Please look at the whole picture

Image from Climate Nexus website (click to download PDF)

As Ugo Bardi says on The Frog That Jumped Out blog, this is…

A remarkably effective set of data from “Climate Nexus”. Warming has not stopped and, yet, the “warming has stopped” meme remains alive and well…

This also provides the proper context in which to view the ridiculous statements of people like Viscount Ridley – a perfectly intelligent and well-respected zoologist – who seems to have allowed antecedent libertarian ideology to blind him to the nature of reality to such an extent that he can say this kind of thing:

When the history of the global warming scare comes to be written, a chapter should be devoted to the way the message had to be altered to keep the show on the road…

If not ideologically-prejudiced, is Ridley just willfully-blind? Please click here to vote! N.B. This survey (question) will open in a new window (other options are available).

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About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Climate Science, Cognitive Dissonance, Environment, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to Please look at the whole picture

  1. Reblogged this on thejumbledmind and commented: Putting the skeptic’s climate change denial into perspective with a very good visual representation…

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  2. Oakwood says:

    Clever stuff prepared by a good communications expert (some would say ‘spin doctor’). Graph 1: Disregards the fact that Antarctic sea ice reached a record max in the same year. But of course there’s another, natural explanation for that. Just remember: evidence of warming is definitely man-made; evidence of cooling/not-warming is natural. [This completely fails to address the fact that an ice-free Arctic is going to wreak havoc with climate in both hemispheres. Meanwhile: (1) most of Antarctica will only warm up once the manmade hole in the ozone hole has been repaired; (2) the PIG glacier on the WAIS is amongst those melting the fastest; and (3) the Antarctic Peninsula is the fastest-warming place in the Southern hemisphere. Finally, of course, cooling may be anthropogenic too (i.e. ‘global dimming’ caused by aerosols and particulates). – ML] Graph 2: Given that the average global temperature rose by about 0.8 Celsius during the 20th Century (and no-one disputes that), it’s only to be expected that glaciers recede. With a 20 to 30 yr delay in response, they may soon stop receding. [They will only stop receding after the 0.6W/m2 energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere is eliminated and the oceans stop soaking up all the extra energy trapped by GHGs, which is the driving force behind more frequent and more intense storms, floods, droughts, wildfires, etc.. – ML] Graph 3: Looks like its based on the recent Marcott et al paper…. [Repetition of previously falsified argument has been deleted. Furthermore, all such criticism of reconstruction of Marcott et al (i.e. much more than the 2k-yr graph shown here) has been comprehensively rebutted at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/03/response-by-marcott-et-al/. – ML] Graph 4: It is the AGW-believers who have put all the emphasis on the atmospheric temperature record. Throughout the 80s and 90s, the atmospheric temperature curve was all that was needed to demonstrate impending doom. Its only since the hiatus in atmospheric temperature rise that AGW scientists have turned their focus to ocean heat. [The only reason we have to go on about ocean heat is because those seeking to obfuscate reality repeatedly focus on the only data that supports policy inaction (i.e. a 15 year hiatus following at least 50 years of rapid atmospheric warming that cannot be explained without reference to GHGs). Furthermore, 0.8 Celsius in 100 years is between 5 and 10 times faster than is natural. – ML] Graph 5: As for glaciers, with a 0.8 Celsius rise over the 20th Century, a rise in sea level is to be expected. [This comment completely fails to address the fact that SLR is very clearly accelerating and that this cannot be explained unless warming due to GHGs is far greater than all the causes of the hiatus. – ML] Graph 6: Ditto. [I see very little justification for your laissez-faire attitude in this or any of the other graphs. If we wait until it is obvious that you are mistaken, it will be too late to stop the runaway greenhouse effect that will be caused by all the positive feeedback mechanisms now coming into play. – ML]

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  3. Oakwood says:

    Rick. Thank you for highlighting the Real Climate post on Marcott et al, which I was aware of and, which, along with my own reading of their paper and supporting materials, is where I drew my own comments. I quote directly from the Real Climate post, in which the (Marcott et al) authors state:

    Q: What do paleotemperature reconstructions show about the temperature of the last 100 years? A: Our global paleotemperature reconstruction includes a so-called “uptick” in temperatures during the 20th-century. However, in the paper we make the point that this particular feature is of shorter duration than the inherent smoothing in our statistical averaging procedure, and that it is based on only a few available paleo-reconstructions of the type we used. Thus, the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions. [N.B. Emphasis here added by ML.]

    Thus, the authors confirm what I said about their results, and which you censored. If you know better than the authors, perhaps you should advise them.

