Climate change is no longer a stand-alone issue

As world leaders meet today in New York for the UN Climate Summit, Eithne McNulty of Trocaire writes this guest post for Slugger to argue:

Climate change is no longer a stand-alone issue, it is the entire context in which the world exists

Humans, along with every other species, depend totally on the proper functioning of the planet for the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. A small change to nature’s system can have the effect of knocking the entire basis of life on earth out of synch.

Tragically, we are seeing one such change. It is called climate change and it cannot be described as small.

Fact: the earth’s average temperature is higher today than it was before mass industrialisation. Fact: each of the last three decades have been successively warmer than any preceding decade since 1850.

The scientific evidence is unequivocal: not only is our climate changing, it is changing as a direct result of carbon emissions from human activity. If emissions continue as they are, experts warn that by 2100 average global temperatures will be between 3.7-4.8°C higher than today.

Such a rise would have a profound impact on sea levels, rainfall patterns and the frequency of extreme weather events. These, in turn, would similarily have a profound impact on our ability to live. Crop yields across much of Africa are predicted to fall, including by up to 50 per cent by 2020 in some countries, as a direct consequence of climate change. Even optimistic predictions forecast that there could be an additional 86 million malnourished children in the world by 2050.

We do not have to look to the future to see the devastation of climate change, of course. Today, one in twelve people across the world is at risk of hunger. Through my work with Trocaire I have seen how drought, storms and floods are plunging people already on the edge into further poverty.

The reality is simple: climate change is no longer a stand-alone issue, it is the entire context in which the world exists.

When world leaders meet in New York today (September 23rd) at the UN Climate Summit, the urgency for genuine action has never been greater. The decisions we take today and over the coming years will have huge implications on a wide range of issues, from food production to mass migration, for decades to come.

Despite dire predictions from experts who warn that we are running out of time to avoid a future of mass displacement and growing hunger, political leaders have until now chosen to ignore long-term issues in favour of short-term gains. Collectively, the world has chosen to ignore a catastrophe that is heading straight towards us.

We have recently seen the impact of conflict in many countries around the world – Syria, Iraq and others. These conflicts have been driven by factors that are not linked to the changing environment. However, the UN has warned that the depletion of renewable natural resources, combined with environmental degradation and climate change, poses fundamental threats to human security. Disputes and grievances over natural resources can be a major contributing factor to violent conflict when they overlap with high levels of inequality, poverty, injustice and poor governance.

One of the greatest injustices in today’s world is that those who have done least to contribute to the planet’s changing climate are the very people who are suffering most from its effects.

The average person in Northern Ireland is responsible for emitting 8.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – 83 times the amount of the average Ethiopian. All industrialised countries need to cut carbon emissions as a matter of urgency.

We need changes to our economy and government policies. Each of us has a role to play, be it in our homes, our schools or our businesses.

Justine Greening, the UK Secretary of State for International Development, and the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, will be attending the UN Summit on Climate Change. They should be willing to seize the opportunity to become climate champions and push political decision-makers and the international community to agree fair and binding global targets to reduce emissions and support developing countries dealing with climate change. Closer to home, paramount to effecting change will be whether or not the Assembly has the courage to introduce a Northern Ireland Climate Change Act with a legally binding regional target to reduce carbon emissions from 1990 levels by at least 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

This New York meeting must set the tone for the work that needs to be achieved in the coming months in advance of the new global climate deal which is expected to be agreed at talks in Paris next year. In the run up to this Summit people have taken to the streets in New York, in Belfast, in Dublin and around the world in the biggest ever mobilisation on climate change, and they are calling for responsible leadership: it is now up to our leaders to step up to the plate.

We need to respond to climate change before it’s too late. If we do not then what kind of legacy will we be leaving future generations?

Eithne McNulty is Northern Ireland Director of Trocaire, the overseas development agency


  • More blah.

  • Jeremy Bowman

    There’s no such thing as the “proper functioning” of the planet. This is one version of the fantasy that there is design in nature. It’s a “hangover” of religious assumptions that have been part of our culture for centuries and are so deep-seated they remain unquestioned despite widespread rejection of explicit religious belief.

  • Turgon

    It is entirely true that climate change is not a stand alone issue. Furthermore it may not be the single most important issue we face. Repeatedly we were told about the disasterous melting of polar ice caps. Last winter (the Antartica’s summer) we had the amusing sight of a group of climate change hysterics going to chart the loss of Antartic sea ice only for them to be stuck in said sea ice and require Chinese and Australian rescue.

    Then we have the disaster which was the ice free artic by the summer of 2013. Unfortunately with the ice having just past its nadir this year we have had two very icy “ice free” summers.

    In all these cases the enviromental lobby is quick to explain that after all more ice is suddenly what one would expect with climate change despite the fact that they were saying exactly the opposite a scant few years ago.

    Protecting the enviroment s important.

    However, lifting the global poor out of poverty is more important. There is a direct problem here. To make societies richer one needs infrastructure and more than almost anything else power. The cheapest way to do that is coal fired power stations which produce CO2. However, that power, infrastructure etc. has help rersult in an approximately 30% drop in childhood mortality in developing countries (especially in Africa) in the last 2 decades or so.

    Coming back to home green taxes etc. are actually highly regressive impacting on poorer people for whom a greater proportion of their budget is spent on heating, who have older less efficient and hence, more taxed cars etc. etc. Incidentally to compare carbon use in Ethopia to Northern Ireland is an utter nonsense.

    So yes protecting the enviroment is important but protecting people’s lives here and now is at least as important. Claims that we must act now lest a disaster befall our descendents will result in people dying now of preventable causes to protect against hypothetical threats from the future which so far the models have proved remarkably poor at predicting.

    Global warming in the UK was suggested to produce droughts but then there were a series of wet summers. It was going to end cold winters then we had two very cold ones in succession. One could go on and on about the inaccuracies in climate prediction. Furthermore we now have the “pause” in global warming which no one predicted but suddenly now is caused by warming complete with heat magically vanishing into the deep oceans where conveniently it cannot be measured.

    The reality is that the disaster (child deaths etc.) is happening now and we can reduce this problem massively as they have done in China. Now China is also trying to improve the enviroment. Actually this is probably the right way round to do it (albeit China has been too lax about the climate). People are more important than polar bears and the children of today are actually more important than hypothetical children of tomorrow. It is disappointing to sea Amnesty International which has a proud record of standing up to injustice actually supporting injustice for the world’s poor (in both the developed and developing world) under the guise of climate change hysteria.

  • Starviking

    And yet Germany ditches nukes and burns brown coal. If they cannot get their CO2 emissions in order, who can?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You do not have to be a climate scientist to notice that the climate is changing dramatically. You just need to live outside of a town and experience the dramatic changes in winter weather in the open. Nothing serious is likely to be done, as the “solutions” put forward are very much “we can save the environment and make on the deal” solutions with the emphasis on “make”. The Wind Turbine scam is only one serious misdirection of this sort where the subsidy issues provide lucrative possibilities for some that discredit other, more serious efforts.

    The reality is that the resources of the globe have been raped over the last fifty years to produce lots of “show off tat” for the rich and few, and we are told that it is everyone’s right to break even and have it all too. its just not possible! lifting the Global poor out of poverty is only going to be possible at the expense of the spending orgy every community that can get on the band wagon thinks is its right,

    “People are more important than polar bears and the children of today are actually more important than hypothetical children of tomorrow.”

    Being fully alerted to the implications for the entire ecosystem picture (“gestalt”) is important for everyone, everywhere, and if “the children of today” are thought of as more important than “the than hypothetical children of tomorrow” then there may not be any “children of tomorrow” to inherit the cinders.

  • chrisjones2

    “A small change to nature’s system can have the effect of knocking the entire basis of life on earth out of synch. Tragically, we are seeing one such change. It is called climate change and it cannot be described as small.”

    This is like a propaganda lesson for P5 pupils

    “However, the UN …………………..( utterly discredited panel) …………has warned that the depletion of renewable natural resources, combined with environmental degradation and climate change, poses fundamental threats to human security…………..and they need more money to prove it

    Justine Greening …. and …….Taoiseach Enda Kenny, will be attending the UN Summit on Climate Change…….flying natch

    Sorry Patrick …you have been conned and are being conned.

  • chrisjones2


    climate is changing dramatically.

    Its called Autumn

  • chrisjones2

    Bingo. If the climate was static we wouldn’t be here. It changes dynamically

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’ve been watching it over sixty years. Its changing. And we’ll all be just as dead, or our children will.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And sometimes these dramatic changes lead to extinctions. I just do not have the Olympian calm to view the reasonably possible extinction of humanity as simply another aspect of climatic change.

    “Proper functioning” has given us a reasonably predictable pattern of weather for the first thirty years I’ve been on earth. The next thirty have been something quite different! And I’ve been told of similar variations by friends in California and Australia.

