back to article Boffins agree: Yes we have had an atmospheric warming pause

Good news, climate sceptics: there has been a pause in the rate of atmospheric warming – more than one, in fact. A statistical analysis published in Nature demonstrates a statistical association between the rate of warming over more than a hundred years, and human activity in the same time, and suggests that the most recent “ …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    This is starting to sound a bit desperate. If your theory's in dire trouble and you look around at enough possible explanations, you're fairly likely to find one that seems to fit time-wise. But, in addition to correlation not implying causation, you then also have the problem that the statistical significance isn't much cop either. But then I suppose that's never been a big issue in climate science.

    I guess this is finally an admission that hypothesis A (that the world will continue to warm following their original graph) didn't work out. So we now have hypothesis B. It, like A, should have no credibility until it has made predictions (that can't simply be made by extrapolating the graph) AND they've actually worked out in the real world.

    Note I said *predictions* - currently this new hypothesis is based purely on hindsight.

    It really is a shame that we have to keep reminding climate "scientists" about how the scientific method works.

    1. Schultz
      Boffin

      Re: Oh dear

      Nothing desperate about climate science, but it's a reminder that the climate models are quite imperfect and can not yet model all relevant factors that influence the climate. Indeed, it appears that the human activities change so many aspect of our atmosphere that the climate cannot be easily extrapolated from the analysis of historic information (i.e., measurements from a few centuries and longer time-scale data from ice-cores, etc.).

      The fact that we humans rapidly change the atmospheric composition and thereby change the climate is not in question and is only denied by people who are too lazy to inform themselves. Unfortunately, it became quite hard to sift the information from all the sensational claims made by the climate change deniers and climate change scaremongers.

      1. Denarius Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Oh dear

        @Schultz, >> The fact that we humans rapidly change the atmospheric composition

        we have ? Still 21% O2, 78% N2 and 1% argon with the balance containing other stuff, mostly trace level and wildly varying amounts of dihydrogen monxide last time I checked. 0.033% to 0.0397% for plant food gasis not a major change in composition. A major volcanic eruption would vary atmosphere more than that. Just hope Tambora or its bigger bretheren don't go off again. Then there would be real climate change, but moderately understood. Flame because it gets very cold here as well as hot. The old guys over the fence whose grandfather told them about the crap old days reckons weather been getting better. Droughts don't last as long, fires don't spread as much, technology means fighting fires is not futile and much safer.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Oh dear

          "@Schultz, >> The fact that we humans rapidly change the atmospheric composition

          we have ? "

          Yes.

          Because CFC's were a patented set of chemicals that do not exist in nature on a large scale the exact date of the planets exposure can be be looked up.

          And "large scale" in this context means ppm.

          IOW Humans can a)Change the global atmosphere using chemicals b)Do so in a human lifetime c)Do so with concentrations on the same order of magnitude that semiconductor engineers use to change the conductivity of Silicon by orders of magnitude.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Meh

            How interesting.

            The only post on this thread where I presented actual information and people are split 50/50.

            Do you not like the implication or do you not understand it?

        2. Adrian Midgley 1

          major yes volcano no

          The latter is already known, and the trope is a denialist sham.

          Major is a term of art, I regard the rise in CO2 as a major change, and once you realise it is larger than the change from a major volcanic eruption you should as well.

        3. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Oh dear @denarius

          So the fact that COc has gone from 0.033% to 0.0397% you think is not a major change in composition?

          If that was CO you would have gone from a slight headache to feeling shit all the time, if your income went the other way you would be screaming blue murder. Its not insignificant.

        4. John Hughes

          Re: Oh dear

          "A major volcanic eruption would vary atmosphere more than that."

          No, it wouldn't.

          Assuming by "major" you don't mean the equivalent of a Yellowstone eruption. in which case we'd have some rather larger problems to cope with.

      2. Denarius Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Oh dear

        @ Schultz >> Unfortunately, it became quite hard to sift the information from all the sensational claims made by the climate change deniers and climate change scaremongers. <<

        Odd, only sensational claims I hear are from "OMG, we're all gonna die" mob who want to increase cost of living with futile responses, quite often making the situation worse. If, as an earlier commentard queried, there was a reasoned response to using fossil fuels, like we are running out of them at economic costs, I humbly suggest a mostly polite dialog may be forthcoming from a much greater range of citizens. Mostly all I hear is sectarian shouting.

        1. asdf

          Re: Oh dear

          >Odd, only sensational claims I hear are from "OMG, we're all gonna die" mob

          Don't usually get involved in this circus anymore but is their a more sensational argument than lets just ignore it and hope it goes away. Hope its more like zits or a stomach ache than veneral disease or cancer.

    2. relpy

      Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

      Science is pretty much exactly the creation of an initial hypothesis, followed by testing (almost always to destruction) of that hypothesis against the available evidence, followed by the replacement of that hypothesis with one which better fits said evidence. Repeat until retirement.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

        > Science is pretty much exactly the creation of an initial hypothesis, followed by testing (almost always to destruction) of that hypothesis against the available evidence, followed by the replacement of that hypothesis with one which better fits said evidence. Repeat until retirement.

        You missed one crucial part: the hypothesis must make predictions and those predictions must be tested by experiment. Without this, you just end up with a series of refined guesses which is what climate "scientists" are doing at the moment.

        Finally, without a predictive quality that that you can test, a theory is useless, that being particularly relevant when dealing with climate and weather.

        1. relpy

          Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

          nope, didn't miss that - that's what "testing against available evidence" means.

          as more evidence becomes available the test gets harder and nearly always, in all branches of science, the current theories ultimately fail when presented with sufficient new measurements. it's normal and it's okay. science is always a work in progress and that progress is not a convenient straight line.

          what you are suggesting would seem to be that we need to know all of the impacting factors and get the answer correct before any work has value. this is clearly ludicrous.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

            > nope, didn't miss that - that's what "testing against available evidence" means.

            Sorry, I'm afraid that you did.

            A scientific theory must make testable predictions. Generating a model and checking it against reality and adjusting it to suit is not enough.

            You must make a novel prediction and be able to test it. Not only that, others must be able to replicate what you did and get exactly the same results. This is what protects science from other types of analysis pretending to be science. Even in the case of climatology, practical all predictions made by climatologists have turned out to be staggeringly wrong. The predictive power of a theory is the only thing that is of any use in the real world. What would be the point of a theory that describes the behaviour of electrons *sometimes, maybe*? None whatsoever.

            > what you are suggesting would seem to be that we need to know all of the impacting factors and get the answer correct before any work has value. this is clearly ludicrous.

            Yes, that is the nature of the scientific method. This is exactly why what is being called climate science is not indeed science insomuch as it doesn't use the scientific method.

            It is science only as much as archeology is science. Any archaeologist worth their salt would say that what they do is worthwhile and tells us a lot of about what we think happened in the past but it is not science in the sense that most people interpret it to mean, which has to do with rigour, repeatability and precision. This is why I object to the careless use of the term used by politicians to attribute more certainty to something than is borne out of the facts.

            Most people outside of science associate the word with a measure of certainty, whereas in this particular case, nothing could be further from the truth.

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

              "A scientific theory must make testable predictions."

              It has. Scientists in the 80s predicted the world would warm. It has.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

                > It has. Scientists in the 80s predicted the world would warm. It has.

                I could have predicted that the world would warm from no knowledge whatsoever. I would have a 50% chance of being right. It's not enough for me to say that the climate will get warmer. I have to demonstrate it experimentally for it to be even remotely science. Anything else is just sooth saying.

                They predicted a continuous increase over time, and it just hasn't happened.

                So now we get excuses.

                Climate is a chaotic system. I don't know if climatologists have even considered the possibility that climate is not practically predictable with any kind of useful reliability.. I'm certainly of the mind they are chasing an impossible dream.

                1. NomNomNom

                  Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

                  "I could have predicted that the world would warm from no knowledge whatsoever"

                  That still would have been a testable prediction, but without an explanation it wouldn't be science.

                  Scientists made a testable prediction that the world would warm, based on an physical explanation.

                  "They predicted a continuous increase over time, and it just hasn't happened."

                  Scientists back near Darwin's day predicted that evolution would progress in a continuous gradual change in species over time. That wasn't the case, but it didn't mean evolution wasn't science.

                  "It's not enough for me to say that the climate will get warmer. I have to demonstrate it experimentally for it to be even remotely science."

                  CO2 is a greenhouse gas which has a significnat warming effect. This is pretty damn certain, even the scientists who call themselves global warming skeptics accept CO2 in the quantities man is emitting it has a strong effect on climate.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

                    > Scientists back near Darwin's day predicted that evolution would progress in a continuous gradual change in species over time. That wasn't the case, but it didn't mean evolution wasn't science.

                    You're mixing up issues here. What science can deal with here with the scientific method is the mechanism of evolution. Once you have a theory about how genetic evolution works, you can use that to make predictions about the genetics of animals and plants that exist in a particular environment. You can do this purely with the theory without prompting by the data. The proof of this was the Galapagos islands where you can make predictions about the genetic diversity (or lack of) found there. Then you can verify that finding by testing.

                    What science and evolutionary theory cannot do is predict actual real world evolutionary trends. A particular evolutionary path is akin to a complex, chaotic system and cannot be reliably predicted by the scientific method in the wild. It is not a question that the scientific method is useful for.

                    In science we can look at chemical interactions, and we can analyse parts of the climate system. However, the scientific method is wholly inappropriate for analysing the climate and its trends. That is the domain of the statistical method which is entirely different and deals with uncertainty far better. However, make no mistake, it has nothing to do with "science".

                    What the climatologists are doing is modeling and statistical analysis. It has nothing to do with classical science.

                  2. btrower

                    Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

                    @NomNomNom:

                    You and I are miles apart, but you should not infer from my long replies, or their tone that I am attempting to argue against you in particular. I am attempting to argue the point. I am pretty much legendary for my long replies to things, but these ones are because I have been asked to do a policy paper that practically addresses this debate.

