back to article 'Missing heat': Is global warmth vanishing into space?

New research from satellite man Dr Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and maintainer of the UAH temperature record, sheds some light on climate science's "missing heat" mystery. Climate models have predicted more warming than the instruments have measured – leading to various …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Most of the global warming predictions rely heavilly on the greenhouse effect, don't they? So claiming that the predicted heat has escaped into space would be to say that the greenhouse effect either isn't happening as predicted or the models are wrong.

    I'd be more inclined to believe that the people behind the models have been exagerrating the effect in order to strengthen either their argument that we should do something about global warming or their claims for funding. I'm hoping it's the former in which case they are merely concerned about the future of the planet. If it's the latter they are just in it for the money, in which case they're like most of the people on the planet.

    1. DaWolf


      Aerosols, particulates, gases etc in the atmosphere can have 3 main effects on temperature (I am simplifying)

      1) Increase - CO2, Methane

      2) Nothing - Nitrogen

      3) Decrease - Sulphur Dioxide

      What has been discussed is why the temperature appeared to largely plateau in the 2000's (albeit, still at historically very high temperatures).

      It looks as though the main reason is sulphur emissions by the Chinese.

      So what you have are multiple different effects, on top of each other, with different causes. This doesn't mean that the effects do not exist, just that they can mask each other.

      Essentially, that means that when the chinese clean up their coal production, temperatures are predicted to jump rapidly, as happened after Europe and the US cleaned up their coal in the late 70's and early 80's.

      1. Chemist

        By the way..

        the greenhouse effect increases HEAT retention but heat != temperature. For example the same amount of energy might raise a cubic meter of air by x degrees or a cubic meter of water by y degrees depending on the Specific Heat of the materials involved. The more telling example is that ice at 0C will not change in temperature until sufficient heat has been added to melt the ice.

        It just shows how complicated a picture it all is. It looks like it is difficult to calculate the balance of heat in v. heat out. Approximating the resultant temperature change must be a nightmare.

        1. Charles Manning
          Thumb Up

          Heat != Temperature


          That's why all models naffing around with temperature are broken.

          I spent a while searching throu all the UEA code that was "released" searching for heat - particularly latent heat - modeling. I could not find anything.

          Unless climatic models are modelling heat (and not temperature) they are of no scientific use. All they are is providing fake evidence for the great unwashed who don't understand the difference between heat and temperature.

        2. Bob. Hitchen
          Thumb Down

          Water Vapour

          That's the real greenhouse effect. You don't need masses of ex engineers not being able to ski any more to prove it. Deserts at night rapidly lose heat heavy cloud cover retains it. Oh I forgot you people are allergic to things like SIM.

      2. DaWolf

        3up, 3 down

        (and counting) for a post which accurately summarises current thought on the subject.

        Truely, el reg has some idiots who will vote against anything their beliefs don't allow.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        that's a massive over simplification

        You missed ozone a massive greenhouse gas sitting in the upper atmosphere and 25 years ago there was that blg hole bouncing all through energy straight off the polar caps right back into space. That hole has changed but i remember the initial global warming scares and at the time was a physicist and i also remember the revision of the data sets as it became apparent that global warming is/ was a lot more complex than "co2 and methane, aaargh we're all going to drown."

      4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


        It is also worth noting that the cooling effects of sulphur aerosols operate on a different timescale to the warming effect of greenhouse gases. IIRC, sulphate aerosols in the troposphere (which is where they usually will end up as a result of power station emissions) typically have a lifetime of around a week. Carbon dioxide's lifetime is measured in years, and methane's in decades.

        What this generally means is that thigns are actually worse than they appear to be, because pretty much as soon as the power stations stop pumping out sulphates, the effect drops off, and Chinese coal is notorious sulphur rich. They also burn a lot of it.

        As for being downvoted; you just have to accept that despite giving an accurate and correct explanation of the chemistry and physics involved, many people involved in the 'debate' surrounding global warming do not have a scientific education, so don't see the bigger picture. It is sadly human nature to be swayed more by soundbites than by facts.

        For the record, I have degrees in Chemistry but work in the IT industry. I have no vested interests in green technologies or climate research, other than the desire not to see the human race severely fuck up the planet for ourselves. Pumping crap into the atmosphere whilst putting our fingers in our ears and shouting 'la la la' is just one way we are doing this.

        1. Naughtyhorse


          a chemist, so obviously a believer.

          the trouble with you believers is you dont understand democracy.

          nevermind all your facts!, look at all the votes big oil can buy. it's people power man!


          :-) makes you want to scream dont it

      5. The Truth might set you free

        That's useful

        So let's be clear then - when all the gloomy predictions of the global warming models fail abysmally to reflect the observed results, then voila! A new theory is pulled from a magicians hat! It's the sulphur!

        There is observed evidence emerging all the time that utterly debunks the doomy predictions - the latest one being NASA's own report on heat radiation into space...

        And as the UEA emails proved the climate models are utter rubbish anyway - they utterly corrupted the data to fit the proposed model..

        So in summary - give it up.

        The AGW movement is nothing more than 60's commies dressing up their anti capitalistic rages as pseudo earth hugging science... and just like regular communism, if implemented will generate hundreds of millions of dead people...

    2. J Daly

      Sky Dragon Slayers Got it Right

      Forget the second option. It's more likely the 22 scientists and experts who wrote the book, 'Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory' are right after all.

      They were mocked for saying it when the book first came out but now an ever increasing number of independent scientists are agreeing with them: there is NO GREENHOUSE GAS EFFECT. PERIOD

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @J Daly

        If there were no greenhouse effect, we'd all be dead. CO2 retaining energy in the IR is GCSE physics and required for the planet to function.

        Also, 22 scientists - of dubiously relevant skills - Vs all of the other climate scientists in the world, who to believe?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC 11:04

          "Also, 22 scientists - of dubiously relevant skills - Vs all of the other climate scientists in the world, who to believe?"

          So the physical universe is now a democracy is it? I think if you look back at the history of scientific research you will find any number of times where the majority have been in the wrong. This seems to particularly be the case where religion is concerned. Think Gallileo or Darwin, and global warming theory isn't too far from a religion.*

          Generally speaking when anybody comes up with a new theory that argues against the currently accepted theory then the scientific community will not accept that theory. It's how science has always worked. Scientists should be completely rational and open minded people who can look at a new theory and accept it based purely on it's merits. Human nature being what it is, however, it's impossible for any human being to work this way.

          * Firstly the believers don't require any evidence to support their belief and ignore any inconvenient evidence that argues against their belief. Secondly the powers that be use that belief to control the population. Sounds like a religion to me.

  2. Gordon Barret

    Or ...

    ... it could simply be that the models are totally wrong.

    1. amanfromearth

      Gordon is . .....

      The models are made by climate scientists, so it's the scientists who are wrong.

      1. The Brave Sir Robin

        Climate scientists make models?

        Cool. Do you think they could make me one that looks like Kelly Brook?

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Mines the one with 2 points, 2 flats and a packet of gravel.

    3. Jolyon
      Paris Hilton


      Models may well be completely wrong - almost certainly very wrong and definitely not 100% correct.

      Interesting to see the greater enthusiasm for dissing these scientists who can't find their heat than for scorning those than still can't put their fingers on their bosons, dark matter or antimatter.

      There seems to be great certainty amongst the educated non-experts (although no unanimity) about this subject compared with other avenues of scientific enquiry.

