2/07/2009

Ice, snow, and those who deny global warming

The last few days of snow has seen radio and TV shows reporting a rise in emails and texts from people rather triumphantly claiming that the current weather proves there is no global warming.

To answer in short, what a bunch of idiots.

In any weather cycle, we have extremes, varying from the very hot to the very cold, and as one meteorologist made clear yesterday, the snow we have had this week was, 30 years ago, a once in every five years event. Now we only get it every 20 years.

Then there is the issue of temperatures, which despite the relative cold of this week, still show the mean average rising year on year. Even last summer, a dull and rather uninspiring cloudy 3 months, average temperatures rose compared to previous years.

And finally, you only have to look on the internet for a few minutes for current evidence that shows how looking at the weather in one small part of the world (the UK) cannot prove anything. Take for example Australia, which is currently suffering a long heatwave unprecedented in recent years leading to wild fires.

No, it does stun me just how ignorant the global warming deniers are. They might disagree about the causes, bu the evidence of climate change is overwhelming.

Update :

In order to make the point cleare and after a host of anonymous, semi abusive posters sent me almost identical links seemingly from a "We don't think Climate Change Exists" website, I'll post the following piece of evidence from the Met Office Website.

It states, as some have pointed out, that 2008 was slightly cooler (over 12 months) than in 2007, but was still one of the top ten warmest years on record. It also explains why 2008 was cooler, with the facts not really suiting the deniers arguments.

By the way, we can all report one crank report from one obscure university but this is not really going to impress me.

The right wing really have got to ask themselves why they alone want to be so against the climate change agenda.

18 comments:

westbromblogger said...

I agree Nick how people can point to a cold snap and say, look no warming, is beyond me. Don't they remmeber their school Geography lessons, the difference between weather and climate.

They often point out that last year was on average colder than 2007 but it was still the 12 warmest on record. The general trend is unmistakably of a climate warming.

Mark Reckons said...

Totally agree Nich.

On Question Time the other night Nigel Farage (leader of UKIP) made some disparaging comment about global warming in the context of the recent cold weather. Later on an audience member made the comment that with global warming, the weather in the UK would likely actually get much colder. Farage's response was an incredulous "Really!?".

Now I assume that what the audience member was referring to is the gulf stream which could be weakened or even switched off by global warming.

I am not a climate scientist but I do try to keep abreast of the issues and for the leader of a fairly large political party in the UK to not even be aware of this but to still feel free to make sneering remarks about the cold weather appearing to disprove global warming is a pretty sorry state of affairs.

Julian Gall said...

The reason so many are sceptical is perhaps because of the insults directed at those who dare to question. Sure, a cold winter doesn't prove that there is no global warming but those who accept global warming did seem to be saying that there would be no more cold winters, that ski resorts would close for ever etc. Even the Met Office last Spetember was forecasting that this winter would be one of the milder ones. They have today issued an apology and pointed out that their seasonal forecasts are only correct 2 out of 3 times. Well, when they predicted a mild winter they didn't point out how unreliable their prediction was likely to be. Are you surprised that people are sceptical?

Also, you merrily state that "temperatures, which despite the relative cold of this week, still show the mean average rising year on year". I have just downloaded the source data for the UK from the Met Office here http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/data/download.html and the figures don't show that at all. 2008 was cooler than any year since 2001. 2005-2008 on average were cooler than 2000-2004. Anyone with a spreadsheet can do the same calculations. For how long can temperatures carry on reducing before people start to wonder whether the world is still warming up?

Have you actually checked the evidence yourself when you say it is "overwhelming" or are you just repeating what you've heard?

Of course, most scientists accept global warming. That's a fact. What is worrying to me is not that some people "deny" it but that anyone who does is shouted down and made out to be an idiot. Perhaps some of the doubters have actually studied this in more depth than you have and have reasons for their doubts.

Tony Sharp said...

Seeing as the warming has arrested since 1997, and 2007 and 2008 saw cooling it seems a bit disingenuous for people to keep claiming global warming is getting worse.

Climate changes. It always has and always will. We have had a warm spell, but evidence ignored by Michael Mann (of hockey stick fame) shows the world has been warmer.

The real issue is whether mankind has been responsible for the warming that has been easing off. No proof has ever been offered, only computer simulation models and projections.

When a number of scientists asserted the sun's activity was paramount in determining what happens to our climate, the 'warmists' went into to overdrive to rubbish the claims. They said it had to be mankind, end of.

