Fake news from the BBC, Harrabin and Stott

 

Yesterday’s 6pm Radio 4 News opened with a headline claim that

“The world’s leading climate agencies have said for the first time that global warming caused by humans now dwarfs natural temperature changes”

Now if that was true I would probably have heard of it through the twittersphere. A quick survey of what the “world’s leading climate agencies” were saying yesterday shows that it’s not true. See Met Office, NASA  and NOAA, all talking about 2017 temperatures but no mention of humans dwarfing natural processes.

After the news headlines, the main story started and the lie was repeated:

“For the first time, leading scientists in Britain and America say they are confident that the impact of humans on our climate dwarfs that of natural processes.”

So where did this lie come from? There’s a hint a minute later in the program

“With more, here’s our environment analyst, Roger Harrabin.”

Harrabin then interviews Peter Stott, who I’ve called out previously for misleading the public on the radio. Stott says

“… what this is showing really is that these influences of the human activity on climate through our emissions of greenhouse gases  are really dwarfing the natural climate processes associated with El Nino.”

So, one soundbite from an untrustworthy climate scientist is twisted into a claim that “The world’s leading climate agencies have said…”. Harrabin then goes on to get the opinion of Friends of the Earth.

The online version of the story is here, where Harrabin doesn’t go quite as far, only misdescribing Stott’s statement as “scientists say”.

 

77 thoughts on “Fake news from the BBC, Harrabin and Stott

  1. 2017 was way above all el Niño years before 15/16, so dwarfing seems reasonable. Where’s the beef?

    [PM: Apart from the headline statement being untrue, there’s nothing wrong with it.]

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  2. In what universe of utter snowflakes does the comment “For example in pointing out your falsehoods. Here’s the latest MetOffice news and it doesn’t say what you claim” amount to an ‘insult’?

    The bar seems to be very set very low indeed.

    Also interesting is just how keen these Consensus enforcers are… Three of them in a row (including the yet to be approved), within minutes of posting.

    Such odd people, these easily-triggered comment police.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Yes, I thought it was odd to claim that pointing out that his claim was false was an insult. The reason he does it of course is an attempt to avoid the issue.

    It’s a tactic we see from some people here.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. There’s a big logic fail at the heart of this nonsense claim that somehow global warming is now dwarfing natural (El Nino) variability. Peter Stott said of the record warm year in 2016:

    https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2017/2016-record-breaking-year-for-global-temperature

    “A particularly strong El Niño event contributed about 0.2C to the annual average for 2016, which was about 1.1C above the long term average from 1850 to 1900. However, the main contributor to warming over the last 150 years is human influence on climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

    But, 2015 was just as warm as 2016 – the difference between the two being well with the error bars of the Hadcrut dataset. ‘Scientists’ do not admit to El Nino contributing but a very minor amount to 2015 annual warming, which was also about 0.2C above all other ‘warmest years’ since 1998, so what caused the abrupt ‘global warming’ in 2015? A sudden massive increase in GHG forcing? If the world already was very warm in 2015 due to unknown causes, how can the world in 2016 not have warmed further due to the influence of El Nino? Because it didn’t. 2016 was AS warm as 2015, a supposedly non El Nino year. Then we get to 2017 and find that the world cooled somewhat, making 2017 the third warmest year on record, behind 2015 and 2016. 2017 was actually significantly cooler than 2015, which was also ‘not an El Nino year’. But now, magically 2017 is living proof that global warming is dwarfing El Nino variability!

    ‘Scientists’ can’t have it all ways. They cannot claim that 2016 was elevated 0.2C above the 21st century average – which was flat up until 2015 – because of El Nino and simultaneously claim that the two very warm years either side of 2016 were unaffected by natural ENSO variability, It’s just nonsense.

    The 2015/16 El Nino – which actually kicked off in late 2014 according to NOAA, before they updated their SST record – was by some measures the most powerful since records began. Combine that with the emergence of the Pacific warm blob in 2014 and it is perhaps not inconceivable that natural ocean variability resulted in two almost equal very warm years in 2015/16. Then in 2017, we only had a weak La Nina which would not have significantly contributed to natural post El Nino cooling (as in 1999), in fact at one point it looked as if we were heading back into El Nino territory. Is it really beyond the imagination of ‘scientists’ to admit that natural variability was not perhaps ‘dwarfed’ by global warming in the three record warm years which ended the Pause? Apparently so. I wonder if this dwarfing process will continue into 2018?

