Met Service release

In case you missed it, the latest from the Met Service on climate change. Note that they distance themselves from Augie who has sadly gone over to the other side. Also note the reference to the increased cost of extreme weather events – something I did a release about yesterday.

Press Release: MetService
Issued at 10:46am 19-Dec-2006

MetService Confirms WMO’s Position on Global Warming

The MetService Chief Executive, John Lumsden, said today that the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) latest report confirms the global warming trend.

“The WMO preliminary report on the global climate for 2006 has just been released and it confirms that 2006 is set to be the sixth warmest year on record, continuing the trend of global warming. We are certain of this observation and would like to point out that the views recently
made public by Augie Auer in relation to climate change are his own, and in no way do they reflect those of MetService.”

Augie Auer was MetService’s Chief Meteorologist until late 1998, but has had no association with the organisation since then.

MetService Chief Meteorologist, Neil Gordon, added that MetService’s position on climate change is consistent with the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2001 report.

“An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the weather and climate system,” said Dr.Gordon.

“During the 20th century, the global average surface temperature has increased by about 0.60C. In the past four decades, temperatures have risen in the lowest 8 kilometres of the atmosphere. Snow cover and ice extent have decreased. Global average sea level has risen and ocean heat content has increased. Snow, wind and rain storms are costing us more.”

59 Comments Posted

  1. On the 1930’s/1940’s argument (another old doubt seed), see the section entitled “Most of the warming occurred before 1940″/”What about past warming, like in the 1920’s, 1930’s, the ‘Medieval Warm Period’…” here

    And then of course, we have a few people still sticking with the classic Carter-Singer-Michaels-Lindzen brand of nonsense on the demise of global warming. It’s easy to see how hilarious that is even from the anomaly maps at the above link and other lines of evidence like these.

  2. Greg

    The polarization is real enough. :-0 !!!

    I try to be honest about the whole thing and I DO have the occasional doubt about some small piece of it or other, I have enough background to be able to follow most all of the arguments, but at the end of the day it is a little like Pascal’s wager in the realm of theology.

    What I have seen is:

    Libertarians assailing AGW because it will result in greater government power and intervention.

    Neocons and XOM assailing AGW because it means that business cannot be done “as usual”.

    No complete theories other than AGW that cover the facts of the past 2 centuries data and the climate record as best we know it for the bast million years.

    That’s what I see. The polarization is long standing and political. I remember when I first heard Rush and he was amusing… then I realized that the dittoheads doted on every word, and every other word was a lie, The beginning of polarization perhaps… and the political side-tracks that I’ve seen here leave me in little doubt as to the political (not ecological) opinions of some of our more boisterous guests.

    respectfully
    BJ

  3. The IPCC has a huge vested interest in perpetrating the AGW theory – it is a gravy train for the participants and gives global kudos to their deliberations.

    You aren’t approaching this with any prejudice yourself, are you? 🙂

    Let me put your mind at rest regarding the scientists. The ones I’ve worked with would not give up their integrity for money nor power. I spent a decade working with them at NASA and apart from a single sycophant laboring to get into the good graces of some department called “defence” in the USA, they were pretty damned apolitical. They were also scared by the data they were collecting. The IPCC is quite conservative in its assessments, the acidification is progressing as predicted (you have some theory about how it will suddenly stop?), the glaciers are shrinking (again, you must have some reason to believe that they will grow to be so negative about the IPCC), the deserts are growing and the lag time for the CO2 effects is 30 to 50 years. All this is known and is simply observed fact. You call it alarmist, but you have no reason to do so. It is simply observable fact. The predictions made by the models are the best that can be made, and they’re tracking the real world quite nicely.

    It is POSSIBLE that the models are getting the right answers for the wrong reasons. It is POSSIBLE that AGW is not happening and some other force of nature is at work. It is POSSIBLE that an uncontrolled CO2 rise that is at LEAST 50x faster than at any time we can identify in the past million years, is of no consequence. You won’t find any scientists taking those bets though.

    As Runyon said: “The race does not always go to the swiftest, nor the fight to the strongest, but that’s the way to bet”. You want to bet against a lot of scientists here, but what are you betting with really? Your children’s future, my children’s future. The whole human species’ future. On what evidence?

    What is the cost of using less fossil fuel? Leaving more of it for our kids and a different course of economic development. Not necessarily a different rate or level of development, but definitely a different course.

    “Business” cannot be followed by “as usual” without a consequence. Not to do anything carries its own risks… and your argument for greater inertia is a wager against heavy odds.

    Have you got a list of the “deniers” who have scientific credibility? Does it look anything like this?

    http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/02/there-is-no-consensus.html

    AFAIK there’s Soon and Balunias, a guy who is big at MIT, a couple of Galactic Cosmic Ray theorists and who else? These people are not nutcases, but to be more than a handful we have to find more than 10. I’ll allow you can count McIntyre, as his statistics work looks good vs Mann, but he doesn’t offer alternative theories or explanations that cover the facts.

    respectfully
    BJ

  4. bjchip: thanks for your considered and detailed reply. It came in while I was formulating my last post (do I hear that playing for our planet? 🙂 )

    I am no scientist – merely an interested medic (more art than science methinks).

    However what I find fascinating about this whole debate is the way it has polarised what are clearly intelligent people on both sides (mostly anyway). If the waters were not so muddy it would be clear for all to see.

    I cannot make my own mind up but am yet to be convinced of the scientific validity of AGW – being guided in large measure by what I see as rational argument from rational and reputable scientists – not the “loony deniers” as they are often characterised (which in itself reduces credibility of those who seek to assassinate their characters).

    This has all the hallmarks of a mediaeval witch hunt – maybe burning a few deniers at the stake might put this whole thing in perspective (along with a few carbon debits as well) 🙂

  5. The Herald reprints an article from Robin McKie, the Science Editor of Observer today:

    http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,1995472,00.html

    A review of McKie’s articles shows a heavy bias towards supporting anything from the IPCC.

    Climate change science and computer modelling is very inexact because most of the multitudinous factors that go into the models have significant confidence limits. To publish such things as

    “Sea levels will rise over the century by around half a metre; snow will disappear from all but the highest mountains; deserts will spread; oceans become acidic, leading to the destruction of coral reefs and atolls; and deadly heatwaves will become more prevalent.”

    as established facts is irresponsible and scare-mongering. At best it is an intelligent (?) guess. As alluded to even in this article:

    “The really chilling thing about the IPCC report is that it is the work of several thousand climate experts who have widely differing views about how greenhouse gases will have their effect. Some think they will have a major impact, others a lesser role.”

    I suspect that those who believed it has no role were either not invited or had their views rejected very early on!

    The IPCC has a huge vested interest in perpetrating the AGW theory – it is a gravy train for the participants and gives global kudos to their deliberations. Wait and see the global media circus that will result when it’s final report is released in early February!

    It is primarily a political organisation seeking validity for it’s existence in selective use of scientific data. The variation in that data is so great that selective use of it can support any view you care to develop.

    Much of the IPCCs previous “findings” have been debunked – why should this one garner any more credibility?

  6. Greg

    Mouldwarp does try even my patience but this isn’t a problem of my patience. He is intelligent but perfectly and completely fixated on certain data which do not prove what he wishes. There’s a lot of water under this bridge and he’s given plenty of insult.in the course of his crusade to force his notion of truth in as the last word on this blog. He’s been refuted repeatedly. We’ve been over the SAME arguments with him too often…

    I’m sorry you think MW has been mistreated, but respect once lost is hard to regain and he lost ours long ago. The history is long and he is not typical.

    ———————–
    “The potential cost to our nation by pursuing futile policies to limit our miniscule CO2 production when China and India WILL NOT is huge to us.”

    This argument fails on several counts. First, is that this government, which is scarcely competent to count above 10 without removing its shoes, miscounted the CO2 release. This is part of the OP. It has no idea what a properly implemented policy would cost, it has less idea what such a policy would look like and it has proposed nothing. So what is the “potential cost”? A made-up number. Moreover, it is a future obligation at worst due some years from now. What makes it so important to you that we don’t even TRY?

    do you really think our views have any impact. And at what cost?
    Yes. As a recent American expat who has studied the politics of this I can tell you that if “Clean Green NZ” unilaterally abandons any effort to meet its Kyoto obligations (success is NOT a requirement here) – the US electoral process will foreclose US mitigation efforts for 2 to 4 years, possibly longer. We cannot succeed by ourselves. Nobody here believes we can.

    However, we CAN lead the world in doing nothing. This is what the business community would dearly love for us to do. Business abhors change. The “as usual” tail wags the dog and that dog won’t hunt. China and India will ask themselves “Is the west doing anything to slow their release of CO2?” – and the answer is no, not even CGNZ (Clean Grean New Zealand). and they will do nothing. The US will say “Is anyone else doing anything to slow…” – and the answer is no, not even CGNZ, and they will do nothing. Right now some progress is being made, but we can turn that around in an afternoon. The media and the business interests will grab any chance to stop change.

