Olive Heffernan on Nigel Lawson’s new book:

Like many of those who saw the Channel 4 documentary, readers of Lawson’s offering on climate change ‘An Appeal to Reason’ are probably unaware it has been scientifically discredited in almost every review, including one on Nature Reports Climate Change by Sir John Houghton, Honorary Scientist at the UK’s Hadley Centre.

As Sir Houghton writes:

Promised as a “rare breath of intellectual rigour” and a “hard headed examination of the realities” of climate change, this offering is neither cool nor rational….and is largely one of misleading messages.

Comments

  1. #1 bi -- IJI
    June 26, 2008

    There’s a paranormal conspiracy whacko on Heffernan. This rocks.

  2. #2 bi -- IJI
    June 26, 2008

    s/Heffernan/Heffernan’s thread/

  3. #3 MikeB
    June 26, 2008

    Giving Lawson a good kicking for his idiotic ramblings is good stuff (his handling of the UK economy in the 1980′s was so accomplished I was forced to sign on, so all power to their elbow), but it shows the sad truth that the UK media will take seriously anyone with ‘Sir’ or ‘Lord’ in front of their names, no matter how stupid or ill-informed they might be.

  4. #4 Gareth
    June 26, 2008

    Tim, correct style would be to call him “Sir John”, not “Sir Houghton”.

  5. #5 Boris
    June 26, 2008

    1:

    There are five posts on that thread and four conspiracies.

  6. #6 P. Lewis
    June 26, 2008

    Nigel Lawson –> Dominic Lawson = Rosamond Mary Monckton –> Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

    Says it all really.

  7. #7 Gerhard Kramm
    June 26, 2008

    In 1977, a book titled “The Weather Conspiracy — The Coming of the New Ice Age” was published. An excerpt of this book reads: “Many hot-earth men believe that global temperature will rise by at least 3.8 degrees F by 2020, given that the volume of carbon dioxide is doubled in the next 50 years. If this happened, ships could well sail the entire Arctic Circle, and the melting of the polar ice caps could cause the sea level to rise by 200 to 400 feet. London and New York would vanish. So would Rome, Paris, Brussels, Antwerp, Marseille and hundreds of other cities. Trees would grow in Alaska and Siberia; cattle would be raised on what was once tundra.” This excerpt is accompanied by a map of Europe showing large areas with cities of more than 1 million inhabitants that are affected by flooding if the polar ice caps would melt. Obviously, the cited author is Bert Bolin, the first chairman of the IPCC.

    One climate period (30 years) later Sir John Houghton stated in his book review:

    “Considering the potential for more climate extremes and sea level rise in the future, there are likely to be hundreds of millions of refugees from the world’s most affected nations. Where could those people go in our increasingly crowded world? Lawson denies that there is any problem. He repeats a number of times his summary of the damage as the difference between people in the developing world being 8.5 times better off than they are now and the 9.5 times improvement that they would see in the absence of global warming. Sleight of hand with gross numbers of possible economic growth must not be allowed to hide the magnitude of the very real problems. The 2007 IPCC report makes it clear that the anticipated impacts of global warming will lead to tens or hundreds of millions of people suffering loss of resources, livelihoods and land.”

    In the 4th report of the Working Group I of the IPCC, “Historical Overview of Climate Change Science” (chapter 1) the papers of Neftel et al. from 1982 and 1985 plaid a prominent role. Let me quote it:

    “To place the increase in CO2 abundance since the late 1950s in perspective, and to compare the magnitude of the anthropogenic increase with natural cycles in the past, a longer-term record of CO2 and other natural greenhouse gases is needed. These data came from analysis of the composition of air enclosed in bubbles in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. The initial measurements demonstrated that CO2 abundances were significantly lower during the last ice age than over the last 10 kyr of the Holocene (Delmas et al., 1980; Berner et al., 1980; Neftel et al., 1982). From 10 kyr before present up to the year 1750, CO2 abundances stayed within the range 280 ± 20 ppm (Indermühle et al., 1999). During the industrial era, CO2 abundance rose roughly exponentially to 367 ppm in 1999 (Neftel et al., 1985; Etheridge et al., 1996; IPCC, 2001a) and to 379 ppm in 2005 (Section 2.3.1; see also Section 6.4).”

