A Few Things Ill Considered

Temperatures plummeted in 2008

This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


Objection:

Temperatures plummeted over the last year (2007-2008). If you look at this data from the Met Office Hadley Centre you can clearly see that in one year alone global temperatures dropped .6oC, an amount equal to the entire warming over the 20th century claimed by the IPCC.

(click graph for a larger image in a new window)

Answer:

This argument represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between weather and climate. Climate is generally defined as the weather conditions averaged over a long period, usually around 30 years. One can not discern a trend in climate change by looking at small numbers of years, much less a single one. On top of that, this fallacious objection is using global temperatures in a single month, not even an entire year! An even cursory look at the graph above reveals the very noisy nature of monthly temperatures, even when averaged over the entire globe. The particular Jan07 to Jan08 drop used for this argument is indeed large, but it is by no means the only place you could pick to draw a steep line, either up or down. Look at the huge leap up from month 219 to month 231 or the sudden drop from month 152 to month 164 (I am only using intervals of 12 months to avoid seasonal bias). This is very noisy data and those dramatic fluctuations turned out to be just that: noise.

Discerning a trend from noisy data is one of the most basic processes in scientific research, so even though this argument has a naive appeal to the majority of us with no statistical training, you can be sure that any scientifically trained individual trying to make a case for cooling out of this graph is not being intellectually honest. Please consider any source of this argument as very unreliable, either by being very uninformed about basic scientific processes, or very dishonest, hoping to tke advantage of less informed people.

So what do we see when we step back and look at the whole picture?

(image taken from this page)

Clearly the last few years, far from erasing the entire warming of the 20th century, have remained far above the global baseline (1951-1990 average). We can also see that even in globally and seasonally averaged and smoothed data, there are still numerous peaks and troughs that are irrelevant to the long term trends. On this graph, the last 4 or 5 years do look as though the trend has paused and even reversed but this is actually a misleading artifact of how the graph was produced. If you look at the page on the Hadley site that describes the smoothing method used, you will see that it is actually too soon to know what the real 2007 trend direction is. The smoothing they use requires 10 years of data on either side of the year in question. So though the trend today may in fact be down, we will not know this for sure until ten years from now. Hadley centre made the decision to continue the line until 2007 to avoid the appearance of incomplete data despite the fact that the last 10 years are less and less meaningful.

There is no convincing reason to think that the well established and attributed long term trend has reversed nor that it is likely to for many years to come, even if effective global actions were taken today to stop emissions of greenhouse enhancing gases like CO2 and CH4 (methane). Short term influences like La Nina and volcanic interruptions may cause dips and slow downs but the elevated levels of greenhouse gases already in the air will eventually overwhelm the long term.

And before you let anyone argue that the uncertainty about today I just described just means we need to wait ten more years, please recall that we have done that and more already. 20 years ago James Hansen was telling the US senate that warming was real, significant and anthropogenic (human caused) and the projections he provided have been largely borne out by what has been observed. The skeptics have already made us wait, and the three IPCC assessments that came out in the meantime have been more and more emphatic in their conclusions. The wait is over, the trend is clear and the cause is well understood.

It is a telling and egregious double standard for those voices that for the past twenty years have told us to wait and see are now claiming the trend is over based on such a small blip in the mountain of data.


This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


“Temperatures in 2008 have plummeted” is also posted on the Grist website, where additional comments can be found, though the author, Coby Beck, does not monitor or respond there.

Comments

  1. #1 jb
    September 8, 2008

    I am not a skeptic that there is global warming, nor am I skeptical that the CO2 we’re producing is having some effect. I am skeptical about the severity of the effect, and I am deeply, deeply skeptical about the efficacy and cost-benefit of the various policies and protocols that are recommended to combat it, but I doubt there’s anything productive we can talk about on that subject.

    Next, let me say that I agree with you 100% – you cannot judge a trend based on a single year’s datapoints. The people who claim that Global Warming is over because of a one-year drop are foolish.

    But, there is another side to this.

    Everytime there is a flood, people in the media, politicians and science pundits, etc, all claim that it is due to global warming. If a month is warmer than usual, they blame global warming. If a month is colder than usual, they blame global warming. If a month is wetter than usual, or dryer than usual. IF there are more storms, or there is a drought. More hurricanes this year – AGW. Fewer hurricanes? AGW. Literally, almost every anomalous weather event is attributed to Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    And no one from the ‘IPCC’ crowd corrects them, at least not in any structured and consistent way. And why should you? These people are useful idiots whose distortions and mischaracterizations of ‘weather as climate’ are helping keep AGW front-and-center in the news.

    I am not going to claim that ‘you started it’. I don’t know how we got to the point that every adverse weather event is blamed on AGW, and every drop in the temperature is ‘proof it didn’t happen’. But your “side” is, as far as I can tell, just as guilty of obfuscation and talking points as the other.

    This is not to say that they are right, and you are wrong. But your lecture would hold far more moral weight if you also made a point of blogging on errors from those who support your cause as well.

  2. #2 Dave X
    September 8, 2008

    Plotting the first graph with the feb->july data might also be a good response. It would show that the “analysis” is old, incomplete, and pure cherry-picking. The last graph on http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/ has the longer record, and the data to make the extend to now.

