back to article West Antarctic ice loss overestimated by NASA sats

Scientists using a network of ground sensors emplaced in Antarctica say that NASA satellites have overestimated the amount of ice that is melting and running off into the ocean from the polar continent. The new results come from the West Antarctic GPS Network (WAGN), which uses 18 locator stations "bolted to bedrock outcrops" …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Oh Dear

    4.5 billion years is the estimate age of our planet and for 4.5 billion of those years it has been undergoing some form of climate change. Now it turns out that a bunch of hairless monkeys who have just crawled out of the trees have decided that they will stop climate change - it would be funny if it wasnt so fuckin sad.

    For 20,000 years the Antarctic has been losing ice; for those of you rabid hippy earth mothers who have forgotten your history, thats way way before the industrial revolution.

  2. The BigYin

    Let me translate

    "We have no clue what we are talking about, but we are sure it is still big and scary, please keep the funding rolling in or we'll be out of jobs."

    The more I read about "climate change", the more I come the conclusion it is bull-crap.

    Of course that doesn't not mean recycling, increasing efficiency and cutting pollution are bad ideas. They're good ideas, they should be done for a whole host of reasons, but "climate change" ain't one of them.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    drip.... drip

    "there is no dispute about the fact that ice is disappearing from the antarctic sheet - this process has been underway for 20,000 years"

    Ha! Don't tell Gordo..

  4. grimreality

    So much for global warming caused by humans

    OK, so the ice caps in the South have been melting for the past 20,000 years.

    We have had cars, and oil, releasing all these vile gases causing global warming for 100 or so years.

    Is it just me or does the above math not add up correctly.

  5. CD001

    @AC - Oh Dear...

    I think I'll get that first paragraph printed on a T-Shirt :D

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cue ostriches


  7. Cameron Colley

    So, yet another admittance that government paid scientists lied.

    You can say what you like about "Big Oil" paying scientists to cover up the effects of their products, and I'm sure they do, but it should be obvious now that the real liars here are the Western governments seeing a good source of income for themselves and their golfing buddies.

    @The BigYin: Totally agree about recycling, improving efficiency and cutting pollution. If nothing else it will make the planet prettier and allow more people a better standard of life.

  8. Hermes Conran

    @ AC 10:25 & Big Yin

    So someone say the numbers need revising and you decide the whole concept must be wrong? I've heard the same argument from people denying ciggarettes cause cancer, the theory of evolution and the fact that trhe Earth goes round the Sun. People like you cannot divorce your own desires from impirical evidence......

  9. Seno

    Data suggests loss was slightly overestimated.

    but I suppose that dosen't make such a dramatic title or give people a chance to shout that climate change is a bunch of crap and or that humanity rapidly altering the chemisty of our atmosphere has no effect.

    @AC 10:25

    Perhaps you should metion that it the last 50 years more of the ice shelf has been lost then in the previous 19500 years.

  10. MikeWW

    @ The BigYin

    It all depends of course where you are reading this stuff about "Climate Change". As has been reported here many times, there are far too many media outlets who are prepared to make a huge deal out of dodgy science (North Eastern Passage 'now open', Arctic ice thickness measured with a tape measure, etc) but not mention how unscientific their claims are. Those that dare are then pilloried as being as bad, if not worse, than Holocaust deniers.

    I'm still not sure if it's because they're too lazy to check the facts, too stupid to understand the science, don't have the courage / backing to explain both sides or if they have some kind of vested interest.

    Still, it's not like we are all going to pay for this dodgy science through higher taxes and a 60% increase in fuel bills so why worry?

  11. g e


    Notice how nobody in this crazy global warming circus/cult ever UNDER estimates anything? It's all about hyperbole, sensationalism and grabbing headlines. Oh, and don't forget the funding.

    In the spirit of 'green' related funding opportunities allow me to paraphrase 'Where there's muck there's brass' ... :

    "Where's there's money there's bullshit."

    Flame cos it helps the warming that they don't seem able to prove is happening.

  12. Graham Marsden

    So, once again...

    ... we see the tired old "it's a myth", "no it isn't" commetards crawling out of the woodwork.

    Let me offer you all a simple solution:

    How about we just try using energy MORE EFFICIENTLY?

    That way whether man-made global warming is a myth or not we *still* get the net effect of lower CO2 emissions *AND* we save money!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How satellites work...

