bill. Low.

    Bought a high tech, highly insulated hot water heater, wrapped in extra insulation...

    Stand-by losses near zero. Seriously, so well insulated losses are negligible.

    Ensured this house is very close to work, ten minute commute. Low fuel use.

    CFL (and now LED) lighting, yeah.

    Low flow shower head, yeah.

    Yeah, all that.

    Everything on the list.

    Above has been in place for a quarter century. A quarter century.

    Stop blaming the deniers when you 'eco' folks haven't done much. Really convenient to shift blame onto 'those nasty deniers'.

    And get yourselves organized. Make a damn priority list.

    Stop burning money on ineffective and cost inefficient projects. Some of the sillier projects such as Solar Roads could spend literally all the wealth on Earth (~$240T) to solve just a fraction of the green energy needs.

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