    Your second graph does answer the real question, but doesn’t use the analyser’s own analysis against him.

    And good point on the double standard.

  3. #3 llewelly
    September 8, 2008

    More hurricanes this year – AGW. Fewer hurricanes? AGW. Literally, almost every anomalous weather event is attributed to Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    This is why you need to stop reading what the mainstream press has to say about global warming (or treat them much more skeptically), and go directly to the work of scientists who regularly publish peer-reviewed work in the area.
    Note that the effect of global warming on hurricanes in particular remain an unresolved issue – see Chris Mooney’s excellent book Storm World on this topic, or any of several articles on realclimate.org (just search their site for ‘hurricanes’). There is evidence that AGW is making hurricanes more intense globally, and more common in the Atlantic. But there’s conflicting evidence that warmer temperatures make hurricanes more vulnerable to shear, and that AGW contributes to stronger and more frequent El Ninos, which result in fewer and weaker hurricanes in the Atlantic (but more and stronger hurricanes in the East Pacific.) These conflicts are not yet resolved. There are three things you can do about this: (a) be patient, (b) donate $20 a paycheck to some promising hurricane research, or (c) become a hurricane scientist yourself.
    Interestingly – making the case for slowing global warming, can, in my opinion, be solidly made entirely without mention of hurricanes. First – the evidence that oceans are rising is very strong, and the evidence that sea level rise at least 30 cm by 2100 is also very strong. It’s also possible sea level could rise much further – credible estimates range up to 1m by 2100. 100 million people live on land that would be underwater with 1m sea live rise. Not to mention thousands of miles of important roads, hundreds of power plants, untold numbers of important petro-chemical plants, and many other industrial structures. Next, consider farming. The NH jetstream is already moving north, and areas south of the jetstream are already getting dryer, forcing farmers to shift crop varietals, and change farming methods. Global warming will make it harder to feed the world. In particular – note Pakistan, India, Iran, and China are all highly vulnerable to this risk. All have a history of political volatility, three have a history of religious volatility, three have nuclear weapons. America – itself no stranger to war – is also at risk, though here we have the knowledge and the technology to cope, although the political and business will seems determined to push in the wrong direction. I could go on – global warming has effects on insect pests, plant pests, infectious disease, all of which present some risk. But none of these things are as photogenic as hurricanes. :-( .

  4. #4 smile4me2222
    September 8, 2008

    I agree 100% with jb, and I would add this:

    If temperatures had increased steadily from 2000 to the present, the alarmists would be jumping up and down screaming about it from the rooftops. They wouldn’t be saying “this is weather not climate”

    Alarmists (generally speaking) have a double standard, and it’s more than just a sign of intellectual dishonesty. It shows a fundamental and wilful ignorance of the core principles of science. Evidence should be seen as confirming only if the hypothesis was actually at risk.

    Let me put the issue another way: If the AGW hypothesis is correct, can we basically exclude any weather or climatic trend? If not, then the hypthesis is non-scientific and meaningless.

  5. #5 Craig Allen
    September 9, 2008

    smile4me2222,

    If the global temperature trend were to diverge to a statistically significant degree from the trend predicted by the models (which incorporate what is currently understood by scientists about the climate system) then yes of course our understanding of the climate system would have to be questioned.

    To get a feeling for how you go about doing this, have a look at Tamino’s ‘You bet’ blog post where he explains how you might go about it in the context of a bet.

    By contrast, currently the skeptics don’t even have an understanding of the climate system that is coherent enough to model.

  6. #6 John
    September 9, 2008

    “Discerning a trend from noisy data is one of the most basic processes in scientifc research, so even though this argument has a naive appeal to the majority of us with no statistical training, you can be sure that any scientifically trained individual trying to make a case for cooling out of this graph is not being intellectually honest. Please consider any source of this argument as very unreliable, either by being very uninformed about basic scientific processes, or very dishonest, hoping to tke advantage of less informed people.”

    Hmmm, who’s being disingenuous here? I could apply the IDENTICAL argument you’ve made (covering the period 1850 to now) to the temperature graph of the last 1000 years (the one from the IPCC report). In this, the rise of 0.6 would simply be noise, in the same way the drop you point out can also be considered noise. You can’t bang on about how important stats and science are but then make statements like “Climate is generally defined as the weather conditions averaged over a long period, usually around 30 years.” These are not made by people with “statistical training” or “scientifically trained” individuals – where on god’s warming earth does 30 come from, except as a number which aids your argument?

    [Hi John,

    Please see this post for an answer to the above]

    Let’s talk stats. There is no warming problem at present – carbon has gone up by 30% in the period of your graph, and the temperature remaining as it is now would be fine.

    This is the null hypothesis.

    [Have a look at this article wrt the Null Hypothesis.]

    The alternative hypothesis is that carbon emissions will make things bad. Show me the data which allows you to reject the null hypothesis and state your confidence limits?

    [Please refer to the IPCC reports]

  7. #7 detailmaven
    September 9, 2008

    Please use the more accurate plural with “data”; data show, data do not “shows.” A data point, or datum, is the singular. (Science talk to be gooder must needs be preciser!)

  8. #8 John
    September 9, 2008

    Maybe. Also, maybe the point of communication is to convey your intentions, and as regardless of this “error” you know what I mean, maybe you shouldn’t be wasting time and, I don’t know, point out where I’m wrong.

