Global Warming Hysteria in The West Australian: A Note from Roger Underwood

Over the last 6 months, readers of The West Australian newspaper have been subjected to a barrage of hysteria over global warming. Very bad news stories of one kind or another are published almost every day, all with the common theme that civilisation as we know it is about to be destroyed.

Some of these stories are simply laughable, like the article asserting that a rise in temperature of 1-2 degrees will result in the extinction of the karri forest. Another reported that rising sea levels (caused by global warming) will, amongst other calamities, lead to a killer increase in salinity in the Swan River. Many readers were surprised by this, since the Swan River is a tidal estuary in its lower reaches, and is fed by the salt-laden Avon River in its upper reaches.

Day after day The West Australian delivers stories unequivocally foretelling the melting of ice caps and glaciers, death of forests, disease outbreaks, the collapse of agriculture, social disruption, loss of coastal communities and beaches, catastrophic storms, floods, droughts and bushfires. All of this is based on an unquestioning acceptance of the theory that human-induced CO2 emissions are causing the world to heat up, and an unquestioning belief in the link between projected warming and ghastly consequences.

I am curious about this lack of editorial scepticism. When it comes to reporting politics or community issues, journalists generally pride themselves on pricking sacred balloons, cutting down tall poppies, exposing spin and highlighting hidden agendas, in short doing what journalists do. The West Australian is quite good in this area, even if their judgement is not always infallible. They have not been afraid to attack government Ministers or powerful Union bosses or to probe politically-incorrect issues, such as alcoholism and education in Indigenous communities. But on global warming their stance is one of uncritical acceptance of Worst Case Scenarios. The whole package of political game-playing and agenda-driven alarmism is taken at face value and delivered on to readers as if the newspaper was a propaganda pamphlet, rather than a mature organ of the Australian media.
It is not just The West Australian. ABC current affairs journalists to a man and woman are also promoters of Global Warming Apocalypse. A good example was the recent segment on The 7.30 Report which suggested that a slight projected increase in temperature would result in a regime of completely unstoppable bushfires. This proposition was put to the gullible journalist by a climatologist and an environmental activist, neither of whom had any experience in bushfire science or management. No one with this knowledge or experience was interviewed.

And just before the Global Warming True Believers launch their barbs at me, I assure them that I accept the idea of climate change – the climate is always changing. I am also concerned about air pollution from industry and vehicles. However, I regard as unproven the theory of ‘accelerated global warming” as a result of human CO2 emissions. And I consider the worst-case scenarios uncritically presented as fact by journalists to be unhelpful to a community struggling to make sense of a complex issue.

There are risks associated with constant promotion of Worst Case Scenarios. The first is that people will start to shrug their shoulders, feeling that the whole situation is beyond hope: the planet is doomed, so we might as well live for the minute. This leads to the second risk: doomsday projections becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.
The one-sided reporting of the global warming debate is perhaps explained by the fact that journalists are frightened of presenting both sides of the global warming story. They do not want to alienate those powerful sections of the community who will attack them if they do, i.e. environmentalists, academics and business interests profiting from global warming alarm. Alternatively we are just seeing another example of the professional immaturity of the Australian media. I have observed that they have always regarded dramatic disasters and fearsome calamities as more newsworthy than everyday life or good citizenship. Thus trees being chainsawed to the accompaniment of wailing protesters is a far “better” story than a forest quietly regrowing under the stewardship of dedicated foresters. I can see no solution to this.

Roger Underwood
Perth, Western Australia

PS: I sent a copy of this article to the Editor of The West asking for any comments before I posted it on this blog. He did not reply. However, a week later a short article appeared with the first positive comment about global warming I have ever seen in this newspaper. The journalist reported the view of a marine scientist that global warming would lead to extensive new coral reefs forming all along the Western Australian coast, perhaps as far south as Perth. That will be nice.

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In September 14, 2006, I posted a piece entitled ‘Déjà Vu on the ABC’ by Roger Underwood which went on to win a place in the On Line Opinion best blogs competition for that year. This article is also about inaccurate and misleading media reporting of an environmental issue. Read more here: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/001633.html.

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113 Responses to Global Warming Hysteria in The West Australian: A Note from Roger Underwood

  1. David January 15, 2008 at 8:13 am #

    Just a few recent observations from WA for interest.

    Perth has just had its hottest December day on record on December 26, Perth’s northern suburbs had their second hottest day on record a week back (missed the record by 0.1C), Port Headland had it hottest day on record (49.0C on the 11th), Parabadoo had its hottest January day on record (47.1C on the 4th), Marble Bar had its second hottest day on record (48.5C on the 11th), Telfer had its hottest day on record (48C on the 10th), I could go on. There’s every chance that Mardie had WA’s hightest January temperature on record last week, but communications with the weather station have failed so the numbers haven’t yet arrived.

    Meanwhile Marble Bar which had the highest mean monthly maximum for any month for any station anywhere in Australia last year with 44.9C in February is currently running an average of 44.8C for this January, putting at risk last year’s record. Southern WA also had it hottest year on record in 2007. Perth had its driest year on record in 2006, while last year was another very dry year with only 703mm.

  2. David Archibald January 15, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    David, it snowed on the Stirling Ranges in early October – that was nice too.

    When I was growing up, the religion column in the Courier Mail was way back in the paper, after the comics. In the West Australian these days, it is generally on page 6, taking up most of the page. But they are running out of freshly idiotic things to say.

  3. Mark January 15, 2008 at 8:51 am #

    C’Mon David, weather records get broken every day of the year somewhere in the world! If we get a record cold wave this year here in Canada, does that in fact mean we’re actually experiencing global cooling?

  4. Ann Novek January 15, 2008 at 8:52 am #

    ” ..that a slight projected increase in temperature would result in a regime of completely unstoppable bushfires. ” – Roger

    I watched a CBS program ” 60 minutes” where a specialist , a firefighter leader and scientist, stated that an increase of 1 degree C , did bring a 4 times bigger increase in forest fires. This was in the Western US.The fires now were much larger ( including much larger areas).

    The cause was changed fire management during the last century ( it seemed there was a need of small fires as to prevent the really big ones) and climate change. Now even trees that used to be resistant to big fires were destroyed.

  5. Mark January 15, 2008 at 8:56 am #

    The media in Canada for the most part suffering from this disease. The CBC is notorious for sensationalizing this issue with special field reports from the Arctic, etc, etc.. I wonder if they’ll be up there next summer to report if ice levels are higher than they were last year? The Canadian press is not much better but I must give credit to the National Post for providing an outlet for both sides of the debate.

  6. bazza January 15, 2008 at 8:56 am #

    Jen, you forgot to point out the trend in inflows to Perth water supply over the last 30 years and how Perth a decade ago was one of the most concerned cities in the world on global warming. It has been referred to as the canary in the coal mine. The world needs more canaries, fewer hawks. Are newspapers much different to blogs like this that peddle pap to please the majority of their audience, and to enlarge their audience. But are there limits to dumbing down.?

  7. Sid Reynolds January 15, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    David, one can always ‘cherrypick’ data. WA has certainly been experiencing heatwave conditions recently with some record highs set. However I recall over past five years, Perth and other areas of the State recording many all-time record low temps. too. Maybe to be objective, you could post some of those records here. As for Marble Bar…The hottest place in Australia I believe; remember at primary school in the late 40’s being told that at M B temps were too extreme for the thermometers to record accuratly.

    And what about other areas of the country and around the world that have recently recorded record low temps? Does this mean we’re heading for global cooling?

    As Head of the BoM, I would suggest that your role could be more objective and less activist with regard to ‘AGW’.