    All satellites deliver raw data to the earth, this needs to be normalised and augmented with other data from various sources - other satellites, ground observations, air observations, etc. etc.

    You don't use raw data when you are working out what the current trends are, rather you use the normallised dataset. It is not unheard of for satellites to drift out of calibration and for the normalisation process to have to work out by how much and at what rate. It is not even unheard of for entire datasets to be un-published before being re-published in a revised form. This is normal, and it is essential. This process doesn't mean that 'agw is a crock' or that there is some sort of conspiracy on behalf of government, rather it shows that people are continually re-examining their source data...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Cue the religious fanatics clutching at straws.

    Yes, MMGW is a myth, yes, Santa exists, yes the world is 6000 years old and our grandparents hunted dinosaurs, and yes, we're all descended from Thetans.

    Honestly, the deniers are getting as bad as the scientologists. <yawn> (note deny != skeptic. The skeptics, have admitted they were utterly wrong - the world is warming and it's mostly our fault, but continue to question exactly how much of our fault it is)

  15. alwarming

    City guys waiting in jaccuzzi to buy the next ferrari hate the climate change crap ?

    And who says this study is not underestimating the melt ?

  16. Bassey

    @ seno

    @ seno, Do you have a reliable, verifiable source for that stat?

    There are two camps here. Believers and doubters. Both, to an extent not worth differentiating, believe we should use our energy more efficiently, cut down on the crap we are spouting into the atmosphere and generally treat the planet a lot more kindly than we do at the moment.

    I recycle. I've quadrupled the insulation in the loft. We're getting cavity wall insulation. We replaced our knackered boiler with a super-efficient condenser and added thermostatic valves to all our radiators. I drive a small, efficient car. We buy most of our food from local sources etc. I'm doing my bit. Whether we're causing the world to get warmer is, to my mind, utterly irrelevant when it comes to choosing to use energy more efficiently and generating it in ways that don't pump shit into the air.

    But NOBODY, surely, can deny that we are, at the absolute minimum, being exaggerated to. There were the NASA temperature figures for last October that showed it was the warmest on record - until someone mentioned how cold it had been in October. At which point they admitted the figures had been copied and pasted from September. There is the nonsense with the selection of the tree samples from Siberia. There is the loss of the data from the University of Anglia etc. etc. etc.

    Time and time and time again we are told the debate is over (always an alarm ringer in my head), "scientists" are in agreement and yet I have still NEVER seen any evidence that compels me to believe that the warming seen in the last 100 years is statistically significant when compared to all other similar periods for the last few thousand years.

    Now, I'm not saying this would be an easy thing to prove. Reliable data for the last few thousand years is incredibly difficult to produce. Even reliable data for the last few decades seems hard enough. And yet we are told it's been done, it's conclusive but we don't need to see it because "scientists" have seen it and they "are all in agreement".

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

  17. Stef 4

    @Hermes Conran

    "I've heard the same argument from people denying ciggarettes cause cancer, the theory of evolution and the fact that trhe Earth goes round the Sun. People like you cannot divorce your own desires from impirical evidence"

    I thought the "Scientific consensus" was:

    1) Cigarettes are harmless

    2) Evolution is nonsense

    3) The Earth was the centre of the universe

    until a couple of brave people challenged that consensus, and were persecuted for it. People couldn't divorce their own desires from empirical evidence.

    Presumably you still believe that the Earth is flat and that Man will never land on the moon?

    I for one welcome our new "publish before checking facts to secure the next grant" scientific overlords.

  18. Tom Paine

    troll, troll, troll

    Aren't you getting tired of it yet?

  19. Wade Burchette Silver badge


    Facts are a climate change advocate's worst nightmare. The main reason why I do not believe in man-made climate change is because those who advocate it (a) Refuse to release their methods even when required to do so by law so that their studies can be verified; (b) They try to silence debate in any way possible, even though true science welcomes debate; (c) They always make out that is is worse than we thought; (d) They rely on computer models that cannot get known weather patterns right, much less unknown weather patterns; (e) Those that are pushing this the hardest have some very wicked ulterior motives; and (f) It is actually quite easy to prove, with unassailable facts, that humans are not causing global warming/climate change.

    Anybody who believes in we are at fault is either ignorant or stands to gain a ton of money and/or power.