  9. #9 john
    September 9, 2008

    Ha – and I actually just read what you said again, and it makes no grammatical sense anyway – it was “allows” which ought to be adjusted, not “shows”.

  10. #10 john
    September 9, 2008
  11. #11 Brian D
    September 9, 2008

    Coby, thank you for this. This is a point that I’ve been trying to get across to others for quite a while.

    John, you appear to be confused as to what ‘noise’ means — or perhaps assuming that any anthropogenic climate signal needs to predate human activity. I’d like to think you’re smarter than this, so I’ll assume it’s just a misapplication of ‘noise’.

    I second looking at Tamino’s “You Bet!” post, but more pertinent to this discussion is his “Wiggles” post, which elaborates more on the concept of noise.

    Oh, and as for the 30-year point, as I understand it, this comes from a combination of physical principles (i.e. longer than 7 or 11 years, which prevents ENSO or the sunspot cycle from impacting the results significantly) and statistical rigor (i.e. minimum number of years for statistical significance in determining trends; I don’t know precisely what this is offhand but I’d be surprised if it was less than 15). I do know for a fact that if it were too narrow, short-term weather noise would dominate the long-term climate signal, and if it were too broad too much of the signal would be lost. Although I suspect the exact number (30) is more of a convention than a rule (as the statements I’ve read are usually phrased like Coby’s above), I would be surprised if significantly shorter timescales were considered legitimate by anyone involved in research. I welcome input by someone more qualified than I am here.

    For the record, the IPCC’s definition of climate is:
    Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the average weather, or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.

    As near as I can tell, the WMO has used that definition since its inception in 1950. On the flipside, can you give any compelling reason (physical or statistical) why 30 years will not serve as the baseline, and if so, what would you suggest instead?

    Oh, and as for the null hypothesis, Coby beat you to it.

  12. #12 coby
    September 9, 2008

    HI John,

    I inlined some responses to your first long comment, and you also insprired a new post!
    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2008/09/signal_vs_noise.php

    Thanks for commenting.

  13. #13 timwells
    October 9, 2008

    The point is not whether it is noise or not.The point is that CO2 has increased 5% from 2001 and meanwhile temperatures have gone DOWN.The exact opposite of the AGW theory!The WMO may have said that 30 years is optimum for a trend in climate,but that has nothing to do with how much time you need to test an hypothesis.7 years is enough time to show that temperature has de-coupled from CO2 levels.

  14. #14 timwells
    October 9, 2008

    The point is not whether it is noise or not.The point is that CO2 has increased 5% from 2001 and meanwhile temperatures have gone DOWN.The exact opposite of the AGW theory!The WMO may have said that 30 years is optimum for a trend in climate,but that has nothing to do with how much time you need to test an hypothesis.7 years is enough time to show that temperature has de-coupled from CO2 levels.

  15. #15 Nathan
    November 3, 2008

    If make a trend for this graph, you will find that the trend has been going downwards since 2004.

  16. #16 coby
    November 3, 2008

    Nathan: a 3 year trend has nothing to do with climate. Even the five year smoothing NASA GISS uses shows a lot of irregularity from natural variation (aka weather)

  17. #17 G. H. Mills
    March 21, 2009

    Hello, this is G. H. Mills, author of Mr. Tumbelton’s secret mirrors of Global warming. As A fictional writer who has spoken out about mankinds waste of the world it behoves me to know people either don’t or can’t see Global warming happening around them. Like so many we live in these big cities but in the rain forest or jungles it is easy to see. We have to look at what is going on around us and deal with it. Global Warming is real and happening now. As I’ve written this book, it takes people like Mr. Tumbelton and his wife to take a stand in helping to stop what is killing the planet now. Take a read into this real life situational book and put yourself into it. Maybe then you we all may come together. The origin of mankind is as steak here. Thank you/author
    G. H. Mills- http://www.goodbookscentral.com

  18. #18 mikatollah
    March 21, 2009

    Mr. Mills,
    Are you a classically trained author, or is global warming your first foray into the world of the printed word?

    Let us know when it gets to paperback…

  19. #19 Corinne Civish
    April 25, 2009

    What EVERYONE seems failed to address on this page (and on just about every other site regarding global warming) is the phenomenon of global dimming, namely the reduction of insolation (solar radiation) hitting the earth due to increased atmospheric particles causing a “shading effect”. Articles on this can be found on wikipedia, and realclimate.org to name a few, plus the BBC’s Horizen and PBS’ Nova also did excellent TV presentations for the non scientific crowd (which includes myself). The up thrust is till now particulate pollution, and particulates from naturally occurring sources (volcanoes etc) have been protecting us from the worst of the warming due CO2 and other green house gas emissions. As countries like China, India and the U.S. restrict these particulates more and more the global warming is likely to increase dramatically. So yearly coolings here and there could very well be effected by increases by widespread regional atmospheric particulates.

    It is so very important that we do all we can to to get the message out there. Most people who deny AGW (in the U.S) think the worst that can happen if they are wrong is that we lose a bunch of coastal areas where those weirdo bleeding heart liberal tree huggers live, and on the other side of the world a bunch of people will die. We are so used to seeing images of death and destruction in the third world many have become entirely numb to them.