    But none of this matters. The BBC got its fake news headline that global warming is on the rampage and is swamping our natural climate, so there we are – job done. Climate propaganda rules.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Splitting hairs, PM. It’s clear that the anthropogenic rise in temperature exceeds the temporary peaks of el Niño.

    [PM: You show what a complete imbecile you are every time you comment here. The Worlds leading climate agencies didn’t say what the BBC said they did.]

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  6. The rise in temp which ‘scientists’ confidently attribute to human activity is about 0.6C over 50 years. The contribution to annual mean global surface temperature from El Nino in 2016 was 0.2C in just one year. Some ‘dwarfing’!

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  7. What I suspect was being suggested is that anthropogenic influences have now led us to being in a state in which even neutral years (with respect to the ENSO cycles) are warmer than almost all El Nino years (all bar one, if you consider GISTEMP). To be clear, I’m not presenting this with any expectation of anything other than continued frothing at the mouth about an apparently hyperbolic BBC headline. Please, do carry on.

    [PM: You and Len seem to be having a “who can make the biggest fool of yourself” competition. So far I think it’s a tie. Your speculation about what you “suspect was being suggested” is of no interest. The issue is that the world’s climate agencies did not say what the BBC said they said.]

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  8. Ken Rice: “What about those people who are incapable of responding without using insults?”

    Ken Rice: “… continued frothing at the mouth about an apparently hyperbolic BBC headline.”


    O Jeany, dinna toss your head,
    An’ set your beauties a’ abread!
    Ye little ken what cursed speed
    The blastie’s makin:
    Thae winks an’ finger-ends, I dread,
    Are notice takin.

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
    An’ foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
    An’ ev’n devotion!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sorry Ken, your graph is a fraud. It purports to show ‘surface temperature influence’ and shows 2015 as being an El Nino year, but according to scientists, 2015 was affected only by a negligible influence on GMST – just like 2017 which is listed as ‘neutral’. It’s not a graph of surface temperature influence, it’s just a graph of ENSO positive, negative and neutral years.
    *froth, froth, froth*

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I made no judgement, Ken.

    But indeed, you did ‘try’ so much harder than anyone else ‘to keep the conversation civil’.

    Such effort.

    You truly deserve a fucking statue.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Ben,

    But indeed, you did ‘try’ so much harder than anyone else ‘to keep the conversation civil’.

    I failed. I think I’ve admitted that on numerous occasions.

    Jaime,
    Happy to be corrected if wrong, but it’s my understanding that 2015 is regarded as an El Nino year.

    [PM: Since El Nino tends to be around Christmas time (there’s a clue in the name) labelling calendar years as “El Nino years” or not as you have done in your graph is a dumb thing to do.]

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  12. Yes, Paul is right though, getting back to the main issue: Harrabin and the BBC claimed the ‘world’s leading climate agencies’ have stated that for the ‘first time’, natural variability is being dwarfed by AGW, which is false, based only upon one comment by the decidedly dodgy Peter Stott. Actually, what is being dwarfed is the truth – by fake news propaganda. Then he complains that he’s being insulted when he’s called out on his untruths. Poor snowflake.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ken,

    From the horse’s mouth:

    “We think El Niño made only a small contribution (a few hundredths of a degree) to the record global temperatures in 2015”.

    “Schmidt estimated El Niño was responsible for 0.07C of the above-average warming we saw in 2015.”

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-how-much-did-el-nino-boost-global-temperature-in-2015

    2015 was indeed an El Nino year, but according to scientists, that fact had little to no effect upon the mean annual global temperature. Only 2016 is admitted to having been affected by El Nino (0.2C) and bizarrely, that year was as warm as 2015. That doesn’t make sense to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Jaime,

    2015 was indeed an El Nino year, but according to scientists, that fact had little to no effect upon the mean annual global temperature.

    According to your own quote, it was about 0.07C.

    Only 2016 is admitted to having been affected by El Nino (0.2C) and bizarrely, that year was as warm as 2015. That doesn’t make sense to me.

    What do you mean? Do you mean that once we’ve corrected for ENSO events, 2015 and 2016 are very similar? If so, how different would you expect them to be?

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  15. Ken Rice — What do you mean? Do you mean that once we’ve corrected for ENSO events, 2015 and 2016 are very similar? If so, how different would you expect them to be?

    Surely a question for Gavin Schmidt, not Jaime.

