back to article Met Office: Global warming sceptics 'have heads in sand'

The UK Met Office climate change bureau has issued a stinging attack on the idea that recent falls in global temperature might mean that global warming is over or has been exaggerated. "Anyone who thinks global warming has stopped has their head in the sand," said an unnamed Met Office spokesman in a statement released online …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    contrary is just another word for stupid?

    After you last article about how there was more ice in the arctic this year than last year, I see that the northwest-passage and the northeast-passage are both now passible to ships for the first time ever (unless dinosaurs had boats ofc).

    I am waiting for your follow-up article about how many sailors have been drowned after colliding with this "ice".

  2. Cody

    Free the Hadley Code!

    Did they publish their algorithm yet? The one they use to arrive from the raw observation data to their global temperature indices? The one that corresponds to the NASA/GISS adjustment algorithm? Anyone have a link to it, if they have published it? Or any explanation from them of why not, if they have not?

    Hansen has published the GISS code, and very interesting it has been too, since you can now see how rural and urban stations get their readings adjusted so they are supposedly more consistent with each other, and you can see how the past and the present get adjusted to be supposedly more consistent with each other. Its not clear that all the adjustment has improved the data integrity, but at least its out in the open and we can argue about it. And at best it allows checking, so that the accusations about adjusting-in warming biases can be evaluated. Good for science.

    So, where is our own Hadley code?

  3. Sceptical Bastard
    Flame

    To the jugular, El Reg!

    Never mind 'policy'! Your generic scepticism and cynicism are a breath of fresh air, Vultures - even when you are completely, madly, wrong!

    Keep those servers churning out hot air, provoke all trolls into spasms of flaming - let's have more 'direct global warming'. Burn, fossils, burn!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hahah @ Metoffice

    With such inaccurate weather predictions (i.e. incorrect temperature readings on a daily basis) to letting you know it will be sunny when it rains and so forth how are we expected to believe a word these people huff and puff about.

    Global warming has nothing much to do with civilians.

    If these big organisations and gov's want to stop Global warming I suggest they approach the industries that cause it not us with our orange and black bin liners and our 20 w lights compared to 60w's.

    Just what exactly do they propose besides a moan ?

    If they want to stop global warming provide us with 100% fuel free cars (ahh they can't ) so why are they still preaching ?

    Further more to all this I suggest they go watch the greath global warming swindle and come back with comments.

    Its all a big con its as simple as that

    If it is not if they are a 100% sure of it being global warming then they must know exactly what our climate is going through and they should be able to exactly give measurements on weather climate / changes all over the planet

    ie. on nov 1 2009 in London it will be such a degree there will be so much sun

    in Dec 1. 2010 in India Delhi will be such and such there will be so much extra water

    and we need to hold them against their word

    If they get their predictions wrong like they do over a 24 hour period well have they heard of the boy who cried WOLF

    soon no one will listen to their puff and huff

    Go preach to the people and countries that really matter i.e. USA and gas guzzlers (did you know in USA) they don't even know what diesel is hahahahah

    go preach india and china about their manufacturing and when they stop manufacturing sit there buying plastic bags for 100 pounds a peice cos no one is producing anything for you

  5. dervheid
    Flame

    The "Met Office climate change bureau"...

    "which exists purely to do climate change research"

    Hmmm.

    No vested interest (jobs for the boys) there then?

    As a sceptic, I'll take my "head out of the sand" when they take their heads out of their sanctimonious arses.

    Proudly adding to (unproven) 'Global Warming' since 1962

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Change of terms

    I thought that this sort of thing was the reason we're all supposed to be saying "global climate change" now instead of "global warming"?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    I love these trends..

    So, if its hot for a year its global warming, but if it isnt then we need to ignore it.

    As no doubt we should ignore the trend that shows no warming for 9 years...obviously just a minor blip on the timescales of these climatic mandarins...

    Mind, arent these the same people who are telling me this is the 2nd or 3rd warmest year ever in the UK? (hot rain, obviously...) Now WHY do I have difficulty believing them...?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh, met

    The Met office isn't even keeping up - they're having a go at "global warming sceptics" for saying that there is no warming, but most of the sceptics have given up saying "there is no warming" in the face of insurmountable evidence to the contrary. The few counter-indications have been destroyed by the sceptics own data and research. The world is warming, and no-one with basic scientific understanding, and the ability to read the information can deny it.

    The extent to which warming is man-made is now the sceptics chosen field of battle.

  9. Philip Kroker
    Alert

    Global warming is a fact

    it's been going on since the last ice age ended. Every child in Canada lears about how the North American continent was blanketed in a 2km thick sheet of ice and how people crossed the Bearing Strait in something like 3000BC due to it being frozen over and how as the ice receeded they migrated further south and west. What I didn't learn about was the giant CO2 spewing factories churning out flint arrowheads and pottery at an unprecedented rate, that must have existed for all that nasty global warming to have occured.

    The world isn't static people, it never was and never will be. The sooner the environmentalists get their minds around that fact the better.

  10. Bassey

    Good to see the blinkers are working well

    So, temperature rises during a period of El Nino are are a sign of global warming - except for the extreme ones. But, should the temperature stop going up - or in fact, fall - during an Il Nina then that is all down to Il Nina, global warming is still happening, and anyone who dares to ask questions, start a debate or otherwise disrupt the band-wagon is a heretic and will be stoned!

    Did David Blaine question Climate change?

  11. Neil

    Met Office: Global cooling sceptics have heads in sand

    The UK Met Office climate change bureau has issued a stinging attack on the idea that recent rises in global temperature might mean that global COOLING is over or has been exaggerated.

