Sunday, August 31, 2008

Global Warming: The Holes in the IPCC Report


Christopher Booker's column in today's Sunday Telegraph appears to blow a great hole in the ever expanding global warming industry. Today's religion of choice for the left (and some misguided souls on the right) is the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, which is supported by 2,500 leading scientists. As I pointed out on ANY QUESTIONS a few weeks ago, any scientist who questions its findings is dubbed a heretic and effectively drummed out of the 'brownies'. Here's the last section of Booker's article.
Initially the advocates of global warming had one huge problem. Evidence from all over the world indicated that the earth was hotter 1,000 years ago than it is today. This was so generally accepted that the first two IPCC reports included a graph, based on work by Sir John Houghton himself, showing that temperatures were higher in what is known as the Mediaeval Warming period than they were in the 1990s. The trouble was that this blew a mighty hole in the thesis that warming was caused only by recent man-made CO2.

Then in 1999 an obscure young US physicist, Michael Mann, came up with a new graph like nothing seen before. Instead of the familiar rises and falls in temperature over the past 1,000 years, the line ran virtually flat, only curving up dramatically at the end in a hockey-stick shape to show recent decades as easily the hottest on record.

This was just what the IPCC wanted, The Mediaeval Warming had simply been wiped from the record. When its next report came along in 2001, Mann's graph was given top billing, appearing right at the top of page one of the Summary for Policymakers and five more times in the report proper.

But then two Canadian computer analysts, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, got to work on how Mann had arrived at his graph. When, with great difficulty, they eventually persuaded Mann to hand over his data, it turned out he had built into his programme an algorithm which would produce a hockey stick shape whatever data were fed into it. Even numbers from the phonebook would come out looking like a hockey stick.

By the time of its latest report, last year, the IPCC had an even greater problem. Far from continuing to rise in line with rising CO2, as its computer models predicted they should, global temperatures since the abnormally hot year of 1998 had flattened out at a lower level and were even falling - a trend confirmed by Nasa's satellite readings over the past 18 months.

So pronounced has this been that even scientists supporting the warmist thesis now concede that, due to changes in ocean currents, we can expect a decade or more of "cooling", before the "underlying warming trend" reappears. The point is that none of this was predicted by the computer models on which the IPCC relies. Among the ever-growing mountain of informed criticism of the IPCC's methods, a detailed study by an Australian analyst John McLean (to find it, Google "Prejudiced authors, prejudiced findings") shows just how incestuously linked are most of the core group of academics whose models underpin everything the IPCC wishes us to believe about global warming.

The significance of the past year is not just that the vaunted "consensus" on the forces driving our climate has been blown apart as never before, but that a new "counter-consensus" has been emerging among thousands of scientists across the world, given expression in last March's Manhattan Declaration by the so-called Non-Governmental Panel on Climate Change.

This wholly repudiates the IPCC process, showing how its computer models are hopelessly biased, based on unreliable data and programmed to ignore many of the genuine drivers of climate change, from variations in solar activity to those cyclical shifts in ocean currents.

As it was put by Roger Cohen, a senior US physicist formerly involved with the IPCC process, who long accepted its orthodoxy: "I was appalled at how flimsy the case is. I was also appalled at the behaviour of many of those who helped produce the IPCC reports and by many of those who promote it.

"In particular I am referring to the arrogance, the activities aimed at shutting down debate; the outright fabrications; the mindless defense of bogus science; and the politicisation of the IPCC process and the science process itself."

Yet it is at just this moment, when the IPCC's house of cards is crumbling, that the politicians of the Western world are using it to propose steps that can only damage our way of life beyond recognition. It really is time for that "counter-consensus" to be taken seriously.
I would love to hear Climate Change advocates counter this. Let's hear no more lines like "the argument is won". Articles like this demonstrate the opposite.

74 comments:

Chris Miller said...

It has been clear for some time now that the Global Warming / Climate Change industry have been trading on lies, aided by credulous politicians and media. I believe we are heading toward a tipping point, and it can't come soon enough. The tragedy is noone will trust the greenies again, and there are plenty of genuine green issues out there to be dealt with - pollution, deforestation, renewable energy to name but three. People just won't forgive being lied to, and being charged for the privilege.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

I read somewhere, quite recently, a comment to the following effect:

'Why is it unlawful, in some countries, to deny the Holocaust but still lawful to deny man-made climate change which will kill many more millions?'

Scary.

BrianSJ said...

Chris Miller
Quite right, but not just genuine green issues that have been damaged. The whole of the scientific establishment has been behind the IPCC nonsense (e.g. the two-faced actions by 'Science' recently, the Royal Society backing it etc. etc.). What little credibility genuine science had is going to be completely destroyed for a very long time in the West, with all sorts of damaging consequences.

Knighthood for Steve McIntyre, anyone?

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

It is notorious now that to get a job in climatology, you have to be a fully paid up believer in man-made global warming.

PS. Don't let the buggers move the goalposts by talking about 'climate change'. Nail them down to the original thesis which was specifically global WARMING.

Anonymous said...

And now we have this nutter in his kayak.

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/08/29/north-pole-paddle.html

Anonymous said...