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    • Rick Altman says:

      I have not censored your comments, Oakwood. I have merely deleted your repetitious insistance that such reconstructions cannot prove that recent warmth/warming is unprecedented. I too quote from the Real Climate rebuttal:

      Q: Is the rate of global temperature rise over the last 100 years faster than at any time during the past 11,300 years? A: Our study did not directly address this question because the paleotemperature records used in our study have a temporal resolution of ~120 years on average, which precludes us from examining variations in rates of change occurring within a century… We showed that no temperature variability is preserved in our reconstruction at cycles shorter than 300 years, 50% is preserved at 1000-year time scales, and nearly all is preserved at 2000-year periods and longer. Our Monte-Carlo analysis accounts for these sources of uncertainty to yield a robust (albeit smoothed) global record. Any small “upticks” or “downticks” in temperature that last less than several hundred years in our compilation of paleoclimate data are probably not robust, as stated in the paper.

      You have thus cherry-picked the only quotation capable of supporting your laissez-faire position. Furthermore, it is you (not me) that seems to know better than the authors. [N.B. Please also note my emphasis of the final part of your selective quotation, above.]

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      • Oakwood says:

        Intriguing. Your quote choice also confirms what I said about Marcott et al, so its not clear what you’re getting at. Could you explain where you think my comments on Marcott et al are incorrect or misleading? I know they did not claim their results showed 20th C warming was exceptional. But the press releases and much of the publicity around it certainly did. I have also seen you post it in the past as ‘the latest hockey stick’. If your Graph 3 is derived from Marcott et al (which it looks like to me, albeit only the last 2000 years), then it is also misrepresenting their findings. I say Marcot et al does not show 20thC warming is exceptional. Marcott et al also say that in the two quotes we have presented. So what is your dispute?

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      • Rick Altman says:

        With the greatest of respect, Oakwood, I think you are indulging in pointless semantics. It is you that needs to explain what you understand the main conclusions of Marcott et al to be (i.e. the conclusions that the authors point out are not dependent upon the robustness of 20th Century proxy data)? For the avoidance of any doubt, I understand these remarks (of the authors) to mean that 20th Century warmth is almost certainly unprecedented in >11k years (because it is unreasonable to suggest proxy data have failed to capture any evidence of short duration peaks). What I am therefore disputing is the fact that you repeatedly try to suggest the opposite. If you have access to academic papers, I humbly suggest that you need to place Marcott et al in the wider context of 2.8 Million Years of Arctic Climate Change from Lake El’gygytgyn in Russia. Although this study provides a good example of scientists not finding what they expected (i.e. data reveal some periods much warmer than 21st Century), it does not give us any reason to dispute the reality – or be complacent about the consequences – of ACD (i.e. driving the Earth to such elevated temperatures and sea level much faster than it would do naturally).

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      • Oakwood says:

        “Thus, the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.” “Any small “upticks” or “downticks” in temperature that last less than several hundred years in our compilation of paleoclimate data are probably not robust, as stated in the paper.” The uptick at the end of your Graph 3 (clearly taken from Marcott et al’s Fig 1C) is the very one they say is “not robust”, and therefore should not be used to claim it shows late 20thC temps are warmer. Thus the only way to conclude 20thC temperatures are warmer or rising faster is by comparing the instrumental thermometer data to the highly smoothed proxy data, whereas they same themselves state “We showed that no temperature variability is preserved in our reconstruction at cycles shorter than 300 years”.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        Yet more semantics, Oakwood. The only reason I am continuing this exchange is because I think you dig yourself into an increasingly large hole. To repeat, therefore, even if the rate of warming cannot be proved to be unprecedented, it is very hard indeed to dismiss the evidence that the warmth itself is unprecedented. I am inclined to think that what George Monbiot once said about David Bellamy applies to you also:

        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 your palm. 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.

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  4. Oakwood says:

    Of course, these comments apply specifically to the use of Marcott et al. If Climate Nexus had used another hockey stick graph, then the discussion would be different. Back to the divergence problem.

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    • Rick Altman says:

      What divergence problem is that, Oakwood? Far from being evidence of scientific subterfuge, the infamous “hide the decline” email merely illustrates how, unable to explain why proxy data has suddenly diverged from the instrumental record in the last few decades, the scientists chose to use the latter because it is clearly correct. This might be reason to be wary of relying upon it to make assertions about palaeo-climatic conditions if there were only one kind of proxy data (i.e. tree rings). However, the reality is that we have all kinds of proxy data (coral growth records and all kinds of isotope ratios from ice cores and sea floor sediments) and they are all telling us the same thing. The Industrial Revolution has ended 800k years of atmospheric CO2 oscillating between 180 and 280 ppm. We are now quite clearly, at 400 ppm CO2, way outside the envelope of glacial and interglacial conditions, so we are definitely not just coming out of the Little Ice Age (LIA). All life on Earth has just about survived glacial episodes but, by ending the 12k years of relative climate and sea level stability since the last Ice Age, humans are now driving the Earth towards a new climate state (i.e. warmer than interglacial conditions). The LIA and MWP were almost certainly caused by great solar minimums (GSMs) but all the evidence of 20th Century indicates that atmospheric warming caused by 40% extra CO2 is much greater than the cooling effect of a 1% reduction in total solar irradiance in a GSM. Thus, we are back to the ‘mountain of evidence’ problem; and the question is: ‘Are you still hunting for unsatisfying crumbs?’