      Am I the only person who just doesn't know which lobby is right?

      Paris to remind us that examining even a non-professional model can be worthwhile.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        There's a good reason for that..

        Particle physicists who can't find bosons don't influence my governemnt to royally screw me with ever increasing 'green' taxes which might explain why they don't get 'dissed' when they break their latest doughnut.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, but

    They're supposed to be in it for the science. Not for the lulz, the girls or saving Gaia. Corruption is inevitable when these are their motivations.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "Not for . . . the girls "

      I clearly am involved in the wrong sort of science and have been attending the wrong sort of parties.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Wha?

        You should go to the parties with the finite improbability machines.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          I would but...

          Most of the parties I go to, the women are already wearing no underwear.

          1. peter 45


            Downvote 'cos........The parties I go to, I have never found out if they do or not.

            So downvote 'cos i hate you OK.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Am I bovvered?

              Ha, you're obviously going to the wrong parties ;)

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    A new conservation law?

    The conservation of hot air.

    The more pundits who go on about climate change, the more atmospheric heat is turned into chatter. The only problem is that after you change stored energy into speculation, you have to keep speculating. If the hype every died down, it would turn back into rising temperatures again.

  5. Some Beggar

    "Warmists poured scorn on the veteran sceptic."

    Let me fix that for you.

    "Scientists poured scorn on the evangelical creationist."


    You're welcome.

    1. Naughtyhorse


      top post!

      although i do sometimes feel bad mocking the hard of thinking, i mean it's a bit like standing infront of someone in a wheelchair and dancing.

  6. Marky W

    Massive Health Warning

    He's a kook, and a signatory of the Cornwall Alliance. Here is the first article of their declaration:

    "We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history."

    Hmm. Not saying he's wrong with this research, but for me that hits his credibility pretty f*cking hard. For those too lazy to google:

    1. Anonymous Coward

      But his science any good?

      Because that's all that matters.

      Look, three identical posts in 10 minutes.

      The Hive Mind attacks!

      1. Marky W

        You're right - to a degree

        "because that's all that matters"

        Very true, and if/when the research is independently verified then I'll show a lot more interest.

        However, tying yourself to a bunch of evangelical young-earth creationists does not, to my mind, give me confidence in Roy Spencer's critical faculties, or enhance his credibility as a rational, unbiased scientist. If the results had shown the opposite of what he claims to have measured, I very much doubt they'd have seen the light of day.

        Fair point about the hive mind, that was a bit weird. If we start menstruating at the same time then I'll really start to worry.

        1. Turtle


          So, when you learned from the Climagegate ruckus that UEA has been refusing for years to let their data be scrutinized, you immediately reevaluated your opinion of their work and of global warming, right? Or need research only be independently verifiable when it conflicts with your opinions?

          "If the results had shown the opposite of what he claims to have measured, I very much doubt they'd have seen the light of day." And if his results were the opposite of what they were and if he had published them anyway, you would have no problems with him, with his results, his CV, or any other opinions of anything else that he might entertain.

      2. kissingthecarpet

        Notice the first line

        "We believe" it begins. Therefore his judgement is clouded by belief. Belief is a dangerous thing for scientists - it suggests they might have certaInty about things that they haven't even seen, let alone measured. Difficult to separate his science from his absolute certainty, I would think. For all anyone here knows, his densely argued paper could have a tiny asterisk by the crucial point that refers to a note at the foot of the page which says:

        "It was God what done it - see Bible for further details"

    2. ChilliKwok

      Cornwall Declaration

      Agreed that particular statement from the Cornwall Alliance contains some idiotic religious mumbo jumbo and deserves to be ridiculed. However I have no problem with the other 3 points in their declaration:

      "2) We believe abundant, affordable energy is indispensable to human flourishing, particularly to societies which are rising out of abject poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that accompany it. With present technologies, fossil and nuclear fuels are indispensable if energy is to be abundant and affordable.

      3) We believe mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, achievable mainly by greatly reduced use of fossil fuels, will greatly increase the price of energy and harm economies.

      4) We believe such policies will harm the poor more than others because the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on energy and desperately need economic growth to rise out of poverty and overcome its miseries."

      Based on these points - they seem to have a much firmer grasp on reality than Chris Huhne & co at HM Department of Climate Change & energy - who worship at the alter of man-made climate change hysteria.

  7. Chris Miller

    Dr Roy Spencer

    Is on the Board of Advisors of the Cornwall Alliance, a creationist evangelical mob:

    Of course, that doesn't mean his analysis is wrong; but his scientific views are, shall we say, a little eccentric.

    1. Steve Knox


      "Of course, that doesn't mean his analysis is wrong; "

      So why do you mention it then?

      "but his scientific views are, shall we say, a little eccentric."

      Ah... ad hominem. Pity.

      1. Chris Miller

        Understanding boost needed for Mr Knox

        His claims to be an unbiased scientific observer are incompatible with his apparent belief that the Earth was created historically recently by a big white guy in a beard. His analysis may be correct (even a stopped clock is right twice a day), but the odds are against it.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Chris Miller

          Where do you get off implying that he has an "apparent belief that the Earth was created historically recently by a big white guy in a beard"?

          There is a difference between the use of the word "creation" by religious types to describe the world, and the people who advocate a literal interpretation of the Bible.

          I can't find anything to indicate that the organization in question has anything to do with Creationism. Did I miss something?

      2. NomNomNom

        its not an ad hom

        The thing is Roy Spencer has appealed to having investigated the subject of evolution in detail scientifically:

        "Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as "fact," I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism."

        Something is wrong if you proclaim to have studied the issue as a PhD scientist and conclude that the theory of evolution is a religion.

        Spencer is a signatory of the Cornwall Alliance which has "An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming":

        "We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history."

        And recently Spencer said: "I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government"

        You have to worry that Spencer believes on faith that climate sensitivity is low because he thinks God wouldn't have made an Earth humans could dangerously harm themselves with through fossil fuel emissions, and is setting out to argue this because he sees it his job to prevent any solution which would involve the role of the government.

        For all the crying skeptics do about funding of climate scientists, I think the above is a far more disturbing indicator of potential bias.

        1. deegee

          @nomnomnom 23:42 - playing devil's advocate...

          "the theory of evolution is a religion"

          Is it not the belief's of a set of people, who also may practice within the confines of those beliefs?

          From the dictionary: "the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices."

          Seems to fit to me... and it isn't "science fact" at this time either.

          Proper science "fact" requires that it be tested with the same results. So far no one has changed primordial slime into DNA let alone into a single-cell living creature. And panspermia simply moves the whole "didn't happen" to another location. This makes evolution still a "theory". I'm not going to debate its merits here though.

          "... he thinks God wouldn't have made an Earth humans could dangerously harm themselves..."

          Sounds like he should open his bible once in a while.

          Just one scriptural example: Rev 11:18

          ... destroy them which destroy the earth. (AKJV 1611)

          ... and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth. (NWT)

          That sounds to me like we (mankind) are considered to be ruining the earth in the scriptures...

          Maybe he's not that kind of evangelist though?

          Also... "God" who? That's a pretty generic word.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


            "the theory of evolution is a religion"

            "Is it not the belief's of a set of people, who also may practice within the confines of those beliefs?"

            No. It is a constructed hypothesis based upon observable and reproducible evidence, rather than a work of fantasy written by several authors several centuries after the supposed events took place.