    There are lots of articles on the web quoting Schmidt on EN’s contribution to recent years’ temperature.

    None of which explain why Harrabin misrepresented the report.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “What do you mean? Do you mean that once we’ve corrected for ENSO events, 2015 and 2016 are very similar? If so, how different would you expect them to be?”

    Obviously I don’t mean that Ken, because if you correct for ENSO according to what I have quoted from scientists, 2016 would end up about 0.2C cooler than 2015!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Actually it is a very odd statement as we freeze during this coming January weekend. In reality 2017 has the third largest average temperature anomaly. The word anomaly is important.

    The average monthly temperature at one weather station is (Tmax + Tmin)/2. The anomaly is just (Tav- Texp) where Texp is the expected temperature for that month. Texp is simply calculated as the average of Tav at that station over a 30 year period (1961-1990 for HadCrut). It turns out that most of the increase is in Tmin rather than Tmax. So the maximum temperatures at any given place have not really increased that much at all. Those of us who experience an English summer can confirm that fact

    So the global average anomaly for 2017 is the third ‘warmest’. The average surface temperature of the earth is unknown. Climate Models can’t even agree among each other what the average surface temperature should be

    Anomalies are usually simply misrepresented as being temperature. It is getting warmer etc.

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  18. So nights are getting warmer and daytime temperatures are not changing as much. I’m sure that this is ‘exactly what we should expect’ from GHG global warming.

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  19. Jaime,

    Obviously I don’t mean that Ken, because if you correct for ENSO according to what I have quoted from scientists, 2016 would end up about 0.2C cooler than 2015!

    According to GISTEMP, 2015 was 0.86 and 2016 was 0.99. If I remove 0.07 from 0.86 I get 0.79. If I remove 0.2 from 0.99, I get 0.79. So, what did you mean by “Only 2016 is admitted to having been affected by El Nino (0.2C) and bizarrely, that year was as warm as 2015. That doesn’t make sense to me”?

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  20. borrowed from Dire Straits:

    Check out guitar Len
    He knows all the chords
    Mind, it’s strictly rhythm
    He doesn’t want to make it cry or sing
    Left-handed old guitar is all he can afford
    When he gets up under the lights to play his thing

    [Verse 4]
    And Kenny doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene
    He’s got a daytime job – He’s doing alright
    He can play the honky tonk like anything
    Saving it up for Friday night
    With the Sultans
    With the Sultans of Swing

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Barrel, that’s quite flattering.

    Jaime, are dwarfs much more than 3 times smaller than the the average population? Seems unlikely. That would make them much less than 2 feet high which seems far from reality. By any normal use of dwarfism, El Niño changes are indeed dwarfed by AGW.

    As to whether a year is denoted an EN year or not, this graph shows nearly all of 2015 was quite EN positive, http://ggweather.com/enso/oni.png

    We know that the temperature influence of that lagged the index so 2016 was the year that had the highest rise in temperature. Which would you prefer to call an EN year, the one with the high EN index, the one with the highest temps or both?

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  22. Why is 2017 classified as a neutral year? Wasn’t it a strong El Nino from February to May?

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  23. Unfortunately I started listening to yesterday’s 6 o’clock news on Radio 4 part-way through, and they were already discussing the “hottest non-El Nino year evah!” when I switched on. But I did hear somebody (I think it may have been Roger Harrabin) state quite distinctly that all of the world’s countries, other than the USA, are committed to reducing CO2 emissions.

    Now that is quite simply a lie. All of the world’s countries are now signed up to the Paris Climate Accords (though Trump says he is taking America out, which is not the same thing as not committing to reduce CO2 emissions). More importantly, though, being a signatory to the Paris Climate Accords is not the same as committing to reduce CO2 emissions. If you check the INDCs of the signatories, the majority of them are committing to increase their CO2 emissions by 2030, just perhaps by not quite so much as would be the case on a “Business as Usual” basis. Mr Harrabin presumably knows this to be the case. If not, he’s in the wrong job.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Ken, as it was Peter Stott, a Met Office scientist, who made the statement that 2016 was boosted by El Nino by 0.2C, presumably with reference to the Met Office’s own dataset, Hadcrut 4, I was using Hadcrut 4 anomalies for the comparison. 2016=0.77; 2015=0.76 (above 1961-1990 mean). Take a “few hundredths of a degree” (let’s say as much as Schmidt’s 0.07C from 0.76 and you get 0.69. Take 0.2C from 0.77 and you get 0.57C, so I was wrong about 2016 ending up 0.2C cooler than 2015; it’s at least 0.12C. The point remains though; if you correct 2015/16 for ENSO, according to Schmidt et al, 2016 ends up actually significantly cooler than 2015. According to the Met Office – who are now mysteriously preferring to use the 1850-1900 anomaly – 2017 was 0.12C cooler than 2016, so assuming that remains the case wrt the 1961-90 anomaly, 2017 was 0.77-0.12C = 0.65C. As there is reportedly no ENSO correction required for 2017, we have the following ENSO corrected years:

