May 11, 2005

Lies, Damned Lies, and Global Warming Deniers

Writing about web page http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2005/05/10/junk-science/#more-930

The Guardian has a nice article on the hunt for the facts behind a global warming (climate change) denier's claims.

On April 16, New Scientist published a letter from the famous botanist David Bellamy. Many of the world's glaciers, he claimed, "are not shrinking but in fact are growing … 555 of all the 625 glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich, Switzerland, have been growing since 1980".

To cut a long story short, where did the figure actually come from?

Two places – the right wing rantings of a former architect, quoting non-existent paper, and Bellamy's own feverish imagination. Monbiot is damning about all this:

It is hard to convey just how selective you have to be to dismiss the evidence for climate change. You must climb over a mountain of evidence to pick up a crumb: a crumb which then disintegrates in the palm of your hand. You must ignore an entire canon of science, the statements of the world's most eminent scientific institutions, and thousands of papers published in the foremost scientific journals. You must, if you are David Bellamy, embrace instead the claims of an eccentric former architect, which are based on what appears to be a non-existent data set. And you must do all this while calling yourself a scientist.

I'm inclined to agree.

"A complete article, including references is available here.":
link


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  1. What motive does David Bellamy have for suggesting that climate change isn't occurring (approaching this from a motive as opposed to factual angle this time?) Essentially, what I'm saying is David Bellamy is a naturalist who has great interest in keeping the environment in an undamaged state. Why would he be skeptical of the evidence for climate change, because I struggle to see an ulterior motive? He is not affiliated to any vested interest that I'm aware of.

    11 May 2005, 15:31

  2. Bellamy believes that climate change will be good for the environment. (Against contrary evidence.)

    The short interpretation is that he is deluded.

    11 May 2005, 15:53

  3. Maybe he is just one of the many people who would rather climate change wasn't happening?

    The rebuttal is pretty damning Bellamy should be ashamed at using his reputation to bolster such utter tripe.

    11 May 2005, 15:53

  4. I have to note though, that Monbiot has something of a running war with Bellamy. So, you need to take his opinions with a pinch of salt. The facts, however, seem to be on his side.

    11 May 2005, 15:56

  5. Check out this on Monbiot. Not a particularly lengthy article nor from a respected source, but the basic questions the article asked need answering about him. And as you say, hardly an unbiased source when he has a running battle against Bellamy. On the other hand, I must confess to having read an article by Bellamy a couple of years ago in which he explained his simplistic theory that by increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, plants would grow faster and so re-stabilise the atmosphere. Does anyone have any verification of this? I suspect there is some truth in it, but that the effect outweighs the increased growth rates. Hmmm. Will research this a bit more in-depth at some point.

    11 May 2005, 17:02

  6. Climate change has been going on for several billon years.For about the last 18000 years or so, the earth has been getting warmer, and it will probably continue to do so for another 2–3000 years before another ice age starts. Many people seem to blame climate change on human activity, whether the fear of 'Global Cooling' in the 70s or 'Global Warming' now, without really looking at the evidence. There is certainly not a consensus among climatologists that global warming is affected significantly by human actions, nor is there any real evidence that it is, or that global warming is a bad thing. Also, the amount of 'Geenhouse Gasses' in the atmosphere that are there due to humans is around 0.28%. Thus a 'Global Warming Denier' is in fact siding with the evidence.

    11 May 2005, 17:15

  7. Yep, I've said before that 150 years ago you got people ice-skating on the Thames. 50 years ago we were worried that we were about to enter another ice age.

    I have yet to see any comprehensive proof that the observed rises in temperature are due to human activity, although I've lost count of the number of times I've been told that the evidence is 'overwhelming'.

    So until I see it, I shall remain two steps above the liar.

    11 May 2005, 17:40

  8. Does anyone have any verification of this?

    Yes. The climate models take this into account. Up to a certain degree, natural vegetation growth does cushion the effect of greenhouse gas increases. But only up to a degree. Closed biosystem studies show that the effect reverses when both temperatures and carbon dioxide levels rises above a certain degree – the whole thing goes out of balance, and you get actual positive feedback – more temperature causes rainforest dieback, which accelerates further climate change. Studies of the current state of the amazon rain forest suggests we are entering into this phase.