    "Anyone who thinks global COOLING has stopped has their head in the sand," said an unnamed Met Office spokesman in a statement released online today. The statement goes on angrily:

    Global COOLING does not mean that each year will be COOLER than the last, natural phenomena will mean that some years will be much warmer and others cooler. You only need to look at 1998 to see a record-breaking warm year caused by a very strong El Niño. In the last couple of years, the underlying warming is partially masked caused [sic] by a strong La Niña.

    ------------------

    Swap the "warming" for "cooling" and it's even more logical. As far as I'm aware, the temperature on earth is a lot cooler now than it used to be millions of years ago - meaning the overall trend is down. Anything going up is a statistical blip.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Met office have no answers

    I don't doubt that climate change is real. I don't doubt that continental drift is real either. But what exactly are we expected to do about either ? Sure we can reduce our emissions, but all the evidence says that the climate will warm naturally anyway. In a few thousand years are we going to see people crying that continental drift is going to destroy their economy, and it "MUST BE STOPPED" ?

    I want some intellectual honesty from the global warming experts. "Cut your emissions" is a vague exhortation to action, but provides no defined objective. Are we to assume that we are aiming for complete control over the earths climate ? If not, what should the ideal composition of the atmosphere be, and why ? How much CO2 are we humans allowed to emit ? Is the natural world going to have to be regulated to keep our figures correct ? Are we aiming at a nice 1950s type climate or a nice 1700s type climate ? If you keep that up we'll find we end up much warmer than it is today. Right up until we slide back into an ice age. Sure the ice caps are melting now, but the water released is still at a lower temperature than "normal" and it would only take a relatively minor asteroid impact, or a large volcano to cause global temps to cool, thereby freezing a larger area than was frozen before we melted it with our CO2.

    So come on, answer the real questions. What are we aiming at ?

    If you think we can control the climate on a planet wide scale, is it wise to conduct the first experiment on our own planet ?

  13. Anonymous John

    From the article

    "Despite this, 11 of the last 13 years are the warmest ever recorded."

    So? The thermometer was invented during the Little Ice Age. We've no record of temperatures in the Medieval Warm Period.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Red Rag meet Bull ...

    > "If global warming has stopped or isn't very significant, therefore, everyone at the Hadley Centre is out of a job. Which might explain why they're so cross about the recent cooling."

    Are you serious? You actually went with that statement? And I suppose rape victims "just ask for it" and poor third-world people dying of starvation "have no-one to blame but themselves", etc.? If you keep taking that line, then don't be surprised if a roudy mob armed with pitchforks appears in front of the offices of Situation Publishing ...

  15. Keith Garrett

    Thermometers

    "So? The thermometer was invented during the Little Ice Age. We've no record of temperatures in the Medieval Warm Period."

    Well apart from 3000 year old trees and ice cores.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    PJ O'Rourke...

    ... is the only person I listen to in the whole GW debate. "All the Trouble in the World" should be a set text in schools: it's got more actual facts in it than Gore's film. It also scores highly in the common sense stakes, but I suspect his thoughts don't make such good headlines (or stuff as many research budget proposals at the Hadley) as other peoples'. On the long term future of oil, for instance, he recommends that we kick back with a drink and a cigar, and let the market alone to sort it all out- just as it did for Whale Oil.

    Not being 140 years old, I was surprised to discover that we were surprisingly dependent upon this stuff, until something better came along and was used instead (due to the climb in whale oil prices as a result of a scarcity of whales).

    Quite where this vogue for expecting politicians* to sort problems out for us is much more of a mystery. I'm sure that it wasn't always like that

    Oh, and yes- well done on the cynicism- very welcome. I'll go to the BBC if I want the GROLIE take on things.

    And very finally- can someone please explain the phrase "Emerging truth"? Something is surely true or not. Emerging truth seems like a weaselly way of telling people debating a theory to fuck off and leave the sacred cow alone.

    *The folks who bought us NPfIT, ID cards, the recession, Wacky Jackie, Keith "Where's my Brain?" Vaz etc. etc.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    And another thing ...

    This year's arctic summer melt total was second only to last year's (i.e. the second worst year in recorded history). So much for your vaunted "ice refuses to melt" statement.

  18. Sam C

    @ dervheld

    Interesting argument. I assume then that since there are large amounts of scientists (and no doubt other professionals) employed to do genetics research and the like, you don't believe in Evolution since their jobs depend on it? As with any Scientific theory, it's also "unproven".

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Cycles and cycles and change

    One thing that global warming skeptics commonly say is that weather comes in cycles, usually that we are just leaving a cooler part of a cycle. So why do they claim that this less-hot period is not a part of a cycle?

    Even if climate change could be shown to have stopped, it would take a lot more than two years of cooling to do it, and the people at the Hadley Centre do all types of climate research, so unless Lewis Page thinks that the climate is static, they won't be out of a job anytime soon regardless of any results.

    Being a contrarian is one thing, but how do you judge when it has flipped round the other way?

  20. Mark

    re: Global warming is a fact

    But it hasn't been getting warmer since the last ice age ended.

    Temperature graph:

    ------- -----------/

    / \ /

    / \ /

    ----- ---------

    It's been flat most of the last interglacial.

    Within the error of an ASCII art chart.

  21. Paul R
    Paris Hilton

    Predictions

    The big problem is that none of the Global Climate Change doom sayers computer models predicted this small cooling period, or anything even remotely like it. In fact virtually all of them predicted the exact opposite.

    When you predict doom, and the opposite happens (irrespective of the fact that it may or may not only be a short aberration) you loose credibility.

  22. Mike Richards Silver badge

    @Anonymous John

    'So? The thermometer was invented during the Little Ice Age. We've no record of temperatures in the Medieval Warm Period.'