    2014 – 0.58
    2015 – 0.69
    2016 – 0.57
    2017 – 0.65

    So where is the global warming that is dwarfing natural variability? The super El Nino has come and gone and we are not much warmer than we were in 2014, which in turn was not significantly warmer than any other ‘warmest year’ post 1998.

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  25. Len,

    I used to have a friend. We nicknamed him Dwarf. He was half inch smaller than me (5’4″). He was never dwarfed by me, even when I wore heels. ‘Dwarf’ noun has a specific meaning only in biology, not in common parlance. ‘Dwarf’ verb has no technical or precise definition, but it conjures up the image of something being tiny in comparison to something else. 0.2C is not tiny in comparison to 0.6C, especially when it happens over one year, whereas the latter takes place over 50 years. Global warming is a process, a slow and steady one, taking place over decades and centuries. Where is the global warming which is now, ‘for the first time’, magically dwarfing natural ENSO variability? I think, like most Dwarves, it is magical and has become part of warmist BBC folklore.

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  26. Mark Hodgson: ‘If you check the INDCs of the signatories, the majority of them are committing to increase their CO2 emissions by 2030, just perhaps by not quite so much as would be the case on a “Business as Usual” basis.’

    Indeed. Take Serbia, for example:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/11/european-commission-hails-fiddled-serbian-climate-pledge

    (Serbia’s current per capita GHG footprint is only very slightly less than the UK’s. I can’t remember the numbers but they are easily found.)

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  27. Clive
    Why are you so surprised? Anyone reading Ken’s comments here or on other blogs knows he is a hypocrite of the first order. He often puts up unsubstantiated claims or makes deliberate misinterpretations of other’s remarks, but gets all huffy and demands sources.
    He only comments here because no-one goes to his site.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. CHRISM56, yes there was an El Nino episode in 2017, short lived but quite intense.

    “To start with, the claim that 2017 was not an El Nino year is simply not true.

    NOAA themselves show quite a sharp El Nino episode from March to May, albeit a short one.

    The official threshold for an El Nino is 0.500 on the MEI scale. In April/May it peaked at 1.455, almost as high as the 2010 event.”

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/warmest-year-evah-except-for-the-others/

    Liked by 1 person

  29. “Tony Heller has had a peek at the 2017 claims, and isn’t impressed.”

    Oh, wow. Someone reads Heller and doesn’t spot the cherry picking. I guess Ben is like those 18-year old kids and knows anything about the subject, and unlike those of 18 does not have the skills to check. Perhaps he should ask a 12-year old.

    Clive, that discussion doesn’t seem to be about you at all. If you want to avoid moderation, I’m guessing that you might try establishing a record of saying things that are correct.

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  30. Peter Stott said

    “… what this is showing really is that these influences of the human activity on climate through our emissions of greenhouse gases are really dwarfing the natural climate processes associated with El Nino.”

    Then Roger Harrabin then tweets

    CO2 emissions are dwarfing natural trends

    As well as implying that a number of agencies are making this claim, rather than a single activist scientist, Harrabin is also claiming it dwarfs “natural trends”, not the  “natural climate processes associated with El Nino“. There is the double manipulation of what was said. More importantly, it is opinion unsubstantiated by reference to the data.

    As Harrabin makes claims about CO2 emissions, here is a graph of said emissions that Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center allocates to countries. Note that little over 50 years was a four-fold increase. Therefore one would expect an acceleration in the rate of warming over that period. But there are three distinct periods. From 1979 to around 2003 the rate of emissions growth was much slower than the period before or after. This period corresponds pretty closely to the fastest period of warming. The real evidence suggests to me that natural processes dwarf CO2 emissions.