"As I pointed out on ANY QUESTIONS a few weeks ago..."

You smug bastard are really starting to believe all the hype aren't you ?

Your really are riding for a fall...

Iain Dale said...

I can't think who typed that last insightful comment...

Anonymous said...

My God Iain. You really are losing it. This hockey stick bollocks was covered back in 2005 and is thoroughly debunked. Same old recycling (plus point for recycling) of non-controversies.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/02/dummies-guide-to-the-latest-hockey-stick-controversy/#more-121

Iain Dale said...

Blame Booker then, not me. I hadn't seen it before and thought it worth commenting on. What's your problem with that?

Akheloios said...

If you don't check your facts, then anything you do say is likely to be just an inaccurate reflection of your prejudices.

lloyd said...

I doubt that there were 2500 scientists at the time but if there were I am confident that they would have added their names to the report showing that the world was FLAT and, like now, called anyone stating otherwise Heretics.

Lola said...

Iain, from very early on in the whole global warming debate you could see the parralel with the selling of pardons. This counter evidence exposes it. But, the political process so needs this hysteria to give itself another job to do of 'looking after us' that it will take a huge effort to get them to stop it.

And this is not to say, for example, that I agree with the wholesale destruction of the rainforest. I don't. But the solution to that is not taxing me, but making sure that the rule of law, freedom, responsibility, the right to enjoy property and an accountable government system capable of peaceful removal are available in counties that have rainforest. It is corruption that destroys rainforest, not the free exchange freemarket system.

Iain Dale said...

Dear oh dear.

I am still waiting for someone to defend the hockey stick - something 2500 scientists apparently signed up to without, er, checking the facts.

Anonymous said...

OK, sorry Iain. But we live in a google age. It takes 5-10 minutes to fisk this stuff. I'll admit it takes longer to truly understand the science and mathematics for those who aren't versed.

Anonymous said...

I defend he hockey stick and so does the UN report.

What you don't know is that when Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick applied their preferred mathematical methodology to the original data sets it produced the same results as Mann's hockey stick. So there ;-)

David said...

As the sandy foundations of the Green religion ineviatbly crumble, expect the lies and hysteria to get ever more shrill.

Akheloios said...

It amuses me when a conservative comment uses the term 'religion' as a metaphor for inaccuracy and falsehood, as I tend to agree with them.

As for the IPCC it's been very carefully peer reviewed for several years now, with the majority complaining that it was far too conservative and ignored large bodies of evidence that the problem is much worse than it appeared.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"Blame Booker then, not me. I hadn't seen it before and thought it worth commenting on."

Gosh, thanks, Iain. It's nice to know that the UK's premier blogger hasn't bothered reading all of the stuff that I have been writing on this for the last three and a half years...

;-)

DK

Devil's Kitchen said...

P.S. Still, I have been saying for years that the whole thing is a big load of rubbish.

I love being right.

DK

Letterman said...

I don't fully understand what your apparent revelation achieves? Climate change or not we're still increasingly reliant on unstable foreign sources of fuel and we are still polluting our atmosphere with carbon based fuels, which whilst we can debate whether or not they harm the environment they do harm human beings over the long term, hence why more people living in cities develop conditions like asthma. Climate change or no climate change we need to provide incentives to move to renewable sources of energy for our energy security and our health.

Anonymous said...

letterman.

Yeah, and that includes scaring the shit out of the citizenry with climate change horror stories, fact based or not.

neil craig said...

The Hockey Stick has been thoroughly discredited since, at the very latest, Professor Wegman's evidence to the US Congress in July last year.

"Wegman and his colleagues concluded that, based on the evidence cited and methodology used by the hockey stick researchers, the idea that the planet is experiencing unprecedented global warming "cannot be supported."
http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=19734

The fact that the BBC & other MSM have managed to go an entire year being able to keep this basic fact out of the public conscionsness shows their power & complete dishonesty. I believe I & others, not just DK, have mentioned this before on this blog Iain. Pity you had to read it first in the MSM :-)

Chris said "The tragedy is noone will trust the greenies again, and there are plenty of genuine green issues out there to be dealt with - pollution, deforestation, renewable energy to name but three"

I would say the tragedy is that the MSM will probably be able to keep pushing eco-fascism & most people will forget how they have been lied to.

Indeed they forgot they had already been lied to continuously about the approaching ice age, resource depletion, peak oil, repeatedly, overpopulation, sea level rise, extinction of all sea life, extinction of most land life, cancer causing us all to die by 42, ozone hole, Y2K & many other catastrophe stories all predicted for dates long passed, which all turned out to be lies.

Of the 3 prime "true" stories Chris names:

Pollution is, by virtuallt every measure, declining in advanced countries.

Deforestation - outside the equatorial regions forests are growing.

"Renewable energy" is another scam. It is a very expensive way of producing intermitent power & giving vast subsidies to Greens. If we don't want the lights to go out we need a LOT of new nuclear.

Since nuclear is CO2 free, non-polluting & effectively inexhaustable if the "environmentalists" honestly believed in what they say they would be the most enthusiatic supporters of nuclear. This issue is a touchstone by which you can tell if an "environmentalist" cares in the slightest about the environment or is merely an eco-fascist Luddite in false colours.