  20. Stef 4

    @ troll, troll, troll

    "Aren't you getting tired of it yet?"

    Well, clearly you are not getting tired of it Tom.

  21. Michael 10

    Climate stations

    My biggest gripe with climate change is the reliance on surface weather stations. Which in the past 10 or so years have been largely moved from open grass areas to next to be large buildings and asphalt. And the best part is when they "correct" this data for errors, they almost universally increase recent data and decrease older data, so suddenly we have major warming in the past 20 years, all of which may or may not be caused by increases in city size and moving the station (one location had an AC unit exhaust blowing directly onto it), estimates put readings for most stations to be 1 degree above, a great number 2 degrees above, and some 5+ above actual readings.

    Interesting to note that those seem to relate to the amounts of global warming claimed by the worriers.

    I'm all for cutting fossil fuel consumption and increasing efficiency, not because I think we're all going to fry, but because I want to be able to drive around the city in an electric car, and run all my tech goodies all on stored solar and wind power that I generate and store myself, costing me only the cost for the equipment, which would plummet once they get good funding, instead of it all going to "climate scientists".

    Wake me when they start claiming the global cooling is from all the pollutions

  22. Scott 19

    Trust me

    The plant will be fine, its the things living on it that may have problems.

    Yes re-cycle, yes lower energy usage and yes question everything that some expert says is fact, in my job i'm surpose to be an IT expert, I beg to differ.

  23. Sir Sham Cad

    Back to Eco-School - Essay incoming.

    This will be snapped up as yet more "evidence" against Anthropomorhic climate change, which is, as AC in post 1 identifies, the climate change attributable to the hairless monkeys.

    A couple of points to clarify:

    1) Nobody is saying that the current Climate Change is All Our Fault. This is such a straw-man argument and the sceptics love it because it's easy to point at and show evidence that this is not the case. Imagine, though, that Climate Change is a balancing act between cooling and warming, throughout the life of the planet. Consider, also, that the complex planet has biological and geological buffers that enables it to absorb some environmental change without affecting climate. It has some built-in "give". Imagine, then, that your climate change is a set of balancing scales with one side slowly changing in mass so the scales start to tip in that direction, and at a natural speed, dampened by the "give". Then imagine some hairless monkeys suddeny (in geological terms at least) dump even a little stuff (by comparison) on one side of the scale. It's going to change the rate of change at the very least, slowing down a cooling process, speeding up a warming process or increasing a cooling process.

    What proper, actual scientists (not those with vested interests on any side - rare in climate science I know) are saying is that we're *contributing* to climate change and that's a hell of a lot different from *causing* it.

    2) "Environmentally Friendly" is NOT the same as "Fighting Climate Change". We are in the middle of another mass extinction event, one that is primarily driven by loss of habitat. Whether that's because of deforestation, warming of the seas affecting food supply (plankton), pollution of waterways/atmosphere, overfishing, building towns and cities on migratory routes... the list goes on and on. Being "Green" is about having consideration for all these things and adjusting our behaviours to minimize our impact on the environment. This is a *good* thing, whether or not you reckon we're responsible for affecting climate change. We're sure as hell responsible for a lot else.

    3) Anyone trying to sell you something that is "Green" or "Environmentally Friendly" whether it's a lightbulb or an Election Policy is not trying to save the planet. they are trying to sell you something. See: e-cars and aforementioned lightbulbs for prime examples. Just as we have "Security Theatre" we have "Green Theatre". Don't let it distract you from the actual issues.

    4) Science always changes and corrects itself. That's why it works. The fact that these people have spotted the error in the model based on observable evidence, addressed it and flagged the errors in the predictions based on it is a good thing! It's proof that environmental science isn't all a bunch of vested interests cherry picking evidence to prove that driving the M Class on the school run is akin to clubbing baby seals but buying a Prius is like renewing the rainforests.

    5) It takes thousands of years to grow a rainforest, maybe a hundred years to grow a tree so stop telling me that it's OK because you've planted three trees for every one you use! It took hundreds of millions of years to create all the fossil fuel on the planet. It'll take us only a couple of hundred years to use it all. We're using the stuff about a million times faster than it can be created. Yes, the byproducts, direct and indirect of our use of these resources contribute to environmental damage, no we don't get a choice whether we use them or not but we *do* have a choice about how efficiently we use them.