            I'm afraid I didn't read the rest of your post, as your first line is observable and reproducible evidence of it being drivel.

            1. Turtle

              Yet another. . .

              So you have decided to cope with the cognitive dissonance occasioned by the Climategate emails etc by pretending it never happened. Good strategy. It enables you to ignore the fact that the theory of global warming is built on cherry-picking of data (for example, from the "hottest tree in the world!) the undermining of scientific procedure and peer review, the falsification of data (hi James Hansen!), and in general more dishonesty than you will find in the health-supplements industry.

              Or perhaps you too feel that the best way to address criticism of a purportedly scientific theory is to attempt to sue, for libel, the journal publishing the criticism?

              Or do these things only matter when global warming is being challenged?

            2. deegee

              @LoyalC 11:41

              Perhaps you should have read the rest of my post...

              "It is a constructed hypothesis based upon observable and reproducible evidence..."

              It is not reproducible. That is 100% false.

              Show me one documented and repeated case where scientists have created DNA from primordial slime, let alone then had it "evolve" into a single cell creature.

              And the entire argument about "it takes millions of years" is also bogus.

              I never said in my post that apples and snakes are the truth, but equally "evolution" from primordial slime or pangea, or evolutionary "species jumping" is just as equally not truth, nor is it "observable" or "reproducible". You've been lied to if that is what you believe.

          2. Naughtyhorse

            our survey said...

            evolution is a theory

            a theory inspired by close observation

            occams razor

            and finaly backed by _countless_ examples.

            stuff changes, slowly, very slowly

            the key word is EVOLUTION

            not CREATION

            bags of evidence

            even ID is proof of evolution!

            scripture is bunk, and with each passing day more and more of the 'outragous jewish folk tale about a snake and an apple' is demonstrated to be hokum.

            so to keep the meme going, some creative (lol) creationists came up with intelligent design, lamely trying to hitch their hotch-potch bunch of borrowed superstition to the 'scientific method' juggernaut.

            they are fooling no one - excepting those who were terminally gullible to start with.

            get thee behind me kiddie fiddler!

            1. Turtle


              So, if it wasn't a specifically Jewish folk tale, you wouldn't mind, yes?

        2. Duster

          Read the argument

          There's no question the creationism and intelligent design are screwball concepts, but when you parse, AGW is just about as screwy as ID. So, while some of his ideas may be cockeyed, not even a majority of biologists can actually talk coherently about evolution with descending into ontological confusion. The question is not whether all of his ideas are screwy, just if this one is. Spencer's arguments are directed at recognized problems in existing GCMs having to do with atmospheric moisture, cloud formation, etc. He concludes sanely that satellite evidence strongly suggests that there really is no "missing" energy. That guarantees an attack from AGW theorists because implies they can't do their sums properly.

          He isn't the only scientist to argue so either. In fact, contrary to the media-provided impressions one might develop, there is no general agreement among atmospheric scientists that a "greenhouse effect" theory is even necessary to understand climate, or in fact to explain earth's weather and average climate. There are physicists that are quite blunt in pointing out that the "physics" of current climate theory should mean that perpetual motion machines are possible. It might be best to regard the arguments and logic and not the men. We might actually form a consensus about what we don't know.

        3. Tom 13

          What is the falsifiable premise

          of Evolution?

          If you can't produce one, it might be right, it might be wrong, but it isn't science.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Whether or not you believe in the greenhouse effect theory, or even whether global warming is actually happening (and I am personally a greenhouse sceptic) ...

    ...its is blatantly obvious from satelite imagery and rising sea levels that the polar ice caps ARE melting, more of the earth becomes desert each year and tropical storms are getting stronger and more frequent.

    Remember the scientist who got slated for suggesting that we should be investing in adapting civilisation to suit the changing environment? I think he was making a reasonable point.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      blatantly wot?

      "is blatantly obvious from satelite imagery and rising sea levels that the polar ice caps ARE melting, more of the earth becomes desert each year and tropical storms are getting stronger and more frequent."

      a) The polar ice melts every year - the thirty-year low was reached in 2007, we only have instrumentation as far back as 1979. But the seaways were more navigable before, when there was even less ice:

      b) Desertification: there are also 50 acres of additional tropical rainforest for every acre cut down in the Amazon. The health of the biosphere is improving.

      c) Tropical storm activity is at an all-time low. Ding!


      "Tropical cyclone accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) has exhibited strikingly large global interannual variability during the past 40-years. In the pentad since 2006, Northern Hemisphere and global tropical cyclone ACE has decreased dramatically to the lowest levels since the late 1970s. Additionally, the frequency of tropical cyclones has reached a historical low"

      d) Satellite is spelled with two Ls.


    2. ChilliKwok

      Blatantly Obvious

      Sea levels have been rising at more or less the same rate for 100's of years - since the end of the little ice age. And before that - since the end of the last ice age.

      Satellites show the Sahara and the planet as a whole is greening - believed to be from the fertilizing effect of increased atmospheric CO2.

      Tropical cyclone energy is at a record low and the US hasn't been hit by a hurricane for 1050 days - the longest period since the American Civil War.

      Arctic sea ice has only been monitored since 1979 and there is strong historical evidence of past periods of low arctic ice - eg. when US subs surfaced at the pole in 1958 and 1959.

      What was it you said was blatantly obvious again?

      As for the Antarctic - sea ice is close to record high.

      1. NomNomNom

        subs surfacing at the pole

        "Sea levels have been rising at more or less the same rate for 100's of years - since the end of the little ice age"

        No, sea level rise is faster in the last few decades than earlier, which is as you would expect as the world is now warmer.

        "there is strong historical evidence of past periods of low arctic ice - eg. when US subs surfaced at the pole in 1958 and 1959."

        Subs try to surface in leads. These are holes in the ice pack that occur even when the ice is thick.. These don't require ice free pole. Plus observations of ice extent by countries at the poles do not show an ice free pole occurred in the 50s or 60s.

        Antarctic sea ice is actually currently below average. Global sea ice even almost reached a new low, the record holder being summer 2007.

        1. ChilliKwok

          Alarmist hysteria about sea ice

          Re sea levels. Envisat shows a negligible 0.76mm/yr rise since 2004. Colorado uni have 3mm/yr average over the last 20 years. No acceleration. Less than a dicks-worth of rise in a human lifetime. Think we can handle that without too much trouble?

          Re historical arctic ice - I'd also draw your attention to Admundsen who sailed the Northwest passage in 1906 in a wooden boat - without the benefit of satellite assistance nor nuclear-powered ice breakers. Clearly suggesting the Arctic sea ice was less than than now.

          Re: Antarctic ice. Take a look at the graph on Cryosphere today

          Basically flat - if anything rising up a bit. And you're telling me there's something to worry about there? Having hit near record highs in 2008 and 2010?

    3. Nightkiller


      Jared Diamond points this out in his book "Collapse".

    4. Duster

      Rising what?

      The most recent rise in sea level as a constant added by "scientists" to account for the fact that sea level changes were slowing or reversing. That is, they are fudging the data to make it look more like predictions. You can expect desertification from a cooling earth sooner than from a warming one - it would have to become warm enough that additional evaporation did not result in additional precipitation, so any present increase in desert areas is highly unlikely to be linked to global climate changes - regional ones due to grazing, farming, development, perhaps. Cool air on the other hand contains less moisture to begin with. Tropical storm frequency changes can be accounted for by increased monitoring - satellite imagery detects storms that would have been unnoted not many decades ago.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Other creationists...