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      • Oakwood says:

        Regarding Marcott et al, you fail to explain where I have misinterpreted their conclusions or explain why it is ‘right’ to present their uptick as a new hockey stick. Regarding the divergence problem – well at least you admit it exists. “unable to explain why proxy data has suddenly diverged from the instrumental record in the last few decades, the scientists chose to use the latter because it is clearly correct.” This is the most naive and childish justification for replacing incorrect proxy data with instrumental data. It really is desperate. Simply, if the proxy data cannot reliably reproduce modern temperatures, they cannot be relied on for any period in the past when we don’t have instrumental data. You refer to ‘other’ proxies. But can you find one that reliably reproduces temperatures back beyond 2000 years or so, as well as modern temperatures? As said before, we will never agree, and I doubt anyone else is looking in.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        You are of course entirely free to dismiss as “childish” my dealing with a persistent feeling of deja-vu by simply being concise… However, this does not make it any more likely that you (or Steve McIntyre whom you perpetually seem to imitate) are right and, therefore, that the majority of climate scientists are stupid, mistaken, or lying to us (whichever it is you believe changes the odds very little)… Furthermore, what I would call “desperate” is dismissing the scientific consensus as simply an argument from authority by relying, somewhat bizarrely, upon the expertise of your own cherry-picked (but repeatedly-discredited) authority or, even worse, by relying upon your own supposed expertise… Here, of course, we are back to the fallacy of the marketplace of ideas

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  5. Patrice Ayme says:

    Plutophiles deny global warming. It goes with the territory they love: heat, fire, smoke, money…

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  6. Oakwood says:

    Its a pity you follow Monbiot in trying to present David Bellamy as stupid. He has done more than most for our generation to promote a love for the natural environment. He has laid down in front of bulldozers for the cause. I have little doubt he has done more than you to promote and protect the natural environment, so,it is a shame to see your ease in disparaging him. If you’ve done more, I apologise, but less us know what. It is also obvious how Monbiot has pretty well stopped writing about climate change. He used to have an article a week. He is clearly having some doubts. He is disappointed the AGW believers are not doing a better job at defending their position. He is now sitting and waiting, and certainly not as clear cut convinced as he was. With 2013 on course to be no more than the 9th warmest year on record, that’s not so surprising. You, like most AGW faithful are begging for hotter temperatures just to prove you are right.

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    • Rick Altman says:

      If you think no-one else is reading this, that implies you are just trying to annoy me. However, you are not annoying me; you are boring me. No matter how many times your arguments are falsified, you just repeat them. The suggestion that concern regarding ACD is an irrational faith-based position being a case in point.

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  7. Oakwood says:

    Rick, you make so many funny comments. “Furthermore, what I would call “desperate” is dismissing the scientific consensus as simply an argument from authority” I think you claim to be a scientist. But being a scientist has nothing to do with ‘I believe because its the consensus’ . You must know that. Being a scientist means understanding the arguments and making rational conclusions, regardless of the ‘consensus’. We accept the round Earth and evolution, not because of a ‘consensus’ , but because of sound evidence. That is also why I am an atheist, although in many countries and quarters, that would be considered ‘against the consensus’.

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  8. Oakwood says:

    Rick, the pro-AGW community routinely applies vicious and derogatory personal attacks on AGW-sceptics in place of legitimate discussion and debate. David Bellamy is an example. David Attenborough would have had the same treatment if he had not undergone a ‘conversion’. That itself is justification for anonymity. Given your history of your style of addressing those who don’t agree with you, I would be concerned you may start sending unpleasant messages about me to my employers, clients, etc.

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    • Rick Altman says:

      This is just more fanciful reality inversion. Given the amount of hate-mail and harassment climate scientists have received as a result of trying to encourage our politicians to take ACD seriously, I would love to see some evidence to back up your assertion that the opposite is also true (to anything like the same extent). If you think I have been rude to you then you must lead a very sheltered life (or be incredibly sensitive to criticism). However, I think this is yet more feigned indignation from you (so as to excuse yourself from rebutting my arguments). With regard to David Bellamy, I refer you to John Havery Samuel’s response below.

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  9. Bellamy complained in November 2008 that his dissent from global warming has resulted in rejection for his BBC TV programme ideas. However, The Guardian newspaper has pointed out that Bellamy stopped making television programmes in 1994, some ten years before his first public statement showed scepticism about climate change. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bellamy

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  10. I can understand the desire for anonymity. http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-games-climate-science-legal-defense-fund.html. I have anonymous so-called sceptics attack me regularly: attempting to hi-jack Facebook accounts, trying to find my employer to complain (oh, the disappointment when they find I’ve retired), accusing me of a variety of sexual perversions (remarkably consistent) and writing to me, personally and persistently, to complain that I won’t let them comment on my blog (go write your own blog). Is there, perchance, an element of projection being displayed?