    6) Way too much emphasis is put on the CO2 byproduct, though it is a concern. Forget about the gas itself for a minute and think about what we need to do to "reduce our carbon footprint". Essentially, we need industry, manufacturing as well as energy providers, to make much more efficient use of the resources. I don't care if your car runs on petrol, diesel or bunny rabbit kisses. Generally, modern (normal) cars are pretty fuel efficient anyway and manufacturerns are doing great work in improving that further. In the big picture, domestic usage is small beans. We are, however, the "low hanging fruit" (god I hate that phrase) and so are an easy target for the politicos. Driving real efficiencies in how our industry consumes resources and minimises the environmental impact of byproduct is the real win but that's not so easy to do, therefore it's loft insulation, expensive, crap lightbulbs and eco-guilt every time you drive to work without carpooling for everyone. Which is fuck all use to anyone, including the baby seals.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    What worries me the most

    Is when supposed "scientists" try to shut down debate, it usually means they have something to hide. With all the other supposed "finished debates" if you go up to a scientist who has studied in the field and say, "I think cigarettes aren't harmless" they will happily start quoting statistical studies that show the connection between lung cancer and emphysema and smoking. With climate change, the response you tend to get is the "shoot the messenger" response. People try to character assassinate people who disagree about climate change (how many times have you seen complex efforts to connect scientists who are publishing anti-anthropogenic climate change evidence to oil companies). Or you get people who wheel out the rather tired "scientific consensus" argument. Please remember that Newton's theories of motion were the scientific consensus until Einstein came along. If we had doggedly retained Newton's theories we would have missed the moon in 1969.

    Now, I personally subscribe somewhat to the views of Bjorn Lomborg. He points out quite reasonably that there are much more serious environmental concerns than atmospheric carbon dioxide that would be much more deserving of our attention. Furthermore, he quite convincingly argues that warming in the latter part of the 20th century has probably saved more lives than it has cost (primarily in improved food production).

    The climate has definitely changed in recent years, but as many others point out the climate has been changing throughout history. The medieval warm period is a great example of this. The principal component analysis done to produce the hockey stick graph has been shown by proper statisticians (Wegman et al) to be rubbish. In fact, if you randomly generate auto-correlated data you can use Mann's analysis to generate a hockey stick shape. If you analyse the tree core data (or ice core data) more reasonably, you clearly see the medieval warm period.

    Finally, the climate models that people are staking so much on are very weak since they are unstable on a number of the inputs. When you are building a complex model of that nature (something that I do every day) it is very important that any inputs you are estimating produce stable outputs. Water vapour/cloud effects are an example of an input that we estimate, but produces massive instability in the outputs. As the earth warms more water vapour is produced which is a greenhouse gas (about 100 times worse than CO2) and increases warming. But eventually the water starts to precipitate out into clouds which aid with cooling by reflecting the sun's rays. The amount of cooling depends a lot on the types of clouds produced. We have no decent models for this process. I tend to have difficulty buying the positive feedback arguments that many of the climate modellers use since that would directly imply that we should have seen massive warming in the Carboniferous period when CO2 levels were about 3 times what they are now, yet it was a period of glaciation. The earth has had pretty stable temperatures for too long now for positive feedback effects to be believable. Positive feedback in engineering has a tendency to produce things like triangle waves or square waves - things which don't exist in nature.

  25. Richard 102


    "process has been underway for 20,000 years".

    So it *is* the industrialization of the West that's doing it!

    Mine's the one with "Mass Movements Suck" in the pocket.

  26. Matt 32


    >@The BigYin: Totally agree about recycling, improving efficiency and cutting pollution. If

    >nothing else it will make the planet prettier and allow more people a better standard of life.

    As well as better balance economics, by being able to cut trade deficits. And let's face it, most of the countries that receive the money for petroleum right now aren't using it in economically efficient ways once they get it. A major part of our current economic doldrums is these sovereign wealth funds not loaning the money in risky ways or building factories, but instead seeking low risk, low reward places to park the money. Meanwhile the U.S. Government and probably some other central banks keeps printing more to compensate.

    New religions and hookie science is no match for reason.

    Unfortunately, we don't have much reason in this debate when we have an entire side taking on the mentality of bible thumping creationists from Kansas. They hammer away at peoples' self worth by repeatedly telling them they have moral failings (though art not green!) and setup a vision of hell (the seas will rise and consume thee!) in order to collect tribute from the people to support themselves.