    Someone has to start somewhere. We’re here.

    Moreover, we have advantages in terms of per-capita renewable energy resources that are unmatched in most places (Oz has a good solar resource) , so if we’d actually DONE something instead of having the inertially and arithmetic challenged incompetents in charge engaging in perpetual debate over it, we’d be well on our way. No Rugby no progress… that’s the way of it.

    Green proposals around this involve investment in NZ energy independence. Money spent in NZ and contributing to economic growth of NZ. Money spent enhancing future competitiveness of the NZ economy when peak oil becomes the problem it promises to be.

    Unless blind ideological pursuit is all that matters. But this IS a Green blog I guess!

    Pot – Kettle – Black.

    taxing sectors of our economy to “pay? for their generation of CO2 is plain loopy

    Loopy…. Right…, how do you propose to get the economic signal into the system? The market forces that currently ignore the cost of abusing or using the commons will work to correct the problem ONLY if that use is costed. “Free as air” is a deadly mistake. Find me another mechanism Greg… but find it fast cause the increase is 50 million tons of CO2 every single day we delay.

    “IF AGW is real (and it is a very big IF despite the global clamour and chest beating)”

    We come to the nub of the matter here. You do not believe the climate scientists, the IPCC, NASA or any number of peer-reviewed scientific journals. This comes down to a real issue of science vs speculation which is where the shouting and screaming seems to start.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4467420.stm

    The CO2 rate of increase is the headline for people like me. That and the fact that it (the increase) is not under our control, and that we have no other planet to go to if our uncontrolled experiments in climate physics stuff this one beyond our ability to adapt.

    respectfully
    BJ

  7. No, it’s impossible to have a political debate about it at government level because the centrist parties have taken the government hostage. Both Peters and Peter made gutting the Kyoto provisions key points of their agreements with Labour. They must be feeling very silly indeed now… they can hardly flip-flop now.

    The other reason it’s impossible to have a political debate about it at government level is because 90% of the politicians haven’t taken it on board yet. All of 6 months ago, the issue was off their radar. People like Cullen will never be able to re-program themselves with the environment as a serious economic constraint. They’ll have to go.

    I’m encouraged to see thatyou are “all in favour of strategies to lower our CO2 production if they result in environmental advantage and economic benefits to us”. Because that’s the stuff we are talking about here. There are several interlocking problems :

    * global warming
    * dwindling hydrocarbons
    * NZ’s energy independence
    * a sustainable economy for our future.

    Currently, NZ is extremely dependent on imported oil, and will soon run out of gas. Short of a miraculous discovery, there is a need either stop consuming so much, or to come up with a whole lot more money to pay for imports. A chronic balance of payments deficit can only get worse, because despite recent fluctuations, the price is only ever going to go up, and a long way up, in the medium term.

    Making investments to cut CO2 production is actually productive investment in NZ’s future, because it’s helping us in the direction of a sustainable economy. The current set-up simply isn’t sustainable; more of the same is not an option. “Kyoto compliance” is only a charge if we fail to meet the objectives.

  8. Perhaps I did come across as hihilistic – no I don’t throw (Diet) Coke cans out the car window, and if I smoked my packet would be recycled.

    I do not want to breathe polluted air and I am all for environmental protection as long as common sense and practically achievable solutions are part of the equation.

    My point was, even IF AGW is real (and it is a very big IF despite the global clamour and chest beating) the cost to our economy to comply with Kyoto is enormous. There is absolutely no point in financially sacrificing ourselves on that particular altar if at the same time India and China in particular are increasing CO2 output at levels that make our total CO2 output look infinitesimal. It’s a bit like trying to hold an elephant at bay with a straw.

    And at the end of the day the only thing we’ll achieve is to be able to stand on the global stage and bow to thunderous applause (yeah right!).

    I’m all in favour of strategies to lower our CO2 production if they result in environmental advantage and economic benefits to us. But taxing sectors of our economy to “pay” for their generation of CO2 is plain loopy.

    It’s actually impossible to have a political debate about this issue at governmental level as the politicians are terrified of being labeled as holoc… oops,sorry AGW deniers.

  9. Greg :

    1) As for using one’s own name, that debate is as old as the Internet. I tend to agree with you, and always use mine, but I respect some of the reasons why people don’t always do that…

    2) Don’t worry about Mouldy, you’ll find that he gives as good as he gets. I certainly can’t find any instances of “vicious personal attacks” : I accuse him of using strawman arguments, and of having a limited understanding of climate issues. That’s pretty mild actually. As for a call for banning, if anyone called for that, it certainly wasn’t me or bjchip.

    3) There is bewilderment as to why mouldwarp persists in posting here because all his arguments are comprehensively refuted, every time. He’s been doing it for about a year, perhaps more, and most of the other participants have given up on him, because it gets boring. BJ and I, however, refuse to be chased off our patch, because, as you hint, if we didn’t refute his arguments, it would be a pretty poor look for the Green lobby.

    As to your own argument, Greg, of the futility of… EVERYTHING … that poor little NZ could do… It always sounds a bit nihilistic to me. I mean, do you throw your cigarette packet or Coke can out the car window, on the pretext that there’s already litter on the roadside? Besides which, you’re behind the times. Things are moving fast, even Bush is being forced to move on climate change, public opinion in Europe is forcing governments to take measures, and NZ should now distinguish itself by jumping on to the sinking ship?

    I’m sorry to disappoint you on the personal abuse front, however. You’d have to become as persistently annoying as Mouldy, over several months, before you’ll get anything approaching disrespect around here. I suggest you try Kiwiblog or Sir Humpty’s if it’s abuse you’re after (cue Monty Python sketch…)

  10. Just dropped in for the first time and after reading this climate change blog a few things seem very clear.

    1- as this is a public forum and issues dealt with here are important, I would have thought poster’s credibility would be enhanced by using their real names.

    2- if you challenge cherished Green beliefs expect a vicious personal attack. The attack on mouldwarp by bjchip and alistair can be characterised as the one of the worst examples of argumentum ad hominem – they even want him banned for heresy against the Green bible. Good to see the moderator allows debate to continue unabated.

    3- there is bewilderment as to why mouldwarp persists posting here as if the Green blog is somehow politically irrelevant. You are too modest. As a lobby group and power broker in government the Greens are a powerful force, like it or not. The potential cost to our nation by pursuing futile policies to limit our miniscule CO2 production when China and India WILL NOT is huge to us. Even if we succeed in slashing our CO2 outputs it will make absolutely NO DIFFERENCE to global climate even if AGW is real. To argue that we gain credibility on the issue in global debate is laughable – do you really think our views have any impact. And at what cost? Cost-benefit on this issue out of all proportion. Unless blind ideological pursuit is all that matters. But this IS a Green blog I guess!
    I suspect that mouldwarp persists because he realises how important it is to challenge misinformation on which Green policy on climate change is based.
    Every point he makes is met with personal villification, political ideological rhetoric, anecdote or reference to material which subsequently questions on rational grounds. And he’s the irrational, insane one!

    No doubt my post here will attract similar personal abuse.

  11. For the edification of anyone who’s interested (and to annoy Mouldwarp), here’s an interesting blog entry :

    The sky is falling. Literally.

    Extract :
    Greenhouse gases have also led to the cooling of the atmosphere at levels higher than the stratosphere. Over the past 30 years, the Earth’s surface temperature has increased 0.2-0.4 °C, while the temperature in the mesosphere, about 50-80 km above ground, has cooled 5-10 °C (Beig et al., 2006). There is no appreciable cooling due to ozone destruction at these altitudes, so nearly all of this dramatic cooling is due to the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Even greater cooling of 17 °C per decade has been observed high in the ionosphere, at 350 km altitude. This has affected the orbits of orbiting satellites, due to decreased drag, since the upper atmosphere has shrunk and moved closer to the surface (Lastovicka et al., 2006). The density of the air has declined 2-3% per decade the past 30 years at 350 km altitude. So, in a sense, the sky IS falling!

  12. Dwarp :
    You see the Greenland icesheets is a complex and still poorly understood issue. The debate is nuanced and the evidence somewhat contradictory. I don’t think you were aware of any of this when you threw out your challenge.

    Kindly refrain from projecting your own ignorance and lack of understanding onto me.

    Understanding of the issue is evolving pretty fast, because of the prodigious amount of work going on in climate science. But the bare bones are clear enough : the Greenland icecap is getting thicker in the middle, because warmer temperatures and higher humidity cause increased snowfall. As a result, the outward flow of the glaciers is accelerating strongly. In spite of this, the icecap is getting thinner, and rapidly receding, around the edges, because of warmer temperatures. There are indeed major unknowns : for example, the rivers under the icecap may cause major dislocations in the near or distant future (they are also likely to be a major player in Antarctica).

    In any case, to go back to my original question (“The rate of melting of the Greenland glaciers was greater, when exactly?“), I note that you have made no attempt to answer it.