    It is much worse than that. Now we are aware of the leeching of the Methane from the permafrost (methane being a more powerful greenhouse gas compared to CO2 on the magnitude of X10 to X20 depending on who you ask). And should the temperature rise high enough (like an increase of 5 degrees Celsius) it could release the methane hydrates from the vast deposits in the North Atlantic with a potential of over 10 TRILLION tonnes emitted into the atmosphere. This would cause a extinction level event not visited upon this planet in the last 250 million years, and some are saying we could even destroy up to 4 billion years of evolution on this planet.

    AGW is no longer just bad news for the animals and the poor people on this planet but for everyone and everything on the planet. We need to get serious about making people understand we need to take SERIOUS action NOW.

    Corinne Civish

  20. #20 Azz
    April 28, 2009

    Corinne,

    Sir John Houghton would be proud of your addition to the scientific debate, and it’s great to see that you don’t allow your general ignorance of the central issue to blind you from the obvious conclusion:

    “It is much worse than that…should the temperature rise high enough (like an increase of 5 degrees Celsius)…. This would cause a extinction level event not visited upon this planet in the last 250 million years, and some are saying we could even destroy up to 4 billion years of evolution on this planet.”

    Wikipedia, the BBC, PBS…? Yes, overall a very convincing argument. I can’t imagine why your perspective isn’t expressed more widely on this or any other site…hmmmm

  21. #21 timwells
    April 29, 2009

    But Azz,dont you understand that we are facing a PLANETARY CRISIS!!

  22. #22 Simon Nulty
    May 18, 2009

    Firstly, I will make a comment on how some of the posts on this thread seem to ignore the facts and or points made previous to them. I really wish people would consider EVERYTHING that is posted before they make a post themselves. And if you do not understand a concept, it doesn’t mean you can therefore ignore it. Perhaps those people should try to understand it better BEFORE they decide to ignore it and make their erroneous posts.

    The fact that temperatures have dropped significantly over a period (less than a year) is absolutely irrelevant in the context of a Climate Change Discussion. This IS due to the fact and CLEAR distinction between what is considered “weather” and what is considered “climate”. ENSO events like El Nino’s etc are weather events and, among other possible weather events can (at least in theory) explain any temperature fluctuation over a short period of time. Climate is the average of the weather over longer periods of time (a trend over 30 years – as derived to be best suited when considering various weather and climatic phenomenon and their timeframes). And the linking of this discussion to continued rising levels of CO2, despite temp drop, is that the observed drop in temperature is due to weather (short-term trend), NOT a change in climate. As someone else pointed out earlier, you can NOT yet discern that climate change is ending (i.e. temperatures have stopped rising) due to the lack of data successive to the present. Again as someone pointed out earlier, ANY point on a climate trend line requires at least 10 years of data either side of that point. i.e. we need to wait till 2018 BEFORE we can establish the climate trend for 2008.

    And before anyone replies to my post, PLEASE make sure you have read ALL the posts above, as there are other points ALREADY established that will counter your rebuttal to what I have said in my post.

    Concerning the post about Global Dimming, very good that you raised that, as it does affect insolation and thus it does have an effect on global temperatures and thus an effect (however great or minute) on Climate Change. I would like to however point out that most media programs (that I have seen) that have reported on Global Dimming do so on the basis of incomplete reports. Their claims that there has been the opposite (global brightening) of recent, due to the “clean air act” and whatnot, may (I believe – as these shows rarely provide references) have been based on very limited reports, reports that may ignore the recent increase in air pollution from countries like Brazil and China, which has been suggested (I have read) to have continued to increase global dimming, despite reports of global brightening.

    As a final and more general conclusion to my post, I would like to remind skeptics that Climate IS very, very complex, and involves MANY positive and negative feedback systems, numerous physical and chemical phenomenon, some of which are self-limiting, some which are not, some which reach an equilibrium with other factors, others which don’t, and other forces that can shift equilibriums and reverse feedback systems. Some events trigger other events which in turn, can either accentuate, extend, diminish or reverse the effects of the former event. Some events or phenomena work independently of others and some do not. I would suggest that if you are skeptic of the conclusions brought forward by a climate scientist, that you first try to understand as much as possible, and at least as much as the scientist you are challenging. I would suggest that the vast majority of skeptics would not be able to justifiably challenge the climate change experts based on that fair and just request. By far, the majority of objections I see or read by the skeptics is due to that skeptic not understanding part of the science.

  23. #23 Michael
    November 10, 2009

    I’m a big global warming skeptic? Why? Because global warming has become the latest religion. The title of this website really caught my eye. You could easily replace “How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic” with “How to Talk to a Non-Believer”, and assign that with any one of hundreds of religions.

    When the media stops suppressing the global warning contrarians, and all of the information is on the table, then I will make my own decision. Until then, I will remain a skeptic.

    As an engineer, I can see how dishonest the data is. Take a look at the chart even on this page. It stops at 1850. Coincidence? I think not. The earth was cooling up to that point for centuries, and 1850 was a trough. Again, more data suppression.

    Just because the data came from a scientist, will not appease me. Scientists can have religions, too. Give me opposing viewpoints, and then we can talk. The better science wins. Until then, I’ll remain the skeptic.