  8. Green Davey Gam Esq. January 15, 2008 at 10:43 am #

    Bazza,
    The dam inflows show a sudden step down in the 1970s, which does not match the pattern of rainfall decline. I believe it does match with the decline in regular prescribed burning by the then Forests Department. Thickening vegetation drinks more water. It is very difficult to walk through some catchments now, due to thick scrub and dead wood. Fire thins out jarrah and marri seedlings.
    By the way, David’s claim that last year in Perth was ‘very dry’ may be true for Perth city, or at least for the BoM rain gauge there, but is not, I think, correct for the hills where the dams are located. I believe last winter’s (2007) Perth hills rain was average to above average. And what was the Perth annual rainfall in 1914, and 1940? Perhaps David would like to comment on this.

  9. david January 15, 2008 at 11:12 am #

    It snows in the Stirling range a number of times a year. Almost all of SW WA had a below average rainfall last year. This thread is about WA not about Canada or elsewhere.

    The direction of change is very clear in WA… its getting hotter, the SW is getting drier and the NW is getting wetter. Perth has seen a collapse in its river flows.

    These are facts which frame any discussion about climate change in WA (whether it be caused by flapping fairy wings or greenhouse gases).

  10. Im Bored January 15, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    Maybe the person who runs this blog could post the data on temperatures over the last however many years, just so we readers could see for ourselves what exactly is happenning to temperatures around the place. That, and so they could convince us that they’re not just as bad as the West Australian.

  11. Louis Hissink January 15, 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    Warwick Hughes has that data on his website.

    As for extreme temperatures? I spent the period in question at Rockingham and never noticed any unusual warm weather. As I just came from a drilling program near Roebourne in th Pilbara, I find the obsession with high temperatures somewhat interesting.

    Mind you human activity has naught to do with it – it’s the sun, stupid.

  12. Mark January 15, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

    “This thread is about WA not about Canada or elsewhere.”

    Actually David its not. Its about blatant alarmism in the media with the specific example of The West Australian and the ABC. Note the line in the post:

    “Day after day The West Australian delivers stories unequivocally foretelling the melting of ice caps and glaciers.”

    I didn’t know you had ice caps and glaciers in Western Australia.

  13. Sid Reynolds January 15, 2008 at 1:47 pm #

    Still nothing from David on WA min. temps.

    On 17 June, 2006, Perth recorded an all time low minimum of -0.6 deg. which also broke another rec ord of being the first time ever that a sub-zero temp. has been recorded in that city. (Have read somewhere,{Elders Weathersite I think} that that has since been broken by a -0.7, but can’t verify this.) At that date, many other centres in WA, (and NT) also recorded all-time low temps.

    Perth’s all-time high max. temp. of 46.2deg was set on 23 Feb. 1991. Or maybe it has been broken since? Someone may enlighten us on that?

  14. Jonathan Wilkes January 15, 2008 at 1:49 pm #

    “Mind you human activity has naught to do with it – it’s the sun, stupid”
    Funny you should mention it Louis.
    From 1972 to 1980 I was working for Mt Newman mining Co. in Port Headland and at Mt. Newman. I can tell you it was bloody hot, not sure of the actual temps. but, records come and go! How long do they go back anyway?
    I am really surprised at the hubris of humans, to believe we caused it all. Well, maybe less of hubris and more of trying to grab money and power on the one side, and stupidity of the crowd, following chicken little and swallowing the Agw crap, on the other.

  15. David January 15, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    Global warming doesn’t stop cold temperatures or cold records, it just means hot temperatures and hot records come with ever increasing frequency. The direction of recent climate change is unequivocal.

    If you want to pretend global warming isn’t happening or is over hyped, you would all do better to choose a different city than Perth, a different state than WA, a different country than Australia, and a different year than 2008.

  16. AB January 15, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    The trend in min temps for WA, which shows the last 5 years have all been warmer than average, is available from.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/web01/ncc/www/cli_chg/timeseries/tmin/0112/wa/latest.gif

  17. Sid Reynolds January 15, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

    So here we have it; the BoM believes that 2008 is going to be the big one. Gotta believe that the ‘hottest year ever’ keeps rolling in regularly, just to keep the belief alive.

    How can an umpire who favours one side be impartial? What about the second umpire, the CSIRO? Noooo. What about the third umpire, the IPCC? Well they have just re-issued ‘Hockey Sticks’ with extended blades pointing up!

    2008; 15 days gone, 351 to go..A brave prediction!

  18. proteus January 15, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    “Global warming doesn’t stop cold temperatures or cold records, it just means hot temperatures and hot records come with ever increasing frequency.”

    And what of the frequency of cold temperatures or records?

    “The direction of recent climate change is unequivocal.”

    Recent, as in the last 5 or 10 years, or do you mean the last 30? If the first, its unequivocally cooling; if the second, no change; if the third, very slightly warming. And the warming or cooling depends on the region you’re investigating.

    http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html#msu_amsu_trend_map_tlt

  19. Anne January 15, 2008 at 3:17 pm #

    While having to agree there have been many articles on Global Warming,it can’t bee denied our weather patterns have changed & not for the better.The public of WA are regularly told we are running out of water & to cut back.Our rainfall has not decreased as we are being told,by the Water Corps own figures we are receiving the same amount of rain as in 1910 it just varies from year to year.
    What has altered is the amount of people living here,does state government take the extra quantity of people migrating or refugees etc into the equasion.When do they consider sustainability?We have many shortages being water,housing,gas,power so it goes on,so why aren’t solutions being found.Why is potable water going to be sold to industry,if put through reverse osmosis (removing brine)it could be piped to another dam that supplies the metro area.

    WA still have no Air Quality laws so industry will continue polluting till their hearts content,yet all we hear is we need more workers,cut back on domestic use of commodities.Our weather patterns have been changing for some years so just when will this government look past the almighty dollar,you can’t take it with you.

  20. AB January 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    You simply cannot judge climate change by periods as short as 5 years, or even 10. There is simply too much variability.

    Why? Well by analogy, would you look at the first 5 or 10 days of, say, April, to determine whether there is a daily cooling trend (which we all know there is, as its approaching winter)? Of course not. These days could have a warm trend, a neutral trend or a cold trend. You would look at the daily trend over the whole month.

    Similarly no one uses 5 or 10 years, they use at least 30. And these data show an unequivocal warming in WA, Australia and the globe.

  21. proteus January 15, 2008 at 3:50 pm #

    Sid, I think David needs to clarify whether the record global warming he’s suggesting for 2008 is limted to Perth, Australia, the Southern hemisphere, or globally.

    I noted, in another thread, the Met Office’s prediction for 2007, that it would be the hottest on record (1998), was off by about +0.11 degrees C.

    Having learnt, it appears, the foolishness of last years prediction, they have forecast that 2008 will be the coldest year since 2000:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20080103.html

    A much more sensible forecast considering the trend this decade and the fact that a strong La Nina appears to have formed over the last six months.

    BTW, following up on Pielke Jnr’s request for forecast verification for the forecasts/ predictions/ projections of the IPCC, does anyone know if the Met Office engage in any public forecast verification at year’s end?

    I ask because their series of forecasts last year where less than impressive. Wrong on global temp, wrong in respect of the English summer (they forecast a high probabiility that it would exceed the average temp. for the period 1971-2000 of 14.1 degrees C when it was actually perfectly average, 14.1 degrees C. And, of course, their modelling couldn’t determine whether it was going to be particulaly wet or dry summer a month, then a week, out of it being their wettest summer since 1956 and the second wettest since records began in 1914.

    See:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2007/pr20070831.html

  22. proteus January 15, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    AB, what is the unequivocal trend in the last thirty years in the lower troposphere according to RSS? 0.173K/decade. This is unequivocally slight. If this trend continued over the next century we would see no more than a 1.73K rise in temperatures. If the trend since 2000 continues, even modestly, to effect the longer term trend then temp. increase this century would most likely be no more than 1.5K.