                    Because you believe as you do, have surveyed and accepted the various arguments and appear to be animated by the same sense of activist urgency I associate with CAGW proponents, you stand proxy for the more difficult audience members to appease.

                    One thing that I hope people on all sides could agree to is to place this under the umbrella of 'environmental stewardship' and to research the way to get the best bang for our buck.

                  3. t.est

                    Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

                    "That wasn't the case, but it didn't mean evolution wasn't science."

                    I'm gonna get downvoted here, but that is actually exactly what it it means.

                    So far no new kind of animal has been produced in a test lab, nothing that goes beyond simple variations in one kind of animal. Flies continue to be flies, mice continue to be mice.

                    Crossbreeding has been practised for millennias to get a new specimen of one kind, it was this knowledge that made Darwin form his theory on how all the kinds of animals we see could have evolved from just one or a few, but it has never been observed or proven by any predictable repeatable test.

                    Unless you're one of those that believe evolution is not gradual, as if one day an elephant will give birth to two mice one female and one male. But I assume there are very few evolutionists agreeing with that view anymore. Rather is the idea of infinite random mutations over time that will allow for adaptation to a new specimen and eventually a whole new kind of animal to be formed, that is popular for the time being.

                    What has been observed to happen is that one kind of organism do adapt to their environment. But never that they would have become a new organism from what they were before.

                    What we see is that an adapted specimen still is based on the original genetic code.

              2. btrower

                Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

                @NomNomNom:

                Had I looked at the data, I would also have predicted the world would warm, but I would do that on the basis of the null hypothesis rather than the idea that CO2 was warming the world in any remarkable way. Additionally, I would predict that it would in no way go outside of an environmental channel for which the entire biosphere is evolved. I would also have predicted, again on the null hypothesis, that the shape of the curves would remain unremarkable over time, staying within patterns and ranges that they have seen in the past. I would also predict that weather patterns would stay well within their historical limits.

                I would predict that there would be species extinctions and perhaps associated ecosystem collapses, again on the null hypothesis. That is how Biological Evolution works. The 'Selection' part of Natural Selection implies the removal of the least adaptive genes. Sometimes that will just change populations and gene frequencies, sometimes it will truncate species. Sometimes sufficient disruption will take down other species and sometimes it is enough to break the elasticity of an ecosystem. The above is the 'Natural' part of Natural Selection. Sometimes when persistent changes to climate are sufficient to reduce viability at one latitude and increase it at another, the range of species and ecosystems will drift geographically. That is not strange or unexpected, even when it becomes, for a given set of organisms, catastrophic for them.

                The null hypothesis is both more predictive and more consonant with the rest of science than the voodoo positive feedback via runaway CO2 'forcing' theory of Catastrophic Global Warming.

                Skeptics predicted a benign absence of aberrant accelerating warming, Alarmists predicted catastrophic aberrant accelerating warming. Thus far, Skeptics have been right and Alarmists have been wrong. There is no evidence that this is going to change any time soon.

                I don't know enough to say for sure, but my hunch is that something similar to what is described in this paper will give much better predictions of future temperature and it is basically an elucidation and quantification of the null hypothesis that the climate will continue on as it has:

                http://www.clim-past.net/9/447/2013/cp-9-447-2013.pdf

                Fig. 6 on Page 451 shows a reconstruction of past temperatures followed by a prediction for the next number of years. The ideas make sense, the analysis yields an excellent fit to the data and makes a testable prediction both for the future and for past data if we are able to collect it later. To my eye, the graph of the data and the graph of the fitting curve look the way I expect real curves to look. By way of contrast the famous 'hockey stick' is anomalous looking and at least in its first incarnation proven incorrect (faulty math).

                I am entirely skeptical that *warming* within ranges we can expect will be a problem. However, cooling as is indicated in the graph above could be a very severe problem. By the same token that increasing temperatures support greater biomass and are net positive, decreasing temperatures mean less biomass and are almost certainly net negative. Runaway rapid increases in temperature seem both unlikely and benign if they happen. I am not so convinced that movement in the opposite direction would be as slow and I know it would not be benign. Accommodating lower energy costs, greater crop yields and a greater amount of habitable geography is significantly easier than accommodating higher energy costs, decreasing crop yields and shrinking habitable space.

                The current dogma of the Climate Science community is severely compromised. If we think that future climate will change, have a significant impact on us and be predictable, then we should get on with it. However, I think approaches like in the paper above are more likely to yield fruit than the current marginal efforts to continue supporting a theory that makes no sense, conflicts with the rest of science and has no predictive power.

                1. Burb

                  Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

                  @btrower

                  "I don't know enough to say for sure, but my hunch is that something similar to what is described in this paper will give much better predictions of future temperature and it is basically an elucidation and quantification of the null hypothesis that the climate will continue on as it has:

                  http://www.clim-past.net/9/447/2013/cp-9-447-2013.pdf"

                  All that paper does is fit curves. It uses Fourier analysis to show that temperature records over a particular period can be modelled reasonably well with 6 'cycles'. It does not propose any physical mechanism to explain what those putative cycles might be. The whole point about Fourier analysis is that you can take *any* function and break it into a sum of cycles!

            2. relpy

              Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

              I think I have a little pondering to do as a couple of persuasive and detailed arguments have been made. In part I feel we may be arguing semantics - but since we're disussing the meaning of a word that is not unreasonable.

              However - with respect to a specific points made:

              >> nope, didn't miss that - that's what "testing against available evidence" means.

              > Sorry, I'm afraid that you did.

              No I don't believe I did - the point is that the available evidence changes over time. For example, a not inconsiderable amount of money was invested in gaining a statistically acceptable likelihood of the existence of the Higgs boson. Was the standard model not science before it was discovered? If we hadn't discovered it would we look at the standard model and say "that wasn't science"? I think not. Would we say "need more energy!"? Quite possibly. Is that science?

              However, climate science, be it science or not, is undoubtedly immature. Although largely not as immature as the debate :-)

              I have much sympathy for your view for the diminishment of the rigour and meaning of science. I especially dislike the addition of the word "science" to the end of any other endeavour to make it respectable. However I'm concerned that your definition ultimately relegates nearly all of medicine, meteorology, geology, astronomy, astrophysics / cosmology, ... anything that can't pass a 5 sigma test or that can only offer statistical predictions,... to "quackery". I don't think this is useful.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

                > I have much sympathy for your view for the diminishment of the rigour and meaning of science. I especially dislike the addition of the word "science" to the end of any other endeavour to make it respectable. However I'm concerned that your definition ultimately relegates nearly all of medicine, meteorology, geology, astronomy, astrophysics / cosmology, ... anything that can't pass a 5 sigma test or that can only offer statistical predictions,... to "quackery". I don't think this is useful.

                The problem is that the public's perception of science is classical physics-style science. Trouble is where do you draw the line as to what is science and what isn't?

                Is rigour the defining feature? Well that could apply to an athlete sticking rigidly to a training program.

                What about "proof"? Well perhaps lawyers are scientists too.

                Because the word science has been used to give additional respectability to other, what I would call non-scientific, endeavours, the meaning of the word has been diluted.

                I would suggest that the scientific method is that defining feature. Some things do not lend themselves to the scientific method so they are not sciences. That doesn't mean that they are not worthwhile or any less rigourous, but lets call these things what they are: statistics, modeling, historical research, mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Some of them may include "science" in the technical sense, but some do not. But science is a means to and end, a technique or approach if you will. It is not the be-all and end-all.

                I would say that climatologists use modeling, statistics and historical research. I would also say that they do *not* use the scientific method as it is utterly inappropriate for what they are trying to achieve.

                1. relpy

                  Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

                  > Because the word science has been used to give additional respectability to other, what I would call non-scientific, endeavours, the meaning of the word has been diluted.

                  Agreed. Hard not to.

                  But to inject a mote of realism : while we're at it, can we stop calling people who fix washing machines "engineers" and people who practice medicine without postgraduate research qualifications "doctors"?

                  Leading on from the unfair and gratuitous dig at doctors (and I'm not one in either sense) - in lexicographical terms, which came first "science" or "scientific method" - if the former, then possibly it's "scientific method" that is misnamed rather than the popular term "science"? :-)

          2. btrower

            Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

            @relpy:

            What you describe sounds like what Climate Scientists do, but it does not sound like what scientists do.

            Where is the prediction and falsification both of which are two crucial aspects of science? Where is the talk about sound experimental design and valid methods of data acquisition? What about replication?

  2. Drew 11
    FAIL

    "about a decade after governments banned substances that were dissolving the ozone hole"

    Shouldn't that be "banned substances that were creating the ozone hole"?

    1. squigbobble

      That's not all

      He also missed the point that the various CFCs have global warming potentials of 4750 - 14000, meaning they cause as much warming as that quantity of CO2.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: That's not all

        "He also missed the point that the various CFCs have global warming potentials of 4750 - 14000, meaning they cause as much warming as that quantity of CO2."

        Yes, but do you think that may have had some effect as well (he asked, archly) ?

  3. btrower

    OMG Zombie keeps rising

    My goodness, it seems nigh impossible to kill the zombie pseudo science of Climastrology.

    Somebody should pass a law that until they can clean up their act, all their graphs have to be presented in Kelvin rather than 'anomalies'.

    This alarmist nonsense is so beyond the pale, it is hard to address them. If 97% of working scientists genuinely believe that we need stuff like 'cap and trade' and subsidized windmills because our production of CO2 is bringing on the apocalypse, then 97% of scientists should be fired. Hint: That figure is as reliable as the rest of the ... whatevs. I want to call it a religion, but I have too much respect for respectable religions.

    1. Dr?

      Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

      There are respectable religions?

      1. MrDamage
        Angel

        Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

        Pastafarianism.

        All the rest are just made up bullshit.

    2. Martin Budden Silver badge

      Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

      "97% of working scientists genuinely believe" in AGW, politicians believe in subsidized windmills. Please don't insult scientists by confusing them with politicians.