    But if you can't fault his science, I guess you have to attack the man.

    1. Chris Miller

      Great men all

      and had they had access to the last 200 years of scientific research, I'm sure they would treat creationism with the contempt it roundly deserves. What's Dr Roy's excuse?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      Oh come on, those were very different times, when creationism was the only game in town and atheists were rarer than hen's teeth. Public atheists at any rate.

      Galileo was placed under house arrest for years for challenging church doctrine, never mind the existence of the christian god. (although I'll admit that deniers are often treated unfairly as modern-day heretics).

      1. Denarius Silver badge

        @AC &weak

        not quite. The academics in charge, not the churchmen (all of whom were in clerical robes) were the main critics of Galileo. The churchmen were mostly interested initially because his model worked and was simpler. Then situation went bad, partly because Galileo had a very agressive "debating" style.

        Not unusual in academia for parties to form and plot the downfall of opposing views to the offical doctrine even now.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bigotry alive and well...

      It's a frighteningly common trend - don't listen to so-and-so because he's a such-and-such - lead by propagandists like Richard Dawkins. It's a simple technique: construct a straw-man from the most vocal and ridiculous people who claim to be part of the target group, tear it down, and then imply that everyone in that group is just the same. The end result is mass ignorance and intolerance, as evidenced in some of the comments here.

    4. DaWolf

      Ah yes

      Because 3 famous scientists from centuries ago, when scientific knowledge on the earth's history was much less advanaced, are a great set to choose.

      1. Naughtyhorse


        but you must admit, Newton was barking.

        top science bloke and all, grabbity, 1/2 of calculus, laws of motion, all that stuff with light and all.

        but funny handshakes? lead into gold?


    5. bdeclerc

      Bad comparisons?

      Oh, come on, naming scientists that predate Darwin's theory of evolution by centuries as evidence that rational scientists can be creationists?

      The reality is quite simple: to be a creationist *and* "scientists" at the start of the 21st century is essentially impossible - anyone who pretends to be both is either a hypocrite or delusional.

      All of which does not mean he has to be wrong about his research, only that it's not unreasonable to question his scientific capacities...

    6. PT

      @Other Creationists

      The three "creationists" you cite lived at a time when the penalty for not being a creationist was a warm one. I believe if the alternative was being burned alive after an indefinite period of imprisonment and torture, even I might profess the belief that the World was created six thousand years ago by an Almighty God.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        @PT: "the alternative was being burned alive after an indefinite period of imprisonment and torture, even I might profess the belief that the World was created six thousand years ago"

        You've been mislead. Galileo relished mocking the religious authorities of the day, but didn't meet with anything worse than house arrest. Those responsible for his arrest were clearly wrong, of course, but many of their actions likewise had little to with faith. They were rich and powerful people trying to assert their wealth and power, just like those who opposed and executed Jesus. People of faith will frequently find themselves at odds with religious authorities, unfortunately.

        And I'm wearied of hearing that Christianity has something to do with Creation occurring 6000 years ago. Are you aware that concept was dreamed up by a certain Bishop Ussher in the 17th century? The vast majority of Christians see the idea as irrelevant at best, but divisive and dishonest is closer to the mark. Control freaks like this kind of idea because it makes them distinctive, providing grounds for isolating 'their' people from the 'others'. The followers of this idea are practically a cult, which has *nothing* to do with Christian faith. It may not seem this way to the casual observer, simply because - like many cults - this brand of creationism is strident, divisive, and very vocal. Controversy is their lifeblood, not faith.

        Faith embraces the world as it is, and that includes scientific observation. People who are afraid of science (or anything/anyone else) demonstrate a lack of faith.

        1. Some Beggar

          @Ralph 5

          "Are you aware that concept was dreamed up by a certain Bishop Ussher in the 17th century?"

          Utter codswallop. The Jewish calendar is based on a creation date of 3761BCE and has been for nearly two thousand years. The Judeao-Christian tradition for at least two thousand years has been quite clear that the earth was young. Only a small minority of Christian writers argued that Genesis was allegorical until very recently. And in the protestant community the culture of Biblical literalism never died out - something between a quarter and a half of Americans still believe it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Recent allegory?

            @Some Beggar: "The Judeao-Christian tradition for at least two thousand years has been quite clear that the earth was young. Only a small minority of Christian writers argued that Genesis was allegorical until very recently"

            This subject has been debated for as long as we have records. For example, have you not read what the Jewish scholar Philo (c 20 BC - AD 45) wrote about literal "days" of creation?

            "He [Moses] says that in six days the world was created, not that its Maker required a length of time for His work, for we must think of God as doing all things simultaneously, remembering that "all" includes with the commands which He issues the thought behind them. Six days are mentioned because for the things coming into existence there was need of order"

            ...and later...

            "It is quite foolish to think that the world was created in six days or in a space of time at all."

            I can give *many* similar examples, Christian and Jewish alike from the earliest records we have. The cause of the debate is simple - Genesis answers only one question about the existence of the universe, but we want to know more. Genesis doesn't say anything about "When?", or "How?", or "How long" - not even "Why?". It only states in the most succinct terms possible, "Who".

            A natural desire to know more has lead many to embellish this record, trying to answer all the questions with assumptions, extrapolations, and calculations. The results are invariably ludicrous, hence the response of scholars like Philo (and others) to refute these inventions. With regard to the Jewish calendar, it arose from exactly the same erroneous thinking sometime in the 3rd century. You will find, however, that virtually all recent references are made to Ussher (or his contemporary Lightfoot) with respect to this debate. And it's about as relevant to faith as the "number of angels on a pin". You should not assume for a moment that to be Christian is also to believe in certain facts about the universe other than, "it exists because God willed it to exist". Anything beyond that - it's age, nature, purpose, etc - is speculation.

            1. Some Beggar

              @Ralph 5

              "I can give *many* similar examples,"

              Really? If you can give "many" examples then why have you only given a single example? And an example from well outside the core Christian tradition at that. You seem to have forgotten that the gnostics were considered heretics and eradicated by the catholics almost a thousand years ago. What sort of counter-example is that?

              The core christian tradition was always a literal interpretation of Genesis. To argue otherwise is revisionist piffle.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                One example is more than none

                @Some Beggar: "Really? If you can give "many" examples then why have you only given a single example?"

                I gave one example because a forum like this isn't an appropriate place to start writing a book. But fine, I'll bore everyone with a long-winded message with more examples.

                Justin Martyr (c AD 100-166) and Irenaeus (c AD 130-200) were inclined to think a creation "day" was 1000 years (from Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8). Irenaeus wrote,

                "Thus, then, in the day they did eat, in the same did they die... for it is said, "There was made in the evening, and there was made in the morning one day." Now in this same day that they did eat, in that also did they die. [...] One one and the same day on which they ate they also died (for it is one day of creation)... He (Adam) did not overstep the thousand years, but died within their limit... for since "a day of the Lord is a thousand years," he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them"

                Hyppolytus (c AD 170-236) also though the "day" referred to a thousand years. Clement of Alexandria (c AD 150-220 echoed Philo's opinion that creation days were not literal, 24-hour days, stating that creation could not take place in time since, "time was born along with things that exist". Origen (c AD 185-254) taught that spiritual meanings should be sought in certain parts of scripture, and say the "6 days" of creation as one such area. He wrote, "The text said that "there was evening and there was morning," it did not say: "the first day," but said, "one day." It is because there was not yet time before the world existed"

                Augustine (AD 354-430), who conducted extensive research on this subject, wrote, "As for these 'days', it is difficult, perhaps impossible to think - let alone explain in words - what they mean." In "The Literal Meaning of Genesis" he wrote, "But at least we know it [the creation day] is different from the ordinary day with which we are familiar". In the same book he wrote, "Seven days by our reckoning after the model of the days of creation, make up a week. Bu the passage of such weeks time rolls on, and in such weeks one day is constituted by the course of the sun from its rising to its setting; but we must bear in mind that these days indeed recall the days of creation, but without in any way being really similar to them."