    With respect to Hansen et al : In fact this figure is just the difference between what the authors’ crude and totally unrealistic climate model predicted and what the climate *actually* did in reality.

    No. Completely wrong. You just demonstrated that you don’t know how to read a scientific paper. But I think we already knew that.

  13. If we go sustainable and quit burning so many dead dinosaurs and manage to hold the line, the risk is that if we are wrong we may waste some effort in so doing, but our children’s children still have the chance to use resources we preserved by this effort. There is a cost in lives and a cost in economic growth but civilization continues and knowledge accumulates. Hell, we might even actually GET cheap access to space, and all bets are off.

    If we do not go sustainable, and do not address a risk that almost all scientists in climate science agree exists, the risk is that if we are wrong our children’s children, if there are any at all, will be struggling to cope with a planet with a vastly different balance of climate, food, energy and power. The idea that such an adjustment can be unaccompanied by war, famine and plague is a form of optimism that reminds me of the “Iraqi’s will greet us with flowers” cr@p that was peddled to Americans in the rush to war in Iraq. I did’t buy that cr@p either.

    Real risks Mouldwarp. You dismiss them, but war is very nearly the normal state of human affairs on this planet. You think that it will be avoided somehow as the stress on all societies increases? I cannot see the basis for your optimism, you who distrust government so much. Even good governments are more like spoiled children than adults when it comes to international relations… and there are several bad ones that are better armed than fed even now.

    BJ

  14. Mouldwarp

    To date you have provided nothing of note. Really nothing. The sites you cite are full of flaws and the lack of any form of sensibility that you exhibit here is a study in repetitive and monotonous verbosity, The flaw… and you pull it every time you answer in the form of ” X is supposed to be a show-stopper” is that not one of us looks at the evidence that way. Not one of us. YOU on the other hand, find show-stoppers in every third rate slipshod bit of speculation that purports to show that warming isn’t happening, or CO2 isn’t a problem, or human release of several million years worth of slowly sequestered carbon in what amounts (in geologic terms) to an afternoon isn’t a problem. Even though it is if NOTHING else, an experiment in atmospheric chemistry and physics on a global scale that has no control, and we have no control of it AND WE HAVE NO OTHER PLANET TO GO TO IF WE SCREW THIS ONE UP.

    ….and you think this is somehow a GOOD idea? Because otherwise we might have to have carbon taxes and reconsider our economic worship of unlimited growth?

    Peddle it somewhere else Mouldwarp. We don’t buy that sort of argument here. Neither do most of the actual scientists in the field.

    BJ

  15. Alistair,

    – “WorldClimateReport is an advocacy blog, full of sarcastic language and the laborious construction and demolition of strawmen. ”

    The way you misrepresent this site is sadly all too revealing. In fact it is a site that presents a steady accumulation of scientific studies which reveal a picture far different from simplistic and alarmist pseudo-science which make for your lurid headlines. These studies, because they don’t predict the end of the world, just never make the press; yet they are the ones which form the solid basis of what constitutes the main body of climate science. They have to be sought out. If you don’t bother to do that then your beliefs about climate change will be informed by only the alarmist guff which gets all the publicity and attention.

    For example, you confidently quoted the Greenland icesheets here as your show-stopper proof of unprecedented climate change. Here’s some more information for you:-

    http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V10/N2/EDIT.jsp

    You see the Greenland icesheets is a complex and still poorly understood issue. The debate is nuanced and the evidence somewhat contradictory. I don’t think you were aware of any of this when you threw out your challenge.

    If you limit your source of information to the flag-waving global-warming ghetto that is realclimate you will not get anything like the full picture of what many many studies are saying. Remember, that is the vanity site of the people responsible for the Hockeystick debacle, and the way they dealt with the fatal criticisms of that work tells us all we need to know about their candour and integrity. They have really painted themselves into a corner on this issue.

    – “As to what percentage of recent warming is anthropogenic : about 82%, according to the best study I know of this : Hansen et al, 2005 which discusses the forcings which have driven temperature change from 1750 to 2000”

    In fact this figure is just the difference between what the authors’ crude and totally unrealistic climate model predicted and what the climate *actually* did in reality. They had the gall to claim that, since their predictions were somewhat wide of the mark, this somehow constituted proof that something unnatural is happening with the climate. That’s right. They actually had the nerve to claim that the failure of their model’s predictions constitutes “smoking gun” evidence.
    This is not science in any shape of form. In no other sphere of investigation would such a piece of nonsense attract anything but ridicule, yet here you are quoting it to me with what I assume is a completely straight face.

    bjchip,

    I wouldn’t put too much confidence in the figures you pointed me to if I were you. By themselves they are completely meaningless(assuming that any of them are even correct). Greens are as hopeless at predicting the future as everyone else. You are the equivalent of the doom-mongers of the 19th century predicting that cities would be buried under several feet of horse manure within a few decades.

  16. big bruv:

    Thanks for the offer! I’d have to have some sort of a disguise (maybe a balaclava?) so that no one would actually recognise me taking a ride in a Hummer !!

    I agree that there are some problems with Unemployment/DPB and Sickness Benefits. However, in a “Society” worth its name we must err on the side of compassion, (the “carrot rather than the stick”, and have the “ambulance” nearer to the top of the “cliff” rather than “the bottom” … to mix a few metaphors!)
    In terms of “waste of tax payers money” there are constant attempts to improve the delivery, but some problems are complex. To actually solve them would cost more than paying out Benefits …

    There is a degree of misinformation out there about Benefits and Beneficiaries. For example, many recipients get considerably less than the full amount. Also if we hope to reduce the numbers of Beneficiaries long term, we as a society must be prepared to spend MORE money, not less!

    … and there are some employers who manage to use the fact that people can return to (or continue to be “topped up” by) Benefits, to their own advantage. Thus the tax payer contributes to these employers’ profits.

    I was officially “on the DPB” for several years. My children’s father “shot thru to Oz a week before I was due to go back to work after a year’s (unpaid) maternity leave, and he ended up “disappearing” from our lives. With help from my parents, I managed to cope with a very big job, a nervous toddler who would not settle in the Child Care Centre, a five year old who was being seriously bullied at school … for several months. Then I came down with serious chest pain (supected “heart disease” which fortunately turned out to be nothing worse than VERY severe stress!)

    To cut a long story short I went to Social Welfare, they put me “on the DPB”, I resigned from my job, but continued the critical parts of it “part time” until suitable replacements were found. I was officially in the DPB statistics but it was more of a “topup” when my now variable wage was inadequate. I continued with this system, working part time (and in the meantime I increasingly used my skills within the community) … I later worked full time again, and then retired on a Pension that I had paid into all my working life. (This paid for Pension is much less than it would have been if I had NOT been an unsupported sole parent, hence the true value of our standard but taxable “NZ Super” for citizens who have been unable to earn continuous higher wages/salaries for whatever reason.)

    Now that I am officially “Retired” I continue to use my training and skills working a substantial number of hours for the Community in a voluntary role which use my training and skills.

    Not a “free loader” here !

    Another example of a parent in receipt of the DPB:
    A family friend who gained custody of his young child, purposely went on the DPB and stayed there until his formerly traumatised daughter (who was very nervous and well behind with her language and social skills) had regained a sense of security, and received the remedial help needed to bring her language skills and her self-esteem up to levels where she is now confident and doing (very) well at school. Her father now works “part time” so that he can “be there” for his six year old before and after school and receives a “top-up” for his resultantly inadequate income through the DPB. (Making the DPB available in this parent will most likely have saved taxpayers’ money later, as it has clearly enabled an “at risk” child to become no longer at risk.)

    Not a “free loader” there either!

  17. eredwen

    Sorry to burst your bubble but I have no problem with the pension, in any just society those who have worked all their life deserve to be looked after by the next generation.

    It is the vast waste of tax payer money being spent on the unemployment/ DPB and sickness benefits that annoys the hell out of me.

    So you go right ahead and cycle to your hearts content, hell if its raining one day and I see you I might even offer you a lift home in the Hummer.

  18. alistair: I enjoyed reading your description!

    One of my old ski racing mates, whose son lives in Paris, is heading off from ChCh to the Dolomites on a package ski tour next week.

    Last NZ winter I wasted most of a VERY good snow season at Mt Hutt by putting off going one day at a time… “Never again” was my New Year resolution! Increasingly we will need to “enjoy the snow when its there”.

    (Meanwhile this Old Bird used her first few NZ Superannuation payments to pay for a very light and very good quality mountain bike…

    big bruv: I can hear your teeth grating from here! All that hard earned money you were forced to pay in tax …
    At least by being superactive I save you a lot in the medical expenses you’d have to fork out for if I became sedentary!)

  19. Eredwen : There is nothing like rain to devastate piste … but in continental Europe in JANUARY it is outside my experience!

    Actually I got in a decent day’s skiing on Tuesday, against all expectations.

