back to article Vanished global warming may not return – UK Met Office

There hasn't actually been any global warming for the last fifteen years or so - this much is well known. But is this just a temporary hiccup set to end soon? A new report from the UK's weather bureau says it just might not be. The Met Office boffins believe that, yes, a long-expected El Nino is at last starting up in the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For the UK this winter it may actually be colder due to a weaker than normal Gulf Stream.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Strangely, none of the commonly referenced temperature records seem to support Lewis's comments on the "absence" of global warming. At best it slowed down a bit. You can compare them all here:

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Lewisis OPINION not supported by facts

        colour me surprised!

        1. Trixr Bronze badge

          Re: Lewisis OPINION not supported by facts

          Yeah, wish they would stop filing these under "Science", and make a category called "Lewis and Orlowski's More Crackpot Rants". Then I can just skip 'em.

          At least that leaves more than 80% of the Reg as decent reading.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So Vogon, you put your faith in adjusted records rather than actual raw data.

        That is the equivalent of me, who lives up a mountain that has snow for 7 months of the year, having my temperatures adjusted upwards because down on the flatland 150 km away their temperatures are higher than mine there my records must be wrong, hence the upward adjustment. That sort of adjustment is utter bullshit and those making it should be called out for doing so.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          "So Vogon, you put your faith in adjusted records rather than actual raw data."

          Sure do, as anyone with a basic understanding of statistics would know that multiple records are often meaningless without being baselined or homogenised. The raw data and the reasons for adjustments are generally a matter of public record. A good example is here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/FAQ.html#q216

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            In physics if you do an experiment and some of the results appear to be wrong, you would normally eliminate them, rather than adjust them to match your theory. You would then redo your experiment. In climate science, the technique seems to be to change the data to what you think it should probably be. Based on how you 'feel' about it.

            1. chris 17 Bronze badge

              @AC

              "In physics if you do an experiment......"

              in any science you calibrate your test equipment before you start and again at the end and record any offsets. Many (hundreds, thousands, millions etc) experiments are conducted to ensure accuracy and to infer baselines that can be used to tune any errant results seen in some of the many experiments conducted. It is normal to do this, especially when remotely sensing, as how else will you re calibrate your remotely deployed sensors?

            2. TheVogon Silver badge

              "In physics if you do an experiment and some of the results appear to be wrong, you would normally eliminate them".

              No, you would repeat the measurement and see if the "appearance" was consistent, and if it was then try and find out why.

              "climate science, the technique seems to be to change the data to what you think it should probably be"

              The raw data is available and demonstrates much the same trends, regardless of if you agree with the methodology of subsequent changes.

              "never understood why we are sinking so many resources into trying to reverse a planet-wide natural cycle "

              What is happening at the moment certainly isn't natural unless you consider the actions of man in that category - and the difference is the time scale - over tens of thousands of years, humans and other species can potentially adapt with relatively little cost and disruption. If the same changes happen in a matter of decades, the impact is likely much more significant.

            3. fitzsubs

              You would be incorrect.

              "In physics if you do an experiment and some of the results appear to be wrong, you would normally eliminate them, rather than adjust them to match your theory. You would then redo your experiment. In climate science, the technique seems to be to change the data to what you think it should probably be. Based on how you 'feel' about it."

              You are quite incorrect. The larger part of the decision about how to handle outliers in raw data depends on the nature of the experiment. If you have all the time and money in the world and are conducting a controlled laboratory experiment then the choice may be to redo the experiments. Unfortunately, the Earth and it's environment isn't an ideal controlled experiment.

              A second issue is that, in fact, the laboratory experiments definitively prove that the addition of GHG to the atmosphere raises temperature. The absorption spectrum of CO2, methane and other GHG are well established without any raw GMT data. CO2 and other GHG are identical in nature as they are in the lab.

              A third issue is simply that the raw data does, in fact, prove that the global mean air and sea surface temperature has increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution and the use of fossil fuels. And this increase is caused by CO2 and other GHG.

              The goal of homogenization of the raw data is primarily to deal with the lack of controls in the weather stations. One of the largest issues is that weather stations are not nicely spaced about the globe. If you were measuring the temperature in your house, with one room containing two thermometers while others has only one, each room being of different sizes, simply taking the average of the raw data will not yield a precise and accurate mean. If each thermometer is of a different manufacture and construction, they are not likely to be all yielding the same number given the same conditions. All in all, the goal of homogenization is to achieve the most precise measure of GMT given the lack of laboratory control.

              In a perfect and ideal world, you would be right. Unfortunately, in the real world, science has to deal with real data and doesn't have the luxury of simple re-running the experiment (the year 1959 has come and gone. Science can't rewind the clock.) or throwing out measurements because they aren't good enough (measuring a bucket of water hauled up over the side of a ship is not the same as measuring the temperature at the intake of the ships cooling system.)

              In a perfect world, you would be right. Real scientists have to do real science in a real world.

      3. Chris Fox

        Absence of significance is not absence

        Scientists have a habit of saying things like "there was no significant rise in the given period". Unfortunately Lewis, and the Daily Mail etc. interpret this as "no rise in the given period". What it actually means is "there was a rise, but there is greater than 0.05 probability that this was due to random variation or measurement error over the (relatively brief) given period." For a journalist to misrepresent this suggests either incompetence, or dishonesty.

        In the case of climate, mean temperatures are rising, and they are statistically significant increases over suitably long periods. If you measure the water depth on an incoming tide sufficiently frequently you will find numerous intervals where there is no statistically significant increase in the water level (and indeed periods over which the water level drops). Only a fool would belief this means the tide is not coming in, and only a quack scientist or click-bait journalist would argue that this disproves the existence of tides.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Absence of significance is not absence

          A clear-eyed look at the data shows a slight fall for the last ten years, no rise for over eighteen. Brett

      4. enormous c word

        IceAge

        As I understand it, we're on the down-curve of the last IceAge, I never understood why we are sinking so many resources into trying to reverse a planet-wide natural cycle that takes thousands of years and have repeated hundreds of times of billions of years (you know the story of king Canute ordering the incoming tide to recede) when we should be preparing for the inevitabile...

        1. BPeterF

          Re: IceAge

          The weasel-wording "climate change" is a convenient way to keep a backdoor open for all wary believers in the weather-related, most recent and biggest, religion to backslide out through, as need be. ;-)

      5. mikebartnz

        The Vogon

        You are assuming the temperature records are in fact of sufficient quality and also that all the adjustments that have been made to them are in actual fact done correctly. There are serious doubt about both of those but we will probably know more when the investigation has been completed.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Cold winter is quite likely

      It does look like.

      I saw wooper swans heading south above the Southern part of the UK last week. They were not even stopping here to overwinter as usual and were continuing further south beyond their normal winter grounds which is definitely some food for thought (like the thought of budgeting for central heating overhaul and winter tyres).

    3. N13L5

      Global warming was just a Hoax

      Nothing but a precursor to being able to send you a monthly bill for the air you breathe.

      And of course a way to stop you from breathing illegally if you can't pay.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Article based on report from a government agency

    Is this going to prevent Lewis Page bashers from indulging in their favorite activity ?

    Don't think so.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Alert

      Re: Article based on report from a government agency

      Is anything going to prevent Lewis Page from indulging his favourite activity ?

      Don't think so.

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Article based on report from a government agency

      To be fair Lewis does have an annoying habit of leaning more heavily on his own biases than on actual data, and when he does use actual data he has an annoying habit of cherry picking it. But I find that's true of just about everyone who takes an active role in the climate change discussion, regardless of which side of the debate they find themselves on.

      In this particular instance I find myself in a rare agreement with him. All the raw data I've seen (far from a complete set, but comprising of some very important factors) indicates a strong possibility that we're in for cooler weather over the next few years. Though take that with a grain of salt. Climate is just too complex with too many variables to be putting too much stock in any kind of long term predictions involving it.

      1. Trixr Bronze badge

        Re: Article based on report from a government agency

        Tell that to us antipodeans who are girding our loins for a mega-whopper El Nino this year.

        Guess what - the weather in one part of Northern Europe actually doesn't mean it applies to the rest of the world.

        And guess what - a slight dip in global averages for a few years does not actually mean the trend is abating significantly. OK, maybe it *does* potentially mean that, but that is not the conclusion being drawn in the report.

      2. John Hughes

        Re: Article based on report from a government agency

        All the raw data I've seen (far from a complete set, but comprising of some very important factors) indicates a strong possibility that we're in for cooler weather over the next few years.
        What do you mean by "we"? If you're talking about the UK, then as the Met office point out you might be right, if you're talking about global average temperatures over a reasonable period then not a fucking chance.

        1. rakooi

          Re: Article based on report from a government agency

          We have been in a Weak Solar Energy Cycle for nearly 60 years, perhaps you could explain why we have not had YOUR predicted cooling ?...or, as some of you fellow denialists are predicting, a mini ice age..... as we enter a cycle of increased sun spot and solar energy releases....PLUS we are entering a huge El Nino event.......

          ....WHAT POSSIBLE DATA do you have for a prediction of a cooling trend?

          Instead we have had steadily increasing temperatures....no pause....higher temperatures

          ....

          Point of fact, the LAST Global COLD record was set in 1911 !

    3. pjclarke

      Re: Article based on report from a government agency

      Erm ... read the report, then read Lewis's traducing of it, then see how true your 'based on' is. I'll give you a hint:

      While global surface warming slowed from the end of the 20th century, our best estimates

      of global mean temperature for 2015 are at or near record levels, and this is consistent

      with climate predictions for similarly high values that we made last year

      (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2014/2015-global-temp-forecast). Record or near

      record temperatures last year and so far this year, along with the expected warming

      effects of El Niño, mean that decadal temperature trends are likely to increase.

  3. Your alien overlord - fear me

    So, this AMO randomly happens over decades. Basically since apart from a few Americans, the Atlantic is bigger than humans and it looks like it does what it wants to, when it wants to.

    An idea, top of the head, just thrown out there - get BP to spill a bit more oil in the sea and rather than clean it up, set fire to it. That'll warm the Atlantic and bring back summer to the UK.

    Who needs to be a trained boffin with ideas like that :-)

  4. BoldMan

    What I find amusing here is that from exactly the same report the BBC come up with a diametrically opposed conclusion:

    "Next two years hottest, says Met Office"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34226178

    I think this says more about the relative biases of the reporters rather than the factual content of the report :)

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @ BoldMan

      I was reading that too. It will be interesting to see what happens and who is correct.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re:who is correct.

        not holding my breath.

        <rejected>

    2. Def Silver badge

      I read that BBC article yesterday too.

      While the title was a bit alarmist and concerning, it did go on to say that while the growing El Niño and PDO in the Pacific will cause overall temperature increase, the AMO in the Atlantic entering a cooling period right now might cause a slight cooling in Europe.