Such parasites should not be trusted on anything ever.

Bart said...

Oh well, better late than never, Iain.
I suppose if the hockey stick lie was news to you, then it would be to a lot more of the political class. Pity.

Freddy said...

"...is the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, which is supported by 2,500 leading scientists"

Iain, please stop repeating the greenies' lies. There are no such 2,500 scientists supporting the IPCC.


BrianSJ, absolutely right about the knighthood.

Freddy said...

Anonynous, 4:12 pm
"What you don't know is that when Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick applied their preferred mathematical methodology to the original data sets it produced the same results as Mann's hockey stick. So there ;-)"

Cite your source for this.

The main reason Iain doesn't know this is that it is completely untrue.

Rohan said...

I' not worried about holes in the IPCC report but rather the holes in the ice sheets:

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMCKX0SAKF_index_0.html

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/08/arctic-ice-on-t.html

But no doubt you think this is a photoshop job.....

Anonymous said...

Yes, the hockeystick graph had flaws but so does most scientific methodologies.

Its conclusions were largely back up by a report commissoned by Congress:

"Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th Century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium."

Anonymous said...

We have been here before. There were a number of 'doomsday' books out out in the 60s and 70s, confidently predicting that we would run out food, water and even oxygen.

I'm in the autos business and it's amazing how easily we forget that global warming was regularly kicked around as a phrase in the period immediately after the Berlin Wall fell. I first wrote the phrase 'global warming' in a motoring magazine in 1993.

I believe Maggie was looking into the theory as early as the late 1980s.

Cars such as the Mercedes A-class, Smart and Audi A2 were all born out of a belief that driving was set to become hyper-restricted in city centres (hence very short cars) and fuel economy would become a big issue (hence the aero-styled A2).

However, the second-wave global warming fad failed to catch, though it clearly has now.

Last autumn I interviewed the heads stylist of one of the world's most famous car makers. I asked him about the problem of styling an attractive car when pure aerodynamics wants flat sides and enclosed wheels.

He said 'we'll give it [the global warming fad] two more years and then we will produce an aero concept that is as desirable as possible.'

Not a surprise, really, when car makers are being asked to invest billions in a concept that may be soon dead....

Anonymous said...

Rohan, mate...

Why do you think Greenland is called Greenland?

Never heard the rumours about ancient expeditions finding they could sail across the top of the globe?

Are you sure the ice sheets have always been there, consistently, over millions of years?

I'd be more worried about a small variation in the tilt of the earth...

Anonymous said...

A few months ago I asked a shadow minister what plans the Conservative Party had to get out of its support for man-made global warming theories should there be proof that it was not happening - all I got as a response was a theoretical thick ear and assurance that there was no possible chance that it was anthing but true.

Freddy said...

"Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th Century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium."

More frantic wiggling by the global warming establishment. Read this statement the same way you would read a toothpaste advert.
Note that 'plausible' only means that the assertion that "There was no Mediaeval Warming Period" is not obviously wrong.
Mann's work was supposed to be the proof of this assertion; this proof has been shown to be rubbish.

The warmers are now trying to shift the burden of proof onto the sceptics. Their statement above is based on a carefully selected subset of the evidence about temperatures 600 years ago, which ignores the large set of evidence any that does not fit their story.

I sometimes think that this whole sorry farce will carry on until it is brought to court, and these carefully selected marketing lines can be subjected to proper cross-examination.

apl said...

For those who want to know about the Hockey Stick, how it was demolished, and the attempts to resurrect it, there is an excellent summary here:

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

Bart said...

apl's reference is devastating:
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

Everybody should be aware that this is what really goes on in the global warming field

Rohan said...

Well I do worry Anon (6:13pm). That ice has melted. Its gone. Sea levels must rise as a consequence. And the process seems to be continuing. Now for me at 1000 ft plus its not a problem. But what about those communities that live and work on reclaimed land? Are we going to abandon those? Or protect them? What about the City of London? Are we going to build a second flood barrier or risk it being flooded when we get a storm surge on the lines of 1953? What happens if the fresh water from ice interferes with ocean over-turning as some scientists think might happen, and our climate is radically altered because the Gulf Stream is switched off? What happens if desertification in North Africa and Spain causes more people to migrate north in search of water?

Rather than tilting at windmills surely we should be turning our minds to these questions before they become real life problems?

T England said...

It’s global fleecing, not warming!
Maybe those of us who don’t believe a word of it would have more sympathy for those tree hugging lentil eating types the next time their wigwam gets flooded if they stopped accusing 4x4 drivers (for example) for their predicament & looked to India & China to spit a little of their bile!
Well! If they’re going to believe this climate nonsense then they should look to another root of what their problem could be, not to those of us living in an almost green straight jacket type existence because of their insane, un-asked for, green agenda!