    ATTP @ 19 Jan 18 at 3:31 pm

     What I suspect was being suggested is that anthropogenic influences have now led us to being in a state in which even neutral years (with respect to the ENSO cycles) are warmer than almost all El Nino years (all bar one, if you consider GISTEMP).

    Ken gives a sciencey-type gloss to the Peter Scott quote, ignoring the Harrabin perversions. Then he produces a graph with linear warming trends placed over a temperature data set. It’s as if the four-fold increase in country-based CO2 emissions has had no impact.

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  31. An adult human wrote:

    Oh, wow. Someone reads Heller and doesn’t spot the cherry picking. I guess Ben is like those 18-year old kids and knows anything about the subject, and unlike those of 18 does not have the skills to check. Perhaps he should ask a 12-year old.

    It would be excusable if it weren’t an adult. Or it had a neurological problem. We’re still waiting to hear what the excuse is.

    But let it sink in… An adult took time out of his day to offer that contribution. And they think it passes for criticism and argument.

    There are some very strange people in the world. I wonder if he wears a cape and his underpants over his trousers, when he types to save the planet.

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  32. Ben. you presume: it could be a Lenora, in which case it would be most strange for underpants to be worn over trousers.
    Have you noticed how widespread is her ignorance, how quickly she leaps to counter our heresies. The case for a composite entity grows – a sort of Lem borg: a smelly cheese?

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  33. Thanks to Jaime for this:

    The rise in temp which ‘scientists’ confidently attribute to human activity is about 0.6C over 50 years. The contribution to annual mean global surface temperature from El Nino in 2016 was 0.2C in just one year. Some ‘dwarfing’!

    and, later, for the pointer to Paul Homewood’s detailed reflections today, which include:

    It is laughable that they can seriously claim they know the Earth’s temperature to such small margins.

    And, as has been pointed out, they always like to talk in terms of anomalies, to make things seem more alarming.

    According to NOAA, the average global temperature in 2017 was 14.74C, so in terms of actual temperatures rather than anomalies the trend looks like this:

    [very boring looking graph from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/global showing nothing happening 1881-2017]

    Given that temperatures, even in temperate zones, can fluctuate from well below freezing to 40C and more from season to season, such an imperceptibly small increase since 1881 is impossible for anybody to actually notice in their day to day lives.

    Forgive me for saying it but I’m bored as heck with the fake news of climate.

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  34. Once again the climate opinion leaders rely on deliberately confusing a single, or at most a small number, of events with “climate” to make vast claims about the climate.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I was wondering last night, and this AM, was I fair to Len… Was I too gullible, and I had I failed to spot Tony H’s ‘cherry-picking’?

    Then this cam up on my Twitter feed, from 2004.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2004/feb/22/usnews.theobserver

    A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

    The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

    ‘Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,’ concludes the Pentagon analysis. ‘Once again, warfare would define human life.’

    The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. Experts said that they will also make unsettling reading for a President who has insisted national defence is a priority.

    That was 14 years ago. And we’d already had at least that much of the same routine. Harrabin has been there for the duration, though shows almost zero signs of reflecting on the failure of the countless reports he has covered. That is remarkable. It’s more remarkable, and more important to understand than the reports themselves. “Science” has nothing at all to do with it.

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  36. The New York Times write up of this is absolutely hilarious. Get this:

    “What made the numbers unexpected was that last year had no El Niño, a shift in tropical Pacific weather patterns that is usually linked to record-setting heat and that contributed to record highs the previous two years. In fact, last year should have benefited from a weak version of the opposite phenomenon, La Niña, which is generally associated with lower atmospheric temperatures.”

    So straight off they’re telling half-truths that El Nino didn’t happen in 2017. It did, for a few months, according to the measurement of the Multivariate ENSO Index (not the more commonly used ONI). Then they say that 2017 SHOULD have benefited from a weak La Nina, but a weak La Nina only developed in mid November, too late to influence global temperatures for 2017. So La Nina should have happened but it didn’t and El Nino did happen but NYT are saying it didn’t, meaning . . . . . 2017 was warmer than it SHOULD have been!

    Then to cap the hilarity, Gavin Schmidt tells us that this is the ‘new normal’, which isn’t the new normal because it’s changing!

    “This is the new normal,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the NASA group that conducted the analysis. But, he said, “It’s also changing. It’s not that we’ve gotten to a new plateau — this isn’t where we’ll stay. In ten years we’re going to say ‘oh look, another record decade of warming temperatures.’”