    And remember, the climate’s only having to change a little to make it impossible for certain parts of the earth to support life. But just keep reassuring yourselves, we’ll all be just as dead.

  • Turgon

    Yes in the 1960s it was colder. I can just remember in the mid / late 1970s similar data to what we see now was being used to “prove” that we were going to have another ice age. I remember asking my parents what we would do in the coming ice age.

    During the middle ages we had the medieval warm period; during Cromwell’s time we had the little ice age and the Thames froze repeatedly.

    The climate changes back and forth that is how the world is.

    When such evidence of previous warming and cooling is produced the climate science community are quick to dismiss such data as too localised or whatever. Hence, exactly the same can be said for your observations: much too short term, much too subjective and much too localised.

    The cliamnte sicence is better in that it takes in much more data and is more scientific. However, its predictions have repeatedly been shown to be wrong at which time the models are modified. However, they still seem consistently to overestimate the changes. We are told this is erring on the side of caution. However, this supposed caution is being used as a reason to impose vastly more expensive electricity on us, increase regressive taxes on the poor and justify attempts to slow development in the two thirds world where such development wouild have vast beneficial effects on quantity and quality of life for billions.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I fully agree about the issues of profit motive. Wind turbines and the vast vested interest lobbies that have developed around perhaps the least reliable form of power generation is a glaring example. I’ve long been arguing for decentralised water-powered generation and individual photo-voltiac provision for new builds. But the large centralised vested interests lobby for large scale power distribution (and semi-monopolies).

    However, the old “they got it wrong” argument is only really applicable to a very small portion of climate change science. All reasonable scientists involved who are not funded by vested interests agree (at least those I’ve spoken to) that this is not just a normal climate variation.

    We have an added “mindlock” problem here in the wee six. There is a great fashion amongst some evangelicals to talk down climate change, employing any number of negative interpretations, but for anyone honestly concerned about the concept of Christian stewartship, the sheer selfishness of the nay-sayers is a shockingly human centred reaction.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Remember the ozone layer – you don’t hear too much about that anymore.

    Climate change is guesswork promulgated by self serving scientists and reported on by eedjits like this lady.

  • Abucs

    Look, for the last 2 decades there has not been any statistically significant warming of the planet, be that on land, in the atmosphere or in the world’s oceans. In this time we’ve put more humanly created carbon into the atmosphere than at any other time in history.

    The actual results have been nothing like the scientific predictions.

    To the extent that scientists have tried very hard to jump on the bandwagon, it has been an embarrassment to their profession.

    To the extent that journalists and politicians have tried to use this to beat down opposition for political mileage and ideology just goes to show how easily people are fooled who want to be fooled. Especially if they can make believe they are on the side of science.

    What an embarrassment.

  • delphindelphin

    Abucs and Sergiogiorgio could I ask you to post your Cvs so as we can judge your expertise in the field of atmospheric physics and therefore give
    due weight to your opinions. Here for starters is a CV from an HM
    government advisor Julia Slingo and a link to a summary of current
    thinking on climate change – here

    Julia became Met Office Chief Scientist in February 2009. Before joining
    the Met Office she was the Director of Climate Research in NERC’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science, at the University of Reading, where she is still a Professor of Meteorology. In 2006 she founded theWalker Institute for Climate System Research at Reading, aimed at addressing the cross disciplinary challenges of
    climate change and its impacts.

    Julia has had a long-term career in climate modelling and research, working
    at the Met Office,ECMWF and NCAR in the USA. Her personal research addresses problems in tropical climate variability – its influence on the global climate; its role in
    seasonal to decadal climate prediction, and its response to climate change. Increasingly Julia’s research considers the multi-disciplinary aspects of the impacts of climate variability and change on crops and water resources, and the need to improve the representation of weather systems and rainfall distributions in
    climate prediction models. She has successfully promoted the use of
    much higher resolution in climate models, required to capture these
    important processes and phenomena, and this has meant working with some of the world’s largest supercomputers, such as the Earth Simulator in Japan.

  • Patrick Corrigan

    Just a couple of points.

    I am not the author of this post (a couple of commenters seem to be confused on this point). As clearly stated at the top and bottom of the article, the post is by Eithne McNulty of Trocaire, which I have posted on her behalf, using my access to Slugger as an occasional contributor. I say this not to distance myself in any way from the case which Eithne sets out, but simply by way of clarification.

    Nor am I a climate scientist. Neither, clearly, are any of the commenters who have joined this debate so far! I think a discussion about the environment is always in trouble when people start to get long-term climate change and short-term weather patterns confused. As New Scientist magazine has noted: “With so much at stake, it is right that climate science is subjected to the most intense scrutiny. What does not help is for the real issues to be muddied by discredited arguments or wild theories.”

    While not a climate scientist, I am happy to listen to those who are. For those similarly interested, here’s a round-up of some articles and arguments published by New Scientist magazine.

    Which brings us back to Eithne’s main argument – with which I agree – that there is an emerging link between climate change, environmental degradation, poverty and conflict.

    Most greenhouse gases have been generated by industrial nations, but climate change disproportionately affects the poorest people and nations, further deepening poverty, inequality and political instability. Given our interconnected world, this issue of human security affects all of us and is a matter for human rights and anti-poverty activists just as much as it is for traditional environmental groups.

    Crossing ones fingers and hoping that either,
    a) the problem doesn’t really exist so we can be absolved from doing anything about it, or
    b) accepting the problem exists but hoping that some future technological innovation will solve it,
    scarcely seem like prudent strategies.

    Surely better to accept the uncomfortable truth of the situation, accept our generation’s responsibilities and start now – working together across the planet – to take the necessary steps to addressed the problem?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thanks delphindelphin for throwing some much needed cold water on these wishful thinkers.

    They have been trotting out all the old canards from the late Saturday night discussions (after a few pints) simply because they do not want to even begin to think that their lifestyles are using up more natural resources in a few decades than were used in previous millenia.

    But “you can’t stop progress…….” Alas, nature itself might just do that.

  • Starviking

    Sorry, that is just incorrect. There was a strong el nino warming effect in 1998, and climate change denialists use that to claim there has been no significant warming since then. However, NASA, and others, say otherwise:

    “With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record
    all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the warmest
    years on record.”

  • Starviking

    Could it be because…we did something about ozone depletion?

  • Starviking

    Sorry, uninformed people thought global warming meant no more cold weather and snow. They were wrong.

    As for ‘the pause’, sadly a combination of a very strong el nino in 1998 and increased storing of heat in the deep oceans.

  • Starviking


  • Starviking

    Yup, here in Japan we have had increasing rainfall and more and more landslides. Climate Change sucks – but is real, and man made.

  • Starviking

    First, the 70s ‘Ice Age’ story is down to a few scientific papers which TIME Magazine decided to run with.

    As for models, they are always ‘wrong’ – because you cannot describe such a complex system as the Earth’s easily. But what many see as broken models which are far from the truth are not that: they are models, which with each correction, try to get closer to the truth.

    There’s also basic science which backs up the models: CO2 absorbs infrared radiation and re-emits part of it down to the Earth.

  • Starviking

    No climate scientist would claim that climate is static. The problem is that now our climate has had a great big push from us, giving a rapid change that normally is seen over the period of thousands of years.

  • Abucs

    Is this not part of the problem. You ask for CV’s instead of facts.
    You ignore the facts posted and try to impress not by examples of science, but the career and institutions of the writer.
    You can’t get away with that anymore.

  • Abucs

    SeaanUNeil, I’m living this year mainly in rural areas of the Philippines. I write to you from the inside of my modest bamboo hut with no hot water, no air conditioning, no TV or radio, washing machine, car, oven, microwave, etc. Please don’t try to tell me my thoughts are because I don’t want to give up some imagined lifestyle.
    Delphin, my post criticises the profession that you now demand I show that I belong to in order to be credible in your eyes, This doesn’t really make sense. For the record I have degrees in science and education. I have worked many years in the IT industry and as a teacher for the last few years. I have some knowledge with the weakness and subjectivity of computer models and I see the lack of reasoned credibility in some school curriculums which address global warming, now rebranded as climate change because the earth is not warming.
    Look, if the evidence shows the earth is warming with an increased carbon footprint then so be it. I have no emotional attachment to the argument either way despite SeeanUiNeil’s imagination. But the results have not matched the predictions. They are so far off the mark that it is quite valid to criticise the ‘science’ of climate change. I don’t have to be a member of that branch f science to criticise its findings in not matching the observed reality.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Actually, you can. Its called being credible. You are not posting facts but opinions. thats the problem, the climate change deniers just do not want to look at the facts.

  • Abucs
  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hey, Abocs, “SeaanUiNeil’s imagination” (sorry, had to correct the “e” you put to an “a”, just another of those thing you’d got wrong), my imaginal take on you differs from your back to nature experience, for this year, you say, so perhaps! But I was using what is pretty much the default profile of all the climate change deniers I come into contact with every day. Big cars, petrol heads, big houses, marble topped kitchens, all the status symbols!