    In the paper of Neftel et al. entitled “Ice core sample measurements give atmospheric CO2 content during the past 40,000 years” (1982, Nature 295, 220-223) one can find values of CO2 concentration more than 400 ppmV. These values, however, were neglected in their estimate range of the CO2 concentration during the past 40,000 years. The reason is explained by the authors as following:

    “The originally recovered Camp Century and Boyd Station cores are generally of poor quality between the 400 and 1,200 m depths and the ice is heavily fractured. In these depth intervals the measured CO2 values exhibit large scattering. This might be due to contamination by drilling fluid, a mixture of diesel fuel (88%) and trychlorethylene (12%), penetrating through small cracks into the ice. In these fractured ice zones, we measured several samples at each sample depth. Its small size meant that the sample was probably uncontaminated and we conclude that the lowest CO2 values best represent the CO2 concentrations of the originally trapped air of these depth intervals. In the larger samples (300 g) contamination is almost inevitable and the measured CO2 concentrations tend to be higher than the air originally occluded in the ice. This is one reason for the high CO2 values obtained during the climate optimum given by Berner et al. for the Camp Century core.”

    Note that two co-authors of Berner et al. (1980, Radiocarbon 22, 227-235), namely Oeschger and Stauffer, are also co-authors of Neftel et al. (1982). The excerpt from the paper of Neftel et al. (1982) clearly states that the ice cores were of poor quality, and it might be that they were contaminated also by drilling fluid. In addition, the choice whether a measured CO2 value was acceptable or not was made rather arbitrarily. Has this something to do with the level of commonly accepted scientific standards as Sir John Houghton claimed for the IPCC report?

    In another paper of Neftel et al. (1985) entitled “Evidence from polar ice cores for the increase in atmospheric CO2 in the past two centuries” (Nature 315, 45-47) the authors (again Oeschger and Stauffer were co-authors) stated:

    “The measurements using the needle crusher, published previously [there are three references, one of them is Neftel et al., 1982 mentioned before], were performed using a slightly modified procedure and exhibited generally lower CO2 concentrations by 15 p.p.m.v. ….. In 1982 an intercalibration study with the Grenoble laboratory [it follows one of the three references mentioned before] was performed using the small crusher with the older measuring procedure. Based on our new results, the agreement of the intercalibration must be viewed as a discrepancy, which we will try to resolve in the near future with a new intercalibration series.”

    Obviously, there were various problems with all these ice core analyses. It seems to me that the IPCC has ignored these problems because the results of Neftel et al. (1982, 1985) always serve to extrapolate the so-called Keeling curve back to the 18th century.

    Charles D. Keeling was a really smart guy. He developed a tool to measure atmospheric CO2 concentration and performed such measurements for decades at remote locations to determine the so-called background concentration of CO2. He was awarded with the National Medal of Science (Physical Sciences) in 2001, the the US’s highest award for lifetime achievement in scientific research.

    Unfortunately, this background concentration is a rather unsuitable quantity. In radiative transfer calculations the real distribution of CO2, at least, in the troposphere and in the stratosphere is required. To determine the exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and the vegetation-soil system and the oceans, respectively, the real CO2 concentrations in the so-called atmospheric surface layer is required. Unfortunately, we have minor knowledge about the required distribution of atmosphere CO2 concentration, but a lot of information on the CO2 background concentration. I wonder who needs this information.

    By the way, the National Science Foundation stopped supporting Keeling’s “routine” measurements in the early 1960s. Eventually Keeling’s observations got a strong boost when the AGW hypothesis became important for scientists who were engaged in environmental activism, rather than in the relevant physical science disciplines meteorology and physical oceanography.

  8. #9 Ghazala Khan
    June 26, 2008

    Interview Request

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  9. #10 dhogaza
    June 27, 2008

    By the way, the National Science Foundation stopped supporting Keeling’s “routine” measurements in the early 1960s.

    Possibly being that, due to it being routine and established, the NSF didn’t feel like it needed to fund it.

    Entirely normal for them.

    I think you get a gold star for an amazing string of ad hominem attacks that culminates with “keeling no longer got funding from one particular source”.

    Gotta give it to you, though, this attack on the basic fact that CO2 concentrations are increasing puts you into the semi-literate looney bin!

  10. #11 bi -- IJI
    June 27, 2008

    Boris:

    > There are five posts on that thread and four conspiracies.

    This is depressing.

  11. #12 David
    June 27, 2008

    Off topic I know, but has anyone noticed Prof Quiggan appears to be off the air?

  12. #13 Bernard Blyth
    June 27, 2008

    Houghton’s review contains a most peculiar use of statistics. Since he comes from the UK Met Office then he must know that according his own Hadley Climate Research Unit from June 1997 to May 2008 there have been 132 months with absolutely no global warming trend.

    That is 11 years without any global warming, during which there has been no major climate-affecting volcanic activity.