                There are more, but I think this will suffice. I think you'll agree that the church doesn't view Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, or Augustine as a side-show or heretical. If you think this is a 'revisionist' version of their opinions, please elaborate. Propagandists like Dawkins like to paint a picture of a church that is founded on the idea that creation happened in 6 literal days about 6000 years ago, but the truth is, while their straw man is constructed from some who actually believe that, it is about as honest and accurate as Joseph Goebbels' portrayal of the Jews.

                1. Some Beggar

                  @Ralph 5

                  John Martyr, Irenaeus, Augustine and Hyppolytus were all young earth creationists, they just aged the universe very slightly differently from their peers. Young earth creationism is categorically NOT a straw man. It was the core tradition of Christianity from its Jewish roots up until the modern era. You have still not given any examples to contradict my original statement:

                  "The Judeao-Christian tradition for at least two thousand years has been quite clear that the earth was young. Only a small minority of Christian writers argued that Genesis was allegorical until very recently."

                  And why do you keep mentioning Dawkins? What does a retired biologist have to do with this? I realise he's the bee in the bonnet of many insecure theists, but nobody else has mentioned him or anything he's written, so why bring him up?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Your choice

                    @Some Beggar: "John Martyr, Irenaeus, Augustine and Hyppolytus were all young earth creationists, they just aged the universe very slightly differently from their peers"

                    I provided quotes which categorically demonstrate that both Jewish and Christian thinkers did not think the Genesis account provided a literal time component. In fact - as Augustine neatly summarised - they felt the time question was essentially unanswerable. Therefore, any time they might choose to attach to it (if any is stated) comes down to personal opinion, i.e. it is intended to be speculative, like an unproven hypothesis. If you are of a fundamentalist persuasion, then it's your choice to believe the account is imbedded with literal time data. But don't attempt to colour the whole world (historic or otherwise) with your opinion - the facts don't square with it. It's telling that you demand quotes but don't provide any yourself.

                    I mentioned Dawkins because he is a strong proponent of some of the opinions voiced in response to this article - that any who believes in anything other than the material, observable, measurable universe is flawed, untrustworthy, possibly insane - a "virus" to be exterminated.

                    1. Some Beggar

                      @Ralph 5

                      Choice? It's not even slightly controversial. Here is Augustine on the age of the universe:

                      "They are deceived, too, by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though, reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6000 years have yet passed."

                      That final phrase is entirely unequivocal: at the time of writing, the universe was less than 6000 years old. Augustine was a young earth creationist like practically every other scholar for almost the entire history of christianity.

                      I suspect you've simply argued yourself into a corner and don't have the balls to say "oops I was wrong". But feel free to keep banging away or blame it all on persecution by a retired biologist. He's worse than Goebbels, you know.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Always read the context

                        @Some Beggar: "Here is Augustine on the age of the universe: 'They are deceived, too, by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though, reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6000 years have yet passed.' "

                        If you read the context of that quote, you will find he is talking about the recorded history of man. Many sceptics laughed at the creation account, holding that the world - and man - had no beginning. The idea that the universe had a starting point was absurd to them - how could there be no universe, and where would it arise from? Speaking of the human race, Augustine quotes Apulieus thus, "Individually they are mortal, but collectively, and as a race, they are immortal."

                        Augustine then questions why the recorded history of man is so paltry if it extends to the infinite past. Surely they would have reached this point before? He gives other examples of historical records ranging up to 8000 years, but questions their consistency. Based on any of these records, however, he asserted that it points to a finite past.

                        He goes on to illustrate that any length of time less than infinity is vanishingly small by comparison, and therefore the questions and difficulties remain the same even if, "five or six, but even sixty or six hundred thousand years, or sixty times as many, or six hundred, or six hundred thousand times as many, or this sum multiplied until it could no longer be expressed in numbers, the same question could still be put..." At what point man came into existence beyond the creation of the universe was unanswerable to him, nor did he see it as of great significance.; "I own that I do not know what ages passed before the human race was created..."

                        You will also note that he refers to the "reckoning" of scripture, a reckoning being an estimate or calculation. He - and others - say this because there are no absolute time references to be found. Those who want to know more than the fact that God made the world have sought a means to work it out. They did this using genealogies in scripture, estimating the time between successive generations and assuming that when it was said that, "so-and-so was the son of such-and-such", they meant that there was only a single generation between them. Given that we have no idea when each generation was born, that it wasn't unusual for a distant descendent to be referred to as a "son" (even a man today could - in the proper use of the expression - be called "the son of Adam"), or that generations might be omitted from the series, how much weight do you think they gave to the resultant figure?

                        Augustine used this estimate as a benchmark in his assertion that the world (and man) had a beginning, and that is was a finite number of years. Scriptural records were as good a historical reference as any, and he used this to question why an eternity of mankind had not amounted to more. So judge for yourself - is 6000 years an assertion of scripture, or an extrapolation/calculation/estimate/reckoning derived from it? Add the fact that Augustine did not see the "days" of Genesis as a 24-hour period, or that he did not know what time elapsed before mankind, and you cannot claim that he was committed to any such number, or that it was pivotal to his faith. It was simply a (controversial) subject that fascinated him, and he explored it as deeply as he was able; "no matter at what earlier or later period he had been created, this controversy about the commencement of this world's history would have had precisely the same difficulties as it has now."

                        1. Some Beggar

                          @Ralph 5

                          "feel free to keep banging away"

        2. elderlybloke


          Ralph S

          The Christians of the Inquisition escorted Galileo down into their dungeons to inspect the instruments of torture , before he was given the option of recanting or going back down there again.

        3. TeeCee Gold badge

          Re: Misinformation

          "You've been mislead. Galileo relished mocking the religious authorities of the day, but didn't meet with anything worse than house arrest."

          That would be because Galileo put a crimp in the church's teachings rather the Biblical law, as he only ever questioned the model that was the interpretation of the biblical "facts" at the time.

          Had he come out and said; "Look, there's no way God made this and the whole shebang's almost certainly a shitload older then the bible says it is, so that's wrong too", he'd have been up for the full Inquisitorial analysis and subsequent toasting forthwith.

          Christianity (or rather the Abrahamic religions as a set) have got *everything* to do with Creationism. Something to do with the fact that the Tome Of Turgidity opens with the cast-iron bullshit "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth". All Ussher did was work the timelines given in the subsequent cobblers back to come up with a date for that. Blaming Ussher's work for the excesses of Creationism is like blaming alcoholism on Stella Artois.