  24. #24 carrot eater
    November 10, 2009

    Data suppression? The dataset simply doesn’t got back any further; the modern thermometer record (with anything like global coverage) started around 1850.

    Before that, you have to resort to inferring the temperature from things like tree rings. In any event, that older inferred data is not needed for the purpose of this article.

    As an engineer, perhaps you should know to learn about something, before accusing people of dishonesty.

  25. #25 Stat Babe
    December 27, 2009

    For the skeptics that posted on this thread, it undermines your argument that you are incapable of recognizing that the word “data” is the plural for datum. For instance, the engineer above stated:

    “As an engineer, I can see how dishonest the data is.

    This point was made earlier, but apparently, it did not sink into those who have a higher opinion of their own intellects than the rest of us do.

    Similarly, it is a disservice to all involved to resort to ad hominem attacks to try and make a point as Azz did to Corrine Civish. If Azz were so smart, he would actually provide information to counter the central premise of Ms. Civish’s post related to global dimming instead of calling her ignorant. Since I know practically nothing about global dimming, a well-reasoned argument to counter Ms. Civish’s post might actually persuade me that Ms. Civish’s argument is flawed. Instead, I am left with the impression that it is Azz (and others like him) who are clinging to the “belief/superstition” that AGW does not exist in the same manner that fundamentalists cling to the notion that the earth is a few thousand years old with some old man in the sky having created everything we know on this earth in a matter of a few days.

  26. #27 Ian Forrester
    January 12, 2010

    Snertly, if you think the pendulum is beginning to swing you had better look out in case it hits you on the head.

    That article is utter garbage and has been debunked on many sites where science is being discussed rather than than the nonsense at denier blogs.

  27. #28 crakar24
    January 12, 2010

    Ian,

    The story is based on studies by Latif (yes i know Skip but can we move on?) and Tsonis, If the article is garbage then what do you think of the studies?

    Did you read post 25? Lets try and comply with it a little, what do you think?

    Both studies DO NOT say AGW is a failed theory but they do say that there are climate forces at work on the planet that will keep the temps as they are or even lower in the next 20-30 years.

    This implies that CO2 is not a primary driver of the climate and is easily over powered by much greater forces.

    One who believes in AGW theory will say that in 2030 when these oscillations return to the warm mode GW will be back (from where i do not know). Snertly obviously has a differing view than yours maybe you could share YOUR thoughts with us on this topic rather than raising unsubstantiated assumptions?

  28. #29 Ian Forrester
    January 12, 2010

    Crakar, what you wrote is a pile of nonsense. At present CO2 is driving temperature increase over the long term.

    Latif’s comments were completely misinterpreted by Rose and other so called “journalists” and this was then spread all over the denier blogs.

    Why do you not read some real science, I’m sure you are capable if you could only get over your political and selfish viewpoints.

  29. #30 crakar24
    January 12, 2010

    Settle Ian, you have cleared things up you believe the article misinterpreted the studies OK now i understand what you are saying.

    Just so you know that article appeared Australian papers as well.

  30. #31 mandas
    January 12, 2010

    I’m always amazed how climate change deniers like crakar continually assert that climatologists are wrong and don’t know what they are talking about, but as soon as someone comes along and publishes something that supposedly agrees with him, he asserts that we should all sit up and take notice.
    Come on crakar, at least be consistent. Do you believe climatologists know what they are talking about, or do you only think that about those that agree with you?
    However, the problem is that Latif has been writing about these local oscillations for over a decade, and there is nothing in anything he writes which detracts from anthropogenic climate change. Indeed, all his studies indicate is that there are local factors which can cause short term variations imposed on the longer term trends – exactly as is being observed.

    Far from assisting the denial cause, these studies add strong support to the already well established case for climate change. Indeed, crakar even admits this himself….

    ….”Both studies DO NOT say AGW is a failed theory but they do say that there are climate forces at work on the planet that will keep the temps as they are or even lower in the next 20-30 years.”….

    However, the conclusion that…
    “This implies that CO2 is not a primary driver of the climate and is easily over powered by much greater forces”…
    is nonsense, and cannot be drawn from any of the information in the studies. It’s just crakar drawing a conclusion based on his own prejudices, not on any science.

    It may even be that these local factors are the very things which caused the so-called MWP so loved by crakar in many of his previous discredited attempts to disprove anthropogenic climate change (my hypothesis only!!)
    It may be a cool winter in Europe, but it is somewhat ironic that crakar is writing his missives from Adelaide, which has just experienced it’s hottest year on record. But of course, that’s just a regional variation, just like Europe (which I, at least, am willing to admit).

  31. #32 crakar24
    January 12, 2010

    Mandas,

    No need for such nastiness OK.

    You said

    “Come on crakar, at least be consistent. Do you believe climatologists know what they are talking about, or do you only think that about those that agree with you?”

    You know i could ask you the same question.

    You said

    “”This implies that CO2 is not a primary driver of the climate and is easily over powered by much greater forces”…
    is nonsense, and cannot be drawn from any of the information in the studies. It’s just crakar drawing a conclusion based on his own prejudices, not on any science.”