    Not only that, but you also get frictional damage – the distribution of plant growth across the world is very specialised. Complex ecosystems have established themselves. A change in local climate would destroy this, and it would take an age before it gets back into balance.

    Many people seem to blame climate change on human activity, whether the fear of 'Global Cooling' in the 70s or 'Global Warming' now, without really looking at the evidence.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The claim that there was panic about ice ages in the 1970s is a complete fabrication by the right wing press. It is a pure and simple lie. In the 1970s, people acknowledge that the technology at the time is not valid for decent future predictions. This has changed. Computer science changes alot in 30 years.

    There is certainly not a consensus among climatologists that global warming is affected significantly by human actions, nor is there any real evidence that it is, or that global warming is a bad thing.

    Yes there is. The IPCC is the closest thing to a complete scientific consensus there is. And the case for global warming being damaging is simple – we are vulnerable. We've developed so fast that we are no longer flexible. We are too used to the current climate, so anything that changes is disastrous for us.

    There is absolutely no change of humanity destroying the planet, or the environment, whatever that means. There is a huge possibility of humanity taking out a big chunk of ourselves.

    Also, the amount of 'Geenhouse Gasses' in the atmosphere that are there due to humans is around 0.28%.

    Where did you get this number from? Suppose we just consider the carbon dioxide alone. Based on this graph we can see that see that we are at levels unprecedented for 400 thousand years. The only explanation for this is human factors, so we can conclude that human factors contributed to about 30% of all the carbon dioxide there is in the air, and has risen since the graph ended in 2000. A similar study of methane concentrations puts humanity's involvement at over 60%. And all of this is moot, because we know that in climate science, past a point, small factors can have big consequences.

    I have yet to see any comprehensive proof that the observed rises in temperature are due to human activity

    What on earth would be comprehensive proof?

    We have modelled predictions that have been satisfied – in science, that is the strongest form of proof. We have back modelled to recreate recent history – in science, that's the second strongest form of proof. We have shown explanations for occurance that cannot be explained by other theories, theories which give completely the wrong predictions when we give correct ones – in science, that's the third strongest form of proof.

    There is nothing more that can be done, except to wait until millions of people are dead. Do you really want to do that?

    11 May 2005, 18:34

  9. Christopher Sigournay:

    I don't see anything of merit in that article.

    Blah blah, UN is evil, so obviously Monbiot is evil too. Blah blah, heavier than air stuff can't reach the upper atmosphere. (This is silly. If density effect is that drastic, then why aren't we all suffocating in a blanket of heavy Carbon Dioxide? Pointless too, since we have detected CFCs in the upper atmosphere. Blah blah, oil is not a fossil fuel. (This is highly disputed, and stinks of wishful thinking.)

    11 May 2005, 18:43

  10. Although highly disputed when it was published in 1992, Thomas Gold's book on oil being formed from pressurised gas and not directly from decomposing plant matter does have it's followers in science, and solves some problems with oil that fossil fuels have not been able to, for example Helium found in oil fields. I admit that some of the stuff such as CFC's is a bit ropey. The points about the UN i believe are of some merit.

    11 May 2005, 22:43

  11. But that theory causes problems of its own. It has no real acceptance outside of Russia, and in any case is irrelevant. Even if there is a long term regeneration of oil, in the long term we are all dead. The statistics are plain that we are depleting oil reserves, and so they will run out. Even with abiotic oil, possible output is not infinite.

    The points about the UN are of merit? How? The article asserts without proof that all scientists working for the independent UN must be biased, and incompetent. That's tens of thousands of academics attacked in one moment, with zero justification. What's more, it insists that the UN has an internal bias in favour of Climate Change theories, which is again silly – it would benefit the UN enormously to have a carte blanc to continue pollution and industrialisation. And the consensus for climate change stretches way beyond the UN itself.

    The rest are blatant strawmen.