  27. No, I will not fix your computer


    We humans have put a big fuck off hole in the ozone layer mainly due to the excessive CFCs, since putting in laws to reduce CFCs this has slowed down, we did this.

    If we didn't stop the increase of CFCs the hole would have got worse, now nobody cares as it's pretty much under control now. So lots of people are saying it wasn't worth shouting about.

    Y2K brought almost no computer issues, because of the amount of effort people put into fixing the problems.

    See, there's a pattern here, if you prevent something, then it doesn't happen, climate change is a fact, whether humans can affect the climate is not up for debate (we did this with the ozone layer), whether humans are affecting the climate is being debated, but lets hope that we're not still arguing the toss if we could have done something about it before it happened.

  28. Bod

    @No, I will not fix your computer

    Actually the CFC argument was based on looking at the ozone layer during a relatively short period and spotting a hole was there and that it got bigger for a few years. It was conclusive at all.

    Although I don't argue that CFCs eat ozone as that has been proven in the laboratory as I understand it, but that it actually caused that great big hole was dubious. We are better off without the CFCs though.

    Anyway, as for the Antarctic. Aside from the outer edges (some of which is floating sea ice and thus already displacing water), the middle (vast vast area of land) is 3 miles thick ice and -40C. Not about to melt any time soon, even if we have the "huge" 5C average temperature rise. Many predictions just assume the whole lot is going to melt and dump into the sea.

    Oh, and will the media and climate change freaks stop using shots of glacial falls into the sea. These are from coastal glaciers that naturally do one thing... slide into the sea! They've been doing this for 10s of thousands (or more) years!. The important thing isn't the melt, it's whether new snow is falling on the top of the glacier and forming ice (and funny enough, it's actually snow melt which is important to forming the ice during the seasonal changes).

  29. ZenCoder

    I blame the media ....

    The goal of media producers is primarily to entertain not to accurately inform.

    The best way to entertain is to focus on the extreme viewpoints, exaggerate disagreement and conflict.

    And because the system works that way ... even people with reasonable opinions will often voice extreme viewpoints because they feel that its the only way anyone will pay attention.

    So when someone feels very strongly that unless we take moderate measures now .. .we will have some moderate but still serious negative consequences 50 years from now. .. Well they won't say that and if they no who will listen.

    So instead they shout that the sky is falling.

  30. Charles Manning

    @The BigYin

    I too am concerned about the environment, but highly skeptical of this climate change hoo haa.

    Unfortunately far too many environmental groups have forgotten about other factors and thrown themselves in with climate change because it is so much easier. Backing climate change is the lazy option.

    I was a Greenpeace supporter/contributor for 16 years but gave up when Greenpeace announced their black pixel project. which is completely useless and wastes money.

    My biggest fear in all this is that as the climate change "evidence" erodes and the public finally accept that it was bollocks and not science, that all environmentalism will be tarred with the same brush, setting back environmental efforts by some years.

  31. GrantB

    Certainly brought the climate change deniers out of the woodwork

    Same old arguments that get pulled out every time science works the way the science methodology works, which is continuing refinement and correction of base data.

    Even 2 minutes looking at a Wikipedia article would address most of the points raised. If commenter don't bother even spending the time doing this, I suspect they don't want facts to get in the way of their beliefs. To accuse people who accept the science of global warming to do the same would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

    Typical comments include Charles Manning "too many environmental groups have forgotten about other factors" .. and those factors are? You really think that thousands of scientists spending years working on this just overlook natural warming, solar minimums etc? You can find why these things don't explain/fit with real observed changes in climate with a quick look online.

    Michael 10 raises the old argument about surface weather stations - in an article about refining the detection of climate changes from satellites. Again, in the time taken to post, they could have an answer (hint - satellites and most of the world being water).

    Wade Burchette thinks that weather == climate. Fail. You can predict that summer will be warmer than winter, much better than if it will be raining London in 10 days .

    Denying human input into global climate change (to some extent or another) does make it stop. It doesn't imply that we all have to buy electric cars or even that we need to do anything; our response to climate change is a political issue, but the science has been refined more and more over the last 30 years and it's highly probably as real as evolution and other science facts.