  23. David Archibald January 15, 2008 at 4:15 pm #

    Speaking of 2008, it is the 10th anniversary of the peak in global temperatures of 1998, which in turn means that half the children alive today have only ever experienced global cooling.

  24. chrisgo January 15, 2008 at 4:38 pm #

    WARNING
    Those tired of reading “pap”, read no further.

    It’s clear that the long-term mean max. temp. trend (1910 – 2007) Australia-wide varies between -0.05℃ and +0.2℃ with the Pilbara and the Perth areas of W.A. being two of the areas recording the greatest increase over 100 years (go to max temp).
    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/trendmaps.cgi

    But when these reports are published intentionally to feed the hysteria (and a headline: NO CHANGE IN CLIMATE does not sell papers), I wonder what the alarmists would prefer to see – a max. temp. cooler by say 0.2℃ over 100 years – or perhaps no change at all?

  25. rog January 15, 2008 at 6:23 pm #

    Q: When is a warning not a warning but a warning of a future warning?…

    Flood Advice – North East Victoria
    21 December 2007 16:11 EDT

    Note: This Flood Watch is a heads-up for possible future flooding and is NOT a Flood Warning. This flood watch covers both the Victorian and New South Wales parts of the Murray River catchment upstream of Lake Hume.

    http://www.eldersweather.com.au/warning.jsp?id=IDV35600

  26. Louis Hissink January 15, 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    David,

    climate change means changes over a 30 year averaging period, so in the case of 2007, it will be the mean temperature from the last 30 years including 2007. Any change from this mean compared to previous ones computed likewise would be the only metric you could quote as indicative of climate change, if mean temperature is a such a metric in the first place.

    But I’m not getting into the differences between intensive and extensive variables, but most of you here would not grasp the concept. Many scientifically trained experts don’t either.

    The simplest example I can think of is having one of these small laser-light pens which has a temp of a couple of million Kelvin, and the room in which it is on with a temperature of 300 Kelvin, say. Is the mean temperature of the room 3,000,000 + 300= 1,500,150 ? It is according to the way the climate scientists calculate it.

    And now we can go off an think about it.

  27. SJT January 15, 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    “It is according to the way the climate scientists calculate it.”

    No.

    That doesn’t of course, stop you making ridiculous claims like that, of course.

  28. Paul Biggs January 15, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    It’s the ‘Garbage In – Garbage Out’ Computer Models that do the calculations.

  29. SJT January 15, 2008 at 10:42 pm #

    You are completely misrepresenting what the climate models have been claiming to do. They have not claimed to start at a specific point, nor finish at one, but to give an indication of where the global climate will start, and finish. The year by year cycles and patterns have been up till now beyond their precision. Hadley feels it can now incorporate the natural cycles, a few years may let us know if that ambitious next step can be achieved.

  30. Louis Hissink January 15, 2008 at 10:51 pm #

    SJT, which proves that you don’t understand what temperature actually is, let alone the difference between extensive and intensive variables.

    Herein lies the problem – it’s so simple and yet so inpenetrable to comprehension.

    Intensive variables have the interesting property of not being additive so the 3 Kelvin + 3 Kelvin = 3 Kelvin. Even post grad geophysics students understand this basic principle.

    But 3 grams + 3 grams = 6 grams.

    The former is an intensive variable, the latter an extensive one.

    So the whole process of averaging temperatures in grid cells, or whatever, is illegal from a scientific or mathematical sense.

    Indeed a lot of the climate science computations can be reduced to this fundamental error, especially the derivation of climate sensitivity.

    And here is another curly one SJT – AGW actually demands that Brownian Motion be violated.

    Chew on that for a few days.

  31. Pinxi January 15, 2008 at 11:04 pm #

    Louis: ” a lot of the climate science computations can be reduced to this fundamental error, especially the derivation of climate sensitivity”

    Louis have you written to the WG to explain that their (hot day + hot day + hot day)/3 model is illegal and didn’t need thousands of lines of code? You’d seriously do us all a favour if you are correct, so please pen your open letter.

  32. gavin January 16, 2008 at 7:07 am #

    I reckon Louis can help us with his review of this lot

    http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/387456.html

    and this

    http://books.google.com/books?id=AXWay9MMmFUC&pg=PA155&lpg=PA155&dq=brownian+motion+climate+models&source=web&ots=__GVnjYS7_&sig=SV6GC7Og3pobxuz2EL9NVSMETMk#PPA149,M1

    Please tell us where we are falling down in the tangle

  33. gavin January 16, 2008 at 7:17 am #

    We can say this issue got a lift here

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=836

  34. Louis Hissink January 16, 2008 at 7:37 am #

    And of course not one these diversions posted by Gavin answers the initial issue of using intensive variables.

  35. gavin January 16, 2008 at 7:37 am #

    There is a link to ARIMA time series models beyond the CA tree ring discussion

    http://www.vias.org/tmdatanaleng/cc_timeser_arima.html

    What is the relevance of all this to the hockey stick and climate?

  36. Ender January 16, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    Louis – “SJT, which proves that you don’t understand what temperature actually is, let alone the difference between extensive and intensive variables.”

    And of course only understandable by a ‘lateral thinker’ as yourself.

    For the rest of us mere mortals here is the Wiki on it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intensive_and_extensive_properties

    Again there is at least one other person on the Earth that understands it Louis unless of course you wrote this wiki.

  37. Ender January 16, 2008 at 9:42 am #

    From the reference:

    “Extensive quantities are the counterparts of intensive quantities, which are intrinsic to a particular subsystem and remain constant regardless of size. Dividing one type of extensive quantity by a different type of extensive quantity will in general give an intensive quantity (mass divided by volume gives density).”

    So unless Louis is going to declare that the quantity density is also illegal also then I guess we can discount the last few posts as just a bad dream and we will all wake up soon.

  38. SJT January 16, 2008 at 9:59 am #

    Louis,

    “And here is another curly one SJT – AGW actually demands that Brownian Motion be violated.”

    I don’t know where you learned your physics, but it must have been from a textbook about a century old. Eli has already pulled you up on this, it’s radiation that’s doing the work.

  39. proteus January 16, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    The hypocrisy…AB tells everyone that no one uses 5 or 10 year trends having in an earlier comment himself pointed to a trend of above avg. min temp. in WA.

    The most curious ‘cherry-picking’. The cherry-picking is obvious, but it is most curious because s/he ignores the stable to declining global trend and rather emphasises a local warming trend in order to buttress the claim of global warming. Wonders never cease.

  40. Green Davey Gam Esq. January 16, 2008 at 11:15 am #

    David has not answered my query on the important difference between Perth city rainfall, and that in the Perth catchments. As Louis Hissink suggested, I refer readers to Warwick Hughes’ website http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?cat=5 .
    Scroll down to the graph of Mundaring rain since 1900 (BoM data). It will be seen that 2006 was not the driest year on record. Also 2007 was, as I suspected, rather wetter than average.
    Statistics are like a bikini – what they reveal is startling, but what they conceal is vital.
    In line with Roger Underwood’s views at the start of this thread, news media such as The West Australian need to be aware of that. David should take note too, especially if he works for the BoM.

  41. proteus January 16, 2008 at 11:19 am #

    You are right Master Davey. I’m still waiting for an answer regarding the frequency of hot and cold days. Would you per chance know the answer or where it might be fruitful to look?

  42. Anthony January 16, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    the next person who says we are experiencing global cooling should be banned from the site (in my humble opinion)

    http://www.realclimate.org/

  43. proteus January 16, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Alternatively, the next person to reference Apocalyse Now, sorry, Real Climate and a figure of global temp. by GISS temp (the outlier of various global surface and satelite temp series) should be banned from this site. Honestly, you protesteth too much, Anthony.