    I was driving towards Grenoble on Monday morning and it was raining heavily… Good, I thought, fresh snow! When I got to the station (les Sept Laux) it was still raining! Snow over about 2000m … then more rain, overnight, all the way to the top (2400m)! So on Tuesday, there was fresh, wet snow, but it was so warm (10° at 200m!) that it hadn’t frozen, so it was quite pleasant to ski in, though rather heavy. The layer was pretty thin, rocks and grass showing through all over the place. The snow was actually thicker, though of poorer quality, on the lower slopes which have snowmakers, they had managed to build up a base of artificial snow between Christmas and New Year where the temperatures were actually seasonal.
    I’m hoping there’ll be some snow before the February school holidays at least!

  20. WolrdClimateReport is an advocacy blog, full of sarcastic language and the laborious construction and demolition of strawmen. Although it quotes various magazines and uses lots of graphs, amazingly it provides no outward links to sources or corroborative material.
    By construction, it is difficult to analyse or refute their interpretations of what they cherry-pick from among scientific research. This makes the site impossible to rely on, and easy to ignore.

    I prefer http://www.realclimate.org which offers extensively referenced discussion of the recent science, subtle, balanced, and non-hysterical. For example, this recent article which discusses the fact that the rapid and dramatic decrease in Arctic sea ice, while obviously a result of warming, is not necessarily in itself a positive feedback factor provoking further warming.

    Or this, which discusses the difficulties in measuring and predicting the effect of aerosol forcing (man-made particle pollution is an acknowledged negative influence on global temperatures).

    As to what percentage of recent warming is anthropogenic : about 82%, according to the best study I know of this : Hansen et al, 2005 which discusses the forcings which have driven temperature change from 1750 to 2000.

    There are various anthropogenic factors, some positive, some negative, and only one natural forcing (the solar cycle) which is positive. The numbers are expressed as watts per square metre.

    I strongly recommend taking a look atthis graph, it helps a lot in comprehending the impact of the various forcing factors.

    The biggest warming factors are CO2 (1.5 W/m2), CH4 (0.6 W/m2, including indirect effects), CFCs (0.3), N2O (0.15), O3 (0.3), black carbon (0.8), and solar (0.3), and the important cooling factors are sulphate and nitrate aerosols (~-2.1, including direct and indirect effects), and land use (-0.15). Each of these terms has uncertainty associated with it (a lot for aerosol effects, less for the GHGs).

    So we can see that the positive forcings total 3.95 W/m2, and the negative forcings are 2.25 W/m2, giving a net of 1.7 W/m2. Of this, 0.3 is from natural causes (solar forcing), which is 17%.

    So, without human influences, the world would have warmed since 1750, but only about a sixth as much.

    I’m so glad you asked!

  21. bjchip,

    – “CO2 coupling to temperature whether driving or being driven, is WELL documented through all the research done to date. You claim it is a result of the warming not a cause, fine. Result or cause, it has changed violently in the recent past and far more violently than any historically indicated change.”

    Your professed indifference as to whether the CO2 was the result or the cause of historical warming baffles me. Previously, historical charts showing the correlation of CO2 and periods of warming were wheeled out as a significant piece of evidence supporting your theory. I’ll bet you weren’t indifferent then.
    An honest and open-minded person would surely consider it to be of significance when this evidence is shown to be entirely incorrect, and that the increased CO2 variations were the *result* or warming rather than the cause. It undermines the whole basis of your alarmism.

    – ““…can you point us to what you believe to be an accurate representation of the climate of the last 1000 years? If not, shouldn’t you concede that you just don’t have even the beginnings of a case??
    – “Well actually, NO…. because …the paleoclimate proxies describing several ice-ages and interglacials gives excellent relative if not absolute temperature data and what we have now ain’t ever happened before. Other things HAVE happened of course, but that was then, this is now.”

    I’m going to have to pin you down here. What *exactly* are you saying is happening now that has not happened for several ice-ages?

    Is today’s warmth unprecedented? Certainly not. The MWP was quite possibly just as warm, or warmer.

    Is the abrupness of recent climate change unprecedented? Certainly not. We have experienced a recent upward trend, but it doesn’t even begin to count as an abrupt climate change event.

    What, then?

    – “Let me ask YOU the question. Is there any climate history that YOU like?”

    They are all fraught with difficulties. Tree rings are absolutely worthless.

    – “It may be that a LITTLE of that CO2 would be a useful thing in keeping temperatures from sinking back towards the next Ice-Age, but to be useful would require us to actually be in control of what is happening and how much. We aren’t”

    Agreed. We cannot control and influence the climate in any useful or predictable way whatsoever. Whatever we do – or don’t do – we won’t know if it is for the best overall.

    – “You can’t deny that the recent instrumental record shows increases in temperature that cannot be explained without CO2 forcing in any GCM.”

    This is insane.

    You acknowledge there is a difference between what the computer models predict and what the climate actually does…and you blame the climate!

    Computer climate models are just the crudest and most simplistic efforts to model an incomprehensibly complex and chaotic system consisting of countless influences, almost every one of which is itself a feedback mechanism; and you count it as evidence in your favour when the models don’t match the actual climate.

    Really, this is genuine paranoia.

    – “You seldom distinguish between global and regional events in your reading…”

    I can only challenge what’s put out there. The Hockestick was widely published (repeatedly published by the IPCC) before it was discredited. It is hardly my fault that perhaps the least of its disastrous failings was that it was contructed from northern hemisphere proxies yet was presented as evidence of *global* climate change.

    – “…and you have afflicted this board with some of the most preposterous theories and references I care to recall.”

    Please do try and recall these theories or references I have advanced which have been preposterous.
    It’s interesting to see how M&M were dealt with by the media and by the global warmers (people like yourself) when they started to audit the Hockeystick. They met with such ridicule and derision and attempts to dismiss all their efforts for not being peer reviewed or not being published in the closed-world of the professional journals. Until just recently you yourself were saying that their claims had been “answered pretty thoroughly.?
    And now look. Their devastating findings about the Hockeystick have been proved and accepted and the whole issue has become one of the biggest scientific scandals in decades.
    The truth was out there, but you had absolutely no interest in finding it. It was like pulling teeth but even you now seem to have been forced to admit the truth. Maybe you should be a little more open, a little more questioning and a little less credulous when people are telling you that the end of the world is nigh.

    – “The CONSISTENT theme in your argument…that any attempt to control CO2 would require/result-in bigger government. This particular assumption makes a serious error. Government already has the required power…. more than enough.”

    Then let’s agree that it would result in greater use of existing powers to interfere in people’s lives.
    Most likely it would result in even higher levels of state controls and taxation, with the money being squandered by central government. And who would benefit, apart from the bloated state and its supporters? Not the environment. Not the world’s poor. Not the people whose pockets are being picked. That’s the reality. All the revenue from these “green taxes” just become part of the general revenue which is used to buy elections.

    Alistair,

    – “I just don’t need no frickin’ hockeystick to tell me the planet’s getting warmer. That’s your strawman number one.”

    I’m lost. Where is the strawman?

    – “Er yeah, the Arctic tundra last unfroze when exactly? The rate of melting of the Greenland glaciers was greater, when exactly? Discuss. But look up some of the recent science first.

    Here’s quite a good link to information about the Arctic. I think you’ll find it is a complex issue; one not best discussed with simplistic headlines and skiing andecdotes:-

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/PDF/rich2952/rich2952.pdf

    As for Greenland, the most recent report I found was mentioned at http://www.worldclimatereport.com (just search for “Greenland”). It discusses recent work to construct a climate history for the area it says “However, of greater importance is the fact that the researchers found the warmest year on record to be 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the warmest decades on record. This represents very bad news for climate change alarmists, since the warmest period was NOT the last quarter of the 20th century. In fact, the last two decades of the 20th century (1981-1990 and 1991-2000) were colder across the study area than any of the previous six decades, dating back to the 1900s and 1910s (Table 1). When examining the instrumental records of the stations it is apparent that no net warming has occurred since the warm period of the 1930s and 1940s…in a region of the world where climate models indicate that the greatest impacts of CO2-induced global warming will be most rapid and most evident, this recent extension of instrumental surface air temperature records produces a climate history that seems to suggest otherwise.”

    So, now that we have the facts, what was it you wanted to discuss about Greenland?

    You should both spend a lot of time at http://www.worldclimatereport.com. It is a site which highlights many pieces of scholarly research which don’t make the headlines but which all go to building up a bigger picture. That’s assuming, of course, that you have any interest in the real facts of the matter?

    – “And you know this is an anthropogenic effect, er, how exactly? ”
    – “Regression of snow levels where I live…” etc etc (let me stop you there)

    So, you don’t know at all. It’s just something you assumed, something you asserted, and which in turn you took as evidence of your beliefs. That about sums up your whole approach.

    – “despite the huge strides made over recent decades in modelling the climate, I have failed to twig to the non-anthropogenic warming factors that might have caused the current sudden climate swing. Perhaps you could clue me in for that last bit, Mould? I suspect not.”

    Let me be clear about this, you are claiming to understand how the climate works? I take my hat off to you sir.