    The global warming alarmists are offering no explanation at all for 11 years of failure for the world to warm. And this means not just to warm in accordance with their dire predictions, but to have any warming trend at all, not even 0.00001 degree per century. Instead they cherry pick their data in order to cover up this failure.

  13. #14 MarkG
    June 27, 2008

    Huh. Looks like the lines go up from 1997 to me ie:
    Hadley Stuff. Maybe you’re perfecting the ancient conservative art of “ignoring thing you don’t like”? (tip: blue line)

    Whether these averages goes up or down over the past few years is not very significant. When you get 30 years of decreasing temperatures, come on back.

  14. #15 Boris
    June 27, 2008

    …11 years without any global warming…

    …they cherry pick their data…

    Denialist deny thyself.

  15. #16 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 27, 2008

    Gerhard Kramm writes:

    Unfortunately, we have minor knowledge about the required distribution of atmosphere CO2 concentration, but a lot of information on the CO2 background concentration.

    Gerhard, carbon dioxide is a “well-mixed gas” due to atmospheric turbulence. It’s at about the same concentration at any given level up through much of the stratosphere. There are brief regional variations, but they don’t have a significant effect on radiation transfer except locally.

  16. #17 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 27, 2008

    Bernard Blyth posts:

    June 1997 to May 2008 there have been 132 months with absolutely no global warming trend.

    Bernard, do the math:

    Why Tim Ball is Wrong

    Why Tilo Reber is Wrong

    In brief:

    The trend in recent years is “up,” not “none.” It’s not statistically significant because the period of time isn’t long enough. The World Meteorological Organization defines climate as “mean regional or global weather over a period of 30 years or more,” and there’s a reason for that. And we know why the trend appears flat, especially if you cherry-pick the period you did — you’re starting out with the world’s largest recorded El Nino year and ending with a La Nina year. The “Global warming stopped in 1998!” propaganda line has been discredited again and again and again. Using it shows statistical illiteracy.

  17. #18 WotWot
    June 27, 2008

    And we know why the trend appears flat, especially if you cherry-pick the period you did — you’re starting out with the world’s largest recorded El Nino year and ending with a La Nina year. The “Global warming stopped in 1998!” propaganda line has been discredited again and again and again. Using it shows statistical illiteracy.

    And that is the politest interpretation you can put on Mr Blyth’s hypocritical cherry-picking.

  18. #19 Bernard Blyth
    June 27, 2008

    MarkG, Boris and BPL if you care to visit the HadCRU site and cut and paste the last 132 monthly mean anomalies into a spreadsheet you will find that the OLS trend is very slightly downwards. That is exactly 11 years without any warming trend, as Sir John Houghton knowns since he is from the Hadley Centre himself.

    The accusation of cherry-picking against me is ridiculous. May 2008 is the latest available data, so I did not pick that. June 1997 is exactly 11 years ago, chosen to show just how long there has been no global warming.

    It is simply false to assert that there was any global warming trend according to data provided by HadCRU, UAH or RSS from June 1997 to May 2008.

  19. #20 sod
    June 27, 2008

    The accusation of cherry-picking against me is ridiculous. May 2008 is the latest available data, so I did not pick that. June 1997 is exactly 11 years ago, chosen to show just how long there has been no global warming.

    i fell from my chair laughing. so you didn t cherrypick, you just CHOSE the interval, so that it shows no warming?!?

    please educate me. howdoes your trend look, when you start in 1999?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1999/offset:-0.15/mean:12

  20. #21 WotWot
    June 27, 2008

    Like I said, statistical illiteracy is the politest possible interpretation you can put on Mr Blyth’s transparently hypocritical cherry-picking.

    As has been pointed out to you, 30 years is the standard sample period for climate trends, and for good statistical reasons. Justify your (very arbitrary and convenient) choice of the 11 year period, Mr Blyth. In particular the 1998 starting point, why not 1999, or 1997?

    I think we all know the answer to that.

  21. #22 BrendanH
    June 27, 2008

    Bernard Blyth bullshits: “if you care to visit the HadCRU site and cut and paste the last 132 monthly mean anomalies into a spreadsheet you will find that the OLS trend is very slightly downwards”.