    “But the results have not matched the predictions.” Some of the results, some of the predictions may not match, but enough do for anyone not emotionally tied to creating a case for the multinationals being unleashed on what little is left of the earth. But look! Its just common sense that if you strip the earth of resources and burn everything that is combustable something is going to change. Me, I talk to some of those who make it their lives work to examine these things systematically (ie: people with CVs), rather than those who are indulging their destructive optimism.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hey Starviking, thanks for the carefully worded replies! I used to handle film budgets. At meetings some uncreative drone with a producer credit because his company had put a few pence into the budget pot would suggest we do something very expensive he’d seen in a movie with a massive budget. I would argue cost, and he’d say “lets do it my way first, and if it does not work we’ll go back and do it your way.” Then, if the others let him, he’d spend half the budget on one scene that failed. And I’d have to make a film on only half the money “my way.” Sometimes I’d even pull it off!

    What Chrisjones2 and Abucs and the others do not seem to see is that if we “do it their way”, there simply will not be an opportunity to do it our way.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Ah, Abucs, you have us there. The “Washington Post” has spoken! And the source of the article has all the answers, yep, all the answers. He is not Cherry picking his start and end times, ‘cos we all do; the temperature is rising dramatically in the last decade, he admits, but this does not count as “warming” unless the temperature continues to rise, (has his crystal ball told him it won’t as a certain fact?); his sample is not too small, and anyway its not the size but what you do with it!; his data is accurate, despite his being told it is not (yes it is, no it isn’t, yes it is, “scissors, stone, paper” style)!

    Abucs, are you serious! I’m beginning to think you are perfectly aware the climate is changing dangerously and simply using these weak arguments to parody the climate deniers so as to discredit them. Congratulations!

  • Abucs

    So having originally been a carbon guzzling monster I am now apparently emotionally tied to those nasty multinationals unleashing their fury on what is left of the earth. Yeah, Ok.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Simple thing to post a profile on Disqus, then I’d be fully informed as to how you want to present yourself. But I’m gratified that you find that you agree with my assessment! (“Yeah, Ok.”)

    Anyway, I’ve now realised that you are simply playing a dark game to discredit the change deniers, so good fortune attend your efforts in this! (see comment below).

  • Abucs

    The earth’s temperature has obviously risen over the medium term but it has flat-lined for the past 13-20 years depending on which set of records you take. This is at a time where the most carbon produced by man ever has gone into the atmosphere. The scientific predictions say this should not have happened.
    What we are talking about is the suggested re-engineering of our economies based on some pretty drastic predictions of the 1990’s. It is not enough to show that the temperature has raised a little or even that some of it has been man made. The whole basis of re-engineering our economies is based on catastrophic predictions that are not backed up by the current data. It is sensible to not pollute the planet. It is sensible to move to clean energy. But forced. knee jerk economic restructuring on past calamitous predictions which are now constantly revised downwards due to a ‘hiatus’ or ‘pausing’ does not make sense. Your obvious dislike for multinational corporations seems to be driving some of your thinking.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “Your obvious dislike for multinational corporations seems to be driving some of your thinking.” Its not simply a prejudice put together from newspapers, I’ve met them, I’ve worked with them, I’ve been on their yachts out there on the Pacific. I know how they think.

    You are only presenting one version of the science, the one you like, remember that. The real issue is that until it happens no one really knows for sure, but you are willing to take the risk, I’m not, certainly not for the pointless tat thats on offer.

  • delphindelphin

    my post criticises the profession that you now demand I show that I
    belong to in order to be credible in your eyes, This doesn’t really
    make sense.

    Why does that not make sense? If I want to know about the Higgs boson I would trust the views of a particle physicist, if I want to know about atmospheric physics I would trust a suitably qualified scientist – Prof Slingo somehow has more credibility than an anonymous poster on Slugger.
    The facts you ask for are in the link in my first post

  • Starviking

    And addressing the WaPo’s meterologist’s errors:

    Also useful when investigating such scientific matter are sites which provide fuller scientific overviews of the matters at hand, and do not rely on over-simplified, or inappropriate data:

    This animation sums-up the different worldviews on the issue of ‘the pause’. You should take it to heart Abucs.

  • Starviking

    No probs Seaan!

  • Abucs

    If the branch of science of particle physics made outlandish disaster claims and predictions wanting to re-organise economies and receive billions in funding only for those predictions to fall flat, time and again then the branch of science of particle physics would rightly be ridiculed as is the industry of ‘climate science’ at the moment. If ‘climate science’ wants respect then it has to lift its game -dramatically.

  • Abucs

    Any fair look at the graph shows the rate of increase is slowing and remained stable for well over a decade. The climate science predictions and ‘computer models’ pointed to an accelerating rate of increase and that has shown to be completely wrong.

    Hence there are doubts on the models used. Hence there are doubts on the assumptions those models are based on. Hence there is great reluctance to keep funding a branch of science to the tune of billions a year when its predictions have shown to be false.
    Pretty common sense reaction. No amount of evangelical claims of authority changes that.

  • delphindelphin

    Ah Abucs I see where you are going wrong now – you are confusing climate science with Green propaganda. Climate science communicates and progresses through peer
    reviewed papers in scientific journals such as The Journal
    of the Atmospheric Sciences. Scientific opinion is that climate
    change will occur due to made made carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. The extent and timing of this change is difficult to predict due to the complexity of the earth’s weather systems.
    However the advice given by experts like Prof Slingo to Governments is that the impact of this climate change is likely to be significant. This has resulted in most governments in the world taking action to control greenhouse gasses.

    As Turgon has pointed out, Third world development and climate change amelioration are mutually exclusive, as cheep energy is a necessity of development. Who in the West has the moral authority to stop the people of Africa getting a better life? On the other hand as Mr Corrigan says climate change is going to affect poor countries first.What to do?

    I would agree that the Green lobby is often over the top and have been predicting gloom and doom for as long as I remember and so are often their own worst enemies, but this doesn’t change the science.

  • Croiteir

    No one can argue against the existence of climate change, it has always happened and always will. No one can argue against reducing pollution and reducing waste – it is just common sense. What we can argue against is the linking between carbon dioxide and global rising temperatures and we can also argue about whether climate change is happening as described by the alarmists.

    I believe that the evidence support rising global temperatures as something more than a short term variance in global temperature fall far short of conclusive. The claims by alarmists, such as Gore, that the north pole would be devoid of ice have been proven false. At the Southern Pole the issue is that the Antarctic Sea Ice Extent sets new record, piercing the 20 million square kilometer barrier and literally going of the scale.
    The Pacific Ocean is now cooling and the Atlantic will soon follow. We will then enter a cooling period. The warming which occurred in the ’80s and ’90s correlated almost 1 to 1 with the Pacific warming.
    I will expect over the net 10 years will see global cooling as the oceans have more impact over climate than a small change in atmospheric CO2.

  • Starviking

    Well, as the last link I posted shows, there have been “slow downs” in the rate of increase through the years, but the inexorable trend is up. These slow downs are nothing but an example of the complex factors which effect our year-to-year climate.

    As for “evangelical claims of authority” – that’s a funny response to providing scientific information and analysis. Science is not religion, it requires evidence, and has standards for the aforesaid evidence. That’s why when I say the physical properties of CO2 cause heat to build up on Earth, I can say it confidently -as it has been proven scientifically. No pulpits, no unsubstantiated claims – evidence, evidence available to anyone who wants to check.

  • Abucs

    Christianity has evidence and speculation about that evidence. Western science, which was developed and supported by Christianity also has evidence and speculation about that evidence. It is the speculation on the evidence that can be very wrong. The advantage with science is that in its sphere of usefulness, the physical world, evidence can generally be reproduced leading to repeated results which point to scientific law.

    But the speculation is not scientific. People can show graphs over the centuries where the temperature has naturally oscillated from high’s to low’s and vice versa. Yearly records of climate were released yesterday which show it is now 17 years and 11 months without warming. That is also evidence that can be speculated upon.

    It means that students now leaving high school having been ‘educated’ that global warming is the ‘great moral challenge of our time’ and yet have lived their whole lives without any warming.

    That is evangelical.

    If science speculates an increasing rate of temperature increase with a matching increase in carbon emissions and the evidence shows that for 18 years there has not been any increase then there is something wrong with the science of those speculating. If you pardon the pun, it’s not rocket science.

  • delphindelphin

    Starviking- you are wasting your time, but I think you know that already.

  • carl marks

    Abuccs perhaps you could tell us the production of CO2 is not a result of industrialised society, what evidence do you have that increased CO2 in the atmosphere is not causing heat retention and perhaps you could also how deforestation and intensive monoculture is not affecting the climate and causing misery to the poorest people in the world!