    Latif and Tsonis have just said in their humble opinion that there will be no warming for the next 20 odd years what else could one conclude from these findings, let explain further.

    If we are to accept Latif and Tsonis are correct and i have no reason to suggest otherwise then we must first make two assumptions, 1 the temps will not rise or perhaps even fall from now to 2030. The 2nd assumption is that CO2 levels will continue to rise at the present rate of about 2ppm per year to around 430ppm approx.

    So that would mean the temps would have remained stable or fell for 30 years, now as we all know 30 years of weather is defined as climate and this would all happen whilst CO2 levels have risen.

    This would be in complete contradiction to the AGW theory, thats not to say the whole theory should be chucked in the bin but it would warrant a serious rethink, as i said if CO2 cannot drive temps up over a period of 30 years due to PDO/AMO etc then it is a minor player.

    In regards to Adelaide yes it has been warm, in fact Adelaide has been up to 6 C hotter than any other capital city lately anyway i know someone from England and they are shivering through the coldest winter in 100 odd years so what is your point?

    The main reason for the record was warmer winter nights probably got something to do with the good rains we got. Did you also notice the grain crop for SA is the second highest on record? The highest record was achieved in 2001, more useless information for you Mandas.

    Cheers

    Crakar

  32. #33 Marco
    January 13, 2010

    England isn’t nearly as cold as claimed. People are mixing up snow and cold. Which, for the layman, is somewhat understandable (and only somewhat), but for anyone with an active interest in climate evidence of either malevolance or inability to learn. Neither is very positive…

    Take December: one has to go back to 1995 to find a similarly cold winter. 1995. That’s a mere 14 years…

    Oh, and neither Tsonis nor Latif expect a 20-year stable climate from now on. Latif’s predictions actually expect a major surge in temperature from 2015 or 2020 onwards…

  33. #34 GFW
    January 13, 2010

    To expand upon Marco’s comment re Latif: Go to http://climateprogress.org/2010/01/11/foxnews-wattsupwiththat-climatedepot-daily-mail-article-on-global-cooling-mojib-latif/#more-17334 and page down a couple of times (or just search for Latif’s name). Key quotes:

    He had me reread the quotes attributed to him a number of times, asking twice, “those are direct quotes?” After I did, he said to me: “I don’t know what to do. They just make these things up.” I suggested asking reporters to read quotes back to him.

    Latif has NOT predicted a cooling trend — or a “decades-long deep freeze” – but rather a short-time span where human-caused warming might be partly offset by ocean cycles, staying at current record levels, but then followed by “accelerated” warming where you catch up to the long-term human-caused trend. He does NOT forecast 2 or 3 decades of cooling.

    Then look at the graph right below that.

  34. #35 skip
    January 13, 2010

    But for Crakar Latif was evidence that

    . . . many AGW diehard scientists have admitted (through gritted teeth) that the planet will cool for the next 20 years.

    At least in that past remark(Hockey Stick 130), Crakar followed by acknowledging that Latif affirmed that

    This will be caused by among other things a quiet sun and the PDO etc but fear not AGW will be back with a vengance[sic] sometime in the distant future.

  35. #36 crakar24
    January 13, 2010

    Skip try to stay on topic please or dont bother at all, remember quality is always better than quantity.

  36. #37 crakar24
    January 13, 2010

    Dang Nabit!!!!!!!!!!

    Foiled again by stupid reporters, thanks for the link GFW.

  37. #38 skip
    January 13, 2010

    If we are to accept Latif and Tsonis are correct and i have no reason to suggest otherwise . . . –Crakar

    Exactly.

    They affirm that AGW is real even *if* their projected short term cooling occurs. They do *not* believe a silly caricature of CO2 being the only factor in climate change. You once seemed to realize this yourself.

    So yes, this is the topic spot on.

  38. #39 crakar24
    January 13, 2010

    Pour yourself another tall glass of gin, drink it, lie down and go to sleep and all will be right in the morning, and dont forget Skip as you always like to say “dont take what i say as personnal”.

  39. #40 mandas
    January 13, 2010

    Crakar
    “…Mandas, No need for such nastiness OK.”
    As you just said yourself “don’t take what I say as personnal”. Maybe you should be the one having a glass of gin and a lie down.

    In any case, I am not being nasty at all – just asking you to commit to a position rather than just being negative all the time. However, it would appear from the tone of some of your posts you are starting to accept that anthropogenic climate change is a fact, but there may be some disagreements over some of the finer details. I hope that is true – if so it would also mean we finally agree on the major issue, but may disagree on the minor matters.

    You ask me the same question I ask you. The answer is that I do accept that climatologists know what they are talking about. Given that there are virtually none who believe the climate isn’t changing, I am therefore pretty confident in my views.

    You also ask what other conclusion one could draw from Latif’s studies? Well, one suggestion I could make is to actually read the study and discover what conclusion he draws himself. Here it is, to save you the trouble:

    “…we make the following forecast: over the next decade, the current Atlantic meridional overturning circulation will weaken to its long-term mean; moreover, North Atlantic SST and European and North American surface temperatures will cool slightly, whereas tropical Pacific SST will remain almost unchanged. Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming.”