    PMSL

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Actually, Gavin’s statement was only the precursor to the final, shattering finale before the curtain fall:

    “It’s startling to know there are individuals on the brink of adulthood who have spent their entire lives in a climate that, largely due to human activity, is vastly different from the one their parents experienced growing up,” said Rachel Licker, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a research and advocacy group.

    Not as startling to know that there are actual adults masquerading as serious, grown up climate scientists who say this stuff and who actually believe it!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Catweazel: continuing the off-topic, here’s a conservative I’ve come to trust in the very murky waters of what’s been going on behind the scenes in Washington, Moscow, Astana etc:

    McCarthy is far from a blanket Trump supporter:

    but his legal expertise and careful critiques of the Trump-Russia speculation and Robert Mueller’s investigation have led to retweets from Steve McIntyre, no less.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. It has to be remembered that “Cardinal Harrabin” is the BBC’s enforcer in chief of the climate change scam. He is the one who ensures that nothing appearing on the BBC (TV, radio or on-line) deviates from the fake story about climate change (or AGW as it used to be known).

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  40. Provost: Fair enough. Other opinions are available. I trust the judgment of McCarthy in saying the memo should be published. Silverman seems to agree with that – but says it will backfire on the writers. I’ve not heard of him or the blog before. We’ll see. Meanwhile, since the tweets above, McCarthy has published Collusion 3.0: Russia and the NRA on the latest twist of the Trump-Russia collusion claims. As I said already, murky.

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  41. Back to climate. I was surprised to learn from a retweet from Joe Uscinski, no less

    The Guardian also had a story about this ‘new’ view of equilibrium climate sensitivity having to be constrained on the low side, a la Nic Lewis, two days ago: Climate sensitivity study suggests narrower range of potential outcomes with the obligatory subheading “Findings should not be seen as taking pressure off need to tackle climate change, authors warn”. That’s the bit I’ve never heard Nic say. He might I guess feel that there’s already a little too much pressure to ‘tackle’ something we have no real idea needs to be tackled – and no real idea how.

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  42. If Harrabin, Stott et al were hoping for another record breaking year of global warming in 2018, I fear they may be disappointed. For the first time since Jan 2015, Hadley’s global sea surface temperature anomaly has dropped to 0.4C and the trend very much appears to be downwards. Since Jan 2014, we’ve seen four massive consecutive peaks in northern hemisphere sea surface temperatures, which would have driven warming over the major land masses. With solar activity looking to remain very low, we certainly will need some of that good old global warming to keep the climate alarmists happy in 2018.

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  43. Another interesting fact from the graph above: since 1995 the total net global warming in the oceans has been 0.1C. From the peak of the El Nino in Jan 16 to Jan 18, global ocean temperatures have dropped 0.4C. So in 2 years, natural ENSO variability has cooled the oceans four times as much as global warming has warmed them in 23 years. Clearly, this is a case of ENSO variability dwarfing AGW, not vice versa! I’m sure Len and Ken will agree.

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  44. Richard, re. climate sensitivity study. It’s just another “brick in the wall” according to Dessler, in one of those rare moments when he actually says something sensible. But alas, we all know what happened to The Wall eventually! It starts off with dark sarcasm in the classroom and ends very badly…..

    “Despite debate among scientists about the best way to estimate climate sensitivity, each new research paper can be seen as “brick in the wall” of our understanding, says Prof Andrew Dessler, an atmospheric scientist from Texas A&M University, who was not involved in the research. He tells Carbon Brief:”

    “I don’t think any single paper will by itself redefine what we think about ECS. Rather, the best-informed views will be reached by multiple lines of evidence, with care taken in relating the inferred ECS from different methods.”

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/new-study-reduces-uncertainty-climate-sensitivity

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  45. Jaime, as you say, pretty sensible from Dessler. What isn’t is the Guardian subhead, in the context of current policy madness, which provoked me to project onto Lewis that there’s already “too much pressure to ‘tackle’ something we have no real idea needs to be tackled – and no real idea how.” But that last point can also be seen as a problem of sensible consensus being resisted:

    Searching Twitter for “dash for gas, amble towards nuclear” shows it isn’t the first time Jonathan has said it. Pity the authors couldn’t have said something as clear as this, given their felt need to talk about the pressure to do something

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  46. Richard, this study may have scientific merit, though I am just a little suspicious because what it actually does is admirably expressed by Cox himself:

    “If you can reduce the uncertainty, which I think we can, then you can focus your mind on what needs to be done. We can rule out very low values, where you might say, ‘don’t worry about it, we’ll adapt’ and you can rule out very high values that might lead to you to a sort of hopeless where you think, ‘it’s too late’. We are still in that zone where action is urgent, but not too late. But it is very urgent.”