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  11. Oakwood says:

    Your ‘evidence’ against David Bellamy amounts to this: a link to Wkipedia (amateur encyclopedia), which then links to an article in The Guardian which says exactly this: “David Bellamy, Television presenter Key claim Has denounced global warming as “popycock” and “lies” and said he was stopped from making TV programmes because of his views on climate change. Could it be true? Bellamy stopped making programmes in 1994 but his first sceptical public statement about climate change was in 2004.” So The Guardian ‘evidence’ is simply a statement with nothing to back it up. Of course its enough for you because it gives the ‘right’ answer. If either of you have done more to promote protection of the natural environment than Bellamy, please let us know. (I know I haven’t). BTW. Just don’t forget to shout when global warming kicks in again.

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    • Oh, I think the Guardian is reputable enough. The Altman of a reputable counter on your part has reduced you to bluster. Global warming continues unabated. http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/06/19/why-you-sound-so-stupid-when-you-say-global-warming-has-stopped/

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      • Oakwood says:

        Quoting form your link headed: Why you sound so stupid when you say “global warming has stopped” “when the temperature goes up less in the atmosphere than expected, we can guess that the “missing” heat went into the Ocean or one of the other places heat might go.” A ‘guess’. Yes that’s about it. So, those who don’t go along with this ‘guess’ are “stupid”. And that’s climate science? If seeing the Emperor naked = ‘stupid’, that’s ok with me. Don’t forget to should when global temperatures start to rise again.

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      • More of your bluster? Ok, then. All the other “plateaus” moved up. Tell me why this one won’t?

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      • Rick Altman says:

        Did you see Simon Reeves’ ‘Indian Ocean’ programme last night, Oakwood? If not, I would highly recommend it. This pulls into sharp focus the inverted nature of your alternative reality: As with over-fishing being recognised as a serious problem by those doing it, sea level rise, ocean warming and acidification (all requiring very small changes to be catastrophic, as they are, in places like the Maldives) are all consequences of there being 7 billion people on the planet. These problems will not be solved by wishful thinking and, no matter how many times you repeat it, claiming that global warming has stopped is wishful thinking in the extreme. For the record, therefore, global temperatures (already the warmest in 12k years) will start rising as soon as industrial pollution in developing countries is reduced and, in the meantime, we continue to see the consequences of the warming oceans played out in front of our eyes (if they are open that is).

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      • Oakwood says:

        In answer to JHS For the same reason we could not be sure about the cause of the temperature rise from 1979 to 2000, we cannot be sure on the reasons its stopped/paused. For that earlier rise, the AGW-camp insisted the rise (at least the majority of it) ‘can ONLY be explained by CO2 emissions, the science is settled on that’. AGW sceptics said, ‘no you can’t be so sure. Its a reasonable enough theory, but we cannot yet rule out natural causes.’ Now, the rise has stopped or paused, the AGW-camp now insist this is natural causes (ocean currents moving the heat downwards) over-riding the manmade upward trend. But then of course, it could also be aerosols causing global dimming. During the rise, those who said ‘hang on, it could be caused by this or that’ were described as deniers, contrarians, liars, etc. Now the name-callers are saying the pause ‘could be caused by this or that’, while the AGW-sceptics are remaining consistent by saying ‘we can’t rule out natural causes’.

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      • All the other “plateaus” moved up. Tell me why this one won’t.

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      • Oakwood says:

        JHS, yes, you’re right, I didn’t directly answer your specific question. The answer, which comes out of my wider comments, is: we don’t know if and when this plateau will move up. We do not yet understand the highly complex causes of global temperature change to predict what will happen next.

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      • So, every other plateau has resulted in a rise. The sea is rising. The sea ice is melting. Glaciers shrink. Oceans warm…and acidify. Oh well. I guess Planck was right.

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      • Oakwood says:

        “The sea is rising. The sea ice is melting. Glaciers shrink. Oceans warm…and acidify.” Sea ice has been melting, yes in the Arctic. But expanding in the Antarctic. Sea level has risen 120 metres in the past 12,000 years (average 1m per century). It rose a small 25cm over the 20th as temperatures rose around 0.8 degC. [This may sound minimal but it is 5 to 10 times faster than is natural. – ML] As temperatures have risen since the end of the Little Ice Age, glaciers have receded. No surprise there. (In 1700s Europe they were scared of expanding glaciers engulfing villages.) And the lag response is 20 to 30 years. Oceans warmed along with the atmosphere. No surprise. ‘Acidify’? Describe a change in pH from 8.2 to 8.1 (a slight reduction in alkalinity, and much less than daily or seasonal variability) as ‘acidification’ – which to the public is associated with burning and bleaching. That’s scarey. [Obfuscation deleted – The reduction in pH required to endanger the viability shellfish and corals is very minimal and is already being observed. – ML] In any case, none of this evidence says a thing about the link between CO2 and temperature. All it demonstrates is that when the world warms (by 0.8 degC in the past 120 years), we see evidence of warming.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        I am getting very tired of this, Oakwood. If you continue to repeat yourself, your comments will be deleted and/or you will be bAltmanlisted. I refer you back to the refutations inserted in your very first comment on this page. Please consider this to be your final warning and note especially that not repeating yourself includes not bleating about censorship (etc). This is not censorship: You are just being a troll; and I have had enough of it.