    But in his book, The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for the New World Order he puts his cards on the table in his demand for a United Nations world dictatorship with the masses placated by a global democracy presumably where both candidates are controlled by the oligarchy.

    What does the above mean? Untangle the mess – Monbiot said that he wants a democratic international government to establish world peace. The author adds to this the claim that somehow he'd read Monbiot's mind and found that what Monbiot by this was that he wanted a dictatorship with a two party system where both are controlled by an unaccountable elite. WTF is this guy on?

    In any case, the author misses out the overall message. The difference between a government by corporations and an 'elite world government' is that while a corporation is motivated solely by internal profit, an elite government is motivated for the greater good of the world. It is debatable whether such a world government can be efficient in today's world, but the substantive point of the article – that authority in a skilled elite is intrinsically evil – is just frankly stupid.

    11 May 2005, 23:19

  12. You say that the claim that people were worried about global cooling in the 70's is a fabrication. Since both of my parents, who were alive at he time, remember there being widespread worries about global cooling, I have to disagree with that.

    11 May 2005, 23:39

  13. Your parents were not climatologists, I presume. The climatologists weren't worried about ice ages then. Maybe the popular press were, but the popular press worries about everything.

    The climatologists are worrying about global warming now.

    11 May 2005, 23:52

  14. I just find it odd that Monbiot can argue so strongly against corporations and the IMF, and then at the same time suggest that the UN would effectively make a good world government. The UN remains an elite controlled organisation, so how does his logic stack up? I appreciate that this has gone wildly off-topic in respect to the climate change debate, but right now I'm more curious about this Monbiot character. You suggest that authority of a skilled elite being evil is intrinsically stupid. I agree. For precisely the same reasons, I suggest that the accusations that corporations are intrinsically evil and if allowed to will be the end of mankind as we know it to be equally intrinsically stupid.

    12 May 2005, 08:30

  15. For precisely the same reasons, I suggest that the accusations that corporations are intrinsically evil and if allowed to will be the end of mankind as we know it to be equally intrinsically stupid.

    But there is a possible case that can be made that certain world events show that if a corporation is acting solely for its own profit, then the net result will be a decrease in the general good. (e.g. the attempts of Microsoft to secure a monopoly in the software industry.) Monbiot's criticisms of capitalism have centred on this. It is only a matter of co-incidence that some times what is good for a company is good for people around it, and thus it is neccessary for non-profit-driven groups to ensure the power of consumers and employees to drive companies to do what's right, not just what makes the most money. Companies are naturally dictatorships – it's by government and intergovernment action that democratic will is added into the equation.

    Anarchism = bad. Tyranny = bad. A reasonable degree of democracy and freedom = good. It's not just a matter of power, but also a question of what you are trying to do with that power.

    12 May 2005, 11:00

  16. But the UN is itself an organisation representing capitalist nations, and as such is under their influence. To suggest that politicians are any better than business as regards self-interest is questionable at it's best! As regards Microsoft – you picked a bad specific example there. Microsoft's dominance of software has led to a relatively standardised software platform and format system (windows being the default platform for software programmers to concentrate on, as well as hardware vendors as regards devices, file formats related to office etc). Without Microsoft's dominance (and at the end of the day, the £80 it charges for Windows XP is pretty damned reasonable in most people's eyes), it is questionable whether computers would be in the position they are today. But I digress….

    And your last paragraph is exceptionally simplistic. I'm sure you of all people can appreciate that it's not that simple!

    12 May 2005, 11:49

  17. And your last paragraph is exceptionally simplistic. I'm sure you of all people can appreciate that it's not that simple!

    It's not that simple? Do you mean to say that you really believe that a moderate position between ultra-anarchism (which is espoused by your link), and ultra-capitalism is impossible? Because that's what you seem to be saying…

    Microsoft's dominance of software has led to a relatively standardised software platform and format system (windows being the default platform for software programmers to concentrate on, as well as hardware vendors as regards devices, file formats related to office etc).