  44. Anthony January 16, 2008 at 11:54 am #

    why proteus?

  45. John Van Krimpen January 16, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    I normally post here as a sock puppet of some sort from time to time. A smart comment or to kick a possum or two.

    I have no scientific credentials as such but some math credentials, can read graphs and such stuff. I have been a banker in my time mostly dealing with troubled debt (not solvency as such). A good banker is presented with scenarios all the time, you can’t get money without a business case.

    But I can see no rising seas and if the evidence existed in reality it would be front page everywhere. Measuring the ice shelfs in summer seems a bit lopsided to me and also our enviro minister for dancing against the diabled visiting the place in summer to talk about melting ice caps seems a bit disingenuous to me.

    I see hurricanes and I see drought but I have seen these all my life and they are not folkloric as such but historic.

    I remain skeptical until a scientist actually comes up with a proof. There is none I have seen or read about and we are now talking over a decade so empiric proof should be available.

    That’s my two bobs worth, so everyone can get back to arguing, I want to see a proof that everyone can bank on.

    Scientists always present stuff with optimistic timelines, take medicine, it’s always “in a few years time, we will be able to do this and that billions of lives will be saved” and a decade or two later, science reality and optimism and actually collide.

    Now we have farmers planting trees everywhere who might just be in for a big shock, already borderline that just maybe an agri scheme that goes turtle, and I have seen a few of them.

    And the same old faces that were involved in some of these agri schemes or their clones are appearing which shakes my head, hoping we aren’t going to see some lone tree car crashes when hope runs out and the insurance company payout can fix it.

  46. AB January 16, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    Proteus – please follow the comments. It was raised earlier that the past 5 years were cooling in WA. I showed that they were not. I did not claim that 5 years shows a trend.

    To accuse me of being a hypocrite is wrong, and just reminds me why this blogs readership has plummeted.

    There has been a significant warming trend over the past 30 years in WA, Australia and the Globe.

  47. Ender January 16, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    John – “I remain skeptical until a scientist actually comes up with a proof. There is none I have seen or read about and we are now talking over a decade so empiric proof should be available.”

    Define a proof. That is what in you opinion would be 100% evidence that AGW was real and was happening.

  48. proteus January 16, 2008 at 1:39 pm #

    Actually, AB, Sid was referring to record low temp. in WA, he said nothing in regard to a cooling trend in WA.

    “David, one can always ‘cherrypick’ data. WA has certainly been experiencing heatwave conditions recently with some record highs set. However I recall over past five years, Perth and other areas of the State recording many all-time record low temps. too. Maybe to be objective, you could post some of those records here. As for Marble Bar…The hottest place in Australia I believe; remember at primary school in the late 40’s being told that at M B temps were too extreme for the thermometers to record accuratly.

    And what about other areas of the country and around the world that have recently recorded record low temps? Does this mean we’re heading for global cooling?”

    Or were you responding to someone else?

  49. Pinxi January 16, 2008 at 3:02 pm #

    And thus we conclude that the only result from all of the debates here is deeper trenches. Keep digging folks.

  50. Anthony January 16, 2008 at 3:50 pm #

    Hi John, do you seriously think ice shelves, ice cover etc are only measured in summer?

    Where exactly in the 100’s of pages of science presented in IPCC did you miss any proof?

  51. proteus January 16, 2008 at 4:06 pm #

    Still no data on the frequency of hot or cold days, globally or regionally?

  52. John Van Krimpen January 16, 2008 at 4:47 pm #

    Ender with all due respect I would expect a 5 metre sea rise seeing this is what started the AGW ball rolling. Or give me 2 metres even half a metre seeing the beginning predictions were so outlandish and now consistently modified downwards both in sealevels and temperatures.

    Anthony Hi,

    I read articles about the Antarctic melting in someplaces but over all increasing in mass, by some fellow who does it for a living from Japan, one of the lead scientists and no I cant remember his name.

    Tongue in cheek reference to a rock star appointed Environmental minister who tours the antarctic just as another report is released on Antarctica melting. People have been killing of the great barrier reef for decades and it hasn’t moved that much, bloody stubborn organism it is, so you will pardon any skepticism on my behalf, like many over 45 we have heard this stuff too many times, from a doom industry..

    No offence to all but this debate is a decade old we need some legitmate proofs. Not models some proofs. If this was a business deal, and you had borrowed money then it would be high past time now to show someone the money result and all we get is predictions.

    It’s been a decade and billions spent on research. Hottest year on record predicted one place and then they are happy that it is the tenth hottest on record. If they had been professional gamblers they would be at the office of unemployment. One of the BOMs.

  53. Green Davey Gam Esq. January 16, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    Proteus,
    I can only suggest BoM. Try Warwick – he may have some data. My impression was that, where I live in the Perth hills, 2007 was rather cooler than usual, especially the spring. I base this on winter firewood consumption, and the number of apricots harvested – too cold and wet for the bees to do their stuff in spring. The price of apricots in Perth shops might be a quantitative measure, as might firewood sales, although the latter may be influenced by strange ideas that firewood pollutes, therefore we should use gas or electricity derived from fossil fuels. Haven’t worked that one out yet, although removal of dead logs for firewood would reduce fire hazard, and thinning the forest would actually very significantly increase runoff into the dams.

  54. Green Davey Gam Esq. January 16, 2008 at 4:58 pm #

    Just to show I am on topic, perhaps The West Australian can help?

  55. proteus January 16, 2008 at 5:06 pm #

    That last comment was vert droll.

  56. Anthony January 17, 2008 at 8:04 am #

    John, NASA have just told us 2007 was the 2nd hottest year on record and we had La nina kicking in. Whats going to happen when we have the next El nino. Time to read more sources than your Japenese mate.

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2008/earth_temp.html

    check heat distribution across the globe – anything strike you about that?

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm

    This also has some useful information and reference you can chase up.

    Proof? The experiments been running for some time now. We don’t need the models to tell us we are heating up the planet. Not sure what your understanding is of RISK – maybe thats why you were dealnig with bad credit once it had occurred, not stopping bad credit in the first place…

  57. Ender January 17, 2008 at 8:18 am #

    John – “Ender with all due respect I would expect a 5 metre sea rise seeing this is what started the AGW ball rolling.”

    Well thats terrific and with this proof all the scientists can then congratulate themselves on being right however the billions of displaced people might be a little annoyed.

    The point is when you have you 100% proof it is too late to do anything about it.

    So how would you resolve this little problem?

  58. proteus January 17, 2008 at 8:45 am #

    And how do you explain the difference between GISS and the HadCRUT3, UAH, RSS temp. series?

    What’s going to happen at the next El Nino? Noise.

  59. Anthony January 17, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    ummm, their different.

    ummm, we will get a record temp.

    ummm, the usual suspects will have a new year from which to proclaim we are experiencing global cooling.

  60. proteus January 17, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Yes, but GISS is 0.1 degree C higher than both UAH and HADCrut3, and 0.2 degrees higher than RSS. This requires something more than “their different.”

    And where is this supposed reconciliaton between surface and satellite measurements the AR4 talked so fondly about?

    Just incredible.

  61. gavin January 17, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    IMO more stable short term climate info comes from SST study downunder since we have a lot of coastline.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/sat/SST/sst.shtml

    SST chart 13th Jan

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/nmoc/latest_M.pl?IDCODE=IDX0084

    At this time of the year it’s worth watching “Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies” in the Tasman

  62. Anthony January 17, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/uncertainty-noise-and-the-art-of-model-data-comparison/

    sorry proteus, you don’t trust realclimate do you?