      1. btrower

        Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

        @Martin Budden:

        It is you who are insulting scientists by confusing them with Climastrologists -- politicians in lab coats.

        Re: "97% of working scientists genuinely believe" in AGW

        How can someone be both scientifically literate AND believe that? It is a ridiculous falsehood on its face. I have looked at the argument behind this and it is laughable. It was derived the way the rest of Climastrology is derived. They had a theory, went looking for data to confirm it, tossed anything contrary and kept the rest. It is called 'cherry picking'. The 'Climate Science' community has a profound misunderstanding about this. They actually do not quite understand what 'cherry picking' is or why it is wrong.

        If you phone around to Universities and ask a properly selected random group of 100 Physicists, Chemists and Biologists you will absolutely *not* get 97 endorsing Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

        The wheels are coming off of CAGW as they must. Alarmist arguments cannot affect the empirical data and tampering with the raw data to produce 'enhanced data' won't affect the empirical facts. The earth as far as we have any reliable information, is simply not headed for a catastrophic meltdown.

        Had we listened to them, we would already be in the midst of economy destroying cap and trade and they would claim that they had saved us all. The world did not take the bait, so the alarmist camp has had to come up with a ridiculous rationalization to demonstrate that even though their prediction of dire temperature increases was wrong, they are still somehow right anyway.

        The Alarmist side is immune to logic, facts and even the evidence of their own eyes. They have failed every empirical test. It takes repeated FOIA requests to get their data to check their work and when you do, you find their reports are misleading or just flat out wrong. I do not expect the hard-core believers to change their point of view. They can't. For them it is a religious a-priori assumption taken on faith alone. However, I do hope that people with the ability to look at the actual arguments and supporting data will do so and speak up.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge

          Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

          "Re: "97% of working scientists genuinely believe" in AGW

          How can someone be both scientifically literate AND believe that?"

          Erm, it's pretty basic chemistry and physics. Burning X tons of carbon-based fuel per year for Y years results in Z additional tons of CO2 in the atmosphere than otherwise would have been. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, this is known, well-understood and based on established tries-and-tested physics. I think that 100% of chemists and physicists would agree with the above, not 97%.

          It's true that there are lots of more complicated underlying factors that make climate models such complex beasts but the bottom line is the earth is trapping more energy inside with extra added CO2 than without, and we put the extra added C02 in.

          Now, whether all of this will lead to great catastrophe and if so what actions are necessary to prevent it... that's a whole other issue

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

            "Erm, it's pretty basic chemistry and physics.... It's true that there are lots of more complicated underlying factors..."

            Let me get this right. First you are saying that it's just simple physics and chemistry and then, to paraphrase, you say, 'Well, ok it's not really that simple as in reality it's really, really complicated.'

            Can you not see a logic problem there?

        2. 42
          FAIL

          Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

          Climate denial, creationists, anti vaxxers, all use the same techniques you do. The facts are so plain that AGW

          happens it takes a fool of epic proportions to believe otherwise. Unfortunately there is no shortage of them here on ELReg.

          1. Squander Two

            "Climate denial, creationists, anti vaxxers ...."

            > Climate denial, creationists, anti vaxxers, all use the same techniques you do.

            In the climate debate, I don't think you can honestly bring up the techniques that people use without opening the Pandora's Box that is the UEA emails.

            1. John Hughes

              Re: "Climate denial, creationists, anti vaxxers ...."

              "In the climate debate, I don't think you can honestly bring up the techniques that people use without opening the Pandora's Box that is the UEA emails."

              Open the box!

              Take the Money!

              Open the box!

              Idiot.

              1. Squander Two

                Re: "Climate denial, creationists, anti vaxxers ...."

                At least my comment made sense.

                Idiot.

          2. btrower

            Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

            @42:

            You really have not made an argument there.

            Re: "Climate denial"

            This is not even a thing. It is an unsavory pejorative term invented by frustrated alarmists simply unable to articulate a coherent argument or answer any particular criticism. Beyond that, it is a fallacious mutant combination of ad hominem attack and appeal to the crowd. You might as well through in a side of vericundiam or misercordium. Your a distillation of the argument that is put forth by alarmists and they are absolutely incapable of seeing its flaws. You cannot build spaceships and robots on a philosophy that ignores empiricism and attacks your critics for saying so.

            Re: "Creationists"

            This one is similar to the 'denial' one. It is particularly rich because it is the argument from Evolution Through Natural Selection that crushes the alarmist theories. It is deeply ironic that the side adopting creationist tactics and dismissing the lessons of Darwin are attempting to tar their critics with the label 'creationist'. People who simply believe in Evolution without understanding it stand on no higher ground than people who believe in Creationism. Like the Evolution/Creation debate, this one is more heat than light from the polar extremes and people at the polar extremes display a mean spirit that extends to deliberately ignoring or characterizing their opponents arguments.

            For the record, I am a strict Evolutionist, not because I 'believe' it, but because I *understand* it. That is clearly more than we can say for the extreme alarmists who have no inkling suspicion about why canalization over geologic time makes it exceedingly unlikely that the alarmist theory is correct. Thermageddon could happen. We should never say never, but the probability is small to the point of vanishing, surely much below the danger of a meteor strike or a life-threatening change in the sun.

            Re: "anti vaxxers"

            As one can imagine, I am pretty much on board with vaccination. By coincidence my family is midway through getting them now. Like evolution, this is not a matter of belief with me it is a matter of understanding how it works and liking the cost/benefit trade-off. Unlike alarmists, I would not dismiss the concerns of people about vaccination out of hand without engaging them and despite my understanding and belief I would still give them a fair hearing. Besides, to the extent that 'anti vaxxers' are wrong they follow the same broken lines of reasoning as alarmists. You belong together.

            Re: "all use the same techniques you do"

            Well, you are a pot calling a kettle black without even realizing it is not a kettle. Techniques? You mean demanding evidence and reasoned argument consonant with my understanding of the laws governing the universe? Demanding parsimony? Criticizing sloppy reasoning, invalid statistics and politics masquerading as science? Sure. People who understand scientific pursuit realize that scientists are skeptics by definition. Alarmists think of 'skeptic' as a dirty word on a par with holocaust denier. They are entirely mixed up with respect to this.

            I admit to a certain stridency with my argumentation but I generally put forth fairly straightforward, logically coherent arguments consistent with evidence and comfortably under the umbrella of science rather than sophist rants. Misusing language and name calling happens on both extreme sides, but if we have to pick a side that owns this, it is surely the alarmist camp. It seems they quite simply cannot disagree without invective.

            Re: "The facts are so plain that AGW happens it takes a fool of epic proportions to believe otherwise."

            Indeed. Is that, then, the entirety of your case to support condemning people in the third world to death, perverting the world economy to the tune of trillions of dollars, and (ironically) damaging the biosphere? For the record, it would be charitable to say your argument is a bit thin.

            There are Nobel laureates who disagree with you. I mentioned one in particular in an earlier comment. Even were your conclusions true, the above argument does not support them or anything else except yet another example of alarmists unable to articulate a real argument and unable to understand why that is not OK. I mean it is OK as a rhetorical device if that is all you bring to the table, but it is invalid as argument. You lose the formal debate by abdicating your responsibility to bring a cogent argument to the table.

            Skeptics are largely unpaid volunteers, saying what they say because they believe it is the right thing to do. They have stood against a withering assault on world politics and the house of science because they have a deep conviction that things like 'cap and trade' are wrong and they feel they must take a stand. They have, without funding, assembled facts and arguments and criticisms of the Global Warming narrative against much backlash. People like the Climategate whistle-blower have endured savage criticism and condemnation from the establishment hierarchy in order to bring what they believe to be the truth to light.

            Alarmists tend to be blind believers or people with compromised interests. However, in fairness there are a lot of honest people who believe on the basis of what they have been told. Were the assembly of facts they have been told and the supporting arguments sound I would believe too. We part company because someone like me is skeptical until they see proof and there is no proof of CAGW because it is not real.

            For the record, most thoughtful skeptics are not denying the evidence that we are rebounding from the little ice age and that the world has warmed. To some extent, we agree on many of the facts, but we disagree on how to interpret them. Does CO2 cause any warming at all? Probably. Our evidence is not very good for this, but it seems plausible. Do humans affect the climate? We really don't know, but I think most skeptics would be willing to allow that we might have a little effect. Thus far, the skeptical view is the one that has been the most predictive and the best at rationalizing the reliable data (not nearly what they think it is, BTW).

            If we take facts supported by evidence and sound argument and put them together to create a picture of Global Warming consistent with the body of science and the real empirically testable world, we find that the world is likely warming a little and that we might have an effect. However, the odds on favorite bet ten years ago was that CO2 would have a negligible impact on climate and that climate would stay within perfectly ordinary limits consistent with the null hypothesis. That was the evidence a decade ago, five decades ago and it is the evidence today.

            The 'bedrock' of alarmism is the IPCC summary, a political document. The statements from scientist organizations endorsing the Global Warming narrative are political ones, not scientific. To the extent that I know we have sound data, those political statements are not in line with the members they claim to represent. The notion that '97%' of scientists endorse the Global Warming narrative is nonsense on its face; easily debunked. The fact that so many alarmists present that argument at all shows that they have a profound innumeracy and an uncritical credibility that calls the rest of their beliefs into question.

            My background makes me confident that thermageddon has a negligible probability of happening and that current efforts to stop it are politically and financially motivated in their entirety backed by dupes who have trouble with logic and numbers and are too trusting for their own good.

            Don't trust me. Don't trust them. Dig into this yourself. I am entirely confidant that someone in possession of the facts and their faculties will agree with me. Something happening? Maybe. Important? Not likely. Actionable on global scale that raises the cost of energy? Absolutely not.