    No it hasn't. Standards will evolve in any case. Microsoft's central policy is of 'embrace and extend'. They take existing technology, and then add undocumented, and often broken features. The effect of this is that half of software developers don't know what is going on, and that microsoft itself cannot upgrade their software to cover gaps, because it would ruin all the ad hoc solutions Windows software is based around. The whole thing drags down software development.

    The microsoft situation perfectly illustrates the need of a neutral, open organisation to oversee private corporations. Some standards is better than no standards, sure. But open standards, set by independent bodies like the W3C and other bodies are far, far better.

    Now, sure, the UN is not perfect. But it doesn't make any sense to say that opposing the dominance of greed equates to opposing regulation. That's just plain silly. Surely you can see this?

    12 May 2005, 16:19

  18. Hmmm… In retrospect, I may have misread that slightly! I do believe that points between the extremes are achieveable. Although, anarchy and tyranny do respectively have some merits, although I'm not going to pretend that they anything like outweigh the negatives!

    As to the Microsoft problem – the only alternative of a company setting a standard by it's market success (like Microsoft has done) is to have an independent body set standards. This then opens a whole load of other problems – the standards tend to be set by independent bodies within a country, so you have one set of standards for the US, another for Japan, another for Europe (one of the few positives to come out of the EU has been the creation of standards for Europe as a whole, to an extent anyway), the UK has traditionally also had its own standards which I believe are still set. For some things, the problems this causes are minor and not insurmountable. In materials standards for example, you just correlate different standards to their equivalent standard from a different nation. For something as complex as computer software, there is a simple incompatability issue with software written to different standards just not matching up to each other. The problem is worsened by the fact that it is the corporations themselves that are developing the technology, so if they are having the standards generated by an external body there are issues of synchronisation etc. The whole thing works much better if the development team just write the standards and those are then adopted by other corporations – in the Microsoft case, other software companies write their software to be compatible with the standard windows platform.

    I just don't get why corporations are viewed in such a cynical and negative light. For example, the oil companies. They want to make money out of us. Fact. Oil will run out someday. Fact. Therefore, if the company is to continue existing beyond oil, they will look to alternative energy sources to sell energy to us, in order that they continue to survive. For them to buy up new technology and develop and patent it themselves now is just plain good business sense. What's so evil about wanting to survive and make a healthy profit?!?

    12 May 2005, 19:11

  19. I think evil only comes into the equation when a company starts to put the value of profit for its shareholder above things like human life, exploiting the unwary for the benefit of the few.

    A lot of people think this is evil, though of course there are alternative moralities that may say greed is good and that the strong and knowledgeable should rightly dominate the weak and defenceless.