    “Sampling biases are easy to see in the difference between the GISTEMP surface temperature data product (which extrapolates over the Arctic region) and the HADCRUT3v product which assumes that Arctic temperature anomalies don’t extend past the land. These are both defendable choices, but when calculating global mean anomalies in a situation where the Arctic is warming up rapidly, there is an obvious offset between the two records (and indeed GISTEMP has been trending higher). However, the long term trends are very similar.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_record

    oh yeah, wiki is a global government conspriacy – must be a mistake that all records show a warming trend – go figure.

    whats your issue with AR4?
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm

    please detail

  63. proteus January 17, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    Anthony, so you think there is no conflict of interest between a dataset associated directly or indirectly with Gavin Schmidt and a post Gavin has himself co-authored?

    “oh yeah, wiki is a global government conspriacy – must be a mistake that all records show a warming trend – go figure.”

    Who is this a response to?

    Re IPCC, see here, for example:

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/001315forecast_verificatio.html

  64. Anthony January 17, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    Is he wrong or are you just insinuating something?

    re wiki – I’m just playing up the usual fear about global government for my own amusement. My apologies if you missed the humour. Point is all data sets are pointing to warming.

    sorry proteus, there is nothing interesting on your link. Just some guy playing with graphs in excel. Do you prefer it when all the graphs do the same thing, line up and look pretty?

  65. Nathan January 17, 2008 at 2:53 pm #

    Proteus, The Hadley Centre and Goddard Institute use different sampling methods. GISS will interpolate data across multiple data points while Hadley only use the adjacent data point. Also GISS have more data points, apparently. They have data north of 70 latitude, which Hadley don’t incorporate.
    If you look at their websites they are pretty clear about it. Also note that their interpretation of the data is basically the same. That is, that AGW is a real and measurable phenomena.
    What conflict of interest? Why would there be a conflict of interest?

  66. proteus January 17, 2008 at 3:22 pm #

    Seeing as you simply avoid answering the point Pielke Jnr addresses, I don’t see the point of addressing Schmidt’s, other than saying he appears to selectively follow it himself. See here http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/001318real_climates_two_v.html#comments

    “My apologies if you missed the humour.” You thought it was funny? I thought it a clumsy attempt at verballing.

    “there is nothing interesting on your link. Just some guy playing with graphs in excel. Do you prefer it when all the graphs do the same thing, line up and look pretty?”

    Now this was unintentionally funny coming from a guy that linked to this:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/uncertainty-noise-and-the-art-of-model-data-comparison/

  67. Anthony January 17, 2008 at 3:45 pm #

    I think my post got lost – I’ll try again.

    What was Pielke’s point? Different organisatons using different methodologies have data which differs year to year but which all produce the same long term trend. He then concurs ‘for the record’ with the IPCC WGI consensus. This is hardly gronud breaking stuff.

    His quibble appears to be that year to year predictions are not 100% accurate. Well, as Ender points out, by the time we can model year to year variability with 100% accuracy, if AGW is correct, we are stuffed.

  68. proteus January 17, 2008 at 4:40 pm #

    Well, no, that is not really his point but a caricature and then you engage in more verballing since he says nothing about requiring forecasts to be 100% accurate. Is this another attempt at humour or simply a lie?.

    GISS and HADCRUT3 begin with roughly the same data which they adjust differently which produces a similar (not the same) long term trend which diverges in the last 3 years. This divergence requires an explanation, especially if it continues.

    As Pielke pointed out in that and in adjacent posts, when we add the UAH and RSS datasets, the different results provide an opportunity for cherry-picking and confirmation bias.

    Re the last six years, this figure suggests to me that global warming has slowed significantly to put it mildly, and is more likey a regional phenomenon. There is definitely something going on in the high latitudes of the NH, I’m not sure a well-mixed gas is the perp. however.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2007&month_last=12&sat=4&sst=1&type=trends&mean_gen=0112&year1=2001&year2=2007&base1=1901&base2=2000&radius=1200&pol=reg

    The base period is 1901-2000.

  69. Wes George January 17, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    Mates, you have missed the point completely. Like a bunch of gearheads you are debating the details of whether AGW is fact or fiction. Fact is the data doesn’t conclusively prove the point one way or another. You might as well ferociously debate the existence of an almighty deity.

    And that’s the bloody point. Our lovable Auntie ABC and ALL the rest of the media in this Chinese resource colony of ours behave as if AGW is a simple fact of science, a bit like gravity. The wonderfully sincere, if futile, debate occurring in this isolated blog should be moved to the mainstream media. Instead, the media seems controlled by fanatical True Believers.

    The ABC is especially culpable in this regard because its charter calls for an unbiased, skeptical and Enlightenment style of approach to news stories. The ABC is funded by our tax dollars and beholden to the citizens of Australia to be fair, rational and honest with the public. Yet the ABC has violated this trust flagrantly and repeatedly by refusing to acknowledge that there is even a climate debate, much less two or more sides to it.

    Change your focus from petty climatological point scoring to the real villain, the media that wages a campaign of fear and deceit upon the public, funding by the taxpayer!

  70. Johnathan Wilkes January 17, 2008 at 6:38 pm #

    Wes George,
    A sane voice in the wilderness.

  71. Sid Reynolds January 17, 2008 at 9:58 pm #

    Wes George is indeed a ‘sane voice in the wilderness’. The problem is how is it possible to get climate reality onto the ABC, or into the Fairfax media. Or on a world scale, the BBC, the NYT or Time Mag. for instance. It’s not easy… All the luvvies are completely brainwashed on the issue. And ‘melting glaciers’, ‘rising sea-levels’ and ‘drowning polar bears’ are much more news worthy than the fact that these things are just not happening in the real world.

    John Van Krimpen hits the nail on the head on these issues. The problem is that the alarmists live in a make believe world, and have succeeded in having all the wildest fables promoted as truth by the media.

    On the other hand, rational thinkers are promoted by the same media as being loopy denialists

    Anyway, have heart, Jen’s Blogsite is being recorded in the National Library in Canberra, and the truth will eventually come out.

  72. SJT January 17, 2008 at 10:11 pm #

    Wes

    read the IPCC reports. It’s all in there.

  73. bazza January 17, 2008 at 10:33 pm #

    Wes, Jonathan Sid,having now read the IPCC reports as advised by SJT ( science is what we do to stop us saying stupid things), surely it is time to move on, where have you been? You missed the tipping point in the media about a year ago when they gave up tryin to stir up a bit of nonsense from a few rear guard AGW sceptics. But you will say the media were biased now but not then. Come on!To put a bit of meat on this, can you each come back with a probability that global warming is anthropogenic. Can you then give your confidence in your probability, if it is not too much to ask pls.

  74. Anthony January 18, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    Proteus

    1- Pielke’s title was forecast verification. I.e. verifying forescasts.
    2- Pielke accepts the ‘consensus’ presented in WGI
    3- All temperature records presented by Peilke since 2000 show consistent positive temperature anomolies.

    Where do you get off? Globak warming has slowed? A regional phenomenon based on a couple of data sets showing slowed warming in the last 3 years? This isn’t tax accounting where we just go year to year. His post is a quibble on forecasts, nothing more. If you bothered to read the real climate post you would realise that drawing conclusions from 3 years trends is rediculous in the extreme.

    Pielke – “Absent an ability to rigorously evaluate forecasts, in the presence of multiple valid approaches to observational data we run the risk of engaging in all sorts of cognitive traps — such as availability bias and confirmation bias.”

    Ok, a risk of confirmation bias IN FORECASTING – has he proven this has occurred? has anyone shown this has occurred? – No.

    Time to drop the voodoo science and move on. Wes George? – an insance voice in the wilderness.

  75. Ender January 18, 2008 at 8:25 am #

    Wes – “Mates, you have missed the point completely. Like a bunch of gearheads you are debating the details of whether AGW is fact or fiction. Fact is the data doesn’t conclusively prove the point one way or another. You might as well ferociously debate the existence of an almighty deity.”