    Now this bit (its I suspect a new version of the “friend” you produce in arguments to prove a point)

    “I’m living this year mainly in rural areas of the Philippines. I write to you from the inside of my modest bamboo hut with no hot water, no air conditioning, no TV or radio, washing machine, car, oven, microwave, etc. Please don’t try to tell me my thoughts are because I don’t want to give up some imagined lifestyle.”

    Really no electric! How the hell are you managing to post on slugger then (carrier pigeon?)

  • Abucs

    This is why I usually ignore your posts Carl, because you are an idiot and consistently post comments detailing your lack of intelligence.

    Firstly, I didn’t say I did not have electricity and even If I didn’t have it connected there is such a thing as wifi and batteries. Please re-read what I actually did write and if you still don’t understand then please ask a grown-up. Just don’t ask me because i’m bored with you.

    Secondly why should I tell you increased CO2 production is not a result of industrialisation? It is.

    Why should I give you evidence that increased CO2 doesn’t cause heat retention? It almost certainly does.

    Why should I tell you that deforestation does not cause changes in the climate and affect people in adverse ways. It does.
    Deforestation in the Philippines leads to mudslides. Deforestation in Australia leads to rising salt water levels which kill agriculture.
    Deforestation in Indonesia leads to loss of habitat and functional eco-systems.

    As usual you argue about things that are not being discussed and imagine people are holding positions they do not have,

    That is because you are a simpleton that cannot understand levels of complexity which go beyond what most 10 year olds can cope with.

    Don’t reply to any of my posts in the future because you just don’t make any sense and can’t follow what has been said. I’m not wasting my time conversing with an idiot.

    Back to ignoring you again.

  • carl marks

    Christianity has evidence and speculation about that evidence.

    really list it please!

  • carl marks

    Abucs I lived in a kampong in SE Asia for several years and I would love to know a few things, in this “Bamboo hut” with no electricity has access to broadband Unlikely!

    If you have electricity then a thinking man would get a fridge, much more important than a laptop.

    If you had claimed to have a small solar panel I might have believed you but say batteries.

    And it’s nice to see that your level of argument is keeping to its high standard.

    Remember when you claimed that hundreds of Canadian pastors had been locked up for being anti-gay, that wasn’t true. That the Nazis introduced abortion to Europe which also wasn’t true, these are only two of the reasons that I check everything you claim as a fact because you have a history of being loose with the facts.

    Feel free to insult me I think it is generally accepted that the loser in an argument is the one who resorts to personal abuse.

  • Sam Gilman

    You seem very proud of your science knowledge. So I’d like to take advantage of that knowledge and ask you to explain something to me:

    What is the “global energy budget”, and how is it different from measured mean global temperatures?

    It’s just that I think you’re confusing the two concepts when you think that the pause in rising temperatures indicates that the world’s climate scientists are wrong.

  • Abucs

    The bamboo hut does have electricity Carl, you should have really gone to a grown-up for help like I advised. Again it is very hard to talk to you when you can’t follow what has been said.

    Regarding your comment that a thinking man would get a fridge before a laptop – yet again – you have not followed simple English and common sense.

    I do have a fridge. I am getting a beer out of it right now because you are driving me nuts. I did not say I didn’t have a fridge – that was your low level of comprehension kicking in yet again.

    The laptop is mine, the fridge belongs to the owner of the hut that I am renting here for one month.

    You can’t follow or comprehend simple English and your imagination of what is being discussed in incredulous. I’m not arguing with you Carl, I’m pitying you.

    Never at any stage in our communications over the last year have you shown you can understand what has been said or make any sense yourself. Please annoy somebody else. Goodbye.

  • Sam Gilman

    We don’t hear so much about it because we banned the chemicals (CFCs etc) that were causing the damage.

    Didn’t you hear about that?

  • carl marks

    Quoted from your own post.

    “write to you from the inside of my modest bamboo hut with no hot water, no air conditioning, no TV or radio, washing machine, car, oven, microwave, etc.” ( by the way I was an electrician and worked in Indonesia designing and building small scale electric generation systems using appropriate and alternate technology)

    STOP DIGGING the hole is deep enough!

    Now back to the thread, you admit that there is a manmade build-up of CO” in the atmosphere, that CO2 causes heat retention, you admit deforestation is taking place (again man made) and that forests have a large effect on our climate (you do accept this fact) yet you deny that CLIMATE CHANGE IS TAKING PLACE.

    Are you sure I’m the stupid one here?

  • Abucs

    Yes I’m sure. The discussion of the complexities of climate change models and their failure to account for the present pause in warming is obviously beyond you. Let’s stick with the bamboo hut, but even here though I fear that is too complicated for you.

    Look at what I wrote, the same words that you quoted above and see if it claims there is no electricity in the hut. See if it claims there is no fridge in the hut. It doesn’t claim either. That is your misreading of what was said.

    The hut has electricity, it has a simple fan, it has a fridge, it has powerpoints that charge the laptop – it does not have hot water, it does not have air conditioning, it does not have a TV, it does not have a radio, it does not have a washing machine, there is no car, it does not have an oven and it does not have a microwave.

    Can you understand that?

    OK I am definitely not responding to you again. I cannot believe your lack of understanding in what should be very simple matters.

  • carl marks

    yep i am sure your telling the truth, after all you have never mislead us before (rolls eyes).

    and if it is too much trouble answering my questions then i guess we will have to make up our own minds on your “scientific qualifications”

    could you perhaps be more careful with your statements after all,

    ““write to you from the inside of my modest bamboo hut with no hot water, no air conditioning, no TV or radio, washing machine, car, oven, microwave, etc.”

    seems to say that you do not have electricity, and why no radio? that seems a bit silly,

  • Abucs

    The correct phrase is ‘scientific knowledge’ not ‘science knowledge’.

    Apart from an attempt to be insulting your first sentence lacks accuracy and detail. Scientific knowledge covers a broad field from descriptions of the inherent properties of quantum particles to explanations of why mammals cry.

    If you want to know about any particular facts, concepts, models or theories in science then of course the best thing to do would be to read a wide array of opinion and research and weigh the merits of different opinions.

    If you want to use concepts such as the “global energy budget” as reasons for why ‘climate science’ models have been hugely incorrect then I’m willing to hear the argument. But it must be a detailed argument with facts, not an evangelical argument of excuses and maybe’s.

  • carl marks

    The earth acts like a huge heat exchanger (a larger version of your fridge but the same principal), when more energy is available the overall temperature increase’s but as more energy is added (CO2 trapped heat) it has a similar effect to turning the setting on your fridge up then part of the system will get colder and part will warm up.

    This explains the Antarctic ice build-up.

    You bring up a good point about raising living standards in the developing world but as the infant mortality rate drops we have more and more people chasing less and less resources. The Earth is Finite and its resources are finite, many non-renewable resources (coal, oil etc.) are dwindling rapidly! how can we square this circle.

    The west is a consumer society and it is that consumer society that is causing the damage, however I agree that asking a poor person in a undeveloped economy to put up with their lot while we live large is immoral. Perhaps changing our society to a less consumerist base might help.

  • Sam Gilman

    I see you’re avoiding the question. I think that’s because you don’t understand the question, which would prove my point about you confusing the two concepts.

    On a matter of language: I was being descriptive. You have made clear, bold and rather rude statements about the inadequacy of other people’s scientific understanding compared to your own. Would you like me to quote them back at you?

    Secondly, “science knowledge” and “scientific knowledge” are both acceptable, both being attested in modern formal usage. I chose the clunkier option to reflect what I suspect is you bluffing about a subject you’re not as good at as you claim to be.

    You’re welcome to prove me wrong. So: global energy budget and measured mean global temperatures: in your own words, what are they, and how does one relate to the other?

  • Sam Gilman

    About this Antarctic sea ice thing: can I give you a quiz? You can give short answers.

    1. which freezes more easily, salt water or fresh water?

    2. Is the land ice on Antarctica fresh water ice or sea water ice?

    3. When coastal land ice melts, does it run down into the sea or up into the interior?

    4. If the sea around the Antarctic land mass experiences increasing inundations of fresh water at the surface because increasing amounts of fresh water ice is melting, would we expect, in the short term, more sea ice in winter, or less sea ice?

    5. If Antarctic sea ice is increasing in extent because of increased freshwater running off the land because of global warming melting the land ice, can Internet Warriors claim Antarctic sea ice extent as evidence that global warming is all some kind of mass hallucination by the world’s scientists?

  • carl marks

    Re Abuccs scientific knowledge try this it’s his website,

    a quick glance at it shows he is more than a bit relaxed on the science bits (not to mention history and theology) it will put his posts in context.

  • Sam Gilman

    It’s his own business what his religious beliefs are. It would be nice, however, if he could remember the Christian virtues of humility, politeness, and loving stewardship of what, for him, is God’s creation and gift to humanity.