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

              "For the record, most thoughtful skeptics are not denying the evidence that we are rebounding from the little ice age and that the world has warmed. To some extent, we agree on many of the facts, but we disagree on how to interpret them. Does CO2 cause any warming at all? Probably. Our evidence is not very good for this, but it seems plausible. Do humans affect the climate? We really don't know, but I think most skeptics would be willing to allow that we might have a little effect."

              It's a selective application of doubt. The theory that humans affect the climate is made to jump through extra hoops just so it can't succeed. What would normally be regarded as good evidence becomes "not very good evidence".

              The same line of doubt and criticism could be applied to solar theories of climate change for example, but it isn't. Would a skeptic ever say something like the following?

              "Does the SUN cause any warming at all? Probably. Our evidence is not very good for this, but it seems plausible. Does the Sun affect the climate? We really don't know, but I think most skeptics would be willing to allow that we might have a little effect"

              No, *might have a little effect* would not be the phrase used, it would be a more hopeful and suggestive message of *might have a big effect*. But for CO2 such a possibility just isn't acceptable.

              1. Squander Two

                Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ NomNomNom

                > The theory that humans affect the climate is made to jump through extra hoops just so it can't succeed.

                The only hoop I ask the theory to jump through is that it make consistently correct predictions. Since that's the exact same hoop I expect every other scientific theory to jump through, I fail to see what's "extra" about it.

                You are right, though, that the theory has failed to make it through the hoop.

                As for the Sun, there is good laboratory experimental data to back up the theory that it affects the climate. Far from conclusive, the climate being as complicated as it is, but far better than a statistical computer model, which merely throws back at you whatever you put into it. Personally, I'm really looking forward to seeing the various theories get either proven or disproven over the next few decades. I just think it's a shame that so many climatologists have become so political and have developed such a ridiculous siege mentality that they'll refuse to acknowledge the evidence when it comes along and slaps them in the face. That's your selective doubt right there.

                1. NomNomNom

                  Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ NomNomNom

                  "As for the Sun, there is good laboratory experimental data to back up the theory that it affects the climate."

                  Which is?

                  Think you'll find the evidence the Sun has any significant affect on climate change is far weaker than CO2. But skeptics apply different bars of proof to both.

                  1. Squander Two

                    Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ NomNomNom

                    It would probably help matters if you could decide what you're talking about. You keep sliding between the theory that humans affect the climate and the theory that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and the theory that humans' affect on the climate is severe as if they're the same theory. Which is disingenuous.

                    So I point out that there is good laboratory evidence that the Sun affects the climate, and that I believe lab evidence trumps models any day. And you respond by saying that the evidence for solar influence is "weaker than CO2". Weaker than CO2 what? Weaker than the evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? Well, yes, duh -- and of course CO2 has been shown in physical experiments to be a greenhouse gas, so that wouldn't contradict my point anyway. Or weaker than the evidence that current levels of CO2 will damn humanity to fiery graves? Or something inbetween? You don't say.

                    Since you ask, the lab experiment concerned is the Danish SKY experiment. And, before you go off on one, I didn't say it was any sort of proof. I said it was a good laboratory result, which it is.

                    1. NomNomNom

                      Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ NomNomNom

                      The evidence is better that CO2 rise produces a stronger warming effect than the Sun

                      The SKY experiment hasn't yet shown the Sun affects the climate in any significant way. CO2 experiments have shown CO2 does.

                      1. Squander Two

                        Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ NomNomNom

                        > The SKY experiment hasn't yet shown the Sun affects the climate in any significant way.

                        Er, we don't actually need the SKY experiment for that.

    3. 42
      FAIL

      Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

      The zombies are those that ignore the science and push the oil company propaganda, much like yourself.

      The deniers are the ones acting like a religion. They use the same tactics as creationsist and anti-vaxxers, the laughable claim that the climate scientists are all corrupt and in league with the rich to make money, if it wasnt so important it would be funny. All they ever do is rely on a circle jerk of citations from other denialists to "prove their claim".

      1. Squander Two

        "oil company propaganda" @42

        > those that ignore the science and push the oil company propaganda

        "Anyone who disagrees with me is being bribed! It's the only explanation!" So popular in Interweb messageboard fights, and so depressing to see how it's been embraced by climatologists in recent years.

        I personally believe that we should cut fossil-fuel emissions as much as feasible (not through draconian economy-crippling tax systems but by inventing better stuff) for various reasons: acid rain, emphysema, everyone sitting on a source of oil seems to be a murdering bastard for some reason. I also believe that climatology, in its current state, is dreadful. And I agree with Richard Feynman that basing predictions on models is unscientific bollocks. Seems like pretty unlikely oil company propaganda.

        1. btrower

          Re: "oil company propaganda" @42

          @Squander Two:

          Re: "I agree with Richard Feynman"

          Second that. Seriously, what would Feynman do? Send me my WWFD T-Shirt !

    4. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

      " If 97% of working scientists genuinely believe that we need stuff like 'cap and trade' and subsidized windmills because our production of CO2 is bringing on the apocalypse, then 97% of scientists should be fired."

      97% of scientists agree that climate change is happening and we're the cause. It's the economists* who dreamed up cap-n-trade. It's the politicians and greenies** who dreamed up subsidised windmills. As far as I can tell the real scientists*** have recently looked at the mess that economists, politicians and greenies have made and concluded that what we need to fix all this is a substantial investment in nuclear power.

      *economics is NOT a science, economists are NOT scientists

      ** the hardcore irrational kind

      *** Hansen et al

      1. Squander Two

        Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

        > 97% of scientists agree that climate change is happening and we're the cause. It's the economists* who dreamed up cap-n-trade. It's the politicians and greenies** who dreamed up subsidised windmills.

        What absolute tripe. A large part of the problem with climatology -- probably the biggest problem -- is that so many scientists have so enthusiastically hurled themselves from the scientific debate about what is happening into the political debate about what to do about it. Having entered the political arena, they then get upset when faced with political argument and throw hissy fits that people are daring to disagree with them when they're scientists.

      2. btrower

        Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

        @James Micallef:

        Re: "substantial investment in nuclear power"

        Doing the right things for the wrong reasons can lead to trouble down the road. You can end up with wacky conclusions about other stuff and end up nullifying the good you do.

        For the record, I am pro-nuclear, so people like you and I could work for the same thing. Energy is the one hard limiting factor that affects us all. For now at least, abundant cheap energy would allow us to do as we wish. The alleged CO2 driven global warming debate could be shelved as irrelevant if we had enough cheap energy because we could sequester and de-sequester carbon at will. No need to argue about CO2. We would be able to run the real experiment -- sort of what has been happening for the last 20 years or so.

        It has been a few years since I looked at it, but at one point Thorium reactors looked like almost a sure thing. I would be on board with a program to fund research into this and to fast-track it if it looks promising.

        I am, despite its many issues, a big fan of fusion energy and I expect that we will probably crack that particular nut in the next 10/20/30 years. The joke about fusion is that it is always 20 years away, but we know for a fact that fusion energy is there and we know we can release it. It has proven a difficult problem, but we are just looking for a way to get over-unity energy release without a nuclear explosion. It is difficult, but has to be doable and we will get there.

        Before I started a Thorium program, I would take a hard look at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works. Last I heard, fusion energy was already in the pipeline: "Lockheed is promising an operational unit by 2017 with assembly line production to follow":

        http://www.dvice.com/2013-2-22/lockheeds-skunk-works-promises-fusion-power-four-years

        If they are still somewhere on track with that, fusion energy would likely be in the pipe before we could deploy Thorium reactors. If it is real, I would attempt to make a deal with Lockheed to hasten development.

        Also, Fusion Energy because flying cars.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

          @btrower

          "For the record, I am pro-nuclear, so people like you and I could work for the same thing. "

          For the record, I support nuclear energy for the main reasons of energy independance / sustainability. Greenhouse emissions are a secondary concern to me, but it's also good to have support on nuclear from people for whom greenhouse emissions are a primary concern. From what I can understand in your posts our points of divergence are on whether human-made climate change is happening. On my part, I believe it is happening but it's not such a big deal as made out to be.

          And energy supply trumps everything else. You're perfectly right that with enough energy, CO2 emissions are moot as we can capture them, but of course that energy needs to come from non-CO2 sources otherwise it becomes an exercise in chasing ones own tail.

          Fusion is of course the holy grail, however I suspect that even in best case scenarios like the Lockheed skunkworks and 'shoelace antenna thingy' from another el reg article today, that full commercial availability is still many years away and cost could still be an issue, so better to build a few fission reactors now to tide us over the 20-50-odd years that always seem to be seperating us from fission

          1. btrower

            Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

            @James Micaleff

            [Sorry for the necro-post. I write a lot and type quickly, but even I have a limit. This is not the only stuff I write.]

            Re:"From what I can understand in your posts our points of divergence are on whether human-made climate change is happening. On my part, I believe it is happening but it's not such a big deal as made out to be."

            My bad here. We do not diverge at all, so far as what we say is actionable. My certainty that the 'Catastrophic Anthropomorphic Global Warming' is emphatically not actionable is more on the basis of the whole thing not being actionable. Probably CO2 is having some effect and certainly some of that is from our activity. If nothing else, clear cutting forests will remove one of the mechanisms of sequestration. However, I think it is time we asked the alarmists to simply put up or shut up. Make a coherent argument, support it with data we can replicate and/or trust and and arguments that makes sense. Another skeptic described dealing with alarmists as a tedious game of 'whack-a-mole'. Even the 'skeptics' in Climate Science buy into a lot of the CAGW hypothesis on the basis of flimsy evidence. The only so-called 'Climate Scientists' whose voices are funded are one that support the party line. I am honestly not sure if a major company like McDonald's would demand more evidence to introduce a new sandwich.

            A couple of people have done what to me seems an obvious first step. They have produced a model using Fourier transforms to tease out the cyclic components. They turn out to be significantly more predictive than IPCC climate models. Marcia Wyatt and Judith Curry recently published something indicating that a "stadium wave signal predicts that the current pause in global warming could extend into the 2030s".