    No absolutely and completely wrong. You cannot do an experiment to prove or disprove the existence of a deity as such things only exist in the minds of humans and require faith to believe in their existence.

    Physical, repeatable scientific experiments can be and have been done to prove all the elements that go together to make the case for global warming and possible climate change resulting from that warming. The only scientific uncertainty is the magnitude of the resulting warming and resulting climate change. This is uncertain because of the complexity of the Earth’s ocean/atmosphere.

    Equating scientific work with religious ideas only exposes the shallowness of your own thinking and the people that uncritically congratulated you.

  76. Johnathan Wilkes January 18, 2008 at 8:35 am #

    SJT
    “read the IPCC reports. It’s all in there.”

    I’m breaking my promise to myself to ignore your empty rhetoric, just this once.

    I don’t care what’s in there!
    I want tangible evidence out here, in the real world. And so far nobody could prove that what’s happening now did not happen thousands or millions of years ago, when there was no significant industrial activity and far fewer humans.
    As a matter of fact nothing much is happening that did not happen before, in my own lifetime.
    You are crowing about a .5 degree C rise in temperature as if the end of the world would be nigh. How do you know it’s a record, lets say in only the last 300 years even, you just can’t!

  77. proteus January 18, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    Anthony, I haven’t drawn any conlusion from a 3, 5, 6, 8, or 10 year trend to 2007, I simply think the trends are interesting and suggestive, and something more than noise; GHGs are not the only signal present in the datasets.

    Re pts 1 & 2: Really!(nevetheless he said nothing about requiring 100% accuracy in the forecasts did he? He does, however, think it a good idea that the IPCC include forecast verification in its reports, rather than just making forecasts, like astrologers, and then moving on); and, Oh, then thats alright then, pat Pielke Jnr on the head and tell him: there’s a good boy.

    Re pt 3: Golly, I’m really surprised that temps. since 2000 show a positive anamoly, but maybe, just maybe, this has something to do with the base (reference) period.

  78. SJT January 18, 2008 at 8:46 am #

    “I’m breaking my promise to myself to ignore your empty rhetoric, just this once.

    I don’t care what’s in there!”

    It’s a sad day when science is treated with such contempt.

  79. Anthony January 18, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    So Proteus, do we need to reduce GHG’s? Whats your assessment of the risk?

  80. Ender January 18, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    Jonathan Wilkes – “I want tangible evidence out here, in the real world. And so far nobody could prove that what’s happening now did not happen thousands or millions of years ago, when there was no significant industrial activity and far fewer humans.”

    Nobody is denying that the same thing that is happening now did not occur before when there were no humans or human industries.

    You have your own argument wrong. We can conclusively prove that climate change did happen in the past from multiple lines of evidence. What we cannot always prove is the causes of all this climate change was always the same thing.

    This then leads the the idea that maybe not all climate change events have exactly the same cause which is what you are trying to argue. There are multiple causes of global warming and climate change. One of which has been seen in the record is changes in greenhouse gases. We are emitting in great quantities one of those greenhouse gases that have been seen to be associated or causing climate in the past. Just for good measure we are radically changing the Earths surface with human habitation and exploitation.

    You connect the dots…

  81. Johnathan Wilkes January 18, 2008 at 11:42 am #

    No SJT, it’s not science I treat with contempt, it’s your asinine excuse for science, I treat with contempt.

  82. Johnathan Wilkes January 18, 2008 at 11:48 am #

    Ender!
    “We are emitting in great quantities one of those greenhouse gases that have been seen to be associated or causing climate in the past.”

    How do you know this, and prove it?
    Sorry, this is still only an hypothesis!
    Unless you believe in all this, there are no dots to connect.
    Sorry, if I want to blindly believe in something, I’d rather go to a church!

  83. gavin January 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    Johnathan probably thinks the world started 6,000 years ago and coal appeared about then.

  84. Mark January 18, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    Ender: “The only scientific uncertainty is the magnitude of the resulting warming and resulting climate change.”

    Really. I thought that according to the AGW zealots that the “science was settled”? Good for you for admitting it. Now how can we can get the politicians and the raving scientists like Hansen to do the same?

    Ender: “We are emitting in great quantities one of those greenhouse gases that have been seen to be associated or causing climate in the past.”

    Funny. There is no correlation between CO2 and temperature on geologic timescales. 500 million years ago CO2 levels were more than 15x what they are now and it was one of the coldest periods in earth’s history.

    Ender: “Just for good measure we are radically changing the Earths surface with human habitation and exploitation.”

    Yep, that’s what we 8 billion humans will tend to do. Yes, let’s be prudent and not ravage the landscape for the sake of it but changing it significantly is unavoidable unless you believe in depopulation.

  85. Nathan January 18, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    Johnathan, we know because of the physics of carbon dioxide. That’s your proof. Carbon dioxide will absorb infra-red radiation from the Earth’s surface. Use google scholar and type “Far infrared absorption by Carbon Dioxide”. You’ll see papers back to the 1930’s on it.
    We know it is from Human’s because of the isotope of carbon. We have changed the isotopic proportion of carbon in the atmosphere, because the carbon in fossil fuels is higher in that isotope (I can’t remember which one, may be higher in Carbon-13, ‘normal’ atmospheric carbon is carbon-12.)
    We also know due to measuremenst of carbon isotopes in ice and sediments. You would be tearing down a lot of paleoclimatology that has built up a coherent history for the Earth.

    Compare what is happening know with what happened at the Eocene-Paleocene boundary, 55 million years ago. Large volumes of Methane and CO2 were suddenly released (due to clathrate’s suddenly warming and oxidising in the deep North Sea)m, hey presto we have a sudden climate swing, which caused a large extinction event.

    The reason you don’t see any of the dots because you haven’t actually studied or read any of the science.
    The Greenhouse Effect explains a lot of what we see geologically. It explains why the world of the Dinosaurs was so much hotter than the one we inhabit. It explains most of the variations in climate we see in the geology since at least the Late Proterozoic (just before the Cambrian) over 700 million years ago. Remember over the sun’s life it has steadily grown hotter (it’s about 20% hotter, I think, now than when the Dinosaurs were around). How could the dinosaurs have inhabited a world 10 degrees warmer without an enhanced greenhouse effect?

    All science is a hypothesis. Proof only exists in maths. Evolution is a hypotheisis, General Relativity is a hypothesis, The Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is a hypothesis.
    You cannot prove something, you can only prove that it isn’t something else.

  86. Nathan January 18, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

    Mark, the reason it was colder back then was because the sun was cooler, and the distribution of the continents favoured ice formation.
    There is absolutely a correlation between CO2 and climate on a geological scale.
    Have a read of anything on paleoclimatology.

  87. Mark January 18, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    Nathan has presented a hypothesis that CO2 is the cause of significant warming in earth’s history.

    500 million years ago, CO2 levels were more than 15x higher than today but the earth experienced one of the coldest periods in its history. Nathan’s hypothesis is therefore falsified.

    Next hypothesis please!

  88. Mark January 18, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    “There is absolutely a correlation between CO2 and climate on a geological scale.”

    That is completely false.

  89. Johnathan Wilkes January 18, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    Very funny Gavin, Not!
    I am just sick of bullshit.

  90. Johnathan Wilkes January 18, 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    Nathan,
    I don’t think we know each other do we?

    “The reason you don’t see any of the dots because you haven’t actually studied or read any of the science.”

    You and your ilk bandy statements about as if they were facts, as I said, just because YOU believe in it doesn’t make it so!

  91. Nathan January 18, 2008 at 1:42 pm #

    Crikey people are feisty round here.
    I am not trying to convince anyone because, hell why would you believe me?
    BUT, don’t let your own perosnal assumptions get in the way.

    Do some research:
    Use google scholar it will retrieve papers and books, no blogs.