    7. DavCrav

      Bad argument

      I'm obviously not going to be the only one who will say this, but your argument is specious. All three men you mention were born hundreds of years ago, without access to our current knowledge. For example, Newton also believed in absolute space and universal time. Come on, this is obviously inconsistent with special and general relativity! If you think that newton, alive now, would believe in creationism, you are seriously deluded.

      Now can you be quiet?

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Attacking the science then

      Fairly comprehensively:

      1. mhenriday
        Thumb Up

        Thanks, John,

        for this link, which, without resorting to any argumenta ad hominem, reveals the very large lacunae in Mr Spencer's attempts to apply the scientific method, which seem to be based rather on a need to demonstrate the existence of a benevolent diety which would not allow us to change Earth's climate in such a way as to endanger our very existence than on a desire to understand what really is going on....

        Hardly surprising, but still rather saddening, to see Mr Orlowski pushing Mr Spencer's interpretation of the data on the Reg....


  10. Stuck-Record

    Wow, he believes in God!

    Wow, he believes in God! I guess Newton, Kepler, Planck et al must be wrong then too.

    1. DavCrav

      Not you too

      I just explained why the other guy was wrong. Copy and paste.

      But ooh, you've included someone alive in the twentieth century. Go and read Wikipedia on Planck's religious viewpoint, particularly the sentence '[...] he did not believe "in a personal God, let alone a Christian God." ' Rest assured Planck believed in evolution and was not a creationist.

  11. Anonymous Freetard

    Oh Noes

    Roy Spencer believes something.

    If you can find a way that he's doctored his data, like factoring in the location of Noah's Ark frinstance - then go ahead and crucify the cheat.

    But don't dismiss his research because you don't like what he stands for, otherwise there's a whole lot of science that you need to chuck out because the researchers weren't good Dawkinians.

    1. Chris Miller

      It isn't his belief, per se

      it's *what* he believes. Whatever Dawkins* thinks, it's perfectly possible to be a good scientist and believe in God/Vishnu/whatever - and there are plenty of such people, John Polkinghorne being a particularly eminent example. Indeed, there's a good (though far from unanswerable) case to be made for the universe being a created entity, based on the apparent fine tuning of fundamental physical constants.

      But it is *not* possible to be a scientist *and* believe that the world was created a few thousand years ago, in total contradiction of the vast majority of our modern understanding of physics, chemistry, geology and biology.

      * A superb evolutionary biologist and communicator, but a lousy philosopher.

    2. EWI

      LOL @ depths to which cranks will sink

      'Anonymous' asks for Spencer's doctoring of data, so:

  12. Bango Skank

    oh for crying in a bloody bucket ...

    What is it with people that they think a few high-school science classes during which they day-dreamed about sex and music enables them to second-guess major parts of scientific consensus?

    Thousands of scientists have poured tens of thousands of hours into decades of interlocking research that has gone through the normal process of publication in peer-reviewed journals, replication by others, attack by competing findings, and this has slowly bubbled up through the layers of science bodies and panels, to finally emerge as a consensus position at the international level.

    Whether it is in fact what nature is actually busy doing is neither here nor there - the point is that no single person, group of people, or even a whole cluster of them can ever hope to come up with a better guess than what the consensus position provides.

    Unless one assembles an entirely different cohort also composed of thousands of scientists labouring for tens of thousands of hours over decades also with billions of euros and dollars of funding, one will never arrive at a better guess than the current consensus position.

    I wish to hell that this simple and rather self-bloody-evident penny would drop down the slot and hit the bell.

    It doesn't matter if you think your favourite filmstar, hooker, evangelist, or medium thinks the consensus is wrong, they simply don't have a snowflakes chance in a blast furnace of being in the same planetary system for coming up with a better guess.

    The consensus position, right or wrong as nature would know but isn't telling, is the best and only guess in town - like it, lump it, or shove it up your central orifice - it is the best guess that our species is capable of making, and that's the bloody end of it!

  13. Anonymous Coward

    A short comment

    I read with some interest this quote from a warmist: "Climate sensitivity is not constrained by the last two decades of imperfect satellite data, but rather the paleoclimate record."

    I find it highly interesting that the direct measurement of temperature across the entire earth at multiple different altitudes by a highly accurate measuring instrument is considered by someone to be a worse measure of climate sensitivity than a proxy measurement derived using dodgy statistics from ice core or tree ring data.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Oh No!

    Help ... we're making the universe hotter .... that sounds serious!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Human Flourishing FAIL

    "We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory."

    Many fundamentalists take this to mean that the Earth is an infinite resource which mankind has a divine right to abuse according to his whim.

    9 billion population by 2050? Let the scrap for resources begin...

  16. cirby

    The heat's not missing

    It was never there in the first place.

    Part of the problem with AGW is that the original authors made one huge assumption - that CO2 warming would be multiplied by additional H20 warming (a factor of about three times as much warming). This assumed extra warming was not backed up in any real-world studies, and was only introduced because their model runs didn't come up with enough heat from the CO2-nudged "greenhouse effect."

    What these observations really do is finally put the nail in the coffin of that unscientific assumption by the AGW computer modelers.

    1. Some Beggar
      Thumb Down


      "the nail in the coffin"

      I don't know the burial traditions around your part of the world, but around here we typically wait until somebody is dead, or at the very least poorly, before we start nailing up the coffin. AGW is supported by the vast majority of relevant scientists. That makes it very much alive. Even if this research turns out not to be purest quackery, it would barely register as a minor sniffle against the health of the scientific consensus.

      1. Mick Sheppard

        One mans quackery is another mans certainty

        Its interesting that the weight of scientific knowledge behind current thinking is used as an argument to support it. This is a self-sustaining model, if enough people believe it's true then it must be so.

        In the sixties we had infinite oil, there was no global warming, well maybe a few cranks with their quackery disagreed. Scientific opinion tends to collect around the edges of current thinking. Its just how things work, it takes a deal of confidence to question that and then evidence to backup the questions. If the new thinking can be proven then scientific thinking changes to the new model, with the exception of a few on the outside that try and prove it wrong.

        We shouldn't be dismissive of people just because they have a different view. Instead we should say, "Ok, prove it."

  17. Paul Shirley

    the paper makes weak claims

    One thing sticks out a mile here: with his known beliefs, affiliations and record, the best he could manage is claiming an effect that in essence smooths out extreme short term temperature excursions (on the timescale of 3months or so), explains a well known difference between *short term* model predictions and measurement and at best just delays global effects. Despite the best efforts of 'friends' in the press to misrepresent the actual paper it's hardly a bombshell.

    I think he was faced with a self inflicted dilemma, write exaggerated BS or stay close enough to the truth to actual get printed in an untainted publication. In this case a marginally relevant publication. He chose the latter. Going to be interesting seeing how much of the mild claim survives peer review (which it's not had yet).

    It's really hard to work out what he hopes to achieve, the message seems to be 'it's not possible to understand the situation', presumably because that will throw doubt on all modelling efforts. I hope he's actually found something real, it could help ameliorate the worst effects on extreme weather effects and buy a few more years before the tipping point to undo the damage his cronies have inflicted with delay.

    More likely he's failed to resist exaggeration and will be refuted pretty quickly now the 'usual suspects' are stirring up PR.

    1. 100113.1537
      Thumb Down

      beliefs not relevant to science

      Paul, his beliefs are irrelevant, but his record and affiliations are unquestioned. Roy Spencer has headed the UAH satellite program for many years and has published widely on remote sensing and atmospheric energy transfers. The paper provides the data and methodology behind the analysis and doesn't make any claims or hyperbole (sadly, the same can't be said the press release or other press reports). He has pointed out a serious discrepancy between the actual measured data and all of the models used to predict the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere.