But evidence that Mars has also been warming at the same time as Earth clearly suggests solar forces are at play. The hypotheses is collapsing, so people like Al Gore and James Hansen are desperately redoubling their efforts to assert mankind is the problem.

You can understand why people are now rejecting the so called consensus, even if they struggle to understand the difference between weather and climate. The evidence thus far undermines the claims of AGW.

westbromblogger said...

Also climate change would have the effect of making extreme weather more likely. E.g. the slowdown of the gulf stream, and possible ceasing would see Britain facing far colder and longer winters.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to hear what you use for references; the Met Office and all other major sites show temperatures have been falling for eight years while CO2 has been rising:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/science/monitoring/hadcrut3.html

Glacier retreats started in 1825 and have been at a steady rate, unaffected by CO2:
http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm

Sea level rise has slowed to a crawl since 2005:
http://sealevel.colorado.edu/index.php

Not one of the models based on CO2, as is the Met Office's, forecast this cold spell.

Perhaps it's because their models are deeply flawed and don't allow for a factor first reported in 1801 - the sun's magnetic activity, for which there IS a correlation:
http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm again

Norfolk Blogger said...

Julian and tony. I wrote re last summer. Met office figures for last SUMMER show a slight increase since 07.

NORFOLK COAST said...

Those who claim there's no such thing as climate change are the flat earthers of modern times.

Julian Gall said...

"Those who claim there's no such thing as climate change are the flat earthers of modern times"

This illustrates my point exactly. Some people are not prepared to listen to any arguments or evidence that might cast doubt on global warming being caused by man-made CO2. As far as they're concerned the question has been decided and anyone who suggests otherwise is beneath contempt.

Norfolk Coast doesn't present any data, doesn't link to any examples, doesn't answer any of the points made by previous commenters. He kmnows what he knows and no evidence or questions raised will make him alter his view. He probably doesn't even feel the need to study either side of the argument, even the one he supports.

Who, exactly, is the flat earther here?

Norfolk Blogger said...

Those people from the same source, posting anonymously the same set of selective links WILL find their comments unpublished.

Newmania said...

The problem is that those in favour of global warming ( and I meant that ) do so with a specific political objective. It is the objective of all manufactured emergencies a power grab and suspension of accountability it is usually conceived as a reason for collectivist of elitist solutions such a socialism of or the EU. There is no reason for this but the join between science of politics is awfully fuzzy
It is not neutral , the scientists pulled on side make a living from it and can no more be trusted that th economists who have so conspicuously been talking arse for a decade when ordinary people sniffed a rodent . We get no honesty from the warmers either , if they wanted to be taken seriously they would admit that alarmist and misleading material has demonstrably been used by the emergency men.
Here is the problem
The amount of ice in the world is increasing . Fact . Glaciers which are getting larger have been filmed in Spring and shown as dramatic examples of global warming , also fact . The is called lying .
It is also true that if you turn off the freezer it fills with ice , that’s is why in the ant artic ice is increasing but in the Artic where it is on the sea , for the most part it is shrinking . Here you have an ice cube in warm water effect
So I am not a denier but that does not means signing up for being patronised and lead into world government via treaties or collectivist responses . Neither do I regard scientists as essentially different to any other lobbying group in this area.
So when catastrophe enthusiasts talk about the obdurate unreasonableness the deniers they ought to think a little harder about who started lying why they started and what they can do to clean their act up.

Tony Sharp said...

As I recall the statistical information from the four authorities who record temperatures showed a reduction. The IPCC accepted temperatures had fallen too.

If you are taking the UK in isolation I seem to remember average night time temperatures not dropping as much due to cloud cover. But daytime figures were down.

Julian Gall said...

I see you've added an update to make clear that 2008 was one of the ten warmest years but not part of a continuously increasing trend. Thank you.

I have a question, and I've not got this from any web site and I'm not "the right wing".

If global warming had ceased and we were entering a period of cooling, what would we expect to see? Would we not not see a year that, while still warm, was a little cooler than the last few years? i.e. Exactly like last year.

Is it not reasonable to ask those who want vast sums spent on combatting global warming to explain why what we're seeing is not what they predicted (even the Met Office)? When they look at the evidence of a cooler year, how do they know the difference between a blip in the trend of global warming and an end to global warming? You can't help thinking their argument would be: "it's the former because global warming exists".

It would be nice if they said: "we didn't predict this and if we see that the next year is cooler and the one after that, we'll have to rethink our theory". But they never say that. Their view is the right one and anyone who disagrees is a heretic. Whatever happens to the temperature, they'll incorporate it into their theory when the time comes. Some might say this is not very good scientific practice.