The trouble with all this global fleecing/warming from my angle is that, even those NON-Believers like me can see the merits of a country not being dependant on “overseas” fossil fuels that will run out one day & cost us a fortune in the meantime, because like Russia could show only too well, your gas could go up or out at a whim!
So our junkie like dependence on those fossils from overseas dealers is fast becoming a bad idea & some home grown juice is required.
Only problem! YES! The green brigade doesn’t want us to have nuclear!
What do they want us to do for energy, burn sticks, oh yes, windmills & sun that we get so much of in Britain, now rain panels would be a great idea.

If these greenies really believe the world is going to be flooded should they be collecting up the animals two by two & building an Ark or three?
That brings me on to another point that annoys me!
How many of these global fleecing believers are religious, what the hell are they worrying for? Won’t their god send down a message like, “get in the greenies Ark”?

I’ll leave you with a quote from a “going green” type programme I saw not so long back.
A man was having a solar panel fitted, the interviewer asked how long it took for the panel to start paying for itself, he was told “about twenty five years”, the interviewer then asked how long a panel was expected to last, the man replied, “about twenty five years”!!!
It was put that by buying this panel you are not doing it for the money but for the environment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Global Fleecing, I’ve seen the future! I cant afford it!

apl said...

Rohan says "the ice has melted, it's gone".

Which ice exactly - the cubes in your drink?

There is currently half a million sq km more Artic ice today than on the equivalent day a year ago. Admittedly this makes it the second lowest total in history, but recorded history is based on satellite and so only goes back 30 years.

freddy said...

Rohan , you could melt the whole of the Arctic ice cap and it would have no effect on global sea levels. G read up on Archimedes Principle.

More to the point, did you notice last summer, when the greenies were getting excited about the smallest amount of ice at the North Pole since satellite observations began, what was happening at the South Pole ?
I'll tell you. It had the largest amount of ice since satellite observations began.

Alex said...

Iain,

I don't hold myself out as a great scientist but I have to say that your (and Booker's) grasp of what constitutes a proof or disproof is alarmingly poor. I don't go alomng with the thinking of the IPCC and its reports because so much is unproven, but some very basic physical facts are clear.

1. Basic physics tells us that, based on the proximity of the earth to the sun and the amount of energy emitted by the sun, the surface temperature of the earth would be about 30 degrees centigrade lower.

2. We know that much of the extra temperature is explained by certain gases in the atmosphere, including water vapour and carbon dioxide; and

3. The level of carbon dioxide is higher now than it has been for many years.

These are facts that are broadly undisputed by scientists. What is unclear is whether this leads to a catastrophic situation where higher atmospheric CO2 leads to higher temperatures, which in turn leads to more CO2. My natural instinct is that most systems in the natural world are in a stable equilibrium wherein an increase in temperature and CO2 would lead to changes in the ecosystem that would restore the equilibrium, but I wouldn't count on it.

However the arguments that Booker is making (and you are claiming is some sort of proof or disproof) are a complete nonsense. For example, saying that earth surface temperatures are not linked to CO2 because there have been previous times when the temperature has been higher is a complete non-sequitur. That is analagous to sayng a car on a slope won't roll downhill because everybody knows the car moves forward when the accelerator is pressed.

There is lots of drivel posted about ice-cores and mediaeval temperatures. If they correlated with atmospheric CO2 that might give some evidence of cause and effect but we know that the earth's eco-systems are complex so "disproving" any correlation doesn't really tell us anything about what is going on.

Likewise those who say that current climate change is not man-made because there has always been climate change are suffering the sam edelusion as a car driver who says "I know I will not crash because there have been hundreds of crashes where I was not the driver".

There is a similar amount of woolly thinking about what is going on in the world. For example, most people assume that global warming simply means we will have hotter drier summers and the ice caps will melt. But that doesn't make a lot of sense. If the hotter parts of the world heat up then we can expect more water vapour in the atmosphere which in turn leads to more rain and snow everywhere, including the polar regions, so may be the polar caps would increase in thickness with global warming.

I am as sceptical as the next man about the IPCC and lobbyists for funding, but Booker and Monckton have to sharpen up their analysis before they will convince me that they are correct.

Chris Lintott said...

I'm an astronomer, and the situation that the climate scientists are in is very similar to the one we face. A major goal of my science is to explain the evolution of the Universe. We'd like to know how old it is, for example, and how the galaxies we see around us today came to be where and how they are, and to predict what the future holds. The only problem is that we can't do experiments, for the most part - recreating the Big Bang in the lab would require a lot more ingenuity, knowledge (and funding!) than we have at present.

The climate scientists would like to explain the evolution of the Earth's climate. They'd like to know its history, and to be able to predict what the future holds. They can't create an atmosphere in a lab any more than we can create a Universe

The solution in both cases is to build computer models and test them to destruction. How do you test them? By requiring them to match up to as much data as we have regarding the Universe's or the Earth's past and present. If your model matches the known data from the past and gives a good description of the past, you know you're on the right track.

Such a process may not fit what we're taught in school is the 'scientific method' (write down hypothesis, test with experiment, rinse and repeat) but it's a pretty standard way of working across many fields.

So when scientists say 'the debate is closed', what's meant often isn't that they agree on all the data, and all the details. Wouldn't it be more scary if they *all* agreed? What's meant is that modelling shows that present-day levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause global warming.