    You will be able to tell us, then, what percentage of recent warming is anthropogenic.

    Please do…(really, I want you to tell us this information)…

  22. alistair:

    Thanks for the webcam link.
    That looks like a pleasant area to learn in (and it is about the same height as Coronet Peak Queenstown, which also is getting rain occasionally on its lower slopes, while snow falls up higher.)

    There is nothing like rain to devistate piste … but in continental Europe in JANUARY it is outside my experience!
    Do they have snowmaking equipment (water and night time temperatures allowing? … which is becoming problematic in many areas now.)

    The good snowmakers do wonderful things with their water/compressed air mixes. It has become a real art form/science.
    eg in Caterbury they “make” with more water in the mix before the NorWest gales to form an icey layer to hold the snow base, and then they introduce more compressed air to put a powder layer on top etc. What they can do depends on air temperature. All this is done in conjunction with the snow groomers. These big machines work all night most nights. Mount Hutt has a large, artificial, self-filling lake to store the water it needs.

    I believe that in some heavily used ski areas elsewhere in the world, they now have cooling units (like those in ice rinks) under their main beginner-ski school areas …)

    Kiwi trained snow makers/groomers are sought after by Northern Hemisphere Ski Resorts. Not only are they practical and adptable, but they have experience with changeable conditions …

    (As a “good Green”, alpine skiing is my one serious indulgence.
    I minimise my contribution to the depletion of fossil fuels by always travelling in a full car and, for the rest of the time always using public transport or my bike!)

  23. Eredwen :

    Last year my daughters and I taught ourselves to ski, mostly at a little station in the Massif Central an hour’s drive from here. (I’ve been a beginner for 20 years now). We chose our year well. It was an excellent season, with snow from early December to late March — more snow than they’d had for at least ten years (which shows that individual seasons cannot be relied upon, it’s the trend that counts.)

    That poor station is trying to get by on artificial snow. It’s raining there today… just look at the webcam!
    http://www.loire-chalmazel.fr/webcam.htm

    I don’t have the heart to take the girls there this week, it seems so pathetic. The seasonal workers are in trouble. The banks won’t lend money for new equipment under 2000 metres… the writing’s on the wall.

  24. The whole global warming scare started when the Hockestick purported to show a very stable historical climate (in a slight downward trend) up until around 150 years ago

    I just don’t need no frickin’ hockeystick to tell me the planet’s getting warmer. That’s your strawman number one. The ten warmest years in history have all been since 1990… etc.

    the climate’s rate of change certainly *isn’t* unprecedented or even noteworthy, thus demonstrating the *lack* of effect of that increased CO2.

    Er yeah, the Arctic tundra last unfroze when exactly? The rate of melting of the Greenland glaciers was greater, when exactly? Discuss. But look up some of the recent science first.

    Your fundamental mental block seems to be this : in the past, it seems that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have most often been a trailing indicator of global warming (though a factor of positive feedback, due to the greenhouse effect). It seems that you therefore conclude that it can’t be a leading indicator or forcing factor, despite all indications to the contrary. This isn’t scientific reasoning, it’s evidence of brain death.


    – “I just spent some time with friends in the Chartreuse region?

    Oh the hypocrisy.

    I beg your pardon? That’s about an hour and a half’s drive from where I’m sitting. I can live with the carbon footprint of going to see them a couple of times a year. But your mileage may vary, as the saying goes.

    – ? The small ski stations are dying, as there is no longer any guarantee of snow under about 2000 metres. Nice little object lesson in some of the more trivial economic effects of anthropogenic global warming…?

    And you know this is an anthropogenic effect, er, how exactly?

    Regression of snow levels where I live, and in the ski stations east, west and south of here, is something I have direct personal experience of. I have no reason to believe the scientists are lying to me and faking the satellite pictures etc, I accept the evidence that the warming is global and not local. I have studied the various forcing effects that have enabled scientists to elucidate various past climate swings. I have understood the notion that various forcing factors can add or subtract from net global temperatures. I have seen the numbers which indicate that the anthropogenic forcings (notably but not exclusively CO2, methane, suspended particles) are of an order of magnitude which are sufficient to affect net global temperatures, and the numbers also indicate that the positive forcings exceed the negative forcings. Furthermore, and despite the huge strides made over recent decades in modelling the climate, I have failed to twig to the non-anthropogenic warming factors that might have caused the current sudden climate swing.

    Perhaps you could clue me in for that last bit, Mould? I suspect not. For lack of a plausible “natural” positive forcing, those who persist in denying or “doubting” anthropogenic warming are reduced to merely denying that there is significant warming at all…

    Which becomes increasingly comical as the evidence becomes daily more overwhelming.

  25. Mouldwarp – CO2 coupling to temperature whether driving or being driven, is WELL documented through all the research done to date. You claim it is a result of the warming not a cause, fine. Result or cause, it has changed violently in the recent past and far more violently than any historically indicated change.

    I asked you before, can you point us to what you believe to be an accurate representation of the climate of the last 1000 years? If not, shouldn’t you concede that you just don’t have even the beginnings of a case?

    Well actually, NO…. because the instrumental record is quite clear and inexplicable in terms of any other inputs, and the paleoclimate proxies describing several ice-ages and interglacials gives excellent relative if not absolute temperature data and what we have now ain’t ever happened before. Other things HAVE happened of course, but that was then, this is now.

    Let me ask YOU the question. Is there any climate history that YOU like? Is there any theory that you present that gives us an indication of how cold or warm any part of any interglacial period was? I don’t think there can be. You actually have no idea how warm the MWP was either. The proxies I accept show the MWP and the LIA and many do, but science has always regarded the Holocene “optimum” as having occurred over 5000 years ago… and warmer than now I might add. That does not change the issue of what is happening now.

    The record that means the most is the most accurate and most recent, which is (oh dear) getting warmer a lot faster than we’d expect and associated with a lot more CO2 getting dumped a lot faster than we’d expect… except for us doing it.

    The global warming scare began about a decade before the hockeystick Mouldwarp… at least among scientists. Sigh. It may be that a LITTLE of that CO2 would be a useful thing in keeping temperatures from sinking back towards the next Ice-Age, but to be useful would require us to actually be in control of what is happening and how much.

    We aren’t.

    You are telling us, repeatedly that it doesn’t matter. You don’t KNOW that it doesn’t matter, but that’s no problem for you. You can’t deny that CO2 forces climate but you regard it as irrelevant. You can’t deny that the recent instrumental record shows increases in temperature that cannot be explained without CO2 forcing in any GCM but that doesn’t matter to you. You seldom distinguish between global and regional events in your reading and you have afflicted this board with some of the most preposterous theories and references I care to recall.

    You can show that some proxy records used for paleoclimate research are misleading over the past 1000 years and that is ALL that matters to you. Unfortunately climate science isn’t about hockey.

    Most proxies of pollen from lake beds and CO2 levels work better over the 700000 years of such records we can derive, but it is hard to to trust the calibration period we have to use confounded as it is by the recent industrial growth and release of massive amounts of CO2. However calibrated, what is happening now appears unprecedented. Absolute temperatures cannot be relied on but the rate of change is impossible to disguise. The CO2 coupling and climate models DO account for it. Models and theory accepted in the refereed scientific journals and scrutinized in detail.

    The CONSISTENT theme in your argument, even more consistent than the high-stick penalty, is that any attempt to control CO2 would require/result-in bigger government. This particular assumption makes a serious error. Government already has the required power…. more than enough. It has the power to tax and regulate land use and a zillion other things. What more power is required? I don’t know of any. You go on to some implied result that appears to link Greens with a desire to expand government to obtain this unneeded extra power and with authoritarianism in general. Dead wrong. Could not be more wrong. Greens do not like “big government” and maybe you should read more deeply into our charter principles to understand that. You’ve been one of the most vile and insulting contributors to this board, and you’ve been treated unkindly in return. Fair enough. What you’ve done here is not a public service.

    Step back and look at the larger picture Mouldwarp. You can be right about a little thing and still wrong about bigger issues.

    BJ

  26. eredwin,

    And let us not also forget that we may now be entering the early stages of the inevitable next ice age.
    Of course, we might not be but “WE MUST ACT ACCORDINGLY NOW and, for the future of life on Earth, at least behave as if the connection is proved.” Get those CO2 emissions up people.

    And the same for every other theoretical threat you can possibly imagine. We must act on all of them as if the connection is proved.

    The problem with such a bizarre approach – apart from the contradictory nature of all the imagined threats – is, of course, the opportunity cost – all the good you *could* have done for so many people if you hadn’t squandered everything on red-herrings.

  27. Mouldwarp argues:
    “It would be more accurate to say that, given what we know about natural climate variation, it is not possible to positively identify the fingerprint of an anthropogenic influence in the recent warming.”

    OK EVERYONE: We could just accept that argument … along with its implicit addition:
    … “nor is it possible to positively rule it out.”

    Therefore WE MUST ACT ACCORDINGLY NOW and, for the future of life on Earth, at least behave as if the connection is proved.