    Absolutely correct - apart from the evidence obtained from pollen, varves, ice cores, oxygen isotopes, insect remains, soils, crop residues...

  23. Keith Garrett

    Trends

    "Mind, arent these the same people who are telling me this is the 2nd or 3rd warmest year ever in the UK? (hot rain, obviously...) Now WHY do I have difficulty believing them...?"

    As the temperature rises the models suggest we are likely to get less predictable weather. We are seeing changes in nature where temperature dependent hatchings are occurring earlier and the whole balance in the cycle of life is thrown out.

    No scientific body is saying the world is not getting warmer.

  24. Pinkerton
    Alert

    Everyone's an expert!

    It takes some of the world's most powerful super computers just to predict what the weather will be doing next week and yet everyone here is an expert and can predict what's going to happen next century all by themselves whilst sat at the bar in their local.

    We use rocket science and brain surgery as benchmarks of complexity. If we were to dumb down and trivialise these sciences to the same level as we've dumbed down the science of climate change we'd end up with discussions like this:

    "Rocket science is just a case of filling a big pointy tube with fuel and setting fire to it. If it burns fast enough it'll get out of the Earth's atmosphere."

    "Brain surgery? Piece of piss! Just drill a hole in the patient's head, shove a stick with a camera and a knife on the end of it, chop the tumour out and you're done."

    "Climate change? Pah! The Earth goes through ice ages all the time - we're at the end of one now so of course we're getting warmer."

    All are supposedly correct as far as they go but are based on a very narrow and naive understanding of the subject matter. If you tried to explain rocket science or brain surgery in such Mickey Mouse terms, your inner voice would (should!) tell you that you clearly know fuck all about the subject.

    Most of you clearly know fuck all about climate change, just quoting whichever scientist, politician, journalist or celebrity has the closest views to the ones you already have.

    Climate change debate is hence now a waste of time.

    We may as well discuss whether Christianity, Judaism or Islam is right - for all the good it will do us.

  25. Igor Mozolevsky
    Paris Hilton

    scaremongering

    So... when are we going to put limits on how much we can breathe out? It seems that all these scaremongers are overlooking a simple fact - world population has grown expotenentially since about mid-1600s...

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Population_curve.svg

    Looks like we need some sanctioned culling...

    Paris, because even she would've spotted that...

  26. Chris Morrison
    Flame

    Another one in support of el reg

    Climate change is the biggest swindle since records began. It's the world's most fault science.

    I only hope more and mor epeople remove their blinkers and see man made global warming as the big joke that it is.

    If not i will offset your carbon footprint by living like an eco person (honest). Just pay me £100 per KG of Carbon to my paypal account please.

  27. Keith Garrett

    What are we aiming at?

    "So come on, answer the real questions. What are we aiming at ?"

    Preventing the planet going over a point where it starts producing a massive excess of CO2 above the natural balance. Once this happens the process becomes self re-enforcing and there is probably not a lot we can do. Yes, this is only based on the best scientific knowledge available but the consequence of inaction are potentially disastrous for human-kind.

    "If you think we can control the climate on a planet wide scale, is it wise to conduct the first experiment on our own planet ?"

    It's a terrible idea. We should stop the experiment right now.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Well, thats one view

    I guess we could carry on listening to the folks saying climate change isn't real - and thanks to the earlier AC for demonstrating that apparently someone took the Martin Durkin film seriously, I needed a good laugh! But since most of the worlds scientific bodies, plus an awful lot of business leaders believe in the evidence* that there is a problem, that carries more weight than the folks on the same side as Dubya, editing scientific papers to introduce an element of doubt that just isn't there.

    * Note to other posters: climate change is NOT the same as predicting the weather. Might help if you did some reading.

  29. Steve

    5 step solution to the global warming debate.

    1. Get a couple of oil tankers.

    2. Load one up with all of the proudly self-declaring "global warming skeptics".

    3. Load the second with all the idealistic hippies who want to reset civilisation to before the industrial revolution.

    4. Take ships out in to the middle of the Atlantic.

    5. Unload the cargo.

    That should give the rest of us some peace and quiet to investigate what's really happening. Yes, the planet exists in a bi-stable equilibrium that moves between hot and cold, but pumping out shitloads of insulating gases into the atmosphere at a time of warming may well push it out of equilibrium. Or we might find out that we simply reach the high point of temperature sooner.

    Either way, denying it completely is about as useful as saying "shut down all the power plants" and both extremes have used some very shoddy reasoning.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Keith Garrett, @Anonymous John

    Environmental data shows us that the climate has been both a lot warmer and a lot colder than it is now, well before humans could possibly have had any impact on the climate.

    So it goes to how far you want to take the data, which is, think, the core of the problem.

    Take it over the last few days then the Earth is cooling. Take it over the last couple of weeks then it is getting warmer.

    Take it over the last couple of years then it is getting cooler, but over the last few thousand it is definitely warmer.

    Take it over the last hundred thousand or so and we get cooler, and take it over the last 4.5 Billion we get hella cooler.

    Seems to me that both sides are cherry-picking the data that suits them rather than looking at the whole picture and coming up with a rational explanation.

    Finally, for Keith, I am not being funny here but I genuinely don't get why temperatures rising would cause more unpredictable weather.

    Seriously, I have been to North Africa and the Middle East and they are both much warmer than the UK but also have far more predictable weather. The word Scorchio springs to mind.

  31. Mark

    Bistable state between hot and cold

    And so when you've been "hot" for a ten thousand years, you should either *stay* hot or go cold. else you're no longer in a system that has a bistable state between hot and cold.

    So how come we're getting hotter now?