If an alternative model can match the data as well and make a different prediction, then it strangely hasn't made it into the scientific literature yet. If it ever does, then we can talk about doubts and problems with the theory. In the meantime, I'll let you know when we find a nearby planet to escape to.

P.S. Iain - the answer to your hockey stick questioning is available on the realclimate link anon posted.

Chris Lintott said...

P.S. Six reasons why the models' answers are sensible

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/the-co2-problem-in-6-easy-steps/

This is called sanity checking...

jimmers said...

"Far from continuing to rise in line with rising CO2, as its computer models predicted they should, global temperatures since the abnormally hot year of 1998 had flattened out at a lower level and were even falling - a trend confirmed by Nasa's satellite readings over the past 18 months."

"modelling shows that present-day levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause global warming."

The first quote from Booker seems to undermine the second quote. If the models show current levels of CO2 WILL cause warming, but actual, measured temperatures show the opposite, then doesnt this call into question the predictive capability of the models ?

Patrick said...

Hi Iain.

I wondered if you had read the book by Professor Lomberg.

He does a good hackett job on the IPCC using their own data.

For example he says that the MANN\IPCC hockey graph is flawed because -


* Data restricted to North American trees rings only
* tree data only measures summer day temperatures.
- ie trees dont grow in winter\night.
* it ignores the ocean temperatures ( more influential as there is more water than land )
* tree growth is dependant on other factors (which it ignores).


Also they apply a 21 year moving average to 'smooth' it out: gives the impression of a more stable climate.

i find it puzzling how such importance is based on this dodgy graph.

Rohan said...

Freddy, land doesn't float old chap; so the Archimedes' principle has no application!

freddy said...

Rohan, very true, land doesn't float. But the Arctic ice cap does - it's basically a bloody great iceberg floating in the Arctic Ocean - there's no land underneath it. (Unlike Antarctica, for example.)

freddy said...

jimmers :
"...doesnt this call into question the predictive capability of the models ?"
Quite right - all the models are rubbish and their predictions consistently fail, even in the short term. The idea that they will magically come right in the long term, and so we should destroy our economies now, is pure religion; it is not science.
Fitting models to past data is extremely easy when you have enough free variables to fiddle with - by which I mean, input data for which the modellers can make estimates in a wide range.
I think it was Fermi who said "With six free variables, I can draw an elephant; with seven, I can make him wiggle his trunk".
Climate models have thousands of free variables.

J said...

realclimate.org is, as I understand it, the website of Michael Mann, one of the authors of the Jesus paper.

Its support for the said paper therefore adds nothing in the way of evidence.

apl said...

The climate scientists seem to have got themselves in a PR bind.

On the one hand, they have declared the "debate closed"

On the other hand, they have made a lot of use of the Hockey Stick which is widely discredited. For instance Congress studies would only back it up going back 400 years, and declared its findings merely "plausible".

The problem is they can't drop the Hockey Stick without damaging their "debate closed" claim.

The hockey stick is not essential to the models and the findings of 3 degrees C warming for doubling CO2. Unfortunately it has been given front page billing by both IPCC and Al Gore. If it wasn't for the PR damage it would be quietly dropped.

BTW: Realclimate has NOT addressed the latest issues around the Hockey Stick raised in my earlier post

Dan Pangburn said...

Hardly anyone is saying that the planet didn’t get warmer during the 20th century. Well, there is that question of whether UHI has been correctly accounted for, and the puzzling lack of concurrence of ground based data with satellite data. The media, politicians and businesses have been responding to pronouncements by the alarmists. The extant issue is whether humans had anything significant to do with Global Warming and whether they can do anything about it. A rigorous challenge of the complete picture shows that they didn’t and they can’t.

Continued Global Warming would have been a good thing, except for the political dopiness, but lately it has certainly changed character and the temperature trend may have changed direction again. Look at the numbers provided by NOAA (the other agencies tell similar stories). According to NOAA data (not their agenda-biased, thanks to Hansen, narrative reports), for the first 7 months of 2008 the AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE IS LOWER than the average from 2000 thru 2007 by an amount equal to 13.5% of the total linearized increase during the 20th century. Since 2000, the CARBON DIOXIDE LEVEL HAS INCREASED by 13.6% of the total increase since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

But understanding global climate does not come from examining something so brief as the last decade, or even the last century. The ONLY predictors of significant Anthropogenic Global Warming are Global Climate Models (aka General Circulation Models) or GCMs. The only existing exact, correct computer of global climate is the planet itself. The output of this computer is recorded as climate history.

Apparently climatologists do not have much grounding in how feedback works. Unaware of their ignorance, they invoke net positive feedback in their GCMs. This causes the GCMs to predict significant ‘enhanced global warming’. Anyone who has the ability and interest to look at the NOAA data from Vostok Ice Cores for the last glaciation (and prior glaciations) will discover that, repeatedly, a temperature increasing trend changed to a decreasing trend with the carbon dioxide level higher than it had been when the temperature was increasing. Graphs of NOAA and other credible data, all fully sourced so they can be verified, can be seen at http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/pangburn.html. (The web site is controlled by Middlebury, not me.) Those who understand how feedback works will know that this temperature trend reversal is not possible with significant net positive feedback. Thus, as far as global climate is concerned and contrary to the assumption in the GCMs, significant net positive feedback from water vapor does not exist.