      It concluded that as of right now, the researchers don't know for sure whether the AMO will be sufficient to counter the combined effects of the PDO and El Niño.

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        The effect of the last 10 strongest En Ninos on UK winter weather has been near zero.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "The effect of the last 10 strongest En Ninos on UK winter weather has been near zero."

          ...but nonetheless devastating for some South American and Antipodean countries...

          The net effects of El Niño across the Northern and Southern hemispheres is therefore "bad".

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

    Last year as measured by temperatures was the hottest year on record since record keeping began. The year before that was the hottest on record since record keeping began. And the year before that was the hottest on record since record keeping began. Record highs for a day of the year are all skewed toward the present with record temperatures for a day of the year being broken every day.

    What piece of work are you referring to and who is admitting it when you say global warming in terms of temperatures (were we ever talking in terms of anything else?) stopped.

    1. Mike Street

      Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

      Last year as measured by temperatures was the hottest year on record since record keeping began.

      No, it wasn't. Even NASA was forced to admit that there was only a 38% chance of it having been the hottest. Less than 50%, in other words. Error bars, dear boy, error bars.

      And the satellite temperature records continue to show no warming throughout their entire record. Only 1998 was an anomaly, due to that year's El Nino. Another El Nino is currently ramping up.

      All of these - El Nino, La Nina, AMO, PDO etc. are simply natural variations. No upward (or downward) trends are apparent.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

        Yes it was - what NASA said was that it was probably the warmest but not by much. You can't pick and choose and decide that you will compare the mean in one year with the error bar in the next, Consistency, dear boy, consistency.

        And equally - satellite temperature trends are inline with surface temperature trends - the only way to get 'no trend' is to ignore known instrument errors or conflate stratospheric and tropospheric measurements.

        1. mikebartnz

          Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

          They make that claim and yet they are talking about a measure of warming that is even less than the margin of error.

          They say that the temperature has risen 0.8C since 1880 and yet tell me how many temperature readings back in 1880 would have been accurate to a tenth of a degree as it would have been lucky for it to have been accurate to a single degree taking into account human error.

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

        "No, it wasn't."

        It's significantly more likely that it was than it wasn't

        "Even NASA was forced to admit that there was only a 38% chance of it having been the hottest. Less than 50%, in other words. Error bars, dear boy, error bars."

        NASA published the probabilities of error on day 1 with the initial claims. What the 38% actually means is stated here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/01/23/sorry-skeptics-nasa-and-noaa-were-right-about-the-2014-temperature-record/

        "2014 was the hottest year on record. Not with absolute certainty — just with enough of it for an imperfect world."

      3. John Hughes

        Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

        And the satellite temperature records continue to show no warming throughout their entire record.

        Why bother posting rubbish like this? It's so easy for people to check it out.

        RSS: Trend: 0.122 ±0.067 °C/decade (2σ)

        UAH: Trend: 0.142 ±0.068 °C/decade (2σ)

        Why are you so interested in a dodgy calculated proxy for a temperature in the lower troposphere anyway? I happen to live on the surface of the earth, not in the troposphere.

        1. Fading Silver badge

          Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

          So 200 years needed before the dreaded 2 degrees (invented figure by an economist) is reached?

          Why are we concerned again?

          1. John Hughes

            Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

            Why are we concerned?

            Do you live in the lower troposphere? I don't.

            Do you "measure" temperature by examining microwave radiation from a satellite then running huge spaghetti FORTRAN programs to calculate a number? I tend to use a thermometer.

            Do you not know that we've already passed one degree, so it wouldn't take 200 years even if you assume the dodgy satellite data is the true picture.

            1. Fading Silver badge

              Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

              It has passed 1 degree since the beginning of the industrial revolution (though technically "Mann" can only be blamed since 1950) so we have only 100 years to save the earth from being slightly more pleasant .... again why worry?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

              "Do you live in the lower troposphere? I don't."

              Unless you live at the top of Everest, yes you do. The lower troposphere happens to be in contact with the surface, or weren't you aware of this?

              "Do you "measure" temperature by examining microwave radiation from a satellite then running huge spaghetti FORTRAN programs to calculate a number? I tend to use a thermometer."

              And you would tend to have very large margins for error. Since when is taking readings at specific points better than observing the average temperature across a large area all at once? Oh yeah, I forgot. It's when those surface readings are skewed high by local urban heating. Who needs those lying satellites when a "trusty" thermometer is all we need?

              "Do you not know that we've already passed one degree, so it wouldn't take 200 years even if you assume the dodgy satellite data is the true picture."

              From when to when? You are aware that the Earth has been recovering from a rather cold period for the last 150 years? Didn't most of that that one degree rise occur over an entire century when warming was to be expected? Excuse me for not panicking, but your fear-mongering is somewhat lacking in punch.

              1. TheVogon Silver badge

                Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

                "You are aware that the Earth has been recovering from a rather cold period for the last 150 years?"

                No - do tell us more?

                "Didn't most of that that one degree rise occur over an entire century when warming was to be expected? "

                Nope. Or at least not unless you allowed for AGW.

            3. itzman

              Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

              Of course one uses a thermometer.

              Carefully sited at an airport in direct line of the apron where the big jets rev up.

              How else are you gonna get 'global warming'

              Without invoking a single tree ring from an obscure tree found only in outer mongolia.

              Or measuring the intake water of ship engines travelling in shipping lanes behind other ships..

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

            2 degrees. But we are warned we wont be able to leave our houses because of the heat. Our hair will catch fire and all the plants will be burned to a crisp. This is the hysteria we read every day.

            Think about this. Last night it was 9 degrees, today it is 15 degrees. That is a difference of 6 degrees. However when I went outside, all the plants were fine. The grass was not on fire, birds were not dropping from the sky - explain that?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

              Lucky you, you live somewhere temperate. Lots of people don't and lots of the world isn't. Add your 2 degrees, or last nights 6 degrees to a glacier at -1 degree and things change. That 6 degrees in moderate humidity will take you from uncomfortable 40 degrees to a dangerous 46 degrees.

          3. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

            "So 200 years needed before the dreaded 2 degrees (invented figure by an economist) is reached?"

            Even if that was true (which it isn't - we are looking near certain to reach level of rise by the end of this century) - does that somehow make it OK?! We are still talking about an unavoidable sea level rise of 6 metres or maybe much more over the long term.

            1. rakooi

              Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

              Even nations totally dependent upon oil....understand the Existential Threat of man made Global Warming.

              Headlines:

              "Islamic Leaders Call For Phasing Out Global Fossil Fuels"

              by Jack Jenkins Aug 18, 2015 9:48am

              ***Warming atmosphere....warms the oceans leading, by itself, to raise sea levels ((with TRILLIONS of dollars of infrastructure; ports & port cities, RR, airports etc))

              ***Warming atmosphere....melts ice sheets and glaciers world wide and raising sea levels....threatening 100-150 million people who live within 3 feet of sea level.

              Headlines:

              " Friday, Jun 19, 2015 10:39 AM CST

              Alaska’s climate hell: Record heat, wildfires and melting glaciers signal a scary new normal

              The Arctic state is battling two major blazes against a backdrop of rapid warming "

              ***Warming atmosphere from man made global warming leads to vast areas of the earth turning into deserts....The Amazon is well on its way to being a desert....the Asian deserts are increasing....while Northern Africa is actually Greening A Bit.

        2. mikebartnz

          Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

          Because it is the troposphere which is meant to show global warming because of Co2.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: record temperatures every year, who said it stopped and why the biased article title?

        As measured by 'temperature' it was also the coldest year on record. Depends on what 'temperature' you mean.

    2. Martin
      Happy

      ...and why the biased article title?

      You're new here, aren't you.

  6. Meerkatjie

    I'm confused about the 'absence' of warming temperatures that the article mentions. I read the summary at the end of the linked report and it says that the global temperatures have been rising (not as fast as originally thought so research is ongoing) over the last couple decades.

    The Pacific has been in a cool phase so has been damping some of the growth but it's likely to hit its warm phase in the next few years. The Atlantic has been in its warm phase and is likely to hit its cool phase in the next few years.

    So my understanding is that temperatures will continue to rise because the AMO cooling will probably be offset by the PDO warming. The only scenario I can see where there will be an absence of rising temperatures would be if the AMO started cooling and the PDO stayed as it is.

    1. thx1138v2

      "...so research is ongoing" That is the key to global-whatever-it-is-this-week/month/year. Rephrased, it means "...so research scientists' salary payments is ongoing"

      Not much they can do about the following so it doesn't get any headlines.

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

      The scary part will happen when they start thinking they _can_ do something about it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Research is ongoing" = Science.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      "So my understanding is that temperatures will continue to rise because the AMO cooling will probably be offset by the PDO warming."

      And of course because CO2 levels are still rising:

      http://co2now.org/

  7. Blitheringeejit
    Trollface

    Unsurpringly...

    ...The Guardian has a rather different interpretation of the Met Office's view from that of ol' faithful Lewis.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/14/2015-and-2016-set-to-break-global-heat-records-says-met-office

    Perhaps El Reg might consider having at least one climate science story per month written by someone other than Lewis - just for balance's sake? I'm no Lewis-basher, but I do wonder why he gets to do all the climate stories when he's known for being opinionated on the issue, and is no better qualified to be writing about it than any of your other journos..?

    Or is there something in his killer-robot-correspondent training which makes him uniquely qualified?

    1. dogged

      Re: Unsurpringly...

      Is that the same Guardian that's running a piece claiming the election of Jeremy Corbyn is sexist because he's a man and neither of the two women won it instead?

      Just asking.

      1. Blitheringeejit
        Meh

        Re: Just asking....

        You're entitled to ask, but would you also be good enough to provide a link to the piece you're asking about?

        I'm not saying the Grauniad never carries stupid pieces (their contributors include folks from a wide spectrum of bonkers political postures, from Georges Monbiot to Osborne), but I've just had a quick scan of today's online and paper editions, and I can't find the word "sexist" in any of the stuff they've published about Corbyn's election. Please enlighten?

        1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

          Re: Just asking....

          Plenty of stuff about the shadow cabinet and the lack of females at the top.

          That the shadow cabinet was discussed between Corbyn and the Labour Chief Whip and that the whip is female seems to have been glossed over.

          But, yes -- plenty of thinly veiled 'sexism' claims.

          Try expanding your search or even looking at the 'politics' section.

        2. dogged

          Re: Just asking....

          A link, you say? And Elmer Phud denies the existence at all?

          Not a problem, chaps. Enjoy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just asking....

            Ah, I see you are confusing columnists with news.

            1. dogged

              Re: Just asking....

              > Ah, I see you are confusing columnists with news.