            Re: "that energy needs to come from non-CO2 sources otherwise it becomes an exercise in chasing ones own tail."

            This is only true if the production of CO2 exceeds the energy cost of sequestering it. Besides, I honestly think we need an atmosphere with *more* CO2, not less. The 'green' contingent ironically wants to take a situation where the world's plants are starving for CO2 and make it worse. More CO2 literally means more 'green'.

            Re:"better to build a few fission reactors now to tide us over"

            May be true. I do not have a strong opinion on this. It would be a research issue for me. Here is the research plan I propose:

            Wait until 2017, the time when Lockheed's skunkworks thinks they can have a working prototype. Even the IPCC says we are not warming right now so the only (alleged) downside is the world will have a little more CO2 and be greener. Rather than continue wasting money on the intellectually and ethically bankrupt 'Climate Science' community, bank the money in a 'green' fund that will be used in the 2020 time frame to accelerate the production of fusion reactors if I am right and catch up with CO2 mediation if I am wrong. By 2020 it should be apparent to even the most hysterical CAGW proponents that they were simply wrong about that catastrophic warming thing.

  4. Dr?

    I'm no climate change sceptic or expert (I'm probably best described as climate change confused) but I didn't think that the holes in the ozone layer had anything to do with global warming. Instead I thought the main problem was higher levels of UV rays reaching earth, increasing the risk of skin cancer and killing stuff like plankton and some other crops. In fact I'm sure that I read a while back that perversely, the banning of CFCs and the like will actually increase global warming because the holes it created in the ozone layer allowed heat created by C02 emissions to escape.

    Someone feel free to correct/agree/abuse me.

    1. stizzleswick
      Boffin

      Re: higher levels of UV rays

      The thing with the elevated UV irradiation is that UV gets transformed to infrared upon hitting any of a large number of possible irradiation targets, like glass, concrete, sand, water, etc. by being reflected with a slight energy loss.

      Infrared is, perhaps fittingly, also popularly called "heat radiation" because irradiation of the skin with it causes a feeling of warmth and it can transport energy such as "heat". More importantly, the energy the UV radiation loses in the transformation heats up the media irradiated. If you want to know how unbelievably efficient this mechanism is, get into a car that has just sat in the sun for a few hours (granted, not all of the heat melting the skin off you in that car is directly caused by direct UV irradiation, but a good part of it is).

      Hence, more UV irradiation = higher temperatures.

  5. Lee D Silver badge

    WHO CARES!

    Please, argue all you want about whether or not this is true. And continue to ignore the critical question:

    What the hell do you want us to do about it?

    Nothing else matters. Whether you're right or wrong, nothing else matters. What we need is not "blame", but some kind of answer/solution. And that's what's sorely lacking in today's pseudo-climate-science.

    Let's assume, as if we were adults, that we are TOTALLY right, and the world is warming because of human activity and this kind of thing is the indication that we're correct. It might be a leap of faith for some, but let's just take that as the basis.

    What the hell do you want us to do about it?

    Seriously. What percentage of energy production do we have to give up? What kind of activities can we continue with in the sure knowledge that they are harmless? What kind of impact are such changes going to have on human life? And - most critically - are those changes going to be better or worse than the world heating up?

    Because if the "answer" is that we have to lose vast amount of our industry, then we're going to indirectly kill vast amounts of people. Whether through poverty, lack of medicine, lack of transport for that medicine or whatever. And then we have to ask ourselves: Are the actions that we need to take ASSUMING ALL THIS IS TRUE more drastic than the consequences of us doing nothing?

    Nobody seems to be even looking into that. Nobody seems to care about the answer because all they can do is point fingers and tell people they are right. But surely, even if I put my scientist cap on for a second, no matter what peer-reviewed evidence I believe or not, shouldn't at least one side of the argument be working on at least sketching out a solution? Especially if, given the scale of the potential problem some are suggesting we're facing (i.e. a worldwide catastrophe), any solution is likely to be equally drastic? And, if that is, and we can stab at measuring that (whether or not the science pans out the way one group wants), isn't there a 50:50 chance that we're better off doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it anyway?

    I'd seriously hate to have this bickering for decades only to find out that the only solutions cripple the world more than even 10m of sea-level rises and the associated human cost of that, and that in 50 years time the climate-change believers all just go "Well, there's nothing we can do about it anyway - might as well let people drown" (or the humanely-worded equivalent).

    Let's just assume it's happening. Let's do some science about the possible consequences. And let's see if there's ANYTHING we can actually do about it. Because that's infinitely more interesting and useful science, with direct human effects, than any of this "he said, she said" junk.

    Inevitably in science, we make a statement: "The atom is the smallest possible particle".

    Then we find out that, the only way to explain what we observe is that that assumption was wrong: "Okay, so the atom must have X, Y, and Z inside it, and they're the smallest particles".

    And before long we have to then admit that, actually, we can't lay all our bets on things any more and we have to make assumptions and investigate both what happens if we are wrong AND what happens if we are right: "Okay, well, if a Higgs Boson DOES exist, then it will probably have these properties... but if it doesn't, that might help explain why this theory can't account for it...".

    Let's get off our bickering backsides and just investigate what it means for both paths - not who is going to be proved right in a hundred years when there's nothing we can do about it anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WHO CARES!

      Nobody "drowns" because of climate change, except in Hollywood movies. A slowly rising sea level that puts some current cities underwater over a couple hundred years is doing so over a couple hundred years, not overnight.

      I don't see how you can do the calculations you propose, because there's no way to attribute an individual's death to climate change, or to the measures taken to prevent it, or prove it isn't linked to either. I'm sure some doomsayers will claim that the Super Typhoon that hit the Philippines was as strong as it was due to climate change, and would thus attribute many of the deaths to climate change. If we took strong measures to prevent climate change, and a bunch of people died in the Philippines in the next few weeks from disease or even starvation, the deniers would claim that the reduction in available resources due to the prevention measures were responsible for many of those deaths. Without a "control", there's no way to know in either direction, and lacking a spare Earth to compare with, we'll never have such a control.

      Since there's no way to know, and since climate change's main prediction is "more extreme weather", pretty much any natural disaster other than earthquakes or volcanoes can be linked to it (and I'm sure some of the more extreme proponents are probably working on ways to blame even earthquakes and volcanoes on climate change)

      1. Denarius Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: WHO CARES!

        >> and I'm sure some of the more extreme proponents are probably working on ways to blame even earthquakes and volcanoes on climate change) <<

        They have. Loss of ice means change of stress on crust, deepening oceans, less ice on mountain ranges and that means more volcanoes erupting more often. Like the ones under Antarctica and end of various ocean subduction trenches. Quite amusing to me. A new form for a devil and it's all humans fault. It is a hypothesis that attracts a variation of flagellant enthusiast, whether rightly or wrongly I don't know. The climate change idea does seem hard to falsify.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: WHO CARES!

      "Please, argue all you want about whether or not this is true. And continue to ignore the critical question:

      What the hell do you want us to do about it?"

      True.

      But rather long.

    3. Adrian Midgley 1

      Stern

      had a go at that a while ago.

      His conclusion was that not fixing it is more expensive than fixing it and the longer we wait the bigger the difference.

      Call it a first approximation.

    4. btrower

      Re: WHO CARES!

      I do not share your faith that alarmist notions about the Global Climate have any merit. However, I would agree that we should take at least some of the funding allocated to 'Climate Science' to survey the entire thing, end to end and do investigations as you suggest.

      At the end of the day, to support ideas like 'cap and trade', altering industry, subsidizing carbon sequestration and non-viable alternative energy, you need to prove all of the following to a reasonable degree:

      1) Significant warming will happen in the next 80 years or so.

      2) CO2 is the major culprit.

      3) CO2 concentration is mostly controlled by mankind.

      4) Warming will be catastrophic.

      5) Mitigation is possible.

      6) Mitigation is better than accommodation.

      None of those things is proven in the way we expect of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, etc. There is a little support for 1 and 3, but having looked at it, it is not very convincing. Number 1 was looking better ten years ago, but it looks pretty shaky now. I am on the fence about number 3. It seems likely that our liberation of CO2 would increase concentrations and we know that concentrations are higher. The long term concentration of CO2 in the oceans and the response of plant life to increased CO2 complicate things. Plant life sequesters carbon. In fact, it is thought that the CO2 we are liberating came primarily from plant life. That means CO2 we are liberating now was originally in atmosphere. We know that plants grow more with increasing concentrations of CO2. As CO2 goes up, the amount of CO2 captured by plants increases. Once a certain amount of plant life is in place, it will continue consuming CO2 at the higher rates. Plant life, especially with a warmer climate, may well exhaust CO2 levels so they start falling.

      Item 2 is not well supported by the data we have and some of the data we have shows that CO2 is the *dependant* variable rather than the independent variable. Whether higher CO2 concentrations than 400ppm is good (likely) or bad (unlikely), it would be worthwhile getting a better handle on what we can expect in the future. CO2 does not have the affect that climate alarmists expect, but it does have effects and pro or con I think it would be worthwhile for us to know more.

      Item 4 is not supported by the data and is almost certainly untrue. The living world has adaptations to climate changes much larger than the most pessimistic estimates of changes we might see in the next century. Biological adaptations happen over geologic time and hence give an idea of the ranges the living world has experienced over the course of evolution. Adaptations to large changes in temperature daily and seasonally occur across species, classes and phyla. When multiple branches of the tree of life are adapted to the same thing, even though they diverged at different time over millions of years it indicates that they have been subject to the same selective conditions. Temperature ranges for which we have been adapted had to be present long enough to be selected for and often enough for the traits to be conserved. If the living world can survive regional differences and seasonal changes spanning a hundred degrees C or more it can easily withstand a change of a few degrees over a century. To the extent that temperature affects the viability of the living world it is clear that higher temperatures are better. As we head toward the equator and warmer temperatures we see increasing biomass. It does not go down at the equator, the warmest point. As we head toward the poles we see decreasing biomass. By the time we are at the poles, there is practically nothing living. We don't know how much more biomass would exist at a degree or two higher, but it is a sure thing that the answer is 'more'.