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      • Global sea ice at its lowest, http://davidappell.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/peak-global-sea-ice-is-lowest-in.html. You may not be able to rule out yet to be discovered natural causes. The consensus does. My bet is on them.

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      • Pfft, Scientists. Slower warming over the next decade? Shame no-one said so. Oh, they did? Pfft.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7376301.stm

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  12. Oakwood says:

    Rick – some points I agree with you there. Over population, over-fishing, pollution are all massive problems we need to deal with to ensure a sustainable planet. My whole argument against the AGW scare is two-fold. (i) that it is simply not backed up by the evidence and science (the temperature pause is a clear demonstration the science is not as ‘settled’ as claimed until very recently) (ii) it is diverting attention, money, time and effort from addressing much more genuine and immediate global and local problems. (Example: which is the best action to stop flood damage and death? (a) stop CO2 emissions, or (b) don’t build on, live on, or disrupt natural flood plains?) A very large risk is the cry wolf effect. If the temperature pause stays, then there will be a massive loss in confidence in the green movement, and of science in general. As usual, you assume that being AGW-sceptic means not caring about society and environment. You are wrong.

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    • Rick Altman says:

      Oakwood, I had not forgotten that you claim to be concerned about these things. However, you appear to have forgotten to refute my basic critique of your position, which is this: In insisting that the science is still uncertain, you are essentially saying that the vast majority of relevantly qualified experts are either fools or liars. Instead, you just find new ways to assert that the recent hiatus invalidates concern about the bulk of 20th Century warming being anthropogenic. Sadly, however, it does not do this: We are way beyond the point of unreasonable doubt and, therefore, you are almost certainly wrong.

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  13. Oakwood says:

    “I am getting very tired of this, Oakwood. If you continue to repeat yourself, your comments will be deleted and/or you will be bAltmanlisted.” Your blogsite, you’re welcome to do as you please. But, of course, I do not change my science-based judgement because you tell me I should or because you link to a very one-sided pro-AGW ‘communications’ website.

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    • Rick Altman says:

      Yet more insistence from you that AGW is a matter of ‘belief’ (and yet more failure to falsify my argument that rejection of the scientific consensus necessitates belief that it is unreliable or unreasonable). Consequently, your judgement appears to be a very long way from being science-based. Please feel entirely free not to post any more comments (as I reserve the right to delete them unless you say something new).

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  14. Oakwood says:

    Basically, you don’t like people saying things you don’t agree with, unless they get a light-bulb moment of seeing the light of your wisdom. I placed an initial comment regarding your post, but the rest of the discussion is addressing comments and questions put back to me. It would be strange if you see ‘wrong’ in posting comments on a blog that disagree with the blog owner. You have certainly done it yourself, sometimes quite rigorously.

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    • Rick Altman says:

      If this is a reference to the ill-advised way in which I stormed into Judith Curry’s ‘Climate Etc.’ blog over 15 months ago, I have acknowledged numerous times that I was too aggressive. However, my criticism of Professor Lindzen remains unfalsified (as do my rebutals of all your substantive points in you opening comment). If this is a reference to anything else that I may have said out of frustration with you, I am fed up apologising to you. Furthermore, your behaviour on this page (i.e. indulging in semantic debate, circular arguments and obfuscation) demonstrates that you are not learning from your mistakes; and do not deserve being offered any more apologies.

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  15. Oakwood says:

    [This repetitious evidence-free re-statement of opinion suggesting that significant uncertainty remains regarding our understanding of ongoing climate disruption has been deleted. – ML]

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  16. Oakwood says:

    Meanwhile, something new. A change in tune at the BBC. David Shukman says: “The headline – which the scientists will not thank me for – is that no one is really sure why the rate of warming has stumbled.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23409404 It seems I am not so alone. Time for a tough bit of email writing to correct the imbalance?

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    • What plateau? The one predicted in 2008…on the BBC? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7376301.stm

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      • Oakwood says:

        That Richard BAltman story seems messed up. The headline is “Next decade ‘may see no warming’ ” [ie. from May 2008]. But the graph doesn’t show this at all. The flat part is only for 5 years, from 2005 to 2010. It certainly does not suggest ‘flat’ up to 2018. Anyway, if they really had been predicting flat temperatures up to 2018, they would have been labelled as ‘deniers’, and their paper ignored by the mainstream.