    . reg anom t if date>=199706

    Source | SS df MS Number of obs = 132
    ————-+—————————— F( 1, 130) = 0.13
    Model | .005889939 1 .005889939 Prob > F = 0.7198
    Residual | 5.9238495 130 .045568073 R-squared = 0.0010
    ————-+—————————— Adj R-squared = -0.0067
    Total | 5.92973943 131 .045265187 Root MSE = .21347

    ——————————————————————————
    anom | Coef. Std. Err. t P>|t| [95% Conf. Interval]
    ————-+—————————————————————-
    degperdec | .0210368 .0585132 0.36 0.720 -.0947246 .1367981
    _cons | .5746793 .0780666 7.36 0.000 .4202339 .7291247
    ——————————————————————————

    Global anomalies to May 2008. DEGPERDEC is degrees per decade. 0.02 is not significantly different from zero, but is positive. If I cherry-pick the last 9 years, instead of 11, I get a significant positive effect of 0.19 degrees per decade, but I wouldn’t stand by an analysis of less than 30 to 50 years of such noisy data.

  22. #23 BrendanH
    June 27, 2008

    Bugger! That looked fine in preview.

  23. #24 Boris
    June 27, 2008

    June 1997 is exactly 11 years ago, chosen to show just how long there has been no global warming.

    Oh, well. Since you chose the data that showed the result you wanted I guess that’s not cherry picking.

  24. #25 Science Avenger
    June 27, 2008

    “The accusation of cherry-picking against me is ridiculous. May 2008 is the latest available data, so I did not pick that. June 1997 is exactly 11 years ago, chosen to show just how long there has been no global warming.”

    It’s not a rumor, it’s something I heard!

    Seriously, its no wonder the AGW deniers keep making the same ignorant mistakes. They are so ignorant they don’t even know what the mistakes are!

  25. #26 Gerhard Kramm
    June 27, 2008

    # 8

    Dear Eli Rabett,

    you are right. This book I cited has nothing to do with climate science. The authors only gathered statements of several climatologists. Nevertheless, I quoted this book to show that Sir John’s language is similar to that documented by my quotation. Take a look on Bolin’s map of Europe showing large areas with cities of more than 1 million inhabitants that are affected by flooding if the polar ice caps would melt.

    Bert Bolin, the first Chaiman of the IPCC, and, Sir John Houghton, the lead editor of first three IPCC reports, were always active to generate a climate of fear. This, however, has nothing to do with the physics of climate.

    You know that I am engaged in theoretical meteorology with specialties in turbulence, energetics and chemistry of the atmosphere (see my publication record).

    Best regards

    yours

    Gerhard Kramm

  26. #27 Gerhard Kramm
    June 27, 2008

    # 16

    Dear Barton,

    Charles Keeling published his first article on his measurements of the atmospheric CO2 concentration performed at Mauna Loa, Antarctica and La Jolla in the Swedish journal Tellus in 1960. In the same issue of this journal there is also a paper of Walter Bischof from the International Meteorological Institute at Stockholm, Sweden. Bischof reported on the results provided by the CO2 Network of Scandinavia. These results were usually much higher then those of Keeling. Of course, it is possible that they were affected by local CO2 sources. However, such “local” concentrations are required to determine the exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and the vegetation/soil system. Keeling’s data must not be used for such calculations.

    It was surprising to me to recognize that Keeling’s paper was cited very often, in complete contratst to Bischof’s paper which is nearly unknown.

    By the way, in 1999/2000 I sporadically measured the atmospheric CO2 concentration at the outskirts of Leipzig, Germany. The equipment was always calibrated before the measurements were performed using calibration gas. During the summer I found CO2 values notably lower than those of Mauna Loa; during winter the CO2 concentrations were much higher the the Mauna Loa values.

    In the lee side regions of the large industrial and urban cornubations the atmospheric CO2 concentrations are appreciably higher than those of remote areas like Mauna Loa or Barrow, Alaska, which only provide the so-called background concentrations. For radiative transfer calculations these local values are required, rather than the background concentration.

    Best regards

    Gerhard

  27. #28 Bernard Blyth
    June 27, 2008

    Did any of those who say that you cannot make any sensible statements about climate trends based on less than 30 to 50 years say the same when James Hansen made his statement before Congress in 1988, which was based on a warming trend of less than 20 years? In fact 20 years is something of an exaggeration, more like 10 years of consistent trend if you look at the HadCRU graph http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/ linked to by MarkG above. The smoothed red line on that graph only starts moving upwards steadily after around 1978.

    If they did write in and tell Hansen not to be so alarmist based on just one or two decades of warming and that climate trends of less than 30 or 50 years are meaningless, then I will listen to them.

    As for the nonsensical accusations of cherry-picking: Going back from today I could choose over 110 of the most recent 132 months HadCRU data which would give a negative slope. Some of them would give a more negative slope than others, but the furthest back of these is June 1997. That is a simple fact, and the undeniable consequence of that fact is that on Houghton’s own Hadley data there has been no global warming trend since June 1997.