  • carl marks

    the site deals with science as well as religion and is really quite amazing>

  • Abucs

    You asked me a specific question and I referred you to read a wide array of information and make a reasoned conclusion and even provided a link.

    Now it is quite obvious that really your writing was to paint me as someone who claims a higher level of scientific knowledge over all others and then try and stump me on a specific question and then you would come in and give us your scientific knowledge.

    I would ask you to reflect on which one of us is portraying the behaviour you are wishing to ridicule. The person who refers the other to read a wide variety of material and make a sensible conclusion or the one transparently trying to set the other up with a specific question so that they can come in over the top and appear knowledgeable.

    If you have something to add to the discussion why not just state it for consideration rather than playing games of one-upmanship?
    To play your game I believe that you are referring to the attempt by some scientists to claim that the reason why temperature recordings over the last 2 decades are much lower than predicted is because much of the heat is dissipating into the world’s oceans.
    If this is not correct then why not just state what you want to say instead of manipulating the situation to appear knowledgeable while at the same time trying to paint the other as the one wanting to appear knowledgeable.
    Pretty hypocritical and pretty transparent.
    Just say what you want to say. Let the science stand on it’s own two feet so to speak.

  • Sam Gilman

    I wasn’t trying to stump you. It’s your own problem if you struggle to answer basic questions in climate science. Blaming other people for that as you do is simply a rhetorical tactic. You could easily have answered the question.

    The global energy budget is clearly increasing. We can measure it increasing using satellite and ground data.

    However, measured global temperatures do not move in lock step with the global energy budget. That was one of the main points of the linked-to refutation of your Washington Post article. You didn’t appear to understand that. Yet still you are very abusive to people who did understand it.

    That you have this fixation on 17 years lets me know that you are trying to fiddle the figures by using 1998 – an unusually hot year in the data set – to skew the figures, and by insisting on a short enough time period in order to make statistical significance harder to achieve. This is basically dishonest in your part – IF, and it’s a big if, you actually understand what you’re talking about.

    I’m being generous in assuming it’s that you don’t understand, and perhaps that you don’t understand that you don’t understand. After all, you are someone who no doubt values the teachings in 1 Peter 3:10, and Matthew 23:12.

  • carl marks

    please Abucs i tried to debate with you on your site but it seems that you are as evasive and abusive on it as on here, and i do admit to tweaking your immense ego on that little site.
    the history we have is one of you making wild claims(both here on slugger and your own site) and myself pointing out the actual facts, this annoyed you and you became abusive before i ever learnt about your site.
    if you kept a polite tongue in your mouth a nd bothered to be accurate in your “facts” then i wouldn’t be taking the p*%s out of you.

  • Abucs

    You could have stated your view without the posturing Sam. You chose not to do that. That is on you.
    Because you have just started corresponding with me it is difficult for me to respond to you because I do not know what your positions are regarding many questions for this complex issue.
    Likewise it is hard for me to defend myself because you have not really said what you disagree with me about other than saying I don’t understand climate change and that I am being dishonest because I am taking my starting point as the hot year of 1998.
    This last and really only point I can respond to is quite easy to do. You are incorrect. The starting point of 17 years 11 months ago takes us back to about 1997. This is one year before the hot year of 1998.
    If I did start at 1998 and claimed that there was cooling over this time period then I would be correct but, as you convey, it would also be dishonest because 1998 is a particularly hot year.
    The timescale from which statistical significance is measured does not start there so please acknowledge this and retract your assertion that I am either dishonest or don’t know what I am talking about.
    Goodnight from the Philippines.

  • Sam Gilman

    I started out by asking you a simple question because it seems to me that you were trying to bluster and insult your way through a lack of knowledge on your part.

    That you were unable to answer the question confirmed my suspicions. You instead tried to pick me up on a spurious mistake in English and to claim you had been insulted. These are typical talkboard attempts to deflect attention from the topic in hand. In general, I strongly suggest you try to be more civil with people.

    Now, the issue with the global energy budget is this: land-sea surface temperatures are only a small part of the story of global warming. Most of the warming is taking place in the oceans. They show a steady increase in temperature over the period you are talking about. (Quite when “seventeen years” became a standard division of time – as you clearly imply – has passed me by)

    Here, look at this graph, for example:

    Are you going to deny the existence of this pattern?

  • carl marks

    voting up your own posts! really is that not a bit strange?

  • Abucs

    I note that your reply is in two parts. Firstly, a running commentary on our exchanges which I do not share and secondly a submission regarding the concept of global energy budget which you could have begun with in the first place instead of the posturing.

    I am quite willing to reply and contribute my thoughts but I note that nowhere in your post do you refer to the issue we had been discussing and for which you
    belittled my understanding and claimed I was being dishonest.

    I am assuming that you have now realised that it was in fact you who misread the data. In my last post I gently pointed out where you had misinterpreted the climate data and I just as gently offered you a graceful way out of backing down on your allegations. You have decided to ignore that which I really think you should reconsider for three reasons :

    Firstly, it is the right thing to do to admit your mistakes, especially when those mistakes cause you to cast unfair allegations on others.

    Secondly, after quoting the Bible and talking about humility you run the risk of appearing hypocritical if you do not.

    Thirdly, you run the risk of falling into the stereotypical caricature of climate scientists.

    That is, rightly or wrongly there is an opinion among a certain number of people that ‘supporters’ of climate science do not have a mastery of the facts, that
    they misrepresent data; that they try to bully others into silence by claims of superior knowledge and the other either showing a lack of understanding or having malevolent motives; that when they eventually are shown their mistakes they ignore it and continue on without acknowledging the mistake, without apologising and by changing the subject.

    Now please note that I do not wish to caricature your replies in that way but In three short posts you managed to put yourself in the position where that could be suggested.

    So a little less gently this time I ask you to acknowledge in the article we were discussing, you made an error in interpretation, so your derisive comments on my lack of understanding ring hollow and your assertion of my malevolent intentions are therefore unfounded.

    Then we can continue in good standing if you should wish.

    Goodnight from the Philippines.

  • Sam Gilman

    Again, you’re trying to distract from the science at issue. I did not accuse you of dishonesty: I’m accusing you of not understanding the issue anywhere near as well as you believe you do, but, because I try to be fair and am keen always to get things right, I am leaving door after door open for you to show that this accusation is unfair.

    The point is that the oceans, which have been absorbing most of the increase in the global energy budget, have indeed been warming at a steady rate.

    That land-sea surface temperatures are not warming at a steady rate is therefore, with this in mind, not evidence that CO2 emissions are not warming the planet. That you think the recent slow-down in land-sea surface warming suggests just that kind of evidence indicates that you didn’t understand the difference between the global energy budget (which is the direct object of increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases) and headline rates of warming.

    I sincerely hope in your reply you can focus on the science. It’s far more important than either of
    us. I’m not putting myself forward as any kind of genius expert: I think we’re talking about levels of difficulty that certainly wouldn’t challenge an educated and open-minded layperson.

  • Abucs

    I have given you two chances to apologise now. This will be
    the final chance.

    As far as accusing me of not understanding the issue that
    you are trying to move onto, you have no way of knowing that because we have not even begun to talk about the subject of global energy budget. So you are presuming again in quite an arrogant fashion. If we do manage to get to the next subject then you will realise that “abucs” spelt backwards is “scuba” and that is what I have been doing for the last 15 years in my favourite spots up and down the Philippines, down to Malaysia and Australia and up into parts of Indonesia and Thailand.

    As I have spent a protracted number of years diving at the same spots and talking with the global diving community then I am in quite a valid position to judge the merits of any change in the eco-system of much of the world’s oceans. If we get to the stage of discussing that topic, be rest assured that I will have quite a bit to say. I also will be asking you for your own real world experience in this matter and pointing to a line on a graph will not count.

    But at the moment we have only discussed one aspect of climate change and discussed one particular line on a graph. In that discussion you misinterpreted the data
    which I have highlighted for 3 posts now and you are not denying it. In my last post I wrote that you also realise you got the data wrong and in your reply you didn’t deny it. So we both know you were talking from a false understanding. From that false understanding you tried to dismiss my reasoned arguments as being dishonest and/or not understanding when in fact it was you who misunderstood.
    These were your words :

    “………………….That you have this fixation on 17 years lets me know that you are trying to fiddle the figures by using 1998 – an unusually hot year in the data set – to skew the figures, and by insisting on a short enough time period in order to make statistical significance harder to achieve. This is basically dishonest on your part – IF, and it’s a big if, you actually understand what you’re talking about. I’m being generous in assuming it’s that you don’t understand, and perhaps that you don’t understand that you don’t understand. After all, you are someone who no doubt values the teachings in 1 Peter 3:10, and Matthew 23:12………’

    Now we’ve established it was you who did not understand even though you are at pains to admit this in print and then apologise for your derogatory assertions on my character from your misunderstanding.