      In terms of what he "hopes to achieve" you are ascribing a motive based on your own viewpoint that everyone has to have an angle and will use any means to further it. Yes, Dr Spencer has beliefs and he is quite happy to expound on them, but not in his published papers in which he sticks closely to what the data reveal.

      Your own beliefs are quite clear with phrases such as "extreme weather effects" and "tipping points" which are still only found in computer models, not in the data. So am I safe to assume that what you "hope to achieve" in your comment is to detract from the data by smearing the messenger?

  18. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "compared the empirical evidence against six climate models."

    Crikey. Compared *actual* data with the soothsayers prognostications.

    He is an unbeliever

    Burn him!

  19. L.B

    Correlation may not equal cause; BUT!!!

    Did anyone else notice the correlation between temperature anomalies and the economy (see 1st chart).

    When the crash hit in march 2000 the temperatures went down, one could assume this was due to less fuel being used as people stopped spending what they didn't have for a while.

    Then again in 2008, the start of the current economic crisis and again the temperatures dropped again as people use there cars less and industry used less energy.

    Looks like perfect evidence of man made climate change to me, or will Orlowski, Lewis and Co now claim the banks all screwed up because bankers go cold.

    1. Chris007

      go on - explain this against your "theory"

      To those who believe in AGW - Answer the following question:-

      Explain 1000ad - 1200ad warm period or mini ice-age using current IPCC models......

      what's that...... you can't because there wasn't enough man-made CO2 production back then - oh dear....perhaps the climate is affected by something more significant than CO2 then.....

      1. Some Beggar


        Here you go:

        You're welcome.

        Oh ... and you only need three dots in an ellipsis.

        1. Chris007

          That link explains zip about what I wanted answering

          At present people who propose AGW present increasing [man-made] CO2 in the atmosphere as almost certainly the primary or major contributor to global warming. The warm period between 1000 and 1200 puts paid to that idea - something else /must/ have been the primary contributor before and during this time.

          I also see another reply "Now, having given you an explanation of why AGW is, in my opinion, a real effect, please explain to me, based upon the scientific evidence that you clearly possess but I do not, why you believe it doesn't. Fair's fair."

          I don't doubt and have never denied that there is more CO2 is in the atmosphere but as stated above /if/ CO2 is the primary driver to warming then how does this explain the warm period I mention - It doesn't, it can't and common sense says that something else had to be the primary driver.

          I do not have any scientific evidence to present I merely have questions that provoke debate. A few AGW peeps have tried to point me to articles on the warm period but NONE that I've read explain it, they more or less dismiss it as it doesn't help the [man-made CO2] AGW argument.

          If I am proved wrong I'll be the first to hold my hands up and say so but my gut feeling is that CO2 will be proved not to be the major contributor to the kind of climate change we are currently experiencing.

          1. Some Beggar


            "If I am proved wrong I'll be the first to hold my hands up"

            You just were and you just didn't. I call bluff.

            1. Chris007


              I am far from proved wrong that CO2 is the primary/major contributor to our current climate changes - there is no definitive proof /either/ way at the moment. We understand how our climate works about as much as we understand how black holes work - we have lots of theories but nothing concrete as yet.

              As I said I've never gone against the "there is more CO2 in the atmosphere" - I am yet to be convinced it is the primary contributor.

        2. Chris007

          forgot to add

          Oh dear - there's that hockey stick diagram again......................................

          And I'll have as many . as I want :P

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


        You refer to the 'mini ice age' that affected Northern Europe, but not the rest of the planet? I think you'll find that this is what is known as a localised effect, and there is little evidence that this affected the global heat balance in any way.

        So, here's an explanation for you: The climate DOES have short , medium, and long-term cyclical effects (ranging from el-nino, to ice ages), these can be explained variously by cyclical changes in ocean currents (without which most of Europe would be frozen solid for most of the year), and things like predicatable periodic changes in the orbital eccentricity of the Earth.

        The existence of these effects does nothing to disprove the existence of the greenhouse effect, which is based upon sound scientific knowledge of the spectral properties of atmospheric components such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour, sulphur dioxide, etc. etc.

        Now, having given you an explanation of why AGW is, in my opinion, a real effect, please explain to me, based upon the scientific evidence that you clearly possess but I do not, why you believe it doesn't. Fair's fair.

        1. Bob. Hitchen
          Thumb Down

          Sunny side Up

          Yousaying the main source of heat for the planet has constant output?

          1. Some Beggar


            Nobody is saying that. It's a demonstrably ridiculous straw man argument.

            Solar energy reaching the earth varies over the course of a year depending on where we are in our elliptical orbit. It also varies depending on where we are in our 26k year precession. The amount of energy reaching any particular latitude then varies depending on the axial tilt of the planet which also varies slowly over time. There is also a much less significant variation in the output of the sun itself depending where it is in its sort-of cycle. The amount of this periodically varying energy which reaches the surface depends on the make up of the atmosphere.

            All of these periodic factors are taken into account in every measurement and model of the climate. To imply that climate scientists have missed this variation is just utter bollocks. Pop over to google scholar. I will pay you a crisp fiver for every single well-cited paper that you can find that assumes solar irradiance is constant.

            1. Bob. Hitchen

              Strawman - WTF

              The Sun is neither constant or predictable. That's what really get's me about so called climate scientists they only read the research they think supports their case. The Sun produces a massive amount of power across the full radiative spectrum plus magnetic and electrical effects. It also has its own little wobble (SIM) which derives from solar system gravitational effects. If it's all so predictable tell me when and in what direction the next three sloar flares are going to occur.

              1. Some Beggar


                Let me repeat what I just said.

                "I will pay you a crisp fiver for every single well-cited paper that you can find that assumes solar irradiance is constant."

                1. Bob. Hitchen

                  The Sun sometimes puts its hat on

                  Sure you would but they ignore the effects that don't suit them. There is a massive difference between modelling something against measuring actuals. I know which I believe. This is just like theoretical physics mostly junk built by mathematical jiggery-pokery. However nobody is taxing me (Energy or otherwise) to support the big bang multiverses and the like.

                  Can I have a fiver for everything AGW fundies ignore - Oh and no not the white ones.

                  1. Some Beggar


                    "Sure you would but they ignore the effects that don't suit them."

                    "Can I have a fiver for everything AGW fundies ignore."

                    OK. Let me repeat my statement yet again with what ought to be an unnecessary clarification:

                    I will pay you a crisp fiver for every single well-cited paper that you can find that assumes solar irradiance is constant or which ignores any known significant effects.

                    Google scholar is an excellent search engine. If climate science is so corrupt then it should take you no time at all to find some examples. Ten minutes and you could pay for a night on the town.

                    "However nobody is taxing me (Energy or otherwise) to support the big bang multiverses and the like."

                    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Science and Technology Facilities Council (what used to be PPARC etc) is funded in large part from direct taxes. Some of your taxes will also indirectly fund international research like CERN.

  20. Magequeen

    A title is required, really?

    "The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there's no place for it in the endeavor of science." — Carl Sagan

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nice thought but...

      Well that is a very noble sentiment from Carl Sagan. Too bad he himself neither believed nor abided by it. Anyone familiar with his attempts to suppress Velikovsky's books will know that this is true.