I quite understand your comment policy and if people have been sending you stuff anonymously under some sort of coordinated campaign, I'm not surprised you won't approve them.

I try to read everything I can about climate change on both sides and all I can say is, there are loonies and blinkered thinkers on both sides. However, there are also thougtful people who look at all the evidence they can find and come to the conclusion that things are by no means as clear cut as either side would like everyone to believe.

Another interesting aspect of this is that, in the past before the internet, we just had to believe what politicians and scientists told us. Few had access to scientific journals. No one could obtain the raw data and check things for themselves. There are still things like Iraq where we didn't manage it but I'm not sure that would happen again in that way. I would hope you, as a Liberal, support this. We need to see more freedom of information and more people prepared to challenge what we're told. I hope you can accept, just a little bit, they even if you yourself firmly accept global warming, it isn't a wholly bad thing that some do not. Both sides need to base their views on the evidence and, so long as they do that, we should reach the right conslusions.

Anonymous said...

Beats me why you equate AGW scepticism with being "right wing".

What on earth do you imagine the connection is?

I am just a scientist who tries to apply the experimental method to what he is told.

I am told that increased CO2 results in higher temperatures. I look at the data, and I find htat CO2 has increased continuously over the last eleven years or so, but that temperature has not. In fact, recently it has declined slightly.

So, that's that hypothesis disproved then. Next?

And as for poking fun at people who claim one cold winter is significant, well you're quite right; but do you imagine that if this winter had been the warmest in twenty years, rather than the coldest, Al Gore & Co would be maintaining a dignified silence because, after all, it's only weather?

Norfolk Blogger said...

Anonymous (Why do people post anonymously anyway ??)

If you really don't udnerstand why I made reference to the right wing then you are not really a good source of information.

in the US, it is the Republican Party that has most global warming deniers whilst in the UK it is Conservatives.

This is not an exclusive thing as not all Tories are deniers and not all Republicans are, but taken as an average.

I am shocked you did not know this.

NORFOLK COAST said...

"He kmnows what he knows and no evidence or questions raised will make him alter his view...."

There's a stack of information out there on both climate change and the flat earth debate.

Much of it written by people who can also spell.

I'll do my best to summarise.

Many years ago, there were these animals called dinosaurs and they lived in big forests.

They didn't kmnow it at the time - bearing in mind they weren't that well-endowed in the brain department - but there was this ice age and they all died.

All the forests got turned into stuff called coal and oil deposits under the earth.

As life moved on, people had an industrial revolution and found ways of burning fossil fuels (the stuff under the earth...) to power it.

Then they invented something really smart called the internal combusion engine.

But what they didn't kmnow was that the a by-product of this and burning coal was the emissions of gases, which floated up into the earth's atmosphere.

These gases - we now kmnow - affect something called the ozone layer, which protects the earth from the heating of the Sun's radiation.

As it became damaged, this began to affect our climate. This in turn led to polar ice caps melting.

This is leading to shifts in ocean currents, rising sea levels and helping to speed up the general trend of global warming.

We also now kmnow trees help filter carbon from our atmosphere and we've cut down lots of them in places called the rain forests, so there aren't as many left to perform this important role.

Meanwhile, re-winding a bit if you'll excuse the indulgence, there used to be people who thought the earth was flat.

Then some astronomers and explorer types came along and mathematically proved it was round (ish) and came up with ideas like the Solar System, planetary orbits, discovered new continents etc.

They were dissed by the flat earthers but later proven right, ie the Earth wasn't really flat after all.

I reckon that pretty well nails it down for now.

Julian Gall said...

"in the US, it is the Republican Party that has most global warming deniers whilst in the UK it is Conservatives."

You are correct, of course, but the implication is rather worrying. It is that people who believe in global warming do so in part because people politically like them believe it. Those who think otherwise do so for exactly the same reason.

Conversely, one side distrusts the other for political reasons as much as scientific.

You rally to your argument the suggestion that global warming sceptics are "right wing". i.e. We don't agree with their politics so we shouldn't trust their science. That's precisely what drives many "deniers". They can't stand the left so the science must be wrong.

Is it any wonder the argument carries on?

J said...

"The right wing really have got to ask themselves why they alone want to be so against the climate change agenda."

Because the Left have adopted it as a great excuse to tax us. They don;t care if it's true or not so long as people believe it.

That's presumably why anyone who dares to question the received wisdom in public gets ostracised.

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