    14 May 2005, 13:38

  20. Greg

    In the 1990s I read how we would run out of oil, 3 YEARS AGO… talk about “modeling”, what happened? Not only are we NOT out of oil, PROVEN reserves are higher than ever. As for climate, yeah, SELECTIVE modeling produced a “hockey stick” which was subsequently broken. “Gloom and doom” models predicted 10 degrees of warming by now… instead we had one degree or less over 100 years. Now the modelers got wise – having learned that making a short-term prediction gives them the opportunity to be proven wrong by observation, their current predictions cannot be properly tested until we are all dead! Still, let’s take a look at their track record, since you brought it up: They predicted the worst hurricane season ever for the Atlantic basin in 2006 and the result was one of the quietest on record. In the past months they’ve acknowledged their projections of warming over the current century (the 21st) may have been a wee bit high as data comes in showing the actual warming is in fact NOT tracking their models at all. In fact latest reports are the atmosphere and oceans are showing some signs of cooling. And if you need more evidence, go to New York where they’ve just had over 110 inches of snow – that would be what, around 3 meters, wouldn’t it? I bet those New Yorkers are PRAYING for a bit of global warming right now. Funny thing is when we continued to see extreme cold events that didn’t fit in with claims of warming (cold averages out with heat and the result is little if any change overall) they came up with the idea that global warming was going to cause extremes both way to explain it. But as I’ve explained, it is ridiculous to say that net global warming causes extreme cold events such as New York is experiencing now. The “consensus” that everyone pointed to was general agreement the earth has warmed from where it was in 1900, particularly over the last 20-30 years as the sun’s output increased – the two tracked quite nicely as if there was a direct relation between them – imagine that! Then the sun’s output leveled off and what do you know, so did the heating! And if the past is any guide, the sun will eventually end this period of higher than normal activity and cooling will set in, just as it has in the past. Of course the alarmists want you to ignore the fact that as the industrial revolution got going and greenhouse gasses initially began to spew without any pollution controls it actually got COOLER. They also ignore the fact that one volcanic eruption puts out more carbon than man does in an entire year and still the net result is COOLING (a la Pinatubo), not warming, plus where does all the carbon go? HINT: Nobody is really sure. That’s how “scientific” all this global warming mumbo-jumbo is. Maybe that’s why we had such extensive red tides or some such, I don’t claim to know other than what common sense tells me, and that is that this whole anthropogenic global warming scare is a scam of epic proportions. Oh, and no, the climatologists aren’t worrying about global warming, at least not the “real” ones. Only the ones who’s careers depend on hyping a crisis of their own creation. Talk about the oil companies supposedly creating a culture of denial with their petrodollars – the global warming crowd is demading a huge scheme whereby more money than was ever dreamed of in the past changes hands, with many hands dipping into it on the way no doubt. Indeed global warming has set the stage for the biggest swindle ever conceived. As for attempting zero greenhouse gas output – first who’s gonna tell Asia they have to stop growing rice because of the methane produced in the process. I guess PETA will give a cheer when beef is outlawed for the same reason. But to really get to zero carbon output you have to stop breathing. Say, why don’t you try it for a month and let me know how it turns out for you?

    12 Feb 2007, 04:07

  21. Well, that’s weird.

    I’d have thought that the laws of probability would demand that at least one statement in the above comment would be true. Apparently not, I guess.

    12 Feb 2007, 12:19

  22. Greg K

    Well done to the Greg above with your well stated comments. It is interesting that while Zhou Fang above has taken time to respond comprehensively to other sceptics’ posts, he has completely bottled out with his response to your post. Quite telling!

    I saw a programme the other night on Channel 4 in the UK called “The geat global warming swindle”. Up to now I had not ever looked at any arguments for human caused global warming and just assumed that all of the bleating from some scientists and the press/media must have meant that the theory had some credence.

    Trying to find a good article on the internet presenting the ‘evidence’ for man made global warming has proved elusive. I would much appreciate anyone who could direct me to such a resource so that I can judge the theory properly. I would also be very interested to read the supporters of the theory’s response to solar activity providing an adequate explanation for periods of global warming and cooling.

    Also, what is their response to the observation that CO2 levels in the past have looked like they have risen as a response to global warming rather than the other way around? What do they say about the explanation that global warming caused by increases in solar activity results in warming of the sea, in turn reducing the sea’s ability to dissolve CO2 as much, causing a net release of CO2 into the atmosphere? From the science I have seen, these arguments seem to be the greatest obstacle to man made global warming theory.

    10 Mar 2007, 22:10

  23. Zhou Fang

    Sigh. I didn’t bother giving much of a response, because this blog entry was written in May 2005, and the posting came in 2007. I’m not really interested in talking about 2 year old news, and I’m not interested in rebutting an old troll. There simply isn’t anything of value in Greg’s posting. Now that you’ve pissed me off, let’s do this thing:

    1. In the 1990s I read how we would run out of oil, 3 YEARS AGO… talk about “modeling”, what happened?

    The oil predictions were not on the basis of models. And certainly not on the basis of predictive computer modelling like global warming. It’s totally irrelevant to link one thing to the other. What happened was that (a) a number of new reserves appeared in unexpected places and (b) the Soviet Union collapsed, drastically cutting world oil consumption, and© some new technologies in converting poorer quality oil appeared. Oil is still set to run out, though.

    2.As for climate, yeah, SELECTIVE modeling produced a “hockey stick” which was subsequently broken.