The infrared radiation energy that is absorbed by greenhouse gas molecules is immediately shared with the thousands of times more numerous nitrogen and oxygen molecules. In other words, the absorbed infrared energy is thermalized. That is what makes the air feel warm. Calculations (see http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/barrett_ee05.pdf ) show that half of the infrared energy from the surface that ever gets absorbed gets absorbed within 24 meters of the surface. The absorbed energy is then primarily carried up by atmospheric convection currents and radiated to space by clouds and other emitters. This mechanism is well understood by scientists that are knowledgeable in optical spectroscopy. The process is not yet adequately accounted for in the GCMs. These faulty GCMs are the ONLY predictors of significant Anthropogenic Global Warming. Climate history refutes significant net positive feedback and thus refutes Anthropogenic Global Warming.

The multi-billion dollar government grants for ‘climate research’ depend for their continuation on ominous prediction of looming catastrophe requiring more study. A lot of people have been hoodwinked by this self-serving rhetoric. Many are eager to impose their will on others. Some are positioned to profit from it. An entire industry has evolved that exploits the fear of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

The so-called consensus is primarily climatologists who stand to benefit from dire predictions and their followers. Over 31,000 qualified scientists and engineers have signed a document stating that human activity has had no significant influence on climate. The list can be seen at http://www.petitionproject.org/gwdatabase/Signers_By_Last_Name.php . Compare this to the 2,500 scientific reviewers claimed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to form a scientific consensus.

Group-think bias has corrupted the peer review process of articles related to climate. If the peer reviewers were not mesmerized by their incomplete computer programs and corrupted by the desire for job security there might be less bias.

No one can be sure where the average global temperature will go from here. According to Vostok ice core data it has been warmer than now four other times during the Holocene (the last 11,000 or so years) so eventual further rise is not out of the question. However, the change in pattern since 2001, the recent downtrend, and continued quiet sun are all indicating that the planet is in for a continuation of the cooling trend. The huge heat sink of the oceans will cause the cooling to be gradual, as was the warming.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Thanks for this Iain.

We have been totaly misled by this subject. The BBC has investigated properly. They have always arrived at the answer that fit their agenda.

Keep it going.

McSweeney said...

Good to see those who haven't read the other comments posting in support of the original post. Old story, debunked three years ago.
Judge rules: no score.
And Booker is a charlie.

T England said...

Did you know that in the year 1816 we had snow & rain everyday because of a volcano erupting?

Seems the planet has it's own way of cooling itself down ;-)

Adrian said...

From the article:

"As it was put by Roger Cohen, a senior US physicist formerly involved with the IPCC process, who long accepted its orthodoxy: "I was appalled at how flimsy the case is. I was also appalled at the behaviour of many of those who helped produce the IPCC reports and by many of those who promote it."

That will be Roger W. Cohen, formerly Director of Strategic Planning and Programs and of Physical Sciences for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co., and since retirement a self-appointed expert in climate change despite having no particular expertise in the subject.

His employer has repeatedly been criticised by the Royal Society (who are about as independent a group of scientists as you will find) for their persistent peddling of mis-information and financing of "denial" groups that are based on discredited pseudo-science.

Iain, I would love if if your views on the subject were correct, but suggest you devote a couple of days to reading through the science (which isn't totally inaccessible) and then looking at the backgrounds of those who say it's all over-hyped. The number of impartial, qualified people who think the IPCC have got it wrong is vanishingly small.

Anonymous said...

"I am as sceptical as the next man about the IPCC and lobbyists for funding, but Booker and Monckton have to sharpen up their analysis before they will convince me that they are correct."

Sadly, I have to agree with the above. The arctic ice may yet get to a record low this year (the current record was last year), and various NASA global temperature measurements show a clear upwards trend continuing.

Rickytshirt said...

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidince. The IPCC's data is deeply flawed and sometimes designed to deceive. It attempts to immitate a bonafide truth seeking scientific establishment yet it's entire approach runs counter to the Scientific Method. Until some convincing data that stands up to proper scutiny is produced I'll stay a sceptic.

Stephen Morris said...

Iain, I have to agree with the suggestions that you read up on the science. I am a great fan of your blog but I often wince with embarrasment for you when you talk about climate change science. You do not have the background understanding to determine the credibility or the relevance of climate change stories, so you tend to simply recycle any old climate sceptic story without any discernment.

I am not asking you to change your views, just raise the quality of your climate change blogging to that of your political blogging.

Who knows, you could improve the quality of the discussion across the whole country!


As for your quotation:

The hockey stick graph is not central to the case for MMGW and so discrediting it would not 'blow a hole' in anything.

Several teams have produced similar graphs, they all look like hockey sticks. No-one has produced a graph that doesn't look like a hockey stick.