    So let’s STOP WASTING TIME ON THIS and get into ACTION (or at the very least, the discussion thereof!)

    Or is that just too hard (or sacrey) for some of you!

    Sigh!!
    from eredwen

  28. bjchip,

    – “Where I come from a temperature that represents a temperature isn’t usually called a “proxy?. You can accept that this is normal usage or you can be real pedantic about your definitions.”

    Sorry, you are talking out of your borehole. As I said before, this data, like tree rings etc, serves here as a “proxy” for a non-existent temperature history.
    This is not about being pedantic, it is about understanding the simplest terms and the basic methodology involved in any attempt to reconstruct a climate history. Your talk about “a temperature that represents a temperature” is quite simply gibberish.

    – “No temperature related release of CO2 from the ocean can account for the CO2 levels now prevalent or the rate of change of this CO2. THEREFORE something different is happening.”

    Nobody disputes that the increase in CO2 levels is anything but anthropogenic. The question is, just how much of an effect is it having on the climate.
    The whole global warming scare started when the Hockestick purported to show a very stable historical climate (in a slight downward trend) up until around 150 years ago, when it depicts a sharp upward reversal (the so-called blade of the hockeystick). Such an “obviously” unnatural event required an unnatural driver, and CO2 (a known greenhouse gas) was presumed to be that driver because atmospheric levels had been increasing since, well, since about 150 years ago.
    This theory appeared to be clinched by the chart depicting the long-term correlation between temperature and levels of atmospheric CO2.

    However…

    We now know that the Hockeystick is an entirely false representation of the climate history and that recent warming is in no way unusual or even noteworthy. Moreover, as I previously mentioned, the historical link between temperature and CO2 is actually the reverse of what people believed (and which the majority still appear to believe).
    So the position now is that the climate appears to be doing what is always does, and there is absolutely no reason to assume that the effect of that extra CO2 (which after all, let’s not forget, amounts to just a trace increase in the overall natural greenhouse effect) is having anything but a marginal influence.

    And there are numerous other flaws with the theory which I have already mentioned, such as the fact that you are being very selective with the data when trying to impose the increase in CO2 on the temperature record of the last 100 years. It just doesn’t correlate.

    – “The CO2 level and rate of change is unprecedented in 600000 years.”

    Maybe so, but the climate’s rate of change certainly *isn’t* unprecedented or even noteworthy, thus demonstrating the *lack* of effect of that increased CO2. I have pointed this out to you before but you don’t appear to grasp this simple piece of logic.
    You keep going on about the rate of change of CO2, as if that in itself is of importance. You are assuming the very thing you are tryin to prove.

    – “That’s not a proxy measurement to me either, as it is entrained CO2 in the ice cores that gives us the CO2 changes, but if you want we’ll call it a proxy cause we didn’t measure the CO2 at the time.”

    If you are extracting CO2 in order to measure the levels of that gas then it is obviously not a proxy. It’s only a proxy when you use one measurement to infer another.

    – “your presence here remains one of the minor mysteries of the universe..why?”

    It’s a form of public service.

    In turn I am genuinely baffled by your closed-minded attitude. You appear to have absolutely no interest in an objective examination of the facts. It actually makes you angry. You are only interested in anything which allows you to go on believing that the sky is falling. I can understand the Green Party taking this line: They, like Greenpeace, have a vested interest in scaring the public with ever-more doom-laden and apocalyptic stories.
    I think your problem is that you have a huge emotional investment in this belief of yours; a belief which, after all, caused you to come half-way round the world to what you consider to be the lifeboat which is New Zealand. Could you ever admit to yourself and your family that, actually, you got it *way* out of proportion?

    I asked you before, can you point us to what you believe to be an accurate representation of the climate of the last 1000 years? If not, shouldn’t you concede that you just don’t have even the beginnings of a case?

    Alistair,

    – “1) “Those who are worried about global warming believe that there has never been any rapid climate change in the past?.
    – Just writing it down is enough to demonstrate its absurdity.”

    Well, the Hockeystick with its unnaturally stable historical climate was indeed widely accepted (and still is by those unaware of its scandalous faults) and reproduced everywhere. Are you saying that you shrewdly never accepted the Hockeystick? Good for you.

    – “2) “The fact that there have been sudden climate changes in the past is proof that a) climate change can not be caused by humans, and b) climate change is no threat.?
    -Likewise, once baldly stated, this argument is completely laughable.”

    Indeed. I’m laughing myself. But then, that’s not what is being suggested.

    It would be more accurate to say that, given what we know about natural climate variation, it is not possible to positively identify the fingerprint of an anthropogenic influence in the recent warming.

    I hope you can see how this is nothing at all like your misrepresentation of the case.

    – “I just spent some time with friends in the Chartreuse region”

    Oh the hypocrisy.

    – ” The small ski stations are dying, as there is no longer any guarantee of snow under about 2000 metres. Nice little object lesson in some of the more trivial economic effects of anthropogenic global warming…”

    And you know this is an anthropogenic effect, er, how exactly?

    Do you see how your automatic assumption just helps to reinforce your prejudice?

  29. bj:

    “What if they had a war and nobody came?” is the best quote I can think of when dealing with Mouldwarp et al.

  30. Alistair says:

    “I just spent some time with friends in the Chartreuse region (green Chartreuse as it happens, on account of the lack of snow). The small ski stations are dying, as there is no longer any guarantee of snow under about 2000 metres. Nice little object lesson in some of the more trivial economic effects of anthropogenic global warming…”

    “trivial”? THIS IS VERY SERIOUS STUFF !
    As one who has been an active skier (and climber) since 1947 (… my parents met at Aoraki/Mt Cook), and one who commuted between hemispheres for over a decade in the 1960s 70s 80’s the overall changes in snow cover have been dramatic. Without the recent (and extremely costly) developments in snowmaking, snow retaining, snow shifting, and grooming techniques the differences would be even more stark … there would be inadequate snow almost everywhere almost all of the time. Unfortunately this is only going to get worse.

  31. I know, and I wish Frog would do SOMETHING about this blog that would let us ignore him safely ( not allowing innocent readers to get the impression that the Greens cannot argue the blunt instruments he raises in lieue of points).

    Since it is a wholly open forum the only way to counter the spew is to argue back. I am not entertained by trolling or by trolls, but as long as things are as they are someone has to answer. Every time.

    Hmmm…. this gives me an idea though.

    BJ

  32. Warp :
    You can go on yelling HOCKEYSTICKHOCKEYSTICKHOCKEYSTICKHOCKEYSTICKHOCKEYSTICK
    HOCKEYSTICKHOCKEYSTICKHOCKEYSTICK till you’re blue in the face (though that might actually be the mould…)

    it won’t make it snow in France.

    I just spent some time with friends in the Chartreuse region (green Chartreuse as it happens, on account of the lack of snow). The small ski stations are dying, as there is no longer any guarantee of snow under about 2000 metres. Nice little object lesson in some of the more trivial economic effects of anthropogenic global warming…

    But let’s talk about YOU.
    Your argumentation suffers from being based on two fundamental strawman arguments. To paraphrase :

    1) “Those who are worried about global warming believe that there has never been any rapid climate change in the past”.

    Just writing it down is enough to demonstrate its absurdity.

    2) “The fact that there have been sudden climate changes in the past is proof that a) climate change can not be caused by humans, and b) climate change is no threat.”

    Likewise, once baldly stated, this argument is completely laughable.

    The rest is just obfuscation. Frankly, nobody gives a flying fick about hockeystucks.

    BJ: I the reason he keeps coming back for another beating is that nobody bothers to respond to him elsewhere.

  33. Mouldwarp – can you even read a simple declarative sentence without making a false inference? What direction is “significant”?

    It isn’t up and it isn’t down. All it is is big.

    Moreover, changes in the North Atlantic are subject to abrupt changes due to the Gulf Stream. Those abrupt changes are, by every measure, balanced by abrupt changes elsewhere.

    Where I come from a temperature that represents a temperature isn’t usually called a “proxy”. You can accept that this is normal usage or you can be real pedantic about your definitions. Your arrogant bellicosity is nauseating at this point and you are STILL bringing “hockeystick” references here. Pointing out your insane obsession here is getting pretty boring.

    I recall pointing out to YOU that the global climate is not always driven by the same thing every time it changes.

    Lets see if you can comprehend a simple difference between then and now. Cause it is what is happening NOW that is important.

    Historically CO2 is not the primary driver of climate. CO2 variation in the past contributes to warming but does not drive it cause there’s little in the natural system to change the carbon balance. The oceanic release/absorption of CO2 in the past both drives some additional warming/cooling and is driven by warming/cooling, so it provides a positive feedback to other systems. This is accounted for in the models used. NOW however, the level of CO2 is extremely decoupled from ocean temperature changes. Some has assuredly been released from the ocean but humans have done the bulk release.

    No temperature related release of CO2 from the ocean can account for the CO2 levels now prevalent or the rate of change of this CO2. THEREFORE something different is happening.