      Sagan in general was a self-seeking, publicity-hungry ass-hole. Did you know that Stanley Kubrick wanted to have him give an introduction to the movie 2001 and Sagan demanded a percentage of the gross to do it? Too bad his actual scientific accomplishments do not even come close to approaching his achievements as a low-grade populizer and high-grade attention-whore.

      1. Some Beggar

        @AC 09.27

        "Anyone familiar with his attempts to suppress Velikovsky's books will know that this is true."

        Sagan made no attempt to suppress anything. He was a vocal critic of Velikovsky. But then almost every scientist on the planet was a critic of Velikovsky, because Velikovsky's cosmological theories were utterly risible. But Sagan actually spoke out _against_ any suppression of Velikovsky's work. He believed that cranks should be allowed to publish their rantings so that they could be exposed to critique (and ridicule) by serious scientists.

        And, of course, one in a million "cranks" turns out to have a point. Although Velikovsky definitely doesn't fall into that tiny camp.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Sorry. . .

          Sorry but you are completely wrong. Sagan DID participate in the attempted suppression of Velikovsky's book.

          Furthermore, you might think Velikovisky's theories "risible" but he made quite a number of correct predictions that went quite against the mainstream of scientific theory.

          Cf. for examples"Stargazers And Gravediggers" and De Grazia's "The Velikovsky Affair".

          1. Some Beggar

            @AC 23.59


            And furthermore: ahahahahahahahahaha.

  21. J 3

    Where did the heat go?

    I'd be inclined to say the Eastern USA, from the misery out there these days. And I'm not talking about Washington, DC hot air!

  22. C. P. Cosgrove

    Climate scientists ?

    Are there any universally respected scientists in the climatology field ?

    Chris Cosgrove

    1. Some Beggar

      Dear Chris Cosgrove.

      Nobody is "universally respected", but there are certainly several thousand perfectly respectable and professional scientists working in the field.

      Would you care to suggest any criteria by which we could elimate these thousands of researchers? A bit of conspiracy theory or a "no true scotsman" argument seems to be popular.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's okay Andrew, math is hard

    His paper actually showed that all 6 climate models correlated with his data, just that the 3 "weaker" models correlated better and there was significant noise in all of them. IOW, the nutjob creationist still supports AGW in his peer reviewed paper. Once it hits the idiot pop press, that turns into a victory for the "there is no AGW crowd" who can't or won't follow the actual paper.

  24. dave 46

    It's such a shame

    But popular science is a religion, this article, anything that gets into the popular press and especially these comments - all based on belief more than the scientific method.

    Personally I like my gods to have some some theatre and a bit of hope for an afterlife, all the pop science cultists can offer me is mung beans and milk floats - no thanks, I'm out!

  25. Jaymax

    0° ice to 0° water conversion - A boring, serious, post and question

    I -know- this is a dumb question, I'm -sure- it's impossible that the models fully consider and include this energy-sink, but I've yet to see comment on it anywhere.

    We all know that floating ice, like all around Santa's place, doesn't raise sea levels as it melts, right. But as anyone who took physics in high-school knows, it still takes a lot of energy to turn the solid ice into liquid water, even though there's no actual change in temperature.

    Have a look at this chart ...

    ... especially the last decade, and the change in trend a decade ago.

    ie: the initiation of an estimated loss of 10^12 m^3 of ice

    Making some poor assumptions to keep things easy:

    - 1 m^3 ice = 1^3 kg (of course, ice is a bit lighter that liquid water, but whatever)

    - the ambient temperature is a constant 0° (meh)

    Q=mL => Q=10^15 kg * 334 kJ-kgm−1 = 3.34^18 kJ 'sunk' into the biosphere with no net temperature increase. Of course, this 'warming safety valve' only works while there's a floating polar cap to melt...

    hum... I'm thinking I should maybe ctrl-c this and go ask somewhere other than the reg...

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Remember this

    The earth is flat and carried on the backs of 3 elephants ......scientists in 3rd century

    God created it all .......Evangelists in all centuries

    The earth is round and orbits in space.......scientists in 20th century

    thye common thing is, science changes it's view with better evidence

    evangelists go <fingers in ears> La la La La despite evidence

    Invisible man that lives in the sky but no tooth fairy or santa? see the dichotomy of that?

    1. Some Beggar

      "The earth is round and orbits in space.......scientists in 20th century"

      By "scientists in 20th Century" you presumably mean "Greeks in the 6th Century BC".

  27. John Angelico
    Thumb Up

    Well, how about that...!

    "<title> Spencer and William Braswell, essentially says the climate is too chaotic to say with certainty what is going on."

    I wonder, could it be possible that the Pope is a Catholic?

  28. Mat Ballard

    Yawn. Not another Spencer "paper"


    Here we go again.

    Is this the 8th or 9th time Roy Spencer has "disproved" global warming ?

    If a 2nd year phys chem student handed in a "paper" like this, with no error analysis, they would be told where to shove it.

    For a complete analysis of its flaws see:

    1. The Truth might set you free


      Yes you're very likely to get objectivity from

  29. anarchic-teapot

    Ten years?

    He can extrapolate useful climate data and disprove hundreds of real climate scientists (aka "warmists" using ten years of satellite info?

    Cherrypicked from the hottest years on recent record? (contains slightly NSFW rap)

  30. daple56


    The debate about global warming will likely go on forever. But, the likelihood of there being a life hereafter seems as plain as day. I wish Americans faced up to the obvious truth which Brits have acknowledged for a long time. 60 to 75% of Americans are evengelical fundies. Only about 10% here do not believe. There is absolutely no evidence, and there has never been, that there is a God, or that the fables in the Bible are anything but that.

    Thank you

  31. daple56


    The debate about global warming will likely go on forever. But, the likelihood of there being a life hereafter seems as plain as day. I wish Americans faced up to the obvious truth which Brits have acknowledged for a long time. 60 to 75% of Americans are evengelical fundies. Only about 10% here do not believe. There is absolutely no evidence, and there has never been, that there is a God, or that the fables in the Bible are anything but that.

    Thank you

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Some time ago

    I postulated that all the heat has to go somewhere. If you heat the sea, since there is the isothermal layer, all the heat goes into evaporation on a long term basis due to convection.

    The only thing that can change phase is the water. Steam rises, and at night, on the dark side of the earth, Newton's law of cooling would ensure greater heat loss, the hotter it gets during the day.

    So, I proposed, that the side effect of global warming was not much more heat, but much more rain, especially on the coasts.

    Naturally, climate change nutters laughed at this.

    The battle of wits has begun, it ends when you choose, we both drink, and we will see who is right, and who is dead.

  33. Spider

    Beliefs? meh.

    the theory of evolution (clue's in the title kids!) and other scientific hypotheses are conclusions not beliefs. They are formulated based on evidence and investigation. They are the answer to a question, such as how did that happen?

    Beliefs by their very nature start with the answer and work back. Whether the belief is in god, scientology or the FSM.

    It's easy(ish) to change a conclusion as new evidence is discovered. To change a belief you usually have to kill a whole bunch of people....

    Therefore conclusion piss on beliefs from a very great height....

    1. Anteaus


      if you're not careful the believers kill you, and then go right on believing.

  34. Chris Miller

    One in a million

    The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton*, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. - Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

    * Robert Fulton - designer of the first practical steamboat and submarine

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