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      • You also missed “temperatures will again be rising quickly by about 2020”. The point of my mentioning this at all is Shukman says no-one’s ever mentioned surface temperature plateaus. Not only was it reported by the BBC it is perfectly evident from the graphs.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        “Ahaa, I see” said the blind man. Now I understand why you keep referring back to “plateaus”: Shukman is wrong to say we were not told this would happen. Yep, got it now. in addition to not including all the positive feedback mechanisms that are causing ACD to accelerate, models o not include the global dimming effects of industrial pollution. 20 years ago, James Hansen tried and failed to get NASA to invest money in addressing this gap in our knowledge. This is the main reason why the “global warming has stopped” mantra has been so effective.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        “Ahaa, I see” said the blind man. Now I understand why you keep referring back to “plateaus”: Shukman is wrong to say we were not told this would happen. Yep, got it now. in addition to not including all the positive feedback mechanisms that are causing ACD to accelerate, models o not include the global dimming effects of industrial pollution. 20 years ago, James Hansen tried and failed to get NASA to invest money in addressing this gap in our knowledge. This is the main reason why the “global warming has stopped” mantra has been so effective.

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    • Rick Altman says:

      If David Shukman wishes to shred his credibility by repeating misinformation spouted by the likes of David Rose and the GWPF that is his problem. The response of the scientific community will remain the same. http://skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm

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      • Oakwood says:

        Shukman is responding to a briefing by the Science Media Centre. But because you don’t like what he says, you label it as “repeating misinformation spouted by the likes of …..”. Just above, you accuse me of making an “evidence-free” statement. What’s your evidence?

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      • Rick Altman says:

        My evidence is that you repeated yourself. As for Shukman, anyone who chooses to focus on a 15 year hiatus and ignore the multi-decadal trend that cannot be explained by natural forces alone (especially in the warmest-ever decade in several hundred thousand years – see the 2.8 million year palaeoclimate records obtained from the Lake El’gygytgyn study) is in danger of appearing to be willfully blind or just plain stupid.

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      • There’s been no change of tune at the BBC, sadly. They’ve been a hideout for false scepticism for some time. Andrew Neil joined in, citing a “new” paper – a 2005 unpublished (in a peer reviewed) monograph from the DMI – one that was being bounced off the walls of the echo chamber (hockyshtick, Watts) the week before. Ah well, it’ll all be evidence that the BBC is really right wing come the next attempted Tory putsch of the BBC. Climate will just have to be a victim of false equivalence. Hey ho. The good news is there’ll be lots and lots of stimulus projects coming our way. We’ll invest in a new Thames Barrier just for starters. Those crazy tax and spend Libertarians; who’d have though it, eh?

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      • Oakwood says:

        BTW, the right wing label is a misnomer. I’ve only ever voted Labour or LibDem – and would never, ever vote Tory (that feeling is in my blood). Regarding the Thames Barrier. It was completed in 1982, and its building had nothing to do with the AGW fear. It was already well-known – and I remember this from my school days – that London sinks by around 1 foot a year due to (i) sinking into the London Clay, and (ii) Isostatic rebound – whereby Scotland is still moving upwards since the melting of ice following the last Ice Age ice (12,000 years ago), and the south of England sinking as a counterbalance.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        Oakwood, if you are naturally progressive and/or liberal but yet choose to dispute the reality of ACD… Imagine how conflicted I must be to be socially-conservative and yet accept the reality (and implications) of ACD! Why the Conservative Party is not acting in the public interest (20 July 2013). Have you got a reference for your assertion that London is sinking that fast?

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      • Yup, subsidence -plus- sea level rise.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        John, would I be right to assume this is why Richard BAltman left the BBC?

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      • Sorry, Rick, I’d really have no idea why Richard left.

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      • It would appear London is sinking 1-2mm per year. Global sea rise is 3.2mm per year now, and appears to be accelerating. Whether or not London will fare better or worse with sea rise I don’t know. The sea levels are from U of Colorado. The London sinking rate is from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6231334.stm

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      • Oakwood says:

        A slip – I meant London sinks one foot per CENTURY. I don’t have a specific peer-reviewed reference. Its just a fact I remember from school. But two references here (though I would not promote Wikipedia as a reliable source, but one that can link to more formal ones) http://www.21stcenturychallenges.org/60-seconds/tidal-flooding/ “The after-effects of the last Ice Age is causing Britain to “tilt” – with the South-east sinking, and Scotland rising up, a phenomenon known as isostatic rebound. As a result, tide levels are steadily increasing in the Thames Estuary relative to the land by about 1mm every year. ” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_England “At the present time, due to Scotland’s continuing to rise as a result of the weight of Devensian ice being lifted, England is sinking. This is generally estimated at 1 mm (1/25 inch) per year, with the London area sinking at double the speed partly due to the continuing compression of the recent clay deposits. A contributary factor is the draining of many stretchs of land.” This latter one suggests a total sinking rate of 2mm per year, or 20cm per century (thus a little less than the ‘one foot’)

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      • Rick Altman says:

        You seem to like knocking Wikipedia but I do not see why you should. It is often a very useful place to find links to primary sources. I am hoping to see some of Scotland’s raised beaches next week. However, I think my favourite feature is the Clach Tholl sea arch that is no longer in the sea at Port Appin.