    I think that’s pretty clear. Local cooling in some regions will temporarily offset global increases.
    Note he said ‘local’ and ‘temporarily’. I would suggest that a reasonable extrapolation of that is that it will temporarily get a lot hotter in other regions (such as the South Pacific and Indian Ocean basins – not good for Australia), and that in the longer term, local variations will be overwhelmed by the global forcing factors (ie CO2). Do you disagree with this extrapolation?

    And you know exactly what my point was regarding the hot year in Adelaide, because I said it very clearly in my post. You cannot take regional information and suggest that it is the same for the rest of the world as a whole – there are local influences that effect the weather and climate, just like your beloved MWP which was clearly a northern hemisphere phenomenon offset by a cooler climate in the south.

    You can read all about the local climate in Australia at the BOM website – here’s a link for you:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/announcements/media_releases/climate/change/20100105.shtml

    You may also want to click on the link on the bottom of the page. Lot’s of fascinating reading there – and fun with data!

  40. #41 skip
    January 13, 2010

    Don’t worry. I don’t even take it personally when you tell me I’m a “f—g idiot yank” or that I’m “thick as pig sh–t”, or a “buffoon”, or a “jar head”.

    You think I’ll get worked up over an admonition to drink gin?

  41. #42 crakar24
    January 13, 2010

    Mandas,

    This comment “dont take what i say as personnal” is something Skip likes to say quite often it was not directed at you.

    In post 37 i acknowledged that the report does not do Latif and Tsonis justice (as Ian has already stated). Therefore i retract what i said previously in post 28.

    I too do not know a climatoligist that claims the climate never changes the $64K question is what causes it.

    You and some others here accept the IPCC view i however do not.

    You asked: Do you disagree with this extrapolation?

    I agree up to a point, as he states there are natural forces at work which are constantly changing which in turn means the climate is constantly changing. He suggests that these natural forcings will temporarily offset the warming induced by CO2.

    But this is not the question, the question is how much warming will the increase of CO2 induce? To you this point is a given CO2 will cause apocolyptic climate change but i beg to differ.

    This will put your resolve to the test Mandas, at this site you can see many studies which show that the MWP was a global event and not clearly a NH phenomenon as you suggest.

    http://w.w.w.co2science.org/subject/m/subject_m.php

    Remember this statement? “Come on crakar, at least be consistent. Do you believe climatologists know what they are talking about, or do you only think that about those that agree with you?”

    So here are many studies that suggest your beliefs are incorrect, what are you going to believe now?

    Remember we are talking about global shifts in climate which continue for long periods of time, the link above shows that this is the case just as Latif has discovered. The temp trends (instrumental) show a shift centered around 30 year periods. The PDO turned -ve around 2000 so it is no great leap of faith to suggest this cool mode will last until 2030.

    The leap of faith here is to suggest CO2 via a theoretical very strong +ve feedback from water vapour will cause temps to go through the roof but if Latif is correct then he is saying this will not happen for another tens years (20 years in total) because other factors will mask it.

    So in summary Latif has conducted a study on PDO/AMO cycles and has come to the realisation that these cycles can have global effects but of course CO2 is still there warming the planet and when these cycles go into the +ve phase and warm the planet the “hidden in the pipeline” effects of CO2 will be there for all to see in about ten years time.

    While we wait to see if these latest crystal ball predictions come true we can watch to see if sea levels continue to stagnate, we can watch with anticipation to see if the Arctic will indeed be ice free in the next few years, we can watch the sea temps and see which way they go (depending on what adjustments are made) and we can watch to see if the oceans turn to boiling pools of acid.

    And if in ten years Latif’s words are deemed false what then Mandas, do you just simply move on to the next prophet of doom, do we allow Al Gore and others to simply keep pushing the “arctic free of ice” prediction out in a despirit effort to get it right eventually.

  42. #43 dhogaza
    January 13, 2010

    But this is not the question, the question is how much warming will the increase of CO2 induce? To you this point is a given CO2 will cause apocolyptic climate change but i beg to differ.

    Which increase of CO2 are you talking about?

    The one rational people want to work towards, which while leading to some serious problems won’t be catastrophic?

    Or the increase of CO2 you want us to commit to, i.e. exponentially increasing for the foreseeable future, which science tells us will lead to some extremely unpleasant results?

  43. #44 dhogaza
    January 13, 2010

    the leap of faith here is to suggest CO2 via a theoretical very strong +ve feedback from water vapour will cause temps to go through the roof

    The leap of faith is to ignore mounting evidence, such as recent results from the AIRS sensor on the Aqua satellite, that water vapor feedbacks are closely matching model predictions.

    Actually, it’s more ostrich-like burying one’s head in the sand to make sure you don’t see that satellite orbiting the earth, measuring and measuring stuff that, along with all other observations, make the denialist position ever more untenable …

  44. #45 dhogaza
    January 13, 2010

    do we allow Al Gore and others to simply keep pushing the “arctic free of ice” prediction out in a despirit effort to get it right eventually.

    Well, let’s see about winter ice in this “recovery” mode y’all get so excited about … hmm, steadily declining trend, look at that. About 3% per year.

    summer minimum …

    Maybe sea ice volume will save you … nope.