The computer models and research quoted that predict stable temperatures over the next few years also predict global warming over the longer term. To use them as an argument against global warming is absurd. It only illustrates that climate sceptics have no alternative science. If there was research or computer models that predicted no global warming this century then Booker would surely quote that instead.


That's all the substance I can find, the rest of it is innuendo, anecdote and conspiracy nonsense.

Joseph said...

If you really want the contrary argument, try this link:

http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/climate-change/dn11646

Anonymous said...

Stephen,

The point is that none of the computer models predicted what actually has happened in the past 10 years, namely a drop in global average temperature.

apl said...

Stephen

I agree that "discrediting [the hockey stick] would not 'blow a hole' in anything" - except perhaps the claim that "the science is settled". This is why it is a PR issue more than a scientific issue.

However there are plenty of graphs that do not show a hockey stick, and all the graphs that show a hockey stick just happen to rely heavily on a small bunch of trees in southern US.

As you said, Iain should read up on all this.

Stephen Morris said...

The drop in temperature was caused by a large La Nina. These events are not predictable (although the new research is attempting to predict them) and do not having any relevance to global warming.

The models should predict decade to decade averages reasonably accuratley as variations in ocean currents cancel out and become less significant compared to the greenhouse affect.

The 2000's on average have been warmer than the 1990's on average as expected.

Forlornehope said...

Whenever this comes up on any site, left or right there are always a lot of responses indicating that anthropomorphic global warming is a scam. So who is going to win by keeping the west tied into imported oil and gas? How about the Russians, the Saudis, the Iranians, Hugo Chavez? Is this a conspiracy?

Just a thought, Margaret Thatcher was the first leader to take this seriously. Perhaps a degree in Chemistry helped?

neil craig said...

Alex says that it is a scientific fact that CO2 is rising & that this is a reason for panic.

The rise in atmospheric CO2 is 1 part in 10,000. I suggest panic is overdoing it bt at least 999 parts in 1,000.

Rohan says of the possibility of a 990ft sea rise (the IPCC threaten 15 inches) & other scares "we should be turning our minds to these questions before they become real life problems?"

In Douglas Adams book Earth was threatened with being eaten by a giant mutant space goat. Since this would be a more terminal threat than warming surely this is a non-real life problem deserving more money. I certainly think so.

Chris Lintot toun must know perfectly well that the vvarious predictions & computer models have resolutely failed to reproduce the actual historical results or indeed current ones. The Hockey Stick which airbrushed the medieval warming perios out of existence is the most egregious but look at Hansen's prediction of 20 years ago by which we should now be 1,1 degree warmer whereas in fact we are now back at the same temperayure we were then.

http://climate-skeptic.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/06/23/hansencheck.gif

The scientific method is as you described it but computer models which now "predict" the current cooling did not do so last year. If the models have to be constantly tweaked to fit reality they are of no predictive power. Until we have had a computer model that predicts (in advance) for 10 years it cannot be considered verified science by the scientific method.

You must also know that there is a close correlation between solar activity (sunspots) & global temperature & that true non-political scientists must, under the rules of science, accept that as the most probable hypothesis.

Anonymous said...

If they make enough models then eventually they'll find one that appears to predict future temperatures, but we'll all have lost interest by then.

Martin said...

The left and the BBC are full of non science experts. Roger Harrabin (the BBC's Environmental Analyst) has nothing more than a degree in English yet continually pumps out these lies as facts. He clearly doesn't have the brain to do his own scientific analysis so why is he allowed to promote what is little better than Nazi propaganda?

John Moss said...

One winter in the 60s, it didn't snow in the French alps. Not once, between 1 December and 1 May - can't remember which year.

Greenland is called, "Greenland" for a reason. As the iceshelf retreats, settlements appear.

Battlebridge in Essex used to be a port on a thriving river. It is now 25 miles from the coast on a trickle of mud.

The glaciers once carved through southern Europe and the monks at Lindisfarne grew grapes and made wine.

The climate changes. Man adapts. That's why we are still here. Pollution is bad and we should minimise it, but we will never stop the climate changing and our impact on the rate of change is miniscule, IMHO.

Londoner said...

It's a very complicated subject but one thing I'm confident about is that Iain isn't in the small minority who really understands it. And yet whatever is the correct analysis should determine a lot about how we live our lives, our attitudes towards caring about our fellow men, and our ultimate fates.

So, it's very like religion isn't is? It's a very weak argument saying that the other side are espousing a religion, as if that means it's automatically fallacious. In the absence of belief in God, it might be preferable to believe in something, as a spur to not leading an entirely self-indulgent and selfish life, than to believe in nothing.

I think we should all resolve to try to spend some time trying to understanding it, rather than indulging in what are often not much more than playground insults.

Paolo said...

For those chuntering on about Artic Sea ice.

Whilst levels are low, they are still 10% above last year's. Antartica on the other hand is well ahead of the recent average

Please also bear in mind that even NASA have admitted that changes in Artic climate may well be due to factors other than global warming....

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2007-131

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

I am a lawyer not a scientist, but I smell a rat when hockey-stick scientists refuse to release the formulae from which their graphs are calculated.

iCowboy said...

'Why do you think Greenland is called Greenland?'

Okay I'll bite.