              I said "running a piece", which is accurate. And if you think editorial control doesn't extend to columnists, I think you missed a memo.

              1. Blitheringeejit
                Flame

                Re: Just asking....

                >>I said "running a piece", which is accurate. And if you think editorial control doesn't extend to columnists, I think you missed a memo

                I think you may be confusing the Guardian group with News Corp, the Barclay Bros empire, etc etc.

                It's fair to point out that the Guardian deliberately uses columnists who tend towards extreme views (see my citation of Monbiot and Osborne above), and Suzanne Moore definitely fits that description. But the point about the Guardian is that these columnists rant from a variety of positions, not from one standard position adopted by the paper. Columnists often take positions which oppose those adopted in the paper's editorials (which are the only real indications of the position taken by the newspaper as a whole).

                And it's precisely because of this that I rate the Guardian as the most intelligent read in the British press frame at the moment. I don't want everything I read to be subject to one proprietor or committee view, and I want to hear the left-field contributions from nutters just as much as I want to hear the centro-sensiblist view, whatever the subject.**

                And referring back to my original post, that's also why I'd like to see the odd El Reg article on climate science written by someone other than Lewis Bloody Page. It's not that I don't agree with him, it's that he only has one thing to say, and I'm bored of hearing it - I want to hear differing views from time to time. And given that this is a slightly science-aware publication, and climate science is, err, a science, perhaps something written by (or which reflects the views of) an actual climate scientist might be appropriate?

                ** Though if I'm being totally honest, I really get the Guardian for the Steve Bell cartoons.

                1. dogged

                  Re: Just asking....

                  Given the context of this article, it's interesting that when Suzanne Moore ran for parliament, she did so against a black woman.

        3. James Pickett

          Re: Just asking....

          The Grauniad would not use the word 'sexism' as that is itself sexist, in their well-intentioned-but-loony* view of the world. I notice that they do use 'brocialism', however, which probably tells you all you need to know.

          *WIBL :-)

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Unsurpringly...

      Not sure about Lewis but I did a double take when I read this (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34184564) "over the last two decades the glaciers have retreated more rapidly, says Martin Grosjean, a glacier specialist at the University of Berne's Oeschger Institute."

      So far, so predictable, but later on we read how "Hundreds of Roman shoe nails have emerged from the ice too." As someone said, "I wasn't expecting that." Was there a Roman shoe nail wholesaler who undertook an ill-judged attempt to cross the glacier, or were they left there when the glacier wasn't there? The Romans were quite industrious but neither they nor their Greek predecessors where known for their climate changing CO2 emissions.

      Sadly the article fails to elaborate and I'm left with unsatisfactory speculation.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: Unsurpringly...(@ P.Lee)

        The Occam razor favors another option, i.e. that groups of Roman soldiers either crossed some part of the glacier or marched through mountain ridges. Using the "high ground" was an important part of Roman military doctrine. My region is literally littered with Roman shoe nails* in mountain areas.

        * I think shoe nail is not the right expression here. hobnails or cleats would fit better, imo.

      2. itzman

        Re: Unsurpringly...

        Apparently glaciers advance and retreat in multidecadal timescales and always have done.

        Many retreating glaciers reveal a landscape covered in old tree stumps and human artefacts.

        What irks is the leaping on any and every change to 'prove global warming' when the summation of the data actually seems to say 'well stuff changes and always has done, irrespective of a bit of coal burning'

        Evidence of warming is not evidence of AGW.

        Or as a remarkably less intelligent than I thought person said to me 'Of course AGW is real, I've seen ice melting'

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Unsurpringly...

          "Evidence of warming is not evidence of AGW."

          Not by itself, but there IS overwhelming observable and historical evidence - for instance we can prove that most of growth in the CO2 levels in the atmosphere comes from fossil fuels, we can prove that CO2 is a green house gas, we can predict the effects of that CO2, and we can provide historical correlation between CO2 and the temperature record for the last 800,000 years or so from ice cores, etc., etc.

          That Global Warming is happening and that man is at least a substantial cause is in zero credible scientific doubt - and hasn't been for at least a decade.

  8. Mike Shepherd

    Thank you, Mr Fourier

    Want reality to fit your theory when it doesn't? Just allege a few "decadal" and "multidecadal" oscillations with helpful amplitude and phase, then publish.

    As in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "In cases of major discrepancy it's always reality that's got it wrong".

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spin your first sentence, as usual

    'It's now widely admitted that global warming, as measured by temperatures around the world, stopped at the turn of the century.' should perhaps read 'The hydrocarbon industry are desperate to persuade you that global warming, as measured by temperatures around the world, stopped at the turn of the century.'

    Look it up - they haven't.

    1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

      Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

      If you are careful to select your measuring points then you can "prove" anything. The satellite observations give average temperatures for large regions. The ground based sensors are affected by local conditions (such as the sensor being in open countryside in the 1930's and now surrounded by a built up area). Note that many of the climate scientists say that the temperatures measured by sea buoys should be regarded as unreliable - is this because they do not show much warming (as they are not near built up areas)?

      If you want accurate results from ground based sensors then you need to choose only the sensors that were and still are in open countryside far from any large cities (and at least 50 yards from any large road). The raw data from each such sensor should be used - not "adjusted" as if the data is adjusted then all that is being computed is the adjustment not the environment.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

        Golly, I guess no one ever thought of that before. I am sure glad you pointed that out. It has a great advantage in that you will end up with about 2 weather stations with more than 50 years of data, but it will simplify things nicely.

        Of course otherwise you could do some science and check whether urban heat islands were distorting measured trends - but science is soooo boring.

        1. John Hughes

          Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

          Of course otherwise you could do some science and check whether urban heat islands were distorting measured trends - but science is soooo boring.

          It's ok, some guy called Anthony Watts did the science.

          He managed to prove that the UHI effect made no difference to warming measurements at all, not quite the result he was expecting.

          1. itzman

            Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

            Odd, because although Anthony watts has hosted many articles on the subject, none are by him that I can see, and most confirm that it is a valid problem

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/tag/urban-heat-island/

            So I'd be very interested in a link to the article that you mention.

            If it exists at all.

            1. John Hughes

              Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

              Fall, Souleymane; Watts, Anthony; Nielsen-Gammon, John; Jones, Evan; Niyogi, Dev; Christy, John R.; Pielke, Sr., Roger A. (2011). "Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends" (PDF). Journal of Geophysical Research 116 (D14120). Bibcode:2011JGRD..11614120F. doi:10.1029/2010JD015146.

              From the summary:

              Temperature trend estimates vary according to site classification, with poor siting leading to an overestimate of minimum temperature trends and an underestimate of maximum temperature trends, resulting in particular in a substantial difference in estimates of the diurnal temperature range trends. The opposite ‐ signed differences of maximum and minimum temperature trends are similar in magnitude, so that the overall mean temperature trends are nearly identical across site classifications.

              (My emphasis).

              NOAA produced the same result by throwing out all the stations that Anthony said were "bad" and finding that it made little difference to the trend (in fact they found that the "bad" stations were slightly lowering the temperature trend).

              As to why you see no mention of that on Anthony's site, I can't imagine.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

                I see that you are laboring under a misaprehension about what that quote you gave really means, so I will enlighten you.

                "Temperature trend estimates vary according to site classification, with poor siting leading to an overestimate of minimum temperature trends and an underestimate of maximum temperature trends..."

                So the poor sites read too high at night and too low during the day, compared to good sites. Check.

                "The opposite ‐ signed differences of maximum and minimum temperature trends are similar in magnitude, so that the overall mean temperature trends are nearly identical across site classifications."

                Meaning that altho these bad stations are anomalously high at night and low during the day, those effects cancel out and can be ignored.

                What it doesn't say is that good and bad stations have the same trends. It's only saying that the bad stations's odd high/low readings don't seem to affect the overall trend, for that station.

                The conclusion of the paper states that the bad sites do indeed skew the results high by a "significant" amount. Or do you think they wanted to promulgate falsehoods and stupidly left damning counter-evidence in their own paper?

                1. John Hughes

                  Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

                  The conclusion of the paper states that the bad sites do indeed skew the results high by a "significant" amount.

                  No, it doesn't.

                  If it does, please quote the part that says that.

      2. mikebartnz

        Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

        NOAA have developed 114 pristine weather station sites with all the latest gear for greater accuracy but what is interesting is the fact that they are not quoting from it because it doesn't back there agenda.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

      The only thing 'widely admitted' was that one set of measurements seemed to show a stall but the consensus was that no one knew if it was real or an error, with most expecting an error (apart from Lewis's friends who already 'knew' the answer before the anomaly was even seen). We're now pretty certain it really is just a measurement error.

      More entertainingly, given all those years with a huge propaganda gift like that, no one managed to come up with any believable theory to explain why the climate would suddenly stop changing or explain away the previous century of results. Come on guys, it doesn't get much easier if you're right.

      At the time that was announced I wondered why Lewis wasn't frothing denial all over the Reg, seems he was just waiting till enough people forgot the story.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

        "..no one managed to come up with any believable theory to explain why the climate would suddenly stop changing or explain away the previous century of results. "

        The only people who need to "explain" the pause in warming are the Warmists. Everyone else just accepts that climate is variable. Oh, and I hate you burst your bubble, but slightly rising temperatures during the 20th century do not constitute proof of the AGW theory, so no need to explain it away, sorry.

        Somehow I get the impression that you think flat temperatures for 15 years equals a "sudden" cessation of climate change. I get it, the deniers always say that the climate is constantly changing, so if they then say there has been 'zero' warming for 15 years they must be hypocrites, right?

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

          @Big John: Somehow I get the impression you're wilfully forgetting that's exactly what the denial camp claimed.

          And no, you can't hide behind 'climate is variable' because that's the whole point of extracting long term trends in the data. Also why it took so many years to even notice something was amiss with the results and why in context it looks like a damn rapid change. The unfortunate reality that annual variation far exceeds the cumulative trend is very convenient for some but doesn't change the results, it just makes them easier to ignore.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Spin your first sentence, as usual

            @Big John: Somehow I get the impression you're wilfully forgetting that's exactly what the denial camp claimed.

            Um, what? Are you saying that I DO have it correctly sussed? That the act of asserting temperatures haven't changed for 15 years really DOES somehow reveal hypocrisy? At least theoretically? Wow!

            Oh wait, I guess that makes ME a hypocrite... :-(

  10. kirovs

    Proposal

    Let's put our money where our collective mouths are. I expect 20-30 years down the road if Florida and other places start sinking due to warming all global warming denyers would take a trip to this place and drown themselves.

    Alternatively, if no such thing happens, all climatologists would re-train as ditch diggers, burger flippers and other glorious professions.