  32. Keith Garrett

    Quite a hoax

    > Climate change is the biggest swindle since records began.

    Quite an amazing accomplishment though. Getting several thousand scientists to be intellectually dishonest about their chosen subject with large amounts of false reporting of data without one major scientific body disagreeing with them.

    Most impressive bit was finding anyone who has been reading temperature or CO2 levels since 1972 and getting them to be part of this great jape in case they spoil the punchline.

    Nice one with getting NASA in on the act so their satellite measurement systems fed back the wrong data and said the earth was warming! That was brilliant.

    Bit worried about the cost of all those heaters they needed to melt the north pole though to make it look like it was actually melting. And chiseling bits of ice shelf off the antarctic must have taken a while.

    The people who orchestrated this could run the world's best logistics company. Astounding guys!

  33. Mark

    re: scaremongering

    Strange that Igor should use that title and then trot out the scaremongering story as if it weren't.

    You breathe out CO2. Where do you get that CO2? Not from fossil fuels.

    So breathing is carbon neutral.

  34. Luther Blissett

    The majority is always wrong

    The title is a useful heuristic - never more appropriate to our hyperreal culture and civilisation.

    The majority thinks either there is long term warming, or there is no long term warming to speak off. The heruristic therefore entails the contrary - there is an ice age coming. There is evidence to support this view.

    In the last 20 years, G7 countries have out-sourced manufacturing. At present G7 economies are on the verge of a stagnation and contraction. Future pursuit of Kyoto and Morekyoto will not only complete the destruction of manufacturing, but with associated policies (e.g educational), will mean the loss of knowledge and technical expertise. New nuclear reactors in the UK? Who here in 2008 knows how to make them?

    Fast forward to 2050. A Little Ice Age is well under way. Significant agricultural regions are no longer productive. The business practices of the GM mafia mean famine is globally endemic. If wars have not caused disruption of fuel supplies, and no efficient alternatives have been permitted to emerge, energy will be scarce, and unafforadable by many. The G7 governments of the day will wring their hand and say, what can we do?

    Global warming, or not much global warming - suppose you have all been conned?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    I wish they would make their minds up!

    Why can't these Eco-warriors make their minds up???

    In the 70's there was a load of bollocks about "The Big Freeze"

    Then they were bongering on about "Global Warming"

    Now because the numpties havent got any idea as to what's going on (if there actually is in the grand scheme of sunspot cycles and space weather), it's now called "Climate Change"

    It's a big fat gravy train. I think I'm going to seek for sponsorship for a thesis on "The effects of drinking and smoking and shagging to excess on a beach in Goa and its effect on Climate Change" Some tree hugging twunt would probably back it.

    See you on the beach!

  36. Andrew Alan McKenzie
    Paris Hilton

    Qaulified to comment?

    I agree with Pinkerton - why is climate change science an area where everyone can be their own expert? The science is complicated, and as befits complicated science most practitioners will have spent decades studying, in an environment where a questioning mind and innate scepticism are de-rigueur. But never mind - 10 minutes reading a tabloid newspaper or half an hour trawling the web will put you on a par!

    Paris because I expect she is as well qualified in climatology as most commentators on these threads.

  37. Jonathan McColl
    Thumb Up

    Oh dear, more hot air

    Whenever I see pictures of tyrannosaurs in The Cretaceous, it's always a picture of rain-forest heat and giant ferns. Whenever I see pictures of woolly mammoths in The Ice Age, it's always a picture of fur-clad Ugh-the-Cavemen in the snow. There's cultural memes for you, suggesting viscerally that the entire planet was rain-forested or ice-heaped.

    About the only place I see consistent white-hat fact-seeking is on www.withouthotair.com.

    And that's what I want: facts not emotive propaganda. I also want a skeptic which is someone who says 'You haven't persuaded me' and not (as some seem to believe) 'I won't believe you' and El Reg (or La Reg?) works for me like that, even if you really just like twisting tails in your presenting of the news.

  38. Joe Zeff
    Boffin

    @Philip Kroker

    You say that the climate has been warming ever since the last Ice Age. Really? I bet that the people who lived during the 16th century through the early 19th (roughly on both sides) AKA "The Little Ice Age" would be interested in hearing that. And, we don't just have lots of physical evidence, such as tree rings, we have historic evidence if you know how to interpret it: numerous monastery records of when they plowed, sowed and harvested, showing how the growing seasons were getting shorter, as well as the fact that they weren't able to grow grapes in England any more.

    The big mistake some of the more simple-minded Global Warming fanatics make is thinking that ever since the last Ice Age the climate had been stable and that suddenly, about 100 years ago or so, it started changing, and getting warmer. That, of course, is nonsense, and I hope all El Reg readers understand that. The climate is always changing, and right now, it seems to be getting warmer. The big questions are, how warm is it going to get and how much of this (if any) is man made?

    Now, I'd be the last person to deny that it's probably a Bad Idea to continue our open-ended experiment of throwing CO2 into the atmosphere to see what happens, but I'm also skeptical about the need for drastic, irreversible measures. From what I've recently heard, painting your roof white will cancel out quite a bit of "CO2 footprint," and if you don't like the results, all it takes is a few gallons of black paint to reverse it.

  39. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    @ Keith Garrett

    Err, it's very simple. Offer people a choice : loads-a-wonga (by way of bountiful research grants) for anything that even remotely supports "official truth" or be exiled to the scientific equivalent of Siberia with no money to feed the family. A bit like the religion argument, if the "official religion" is so strong, why should it fear scrutiny ? Why should scientists have to threaten legal action to have their names taken off the contributors list in "the bible" ?