    “And your wild beliefs about recent warming being anomalous (to the extent that you thought it was unprecedented in 5 ice ages – 600000 years) has been shown to be an absolutely absurd piece of ignorance.”

    Read it again Mouldwarp. The CO2 level and rate of change is unprecedented in 600000 years. That’s not a proxy measurement to me either, as it is entrained CO2 in the ice cores that gives us the CO2 changes, but if you want we’ll call it a proxy cause we didn’t measure the CO2 at the time.

    You have dangerous misconceptions Mouldwarp… and your presence here remains one of the minor mysteries of the universe. In defiance of any reasoned effort made to change the way the world works you trouble yourself to come to a website run by a Green party in NZ that is not part of government, has no power and has done nothing at all to you, to abuse the members and insult the intelligence of the readers.

    Why?

  34. bjchip,

    – “Since the relationship is temperature to temperature, no proxy is involved.”

    They are a proxy temperature record, as opposed to actual temperature records which consist of direct measurements by a thermometry device. This is pre-school stuff when it comes to discussing the climate history, and the Hockeystick in particular.

    Another problem with the Hockeystick, which until recently at least you stoutly defended, is the so-called divergence problem.
    The Hockeystick chart itself consists of two different datasets: proxy temperature data (tree rings) up until around a 100+ years ago when direct temperature recordings start to become available.
    On its own the proxy data could (at best) tell us the *pattern* of temperature change; it could not tell us what the actual temperatures were. However, since the proxy data overlaps with the later direct temperature record we can calibrate the earlier data to infer temperatures.

    Interestingly, the scary upward blade of the Hockeystick chart occurs right around where these two datasets are joined.

    Even more interesting is that, if a chart is plotted that continues to use tree-ring proxy data rather than switching to directly measured temperatures, the majority of the proxy sources show a *decline* in the 20th century rather than the scary upwards hockeystick blade.

    Obviously, if the tree-ring proxy data is not reflecting apparent warming in the 20th century, it would equally not show any earlier warming spikes and would thus present an entirely false climate record.
    This is not unexpected. It is known that tree growth is not a simple proxy for temperature. This is just one more reason why the Hockeystick is an utterly worthless piece of junk.

    Is there any greeny here who still maintains that the Hockeystick is an accurate or even useful representation of the climate history? I suspect not. But I further suspect that it won’t stop them using the Hockeystick as propaganda for the cause, or at least not correcting others when they wield it.

    – “I am not “defending the veracity of the hockeystick?. As far as I am concerned the handle of the thing is pretty ill-defined”

    Then please point us to what you consider to be an accurate temperature record of the last 1000 years. After all, without such a piece of evidence you surely have no case since you could not know if recent warming is anomalous or not? Can you produce this vital data, or not?

    – “The warming to get there [the MWP] however, was far slower than what we are seeing now, and it was not CO2 that was pushing it up.”

    I don’t think it has been clearly demonstrated quite how fast the warming of the MWP was, so you can’t make that claim (unless you can point us to what you consider to be an accurate climate history?)

    A large part of your problem is that you are highly selective (dishonestly so) with the data. To try and exaggerate recent warming you choose as your starting point the depths of the recent Little Ice Age and compare it with today’s temperature. Why not choose an average temperature of the last 1000 years (if one could possibly be divined) and use that for your comparison with today’s temperature? Or would that spoil the propaganda?

    Also, you neglect the fact that half the recent warming occured before 1940 – i.e. before the post-war global industrialisation which really increased CO2 emissions. It would be completely dishonest to bundle that earlier period of warming together with the post-1970’s warming and attribute it all to a level of atmospheric CO2 which only really increased significantly after 1940; yet that is precisely the trick you are trying to pull. And don’t forget the three decades of cooling after 1940 which directly contradict your theory.

    So really, you have just the warming since the late 1970’s which you could possibly try and ascribe to anthropogenic CO2. That seems an entirely too brief period to be making outrageous claims about the sky falling in.

    – “- “a single decade in which half the entire post ice-age warming? IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC
    – ‘The global temperature is, of necessity a rather larger measurement, and the local temperature changes do indeed vary all over the place far faster than the total mean temperature of the planet. Which is one thing and what this research is telling you is something more specific about the velocity of local change.
    You do work SO hard to prove the adage that “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing?.’

    Perhaps you should read the quotation from the National Academies Press (Ocean Studies Board, Polar Research Board and Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate) again? It says “roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe.?

    Read that last part again – “and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe.?

    So what have we learned?

    The Hockeystick you once so stoutly defended has been proven to be a complete crock.

    Also, I seem to recall pointing out to you that the historic correlation between CO2 and temperature has been shown to be the reverse of what you believed: temperature fluctuations actually drove changes in the levels of atmospheric CO2, not vice-versa (because warmer ocean water can hold less CO2).

    And your wild beliefs about recent warming being anomalous (to the extent that you thought it was unprecedented in 5 ice ages – 600000 years) has been shown to be an absolutely absurd piece of ignorance.

  35. Mouldwarp

    FIRST:
    These boreholes measure temperature in the boreholes afaik. They aren’t ice-cores or other proxies like pollen. The temperature-depth profiles are not “proxies” for anything.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1999GeoJI.138..541H

    Just to grab the first thing that comes to hand. Since the relationship is temperature to temperature, no proxy is involved.

    SECOND:
    I am not “defending the veracity of the hockeystick”. As far as I am concerned the handle of the thing is pretty ill-defined.

    sigh…

    I already discussed this cr@p about “the hockeystick” ad-nauseum with you and AS you recall I pointedly rejected Mann’s use of CO2 sensitive proxies. I also eliminated several other studies that use the same proxies, and I accepted that it leaves the warmth in the MWP was potentially as great as what we’ve seen to date. This doesn’t mean the climate isn’t warming abnormally now, it means that that particular experimental result needs to be discarded and that the MWP may have been as warm as todays climate.

    The warming to get there however, was far slower than what we are seeing now, and it was not CO2 that was pushing it up. There are many things that make it change MW, and that was then and this is now.

    – “a single decade in which half the entire post ice-age warming” IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC

    The global temperature is, of necessity a rather larger measurement, and the local temperature changes do indeed vary all over the place far faster than the total mean temperature of the planet. Which is one thing and what this research is telling you is something more specific about the velocity of local change.

    You do work SO hard to prove the adage that “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

    BJ

  36. bjchip,

    – “No proxies there MW… the measurements were borehole measurements… sorry to be bothering you with that little detail”

    er, do you actually understand what a “proxy” is?

    It is the use of an historic natural record as a proxy for the temperature record, given that there was nobody around throughout all of history and pre-history to record the actual temperature for us. Hence borehole measurements, like tree-rings, are proxy records. Sorry to be bothering you with that little detail.

    – “I have wandered through climateaudit at length… and the data does not contradict my beliefs.”

    So you have wandered through climateaudit.org – a site dedicated to discussing the problems associated with using proxy data to construct a climate history – and, apparently without ever once stumbling across what a “proxy” actually is, concluded that there is nothing there to contradict your beliefs.

    Forgive me, but I think this tells us more about you than it does about that site.

    Now that I’ve told you what a proxy is, perhaps you should go back and study the data at that site again?

    And what exactly are these unwavering “beliefs” of yours? That the hockeystick is an accurate representation of the climate history? Are you saying there is nothing in climateaudit which doesn’t contradict such a belief? Well, everyone can look for themself and see how completely wrong you are.

    – “Has it registered YET that I do not care if there was a Medieval warm period?”

    No, it hasn’t; because on the one hand you are defending the veracity of the Hockeystick, and on the other you are claiming you don’t care if there was or was not a Medieval Warm Period – an event entirely whitewashed from the Hockeystick.
    You can’t have it both ways. Which is it? Was there indeed an MWP or do you still defend your Hockeystick? And if you have to abandon your Hockeystick and admit the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period into the climate record then it has to be conceded that your alarmist case about unprecedented climate change is largely demolished.

    – “How fast did it warm up at the beginning of the MWP? How fast did it warm up at the end of the last Ice Age. How fast at ANY time in the last 600000 years? Got that answer? So compare this with how fast is it going now.”

    Okay. So now you’re saying that the Medieval Warm Period *did* happen.

    Since we agree that there was an MWP, and it is certain that this major event does not feature on your precious Hockeystick chart, can you finally admit that the Hockeystick is a complete crock?
    Thank you. This is progress. The question is, are you able to modify your “beliefs” in the light of this new information?

    But now you are changing your argument: You seem to be conceding that, okay, events like the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period *did* happen, so recent warming is not the unique event you once believed – except for one aspect – its rapidy and scale – its abruptness – which makes it unique and worrying. Is that correct? Is this what you are claiming?
    Specifically, you appear to be saying that recent climate change is unprecedented in its rapidity and scale in the last 600000 years. Is that correct?