    I know sacrifices outlined here are not equal, but so are the outcomes.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Proposal

      Problem with that is people who profess that we don't know either way, almost universally get labelled as "deniers" by AGW-proponents. So that's a lot of people being drowned just for daring to hold off on judgement.

      1. kirovs
        Facepalm

        Re: Proposal

        You know what fallacy means?

        1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

          Re: Proposal

          "You know what fallacy means?"

          I know what it sounds like . . .

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Proposal

          You know what fallacy means?

          A bit like a penis.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Proposal

        I'll bite on that one. If you don't know one way or another and don't comment I'll label you as climate agnostic. If you say 'I don't know, and I would like to know more' you are a sceptic. If you say 'I'm not a scientist but as I don't know, no one should take any action' you are a denier. [and for the record i'd say your posting record puts you at sceptic not denier] .

        In the global balance of debate, where money and action speak, unfortunately, louder than scientific papers, i don't really think agw deniers are an oppressed minority. Us warmists have the Guardian, the deniers have the Sun, Mail, Express and Telegraph. And as far as I can see we are still pumping and burning hydrocarbons as fast as we are able. People complaining about being called deniers always seems to have echoes of rich, white, middle aged men complaining that the world is biased against them, because their golf club had to admit a token woman.

      3. Paul Shirley

        @ h4rm0ny

        "get labelled as "deniers" by AGW-proponents"

        No h4rm0ny, the problem is the undecided get appropriated by the denialist minority as supporting their beliefs. The undecided are rapidly becoming a minority themselves and it's getting harder for true denialists to manufacture any pretence of wide support.

        They face the other problem of even undecided voters realising some of the mitigation efforts are worth doing even without global warming. Leaves actual denialists in an increasingly tricky spot deciding exactly what to oppose.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: @ h4rm0ny

          @ Paul Shirley

          "No h4rm0ny, the problem is the undecided get appropriated by the denialist minority as supporting their beliefs"

          I have never once seen this and I am one of those on the fence, not convinced either way and not convinced the scientists know the answer yet as they still seek it. I have been attacked for not subscribing to the beliefs of the high priests of absolute certainty and for not assuming we are all doomed. In the comment sections believers regularly insult anyone for not accepting the belief as fact.

          "The undecided are rapidly becoming a minority themselves and it's getting harder for true denialists to manufacture any pretence of wide support"

          Depends on the question. Does the climate change? A lot of agreement. Is it man made or mostly man made or even man can stop it? No real consensus.

          "They face the other problem of even undecided voters realising some of the mitigation efforts are worth doing even without global warming"

          We have had green tech forced on us, causing higher energy bills and no benefits (in fact problems). That isnt mitigation thats monuments to a sky god, forced on us under the religious belief of 'something must be done' 'think of the children'. We have higher tax's to pay for brain dead ideas and money transfer schemes and we are to be grateful? No thanks.

          "Leaves actual denialists in an increasingly tricky spot deciding exactly what to oppose"

          The extreme cults of absolute denier and absolute warmist both look like nuts but it is the warmist cult that is abusing our lives to appease their beliefs. I dont know anyone on the fence who is happy about that

          1. kirovs

            Re: @ h4rm0ny

            Let me explain my problem with your thinking. Science, unlike religion, always speaks of probabilities. Very few things are quite certain (in this Universe anyway). So let's say we have 38% (random number, just thought of reusing what idiots regularly misinterpret) to get significant effects from man-made, global warming such that people start dying in large numbers in few decades (our kids).

            Here is my question to you. Would you put your kid on a plane that has only 38% chance of experiencing catastrophic event? After all it is less than 50%....

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: @ h4rm0ny

              Your problem is you are automatically assuming that global warming is a "catastrophic event" and even comparing it to a plane crash which has a much more immediate effect than the slow motion "catastrophe" that is global warming's worst case scenario.

              It is more like "if there was a 38% chance that feeding your kid Gerber baby food will have consequences when he's 80, though we can't say for sure whether those consequences will mean an increased cancer risk or some freckles on his knees would you stop feeding your kid Gerber baby food?"

              Humanity already lived through a much much much larger warming and much much much larger sea level rise than would occur even if every bit of ice on the planet melted. It happened around 10,000 years ago. Coastal (and not so coastal) settlements were lost to the sea and are now a few hundred feet below today's sea level, and there was flooding fast and severe enough to enter our racial memory and be written down thousands of years later in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Old Testament and so forth.

              If that stood to happen today as a result of human influence I'm sure people would fret about the dire consequences for marine life from so much warming, and ignore the potential benefits of not having half of north America covered in an ice sheet two miles thick. Why is warming automatically assumed to be a bad thing in every way, and discussion of potential positive benefits is not allowed? Who says we wouldn't be better off with another degree or two? Yeah, we lose some coastal cities, but it will happen over decades so it isn't like we'll need to evacuate a million people in a week.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @ h4rm0ny

                Well 10k years ago we had a population of between 1 to 10 million people, none of them spent more than two cowrie shells and an antelope antler on building beach front condos. And it was still such a traumatic event we still tell stories about 10k years later. Of course we can cope if we put our mind to it, but it will be expensive and painful, because those 'few million' people will probably not move meekly and mildly to designated resettlement zones, and the people on the hills will probably get all panicky and resentful!

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @ h4rm0ny

                  But that was 120 metres rise, far from the (greatly exaggerated anyway) 6m. Brett

              2. kirovs

                Re: @ h4rm0ny

                It is a catastrophic event. It is not just warming and flooding. It is also desert formation, lack of food and drinking water. It seems to me you just have no idea what the consequences would be few decades from now. Perhaps you need to read before speaking?

                1. DougS Silver badge

                  @kirovs

                  It is a catastrophic event. It is not just warming and flooding. It is also desert formation, lack of food and drinking water.

                  Bullshit. This is just alarmist propaganda. We have no idea any of that would happen - some places could become deserts but places that are deserts today could also become arable. Warmer air holds more water, so the idea that we'd see widespread desertification has little merit. The Earth has been ice free in the past, and was far from the dystopian future of starvation and water rationing that you portray. Why should it be different if it happens again? Because there's an inbuilt bias amongst AGW proponents that any change caused by man must necessarily be completely negative.

                  Yes, changes would happen that would be painful for people who are negatively affected, but would be good for those who were positively affected. Not saying we shouldn't try to limit or slow such change, but if the claim is that it is now inevitable we may well as focus on easing the transition for those we know will be negatively affected (i.e. living in areas that will be flooded in 50 years)

                  Claiming that I have no idea of the consequences when you're just parroting the fearmongering of others is laughable to the extreme. Perhaps you need to think before speaking?

                  1. kirovs
                    Thumb Down

                    Re: @kirovs

                    "Warmer air holds more water, so the idea that we'd see widespread desertification has little merit. "

                    So you make your back of the envelope model, but you call models built by real scientists who have spent decades learning and experimenting "bullshit"??? You are an idiot my friend and a poster child denier.

            2. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: @ h4rm0ny

              @ kirovs

              "Science, unlike religion, always speaks of probabilities. Very few things are quite certain (in this Universe anyway)"

              Yup. We have certainty that tax credits are wealth transfer. We have certainty that wind farms dont actually work as a climate change or energy producing method (off shore being more successful). We have actual fact that bills are going up to pay for the religious approach to the problem but much less actually doing anything real about it. Because technologically we currently cant. That solves the Co2 debate although the many contributing factors to pollution can be dealt with and research into technology can be done and is advisable anyway.

              "So let's say we have 38% (random number, just thought of reusing what idiots regularly misinterpret) to get significant effects from man-made, global warming such that people start dying in large numbers in few decades (our kids)."

              First you conflate 2 problems. First climate change is assumed real but the end point is the unknown. Second mans contribution is assumed to be real (as it almost certainly is) but the extent here is so important it is pretty much the most important part of this question.

              So to question 1- if we have a 38% chance of any significant effects of climate change we should look to solutions. Solutions is NOT monuments to a sky god, but actual real solutions. There are 2 forms of general solution: stop the change or adapt to the change. Right now assuming the Co2 is the devil and we know we dont have current technological solutions nor international cooperation we know we need research into stopping it but more likely we will need adaptation.

              To question 2- we know of real pollution and are still studying its real effects. Not some mythical doom scenario but a real problem. And we can tackle some of these much cheaper and get an actual quality of life improvement. We dont know our contribution to causing the change and we are then focusing on a single gas in the hope we got it right and that one is the cause to the ignorance of all else.

              "Here is my question to you. Would you put your kid on a plane that has only 38% chance of experiencing catastrophic event? After all it is less than 50%...."

              This has no relation to the above. A plane is easy to identify and visible to measure. This would make it a fact of 38% not a fantasy world of maybe a gas causing an unknown effect that might have a 38% but cannot be measured.

          2. JC_

            Re: @ h4rm0ny

            The extreme cults of absolute denier and absolute warmist both look like nuts but it is the warmist cult that is abusing our lives to appease their beliefs. I dont know anyone on the fence who is happy about that

            This is the equivalent of the old saw "flat-earthers vs. scientists; opinions about the shape of the earth differ". 97% of climate scientists support the theory of AGW. It isn't cultish to accept the opinion of the overwhelming majority of experts, it's sensible; pretending otherwise is delusional.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: @ h4rm0ny

              @ JC_

              "97% of climate scientists support the theory of AGW. It isn't cultish to accept the opinion of the overwhelming majority of experts, it's sensible; pretending otherwise is delusional."

              97% of god botherers believe in a deity. I still wont take their word for it no matter how delusional them and their followers call me

              1. JC_

                @ codejunky

                97% of god botherers believe in a deity. I still wont take their word for it no matter how delusional them and their followers call me

                Scientists are the exact opposite of your 'god-botherers'. People who ignore all the evidence - and the agreement of the experts - are the deluded ones.

                Here are some coherent reasons to oppose measures to prevent AGW:

                * I don't want to

                * It's a hard problem

                * I won't be around for the effects of AGW

                * My income depends on not trying to prevent AGW

                All of these are selfish, but at least honest.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: @ codejunky

                  @ JC_

                  "Scientists are the exact opposite of your 'god-botherers'. People who ignore all the evidence - and the agreement of the experts - are the deluded ones."

                  We have to remember how this all started. It was a hockey stick graph that was guaranteed regardless of input data. The onus of proof is on those claiming it is happening and so far the only credible information from the experts is they do not know yet. Anyone who knows the answer before we have the answer is a believer working on faith.

                  "Here are some coherent reasons to oppose measures to prevent AGW" Coupled with "All of these are selfish, but at least honest."

                  Well said. You have made a few reasons (no idea if those are the ones used by anyone) that are selfish under the assumption of AGW (aka Global warming, glabal cooling, MMCC co2 theory, etc). Other reasons may focus on the people being killed to satisfy the belief in MMCC co2 theory or the insanity of chasing a single gas that might be a pollution to the ignorance of cleaning up actual pollution. Or the reasons could be to avoid the selfish and self serving industry which is a welth transfer scheme regardless of the outcome of the actual scientific research.