    I suppose I'm in the camp that many would label as "global warming deniers" because I don't support 100% "the new religion" that the Earth is warming fast and it's all Man's fault. I'm not, I'm in the camp that would like to see rational debate of real facts. The only fact I am sure about is that something is being kept under wraps, that the whole issue is NOT getting the rational debate it deserves with both sides able to express their views and examine the assumptions and methodologies used by the others. This whole IPCC "here is the official truth, behold the new bible, non-believers will be stoned to death" approach stinks.

  40. Stefan
    Paris Hilton

    Egos

    Scientists protect their reputations, just like businesses protect their profits.

    I don't care whether temperatures go up or down a bit--what I care about is blind belief in computer fantasies.

    It's a prediction about the future, so no one can prove you wrong!

    It "predicts" natural variability, so no one can prove you wrong!

    It is about saving the planet, so no one can prove you wrong without being labelled a greedy selfish ignorant criminal.

    These are boomers who think their lives should be about ending famine, creating world peace, saving the environment. At least a businessman doesn't care what business they are in--nuclear, oil, or wind--as long as it is profitable. But boomer scientists need to feel that their cause is the most important. We have to act now!

    Nobody is impressed. Paris because even she can be more honest about why she's doing it.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    When did the last Ice Age end

    As I understand it an Ice Age is defined by standing Ice all through the year.

    Interestingly there a new theory - man influenced climate much earlier than previous thought (at time they started clearing trees several 1000 years ago), and it stopped the ice advancing again. If true that probably means civilisation only exists as it is because of man's impact on the climate (unlikely to have evolved if Ice was advancing)

  42. Mark
    Alien

    We have a repeat of Denialist Point D12

    "In the 70's you scientists told us it was going to freeze!"

    And the answer to that is

    "NO, TIME Magazine and the New Yorker told you it was going to freeze".

    There was ONE paper that said that this was uncertain and could be overcome by the CO2 industrialisation was producing and there wasn't a good enough model to show what was really happening.

    It's all the denialists who are saying "it was going to freeze in the 70's!".

  43. Mark
    Alert

    re: The majority is always wrong

    Really? So the majority who think fucking little kiddies are wrong and it's actually A-OK?

    Absolutes are always wrong.

  44. Stefan
    Paris Hilton

    qualified?

    @ Andrew:

    "why is climate change science an area where everyone can be their own expert?"

    If a team of doctors tried a new drug on you that hadn't been tried on any human before, but assured you they knew with 95% confidence it would work, would you, despite being a layman, believe them? Or would you wonder that what they were saying, despite being experts, was nonsensical?

    If a team of engineers designed a new material, and went ahead and used it in a real machine or building without testing it rigorously (in reality, not computer models) would you think they were acting wisely?

    We are being told that the world as we know it will end unless we submit to the predictions of computer models--models that are making predictions about what will happen in 50 and 100 years. How can we sanely trust such models? They haven't predicted and tested (in the real sense of the word) anything so far.

    So next time your doctor starts saying strange things, be sure to follow all his advice, will you?

    Paris because even she has enough common sense.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    On the other hand ...

    It's nice to get an environmental story where we can actually comment - nice to see the Reg does occasionally have some balls, rather than just talking bollocks.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    balls to warming, what about pollution?

    Is it just me who is well and truly peeved at all the attention global warming gets, at the expense of the current MASSIVE problem we have - widespread pollution of our planet.

    Global Warming is the media "love child" of the moment, it's this wonderfully big and "fluffy" target everyone loves to get worked up about.

    In the meantime, that ol' chestnut "pollution" is all but forgotten.

    You know, those wonderfully "green" oil companies like Shell and their accidental oil spills in places such as the amazon.

    Or perhaps the millions of tonnes of plastic floating around the oceans.

    Lets leave pollution for a moment and deal with corporate rape and pillage of natural resources - fish for instance. Vast swathes of the ocean denuded of life in the interests of cheap food and big profits.

    How about the burning of forests, or closer to "suburbia", the destruction of flood plains and deltas, the over farming killing bio-diversity?

    The fact is, "global warming" is a comforting issue which takes our minds of the real core issues facing our planet. It's a diversion, it lets greedy corporate interests "off the hook" as they trade carbon, whilst continuing to rape and pillage good 'ol gaia.

    It's all very well and good cutting back on air emissions to save the planet, while eating up other resources faster than they can be replaced - the end result will be the same, whichever way you look at it.

    Without a holistic approach we don't stand a snowballs chance on earth of surviving.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Bleh

    Although it verges on being an appeal to authority, I have to agree with Andrew Alan McKenzie and Pinkerton that most of us don't know squat about any of this, that we're only confirming our own prejudices, and that we should take our partisan rants to the pub, where they belong.

    Now, we can please start a mindlessly ill-informed argument about objective theories of quantum mechanics vs CHI.

    Paris, because I'd like to interfere with her single slit.

  48. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  49. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    "We're not biased, just contrarian"

    How come you don't shovel the same amount of shit toward the arrant nonsense spouted by the professional sceptics?

    Nary a word about one of the big backers of denialist sites being Phillip Morris. Who make cigarettes. Why are they funding anti AGW? Because if scientists can be shown as wrong, who's to say they aren't wrong about cancer?

    But that passed El Reg's laser sight for ridicule.

    Maybe they can't SEE red states.

  50. johnB
    Boffin

    re: re: scaremongering

    Breathing carbon-neutral ?

    Not if you take into account the fossil fuels input into agriculture & food transport. Without their input you wou;dn't be doing much breathing at all.