  28. #29 Gerhard Kramm
    June 27, 2008

    #17

    Dear Barton,

    please feel free to consider the actual record of the anomaly of the globally averaged near-surface temperature:

    http://www.gi.alaska.edu/~kramm/climate/Graph1.PNG

    I downloaded the data from

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/HadCRUT3.html

    Best regards

    Gerhard

  29. #30 Eli Rabett
    June 27, 2008

    Shorter Blythe:

    The accusation of cherry-picking against me is ridiculous and I am aware of all internet traditions including rejecting accusations of cherry-picking. Pay no attention to the red juice dripping from my lips\\B Blythe

  30. #31 z
    June 27, 2008

    “May 2008 is the latest available data, so I did not pick that. June 1997 is exactly 11 years ago, chosen to show just how long there has been no global warming. ”

    yes, the traditional 11 year interval so frequently used by statisticians, economists, etc. etc.; perhaps because its use makes the math so simple.

    ya know what’s sad? I’m sure he really believes that he hasn’t cherry picked at all. Sadly, rational argument with the conscious entity never stands a chance against unconscious drives.

  31. #32 Marion Delgado
    June 27, 2008

    In complete, total and overwhelming support of Mr. Blyth:

    When I majored in Climate Science at University, the very first thing Professor told us about was Study (also conducted at University) which showed that 11 years exactly is the perfect period to compare to get a meaningful climate trend at any given time.

    I was able to ask Grad Student, who worked on Study, about the details, since I had been, unfortunately, drawn to sites like this, and people were bringing up minor quibbles. He said that there was a later hypothesis that the perfect period might change with time, and that it might not be always exactly 11 years. For instance in 2007, it might have been closer to 10 years. This is due to Variable.

    Because I know the sort of red herrings your sort always bring into this kind of thing, I will point out in advance that Study was reviewed at University by Peer and Colleague, and published in Journal.

  32. #33 bi -- IJI
    June 28, 2008

    > ya know what’s sad? I’m sure he really believes that he hasn’t cherry picked at all.

    z, it’s those darn fnords! If he sees the cherry-picking, the cherry-picking will eat him!

    The Discordians were on to something after all.

  33. #34 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 28, 2008

    Gerhard Kramm writes:

    Bert Bolin, the first Chaiman of the IPCC, and, Sir John Houghton, the lead editor of first three IPCC reports, were always active to generate a climate of fear.

    Herr Kramm, I know Sir John Houghton. I’ve worked with Sir John Houghton. And let me tell you, sir — you’re no Sir John Houghton.

    Seriously, Houghton is the author of the classic The Physics of Atmospheres (first edition 1977, still in print). Pick up a copy of the first edition some time — there’s nothing “to generate a climate of fear.” He notes, correctly, that anthropogenic effects could have long-term climate repercussions.

    He is a scholar and a gentleman, and I’m not talking about his knighthood. He was willing to send me, a stranger writing from another continent out of the blue, electronic copies of the tables from one of his books. To paint him as some kind of conspiracy theory monster just doesn’t match what I know of his personality. Have you no sense of decency sir? At long last, have you no sense of decency?

  34. #35 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 28, 2008

    Bernard Blyth says:

    If they did write in and tell Hansen not to be so alarmist based on just one or two decades of warming and that climate trends of less than 30 or 50 years are meaningless, then I will listen to them.

    Mr. Blyth, here are the Hadley annual temperature anomalies from 1988 to 2007:

    Year Anom Slope p
    1988 0.180 0.020 0.000
    1989 0.103 0.021 0.000
    1990 0.254 0.020 0.000
    1991 0.212 0.023 0.000
    1992 0.061 0.025 0.000
    1993 0.105 0.022 0.002
    1994 0.171 0.019 0.011
    1995 0.275 0.016 0.044
    1996 0.137 0.016 0.092
    1997 0.351 0.007 0.424
    1998 0.546 0.005 0.643
    1999 0.296 0.017 0.084
    2000 0.270 0.012 0.279
    2001 0.409 -0.003 0.618
    2002 0.464 -0.012 0.095
    2003 0.473 -0.017 0.116
    2004 0.447 -0.020 0.270
    2005 0.482 -0.040 0.179
    2006 0.422 -0.020 0.000
    2007 0.402

    The rightmost columns are the coefficient of the trend line measured from the year at the left to 2007, and the p-value, which measures the significance. Values of p under 0.05 are significant (i.e. “significant at the 95% confidence level”). The 2006-2007 relation is “trivially significant” because it just involves two points, and a linear fit to two points is always exact. Note, though, that for the earlier sets, you don’t find significant trends until you have at least N = 13 points (1995-2007).