      Item 5 is pretty dicey. Even the people promoting mitigation say it will cost a mountain of money, alter the way we live and not be very effective.

      Item 6 is most unlikely. We can't even predict next week's weather, let alone control it or control the climate.

      We are rushing headlong toward 'cap and trade', a frightening financial boondoggle, when we have no idea what such a thing will really do the the world. To the extent that we have hard science, we would expect that it will do little. However, if we are wrong, it could do an injury to the biosphere. The reason for the rush is that it is another government tax, creates financial windfalls for investors and is pretty much a license to steal. They decide how much a 'carbon credit' will cost and how many you must buy. There is no rational basis for it, so it will simply rise as high as the traffic will bear. They will take your money and no matter what happens, they will claim victory. Rinse and repeat. The subject article is about how the alarmists finally admit that it is *not* 'worse than we thought', but still claim their theories are correct even though they have failed the only test that counts: they predicted the wrong outcome.

      If it were my call, I would largely shut down the Climate Hysteria industry by withdrawing funding and cancelling legislation supporting it. It would not take long for the alarm to die down once we stop paying people to raise the alarm.

      I have spent a lot of time looking over data, reviewing arguments, reading skeptic and alarmist sites, looking at material like the actual climategate emails (the actual things, not the distorted spin the alarmists attempt.). I have spent time looking at papers from both sides and reading up on the various whitewashes and cover-ups done. Lots of material both sides is snarky and hyperbolic. However, the lowest blows come from the alarmists and they have by far the least defensible position. The alarmists are so far off base it would be funny if it was not so threatening.

      To the extent that I have dug into the background of things or I personally have training or expertise (computer programming, data analysis, logical argument, Biology), the alarmist side is characterized by illiteracy, dishonesty and a mean spirit. They dodge the substance of arguments, lean on fallacies and attempt to silence their critics rather than address the criticism honestly. The skeptic side is not perfect, but it is generally better in any way that I am able to judge.

      Finally, if you read this far, in answer to the question in the title -- 'who cares' -- I do. Like Lysenkoism, this will eventually collapse, but I am impatient to see that happen so we can rebuild the now highly compromised house of science.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: WHO CARES!

        "I have spent a lot of time looking over data, reviewing arguments, reading skeptic and alarmist sites, looking at material like the actual climategate emails (the actual things, not the distorted spin the alarmists attempt.). I have spent time looking at papers from both sides and reading up on the various whitewashes and cover-ups done."

        And yet despite that you think CO2 rise being caused by human emissions has "little support" which is "unconvincing"

        I would say that alone shows your ability to analyze data is insufficient. The evidence that the ongoing CO2 rise is human caused is overwhelming.

        First there's the ice core record of the last 10,000 years that shows a hockey stick jump in CO2 simultaneous with the sharp jump in human emissions, which is also born out by the instrumental record.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/co2_10000_years.gif

        http://iter.rma.ac.be/en/img/CO2-concenNEW_EN.jpg

        ice cores also show CO2 levels going back hundreds of thousands of years much lower than today

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/63/Co2-temperature-plot.svg

        Studies suggesting the last time CO2 was this hight was 15 million years ago

        http://phys.org/news174234562.html

        CO2 continues to relentlessly increase, and that increase is accelerating, just as expected from increasing human emissions.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

        To say the CO2 rise being human caused has little support is ridiculous!

        First you need to dismiss the ice core records. But there is no legitimate reason to do so. There are excuses, but these are not accepted by the ice core community and are similar in argument to those who try to dismiss radiodating.

        Then there's an accounting issue. Where is all the human CO2 going if it isn't causing the increase in CO2 level?

        1. btrower

          Re: WHO CARES!

          Re: /And yet despite that you think CO2 rise being caused by human emissions has "little support" which is "unconvincing"/

          I was kind of giving you that, but your notion of good evidence and mine obviously are not quite the same. This was apropos of the notion that, as I say "CO2 concentration is mostly controlled by mankind." We surely do have an effect by clear-cutting forests and burning fossil fuels but whether over any significant time frame what we can be expected to do will actually be the dominant force over CO2 concentrations, well... I am not convinced that we won't be the controlling contributor but I am not convinced we will either. Part of the reason I don't care is because the overall debate does not hinge on this.

          Does our effect on CO2 have an appreciable long-term effect on CO2? Maybe, maybe not. Does CO2 have an appreciable long-term effect on global temperature? I doubt it. Depends upon what you call appreciable, I suppose. I do not expect that it has a whisper of a chance to cause anything approaching a runaway feedback loop. What reasonable data we have does not support that notion.

          To the extent that CO2 concentrations going from 400ppm to 600ppm has an effect on the biosphere, I am strongly of the opinion that it will have a net positive effect. If you don't think that CO2 figures prominently as a driver of global temperature, it is hard to get excited about our role in it, especially since the direction we are forcing it (assuming we are) is net positive.

          I am entirely unconvinced, but it would not be particularly astonishing if CO2 had a finite measurable effect on global temperature. I just do not think it is important and thus far the globe agrees with me, not you.

          Re: "I would say that alone shows your ability to analyze data is insufficient."

          Well, so far I do OK. CO2 levels have been much higher before we were ever on the scene.

          If you think about it, the CO2 we are supposedly polluting the atmosphere with had to come originally from the atmosphere and if you look back on the CO2 concentrations over much larger scales you find:

          1) CO2 Concentrations were, for most of our planet's history significantly higher than today.

          2) CO2 and temperature do not correlate over very long time-frames at all.

          3) Over shorter time-frames CO2 concentrations are controlled by temperature, not the other way around.

          What that tells me is that biological carbon sequestration is the overall driver of CO2 concentration and that it can ultimately reduce more than 5,000ppm down to a few hundred and that while sequestration is catching up, CO2 concentrations are driven by temperature rather than the other way around. CO2 concentration has varied by thousands of ppm throughout earth's history and only a few hundred ppm during man's history. We may some day have that level of control, but we surely do not now.

          Climate Scientists cherry pick data that supports their contentions and ignore data that doesn't. It is incumbent upon them to produce the positive case that falsifies the null hypothesis. Otherwise, the null hypothesis naturally stands due to our preference for parsimonious explanations.

          Re: "The evidence that the ongoing CO2 rise is human caused is overwhelming."

          There's that word 'overwhelming' again. The Global Warming fraternity rubs that word like a magic talisman. Rhetoric may move the crowd but it does not move me and it won't change the weather. Rather than endlessly trotting that out to stifle debate, why not cut to the chase and start producing this allegedly overwhelming evidence. I have looked and looked for years and I haven't seen it. To the extent I know that people have attempted to get this 'overwhelming evidence', it has been difficult to the point of requiring legal intervention.

          Overwhelming evidence you do not care to show is operationally equivalent to evidence that does not exist.

          It is, I am sure, your sincere belief that the CAGW narrative is genuinely supported by rock solid evidence in quality and volumes that cannot be denied. Your overwhelming conviction does not make it so.

          Why would the alarmist camp waste so much time on rhetoric and lame sophistry, require FOIA requests to obtain data and methods to support analysis and replication, take their case to television and newspapers, game peer review, fix official investigations of wrongdoing, misrepresent the literature (97% anyone), etc, etc if they really had a solid case to present?

          Re: "First there's the ice core record of the last 10,000"

          Did you ever stop to wonder how that 10,000 year timeframe was chosen even though you have to graft together three different data sources to cover the time frame? I did, because I know that even though it looks dramatic on that graph, our CO2 level is at a perfectly unremarkable level. Here is a different time frame that gives a bigger picture:

          http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/last_400k_yrs.html

          That shows that we are not at a peak, that we could easily be going up sharply without violating the null hypothesis that it is business as usual and that over ranges near where we are now CO2 concentrations are driven by temperature, not the other way around.

          The graph you present is evidence, but it is weak, could easily be nothing at all, would eventually be defeated by increased biomass and is very much well within a range accounted for by the null hypothesis.

          Re: http://iter.rma.ac.be/en/img/CO2-concenNEW_EN.jpg

          Again, evidence, but much weaker than you believe. You and I have entirely different ideas of what constitutes 'overwhelming evidence' and I submit that my apprehension is likely to be more predictive than yours.

          Re: "ice cores also show CO2 levels going back hundreds of thousands...... last time CO2 was this hight was 15 million years ago ... CO2 continues to relentlessly increase... To say the CO2 rise being human caused has little support is ridiculous! ... radiodating. ... accounting issue"

          I am assuming good faith here because I honestly believe that the purveyors of these arguments armed with their carefully selected samples within stochastic boundaries and following the existing curve truly believe.

          Newtonian physics, Einstein's refinements, much of the standard model, the theory of evolution, the periodic table, Maxwell Boltzmann, the fundamental theorem of calculus, plate tectonics, optics, etc, etc is supported by very good evidence and sound arguments perfectly consonant with the rest of the known accepted body of science.

          CAGW evidence is not nearly as compelling as evidence we demand of the rest of science. Plate tectonics took many years to be accepted when it made perfect sense, was consistent with what we know, was supported by reasonable evidence and was predictive. The nascent discipline of 'Climate Science', such as it is, has gotten a free ride compared that.

          Re: Where is all the human CO2 going if it isn't causing the increase in CO2 level?

          This is what I call the 'argument from ignorance' , characterized by the generic notion that because you cannot think of any other explanation, your explanation must somehow be correct.

          It is reasonable to assume that CO2 we liberate will go into the atmosphere and thereby increase CO2 concentrations when and where we do. The notion that we control CO2 concentrations does not follow from that. We affect them like every other source or sink of CO2. However, it is a leap to say that because we supply CO2 into a very large and very active CO2 cycle we ultimately control it.