    Try this search in google scholar:
    “Paleoclimatology carbon dioxide”

    I got over 2000 hits. Here’s a very good one:
    http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/wvnl5k1yqtpxejee/

    THere’s an extract of the Abstract
    “Correlation of CO2 levels with estimates of palaeoclimate suggests that the atmospheric greenhouse effect has been a major factor in controlling global climate over the past 600 million years.”

    Mark, why don’t you read about the Sturtian Glaciation (I assume that’s what you are talking about), because you are really just making yourself look silly. You haven’t rebuked my hypothesis, as I didn’t make one. It has been made by other people. Why don’t you read what they say and then reply.

    Johnathan, I have no idea who you are.
    Just research and you’ll find your dots to join.

  92. Nathan January 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm #

    Mark, here’s an article about the various Proterozoic glaciations:
    http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/31585

  93. Johnathan Wilkes January 18, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    “Johnathan, I have no idea who you are.”
    Why do you assume then that I did not study “Science”
    I did do the research I just came to a different conclusion. But of course for you that’s heresy!

    This tells all about people who believe like you:

    “families should pay an annual carbon tax on their kids. the AMA’s Medical Journal of Australia, obstetrician and associate professor of medicine Barry NJ Walters argues the current baby bonus should be replaced with a $5000 levy and a yearly tax of $800 for families with more than two children.

  94. Sid Reynolds January 18, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    SJT, most of the current AGW science is only treated with the contempt it deserves.

    Meanwhile in the real world the current northern winter, continues to be anything from mild, or even average, with continueous extreme cold reports regularly flowing in.

    Two of the latest..

    ‘Brutal cold snap grips Greenland, reported by the Danish Meteorological Institute, which goes on to report that on Disko Bay the water froze over for 1st. time in a decade, with ice up to 50cm thick. The Institute suggests that the deep cold marks a return to the frigid temperatures common a decade ago. Temps. have plunged to -25 deg. and more clogging many coastal areas with ice’.

    Meanwhile Russia’s Emergency Situations Minister has posted extreme weather warnings for most of the country with expected temps. of -55deg. C in many areas.

    At least the Bears should be ok for a while.

  95. Nathan January 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm #

    Johnathan, You claim there was no ‘proof’, claimed that because the climate had changed in the past that people couldn’t be to blame for this period of change. All of your responses indicate you don’t actually have any idea.
    What science have you been studying/reading?
    Again, you don’t get proof from science.
    Why are you now trying to lump me with some other group? I didn’t say that.
    You don’t seem to be able to argue particular points, and keep switching to irrelevant statements.

  96. Ender January 18, 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    Jonathan Wilkes – “How do you know this, and prove it?”
    Yes from ice cores that go back to the quite distant past. You can clearly see the ups and downs of CO2 with temperature. Remember that in some of the events the CO2 rise was a feedback and some it was the cause.

    “Sorry, this is still only an hypothesis!”

    The radiative physics of greenhouse gases is not a hypothesis any more than gravity or any other accepted scientific idea is a hypothesis.

    “Unless you believe in all this, there are no dots to connect.
    Sorry, if I want to blindly believe in something, I’d rather go to a church! ”

    I am not blindly believing it I am accepting peer reviewed science. If anything your position, flying in the face of accepted science, is far more religious than my own.

  97. Ender January 18, 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    Mark – “Funny. There is no correlation between CO2 and temperature on geologic timescales. 500 million years ago CO2 levels were more than 15x what they are now and it was one of the coldest periods in earth’s history.”

    So where is the reference for this?

  98. Nathan January 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm #

    http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/31585
    http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/wvnl5k1yqtpxejee/

    Here Ender, I found two that say the opposite, still waiting for Mark to back up his statement.

  99. gavin January 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    Nathan: If you go back far enough in the soup you may find that we were flung off what is now the sun and we have been cooling ever since.

    Folks: What matters is where we are going today. Warming up a tad should be a bother for everybody.

  100. Anthony January 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm #

    Sid, Peilke – one of the most high profile scpetics has come out and said he agrees with the IPCC WGI consensus. Time to move on mate.

    John, just because you don’t like the flavour of the pill doesn’t mean you either have to swallow it or its not good for you.

    I can assure you that not everyone who agrees with AGW agrees that babies should be taxed at birth. If you have done your research that disproves AGW, please share with us some details.

  101. Mark January 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    Sorry mates, had to scoot off earlier to play some ice hockey!

    Anyway, you wanted a reference? Check this out for CO2/Temperature correlation over geologic time intervals – NOT!

    http://www.geocities.com/mcmgk/Geologic.html?1200636004328

    This graphic has appeared in a number of presentations and papers. I’ve placed on my own web page for easy reference. The data sources are listed on the graphic.

    Oh and Nathan, what is this tripe about a weak sun during the period of the dinosaurs and therefore it had to be CO2 that kept things warm?? Thats rubbish! Yes, the sun had lower luminosity in its infancy but that was 3 to 4 billion years ago, not 200 million! See the graphic below.

    http://www.geocities.com/mcmgk/Climate_Drivers.html?1200636759062

    (original source http://www.geocomplexity.com/Global_climate.htm)

    As Sid said: “Meanwhile in the real world the current northern winter, continues to be anything from mild, or even average, with continueous extreme cold reports regularly flowing in.”

    Here’s the 30 day outlook for Canada. Some global warming!

    http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/saisons/image_e.html?img=mfe1t_s&title=forecasts

  102. Nathan January 18, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    Mark, so you didn’t read any of the papers I suggested?
    I guess you disagreement is with the Royal Society:
    “Correlation of CO2 levels with estimates of palaeoclimate suggests that the atmospheric greenhouse effect has been a major factor in controlling global climate over the past 600 million years.”

    And here’s some papers about the early lower solar luminosity
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v277/n5698/abs/277640a0.html
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/198/4321/1035

    What’s the source of your data?

    I know who I’ll be trusting.

  103. Nathan January 18, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    How much did you read that website Mark?
    http://www.geocomplexity.com/Global_climate.htm

    It actually seems to support my argument.
    It also disputes your claim that 500 million years ago was the coldest ever. Apparently it was in a ‘greenhouse’ state and was quite warm.
    The graph you showed about solar luminosity just stated that solar luminosity is a ‘first order’ factor. On par with “Greenhouse atmosphere” and “solar system geometry”.

    Solar luminosity will continue to increase until after the sun enters it’s Red Giant stage (when it will be bigger than the orbit of the Earth).

    You can’t claim weather is a way of ‘disproving’ Global Warming.

  104. Nathan January 18, 2008 at 5:16 pm #

    Mark, the funniest thing is that the source of the climate drivers graphic you used:
    http://www.searchanddiscovery.net/documents/gerhard/index.htm

    Actually supports my argument.
    Do you read the sources of your data as they are generally quite informative.

    And that graphic about the CO2 levels is from the Paleomap project, which again supports the hypothesis that there is a greenhouse effect and it has been in operation for hundreds of millions of years.

  105. Mark January 19, 2008 at 1:45 am #

    Nathan,

    I’m not disputing a greenhouse effect. I’m disputing that continued use of fossil fuels by mankind will cause further major warming. And as to the graph, let’s be more precise:

    – At 430 m years bp (I used 500 m as a rough date), the world was in an icehouse while CO2 was at 15x preindustrial levels.
    – From 150 m years bp to 50 m years CO2 levels dropped from over 2000 ppm to current levels while the temperature went up and then stayed
    flat.
    – From 30m years ago, temperatures dropped significantly while CO2 was essentially flat.