    This is your last chance to apologise. Perhaps for the last time I bid you good day from the Philippines where I sit in a restaurant overlooking the cool waters of the Tanon Straight and in this morning’s dive I’ve never seen the coral looking so healthy, attracting all kinds of divergent fish life and also Turtles.

    Please be big enough to apologise so that I can tell you about it.

    Oh, and for Mr Marks, the restaurant is made from hard wood and bamboo. It’s sits about 200 people and there is electricity and wifi. No need for any of your imagined pigeons.

  • delphindelphin
  • Sam Gilman

    Let’s be clear: you are refusing to demonstrate that you do actually understand some basic but important issues in climate science until I apologise for claiming, based on evidence, that you don’t understand them. You want me to concede you are right as a precondition of our discussion of whether you are right.

    That’s…well…that’s an unusual approach to take. Do you get many takers usually?

    Anyway, to the science: Now, you’ve misread me as claiming you’re trying to take 1998 as a start year. I didn’t say that. I said you’ve chosen an unorthodox period of time in order to take advantage of the noisy outlier’s effect on the significance test. That you’re starting in the previous year for no reason other than how long a chunk you can take of the dataset that will not pass a significance test is – intentionally or not – fiddling the figures. You’re engaged in a kind of inverted data dredging. I’m happy to accept that you don’t understand how this is fiddling the figures – as I have said before, I am assuming your honesty. (I really don’t quite know why you find that offensive.)

    Here’s the story. We had denialist blogs – such as Wattsupwiththat – in 2009 crowing that there had been no warming since 1995. Then 2010 data was added, and the warming trend passed the 95% level.

    Instead of conceding the trend, the denialists moved the goalposts. Here we have Wattsupwiththat last year hosting an article by Christopher Monckton insisting that since 1996 there had been “No significant warming for 17 years 4 months”, (and then, by the by, falsifying a statement by a major climate scientist to make this number seem important). In other words, when the time series got long enough for the trend to pass a test of statistical significance, the denialists just shortened the time series again. What this is, is trying to manipulate data to show what they already knew they wanted to say. It’s junk science.

    And then a year later, we have you asserting a start year of 1997. Shifting the goalposts again. All that’s going on is that you’re keeping the time series too short for statistical tests to be passed – not because there’s no trend, but because the data are, by their nature noisy, and so you need longer datasets to establish the trend statistically – and 1998 was a very loud piece of noise.

    To be clear: unlike Anthony Watts, who I believe is a dishonest person, or Monckton, who appears delusional, I think you sane and honest. I just think you don’t understand well enough how to handle statistics fairly.

    And, as I said above, all of this short term trends in surface temperature stuff is only part of the story. It’s very noisy data. Noisy data make it hard to achieve statistical significance over short periods. On the other hand, look at the less noisy ocean temperatures, and the steady increase in the global energy budget – which will lead to long term surface warming – becomes strikingly apparent. And we know with great confidence that this increase is the result of human activity.

  • Abucs

    So after three exchanges you have decided to go back and defend your original charge.

    If you take any starting point in the last near-on 18 years you get a result of no statistically significant warming. So you are incorrect in saying that including 1998 skews the figures. Start at 1999 if you want – same result.

    So you are wrong to say I do not understand or am being dishonest.

    Strike 3. Game over.

    One point I didn’t get to mention is that if you go down 40 to 50 metres (even here in the tropics) the water is extremely cold. So because thermodynamics says heat energy will seek to diffuse and find an equilibrium, even if this latest excuse had legs the depth and vast coldness of the worlds oceans could absorb a tremendous level of excess heat energy.
    and we’ve just had 3 straight records since records began for expanded sea ice in Antarctica. But then there is an excuse for that as well.

    Climate science looks very much like it is becoming the science of excuses for why it’s original scare is way off the mark.
    Best wishes Sam. I hope you have a great life.

  • Starviking

    Additionally, Monckton only uses the RSS Corp. Satelite Dataset, which has serious problems with calibration. Even Dr. Roy Spenser, beloved of those who deny anthropogenic climate change, thinks RSS is now junk.

  • Starviking

    So your scuba experience trumps oceanographers?

    As for antartic sea ice, you really should review what Sam has posted – no excuses, just some basic science.

  • carl marks

    Can anybody else spot a glaring contradiction with these two statements?

    “I’m living this year mainly in rural areas of the Philippines. I write to you from the inside of my modest bamboo hut with no hot water, no air conditioning, no TV or radio, washing machine, car, oven, microwave, etc. Please don’t try to tell me my thoughts are because I don’t want to give up some imagined lifestyle.”

    “scuba” and that is what I have been doing for the last 15 years in my favourite spots up and down the Philippines, down to Malaysia and Australia and up into parts of Indonesia and Thailand. As I have spent a protracted number of years diving at the same spots”

    doesn’t sound like a low carbon footprint lifestyle and doesn’t sound like roughing it either!

  • Croiteir

    Not true – climate change can be very rapid

  • Sam Gilman

    You say

    If you take any starting point in the last near-on 18 years you get a result of no statistically significant warming. So you are incorrect in saying that including 1998 skews the figures. Start at 1999 if you want – same result. (Emphasis added)

    And then you say:

    So you are wrong to say I do not understand or am being dishonest (emphasis added).

    What you’ve forgotten or (here we go again) don’t understand is the relationship between statistical significance and sample size. You can’t just pick any time period, no matter how short the length, and meaningfully test for significance. That’s bad maths. I’m also not particularly convinced you understand the difference between trend and significance. At times it seems like you think that no significance means no trend.

    Let’s look at the implication of your claim and show how your view has problems. As I linked to before, the period between 1995 and 2010 showed a statistically significant upward trend (a sixteen year period). You appear to claim that warming effectively stopped in 1997 (I stress “appear” because it’s not clear how much you understand the nature of statistical significance). The conclusion one should come to on the basis of your position is that the whole upward trend between 1995 and 2010 is explained by the warming that took place between the years 1995 and 1997. Which is absurd, especially given that 1996 was actually colder than 1995, and 1997 is way below the average for 1998-2010.

    I’m not sure how much more obvious it can be that you’re being confused by statistics. That’s not a dishonourable thing, by the way.

    One point I didn’t get to mention is that if you go down 40 to 50 metres (even here in the tropics) the water is extremely cold. So because thermodynamics says heat energy will seek to diffuse and find an equilibrium, even if this latest excuse had legs the depth and vast coldness of the worlds oceans could absorb a tremendous level of excess heat energy.

    Here you either confuse temperature with change in temperature, or are naive enough to think that the heat capacity of the ocean is beyond the comprehension of mainstream scientists but within that of a scubadiving theologian. I and others have already linked to material showing that ocean temperatures are already part of climate models. Indeed, it ‘s understanding the role of the oceans that has led to current models predicting a continued short hiatus in headline warming in the near future, followed by renewed increase in land-sea surface temperatures. The oceans have not been forgotten about.

    Then you say:

    and we’ve just had 3 straight records since records began for expanded sea ice in Antarctica. But then there is an excuse for that as well.

    Given that the Southern ocean is warming, why is there more ice? That’s a puzzle isn’t it? Is it magic? Is it God? (Is it atheism?) Well, no…here’s what current scientific opinion considers one of the major factors in simple terms:

    1. Increasing temperatures are leading to antarctic land ice – made of fresh water – melting and, at the coast, running into the sea. Which is saltwater.
    2. The upper sea around Antarctica therefore becomes fresher in the short term. (Rainfall over the southern ocean has also been increasing, adding to this problem)
    3. Fresh water freezes more easily than salt water.
    4. Hey presto, winter sea ice extents are breaking records, even as the southern ocean is warming.

    If one thinks about it honestly, what else would happen if the land ice melted and ran into the sea? There are other factors at work, such as the salt content affecting convection patterns from below, and increased cold winds from damage to the ozone layer, but the factor I explain here should be simple enough for people to grasp.

    In general what I think the approach you are taking is to choose a conclusion and then look for evidence to support it, rather than look at evidence that would resolve the matter either way. This is not your personal fault; it’s all too common in the humanities and I think is a major reason for the sustained growth in science denial movements among apparently educated populations. What you call “excuses” a scientist would call “looking for the most plausible explanation”. You appear to reject the scientific explanation because it provides no support for your favoured theory. That’s backwards. Conclusions do not justify evidence.

  • delphindelphin

    Guys, the explanation is simple – DONN! Delayed Onset Nitrogen Narcosis.
    An uncommon, but not rare condition affecting scuba divers. Usually narcosis affects divers while submerged, but occasionally people can be affected post-dive. That is clearly what is happening here – the classic symptoms are confusion and hanging on doggedly to fixed ideas. Reported cures include diving on Nitrox mix rather than air, which has the added benefit of reducing the risk of Decompression Sickness.