          Concentrations we see would not be inconsistent with the null hypothesis. Given what we know, I personally expect that CO2 concentrations will taper off and perhaps retreat. However, the evidence we have is not that strong one way or another and because it ultimately drives nothing, it is not much worth researching or arguing about in my opinion.

          1. NomNomNom

            Re: WHO CARES!

            "Did you ever stop to wonder how that 10,000 year timeframe was chosen even though you have to graft together three different data sources to cover the time frame? I did, because I know that even though it looks dramatic on that graph, our CO2 level is at a perfectly unremarkable level. Here is a different time frame that gives a bigger picture:

            http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/last_400k_yrs.html

            That shows that we are not at a peak, that we could easily be going up sharply without violating the null hypothesis that it is business as usual and that over ranges near where we are now CO2 concentrations are driven by temperature, not the other way around."

            The graph shows that we ARE at a peak. CO2 is currently the highest level it's been for over 400,000 years. On the left hand side where it says 370ppm (out of date, it's now 400ppm) and that jump happened in the last 200 years. Why would nature out of 400,000+ years coincidentally happen to shove CO2 level up to 400ppm in only and exactly the same 200 years following the industrial revolution? Do you really believe in such a coincidence?

            You say CO2 follows temperature, but does that mean you are arguing 20th century global warming has taken the world to the warmest it's been in over 400,000 years?

            "It is reasonable to assume that CO2 we liberate will go into the atmosphere and thereby increase CO2 concentrations when and where we do. The notion that we control CO2 concentrations does not follow from that."

            We emit 30 billion tons of CO2 per year. CO2 level is increasing at a rate of 15 billion per year. Not only can we can easily explain the accumulation and the large spike in CO2, it's a problem for you to explain how come that 30 billion ton emission isnt the make or break of the 15 billion per year increase. Are you saying that if we cut emissions by 30 billion tons per year, CO2 would still increase at a rate of 15 billion tons per year? How is that supposed to work?

            For another thing it's not just CO2. Lots of other gases that we emit have also jumped upwards recently, including halocarbons, nitrous oxide and methane. It's quite clear that if humans suddenly start emitting significant enough quantities of a gas then the atmospheric level of that gas will start increasing. This not only explains the anomalous jump in CO2, but also makes sense.

          2. Burb

            Re: WHO CARES!

            @btrower

            "If you think about it, the CO2 we are supposedly polluting the atmosphere with had to come originally from the atmosphere"

            Yes but we have dumped millions of years worth of sequestered carbon into the atmosphere in about a century.

            "...over ranges near where we are now CO2 concentrations are driven by temperature, not the other way around"

            What is the mechanism for this? Where is the CO2 coming from?

            "http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/last_400k_yrs.html

            That shows that we are not at a peak, that we could easily be going up sharply without violating the null hypothesis that it is business as usual and that over ranges near where we are now CO2 concentrations are driven by temperature, not the other way around."

            What you are missing is that there is good evidence that initial temperature rises in the past were driven by Milankovich cycles and that CO2 levels increased when the oceans heated sufficiently to start releasing CO2. This does not argue against CO2 as a greenhouse gas; the effect would have been to amplify the effect of the initial forcing. Indeed changes in insolation due to orbital variations would not alone have been sufficient to account for the temperature swings seen in the past.

            "I do not expect that it has a whisper of a chance to cause anything approaching a runaway feedback loop."

            Who is claiming this? Positive feedback does not imply runaway feedback.

            "Re: Where is all the human CO2 going if it isn't causing the increase in CO2 level?

            This is what I call the 'argument from ignorance' , characterized by the generic notion that because you cannot think of any other explanation, your explanation must somehow be correct."

            Possibly, you might have a point if all that anyone had done was to think of a couple of things off the top of their head and write them on the back of an envelope. Whereas in fact, people have put a lot of effort into investigating and measuring sources and sinks of CO2. Plus there are various fingerprints that point towards the fossil fuel origin of increasing CO2 such as complementary reductions in O2 and changes in the ratio of carbon isotopes in the atmosphere.

            1. Lee D Silver badge

              Re: WHO CARES!

              PLEASE, FFS, READ MY POST.

              Let's assume that both sides are right.

              What the hell are we supposed to do about it?

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Alert

    But..but... but...

    Certain political types and Hollywood types insist that it's worse than ever and they point to the super typhoon that hit the Philippines as proof and that all the storms coming are going to be worse as result.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But..but... but...

      ... and do so, failing to note that it has been a very quiet time for the USA in the respect

  7. totaam

    good news everyone

    "slightly slower warming rate", no, not that. That's still bad.

    The fact that a concerted international effort managed to reverse the disastrous effects of CFCs on the environment on a such a short timescale shows that we can make a difference - and quickly too.

    Another interesting thing is that by fixing the ozone layer, we also had positive effects in other areas. It's quite likely that "fixing" CO2 emissions will have other positive effects too (beyond warming, cancers and other little details we already know about)

    Now, giving up CO2 emissions entirely is not possible unfortunately, but whatever we choose to do can have a big impact!

    1. janimal

      Re: good news everyone

      The main problem with doing something about it, is that our society is utterly reliant on plastics, petrochemicals and coal. Our energy 'needs' (I'm positive we don't actually need to use as much as we do) are extreme. With CFC's other coolants / aerosols weren't too difficult to find or replace and the pro-CFC lobby was relatively weak compared to the pro-carbon fuels lobby.

      In addition changing from CFCs to alternatives had almost zero impact on the lives of most people. Their deodorants still worked, their fridges still worked.

      Sadly energy efficiencies & carbon reduction require a concerted effort that will effect every single human on the planet regardless of whether you live in New York or the slums of Mumbai.

      This results in a tendency for people (non climatologists & especially politicians, tax payers and oil companies) to believe in the solution that negatively impacts them the least.

      Since these groups also tend to be ones whose opinion carries a lot of weight it is unlikely that anything will change (certainly not quickly) without some catastrophe that can be directly attributed to anthropogenic climate change.

      1. John Sanders

        "pro-carbon fuels lobby"

        I have to confess that I'm part of the "pro-carbon fuels lobby", because when I switch my toaster on I want it to heat and toast the bread, at night I want to be able to heat-up dinner in the oven. My kids are part of that "pro-carbon fuels lobby", see they are spoiled children and expect me to feed them warm food.

        I'm a selfish b*****d I know, I could have solar panels and wind mills, and not eat warm food or toasts so often, but the wife which is a "pro-carbon fuels lobby" radical will not allow me anyway.

        On a more serious note, I'm all for contaminating as less as possible and for finding alternative sources of energy which can meet demand and are economical. Because if they are not economical they are not ecological either. But all that is hard to grasp to the believers of the Climatologist church.

        1. John Hughes

          Re: "pro-carbon fuels lobby"

          "when I switch my toaster on I want it to heat and toast the bread, at night I want to be able to heat-up dinner in the oven. "

          Yeah, me too.

          Though what that has to do with "carbon fuels" I don't know. My electricity comes from a nuclear reactor.

  8. Tree
    Big Brother

    Eggheads and Theoreticians

    These kind of people who think they know it all and can predict the future are only dangerous if we beleive them. Similarly predictors are being demolished in the US by the realization that the new health care law did not bend the cost curve down as predicted, but markedly raised insurance rates. They know the theory and it is logical, but the world works differently so their predictions do not come to pass. If they are so smart, why can't they tie their own ties?

    If we follow their remedies, the result will be harmful for most people. Do not believe them.

  9. asdf
    Trollface

    my theory

    I am starting to think Richard Chirgwin is a pen name for Lewis's alter ego personality that takes over the body now and again. He looks just like Lewis except he has a beard and his arguments and facts actually make sense and he even doesn't take studies out of context.

  10. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Ozone depletion?

    It is counter to my principles to express an opinion on a paper I have not read, but my principles are not as dear as the article itself - I am not going to pay dozens of dollars for access. All the same, I must say the basic premise as reported sounds suspicious to me.

    So some 25 years ago there was a scare about an "ozone hole" over the Antarctic (there is a few per cent variation in moderate latitudes, but it is nowhere as frightening). I don't recall ever seeing a *convincing* explanation why the effects of human industrial activity - CFCs, halon, etc. - are the only ones to reach the stratosphere (the amounts are small compared to other sources, but it is argued that they are the only ones that are important) and magically concentrate over the South Pole. The depletion was soon seen to be seasonal - Cl, NO, etc., are supposed to be much more effective in "polar stratospheric clouds" that form in winter - I am still at a loss as to how the supposedly increased radiation penetrates through those clouds though. Anyway, discounting this last puzzle the Antarctic supposedly gets a few per cent more UV because of that, small change compared with the natural variation of incident UV over the globe (with latitude, not related to ozone at all, etc.). Not that it stopped the "OMG we will all be fried alive by this deadly UV!!!" panic among the vacationers who kept flocking to places with several times (!) more UV than at their main place of residence to get a tan. "This is more radiation reaching Earth hence more global warming" typically does not point out that only a very small fraction of solar spectrum by energy is blocked by ozone (UV is just a few per cent of sunlight, and most of it is UVA).

    So now this paper says that a predicted *global* effect is not observed because we "fixed" a problem no one seriously said was related? Just a curious factoid: a couple of years ago the Arctic ozone hole reached a record level (problem fixed, eh? IIRC in the Antarctic any effect of the "fix" on the ozone hole has not been detectable with any statistical significance so far - unless this article says otherwise), which is attributed to really cold winters in recent years, which in turn are said to be related to global warming in some unspecified way (huh?).

    Enough to colour me sceptical in this particular connection at least.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Ozone depletion?

      "I don't recall ever seeing a *convincing* explanation why the effects of human industrial activity - CFCs, halon, etc. - are the only ones to reach the stratosphere (the amounts are small compared to other sources, but it is argued that they are the only ones that are important) and magically concentrate over the South Pole."

      then why don't you look it up then? you know, google, the internet? might be a better use of your time than writing some long "I am suspicious of science" comment.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Go

    Good

    It's a study of past papers and not real field work but it's interesting.