    The lack of correlation indicates that CO2 cannot be the major climate driver over the geoogic timescales shown. Can’t you alarmists get it through your head that the physics of greenhouse grasses show that the warming relationship is logarithmic – at current levels there is not much additional warmng to be had particlarly if Lindzen is correct in his assessment (and I believe he is).

    http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/co2greenhouse-X2.png

    And as to the faint sun thing, please show me the specific reference that deal with timescales. The faint sun was a factor billions of years ago but is not relevant to the discussion of the past 3 billon years. And why even bring up red giants and increased luminosity – that’s billions of years out and has o relevance to the current discussion!

    And yes I am in disagreement with the Royal Society. That paper you referenced provides only a passing discussion of temperature with no proof of anything.

  106. Mark January 19, 2008 at 1:46 am #

    Nathan,

    I’m not disputing a greenhouse effect. I’m disputing that continued use of fossil fuels by mankind will cause further major warming. And as to the graph, let’s be more precise:

    – At 430 m years bp (I used 500 m as a rough date), the world was in an icehouse while CO2 was at 15x preindustrial levels.
    – From 150 m years bp to 50 m years CO2 levels dropped from over 2000 ppm to current levels while the temperature went up and then stayed
    flat.
    – From 30m years ago, temperatures dropped significantly while CO2 was essentially flat.

    The lack of correlation indicates that CO2 cannot be the major climate driver over the geoogic timescales shown. Can’t you alarmists get it through your head that the physics of greenhouse grasses show that the warming relationship is logarithmic – at current levels there is not much additional warmng to be had particlarly if Lindzen is correct in his assessment (and I believe he is).

    http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/co2greenhouse-X2.png

    And as to the faint sun thing, please show me the specific reference that deal with timescales. The faint sun was a factor billions of years ago but is not relevant to the discussion of the past 3 billon years. And why even bring up red giants and increased luminosity – that’s billions of years out and has o relevance to the current discussion!

    And yes I am in disagreement with the Royal Society. That paper you referenced provides only a passing discussion of temperature with no proof of anything.

  107. Wes George January 19, 2008 at 6:12 pm #

    Anthony is upset because I compared the sentiments of AGW True Believers, like him, with religious faith.

    It is as likely that the AGW question will be settle in the comment section of a blog as the question of the existence of a divine deity. Anthony, and others, obviously mistake comment threads as scientific method. Likewise, no converts to either side are likely occur here as results of the, ahem, arguments posted.

    I stand by my comments: This boisterous debate should be taking place in the mainstream media. The fact that it isn’t doesn’t prove that Al Gore and the IPCC is right, only that AGW is the politically correct flavor of the season.

    And that our mass media, especially the taxpayer funded ABC, is failing at its primary function–to inform the public with an unbiased and rational view of current events.

    Anthony and others seem to believe that since they perceive a so-called consensus, the matter is settled. That’s the tautology of faith, propaganda and coercion, not rational Enlightenment values that form the basis for our civilization and scientific method.

    I don’t need to point out to a mob of climateheads that a single bloke with a proper working theory (ala Galileo) trumps the entire Church, do I? Of course, such a clever bloke, if he exists, will have about as much luck with ABC as Galileo had with the Church!

    Jennifer tried to point out that the AGW consensus/panic is a manufactured mythology of the mainstream media. Perhaps the media has an unspoken, even unconscious, agenda?

    What the debate on this thread should have been about is what is going on (and is not going on) in the mainstream media. Has climate change morphed into a political weapon? What happens when science is politicized? Why is there only one side of the story presented in the media? Does our response to climate change entail a reordering of economic systems? If so, does this mean a kind of wealth redistribution? Is the media waging a scare campaign in order to influence public opinion and policy? How does the media hyperbole on AGW tie in with its other favorite canards?

    Those are just a few of huge pachyderms in room that Jennifer’s insight should have made topical to this thread. Instead, its been hijacked by a visually challenged mob that only wants a tit for tat factoid food fight.

    I wonder why?

  108. Anthony January 20, 2008 at 7:21 pm #

    Wes, I can assure you I don’t mistake this blog as scientific method – far from it. However where the science of AGW is grossly misrepresented, as it so often is on this site, I think it should be pulled up. No harm in that, you wouldn’t want to stifle debate would you?

    You pose some useful questions about re-ordering economic systems and welath redistribution impacts of climate change. But thats all they are, questions – most of us are getting on with it and trying to solve some of these issues and its not helped by ideologically driven blog campaigns to undermine legitimate knowledge

  109. Ender January 21, 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    Mark – “At 430 m years bp (I used 500 m as a rough date), the world was in an icehouse while CO2 was at 15x preindustrial levels.
    – From 150 m years bp to 50 m years CO2 levels dropped from over 2000 ppm to current levels while the temperature went up and then stayed
    flat.
    – From 30m years ago, temperatures dropped significantly while CO2 was essentially flat.”

    You still have not provided the reference for these statements. Here is one

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/249/4975/1382
    “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Over Phanerozoic Time
    Robert A. Berner 1

    1 Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511

    A new model has been constructed for calculating the level of atmospheric CO2 during the past 570 million years. A series of successive steady states for CO2 is used in order to calculate CO2 level from a feedback function for the weathering of silicate minerals. Processes considered are: sedimentary burial of organic matter and carbonates; continental weathering of silicates, carbonates, and organic matter; and volcanic and metamorphic degassing of CO2. Sediment burial rates are calculated with the use of an isotope mass-balance model and carbon isotopic data on ancient seawater. Weathering rates are calculated from estimates of past changes in continental land area, mean elevation, and river runoff combined with estimates of the effects of the evolution of vascular land plants. Past degassing rates are estimated from changes in the rate of generation of sea floor and the shift of carbonate deposition from platforms to the deep sea. The model results indicate that CO2 levels were high during the Mesozoic and early Paleozoic and low during the Permo-Carboniferous and late Cenozoic. These results correspond to independently deduced Phanerozoic paleoclimates and support the notion that the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse mechanism is a major control on climate over very long time scales.”

    Interestingly enough this is one of the studies that CO2Science list as one that is against AGW which I do not see in the abstract.

  110. Mark January 22, 2008 at 5:36 am #

    “You still have not provided the reference for these statements.”

    Yes I did in one of my posts above. I’ll repeat for you:
    Anyway, you wanted a reference? Check this out for CO2/Temperature correlation over geologic time intervals – NOT!

    http://www.geocities.com/mcmgk/Geologic.html?1200636004328

    This graphic has appeared in a number of presentations and papers. I’ve placed on my own web page for easy reference. The data sources are listed on the graphic.

    As Nathan kindly pointed out, “And that graphic about the CO2 levels is from the Paleomap project”

    It’s bad enough you alarmists pretend that CO2 can have a major climate impact at current levels, never mind when they are 10X as high and are at the extreme of the saturation range. Talk about not understanding the basic physics of how GHG warming works.

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  112. Marco April 14, 2008 at 9:01 pm #

    Ok, then. Let’s all argue about the technicalities and ignore the issue.

    Whether the 6 gigatonnes of CO2 we put into the atmosphere every year is affecting climate change or not, should we be erring on the side of stupidity? If there is even the slightest possibility that our CO2 emissions are having even the slightest effect, should we not be doing everything we can to stop producing more?

    I’ve noticed above that people are using some recent “coldest days on record” to dispute global warming, obviously without having researched the subject because global warming will actually CAUSE colder as well as hotter temperatures. This argument is also stupid because a world which sees temperatures swing from -50 Degrees to over 50 Degrees is no more livable than a world which is hot all the time.

    Oh well, just because you bogans are not prepared to give up your V8’s and 4×4’s doesn’t mean you should bury your heads in the sand.

    Idiots.

  113. Kim April 14, 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    Exactly, Marco. Looks like evertyone is just talking and not acting. The measure of a man is action, not words. Anyone can speak – look at Rugby – a game played by 30 idiots, watched by 2 million experts. Same thing here with Global Warming.

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