    The hockey stick is not broken. The flaws referred to by deniers relate to the principle component, and not the reconstruction itself. Further, all modelling is selective. The data for the hockey stick is selected to improve its match over the known period. Nor is the hockey stick important, because there are dozens of different reconstructions using different data still producing the hockey stick shape.

    3. “Gloom and doom” models predicted 10 degrees of warming by now… instead we had one degree or less over 100 years.

    No one but the insane predicted 10 C by now. The IPCC itself has never set such a prediction. The current warming is totally consistent with the original scenario B – which was the scenario predicted to be of maximum probability. Deniers consistently delete lines from the curve to pretend that the low probability exponential emmissions scenario was what was predicted.

    4. And if you need more evidence, go to New York where they’ve just had over 110 inches of snow – that would be what, around 3 meters, wouldn’t it?

    There is a difference between weather and climate. DUH.

    5. They also ignore the fact that one volcanic eruption puts out more carbon than man does in an entire year and still the net result is COOLING (a la Pinatubo),

    This is wrong. Volcanic carbon emmission is 1% of human yearly production. Volcanos produce cooling because they release sulphates, which have a short term shielding effect. In fact, a number of volcanic eruptions are what is responsible for 70s cooling. The interaction between volcanos and human emmissions is included as part of the IPCC model.

    6. As for attempting zero greenhouse gas output – first who’s gonna tell Asia they have to stop growing rice because of the methane produced in the process.

    Nobody is proposing zero greenhouse gas output. People are proposing a reduction in greenhouse gas growth, which will allow natural sinks like the ocean and the forests to reduce levels.

    11 Mar 2007, 06:33

  24. Zhou Fang

    As for Greg 2:

    “I would also be very interested to read the supporters of the theory’s response to solar activity providing an adequate explanation for periods of global warming and cooling.”

    The response is that the solar explanation is a lie. It’s a complete fiddling of the data to throw up a spurious correlation. Take a look at:

    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/DamonLaut2004.pdf

    This is how the pretty correlation graph is constructed:

    1. Don’t actually show solar activity. The curve for ‘solar’ is not solar radiance, or whatever, but the length of a certain solar cycle. That’s why it is given in years.
    2. Now, smooth the curve. Smooth it ALOT. The solar cycle length is in fact very jaggedy, easily bouncing up and down five or so years. The curve is smoothed, by removing abberant points and shifting others. (Note that we don’t do this for temperature, so we basically ignore all the points where the two curves don’t match at all)
    3. Now, set the scales. Notice that our data ends at 1980? Isn’t that strange, since we’d have plenty of new and accurate data after then? That’s because after 1980, the two curves do not match at all. The temperature keeps going up, whilst the ‘solar’ curve goes down. So, well, slice off that bit. Then, rescale the vertical axis, again reducing the amount of variation in the solar data and shifting it up so that it sort of matches.
    4. But wait! It still doesn’t match. Now, cheat. The curve you see do not actually show the real solar curve. Towards the tail end of it, the graph makers inserted a few extra points, drawn effectively out of thin air, to make them match.

    Now, tada, incontrovertable proof. Compare the graph on page two of the linked document with the page 1 one. You will see some big differences.

    “Also, what is their response to the observation that CO2 levels in the past have looked like they have risen as a response to global warming rather than the other way around?”

    Well, the lag is about 800 years in a several hundred thousand year record – barely appreciable. Besides, it is well known that there is a feedback effect between the two.

    “What do they say about the explanation that global warming caused by increases in solar activity results in warming of the sea, in turn reducing the sea’s ability to dissolve CO2 as much, causing a net release of CO2 into the atmosphere?”

    That’s a nice theory, but it isn’t true. Why isn’t it true? Because we have ways of measuring the activity of the seas.

    http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/sb-Apr-04-ESD-ocean-carbon.html

    And we measure that overall, more carbon is absorbed into the ocean than is emmitted – i.e. the ocean is a substantial carbon sink, damping down the increase in carbon from other effects. While increased temperature would work the other way, at present, it can be observed that this is overbalanced by the contrary effect from the increased concentration of CO^2 in the air.

    It’s not like this is top secret stuff. The deniers are being simply dishonest.