    The scientific evidence for anthropomorphic climate change is so clear that only fools and charlatans choose to ignore it.

  • Sam Gilman

    I do love a buttered slice of Monckton with my afternoon tea.

  • carl marks

    True but rapid changes are usually the cause of some extreme event such as a super volcano (Lake T Toba, Krakatoa) or large meteor strike, a nuclear war would have been climate changing.

    To the best of my knowledge none of these have occurred lately (keep an eye on Yellowstone) however the atmospheric scientist tell us of the build-up of greenhouse gas in the upper envelope and the planet is heating up (I am presuming you accept this data ) and unless you can give me an alternative evidence backed theory explaining it, then I have really no choice but to accept the opinions of those whose job is to research these matters.

  • Croiteir

    do not know about the term usually however the warming that drowned doggerland happened in the space of ten years and then settled

  • Abucs

    Scuba theologian, really? OK no, real world experience of the health of the world’s oceans and conditions of coastal fishing and farming communities in several SE Asian regions.

    anti-science, really? OK no, challenging the claimed competence of climate science scares against recorded results.

    Yes you are correct that I interpreted your comment to mean that I started the date range for the test of statistical significance at 1998. But you specifically said 17 years, that takes us back to 1998. You were incorrect to say 17 years. I pointed that out. It was 17 years and 11 months, the article clearly stated that. This takes us to 1997. Your incorrect use of 17 years would mean the data would start at 1998, the anomalous year. I was of the opinion that it was you who didn’t understand statistical analysis and that is why you thought there was deceit in starting at 1998. From your last post I see you realise that is not the case, although you seem to think there is some deceit in including 1998.

    To address your internal musings, yes I do understand the difference between trend and statistical difference and I accept you can pick out certain periods within the last near-on 18 years that show a statistically significant difference, both for warming and cooling. It would make sense to start at a time of at least a few years ago and work to the present time, including the most recent data. In the context of analysing significant changes to address whether they are still (or are not still) occurring then you should take the most up to date recent figures (2014) as the ending point.

    How about starting at 1999 as I suggested which removes the 1998 year. Any statistical difference then? I do not have access to the statistical software as I am travelling but I would believe not. Which makes your claim of my dishonesty in including the 1998 year as incorrect. Does that not warrant an apology?

    quote from latest research commentary, released yesterday ………

    “………In the 21st century, greenhouse gases have continued to accumulate in the atmosphere, just as they did in the 20th century, but global average surface air temperatures have stopped rising in tandem with the gases. The temperature of the top half of the world’s ocean — above the 1.24-mile
    mark — is still climbing, but not fast enough to account for the stalled air temperatures.

    Many processes on land, air and sea have been invoked to explain what is happening to the “missing” heat. One of the most prominent ideas is that the bottom half of the ocean is taking up the slack, but supporting evidence is slim…………..”

    Now what I take from this article is a few things.

    Firstly, there is admission of a pause in temperature of the surface air despite an increase in greenhouse gases. It does us no good to argue whether a certain date skews the figures or is 1997 a fair starting point or whether one of us might not understand statistical mathematics. There is widespread admittance now of a pause.

    Secondly, it mentions a continuing rise in temperature of the top most layer of ocean but notes that it is not enough to account for the pause in the surface air temperature.

    Thirdly, it notes there are theories of where this ‘missing heat’ has gone and talks of one of the most prominent theories but then suggests the evidence is slim.

    Fourthly, when climate scientists query what the heat absorption of the southern ocean has been for the last many, many years up to a whopping 58% difference, this goes to the heart of competence and trustworthiness of what we are being told now. There is a reason why so many educated people, as you say, query what can be described as ‘climate science’ claims of hard indisputable knowledge and have little faith in the models driving these ‘records’ which create this ‘knowledge’. It is incorrect for you to describe this as an anti-science position in general.

    The original alarmism was mainly in global air surface temperatures and what that would mean for the planet. There was a dire prediction of an increasing and accelerating atmospheric rise in temperature leading to immanent human catastrophic calamity.

    Clearly the 17 years 11 month hiatus (or pause) has disproved that prediction.

    So we still have warming in the upper surface of the oceans. Is this a problem? Is it the same problem? Will it continue to be so?

    Now you invoked magic to make fun of my position, let me return the compliment. Has the heat energy said to itself ‘they’re onto me, I’m going to stop heating the
    atmosphere now and jump into the oceans’?

    Will the upper ocean temperature continue rising – we don’t know. Will the upper ocean temperature level off like the atmospheric temperature – we don’t know. Will the upper ocean temperature dissipate into the freezing deeper ocean regions below – we don’t know.

    What we do know is that the atmospheric temperature has paused. So the initial alarm and demands of costly global economic restructure should also pause. This has been my point. Many ‘climate science’ claims have been drastically wrong in the level of their alarmism.

    That doesn’t mean the earth isn’t warming due to man. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look to move to renewable energy. I have stated this before clearly. I have a cousin in England working on harnessing energy from tidal waves. He went to Oxford and is a very smart guy. I do not dismiss his work or the work of others.

    But what I have said is that the predictions of many climate change people have not been reliable so that the demands for substantial economic change are not warranted.

    I would be much happier if our energies (excuse the pun) were concentrated in supporting viable renewable energy research projects such as with my cousin. The scare has been proved wrong. At worst we have much more time to do things sensibly. I realise that carbon credits and carbon taxes are thought to be ways of forcing through change to renewable energy but I see this as economically dangerous.

    Catastrophe is not at our door, let’s fund renewable energy research properly and responsibly. It is inconceivable that someone in the scientific world will not develop a viable renewable source of energy through direct action plans of funding.

    Economic engineering of society to force this through is dangerous, not needed and plays into bigger political games within and between countries IMHO.

  • Abucs

    You started your correspondence with me by basically saying ‘you think you’re such a smart arse, answer me this’. You still haven’t really said what your disagreements are. We seem to be stuck on the need for an apology for your claims of my alleged dishonesty and/or claims I don’t understand the supported theory that the temperature of the oceans is still on the rise whereas atmospheric temperature is not, at least for statistically significant levels for the last 17 years 11 months and counting.

  • carl marks

    Doggerland flooded due to melting ice, being relatively flat it flooded relatively quickly.
    this was also speeded with the cataclysmic failure of ice dams and the land lifting when the ice retreated, not really relevant to our debate.

  • Sam Gilman

    You say:

    yes I do understand the difference between trend and statistical difference and I accept you can pick out certain periods within the last near-on 18 years that show a statistically significant difference, both for warming and cooling.

    I think we’re done here. No, you cannot pick out periods within the 18 years from such noisy data and achieve both statistical significance for warming and cooling trends. This is mathematics I did in high school. The only way you could have written what you did is if you didn’t understand the concepts involved.

    Throughout this conversation, all I have been trying to do is point out that you do not understand key issues in the topic, and that your arrogance and belligerence towards others is inappropriate not only because it’s bad manners.

    When it got to the point where you were trying to contradict the work of the world’s oceanographers on account of the fact the you go swimming (I think a lot of oceanographers are quite fond of the sea too), you really should have realised the game was up.

  • Abucs

    You started off by basically calling me a smart arse, then dishonest and not understanding the maths, then derogatory names such as scuba Theologian and dismissive phrases such as ‘you don’t know that you don’t know’.

    All through this I have been quite civil to you. If I have been abusive to you somewhere please point it out and I will willingly apologise. If I have been abusive to anyone else then you must realise that given the above, it must take a lot of abuse going the other way first before that reaction occurs.

    Rather than ‘contradicting the work of the world’s oceanographers’ (without any specification from you on what that is) I linked to the most recent scientific study of the energy absorption of the ocean. A study which you, who kept on wanting to discuss the science, completely ignored.

    That paper, setting the context for their own study, says ‘air temperatures have stopped rising in tandem with the gases.’ That was the point I made on the one thing that we had discussed. I provided the data that is the basis for NASA saying “air temperatures have stopped rising in tandem with the gases”.

    You called my comment (with provided data) dishonest because 1998 was included and said I didn’t understand the maths. I am saying nothing more than what NASA said “air temperatures have stopped rising in tandem with the gases”. That is not dishonest and it is not a matter of misunderstanding the maths. It was a perfectly fair statement based on the maths. Ask NASA.

    Regarding your last point about not understanding statistical maths. The fact that you have retreated to arguing I don’t understand the maths and was abusive to others tells me (to use your phraseology) that you realise given the NASA article it was quite fair to ask for an apology.

    I don’t know about your studies in your high school maths but I received a distinction in final year maths at university in statistics many years ago and received a distinction in a thesis I wrote 3 years ago involving statistical analysis when I returned to university for a masters.

    Yes, within a period of time you can find periods where the data would show statistical significance either way. For example in a 1000 year period you might find a 50 year stretch which shows a significant increase and a different 50 year stretch which shows a significant decrease just considering those periods as separate periods of study in their own right.