That's a good question and still some matter of debate.

It was named Greenland by Erik Thorvaldsson (known to us as Erik the Red) who wanted to attract Icelandic settlers to a new land which had not been claimed by others. Greenland is either a translation of Gr├Žnland - literally 'Green Land' which is a plausible name since the fjord coastline of Southern Greenland is seasonally very green. What we can be sure of is that Erik wanted to attract settlers, so claiming Greenland was more habitable that Iceland would have made a good bit of spindoctory.

The alternative explanation is that it is a corruption of the Old Norse Gruntland - 'Ground Land' which is a Norse term for areas of bare rock near ice fields. Again perfectly acceptable as most of Greenland is a rocky wasteland.

We know from Icelandic records that the Viking colonies in Greenland were in the far south; there are no records that Vikings ever travelled to the North of the island, nor did they ever circumnavigate the island. We also know the climate was marginal even in the middle of the Medieval Warm Period - a time of regional warming in the North Atlantic. The climate of southern Greenland during the Norse periods was similar to that of modern day Iceland, so it was never, ever (well not since the Eocene) a warm part of the world.

Anonymous said...

I know we have been here several times but why are the BBC allowed to talk about it as fact? "So and so is adding to Global Warming"
After a xxxxxxx awful August which will have been the final nail in a lot of holiday buisnesses I think we should bring back Acid Rain.
Freedom to Prosper

Colin Hughes said...

Are people aware that the BBC website is now reporting the "revival" of the hockey stick?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7592575.stm

Why am I not suprised that after articles showing the faults with the "hockey stick" the BBC come up with an article to defend it?

neil craig said...

"but why are the BBC allowed to talk about it as fact?"

Essentially because their job is propaganda not news. Ofcom (they only cover commercial broadcasting but the principles are the same) recently denounced The Great Global Warming Conspiracy not over any matter of fact but simply because they had not given comparable airtime to the warmists. This is in accord with their code but it is a part of the code which they do not even attempt to enforce for anything else. Obviously there are very many programmes pushing warming which have never been ruled against for not having sceptics on & the same applies to almost any news item dealt with. The nearest to an official justification for ignoring their code is that broadcasters have a duty to support the "consensus" but since they have no way of determining consensus & it has nothing to do with true consensus anyway (no programme ever reflected the consensus on the death penalty) this is really just a euphemism for whatever those in power say.

The BBC does the same but with even less accountability since they don't even attempt to respond to people who point out instances of bias.

apl said...

Thanks for pointer to the BBC item.

It appears that there is a brand new study that justifies the hockey stick. Unfortunately the BBC do not provide a link.

So long as the methods, data, and code used in this study are published and can be verified, this will be a very powerful study. Amazingly as it may seem, climate scientists have resisted sharing this information until now.

There is likely to be one other question, which is why the 'proxies' used to judge historical temperature do not seem to record the current raised temperatures.

Clearly if the proxies cannot record raised temperature now they may have missed raised temperatures in the past. This is known as the "divergence problem", and is one that is recognised by climate scientists but not yet resolved.

Bafflingland said...

I think Chris Lintott (31/8, 9.34pm) might be prepared to accept that the earth we live on is a more exacting modelling proposition than remote galaxies imaged in a telescope. What price his merely empirical models are likely to fail, and go on failing, given terrestrial reality?

For example, Stephen Morris (1/9, 12.55pm) supposes La Nina cooling is not predictable but has no "relevance" to global warming. Yet he seems to be satisfied that because the 2000s on average remain warmer than the 1990s, then AGW is substantiated. But the 1950s were cooler than the 1940s. Another "not predictable"? Yes, I know, the "aerosols".

The assumption is that the CO2will "always get through", like the bomber aircraft in the 1930s. They were another expensive real world policy assumption of what seemed obvious. This seems to be much like the "basic science" which some AGWers (I suspect they are carefully brought up physics graduates) feel is sufficient to seal their case.

British science and presumably its marketability is very badly exposed to any international paradigm shift on AGW. The Royal Society are desperate supporters of it. It's not surprising that the BBC analyst (BA English), who demonstrably gives way to pressure from greens, might be constrained by some of the folk at the RS, for instance. All the same, it's very unfortunate for the BBC taxpayers.

richardwilsonauthor said...

Iain,

I'd be cautious about taking Christopher Booker as a reliable source here - he has a track record of making false and misleading statements on scientific issues of public concern.

Booker has claimed, among other things, that white asbestos is "chemically identical to talcum powder" (a variation on this claim made it into a Parliamentary speech by Geoffrey Clifton MP in 2002), and poses a "non-existent risk" to human health - a claim which flies in the face of the established evidence. He has repeatedly misrepresented genuine research, and repeatedly endorsed the claimed scientific expertise of "Professor" John Bridle, a man with a trade descriptions act conviction for making false statements about his qualifications. Ahead of a second Parliamentary debate in 2002, Booker and Bridle briefed John Bercow MP about the supposed safety of white asbestos. Bercow subsequently stated publicly that he believed that he was seriously misled. It might be interesting to ask him what he now thinks of Booker's reliability as a scientific source.