    Assuming some grand conspiracy of scientists is also not feasible; the way science works, is that a really good research that showed humans weren't at least partly responsible, would make a scientist very wealthy and famous. Bjorn Lomborg is famous primarily for his counter approach - and makes good money from it. Doing more research that confirms the same old evidence as everybody else does not make great/exciting careers for scientists. In my experience working scientists love to poke holes in data/theories, just like this research that improves raw satellite data; but does not in any way suggest that global climate changes is not occurring as suggested by some posters.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hockey Stick sceptics

    I'm always amazed at the number of Reg Readers who seem to have swallowed whole the objections to the Hockey Stick projections, yet totally ignore the subsequent arguments in it's favour.

    Wegman's main objections to Mann seem to be that he didn't spend enough time rubbing shoulders with real statisticians, and that all the other paleoclimatologists agreed with him because they were all paleoclimatologists. The National Research Council report, issued at around the same time, came to the conclusion that despite the statistical shortcomings in Mann's original study, the findings held up, and were supported by other, subsequent studies.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    I like it warmer

    So what's the problem?

    Besides, all this saving of hydrocarbons by requiring people in the EU and NA to drive tiny wheezing people movers just means that the Chinese and Indians can drive Hummer SUVs for longer before the oil runs out!

  34. Anonymous Coward


    IS El Reg so determined to promote the anti climate change agenda?

    The comments from the usual denial platform supporters rolled out again.

    Is real simple guys more CO2 in atmosphere more heat than would have been, regardless of other sources of carbon.

    Why is it IT some IT guys are such desperate deniers?

    The paranoia that allows them to believe the entire climate science community is lying is

    extreme even for these fools.

  35. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    Stupid question...

    West of what? Clearly, "West Antarctic" has a defined meaning to the researchers involved, but not to me. I'm pretty sure where "Western USA" is, and the "East Coast of Asia" (though I'm not too sure about the "West Coast of Asia" - is the West coast of India included?). But does the "West Antarctic" include everything Antarctic from lon. 180 to lon. 0, or is it an arbitrary area?

  36. toughluck

    So, where's the *WEST* Antarctic?

    I thought that was one big continent, centered on the South Pole and all the coastline was in fact facing NORTH.

    While people can traverse East and West on the Antarctic, you won't make it to the shore if you move in those directions.

  37. Anonymous Coward


    Maybe its that it is only in the last 50yrs we have had time, equipment and resources to measure this?

    I am sure columbus and magellen made some cracking Antarctic Ice Sheet recordings?

    or, maybe they used string theory?

    i.e. if the string is wet its raining, if the string is dry its not raining?

    still, I suppose the whole debate takes us away from the apple vs windows debate....

    flames - as they warm things up!?

    maybe we could restart the my console is greener than your debate?

  38. Mayhem

    @toughluck and Allan George Dyer

    Antarctica is not one contiguous landmass, it is two adjacent masses connected by a whopping great lump of frozen water. These are named in true British tradition as West Antarctica and East Antarctica. The eastern mass is mostly solid, and very high. The western mass is mostly a collection of mountain ranges linked by ice. The major ice sheets fill the gaps between the two.

    Seriously, did you even glance at a map before spouting off?

  39. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Political Agenda? What an American Government Agency?

    We keep reading stories about NASA exagerrating global warming and the effects of global warming.

    This is interesting because if you look back a few years the US government and it's agencies were pretty much in denial about global warming, then at some point they not only embraced the idea that global warming is happening and is caused by human activity, but they started to blatantly fudge the figures to support the idea. Why on earth would this be the case?

    Could it be that the Merkins suddenly realised that the idea of human influenced global warming could be used as a big stick to beat the rest of the world? Perhaps they have a problem with those countries with fast developing economies? Or what about trying to reduce the world's reliance on oil to reduce the wealth and influence of the OPEC nations?

    It puzzles me that there is a headlong rush to reduce our "carbon footprint" (how I hate that phrase) and invest fortunes in sustainable energy when so far there is nothing even approaching incontravertable evidence that it will make a blind bit of difference the climate. Odd isn't it that thirty years ago many "respected scientists" were telling us with absolute certainty we were on the brink of another ice age. Science changes it's predictions as often as I change my socks (not very often then) but scientists expect us to take every pronouncement as gospel.

    What puzzles me even more is that while good science teaches us to question and test everything, but politicians can make concrete statements based on science they don't understand at all. Did you hear Mr Brown's scaremongering speech?