  51. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I'd like to see some real figures

    I would honestly like to know how the climate is changing, unfortunately, there are a few things that prevent me from forming an educated opinion :

    1) every time a claim is made, a counter-claim follows that "demonstrates" the opposite

    2) it would be nice to consult past temperatures, but they have been fudged by somebody under orders from a so-called government body with an agenda

    3) in my personal experience, the last twenty years have seen less and less snow where I live, but summers have been more and more lousy, rainy and cloud-covered

    4) we've only been gathering data and modeling the weather for the last one or two hundred years, and thermodynamics is arguably the most difficult branch of physics to study and comprehend

    5) nobody can possibly explain or demonstrate scientifically exactly what is the impact of human activity on the Earth's climate, outside of a vague "all those CO2 emissions have to be doing something"

    6) modeling the climate of the entire world is a few orders of magnitude harder than simply forecasting weather at a given point - and they can't even do that reliably anyway

    So, bearing in mind these points, I conclude that there isn't a chance in Hell anybody really knows what is going on and I think we'll have to wait a good, long time before anybody can effectively model the Earth's climate with any semblance of accuracy.

  52. Franklin
    Thumb Down

    1 step solution to the global warming "debate"

    1. Everyone who believes it matters quits emitting carbon dioxide.

    This will save us:

    2 tanker ships

    8 or 9 thousand trips to the middle of the ocean

    20 or 30 years of the honourable martyrsen time who would have to pilot the tanker ships to drown all the skeptics

    Howevermuch evil, fozzle few-L that'd all take, anyway.

  53. Michael
    Stop

    Stupidity or skepicisim?

    Sketicism is a worthy standpoint. Cynicism is not. I suppose you apply your attitudes to all those geographers going on about their so-called 'spherical Earth' theory in order to keep their jobs. And all those doctors with their HIV theory of AIDS.

    In fact the views you (El Reg) express on the global warming issue are not indicative of skepticism, but of cynicism and simple ignorance - that means not knowing stuff. This is not an insult - it is a comment on your lack of knowledge!

    Test yourself with this question. Why is the Earth the temperature it is? It is a simple question devoid of political intrigue. Don't worry about a degree or so of likely recent warming just try to understand the broad answer to the question. When you have the answer you will understand why scientists who do know stuff are concerned by the 30% rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    Michael de Podesta

  54. Mark

    re: qualified?

    Uh, real life example:

    Herceptin.

    Small chance of success.

    Small chance of something HORRIBLE.

    Expensive as hell.

    NHS *sued* to provide it because someone who wasn't a doctor wanted it.

    So apparently, YES, people WOULD allow a 95% chance effective drug to be used to cure them.

  55. n
    Black Helicopters

    roll out the recycling barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun...

    GLOBAL WARMING AND WAR ARE LINKED:

    WAR INFLATES THE OIL PRICE.

    GLOBAL WARMING JUSTIFIES THE OIL PRICE.

    People need to read up on global climate scares....the last one called "global weather cooling"(oh the irony!) was kicked off by a government to distract from an oil war (namely the falklands and sandwich isles war).

    Bird flu anyone?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    El Reg = the pub

    > we should take our partisan rants to the pub, where they belong

    I thought this was the IT website equivalent of the pub.

  57. Vendicar Decarian
    Boffin

    Global average temps

    Here are the global average temperatures since 1958. "o" = trend line.

    Look at all those "o"'s lined up there. The trend is up, Up, UP.

    And most recently the rate of increase is about 2'C per century.

    View with mono spaced font.

    1958 14.08 *******o***************

    1959 14.06 ********o************

    1960 13.99 *********o******

    1961 14.08 **********o************

    1962 14.04 ***********o********

    1963 14.08 ************o**********

    1964 13.79 **===========o

    1965 13.89 *********====o

    1966 13.97 **************o

    1967 14.00 ***************o*

    1968 13.96 **************==o

    1969 14.08 *****************o*****

    1970 14.03 ******************o

    1971 13.90 **********=========o

    1972 14.00 *****************===o

    1973 14.14 ********************o******

    1974 13.92 ***********==========o

    1975 13.95 *************=========o

    1976 13.84 ******=================o

    1977 14.13 ************************o*

    1978 14.02 ******************=======o

    1979 14.09 ***********************===o

    1980 14.18 ***************************o**

    1981 14.27 ****************************o*******

    1982 14.05 ********************========o

    1983 14.26 *****************************o*****

    1984 14.09 ***********************=======o

    1985 14.06 *********************==========o

    1986 14.13 **************************======o

    1987 14.27 *********************************o**

    1988 14.31 **********************************o****

    1989 14.19 ******************************=====o

    1990 14.38 ************************************o*******

    1991 14.35 ************************************o****

    1992 14.12 *************************============o

    1993 14.14 ****************************===========o

    1994 14.24 **********************************=====o

    1995 14.38 ****************************************o***

    1996 14.30 **************************************===o

    1997 14.40 ******************************************o**

    1998 14.57 *******************************************o*************

    1999 14.33 ****************************************===o

    2000 14.33 ****************************************====o

    2001 14.48 *********************************************o*****

    2002 14.56 **********************************************o*********

    2003 14.55 ***********************************************o*******

    2004 14.49 ************************************************o**

    2005 14.62 *************************************************o**********

    2006 14.54 **************************************************o****

    2007 14.56 ***************************************************o*****

    -------------------------------------------> Temperature

    Correlation Coefficient .8529209

    Source NASAS -> http://data.giss.nasa.gov:80/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VMu14mBXAs

  58. Bounty
    Alien

    FIRE! YEAH YEAH

    I've got an easy fix for this. Carbon it up baby! That's right, start a big ass fire, right now. All the extra heat will cause evaporation, which will make clouds... and reflect that nasty sunlight back into space!