    The ‘zone’ of which he speaks is the ECS Goldilocks zone – not too big, not too small, just the right amount to keep the climate mitigation renewable energy gravy train on track. Jonathan has it right, but that’s far too sensible – and non-profitable and ideologically non desirable – to appeal to Greens.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Not sure about man-made climate change? Don’t worry, your BBC/Met Office/Guardian (delete any that don’t apply) spin doctor will be along shortly with the latest medicine.

    Like

  48. Oldbrew. We don’t use the word “medicine” these days (orders from NaomiO, too many links with “nasty”). “Formulation” rings the right bells.

    Like

  49. Jaime, that graph of SST shows a distinct seasonal pattern (the massive peaks you refer to). As the graph shows anomalies relative to some average, one would expect there to be no seasonal component unless the behaviour of northern oceans has changed (since about 2002 by eye). Any thoughts?

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  50. Another thing, you said that the graph showing el Niño and la Niña temperatures was a fraud because it really shows ENSO positive and negative years. Yet some time later you (I think it was you) said there was an el Niño in 2017 because of a few ENSO positive months. Help me reconcile the apparent contradiction please.

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  51. Provost, yes indeed the graph appears to show increasingly anomalous late summer/autumn temperatures in the northern hemisphere, which pattern was seemingly absent from 1995 to 2002/3, i.e. NH sea surface temperatures have increased more in summer/autumn than they have during winter/spring in the 21st century. I have no idea why.
    Re. El Nino, what I said was that the graph purports to show a ‘temperature influence’ but it doesn’t (at least not in a meaningful way); it only really shows which years were ENSO positive, negative or neutral. 2015 on that graph is flagged as having a positive temperature influence, as is 2016, but according to scientists the minor influence in 2015 was ‘dwarfed’ by the large temperature boost in 2016 and there was absolutely no temperature influence in 2017 because, according to NOAA’s ONI scale, there was no La Nina or El Nino for most of the year (weak la Nina started in Nov).

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  52. Provost, welcome.
    Thank you for providing us yet another name to play with.
    I’m sure it was chosen with considerable care and reflects the desire on the part of the consensurati to police us deniers.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. “ATTP’s” little graph in his trolling comment @ 19 Jan 18 at 3:31 pm deserves a bit of closer examination.

    His comment

    What I suspect was being suggested is that anthropogenic influences have now led us to being in a state in which even neutral years (with respect to the ENSO cycles) are warmer than almost all El Nino years (all bar one, if you consider GISTEMP).

    Apart from this being deliberate spin, that tries to steer reader’s away from Harrabin’s gross perversion of what can be gleaned from the data, the graph has something quite odd. The “Neutral” trend is very close the El Nino years. It is as though La Nina has a bigger impact. I would suggest that this could be due to the rather odd choice of the first year of 1964, along using the GISTEMP series. One good thing about John Cook’s Sks website (which does not by any means compensate for its general awfulness), is the “Temperature Trends” calculator. I easily extracted some temperature trends, both for NASA Gistemp & HADCRUT4. Note the data only goes through to mid-2017, so the El Nino effect exaggerates the data.

    Without being a La Nina year (according to the graphic), 1964 was an anomalously low-temperature year, at least in the Gistemp data set. Coupled with the series ending in an El Nino is probably explains why the “Neutral” trend is so close to the El Nino one. Further, the American temperature data set seems to be significantly different to – and more in line with AGW theory – than the British one.

    The lesson from this is to look at the data in different ways to see if it still supports your claims. What in budgeting is called a “sensitivity analysis”. Most of the time bold claims, where data is a poor reflection of a complex reality, will not be supported.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. More fake news on BBC radio 4 this morning.
    “Cambridge University has reported a sharp rise in allegations of sexual misconduct, after launching a system that allows anonymous complaints to be made online.”

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  55. The fake news is “has reported a sharp rise”. They’ve recently introduced this system and got some numbers out of it. It’s dumb to call that a “sharp rise”.

    The online version of the story is here. It’s much better – no bogus claims of a sharp rise.