                  There are a lot of good reasons not to run head first into preventing MMCC co2 theory, just as there are lots of good reasons not to chase into the idea of preventing the biblical apocalypse. Justifications can be many but supported by facts.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ h4rm0ny

              '97% of climate scientists' is a blatant lie. Look it up.

              1. JC_

                Re: @ AC

                '97% of climate scientists' is a blatant lie. Look it up.

                It probably isn't worth wasting time on ACs who are full of rubbish (there's just too many) but here you go, from NASA:

                Among abstracts that expressed a position on AGW [Anthropogenic, or human-cause, Global Warming], 97.1% endorsed the scientific consensus. Among scientists who expressed a position on AGW in their abstract, 98.4% endorsed the consensus.”

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @ AC

                  Came to something like 77 total, not 97%. Brett

                2. mikebartnz

                  Re: @ AC

                  That looks mighty like it came from Cook's study and the joke there is if you look at his data, which incidentally he tried to hide,it says the opposite of what you think.

              2. rakooi

                Re: @ h4rm0ny

                I have seen 4 Different surveys of Science WITH credentials....all point to a near unanimous oppinion that Trace Gases: C2, methane and water vapor work hand in hand.....much like glass in a greenhouse....to absorb solar energy and increase temperature.....Green houses, have ventilators to help with their heat......WE DO NOT have that on Earth....WE have to exercise SELF CONTROL to be good caretakers of God's creation.

                My High School Science Teacher in 1964, Mr. Andrews gave a wonderful & spot on accurate lecture on CO2 buildup in the atmosphere, primarily from burning Carbon based Fuels.

                Tumultuously changeable and unpredictable weather patterns, rising temperatures that Will melt ice packs and glaciers, world wide. These melts would lead to sea level rise threatening ports and millions of lives in port cities.

                ***And So it is.

                And now we see, The Industry ABSOLUTELY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING to our well being and the health of our children...and successive generations...who WILL pay a price.

                *****"Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago !

                *****"Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.

                "By Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

                Sep 16, 2015

                "Exxon's

                Richard Werthamer (right) and Edward Garvey (left) are aboard the

                company's Esso Atlantic tanker working on a project to measure the

                carbon dioxide levels in the ocean and atmosphere.

                "The project ran from 1979 to 1982. (Credit: Richard Werthamer)

                At a meeting in Exxon Corporation's headquarters,

                a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black

                delivered a sobering message:

                ****"carbon dioxide from the world's use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity."

                "In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release

                from the burning of fossil fuels,"

                Black told Exxon's Management Committee, according to a written version he recorded later.

                It was July 1977 when Exxon's leaders received this blunt assessment, well before most of the world had heard of the looming climate crisis.

                "A year later, Black,

                ******a top technical expert in Exxon's Research & Engineering division, took an updated version of his presentation to a broader audience.

                ******He warned Exxon scientists and managers that independent researchers estimated a doubling of the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere would increase average global temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius

                ******(4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit), and as much as 10 degrees Celsius

                (18 degrees Fahrenheit) at the poles. Rainfall might get heavier in some regions, and other places might turn to desert.

                "Some countries would benefit but others would have their agricultural output reduced or destroyed," Black said, in the written summary of his 1978 talk.

                "His presentations reflected uncertainty running through scientific circles about the details of climate change, such as the role the oceans played in absorbing emissions. Still, Black estimated quick action was needed.

                ******"Present thinking," he wrote in the 1978 summary, "holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical."

                "Exxon responded swiftly. Within months the company launched its own extraordinary research into carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and its impact on the earth.

                ******Exxon's ambitious program included both empirical CO2 sampling and rigorous climate modeling. It assembled a brain trust that would spend more than a decade deepening the company's understanding of an environmental problem that posed an existential threat to the oil business.

                "Then, toward the end of the 1980s,

                ******Exxon curtailed its carbon dioxide research. In the decades that followed, Exxon worked instead at the forefront of climate denial.

                ******"It put its muscle behind efforts to manufacture doubt about the reality of global warming its own scientists had once confirmed. It lobbied to block federal and international action to control greenhouse gas emissions.

                ******"It helped to erect a vast network of distortion and misinformation"..

                .fake 'think tanks' (100+) designed to sow disinformation.

                ....and Front Web Sites (1000+) to propagate the disinformation.

                .....including fake head lines, fake science articles which have been published in major news outlets and an amazingly ugly phone and e-mail campaign sowing fear in the minds of 100's of Scientists around the world.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @ h4rm0ny

                  Earth doesn't need ventilators, it has no roof. Think on that. Absorbing gasses emit equally as well, in microseconds. From Wood's experiment onwards, the GHG idea has been disproven empirically many times. Arrhenius was only doing a thought experiment. Never proven, oft refuted. Brett

                  1. Tom 38 Silver badge

                    Re: @ h4rm0ny

                    WTF is the point of using AC and then signing all your messages as Brett?

            3. mikebartnz

              Re: @ h4rm0ny

              Quote *97% of climate scientists support the theory* Not that old fraud again. Sad :((

              1. rakooi
                Thumb Up

                Re: @ h4rm0ny

                As a career scientist (bachelor of science degree in engineering from UC Berkeley; Ph.D. in oceanography from MIT) with a thorough grasp of research related to climate change and experience working side-by-side with climate scientists for decades (at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UCSB), I personally know some of the 3 percent. While a few of them do not have good intentions (for example, there are some scientists in the 3 percent who also worked for tobacco companies to cover up the link between smoking and lung cancer), many among the 3 percent have their own scientific reasons for being doubters or “naysayers.”

                Within the scientific community, there is an important role played by these contrarians, who continue to probe and ask tough questions about prevailing theories. Their role is especially critical where popular important theories are concerned, because these scientists push the rest of the science community to test and re-test their ideas using better data and methods. The end result is usually stronger scientific theories, which have been improved to agree with new information. However, some scientists get attached to the contrarian role and get a bit stubborn about moving on even after the evidence becomes overwhelming.

                Besides the contrarians and those with private agendas, there is a third group in the 3 percent holding sincere beliefs that run counter to the scientific evidence. After all, scientists are people, too, and even though as a group they tend to be very rational, some may hold close to beliefs based on culture, religion or other influences

                1. mikebartnz

                  Re: @ h4rm0ny

                  So yet someone else who believes the 97% fraud and also a person that claims to have a scientific background. Unbelievable.

        2. mikebartnz

          Re: @ h4rm0ny

          Quote *The undecided are rapidly becoming a minority themselves and it's getting harder for true denialists to manufacture any pretence of wide support.*

          Said by someone who is obviously deluded. While I have not done a survey my observations point in totally the other direction and in some polls CAGW doesn't even enter the equation.

    2. dogged

      Re: Proposal

      Surely everyone (except those who enjoy the daily "Florida Man" tabloid stories) actively wants Florida to sink?

      1. kirovs

        Re: Proposal

        I knew someone is going to jump on that. Thanks for pointing out the obvious.

        1. dogged

          Re: Proposal

          Sorry kirovs, I'm just sore because in the 90s this guy called Hicks sold me some prime beachfront on Arizona Bay so I'm all about the sinking of current coastal areas.

          BRING ON THE BIG ONE!

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Proposal

      No trip needed.

      If the climate models are correct the most "denier" states in USA will be hit hardest. Texas will be under flood water that's for sure.

      1. ravenviz Silver badge
        Boffin

        Under flood water (Re: Proposal...

        You can check for yourself here, even with views on different level-rises. Sea-level would need a rise of more than 9 m to begin to affect Houston in any large way.

      2. roytrubshaw
        Linux

        Re: Proposal

        If the climate models are correct the most "denier" states in USA will be hit hardest. Texas will be under flood water that's for sure.

        I'm never sure where this extra water is coming from.

        It doesn't matter how much of the Arctic ice-cap melts, because it's floating it won't make an iota of difference to the sea-level and the last report I read:

        Antarctic sea ice reaches new record maximum

        seems to suggest that the Antarctic ice-cap isn't going to melt any time soon.

        Just askin'

        1. Bistro

          Re: Proposal

          r..w, "seems to suggest that the Antarctic ice-cap isn't going to melt any time soon"

          Now, had you actually paid attention, or looked it up online (how hard is that really?), the balance of LAND locked ice on Antarctica has diminished by a whole lot (by gravimetric satellite data). In short, it is happening already however much you like to point at floating ice.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Proposal

          Well if you are just asking. Thermal expansion counts for about 40% of it, land based glaciers, Arctic Antarctic and elsewhere another 40% and pumping groundwater from aquifers to the sea another 10 or 20%.

          Melting Arctic ice caps are important because they can change albedo and affect currents - Antarctic ice is building up because winds are changing, not because it's getting colder per se, and no Texas won't have to man the walls of the Alamo to fight off marauding Orcas, but Galveston will probably suck up a tax dollar or two building sea defences.

        3. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Proposal

          "because it's floating it won't make an iota of difference to the sea-level"

          "Antarctic sea ice reaches new record maximum - seems to suggest that the Antarctic ice-cap isn't going to melt any time soon."

          SEA ICE - see your point #1 above. Which is seasonal. Meanwhile the Ice sheets on land in general ARE melting and this is accelerating - particularly in Greenland and the Antarctic.

          You might want to watch this film:

          https://chasingice.com/

  11. Vladimir Nicolici

    "It's now widely admitted that global warming, as measured by temperatures around the world, stopped at the turn of the century."

    Stopped reading after seeing that crap. Then went to the NASA website to take the raw data and charted it myself. The result:

    http://i.imgur.com/I0ypX49.png

    The dotted line is a 10 year moving average. The chart units are 0.01 degrees Celsius. I charted the January-December annual mean.

    Source data:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts.txt

    Sorry lying author, the data contradicts you. Can "The Register" please fire that guy for writing lies? K. Thanks. Bye.

    1. Vladimir Nicolici

      My previous chart was based just on the air temperature. If you look at the combined air and water temperature, the picture is even clearer:

      http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

      http://i.imgur.com/yt3nejH.png

    2. Naughtyhorse

      please fire that guy

      Nope, he's the boss

      how else do you think he gets away with such crap

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: please fire that guy

        Please, fellow commentards, don't get too personal with Lewis about his climate change columns. I'd bet one of my nuts that it's just a very successful click-trough promotion* campaign. I mean, Lewis has proved himself often able to write good articles, well researched and written. The gunk he usually writes about climate change needs some explanation. ;-)

        * Mind you, I've no issue with this strategy, as it never fails to spark an interesting debate. Lewis, have one on me!