    Now, when the World Meteorological Organization says that “climate is defined as mean regional or global weather over a period of 30 years or more,” they didn’t pick that number 30 out of thin air. It’s the observed level at which weather variations smooth out enough for the result to reliably be called climate. The definition was laid down long, long before global warming was an issue, and was based solely on statistical considerations.

    BTW, your using monthly data instead of yearly to get more points and therefore higher significance is invalid. You need to understand the characteristic time scale of the data you’re working with, or your results don’t mean anything. Temperature where I was yesterday went up sharply from 6:30 AM to 9:30 PM. But I can’t subdivide that into 180 minutes and extrapolate from it to say the temperature is rising without limit and the Earth will be cooked by Wednesday. No matter how many points I use, I would still be extrapolating from a sample error.

  35. #36 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 28, 2008

    Re above — I meant “to 9:30 AM,” of course. From 6:30 AM to 9:30 PM, temperatures went down

  36. #37 BrendanH
    June 28, 2008

    Monthly data isn’t necessarily useless, though. For instance, if we continue to obsess about the 11-year span, we can compare each month between June 1997 and May 2008 with the month exactly 11 years earlier. If we do this we find five months in the 11 year span that are colder than the month 11 years before, and 127 that are warmer.

  37. #38 jodyaberdein
    June 28, 2008

    Might I inject a little note of conspiracy as it has been sadly lacking from the discussion thus far:

    Baron Lawson of Blaby, Chairman of Central European Trust, whose clients include: BP Amoco, Royal Dutch Shell, Texaco, Total Fina Elf.

  38. #39 bi -- IJI
    June 29, 2008

    Over at the Heffernan’s thread…

    Alexander Ač:

    > forget it, Antarctic (on the whole) is probably *loosing* ice, but much less than the Arctic, and certainly is NOT increasing, where did you find out…?

    Bishop Hill:

    > Alexander – Cryosphere Today. This is area rather than volume.

    I thought massive flooding is caused by volume, not area.

    = =

    Also, the September issue of Energy and Environment is out!

  39. #40 Gerhard Kramm
    June 29, 2008

    # 35

    Dear Barton,

    I just downloaded the annual temperature anomalies with respect to 1961-1990 from the Hadley Centre http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/annual). Obviously, there are small differences between both data sets.

    1988 0.163 0.173 0.153
    1989 0.096 0.106 0.085
    1990 0.248 0.259 0.238
    1991 0.197 0.208 0.186
    1992 0.055 0.066 0.044
    1993 0.102 0.114 0.091
    1994 0.163 0.174 0.152
    1995 0.276 0.286 0.265
    1996 0.123 0.134 0.113
    1997 0.355 0.366 0.344
    1998 0.515 0.526 0.504
    1999 0.262 0.273 0.250
    2000 0.238 0.249 0.227
    2001 0.400 0.411 0.388
    2002 0.455 0.466 0.445
    2003 0.457 0.468 0.447
    2004 0.432 0.444 0.421
    2005 0.479 0.490 0.469
    2006 0.422 0.432 0.412
    2007 0.404 0.414 0.394

    # Column 1 is the date.
    # Column 2 is the best estimate anomaly.
    # Columns 3 and 4 are the upper and lower 95% uncertainty ranges from the station and grid-box sampling uncertainties.

    You stated:

    Now, when the World Meteorological Organization says that “climate is defined as mean regional or global weather over a period of 30 years or more,” they didn’t pick that number 30 out of thin air. It’s the observed level at which weather variations smooth out enough for the result to reliably be called climate. The definition was laid down long, long before global warming was an issue, and was based solely on statistical considerations.

    This is not entirely correct. Statistical properties plaid a role, but also typical geophysical and astrophysical cycles like the sun spot cycles. Global warming and global cooling was never a political issue during the past because the climate of fear caused by political gamblers like Bert Bolin and Sir John Houghton did not exist.

    Nevertheless, some headlines like “Arctic Ocean Getting Warmer” were also published many decades ago. On the November 2, 1922 The Washington Post published a notice of The Associated Press (http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/you-ask-i-provide-november-2nd-1922-arctic-ocean-getting-warm-seals-vanish-and-icebergs-melt/):

    The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.

    Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.

    Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.

    During the twentieth of the last century many first class observation stations in Alaska recorded relatively high temperature. The warmest year here in Fairbanks (Interior Alaska) was 1926 (see the poster I recently presented on the Alaska Weather Symposium http://www.gi.alaska.edu/~kramm/climate/laws.pdf).