    For the 18 year period in question it would not be considered meaningful data to take a period of 5-6 years and make claims of warming, or alternatively, a different period and claim cooling, but that is where the mathematician decides what is meaningful and acceptable given the context and constraints of the particular study analysis being undertaken.

    My reply was to your post where you chose one particular period of 2005 to 2010 within the 18 year period of 1997-2014.

  • Starviking

    Sorry Abucs, using strawman arguments, namely:

    “If science speculates an increasing rate of temperature increase with a matching increase in carbon emissions and the evidence shows that for 18 years there has not been any increase then there is something wrong with the science of those speculating”

    Show how little you understand the theory. Science states that heat will accumulate at a higher rate with increases in greenhouse gasses. Temperature increases will depend on where the measurements are made, and what the climate is doing (el ninos, la ninas, volcanic aerosols, etc). Instrumental accuracy will also be a factor.

  • Starviking

    On a global scale, with no inputs from the sun, or mass vulcanism, or asteroid strikes?

  • Sam Gilman

    An error: To describe a rising trend that just fails to reach significance, particularly because of the shortness of the time period, as “a hiatus” (a flat trend) is a serious misinterpretation of statistics. It confuses trend and significance. A non-significant rising trend is not the same as a significant flat trend. Understanding this is part of basic hypothesis testing. This is regardless of any qualifications you may claim to have in statistics.

    Statistical malpractice: Explicitly defining your period for which you test for a trend’s statistical significance as precisely that period just short enough so that statistical significance is not achieved, is blatantly cherry-picking data. It is like firing a gun at a wall and then drawing a target around the bullet-hole and claiming a bull’s eye. Good practice says that the period should be long enough for a fair test of significance. and it should certainly be independent of the test result.

    Serious omissions from the material you quote from NASA:

    “Study coauthor Josh Willis of JPL said these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself”

    “Coauthor Felix Landerer of JPL noted that during the same period, warming in the top half of the ocean continued unabated, an unequivocal sign that our planet is heating up.”

    Continuing error: confusing warming in one part of the planet with the overall energy budget. A lack of warming in the deep oceans means it’s warming elsewhere, not that there isn’t an increase in the energy budget. We know the energy budget is increasing; equations still have to balance. The task is to find where this energy is going. This is what was meant when the authors said “We’re just trying to understand the nitty-gritty details”.

    Which is where this other study comes in, published, as luck would have it, on the same day:

    “Turns out, the upper layer of the Southern Hemisphere’s oceans has been heating up faster than we thought. A lot faster: according to the new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, since 1970 it’s been warming about 24 to 58 percent more quickly than models suggested”

    So it looks as though the NASA deep ocean study has a complement.

  • Abucs

    Hello Sam,
    Regarding your “An error” : First of all your phrase ‘claim to have’ throws up yet again, a personal attack on my honesty. Secondly, it is less me confusing trend and significance and more you misrepresenting my position and mis-defining hiatus. Hiatus is not a flat trend. It is a discontinuance or pausing. There is a discontinuance in the previous rate of increase of surface air temperature compared to now. You are completely incorrect to claim a hiatus is a flat trend. I ask you to justify your definition of ‘hiatus’ as a flat trend or
    alternatively to acknowledge your mistake and withdraw your accusation of error.

    Regarding your ‘Statistical malpractice’ : Statistical malpractice are very strong words for a very weak argument. Again your words are a direct attack on my honesty. Your analogy with firing bullets breaks down on a number of fronts especially because it has no reference to time. If you are
    a mathematician and you are looking for a change of pattern then you are going to choose the point to measure where that change has taken place. That is, if you are going to suggest a hiatus, or a break in continuity, then the obvious starting point is to choose where that discontinuance begins. Otherwise that discontinuance is masked by data outside of where the discontinuance begins. That is not statistical malpractice, it is good maths. A period of 18 years is not a short time, especially in the context that 18 years ago the claims of
    what would happen to the air temperature in the following two decades were very alarming. Again I mention that the NASA study alludes to it when it says ‘air temperatures have stopped rising in tandem with the gases.’ Given the fact that
    a hiatus in surface air temperature is widely acknowledged to have occurred, I ask you to withdraw your allegation of ‘statistical malpractice’.

    Regarding your ‘Serious omissions….’ : Again, the charge of ‘serious omission’ is an attack, although a mild one this time, on my honesty. I linked to the material that you are claiming is a serious omission. I read the report before I posted it so I know what is says. I linked to it so that all who would wish, could read it and make comment. I explicitly referenced quotes that supported the points I had made previously. That’s the way it works. You quote sources the other will find acceptable to either back-up the points you are making or to
    introduce new points. The two quotes you provided did not add to the issue I was discussing so there was no need to quote them directly, but they are there in the link for everyone to read. If there are points you would wish to make and highlighting a quote from the report is helpful, I am inviting you to do so. The two quotes you referenced that you called ‘serious omissions’ were copied by you without comment so you are not producing anything new except copying some quotes from the link I provided. If you wish to discuss an aspect of this issue please add comment, then I can either agree with you, partially agree or disagree altogether depending on your comment. It cannot logically be called an omission, let alone a serious omission, to only reference quotes relating to what I had been discussing.

    Regarding your ‘Continuing error’ : There is no confusion. I am quite aware of the difference between the concept of global energy budget and energy absorption of a particular subsection of the earth. Why do you claim there is confusion? Let me ask a question please. When you say that you ‘know the energy budget is increasing and all equations have to balance’ could you please give me a list of these equations and the assumptions that each of these equations rest on?

    Regarding your link to an opinion piece commenting on the second study that was discussed in my original link. Your link does not add any more value and your only comment is ‘the NASA deep ocean study has a complement’. Again unless you actually say something significant then I have nothing to agree/disagree with you about. Yes, the NASA deep ocean study has a compliment. My link discusses this. I am assuming you read my link? I also made comment in my previous post regarding this second report discussing
    the change in opinion on the energy absorption of the southern oceans. Again, that’s the way it works. You quote and make comment, not just quote without comment. My comment was in reference to how large the turnaround in
    ‘established knowledge’ was from that report and how climate change predictions have often been built on similarly shifting sands. I made comment that this has led many people to be suspicious of the science of climate change. I note again that, as with many points I make, you completely ignored it. That is not how discussion works. You could respond by saying ‘yes Abucs, I see your point, it is a big change around which can lead to loss of confidence in the scientific processes of climate change…….’ Or alternatively you could disagree and say ‘yes Abucs, it is a big turnaround but ………’ If you
    pardon me you seem more interested in a desperate attempt to find fault in me rather than discussing the topics raised.

    For example. I answered you regarding the ‘abuse comments’ and asked you to show me where I had verbally abused you and so now there has been no comment from you. I am assuming we accept that I did not abuse you but it is difficult to know for sure because sometimes you come back 3 posts later instead of following directly on from my posts (a discontinuance if you will). I also pointed out where I believe you were less than graceful towards me in your posts and you have not replied to that. Can I assume you accept such a charge?

    Similarly your previous objections to my ‘statistical knowledge’ was based around finding periods of significant results either way within a greater time period. I am
    assuming that the example given in my last post regarding the 2 x 50 year periods within the 1000 year period put that objection to bed? Again it is difficult to know because instead of discussing the issues systematically and in sequence, you seem to want to find some new objection with me (often
    involving claims of dishonesty) and then you don’t give me much/any feedback when I answer your objections.

  • Abucs

    There is what we know for certain Starviking and there is what certain models predict should happen (or should be happening). It is important to realise the difference.

  • Sam Gilman

    When another commenter said you had a large ego, he underestimated the problem. You appear to think you are as infallible as Big Brother. You take any possible (real or, just as often, imagined) hint that someone might think that something you say is not the absolute true word of God as a grave offence. Any suggestion that you have made a mistake is dismissed out of hand. I don’t think even the Pope quite holds this position in the Catholic Church.

    It makes it very difficult to discuss scientific issues with you, even when the errors you make are glaring. You make the presumption that you are right about everything the precondition of polite debate. That won’t do. I really don’t have time to discuss matters with someone who acts like a stroppy teenager with a Messiah complex.

  • Abucs

    Hello Sam,

    I will probably find it difficult to reply to your latest post without becoming a little angry. So perhaps it is better just to let you have your say.

    I would have liked to have received answers to the questions asked in my previous post, but so be it.

    It has been interesting observing your reactions. I admire your obvious passion for our environment and your willingness to jump in when you believe others are being treated unfairly.

    All the best for your future.

  • Starviking

    There is what we know for certain Abucs: physical properties of greenhouse gasses; the storage of heat in atmospheres, on land, and in oceans; climatic forcing mechanisms; and other factors. It is important to understand the science, realise the variability of our climate, and grasp that models must always be refined.

    At the end of the day, the science informs the models – not vice versa – and the science says we will have warming.