        1. Blitheringeejit
          Megaphone

          Re: please fire that guy: @Mephisto

          I can't agree. The basic principles of journalism and the moral duty of the fourth estate mean that El Reg is fundamentally in the wrong here, and I cannot continue to support it when it propagates such evil falsehoods. So I shall be cancelling my subscription .... no, wait, er... I shall never buy another ... erm... oh fuck.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Since it is impossible to get the real raw data from NASA - they only publish the adjusted data, I wonder why - what you are plotting is just what they want you to see based on their belief in CAGW.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Have you looked for your 'real data' - It's not hard to find in the real world, outside of conspiracy central.

      2. wookey

        I'm amazed at the number of supposedly intelligent people here who are still disputing the temp record itself. Do you not know about BEST where those skeptical of the data went back to the raw data and reprocessed it themselves using their own techniques and code, only to find almost the exact same results as the other 4 (surface) datasets? The adjustments are there for good reasons (changed altitudes or locations of sensors, variations between devices). They make the data _better_. Even if you go and use the raw data you get extremely similar results.

        Go read the BEST report if you don't believe me. Read Tamino. Intelligent people really shouldn't be disputing the temp record at this stage - it just makes them look stupid.

        And what hell is wrong with Lewis Page? Surely publishing this sort of article should be embarassing him too? There is no pause. There never was a pause. It's just noise, and this should be pretty clear by now to anyone who is genuinely interested. As ever Tamino explains it beautifully:

        https://tamino.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/slowdown-skeptic/

        https://tamino.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/its-the-trend-stupid-3/

        And looking at all 8 datasets:

        https://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/is-earths-temperature-about-to-soar/

    4. moonrakin

      huh?

      The true shame of it is that Gavin & Co can't resist adjusting the surface station data ..... you know about that do you?

      In terms of BS - the non-appearance of data from the OCO2 CO2 and photosynthesis mapper is right up there - we get more data from Pluto than something that's buzzing overhead 15 times or so a day... producing data that is inconvenient.....

      I'd like to see how many sales , marketing and PR persons UKMO employs - they seem to be obsessed with making grandiose, tub thumping forever ratcheting upwards claims about weather and demanding more powerful computers.

      I've had it with naming a bit of rain and wind - like it's something special and unparalled or weirdy wevvah - the parade of meejah BS blaming anything and everything on global warming and by inference 'oomans is just fantastical trash.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: huh?

        Yep. JAXA blew the gaff years ago, so NASA thought they'd prove them wrong. Whoops! Humanity hardly noticeable, if at all. Brett

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You do realise you are plotting 'temperature anomalies'. That is NOT average temperature.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Well...(@ AC)

        .. I'd said that the number and size of positive -as opposed to negative- anomalies seems to be increasing, while negative anomalies are scarce and of smaller amplitude, so... what does that imply for the mean temperature? and the median? Easy peasy, they both grow!

        It's even easier to see this in the second graph Mr. Vladimir Nicolici kindly provided.

        This rise in ocean temperatures is having the side effect of acidifying the Ocean, which in turn affects very negatively the Ocean's ability to store CO2. So say good bye to most of those delicious crabs, oysters and clams, and all fisheries that feed on them, an those beautiful coral reefs, and the shallow lands said reefs protect from hurricanes, tides, etc.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Well...(@ AC)

          Why is a small rise of a degree or two going to decimate the oceans, but the far larger rise 10,000 years ago didn't?

    6. mikebartnz

      You say you got the raw data but to me it doesn't look like that at all. The raw data would mean the data before any adjustments had been made but you got the data after the adjustments had been made so your graph actually doesn't mean anything but shows that it is you that is lying or just don't actually understand what you are on about. Take your pick.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is all this CO2 and radiation a bad thing ?

    Given that we've managed to kill off an awful lot of species and deforest large swathes of the planet, plenty of CO2 and a good dose of radiation are perfect for plant regrowth and an acceleration in mutation for increased speciation.

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Humans are soooo selfish, they think it's all for thier benefit -- pretty standard stuff from newbies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Elmer,

        All species on this planet are the same age as they have all evolved from a common ancestor and are thus billions of years old, evolutionary biology 101.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Not if you think that Creationists are right

          Then the world is just a few thousand years old.

          Apparently about 50% of 'merikans think that this is the truth.

          Good luck trying to get G-W accepted by that bunch of [redacted]

  13. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    And then people wonder why the Met Office lost the BBC contract ?

    For at least 10 - maybe 15 years, I (not a climatologist nor a meteorologist) I have been increasingly sceptical of how the Met Office headlines can be connected to the data. It seems to me that *whatever* the (pesky ?) data shows, the story from the Met Office conveniently fits the narrative of <p><del>global warming</del></p> "climate change". Making the Met Office look like prize charlies, when the "BBQ" summers they insist will happen didn't. And then when the mild winters they insisted we will keep having didn't either (anyone remember 2010-2011 ?).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And then people wonder why the Met Office lost the BBC contract ?

      And there's the prize for first tit to link Journo's headlines to Met Office scientific papers!

  14. zebthecat

    Indian Summer?

    As I see the cherry picking season is still in full swing.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Indian Summer?

      "As I see the cherry picking season is still in full swing."

      Cherry picking season never ends round here!.

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Indian Summer?

      I am surprised that people in the UK are surprised that 'Indian Summers' occur.

      It's not as if it's a standard weather pattern for early autumn is it?

      (late September - early October 'office is too cold - put the heating on'. Mid October -- 'too warm, turn the heatng off!')

  15. I Am Spartacus

    Met ofice speak

    "The Met Office makes use of a state-of-the-art climate model to provide near term climate

    predictions"

    We Guessed (but used a very expensive computer to do it).

    All models are just that, an informed guess. They are NOT accurate predictions.

  16. M7S

    Jeremy will save us

    as he apparently wants to re-open all the coal mines, so presumably we'll be burning the stuff in gratitude to all the greens who paid £3 and voted for hi, er hang on a sec......

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Jeremy will save us

      Don't be silly -- Jeremys brother will get the forecast gig (he's bloody good at it) and the Tories and UKKKIP will be battering the BBC.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Jeremy will save us

        Jeremys brother will get the forecast gig (he's bloody good at it)

        He claims to be bloody good at it.

        WeatherAction exited the Alternative Investment Market in 1999 after reported losses incurred during its time as a public company of £480,000 and its share price dropped from 79p a share to 24p

        He's also an absolutist:

        ... CO2 has never driven, does not drive and never will drive weather or climate. Global warming is over and it never was anything to do with CO2. CO2 is still rising but the world is now cooling and will continue to do so.

        So maybe Jezza will restart the coal mines.

  17. Ru'

    In my experience temperatures have increased immensely in the past three years. This isn't something I need a thermometer to measure, it is blindingly obvious to me.

    I no longer need warm clothes during the winter for example, and I have had no need to heat my flat at all.

    I have not even used the heater in my car.

    This might be because I've moved from the UK to the middle east, however...

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Burning down the house

      Eeeh, we've not had a decent winter for decades.

      Nothing to match winter 1960(whateveritwas).

      (Not had proper smog for years either)

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Burning down the house @Elmer

        I read that as "snog", and I was just about to express some pity, but...

        Smog, on the other hand, was largely caused by the pollution from ordinary solid-fuel electricity generation (in cities, no less) and heating and the dreadfully dirty cars and lorries, getting caught in temperature inversions, and not blowing away.

        The inversions are still there, but fortunately, much of the rest is not. Gas heating and electricity generation, smokeless fuel for those that insist on solid fuel, and much tighter emissions controls on vehicles have pretty much made smogs of the type experienced in the 19th and 20th century a thing of the past. At least in most of Europe.

        I think residents of Beijing may beg to differ.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Burning down the house @Elmer

          Residents of Leicester with it's shocking air quality falling well below EU standards for much of the year may disagree about the absence of smog, even if it's not an old style pea soup!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Burning down the house @Elmer

            Leicester has smog?

            Its all that cultural diversity innit?

      2. mikebartnz

        Re: Burning down the house

        1978 was a decent winter and I believe it was sixteen years before that when the previous one occurred.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem with arguing with idiots...

    .... is that you can feel it lowering your IQ as well.

  19. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    How far back do temperature measurements go? Temperature as measured by thermometer.

    How long is the post-glacial?

    Why are we arguing about statistical noise?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      yup, the Ice Age will return, after all this little inter-glacial is just a blip in the stats.

  20. Spaceman Spiff

    Gee, and I have to wonder just who financed this study. When 90% of the top minds in the business say one thing, and a bunch of government bureaucrats say another, guess which group I will believe...

  21. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Joke

    WHAT??!! No mention of an impending Maunder Minimum?

    Which may plunge us into a mini ice age!! (Or not, of course)

    Runs for cover ;-)

    <sermon>

    Seriously, as a scientist (not climate science, I hasten to add) I find the bickering and mud-slinging (perpetrated by both sides) tiresome and unhelpful in the extreme. As scientists we are bound to disagree, but at least keep the discussion civil

    </sermon>

    And anyway, not burning up non-renewable fuels might be a good idea whatever the truth about global warming. We might need that stuff in the future for other things

    1. Bistro

      Re: WHAT??!! No mention of an impending Maunder Minimum?

      M..n, Your headline mentions MM, but no word of it in your article --> ??? Maybe that is because you realized that the Little Ice Age (LIA) happening 'a while' back had actually other more significant causes than the prolonged dip in solar activity to make it as severe as it was. Recent (and not so recent) assessments of the LIA attributed merely –0.1 °C of the drop in temp to the lower solar activity. So, there's not much to be found there to make a molehill out of.

    2. itzman

      Re: WHAT??!! No mention of an impending Maunder Minimum?

      If we need it badly enough we can always make it from nuclear power water and carbon dioxide, like what plants do...

    3. EnricoS

      Re: WHAT??!! No mention of an impending Maunder Minimum?

      "And anyway, not burning up non-renewable fuels might be a good idea whatever the truth about global warming. We might need that stuff in the future for other things" - exactly. One of the most amazing, and useful natural resources we have, and we set fire to most of it.

  22. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Megaphone

    What's next? Not enough carbon? Move civilization to the equator because of cooling?

    I can't wait to hear the next preposterous 'theory' presented as 'valid science'. Climate Change is just another political movement seeking power.

  23. hewbass

    I have a comment regarding how people seem to judge the motivations of climate scientists, particularly how some people assume that their results are suspect because they the climatologists have a financial motivation for justifying global warming.

    This seems rather stupid to me, since the climate is something that is going to be interesting to study regardless of whether it is warming, cooling, or staying roughly the same for all sorts of reasons. Climate science is not just about average temperatures. Being able to understand the historical climate supports other sciences (paleantology, anthropology, etc) and helps make other predictions, both near and far future, for other things than just temperature. Global temperatures predictions are just one output out of a useful set. Being accurate is more important than supporting warming as an ideology, if you want to continue to paid to do actual research.