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    • Oakwood says:

      You are referring to these statements from Shukman: “And Professor Stephen Belcher, head of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said observations and models showed that on average there were – or would be – two pauses in warming every century. I asked why this had not come up in earlier presentations. No one really had an answer, except to say that this “message” about pauses had not been communicated widely.” I think its unfair to claim Shukman was wrong in saying we were not told. One article by BAltman on a probably obscure paper does not demonstrate he’s misguided or inaccurate. He asked the experts in front him why it had not been mentioned clearly before. They didn’t respond with ‘oh yes it has’. I think you could ask yourselves and almost anyone: ‘were we told to expect such a plateau?’ 97% would say ‘no’. The fact that someone said it somewhere does not mean it was properly communicated.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        All this talk about plateaus is just a massive (and deliberate) distraction from the reality that, as repeatedly stated already, natural climate forcings cannot explain overall 20th Century warming, which has occurred 5 to 10 times faster than any natural precedent.

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      • Oakwood says:

        The only period of warming not easily explained by natural forcings is from 1979 to 1998 (or thereabouts). The IPCC clearly concludes that the early 20thC warming from 1910 to 1945 can be explained by natural forcings. So – we have a 20 year period not easily explained by natural forcings, and a 15 year period (or thereabouts) not easily explained by AGW theory. The gap is narrowing.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        So we have the most rapid warming only explicable as a consequence of human activity; and the hiatus only explicable with reference to Sun, volcanoes, ocean currents and the global dimming effects of industrial pollution. However, since you continue to insist that we do not have a problem with ACD as a predictable and observable consequence of basic physics, the gap is still fundamental and enormous.

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      • The distraction is focusing on global surface temperatures. That’s just one facet of warming. E.g. sea level? http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Mann-Order-CEI-1.pdf

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      • Rick Altman says:

        Thanks John. I do find it hard to understand why people can be distracted by a pause in warming when there is no pause in Arctic sea ice melting and consequential climate disruption in the northern hemisphere (and record-breaking antipodean icebergs calving off the Pine Island Glacier and warming of the Antarctic Peninsula) It takes spectacular levels on intellectual incoherence (IMHO).

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      • Oakwood says:

        It truly is disingenuous to criticise AGW sceptics for focusing too much on global surface temperatures… [Tiresome assertions that climate science is uncertain/hockey stick is discredited/there is no cause for alarm/warming may not continue (etc) have all been deleted. – ML]

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      • Rick Altman says:

        With regret, Oakwood, I really am getting bored now (hence the increasing moderation of your repetitious comments). You are unable to refute the fact that your position necessitates believing that most climate scientists are fools or liars; and necessitates the rejection of the vast majority of evidence that does not support your beliefs. I would therefore recommend that you stop arguing about who is being illogical and start dealing with there reality that the Earth’s oceans are warming and rising and, therefore, that, due to extreme sensitivity to pH changes, a wide range of calcite-forming sea creatures are now in danger of going extinct.

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      • Baffling. I hand you a 2008 BBC article on plateauing and have a jolly good bluster about how no one told you. You can see prior lengthy plateaus in the graphs. If that escaped your notice I am sorry. May I suggest you subscribe to AGWobserver? Ari does try and keep up. http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/. In the meantime, how do you, Oakwood, propose dealing with sea level rise?

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      • Oakwood says:

        JHS. You linked to an article headed: “Next decade ‘may see no warming'”. I can see nothing in that article or graph suggesting a plateau til 2018. Please enlighten me.

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      • In two parts: 1. I refer the Honorable Member to my preceding response on the article, “You also missed “temperatures will again be rising quickly by about 2020″. The point of my mentioning this at all is Shukman says no-one’s ever mentioned surface temperature plateaus. Not only was it reported by the BBC it is perfectly evident from the graphs.” 2. Any perusal of the surface temperature graphs show numerous “pauses”. I presume you’re familiar with them but, for your convenience, http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47 I can only hope your enlightenment can be contained. Now, how are you intending to deal with the effects of AGW, such as sea rise? (BTW, you have seen the NSIDC webcam from the 22nd of the North Pole as a lake, I hope.)

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      • Oakwood says:

        JHS. I stand corrected, the text does refer to a longer period, but the supporting graph does not correlate with this view, which was my original point, which brings into doubt the whole article. Which bit is correct? But I suppose it allows a choice.

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  17. Oakwood says:

    Rick. Your standard fallback: ‘you don’t agree with the consensus, so you are calling everyone else liars’. A very very weak scientific argument which amounts to little more than name calling. Very much like George Bush’s: ‘you’re either with us or against us’ – and how ‘right was he, Blair and their expert consensus? Your blog, cut and paste as you choose. At least if you don’t communicate with me, you’ll have more time to deal with your many other interested commenters.

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    • And his more interesting ones too… It cuts both ways.