    BTW apparently Venus was our first habitable planet until we moved here. Of course all signs of our existance have been wiped out by the acid rain... but we still have Mars as a backup, don't worry apparently we know how to warm a planet. We'll just have to bring the water with us.

    // In case you missed it, these comments are always going to be of 'pub' caliber,

    // its the WWW FFS!

  59. Glen Turner

    Jobs claim

    Lads,

    As a reasonably regular visitor to the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado let me tell you that advocating the existence of climate change and a need for an effective response hasn't done anyone's job any good. Funding has been cut, prominent scientists have had professional PR campaigns aimed at blackening their name, administrators who were in line to run the Center have been shuffled to one side. Even last month the administration cut a NCAR program which was examining the effect of climate change on society and dismissed its leading scientist (note that "society" here doesn't mean "touchy feeling" but simply "non-atmospheric" -- such as how much housing may be lost to climate change).

    Your remarks about the Hadley Centre, although amusing, just adds to the amount of unfair criticism laid upon scientists in the field.

    Cheers, Glen

  60. Beachhutman

    cool aid

    It warms, it cools. It's OK. It just happens. It's just not Man Made. It's to do with the sodding great furnace in the sky. MMGW is about tax and spend.

  61. Howard
    Thumb Down

    Science not at all "complicated".

    Billions of tons of 'stuff' buried under the ground for millions of years,

    Take just 100 years to dig most of it up and burn it into the air.

    Is it more likely that:

    a) the air will get warmer?

    b) the air will get cooler?

  62. Steve Bush
    Boffin

    "unfair criticism"

    @Glen Turner - There is nothing unfair in pointing out that Hadley Center people have a conflict of interest. Isnt it just a fact? Personally I am glad to see more money going into science but think of self serving statements as porkies for more pork.

  63. Mal Franks

    somewhat related links

    Australian newspaper article by my brother

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24331854-7583,00.html

    plus

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm826GwqFBY

  64. Aron
    Paris Hilton

    Because George Carlin is God...

    He said it best...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Steaming pile of ...

    <rant>

    This whole article and thread is nothing more than a steaming pile of **** based on the premise that no global warming == no Hadley Centre which is just wrong. The Hadley Centre are there to research climate change regardless of whether it is man made or the direction it's going in. The UK government (and other governments) would want to know equally if there was going to be no change expected or a cooling over the next few decades. Hence to say they are self serving or have vested interests is wrong. There would be no rash of redundancies if AGW were proved wrong. Likewise, to say the scientists are in it for the money is wrong given that after 7 - 8 years of undergraduate and postgraduate education and being required to be highly numerate and computer literate they are lucky to start on £24k a year. The majority are there because they enjoy science even though they could enjoy a far better salary elsewhere and few of them have any green agenda. The problem with the climate change debate lies with the green lobby (greenpeace, friends of the earth etc) and the scaremongering news editors out to make a quick headline. Add to the mix the emissions trading schemes (dreamed up by big business as another way to make money based on fear rather than by the scientists) and the whole policy debate is a mess.

    </rant>

  66. Mark

    And Steve Bush has a vested interest too

    In denying climate change. 'cos he'd have to pay for it when it's only some foreign darkie kids in fifty years that will have to pay for his inaction.

    If you're going to mete out scorn for having a vested interest, look at your own vested interest in your result first.

    NOTE: I don't get paid for climate work. I'm IT support.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ By Vendicar Decarian

    Perhaps some understanding of the fallacy of extrapolating results from what is a minuscule (less than 3% since Christ/ 0.3% since civilization started and potentially relying on decreasing accuracy as the data gets old) dataset and why holding it up as proof is needed

  68. Paul Winter
    Alert

    Understand the Science

    Before you attempt to outwit tens of thousands of professional scientist with a ten line ignorant rant, You might like to take a moment to understand what is being proposed.

    1, Climate Change is about global averages including ocean temp, not isolated local air temperatures.

    2, Here in the UK our weather is dictated by the gulfstream which is slowed by fresh melt water from Greenland. (recent satellite images show unprecedented melt)

    3, The sun is currently at it's least active phase of a 12 year cycle, effectively reducing global heat absorption.

    4, It's not all down to economics and how this will affect humans, Historically global temperatures have been higher than we have now, but it took thousands of years to get to that point, giving nature time to adapt and evolve. with species migrating.

    Global warming on the scale linked to CO levels above 340ppm suggest dire consequences.

  69. andy
    Thumb Down

    @Howard - Science not at all "complicated".

    "Billions of tons of 'stuff' buried under the ground for millions of years,

    Take just 100 years to dig most of it up and burn it into the air...etc..."

    Take a volcano -- Billions of tons of stuff buried in the ground for billions of years (since the earth began?), explodes and in a matter of hours, maybe days, and releases more CO2 into the air than man ever could.

    If there is global warming do you really think it's man-made? or that we can control it?

  70. weirdcult
    Thumb Down

    mENTAL

    No doubt that there are changes in the climate over the last [insert preferred timescale]. it just makes me laugh that humankind are so arrogant that they believe they can halt these changes. Big complex place Earth. It's managed to regulate itself for a very long time without human assistance and will continue to do so when we are long gone. Trouble is that the Earth regulates itself over it's own time-scale and doesn't care about the piddling amount of time we are around for. Our "immense" efforts to halt/slow down climate change don't really equate to a hill of beans, and i am pretty sure hefty taxation has no effect on how warm or cold it gets.

    For those of you who believe major things are happening, they are obviously not happening quickly enough, or effectively or there wouldn't be so much whining. While we continue to balance world economy and world climate nothing is going to change. I think we just have to decide which is more important, money or our living environment?