    In fact if you look at who funds the studies, then you will find it is much easier to make money working for fossil fuel interests (expense accounts and paid to appear on TV), vs grants from the government (minimal funding!)

    This does then lead you to wonder why their are so few climate scientists following the filthy lucre...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Being accurate is more important than supporting warming as an ideology, if you want to continue to paid to do actual research."

      You have never actually been involved in academic research, have you? I can assure you that if your published research conclusions don't go with the accepted dogma (in any field) you will find yourself strangely passed over when applying funding for your next project.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      climate scientists following the filthy lucre...?

      This does then lead you to wonder why their are so few climate scientists following the filthy lucre...

      There is still some integrity in science apart from climate change..?

  24. Paul Hedderly

    They got the weather round our way completely wrong yesterday - even the forecast mid-morning was predicting monsoons during the afternoon. So of course I got sunburn.

    They can't predict the weather 3 hours in advance...

    ..but they can predict that 2016 will see record temperatures?

    Are they defining the results and the conclusion 4 months before the sample period starts and 16 months before it ends? How scientific.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Climate != Weather

      But yeah, I wouldn't trust the Met Office to reliably predict what day it is tomorrow.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Angel

        I understood that itis 50-50 that tommorrows weather in the UK will be the same as today - normally next days forcast is fairly accurate over a large area - now down your street?

    2. NomNomNom

      I can't predict how many people will be in your house tomorrow. But I can safely predict the population of the UK will be greater in 5 years time.

      How confusing

    3. gzuckier

      Yes, they can't predict the weather a few hours in advance, and yet they try to tell me that winter will be colder than summer. Ha!

  25. Bistro

    What historical precedent?

    Lewis Page states in his article: "historical precedent suggests a return to relatively cool conditions could occur within a few years". The main question concerning that statement is "what precedent?", and maybe more to the point, "what precedent could possibly apply?"

    With 800,000 years worth of data telling us that CO2 has not been even close to current levels (400 ppm) for all of that lengthy time span over which it was meandering around within the range from 180 ppm to 270 ppm, there simply is no applicable precedent.

    Not to forget: What has been found is that all oceans undergo multi-decadal oscillations (e.g. the PDO runs roughly a 30 year cycle, then add the other oceans for good measure to figure out what the overall global cycle could possibly be. Good luck on that then btw) cycles that are not in sync, which goes to score the point that a 15 year timespan is a useless yardstick on this matter ("but in fact there hasn't been any global warming for more than fifteen years"). Mind you, those very fifteen years have smashed one record after another. So much for 'a pause with no change'.

  26. Leslie Graham

    What desperate and laughable garbage from the Register.

    The slight slow down in the rate of warming is well and truly over now.

    Global temperatures today - yes today - are now warmer than during the Holocene Thermal Optimum over 6000 years ago and already approaching the levels of the Eemian Period over 110,000 years ago.

    The myth of the 'pause' is now totaly busted.

    Time to face simple observable reality.

    1. gzuckier

      The "pause" depends entirely on the fact that 1998 was a really really warm year. It's warmed since 1999. It's warmed since 1997. And so on for whatever year you want to begin with. Any competent statistician can inform you that means the "no warming" conclusion is shaky beyond any reasonable benefit of the doubt.

      Of course, we've slowly worked our way up until we've reached the record level of 1998 routinely now, so even that thin denial will need to be retired soon.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re:Global temperatures today - yes today - are now warmer

      ...er no, they aren't.

      As the fossil records of what grows where show.

  27. CruentusVulpes

    Other media outlets don't agree with your conclusions (which is odd after reading the MET report). It seems most reporters are reporting other reporters' articles and citing them and their reports as source documents. Did any of them bother to read the actual report? Nice to see general media not letting facts get in the way of their opinions.

  28. Rik Myslewski

    Optimistic thread, all-in-all

    What I find quite encouraging about the comment thread to this ludicrously cherry-picked, journalistically ... ahem ... insert your own evaluation here ... article is that the commenting crowd here at El Reg is remarkably better-informed than I have seen in some time about the subtleties of climate science and the distortions flouted by denialist/contrarian/skeptic/whatever folks — and I should know, having attempted to bring some level of climate-science sanity to this otherwise marvelous website during my term there from 2008 to 2014, and during that time was an avid read-every-comment editor.

    Bravo, commentards! And, BTW, I'm now proud to have joined your ranks.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Optimistic thread, all-in-all

      Welcome back, Rik.

    2. wookey

      Re: Optimistic thread, all-in-all

      You mean it used to be worse here? Wow. There is a still a great deal of foolishness/ill-informedness/idiocy on display, with much blithering about heat-islands, massaged data, corrupt scientists, and 'ah but it's not CO2'. Are we really not beyond this stuff yet?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Optimistic thread, all-in-all

      And when you learn not to name-call those you disagree with, you can have reason for a bit of pride. Absorbers emit. Gas laws. Convection. LOT. Hotspots, anyone? Brett

  29. Rik Myslewski

    Well, duh...

    The article states: "One should note that the Met Office report is strongly hedged – its title even ends in a question mark, in the style of headlines-to-which-the-answer-is-no."

    I can't resist dipping into my decades of professional journalistic experience to make a small correction to this assertion, as follows: "One should note that the Met Office report is strongly hedged – its title even ends in a question mark, in the style of headlines-to-which-the-answer-is-'Duh!'."

    Just a minor correction. Carry on.

  30. Asok Asus

    Question ...

    Question. How long must the so-called "hiatus" of NO GLOBAL WARMING go on before "scientists" have to admit there's no such thing as global warming caused by CO2 in the atmosphere?

    1. Rik Myslewski

      Re: Question ...

      Uh, until folks like you who have no %$#@!ing understanding of climate science, physics, radiative forcing, the effect of complex molecules on long-wave radiation, and so on, and so on, and so on become ... hmm ... ah ... how shall I say it? Oh, how 'bout "non-craniorectal?"

      C'mon, reasonable discussion about the complex details of climate change/global warming is quite fine and all, but total head-in-the-sand denialism, is well, "risible."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Question ...

        About the expected intellectual level for those who believe in hippy science, and that LSD can make you fly, or smarter.

    2. gzuckier

      Re: Question ...

      Well, until somebody comes up with an explanation as to why the earth is 18 degrees C warmer than the moon despite receiving the same solar irradiation, if it's not for the global warming caused by CO2 in the atmosphere, as calculated by Svante Arrhenius more than a century ago.

      1. ITfarmer

        Re: Question ...

        "Well, until somebody comes up with an explanation as to why the earth is 18 degrees C warmer than the moon ... if it's not for the global warming caused by CO2 in the atmosphere."

        The moon doesn't receive the same irradiation which can be quite clearly seen every day by the lunar cycle - obviously your ancestors must have never been farmers, sailors or priests.

        Never mind the fact there is no ocean, atmosphere, water cycle, life and different tectonic activity....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Question ...

      ..until no one has a vested interest in pretending that there is?

      Its been a lucrative career-making ride on the climate change bandwagon. The wheels are beginning to wobble alarmingly though, and will fall off in due course.

      Its really a question of first of all hedging the bets, and then quietly stepping off the damned thing with enough evidence to show you only believed what you were told or always had genuine doubts all along, really...

      It doesn't really matter whether or not its actually stopped warming, is getting colder, or isn't getting as warm as it was. The fact remains that statistically the rate of temperature change with CO2 concentrations has not obeyed any of te A camps predictions. In short Something Else is going on, and the whole theory was that Nothing Else But CO2 was going on.

      Catch 22 time. Either its all about CO2, and the models are wrong, or it isn't all about CO2.

      If they add in decadal patterns to adjust for the slowdown/pause/hiatus, they cant really not subtract them from earlier rises, making CO2 much less scary.

      Hence the switch to 'ocean acidification;' etc etc.

      But this is all end game stuff. Adjusting the data, adjusting the problem - whatever it takes to keep the eco bandwagon going.

      But its had it. Its not quite dead, it just smells that way.

      And the sad sight of some many Believers being confronted by evidence that they were not nearly as smart as they thought they were in jumping on a bandwagon they didn't really understand in the first place.

      30 years ago I thought there 'probably was something in it' . Over the last ten years I have looked at it long and hard, and decided that on balance the evidence is very flimsy, and the vested interests alarmingly powerful.

      CO2 is not a major driver of the earth's climate. That is the final conclusion.

      And I advise people who dont really understand the science and the maths to the very core, to refrain from taking sides, less they get caught out backing the wrong horse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Question ...

        I'm glad you made such an in depth study - have you published it in the JOMGTM'*?

        Science has never said it's all about the CO2 - that's denial straw man 101. It's CO2, aerosols, other GHGs, solar variation. But the largest contribution and the one that's going in a clear direction and having measurable effects is CO2. Desperate attempts to invoke solar variation over short time-scales fail the test of evidence.

        And the models with CO2 work and their predictions match observations, but i guess your in-depth 30 year study focussed more on blogs than reading articles in Nature?

        *Journal of my gut tells me

  31. gzuckier

    In other words, the Americas will likely be warmer for the next decade, and/or Europe will likely be the same or cooler.

    Which means the geographical centers of the "no warming since 1998" and "energy still being soaked up by the system going to come out somewhere" groups will swap.

  32. CruentusVulpes

    ...?

    has anyone actually read the report (short from merely looking at the synopsis, which didn't seem to jibe with a lot of the report)? when did science become a faith-based practice? after reading most of the comments, you'd have thought the reg article insulted the virtue of some commentards' mothers. belief belongs in the unprovable...it is not a part of scientific method - no matter what a person chooses to believe. <sigh> one commentard actually refuted the article by saying other news sources came to a different conclusion. the article is supposed to instigate...in that regard, it was highly successful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree, science is about measurement, hypothesis, critical thinking, and that's what I see going on in the Climate Science community. On the other hand we have clear (and deliberate) fallacies, half truths and peoples opinion. I'm fairly happy my mother feels not in the slightest bit insulted, but I am equally sure that if I was ill she would suggest that I was better consulting a doctor than a Daily Mail leader writer.

  33. Sirius Lee

    No mention of the AMO on the BBC yesterday

    The weather people gushed to point out the warming effects of El Nino (though we'll see cooling in Europe) but didn't mention the AMO. Maybe cooling effects are not as newsworthy as warming one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No mention of the AMO on the BBC yesterday

      Except, of course, the AMO was mentioned, as was the possibility that we might experience cooler weather. In fact the cooling bit was part of the soundbite headlines. But hey, why let a fact get in the way of a whinge?