    As always I hope this will be fed back into the climate change models ASAP.

    IMHO climate modellers seem to have a bit of trouble with a fairly simple idea.

    "When the climate data does not match the model, the odds on bet is the model is wrong (and if you're model architecture is poor it never will)."

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Good

      But just because your model doesn't fit the data exactly doesn't necessarily mean your model is completely wrong. Newtons model was wrong but is still good enough to get spacecraft out of the solar system. It only goes titsup at relativistic speeds - something we dont have to worry about normally,

      Climate modellers dont have any trouble with adjusting their model when science brings in new evidence as much as some people have difficulty not assuming a small error in the models predictions somehow means that their alternative theory is somehow validated.

      1. btrower

        Re: Good

        Seriously? Sir Isaac Newton vs Michael Mann? I feel sheepish putting them both in the same sentence. You are comparing Apples to Orangutans.

        I saw the code released in the Climategate stuff. It is not even up to beginner standards, let alone Newton's.

        Climateers are masters at ignoring, spinning and suppressing data. A small error? Are you kidding me? It is the complete theory down the well. Newton would look at it and say the second derivative is zero. You claimed it was not. The entire justification for alarm and all this funding was the contention that thermageddon was nigh and worse than we thought. IIRC the hockey stick showed a much different situation and as far as I know some variant of it is still AGW canon.

        The CAGW narrative is simply not supported either by empirical data or logical argument from known facts. You are not really disagreeing with me. You are disagreeing with the Universe and you will not win that game.

        1. John Hughes

          Re: Good

          "I saw the code released in the Climategate stuff. It is not even up to beginner standards, let alone Newton's."

          Newton wrote code?

    2. btrower

      Re: Good

      @John Smith 19:

      It is much more gruesome than you imagine.

      1) Data sets are 'cherry picked' *after* analysis to support what they are trying to show.

      2) Data is 'value added' by fudging it to show warming that does not actually exist.

      3) Models are a mess of fudge factors attempting to make the analysis fall in line with the results they expect.

      4) They seek and only report evidence that supports their conclusion

      5) They silence critics and suppress contrary data.

      Unfortunately, a part of canon law in Climastrology (honestly, it just ain't science) is that CO2 controls the climate. The whole exercise has become ridiculous because their sponsors are looking to install 'cap and trade' but CO2 does not control the climate and recent data shows temperatures remaining flat while CO2 has risen unabated.

      The compelling thing about 'cap and trade' is not that it will reduce CO2 and hence stave off thermageddon. The compelling thing about 'cap and trade' is that it creates a mechanism whereby politicians and profiteers have unrestricted access to our money. Need more money to meet that fiscal target? No problem. Raise the price of Carbon Credits. Backlash against price increases? No problem -- good news! prices have gone down almost enough to balance out the new requirement for more credits.

      Carbon Credits are a robber baron's wet dream. Climate gets better? Yay! It works! Let's do it faster. Climate gets worse? It's worse than we thought. Need to do it faster. CO2 levels getting too low? Yay! We can taper off the number of carbon credits by raising their price. Painfully obvious that CO2 reduction is damaging the environment? Just raise the price of credits again. Backlash at home to pull out of Carbon Credit scheme altogether? Sorry, international treaty, you know. It's out of our hands.

      You would think the hard part was wedging that Carbon Credit scheme into law, but we were convinced to send our young people across the world to attack Iraq, unprovoked and to kill people and die, because people from Saudi Arabia apparently based in Afghanistan allegedly suicide bombed a skyscraper in New York... well... you get the picture. Logic and evidence have got nothing at all to do with it. I have a notion. Take a look at the map of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria Libya, Iran and Pakistan and muse upon this: A pipeline project to bring natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India, started before the attack on Afghanistan was stopped by the Taliban. It is now a 'go'. Iran has about a fifth of the world's known reserves worth about 20 trillion USD. Forward plans are for pipelines to deliver gas to China, India and Europe and there is a huge demand. The U.S. dollar is supported well above its value by the demand for oil because it is the only currency used to purchase oil. Iraq *was* accepting Euros, but has elected, since being invaded by the U.S. to switch that back to U.S. dollars only.Nearly every country with Oil in the Middle East was either a U.S. Ally like Israel, Saudi Arabia (where most of the 9/11 bombers came from) and Qatar *OR* were invaded by the U.S. The big exception to that is Iran. That's the one Dick Cheney was talking about last month when he said "Military action in Iran is likely unavoidable". Now... Illegally invading countries all over the Middle East without provocation to gain control of their resources to prop up a currency whose debt is sitting at about double the value of all the gold mined in human history is a tough sell. Demonizing Muslims would make that a little easier. Where was I? Oh yea -- Doesn't using fossil fuels create CO2? Be sweet if you could find a way to make money from that too. It's late, so I'm a bit fuzzy. I am sure there is another perfectly innocent explanation for it all.

  12. Anigel

    Correlation and causation.

    100% of breathing people die ergo breathing causes death!

    1. catprog

      Some people do not die from cancer. therefore it is not the cancer that kills people.

  13. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    The language of the authors gives their bias away.

    Unless the following is taken out of context it suggests the authors of the paper have forgotten the difference between correlation and causation themselves.

    "Paradoxically, the recent decrease in warming, presented by global warming sceptics as proof that humankind cannot affect the climate system, is shown to have a direct human origin"

    Since when have statistics on their own shown shown any direct linkage to anything? The only way to do that is in a controlled experiment where you can isolate the key variables then analyse stastistically how they change during the experiment, something that's impossible in the real world.

    Colour me dubious - do their methods support their conclusions? Or do their conclusions stray wildly past what they can show stastically?

  14. Martin Taylor 1

    *Reduced* economic activity in wartime?

    I'm baffled by the idea that WW1 and WWII might have been responsible for a reduction in economic activity. The participating nations (notably the USA) ramped up their economic activity tremendously, to produce the military hardware required, and to support the activity of millions of fighting men and women. Not to mention the polluting effect of millions of things going bang...

    I try to keep an open mind on the whole subject, but sometimes, when confronted by obvious bollox, it's difficult.

  15. Sceptic Tank Bronze badge
    Black Helicopters

    Primate change

    I personally believe these climate change stories are a ploy to tax us more. But that typhoon that struck the Philippines does make one wonder.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Primate change

      "I personally believe these climate change stories are a ploy to tax us more."

      You are not necessarily wrong. All you need do is to review the scope of global taxation that the United Nations wants to levy on industrialised nations to see that you are in fact right.

      The UN is hell bent on introducing global taxation. Admittedly it may well have a laudable agenda, but I suspect that some within the UN see the IPCC as a route to milking one possible cash cow, namely (C)AGW.

  16. Eradicate all BB entrants

    Which one is better .....

    ...... climate change experts or climate change deniers, there's only one way to find out.

    FIIIIIIGGGGGHHHHHTTTTTT!!!

  17. Barely registers
    WTF?

    Ozone causes (a) warming (b) cooling (Delete as politically expedient)

    (a) Warming:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125192016.htm

    (b) Cooling:

    http://www.nature.com/news/ozone-hole-treaty-slowed-global-warming-1.14134

    (c) More money to research the problem

    1. catprog

      Re: Ozone causes (a) warming (b) cooling (Delete as politically expedient)

      or d) It cause both it different ways

  18. Squander Two

    Misrepresentation.

    I'd have a bit more request for climate alarmists if they demonstrated even a basic ability to comprehend their critics.

    > "Paradoxically, the recent decrease in warming, presented by global warming sceptics as proof that humankind cannot affect the climate system, is shown to have a direct human origin”.

    Well, no. Are they really that stupid, or are they taking the opportunity of publishing a scientific paper to laughably misrepresent their critics? Either way, they do themselves no credit.

    I have not seen one single claim that a decrease in warming (or, to use the more correct term, a lack of warming) is proof that humans cannot change the climate. What quite a lot of people have pointed out, however, is that a lack of warming is pretty bloody good evidence of a lack of warming, and is therefore a counterexample to any theories that claim to predict the climate yet failed to predict the lack of warming.

  19. Mike Richards Silver badge

    So there was a pause in atmospheric warming

    But the oceans have continued to warm. And they're absorbing in more than 90% of the trapped heat.

  20. Valerion
    Paris Hilton

    Seems like problem solved

    So, over the past 50 years CFC gasses were increasing and the temperature was rising.

    We then stopped CFC gasses from increasing and the warming has stopped.

    Seems like we solved the problem.

    Paris - coz the explanation is very simple.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cue the Daily Mail reading armchair 'climate experts'

    With all their 'climate change is just a hippy/lefty/communist plot' conspiracy theories.

  22. Pat 4

    Let's assume they are right.

    Let's assume they are right.

    If the "pause" is due to humans stopping their use of CFCs, then the inevitable conclusion would have to be that the warming was actually caused BY CFCs... and not CO2.

    1. btrower

      Re: Let's assume they are right.

      @Pat 4:

      Re:"warming was actually caused BY CFCs"

      I am a bit fuzzy headed right now, but that is an interesting speculation. Sometimes it seems like all the data was faked. Massaged, cherry picked data sets keep cropping up like bad pennies. They yield graphs that make people used to seeing graphs of real data sets go "what the...???" Raw data is hard to come by and some goes MIA entirely. However, there are raw data sets out there that graph like any other raw data and I am optimistic that enough reasonable raw data on temperature, ozone cover, CFCs and CO2 exists somewhere. It would not take much of an analysis to see how CFCs fit in. Seems to me that just proper graphs should be enough to tell.

      Note: Not kidding about the fuzzy headed thing. I could be way off base...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really?!?!

    So What I read from that is.... Because of the wars and the great depression people stopped shopping and this reduced global warming?!?!

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