    Best regards

    Gerhard

  40. #41 Marion Delgado
    June 30, 2008

    As an alumnus of UAF, let me assure you not everyone there is a nutbar like Kramm or the unlamented retired Akasofu. Our West Ridge used to be famous for upper-atmosphere geophysics, marine biology, permafrost studies, and a couple other disciplines. In fact, some of the politicized right-wing jerks I knew back in the day there have woken up (given the results of the global warming that was in the pipe 15 years ago is now very evident in Alaska) completely and some are very enthusiastic to set the record straight.

    We’ve known about the greenhouse effect since the 19th c. – by 1922 that it would be a theory growing in reputation that the earth would warm, and that the polar extremes would show it first, does not surprise me. More shame for these liars and psychotics and ignoramuses that what falls out of even a fairly simple model is beyond them – or so they claim.

  41. #42 Gerhard Kramm
    June 30, 2008

    Marion Delgado,

    you are chatting about climate change and climate models like a blind about colors.

    Unfortunately for you, Academic Analytics evaluated the Department of Atmospheric Sciences under the Top Ten nationwide in the category “Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology” , not only in 2005, but also in 2006/07 (see http://chronicle.com/stats/productivity/ or http://www.academicanalytics.com/ ). In 2005, also Environmental Chemistry was evaluated under the Top Ten in the respective category. No other program or department of UAF was evaluated so high.

    The upper-atmosphere geophysics at UAF was mainly coined by two men, Sidney Chapman and his doctoral student, Syun-Ichi Akasofu. Syun’s list of awards and honors reads

    1976 – Chapman Medal, Royal Astronomical Society,

    1977 – The Japan Academy of Sciences Award,

    1979 – Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU),

    1979 – John Adam Fleming Medal, AGU,

    1980 – Named a Distinguished Alumnus by UAF,

    1981 – Named one of the “1,000 Most-Cited Contemporary Scientists” by Current Contents,

    1985 – First recipient of the Sydney Chapman Chair professorship, UAF,

    1985 – Special Lecture for the Emperor of Japan on the aurora (October 3),

    1986 – Member of the International Academy of Aeronautics, Paris,

    1987 – Named one of the “Centennial Alumni” by the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges,

    1993 – Japan Foreign Minister’s Award for Promoting International Relations and Cultural Exchange between Japan and Alaska,

    1996 – Japan Posts and Telecommunications Minister Award for Contributions to the US-Japan Joint Project on Environmental Science in Alaska,

    1997 – Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence, University of Alaska,

    1999 – Alaskan of the Year – Denali Award,

    2002 – Named one of the “World’s Most Cited Authors in Space Physics” by Current Contents ISI,

    2003 – Order of the Sacred Treasures, Gold and Silver Stars by the Emperor of Japan.

  42. #43 sod
    June 30, 2008

    Gerhard Kramm, the last time i met you on this page, you were abusing the fact that most people here can t read german to misrepresent a Spiegel article.

    now you bring up this gem:

    Nevertheless, some headlines like “Arctic Ocean Getting Warmer” were also published many decades ago. On the November 2, 1922 The Washington Post published a notice of The Associated Press

    we have extremely detailed data of the arctic ice development over the last decades. a comparison with some hear say from a WaPo article is not what i expect from a scientist.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.jpg

  43. #44 Gerhard Kramm
    June 30, 2008

    Hi sod,

    your interpretation of this Spiegel article was clearly wrong. Obviously, your education in the German language is below average.

    I know the Arctic sea ice data. One of my colleagues here in the Akasofu Building is John Walsh. He is the Chief-Scientist of the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) founded by Syun-Ichi Akasofu. Together with Chapman Walsh published some articles about the retreat of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. He was also an author of the IPCC report in the matter of climate change and sea ice retreat.

    Some months ago he gave a presentation within the framework of the UAF Physics seminar. During his presentation he mentioned that the solar radiation reaching the surface of the Arctic Ocean was up to 40 W/m^2 higher than normal in summer 2007. This value is 25 times larger than that of the anthropogenic radiative forcing of, on average, 1.6 W/m^2 (see 4th IPCC report). Since the solar constant did not change larger than normal, this value of up to 40 W/m^2 can only be explained by a change in the cloud distribution over the Arctic Ocean during that summer season.