  34. Sirius Lee

    BBC waether forecasting contract

    Maybe the prevarication by a group of met office scientists looking at real numbers regarding the state of a warming world is why the Met Office lost its contract to provide weather forecasts. The BBC has a stated aim of warning the UK about global warming so perhaps any supplier that is unable to march to the same tune is not going benefit from BBC largess.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC waether forecasting contract

      We have a reporting weather station on our site, feeding data to the Met Office, I wonder if the new supplier is going to ask us to let them install their own rain gauges and thermometers? Sadly BBC 'largess' means that a) BBC money will go to the pockets of a foreign Met Office who will pop on the Internet and read data streams from the Met Office, just like all the other 'independent' forecasters, b) some existing 'talent' will probably get a nice pay rise while others lose out.

      And the BBC 'stated policy' just for reference is 'We don’t actually have editorial guidelines on the subject but we treat it the same way we treat any controversial subject – in a fair and balanced way.' Sorry if balance doesn't align with your prejudices.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC waether forecasting contract

      The could be black humour in imagining the BBC pushing AGW in 1940...Brett

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A confused author

    The author here is confusing the global mean air and sea surface temperature with the larger issue of global warming and climate change.

    Regardless of whether the Global Mean Air and Sea Surface Temperature continue to rise at a steady clip or not, as long as atmospheric CO2 increases, the earth will continue to warm. Whatever energy is retained by the Earth, as a consequence of increasing CO2, goes into warming the atmosphere and the oceans. When the oceans are absorbing more of this energy, the GMASST rises more slowly. When the oceans are absorbing less, the GMASST rises more quickly. AMO, PDO, El Nino and other ocean cycles provide an indicator of whether the oceans are absorbing more or less of this energy. When the ocean surface is cooler, more energy is absorbed. And because water expands as it is warmed, the global mean sea level will continue to rise regardless of whether the Earth's air temperature is increasing or not. Given that ocean temperature is the greater driver of climate, climate change will continue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A confused author

      There is over 60 fold more CO2 in the oceans than the air and temperature is shown to drive gas exchange, therefore CO2 levels, via Henry's Law. Not gas drives temp, 'as was once thought'. Brett

  36. Yugguy

    The weather forecast will NEVER be accurate

    It wouldnt matter how powerful your computer was, how fast it could process.

    The weather model relies on data, so unless you can report on every inch of the planet and every inch of atmosphere and every inch of seawater and lakes etc. etc. you will never be accurate.

  37. Shane Kent

    "Optimistic thread, all-in-all"

    Loooooooooser!

    I am sick of your type!

  38. dncnvncd

    man made environmental effects

    It is not the climate change that is the subject of dispute. It is the arbitrary nature of assigning cause. As pointed out in this article, weather oscillations are caused by wind, water, sun, moon, planets and celestial mechanics. With our knowledge base, we can't accurately predict El Ninos and La Ninas, so how can anyone rationally believe we can accurately predict climate change on planet Earth level. Yet, governments around the world are imposing costs on society with no proof their actions will remedy anything. Meanwhile, the well known Carbon cycle is routinely interfered with by filling in natural Carbon sinks such as wetlands and oceans to build houses and artificial islands. Man should stick to less grandiose endeavors than trying to change the universe. The Rocky and Appalachian mountains didn't exist at one time, the U.S. Midwest was an ocean and a land bridge existed between continents or there was one large continent depending on theorist. Despite all this, we are supposed to blindly accept whatever people profiting from a theoretical concept choose to feed us. Remove the money and see how serious the climate change "scientist" are.

  39. Mark S 1
    Stop

    Rubbish

    Speaking as a professional geoscientist with (non-research & non-work) interests in climate change, I drop by the Reg to read IT articles and BOFH stories, not for crap spin from a global warming fake skeptic.

    1. Rik Myslewski

      Re: Rubbish

      @ Mark S 1: Bravo! The Reg is a quite wonderful — if sometimes over-the-top nasty — source of reality-based IT info. That said, I agree with you that its "crap spin" on climate science is an embarrassment.

      C'est la Page, methinks...

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Rubbish

      @ Mark S 1

      "Speaking as a professional geoscientist with (non-research & non-work) interests in climate change, I drop by the Reg to read IT articles and BOFH stories, not for crap spin from a global warming fake skeptic."

      Then I think you clicked on the wrong article. Even the headline doesnt suggest an IT or BOFH article. Dont worry, the professional skills of a geoscientist isnt assumed to include reading the link before clicking on it.

      1. Mark S 1

        Re: Rubbish

        "drop by the Reg to read IT articles and BOFH stories" doesn't exclude reading other articles once there, codejunky. Do try to think outside of your very narrow box, if you can.

        1. codejunky Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Rubbish

          @ Mark S 1

          ""drop by the Reg to read IT articles and BOFH stories" doesn't exclude reading other articles once there, codejunky. Do try to think outside of your very narrow box, if you can.

          Hang on. So you come here for the IT and BOFH. However you also come here to browse the other articles so you dont end up with a narrow box (your words). But (and this is a big but) your complaint (the comment I responded to) is that you come to the reg for IT and BOFH "not for crap spin from a global warming fake skeptic". The headline and sub for this article is-

          "VANISHED GLOBAL WARMING may NOT RETURN – UK Met Office

          But it might. Hey, we don't know, we're the Met Office"

          Also when you enter the article (which is clearly not IT BOFH nor to do with boxes) you can clearly read the author is "Lewis Page", not known for his staunch belief in MMCC co2 theory. So I imagine one of 2 scenarios based on your comment-

          1: You got that far and realised! Without reading this "crap spin from a global warming fake skeptic" you decided your strong feelings need to be voiced in the comment section so we all knew you didnt want to read this and you only come here for IT and BOFH (which you now expand to boxes).

          2: You read the article with an idea of the content but decided to comment how you dont want to waste your time not reading IT or BOFH but you did anyway. This overwhelming emotion brought you to the comments section where you feel you must tell us all how you only come here for IT and BOFH (and as now you expand: boxes) but not what you just read of your own free will and disbelief of the content.

          I probably imagine these because they amuse me but feel free to say more, confident in the knowledge this discussion is in no way related to "spin from a global warming fake skeptic" but unfortunately also not IT, BOFH or none narrow (wide?) boxes.

          BTW: What width should a box be to not be considered narrow? Feel free to post answers in imperial or metric I am happy to do conversions myself.

  40. rakooi

    My High School Science Teacher in 1964, Mr. Andrews gave a wonderful & spot on accurate lecture on CO2 buildup in the atmosphere, primarily from burning Carbon based Fuels.

    Tumultuously changeable and unpredictable weather patterns, rising temperatures that Will melt ice packs and glaciers, world wide. These melts would lead to sea level rise threatening ports and millions of lives in port cities.

    ***And So it is.

    And now we see, The Industry ABSOLUTELY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING to our well being and the health of our children...and successive generations...who WILL pay a price.

    *****"Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago !

    *****"Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.

    "By Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

    Sep 16, 2015

    "Exxon's

    Richard Werthamer (right) and Edward Garvey (left) are aboard the

    company's Esso Atlantic tanker working on a project to measure the

    carbon dioxide levels in the ocean and atmosphere.

    "The project ran from 1979 to 1982. (Credit: Richard Werthamer)

    At a meeting in Exxon Corporation's headquarters,

    a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black

    delivered a sobering message:

    ****"carbon dioxide from the world's use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity."

    "In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release

    from the burning of fossil fuels,"

    Black told Exxon's Management Committee, according to a written version he recorded later.

    It was July 1977 when Exxon's leaders received this blunt assessment, well before most of the world had heard of the looming climate crisis.

    "A year later, Black,

    ******a top technical expert in Exxon's Research & Engineering division, took an updated version of his presentation to a broader audience.

    ******He warned Exxon scientists and managers that independent researchers estimated a doubling of the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere would increase average global temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius

    ******(4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit), and as much as 10 degrees Celsius

    (18 degrees Fahrenheit) at the poles. Rainfall might get heavier in some regions, and other places might turn to desert.

    "Some countries would benefit but others would have their agricultural output reduced or destroyed," Black said, in the written summary of his 1978 talk.

    "His presentations reflected uncertainty running through scientific circles about the details of climate change, such as the role the oceans played in absorbing emissions. Still, Black estimated quick action was needed.

    ******"Present thinking," he wrote in the 1978 summary, "holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical."

    "Exxon responded swiftly. Within months the company launched its own extraordinary research into carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and its impact on the earth.

    ******Exxon's ambitious program included both empirical CO2 sampling and rigorous climate modeling. It assembled a brain trust that would spend more than a decade deepening the company's understanding of an environmental problem that posed an existential threat to the oil business.

    "Then, toward the end of the 1980s,

    ******Exxon curtailed its carbon dioxide research. In the decades that followed, Exxon worked instead at the forefront of climate denial.

    ******"It put its muscle behind efforts to manufacture doubt about the reality of global warming its own scientists had once confirmed. It lobbied to block federal and international action to control greenhouse gas emissions.

    ******"It helped to erect a vast network of distortion and misinformation"..

    .fake 'think tanks' (100+) designed to sow disinformation.

    ....and Front Web Sites (1000+) to propagate the disinformation.

    .....including fake head lines, fake science articles which have been published in major news outlets and an amazingly ugly phone and e-mail campaign sowing fear in the minds of 100's of Scientists around the world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Excepting that Black's pitch was based on already falsified ideas of physics. Earth has no lid - cannot be a greenhouse. Absorbers emit equally. Etc...Brett

    2. mikebartnz

      What is the purpose of posting the same thing twice?

  41. Tom Parke

    "There hasn't actually been any global warming for the last fifteen years or so"

    Assertions like this without any reference to data have to be suspect.

    NASA has comprehensive climate data readily available and there is pretty good transparency on where its from and how its been processed.

    It is here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

    If we just look at the annual global "anomalies" - (anomaly here is defined as the amount that that year's value differs from the overall mean of the data set) the continually rising trend to 2015 is fairly clear.

    There is significant fluctuation (roughly +/- 0.2 of a degree) year on year. One of the simplest means of smoothing them out is to use a moving average. Using a 5 year window the trend is even clearer, all the averages of 0.6 or higher occurred since 2005 and the highest two - of 0.712 and 0.702 are 2014 and 2015.

    However what is visible is that the trend seems to slow at around about 2005-2006. By eye there is a "knee" in the trend line. Its still upwards but at a slower rate. From 1970-2001 the average rate of increase in the moving average is 0.016 degrees a year, from 2002 to 2015 the rate is 0.011 degrees a year (*). It is not clear that that rate is declining further however. Perhaps it is this reduction in the rate of the rise that Lewis confuses with a stall in the rise itself.

    (*) even using the moving averages these rate figures do vary somewhat on the exact start and end year used.

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