  45. #46 mandas
    January 13, 2010

    crakar
    Firstly, my comment about not taking things personally was in response to your ‘nastiness’ comment about me. Seems you take things personally yourself, but criticise others (ie skip) if they supposedly take things personally.
    Secondly, I can’t recall ever using the word ‘apocalyptic’ or even suggesting that climate change is ‘apocalyptic’. But I do suggest it will not be good for human culture as a whole or the ecosystem. Of that there is little doubt.
    Finally, I have suggested to you time and time again to actually read the documents you use as sources, rather than just relying on someone else’s interpretation from a denialist website. If you did that, you might find out what they really say, as opposed to someone else’s (potentially) flawed assessments.
    Your link to all those studies has precious little to say about the global nature of the supposed MWP, even though it claims that it does. If you actually opened and read some of the studies, you would find that rather than supporting the concept of a global MWP, some of the studies have information and conclusions opposing the concept. For example, here’s one, entitled:
    “Evidence for a ‘Medieval Warm Period’ in a 1,100 year tree-ring reconstruction of past austral summer temperatures in New Zealand”, by Cook, Palmer and D’Arrigo from 2002.

    In it, the authors state, inter alia:

    “Of equal interest in the reconstruction is the sharp and sustained cold period in the A.D. 993–1091 interval. This cold event is easily the most extreme to have occurred over the past 1,100 years. Interestingly, Gellataly et al. [1988] reported evidence for a significant glacier advance in the Mount Cook area around the period 1100–950 BP. The date of this event based on rock weathering-rind thickness is not precisely known (the error may be as great as ±300
    years; see Gellataly [1984]), but its estimated timing is plausibly consistent with the reconstruction presented here.”

    Not sure about you, but I reckon an extreme cold period in New Zealand during the eleventh century (ie right in the middle of the supposed MWP), with data from two sources (tree rings and glaciation), sort of demolishes the concept of a global MWP.

  46. #47 mandas
    January 13, 2010

    And could we please stop referring to Al Gore as if he was some sort of deity that we all bow down too. Al Gore is norhing more or less than a politician. He is not a scientist, and a lot of what he says is flawed. I know that, and every climatologist involved in the real science of climate change know that. I could even point out a lot of errors in his movie if you would like me to do so.
    I am here to discuss the science, not what a bunch of bloggers or politicians say, and I don’t care what Gore or Durkin (who is probably your hero) think.

  47. #48 crakar24
    January 13, 2010

    I dont know who durkin is

    Al Gore’s claims make headlines around the world when he shuts up i will stop mentioning his name Ok.

    The MWP spanned 600 years 800 to 1400AD you pick one study that you think supports your views and ignore the ones that dont so it may have been colder 1000 to 1100AD in New Zealand oh and of course lets not forget the dates have a +/- 300 year error tolerance not bad when you consider we are only talking about a 100 year span.

    Remember this statement Mandas? “Come on crakar, at least be consistent. Do you believe climatologists know what they are talking about, or do you only think that about those that agree with you?”

    Yes thats right why dont you practice what you preach.

    So all the studies that show the MWP did exist one form or another all over the SH are wrong because you said so. As Skip would say thats bull shit Mandas.

  48. #49 mandas
    January 13, 2010

    crakar
    Yeah you do. You know exactly who Durkin is. He produced ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’, the worst piece of dishonesty in film making since, well, since ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.
    And so what if Gore makes headlines? A lot of people make headlines around the world. It doesn’t make their views on climate change any more valid, and it doesn’t mean I accept them. Monckton is the latest member of the flat earth society gaining global headlines. But he is just as wrong as well.
    You complain that I picked only one study. No. I read a lot of the studies from your link. You have posted the same link before, remember, and I read it then as well. Moreover, I advised you that the vast majority of the studies from the list you provided were simply irrelevant to the discussion on the global nature of the MWP, because they were from the northern hemisphere and I am not disputing that there was some sort of regional variation in the northern hemisphere. In order to determine if it was a global phenomenon, I needed something from the southern hemisphere. So I read them, and I picked one referred to on the list, and incidently, also referred to on the Wikipedia page on MWP. In other words, I picked one of the studies you wanted me to read as proof of the MWP. The only difference between you and me is that I actually read the study, rather than simply relying on a blog poster from a denialist website for my opinion.
    And despite your claims to the contrary, I am going to suggest that a century long cold spell in the southern hemisphere, right in the middle of your so-called MWP (you know, when the Vikings were growing grapes in Greenland around 1000 AD), is pretty conclusive evidence that, whatever was going on in the northen hemisphere, certainly wasn’t occuring in the southern hemisphere.

    If you want any more confirmation, you may want to take a look at:
    “A chronology for cool-climate episodes in the southern hemisphere 12 000-1000 Yr B.P”, by Burrows.
    In that study, the author writes about cooling events over the last 12,000 years, including a cooling event in Australia and the southern hemisphere generally in the period 1,100 to 900 yr BP (that’s 900AD – 1100AD). So, do you need any more, or is that enough for you to go on?

  49. #50 Dappledwater
    January 14, 2010

    “The PDO turned -ve around 2000 so it is no great leap of faith to suggest this cool mode will last until 2030″ Crakar

    Wrong:

    http://www.esr.org/pdo_index.html

    So much for that idea.

  50. #51 Snertly
    January 18, 2010

    More official back tracking:

    World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6991177.ece

    “A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.”

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