  40. Steve Bush

    3 biggest lies

    1. AGW

    2. I'm from head office. I'm here to help you.

    3. No, I wont come in your mouth.

  41. Pat 4

    Same old same old

    Hockey stick graph has been proven, scientifically, after years of having to fight with it's creator to get the raw data, to be complete and utter crap. Period. It's junk science and everyone knows it. Holding on to it and trying to give it any credibility it's pathetic.

    Not a single computer model is able to even remotely work backwards to 100 or even 50 years ago, yet we're all supposed to stop everything and spend hundreds of billions of dollars based on what those same models say the weather will be 50 years from now?? That's not science, it's religion. They're asking people to have faith that the models might be right. More complete bull.

    Pollution is bad. Wasting natural resources without thinking of the consequences is terribly dangerous and may cause humanity to go extinct (which really isn't such a bad thing I sometimes think). Destroying natural habitats is horrible. Wasting energy is also dangerous in the long term.

    But if I'm going to make efforts to improve on all those things, which I do every day... please stop giving me bullcrap reasons, and stop trying to scare me into doing it... that's just dumb.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Na-na-na-na-na-na I can't hear you na-na-na-na

    See, those scientists can't make up their minds. And I don't like this idea of climate change anyway.

    It's not a problem.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    DIY wind?

    @Michael 10

    "I want to be able to drive around the city in an electric car, and run all my tech goodies all on stored solar and wind power that I generate and store myself"

    You must generate a lot of wind. I'll bet you run Linux, too.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    @ Marsden

    "How about we just try using energy MORE EFFICIENTLY? That way whether man-made global warming is a myth or not we *still* get the net effect of lower CO2 emissions *AND* we save money!"

    How about we use fewer candles? We can make do with less.

    That way no one will ever invent electricity.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC - Na-na-na-na-na-na I can't hear you na-na-na-na

    "See, those scientists can't make up their minds. And I don't like this idea of climate change anyway.

    It's not a problem."

    I take it from this that you are a believer?

    And on what concrete evidence do you base this belief?

    What's that? You've got none other than what your priests tell you?

    Go on then, explain to me how your religion differs from all the others.

  46. John 104



    Same old arguments that get pulled out every time science works the way the science methodology works, which is continuing refinement and correction of base data.

    The problem isn't necessarily the scientific method. The problem is the motivation behind tweaking the data. As it was said here, no one ever UNDER estimates climate change - its always overestimated, then sent off to the media who grab it, yell holy hell about how awful we are and organizations use it to further fund their bank roll. There is BIG BIG money in climate change hysteria. Lots of people stand to make money off of the FUD. Therefore, the average joe (NOT people on this site) see AlGore and his dumb assed movie and freak out, go and buy a Prius (don't get me started on that piece of shit car and its lead acid batteries) because it feels good and then go about their business.

    @Dave 14

    Is real simple guys more CO2 in atmosphere more heat than would have been, regardless of other sources of carbon.

    Really? I wasn't aware that CO2 was inherintly warm (or evil) by nature. Wasn't it here on el reg a month or so ago that it was reported by boffins that CO2 wasn't really doing much to affect climate change? Hmm.... Best we bury that article as it doesn't support the FUD needed to fund my job for another 2 years....

  47. Jay Castle
    Thumb Up

    @ Bassey

    Jolly good show, old chap! Some sense at last!!!

  48. andy 45
    Thumb Up


    Grant B = Grant Big = Big ol' grant from the government to be a global warming advocate methinks...

  49. DevonHammer

    A few requests

    Please read some scientific journals if you want to get into the science of this.

    Please read lay-persons' guides to climate change if you don't understand the science - there is no shame in this - try the Met Office.

    Please do not assume that scientists get paid to agree with the consensus. Normally the reverse is true (even without Exxon who have funded scientists very well indeed as long as they get some FUD in the media).

    Please don't quote something that you read in a comment as fact.

    Please don't assume everything is wrong just because MBH98 is flawed.

    Please realise that if a theory is 1% wrong it should not be ignored completely. An AC above rubbishes Newton because of Einstein's theories. I'm sorry, but Newton was way more than 99% correct. I'd happily go with his theories in my sub-lightspeed, non-subatomic way.