    11 Mar 2007, 06:34

  25. Greg K

    Many thanks for your response Zhou, it must have taken a while to write and your effort in doing so is much apreciated.

    I need to spend time to consider the evidence in a balanced way before I feel in any state to be able to believe that gobal warming is or is not caused by man. Your post gives me much to consider and is much appreciated.

    I am not a scientist although I very much enjoyed science throughout my education. I would realy like to be referred to a link to a website that collates all the evidence for and against. Does such a thing exist or is this issue too politically polarised to enable a balanced website to exist? Second best would be a website that summarises (in not too much of a dumbed down way) the evidence for man made global warming – and if it could take on board and respond to the main criticisms of the man made theory then that would be great.

    Zhou, if you could direct me to the best website for this I would be very grateful.

    12 Mar 2007, 22:52

  26. Nick D

    Zhou,

    I’m afraid that the way you present yourself in this discussion is symptomatic of the emotive nature of the issue. It is immensley unhelpful for anyone to be so horribly concrete in their opinions. It is possible that your analysis is entirely correct; it is more likely that it is partly correct; it is possible that it is entirely incorrect. Whatever the truth, value of your contribution is greatly diminished by your closed mind. There is a good quote from Dandemis (I think!) ... “Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.”

    Keep thinking
    Nick

    19 Mar 2007, 16:26

  27. David Bartley

    The Hadley Institute arm of the UK Met Office publishes global temperatures month-by-month (since 1850). This is the address:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3vgl.txt

    In the columns, which are not labelled, Jan-Dec figures are listed, followed by the annual average. They are given as deviations from the 1961-90 average.

    I was astonished to discover that while the global temperature increased between about 1980 and 2000, since 2001 it has been remarkably stable. In fact, along with 1870 and 1910, it is the most stable it has ever been. Of course, this doesn’t disprove that global warming is occurring, but it does make me wonder if temperatures really will continue to rise. Why can’t they fall now? It will be interesting to see what happens next.

    Another observation: between Nov 1996 and Feb 1998, the average global temperature increased by an incredible 0.67 degrees, before falling again. This clearly wasn’t because of CO2, so what did cause it? And can this cause not be the reason for global warming as a whole? Can anyone answer these questions?

    02 Jul 2007, 16:59

  28. Your second observation can be explained by solar activity, which is of course what drives all weather in the first place. A quick websearch led me to this site – put in November 1996 on the plotter and you’ll see that it’s a trough of solar activity, with a sharp increase beyond this date. And this is the cause of global warming as a whole – regardless of what the might infer, it is the sun that will cause any change in temperature or weather conditions. If the IPCC etc are right, then what humanity are doing is altering the way in which the sun affects the climate – understanding the sun’s relationship with the climate is key to climate change. To suggest that humanity is directly causing such predicted changes in weather is to overstate our influence quite drastically.

    02 Jul 2007, 21:35

  29. Zhou

    Rubbish.

    The explanation is very simple: El Nino.

    1998 was an El Nino year. The years following it are not. For evidence, we have direct satellite measurements showing the activity on that year. (http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/guides/mtr/eln/gifs/rcnt1.gif)

    Certainly the sun does affect the weather. But the effect is in fact well understood and calculated, regardless of whatever gut feelings armchair theorists may have.

    04 Jul 2007, 22:33

  30. Zhou

    Now, to continue, if you need evidence that the 1998 anomaly was not due to solar activity, pick a date on Chris’ sunspot chart of 1993 – then you can see that the behaviour he described occurs in 11 year cycles, and so the same sunspot activity was in fact recorded in 1987 – and yet, there is no corresponding blip in temperature at that date. Ergo, his hypothesis fails its predictive test.

    PS: This blog is set to disappear pretty soon, since I graduated. Man, I’ve wasted my time.

    04 Jul 2007, 22:38

  31. Peter Jungmann

    Please… please we’re not called global warming “deniers” we prefer to be called global warming “infidels.” Please show us a little bit of respect and use the label we’ve chosen for ourselves.

    16 Jul 2007, 23:56


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