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  56. There was a similar sharp rise in reports of sexual abuse after the #metoo hashtag was launched. Hate crimes spiked after the Brexit vote as well. Global warming was declared a “climate emergency” after the 2016 El Nino spike in temperatures. Spikes are everywhere nowadays, causing mayhem and panic.

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  57. Paul. The real news surely is that the introduction of anonymity has indeed caused a sharp increase in REPORTS, as it was designed to do. Whether or not this change translates into a real increase in the frequency of incidents is, however, not demonstrated.

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  58. ‘Cambridge University admits significant sexual misconduct problem’ screams the BBC headline. The real news is as follows:

    “The majority of complaints (119) alleged student-on-student misconduct, while seven complaints were made by staff against colleagues, and two by students against staff. The rest involved neither staff nor students.”

    So, 119 (69%) involved students only, 2 (1%) involved students harassed by staff, 7 (4%) involved staff being subjected to inappropriate behaviour from other staff – and 45 (26%) involved neither staff nor students! Therefore it would appear that it is not Cambridge University which has a significant sexual misconduct problem, it’s the students it takes in who are the problem – and over a quarter of the ‘problem’ is not connected to staff or students at all! You have to wonder why they included them in the reports then if they didn’t come from students or staff. Fake news.

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  59. Another example of the idiocy of Roger Harrabin:

    On Feb 5, Bob Ward published one of his regular attacks on Matt Ridley. Ridley responded, the same day.

    Then the next day, Harrabin asks:

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  60. On the subject of crap journalism…

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/feb/06/decline-of-local-journalism-threatens-democracy-says-may

    Decline of local journalism threatens democracy, says May
    Government review will assess whether state intervention is needed to preserve the press

    The review will examine the supply chain for digital advertisers and whether content creators, rather than platforms, are getting enough of the revenue. May said the review would examine “whether industry or government-led solutions” were needed to help tackle the issue.

    The prime minister, wearing a purple jacket and suffragette pin, called journalism “a huge force for good” but said its existence was under threat. “Good quality journalism provides us with the information and analysis we need to inform our viewpoints and conduct a genuine discussion,” she said. “But in recent years, especially in local journalism, we have seen falling circulations, a hollowing-out of local newsrooms and fears for the future sustainability of high-quality journalism.”

    May said that more than 200 local papers had closed since 2005, naming several in Greater Manchester including the Salford Advertiser, Trafford Advertiser and Wilmslow Express. About two-thirds of local authority areas do not have a daily local newspaper.

    “This is dangerous for our democracy. When trusted and credible news sources decline, we can become vulnerable to news which is untrustworthy,” she said. “So to address this challenge to our public debate we will launch a review to examine the sustainability of our national and local press. It will look at the different business models for high-quality journalism.”

    As Pete North points out, the accretion of power in Brussels pulls power away from local and regional politics, in spite of nominal ‘devolution’ of powers. The hollowing out of politics is reflected in the emptying and closing of newspapers – both local and national, though this is accelerated by online content. Moreover, the big players seem rarely to take critical stances, as Roger H cannot help but demonstrate — he is not able to.

    It is interesting, then, that the issue is presented by May as one of ‘trustworthy’ news, not the undemocratic form of politics which has allowed much of the establishment — including the media — to live in bubbles and bunkers. The Brexit vote, has, perhaps, offered the possibility of some change, but it seems to me more that this handwringing about ‘fake news’ is intended to shore up the foundations of those bubbles and bunkers, not to allow diversity of opinion to thrive. After all, one side must be wrong, and one side must be right.

    A panel of experts will be appointed to lead the review in the coming months, with a final report expected early 2019.

    Don’t be surprised if the panel includes some fake psychologists.

    Like

  61. Pingback: BBC doubles down on fake climate news | Climate Scepticism

  62. It is almost normal these days for SJW types, and others of often similar political persuasions, to describe someone disagreeing with them as insults, harassment, or even hate speech. Even if it is only a response to their own less than respectful invective. Thus Harrabin was, from the outset, trying to have a go at sceptics, i.e. people who disagree with him.

    As to finding solace, I already have satisfaction in the knowledge that nothing he does or says is going to have the slightest impact on the major human emitters of CO2 in China, India, and the rest of the developing world.

    I would find yet more enjoyment in BBC funding being cut until they learn to not spout politics and untruths on the public dime, but we may have to wait longer for that. Meanwhile, I get extra ‘solace’ from the increasing irrelevance of traditional media who find their power shrinking daily.

    Liked by 2 people

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