    If that’s what you are claiming, then you are profoundly ignorant (look-up the Younger Dryas climate event of just 11,500 years ago as an example of a sharp transition.) Recent warming is a trivial event when put in its proper context. Your alarmism is born out of ignorance.
    To quote from the National Academies Press – “”Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed.” It goes on to say “roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe.”
    http://orsted.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

    Now, are you suggesting that the recent tepid warming compares in any way to the decade mentioned in this quotation – a single decade in which half the entire post ice-age warming occured? (remember your angry rhetoric above? “How fast did it warm up at the end of the last Ice Age”, well the answer is ‘a damn sight faster than anything in recent centuries.’)
    The piece continues – “The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.”

    Amen to that. But of course, I’m mentioning this just to demonstrate the falsity of your belief that recent warming constitutes an abrupt (indeed, unprecedented) climate event. It is nothing of the sort. It is a modest upward trend which is comparable in speed and scale to the MWP and LIA which came before it.

    – “Got a good theoretical answer to why it’s doing something different now than it has anytime in the past 5 Ice Ages? ”

    Well, my theoretical answer is that your claim is utter nonsense. As the National Academies Press item says of the warming after the last ice-age: “roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade.” So your hysterical nonsense about the climate “doing something different now than it has anytime in the past 5 Ice Ages” can be binned along with all your other misinformed hysteria.

    Why is it that you post such misinformed nonsense and make such patently false and ludicrous claims, yet not one of your green chums here corrects you? Are they all as ignorant as you, or do they knowingly and cynically allow the propogation of such mendacious propaganda? Whatever it is, it will backfire. People get tired of being lied to.

    A book you should buy yourself for Christmas- “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years”

    http://www.amazon.com/Unstoppable-Global-Warming-Every-Years/dp/0742551172/sr=1-1/qid=1167736160/ref=sr_1_1/104-9389487-3215154?ie=UTF8&s=books

  37. Mouldwarp said:

    > Of course you can, because you can show anything you want by
    > being selective with the data.

    Mwhahahahahahah! Oh, the irony of this statement from a man whose scientific beliefs are fuelled by the publishings of “think tanks” and cranks.

    Sadly, the irony will be lost on him.

  38. No proxies there MW… the measurements were borehole measurements… sorry to be bothering you with that little detail and I already showed you where the data was. You obviously didn’t bother to read it the first time. Which is your privilege, but that doesn’t extend to abusing this board because you choose to remain ignorant. I have wandered through climateaudit at length… and the data does not contradict my beliefs.

    Have you looked at it with a view to the larger question or has the hockey-stick/mwp thing been embedded in your brain?

    Has it registered YET that I do not care if there was a Medieval warm period? It is wholly and grossly irrelevant to the science explaining what is happening now and I have to wonder at your remarkable talent for bringing this topic back from the dead no matter how dead it has been killed.

    How fast did it warm up at the beginning of the MWP? How fast did it warm up at the end of the last Ice Age. How fast at ANY time in the last 600000 years? Got that answer? So compare this with how fast is it going now. How fast did the CO2 increase?

    Got a good theoretical answer to why it’s doing something different now than it has anytime in the past 5 Ice Ages? Want to bet the life of every man woman and child on the planet that your answer is better than that of the IPCC, NASA and every major science organisation on the planet?

    You’ve had all the attention you deserve and more on this blog. I personally am sick of having to deal with your problem. What DO you hope to accomplish here? Greens aren’t in government. NOTHING you say here can accomplish the slightest change in NZ policy. Your obsessive attention to a single issue with a single form of data in the historical record is bizarre behaviour to start with, and irrelevant in the end.

    Not that this will deter you, but innocent readers of this thread need to know that your posts here are (with the exception of your link to climateaudit.org) misleading at best, and climateaudit is a one-trick pony too. At least it doesn’t pretend to be (or mean) anything else.

    BJ

  39. bjchip,

    – “I can point you at data that eschews the plant proxies, uses less argument provoking statistics, and shows warming that still resembles a “hockey stick?.

    Of course you can, because you can show anything you want by being selective with the data.
    Now, if you were to claim that there is no contrary evidence – no data showing a Medieval Warm Period, no data showing a Little Ice Age, and no data showing a climate which is constantly changing, often significantly and dramatically – then, if true, that would be of very real significance.

    Is that what you are claiming?

    No. I didn’t think so. All you are doing is trying to throw up a smokescreen by showing that, if we quietly ignore the mass of contrary data, we can produce any chart we like.

    The best site that deals with proxy studies is http://www.climateaudit.org
    If you spend some time looking round there you will find a huge amount of data (from independent studies) which contradicts your cherished beliefs about the climate history; and you are readily able to leave comments there to challenge anything you believe to be unfair, incorrect or biased.

    – “What purpose do you have with this spew”

    Just what are you afraid of?

  40. Mouldwarp – What purpose do you have with this spew. Again I can point you at data that eschews the plant proxies, uses less argument provoking statistics, and shows warming that still resembles a “hockey stick”. … and I do recollect that I did. I ain’t doing it again.

    BJ

  41. sorry, that is rather an ad homenim argument, although maybe that should be an “ad website” argument since I was denegrating a badly designed incoherent student website rather than it’s author. What’s the latin for “website”?

  42. Pip,

    Let me put it this way. Entirely *random data* fed through Mann’s computer program will almost invariably produce a hockeystick chart indistinguishable from the offical one that is still being used as propaganda (witness the Met Office’s reference to it).

    Some of the top statisticians in the US have confirmed this astonishing error and identified the fault in the analysis program.

    These are facts, not opinion, I’m spelling out here.

    Do you still insist that this a “minor flaw”? How can it *not* be completely discredited? And how could anyone who continues to promote the hockeystick in the light of this information not also be discredited?

    Imagine for a moment that I was trying to prove the reverse case using a home-grown computer program that almost always produced the chart I wanted even when fed completely random data. People would rightly ridicule such a preposterous piece of chicanery, yet that is precisely what Mann’s hockeystick is.

    And just for laughs, see the global warming spin techniques applied to the latest piece of “news”, but this time in reverse to demonstrate how you can produce any story you want if you are cynical enough:-

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/12/2006-probably-coldest-year-in-last.html

  43. bj:

    I am now using the “see-the-name-then-scroll-down-and-ignore” technique, but I must admit that my curiousity gets the better of me at times, too …

  44. Yes, the holidays are here. The grafitti is in bloom all over the country.

    Pip …. Mouldwarp prefers grand statements so he can continue with further overgeneralizations and disparaging denouncements. He’s already been shown summaries which excised the offending data but still show a pretty nasty bit high-stick foul. He knows where it is…

    Frog! When can we get an “ignore this person” or maybe just “ignorant person” labeling system on this blog?

    respectfully
    BJ

  45. Completely discredited? Please.

    My understanding is that the Mann graph has some minor flaws in it but that it is but one graph in several decade of scientific work by thousands of scientists which, overall, support it’s findings. Most subsequent approximations of temperature over comparable periods fall within its error bars. Ie. it is not at all completely discredited but is accepted as reasonably accurate.

    So, maybe they aren’t that ignorant, maybe they look at the state of the science rather than one graph in one paper published in the 1990’s.

    But I fear this may turn into a replay of a long thread on the hockey stick.

  46. Just what on earth does the Met Service think the climate is going to do? Stay the same? That really would be something worthy of a press release.

    Of *course* the climate is changing. It always has and it always will.

    I notice the Met Service release links to a site (www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/005.htm) which prominently displays the completely discredited Hockeystick chart. Are they really that ignorant of the subject?

    And I may be wrong about this, but when they say “since records began” I suspect they mean (at least according to the site referenced above) since the year 1861.

    This is the blink of an eye in climate terms!

    Sheesh. What a bunch of hacks.

  47. I thought the debate about is there or isn’t there was well done, with only those protagonists in the employ of vested interests left as the naysayers…?

  48. It’s sad to see Augie lose the plot. He was a good mentor, and taught MetService forecasters a huge amount about day-to-day forecasting techniques, especially in the severe weather and mesoscale forecasting areas. He has never been a climate scientist, though.

  49. Like you ZAN am sick of the yes or no on global climate change. What both sides can agree on that we need to do something on energy and future human expansion.

    Also interested in what happens in worse case scenarios from either side (over population or rising waters). Pesonally see us living more and more in the 75% of the planet that is not inhabited. Mainly under and on the oceans or underground in marginal habitats.

    Interesting discussion could be had on how sustainable life would be and how the economies would work out using different possibilities and options. Ownership (or entitlement) of the seafloor alone will fill many a day!

    If we concentrate on what we can do that makes a better future for our children both side of the argument can win (save the planet and allow for the growth of man kind)

    The very worst case scenerio is we dont do anything and everyone withers.

  50. And here we go again! (she says, in wry anticipation of all the un-interesting and un-challenging climate change sceptic tirades to follow hehehe) 😀

    So I guess Augie can consider himself officially excommunicated 🙂

  51. “An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the weather and climate system,? said Dr.Gordon.

    Here we go!
    Interesting and challenging times are ahead.

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