    For those who are seriously worried for the future(of mankind, not the planet), I suggest you stop harping on and start planning for a different way of life. Persuading me that the world is going to end is not the answer.

    In the end, if it gets so bad we can't function on this planet, shouting "i was right, i was right!" won't really do a great deal.

    Thank you please

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    to Paul winter

    Hi Paul

    when you and other scientists can explain why bankers are setting the agenda of global warming - ie the concerts and so forth

    http://www.jonesreport.com/articles/050707_rothschild_global.html

    even try this rothschild globalwarming in google

    http://www.google.com/search?q=rothschild+global+warming

    When you start seeing bankers involved with such issues you should all be worried

    They can't even run a bank without going bust and now we live climate to their hands

    NAHHHH this is all extra money for the failing banking sector

    Thanks but no thanks to all your global warming baffoon ideas

    When they have no money to pay you maybe you will all suddenly change minds and go silent...

  72. EvilGav

    Meh

    Einstein did an awful lot of his theoretical physics work whilst he was a patent clerk, but I suppose since he wasn't a scientist employed in the field, we should ignore everything he said until he was officially a scientist.

    People should also really learn the difference between people who haven't been convinced that climate change is happening and people that haven't been convinced anthropogenic climate change is happening. It is possible to accept that climate change is happening, but not be convinced that it is due to a man-made effect.

    I thoroughly agree with all the money now being funnelled into science, but why is it going to centres to give more weight to the climate change argument and not to, say, the theoretical energy creation ideas or the renewable energy development centres ?? Why are we pouring money into something that, even if it does prove without any doubt that man caused the problem, wont go any way to actually fixing it ??

  73. Mark

    @EvilGav

    And don't confuse "skeptic" with "denialist".

    As ***skeptic*** would be sceptical of the anti-AGW data too.

  74. John Foster

    2 out of 13 or so

    If only 2 years out of 13 were cooler than average, then does that infer that there is no warming?

    if those 2 years were compared to the average temperature globally over 50 years, then they would appear years of above average temperature.

    Lets look at this more carefully. When Pinotubo volcano erupted back in the early 90's, the temperature dipped globally, as did the temperature dip when the volcano in Mexico erupted. Each large volcanic eruption skews the average, filters out more solar radiation, and hence causes a decrease in world temperature.

    It was stated by MET that the recent two years data regarding global temperature were impacted by a La Nina (cooler than average temperature at the sea surface in the Pacific.

    Okay, ceteris paribus, (all things remaing the same, ie., a return to El Nino conditions should result in new higher than average global temperature.

    Who can deny the inference?

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @Mark in IT Support

    "NOTE: I don't get paid for climate work. I'm IT support."

    It sounds like someone has a guilty conscience.

    If your employer is funded to do climate work, then you're "paid for climate work". If you're spouting off on blogs all day, then you're actively doing climate campaigning. Only you're in denial about it.

  76. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Unhappy

    A few comments

    "Absolutely correct - apart from the evidence obtained from pollen, varves, ice cores, oxygen isotopes, insect remains, soils, crop residues..."

    Just indicate the error bar on these, please?

    "In the 70's you scientists told us it was going to freeze!"

    And the answer to that is

    "NO, TIME Magazine and the New Yorker told you it was going to freeze".

    Nope. I was there. It was the scientists and the government. There were many fewer climate scientists then, but you will find MITRE Corporation work on combatting the onset of an Ice Age.

  77. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    To AC and Doggy Geezer

    No, no more than Steven did by proclaiming that he wasn't paid bu Big Oil in his missives against AGW.

    Doggy,

    No, this is a text only site. Error bars are hard to draw.

    And nope, you weren't there if you thought it was "the scientists" and "the govenment" because I was there and you can even read still the original paper (note the singular) and the newspapers (note the plural).

  78. Andrew Alan McKenzie

    Volcanoes are innocent

    Don't blame the cuddly volcanoes - estimates for volcanic CO2 emissions are about 150 million tonnes per annum. Man's activity is responsible for 27 billion tonnes per annum. Sulphur aerosols from volcanoes can be shown to have a cooling effect, so I am drilling through the base of my hollowed out volcano to set off a super eruption and save the world!

  79. Marco

    Northeast and Northwest passage ice-free

    For the first time, ever.

    Lewis, I still haven't seen an article from you documenting this:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,574815,00.html

  80. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    @Marco

    It's because they're contrarian for AGW, not anti-AGW. They aren't contrarian against *them*.

    Of course, they can't be contrary everything, can they.

  81. Mono Ape
    Thumb Down

    Denial of scientific reality from non-scientists

    > It might be possible to get the impression, reading the Reg, that there's a firm editorial policy at Vulture Central denying that climate change exists,...

    Yes, I get that impression because there is no other reasonable conclusion to draw for anyone who has spent any time reading about climate science.

    Your editorial policy of denial, cherry-picking of data points, non-scientific and erroneous analysis of scientific data puts you squarely amongst a selection of right wing blogs and 'independent' (i.e. oil-funded) 'think tanks' in the USA.

    Every national science academy of every major industrialised country on the planet confirms recent climate change is due to human activity. Presumably you believe that, like the Hadley Centre, they are all lying in order to protect and secure funding? The blind delusion required to believe that tens of thousands of scientists in dozens of countries are all lying in unison is laughable.

    After over two of years of reading about climate change, it's become very obvious where the truth lies: with the scientists. The other side, the deniers, use the same tools that every crackpot political ideology uses - lies, distortion, Dunning Kruger effect and wilful ignorance.

    El Reg should stick to 'witty' commentary on IT, because there's not a staff member with the competence or honesty to cover the science of climate change.

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