    Please stop telling me that my taxes will go up to deal with climate change. My taxes will go up because the financial institutions of the world made a right hash of the economy. This is pretty hard to argue with and yet few people want to get rid of banks.

    Please don't talk about the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming Period to back up your argument. The MWP was not a global event, it was N. Hemisphere only. Global average temperatures are now thought to have been pretty consistent or maybe slightly lower. The LIA was probably globally colder, but that's the most that can be said. If you want to study these events, great, but don't quote them as fact as you're building on sand.

    In fact, please don't quote anything as fact. Climate change is not a fact, global warming is not a fact, gravity is not a fact (it's a theory), that doesn't mean it's not happening.

    Please take a rational view. Most of you are, which is great. Efficiency is good for lots of reasons; reducing dependence on oil and oil rich nations is good etc. etc.. The climate change gamble is that on a worse possible scenario the earth won't be habitable in 1000 yrs and in the best possible scenario nothing will happen. We can either protect against the worst or carry on as we are and hope.

    Please give me a list of published, peer reviewed scientist that are not funded and not creationists. I always ask for this, but no-one's come up with any yet. I know of seven credible ones, but from the level of scepticism there must be 1000's. If there is, I could be convinced.

    Please keep an open mind. This is science on the edge being rushed through because of the risks. Entrenched positions on either side do not help.

  50. DevonHammer


    I meant to say "not funded by the petroleum industry". My mistake.

    Please come up with some names.

  51. Allan George Dyer Silver badge


    Well... obviously not the same maps that you look at. My recollection of Antarctica on maps is "featureless white blob at bottom". I did check Google maps before posting, but didn't find any helpful labels, so, "Seriously", I did glance at a map.

    Perhaps you can "Seriously" enlighten me on one minor point, if you are correct in saying, "two adjacent masses connected by a whopping great lump of frozen water", why is it referred to as "the continent of Antarctica", not "the two bloody big islands of Antartica"? OK, I looked that up on Wikipedia... there does appear to be a significant mountain range connecting them. Anything to add - a little precision and accuracy, perhaps?

  52. callmezeke

    selective hype in climate doomsday reporting

    Perhaps the smug Warmism believers would care to explain why all the reporting on Antarctic ice melt addresses West Antarctica (where it's not disputed that warming is occurring), then imply by omission that the conditions apply to all of the continent? Could it be because the East Antarctic ice sheet has been GROWING through this same time? And maybe because East Antarctica is many times larger than West Antarctica?

    The combination of East and West Antarctica has seen a net growth in the volume of the ice cap. But SHHHHH, don't talk about that -- it doesn't fit the story line!

  53. DevonHammer


    Stop muddying the water.

    You must know that the West is where all the ice is and the East is largely above sea level and made of rock. The East does have a very small amount of increase, but the West is losing 50 gigatonnes of ice per year. Have a look at Rignot et al. in Nature Geoscience.

  54. callmezeke


    East Antarctica is four times the area of West Antarctica, and the ice cap is deepest (even over the underlying rock) near the pole. Much of West Antarctica comprises the major ice shelves (Ross, Ronne, and Larson, the latter of which is experiencing the most dramatic reduction). Ice shelves already displace their mass in the water, though (meaning any melt from those doesn't raise the sea level).

    The journal 'Science' cites the East as gaining 45 +/- 7 gigatons of ice per year.

    Just two of many sources of additional info:,27574,25348657-401,00.html

    Note, please, that I'm not denying that West Antarctica is warming and melting. But there's more to the situation down there than just the West, and the major news outlets' consistent omission of East Antarctic conditions skews viewers' and readers' perceptions.

  55. DevonHammer


    At last someone who talks sense.

    I think given your viewpoint it seems that every news article is skewed (I mean one's viewpoint, but that sounds a bit posh). I believe in anthropomorphic climate change, but I can be convinced either way - I just don't want to take the risk. From my viewpoint The Register seems biased (and I don't get the argument that they're trying to cause balance because The Reg isn't read by the general population and the best way to get balance is to be balanced). From a sceptic viewpoint the output of, for example, The Independent must seem pretty off the wall.

    The problem is that news agencies on both sides are picking individual articles from the thousands and hanging the entire debate on a single source. It's like walking across a road and either banning cars or removing zebra crossings based on the safety of that one crossing.

    So can everyone stop trying to prove or disprove climate change and its causes using individual pieces of evidence?

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