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    • Rick Altman says:

      I said, “fools or liars”, Oakwood. Either way, for you to be right, the consensus must be wrong. Given that the vast majority of evidence supports the consensus, this is extremely unlikely. Most people used to think the Earth was flat and/or at the Centre of the Universe. Such views were eventually abandoned because of evidence. The denial of ACD is going the same way.

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  18. Oakwood says:

    [N.B. The following comment from Oakwood is very misleading (see below). – ML] Regarding sea level rise: When I and Rick were first studying geology in the 1980s, it was well known that sea level was rising at an average rate of around 25cm per century during the 20th C. It was well known that this was considerably less than the average since the last ice age, around 120m in 12,000 years, or 1 m per century. We were also coming out of the LIA. Thus, there was no concern or surprise regarding the rate of rise. Apart from the normal fluctuations in rate, nothing has changed. The current rate of sea level rise gives no cause for concern. Of course, if you believe the model projections, that’s another thing.

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    • Right, so 2mm pa due to geology, 3mm now (and anticipated to rise) due to AGW. So warming accounts for 60% of the issue – at least. The Thames Barrier problem is now more than twice as hard as it was.

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      • Oakwood says:

        Its impossible to separate AGW factor from the natural factor with current knowledge, just as with surface temperatures. Theories abound of course, but certainty remains aloof. Our very clever scientists continue to work on it though.

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      • Nonsense. I just did it for you. The 3mm sea level rise isn’t theory, it’s off the current measurements. It’d be a damnably stupid engineer who would construct something that didn’t take the current models into account. You’d fire anyone that daft.

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      • Oakwood says:

        Temperature has risen over the past century. When it does, the oceans expand slightly and sea level rises. Melting ice also makes a small contribution. You can measure the rise. That does not tell you the cause of the warming that caused the rise. An intelligent engineer takes account of modelling results, but knows their are highly dependent on the assumptions put in. Only a stupid engineer would out too much faith in a computer model. I’m experienced in 3D computer modelling, which was also the subject of my successful MSc thesis. I have also used models to adivise clients. No complaints.

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      • Lung cancer does not tell you the cause was smoking. Only a crazy engineer would discard models. So, how much sea level rise would you engineer for?

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    • Rick Altman says:

      Re Oakwood’s complete mis-statement of facts about SLR since the last Ice Age (above): Between 12 and 7 thousand years ago SLR was in excess of 1 metre/century. However, about 7k years ago (when most of the ice had melted), it reduced to less than a tenth of this rate; and continued to slow until the onset of the Anthropocene era. Furthermore, the MWP and LIA were mere bumps in the hill-top road of an interglacial warm period (i.e. the Holocene), which is itself the final Act in a 1 million year history of CO2 oscillating between 180 and 280 ppm. Therefore, it makes no sense whatsoever to assert that the average SLR over 12k years is 1 metre/century or that, at 400ppm, we are still coming out of the LIA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Sea_Level.png

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  19. Oakwood says:

    How much sea level rise would I engineer for? If I was designing flood defences, I would take account of the risk of extreme high tides and storm surges, in which case we are talking of metres. I would also accept that the highest storm events can overtop your defences. I would include appropriate uncertainty and safety factors. If building something to last 100 years, I would take account of historic evidence of sea level rise rates, allowing for some uncertainty, say for +40cm. In any case, the uncertainty regarding storm surges is a lot greater than that around long term sea level trends.

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    • The storm surges are accentuated by sea level rise. Sandy attests to that. You’ve used a great number of words for what I thought would have been a step by step calculation. Certainly 40cm doesn’t seem like an adequate fudge factor to me, given the models. Real engineering is difficult as it always has to deal with future uncertainties.

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  20. Oakwood says:

    You ask me: “So, how much sea level rise would you engineer for?” and then disappointed I don’t give a step by step calc, Engineer for what? What scenarios, Where? What time scale, etc, etc, Every case needs to be dealt with on a specific case-by-case basis. I’m not a flood defence engineer. I thought we were talking more generically about modelling. The damage of Sandy was caused by the winds and storm surge of several metres. A few metres extra sea level rise would have a neglible additional impact. Anyone can speculate, but no-one can demonstrate Sandy was made worse by AGW.

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    • It’d be that damned fool engineer not to take it into account with an asset that size and lifetime. So, the future is uncertain. How much sea level rise would you build for? You have current rates of land falling. Current rates of sea rising. Models that state quite a broad range of rise over the next hundred years (with less range over much longer times). Would you just ignore the models’ accelerating increase altogether?

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  21. Oakwood says:

    Correction: “A few cm extra sea level rise would have a neglible additional impact.” High tides and storm surges are a much larger and more important factor than sea level rise. Evidence is this component would be the order of 25cm in 100 years. Engineering for the models’ worst case scenarios would likely be very costly over-engineering. IF we see levels rise faster than the past, then there is plenty of time to modify, adapt, mitigate.

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