Not my headline, but from The Independent”, seeking to keep to its reputation as most environmentally overhyped paper. A combination of global warming and the El Niño weather system is set to make 2007 the warmest year on record with far-reaching consequences for the planet, one of Britain’s leading climate experts has warned. Although the actual quote from Phil Jones is El Niño makes the world warmer and we already have a warming trend that is increasing global temperatures by one to two tenths of a degrees celsius per decade. Together, they should make 2007 warmer than last year and it may even make the next 12 months the warmest year on record which is rather more cautious.

Meanwhile, in another article the misreading of Stern continues: Sir Nicholas Stern’s Treasury report two months ago has helped to discredit the argument that action to stop climate change will be prohibitively expensive. Thanks to his analysis, we now know that it will cost us far more if we do nothing. One of the things that Stern didn’t change much was the std costs of doing something. He just put the costs of doing nothing rather higher. So the expense of action remains much the same.

Comments

  1. #1 Eli Rabett
    2007/01/02

    Would you prefer the more moderate and local Gruaniad? (sp??)

    Welcome back from a presumed warmer place and a happy new year.

  2. #2 Lubos Motl
    2007/01/02

    A hottest 2007 would indeed be an obvious guess given the El-Nino. Except that the El-Nino seems to be losing intensity.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601081&sid=a5A4WBY8nIrA&refer=australia

    Combined with a cold 2006 starting point, I would somewhat lean to saying that 2007 will be cooler than 2005 or 1998.

    Best
    LM

  3. #3 guthrie
    2007/01/02

    What always annoys me is the denialists will say “Look, they lied to hype it up!”
    When you’ve shown someone the graphs twice to show that the earth is steadily warming, and they still claim that there has been a cooling trend since 1998, you run out of options.

  4. #4 Eli Rabett
    2007/01/02

    Well, they don’t even know what El Nino means, it is not the little boy, but the Christ child, mostly because it comes near Christmas. OTOH it might be weakening. You can
    see the movie

  5. #5 James Annan
    2007/01/03

    Actually, it looks like Stern chose a rather optimistic cost of stabilisation, 1/3 of the cost that JQ estimated, although of course JQ does his best to backtrack and excuse Stern on that score.

    I wonder how things look if instead of a single figure, Stern had used a probabilistic range a la climate sensitivity pdf. Using the methods in widespread use for sensitivity, I bet it would be easy to conclude that “it cannot be ruled out” that stabilisation would be catastrophic for the economy, even if this is not considered likely. What price risk-aversion now?

    [Ha ha 2 good points. For the costs, I was relying on my fallible memory… for the PDFs, hmm, I suppose if you decalred stabalisation to be an absolute goal, thats true. In practice it would be a target with a cost-limit assigned, though that is moving the goal posts -W]

  6. #6 Lubos Motl
    2007/01/03

    Dear guthrie, indeed, if you live on a planet that has been cooling since 1998 and you want to prove that it hasn’t been cooling, you indeed quickly run out of options. Or, as you wrote accurately, at least the people who don’t like to lie run out of options.

  7. #7 Chris O'Neill
    2007/01/06

    “if you live on a planet that has been cooling since 1998″

    That should read:

    “if you live on a planetary surface that has been cooling since 1998″

    We need to be careful that we’re not talking about the entire planet – atmosphere, hydrosphere and terrasphere. Otherwise we probably wouldn’t be able to say that cooling has occurred since 1998 and we wouldn’t be able to trick people into thinking that global warming stopped in 1998. (The ocean threw out a lot of heat in 1998 and has since been taking it up again. Try to keep that a secret.)

  8. #8 guthrie
    2007/01/06

    Umm, Lubos, you might want to go and get your eyes tested.
    I dont call this:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/globaltemperature.html

    A cooling trend.

    Anyone know why the NASA Giss page is down?

  9. #9 guthrie
    2007/01/08

    Lubos, I suggest you go and see an optician. I cant see a downwards trend in this data:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/globaltemperature.html

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