    Here is the e-mail address of John Walsh: jwalsh’at’iarc.uaf.edu

    For more information on the history of the sea ice retreat, for instance, in the Norwegian Sea, please read the article:

    Vinje, T., 2001: Anomalies and Trends of Sea-Ice Extent and Atmospheric Circulation in the Nordic Seas during the Period 1864-1998, J. Climate 14, 255-267.

    Regards

    Gerhard

  44. #45 Bernard Blyth
    July 1, 2008

    After carefully picking every one of the last 132 cherries from the HadCRU data and putting them in an OLS function to find that they give a slight negative slope, (as indeed to the last 131 cherries, the last 130 cherries, the last 129 cherries and so on and so on) it is amusing to see those who accuse me of abusing the data doing so themselves by throwing out the most recent five cherries, and lumping the others into groups of 12 and averaging them out in order to disguise the real trend. Who are they trying to kid? Are they simply fooling themselves that the world has been on a warming trend over the last 11 years?

    BrendanH misses my point entirely. There most certainly was a warming trend for around two decades at the end of last century, and as a result the temperatures now are warmer than they were then. My point is simply that in contrast to the pretty steady warming of the recent past, which was slowed only by a couple of major volcanoes, there has been no warming trend when you look at ALL the data from Houghton’s own HadCRU over the last 132 months.

  45. #46 Barton Paul Levenson
    July 1, 2008

    Bernard, you’re still using too short a time period to get meaningful results. And months isn’t the proper unit of time to use here, years are.

    It’s 7:50 AM where I am. The temperature is up noticeably since 4:50 AM. That doesn’t mean I’m justified in taking 181 minutely temperature readings and concluding that the world is warming rapidly and the oceans will boil by tomorrow. If you’re not using the correct characteristic time scale for the phenomenon you’re studying, your results are meaningless.

  46. #47 Monsoonevans
    July 15, 2008

    Olive,
    I went through the effort to read Houghton’s critic of Lawson’s piece. I also checked for other sources that you claim has been “scientifically discredited in almost every review”. I have been unable to find any science based review that discredited Lawson’s report. Could you provide them for me?
    As far as Houghton goes, his article did NOT scientifically refute anything Lawson said. Houghton referenced some IPCC findings and responses to critics of the report as evidence that Lawson was wrong. That would make sense if the IPCC reports were accurate. The temp data form the various sources are, for the most part, clearly showing that there has been a flat (and relatively speaking-negative) trend for the last 10yrs. The IPCC also has publicly stated that there would be no more warming for at least 10 more years. We could be looking at 20+ years of cooling. As the mets know, this in no longer considered weather. Its climate. Its safe to say that the IPCC reports are far from being accurate and/or verifiable. The IPCC has had to downgrade the sea level rise estimates for each of the last 3 reports it has issued. At this rate they will be calling for immediate action to address DECREASING sea levels!
    He then goes on to blast Lawson for his stance on addressing the effects of AGW. Houghton is operating on the premise that the IPCC is correct. Thats were Lawson really makes sense. Lawson has the responsible position on this. Do not make rash decisions based on unreliable data that is questionable at best. For goodness sakes, we have the head of the IPCC supporting India’s plan to not reduce, but to increase emmissions. How could that be??? He seems to feel that it is an ‘economically’ wise decision for India.
    Again, please provide, or at least point me to, all the reviews that discredited Lawson.
    Thanks

  47. #48 Chris O'Neill
    July 15, 2008

    monsoonevans:

    The IPCC has had to downgrade the sea level rise estimates for each of the last 3 reports it has issued.

    They did no such thing. Why do you bullshit?

  48. #49 Marion Delgado
    July 23, 2008

    As a UAF alumnus, I agree that what Kramm says above is essentially correct. Hence the Chapman building, hence the monument to Akasofu. But it’s pointless.

    It was the latter’s free choice to side with those who attack the foundations of science – peer review, gathering data, coming to a consensus on what the data mean.

    He became an anti-science crank. And regardless of how prestigious, relatively, the atmospheric science programs at West Ridge are relative to others, it is NOT the creepy Lysenkoism of Kramm and the latter day Akasofu that are providing that prestige. They are involved in a nonproductive – even bankrupt – research program.

    Akasofu is an “ex-scientist” now. I moved to Oregon, and right near me we have the premiere monument to ex-scientists who once had something going for them going extravagantly to seed with highly ideological crank obsessions.

    Also Kramm, I’ll see Akasofu’s studying under Sidney Chapman (poor man can’t disassociate himself, being dead) and talking slightly out of his area of expertise on the Great Global Warming (denialist) Swindle and raise you on the strength of James Hansen and others speaking only on their core area of competence and Hansen being a protege of Van Allen. You lose.

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