Blowout week 7

This week I have a strong focus on the UK flooding of recent weeks. Was this caused by CO2 induced Global Warming? Were the floods unprecedented? Have they happened before? Were they caused by the ineptitude of The Environment Agency? Does getting facts and policies right matter any more?

UK flooding: The BBC reports on The Great London Flood of 1928; Lord Stern warns of global conflict; Ed Milliband talks of dither and denial; The Greens call for introduction of a totalitarian State; global warming brings great skiing conditions to Scotland.

World: US Lawrence Livermore Laboratory claims incremental breakthrough in fusion. 20 more stories below the fold.

Roy Spencer: 95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong

Whether humans are the cause of 100% of the observed warming or not, the conclusion is that global warming isn’t as bad as was predicted. That should have major policy implications…assuming policy is still informed by facts more than emotions and political aspirations.


UK: How the Somerset Levels became flooded with politicians

David Cameron has been “taking command”. He’s cancelled a visit to the Middle East. He’s got George Osborne to open the nation’s coffers. It’s ‘money no object’ time

UK: UK floods: Somerset Levels Dutch pumps start work

Two pumps from the Netherlands are being used to try to reduce water levels at the flooded Somerset Levels.

The area began flooding more than six weeks ago and the continuing heavy rain has since flooded dozens of homes.

UK: Army scrambled as flooded Thames Valley sees record river gauges and cancelled train services – and it hasn’t even started raining yet

Thousands of homes are under threat, train services have been cancelled and the Marines called in to the Thames Valley, ahead of forecasts for yet more storms to hit Britain later today.

UK: REMARKABLE SNOW COVER IN SCOTLAND

Scotland will start February with amazing snow conditions, with one of the country’s five areas, Glencoe, reporting there’s even more snow than in the record-breaking winter of 2009-10.

While the rest of Britain was reporting floods and mild temperatures, in the Scottish ski areas phenomenal amounts of snow led to staff having to dig out ski lifts and even huts and cabins.

UK: The great 1928 flood of London

In 1928 the Thames flooded much of central London, with fatal consequences. It was the last time the heart of the UK’s capital has been under water. How did the city cope and what has changed?

It was after midnight when the river burst its banks. Most Londoners slept as the floodwaters gushed into some of the nation’s grandest buildings and subsumed many of city’s narrowest slum streets under 4ft of water.

UK: Ed Miliband: ‘Britain is sleepwalking to a climate crisis’

Dither – and denial – over the widely agreed cause of extreme weather are paralysing government and steering the country towards a security crisis, believes the Labour leader.

UK: Climate change is here now and it could lead to global conflict

Extreme weather events in the UK and overseas are part of a growing pattern that it would be very unwise for us, or our leaders, to ignore, writes the author of the influential 2006 report on the economics of climate change. The record rainfall and storm surges that have brought flooding across the UK are a clear sign that we are already experiencing the impacts of climate change.

UK: Greens call for clear-out of ‘climate change deniers’

The Green Party of England and Wales has called for a purge of government advisers and ministers who do not share its views on climate change.

Any senior adviser refusing to accept “the scientific consensus on climate change” should be sacked, it said.

World: The Oil Boom Doesn’t Care if Your Chickens Are Freezing to Death

Propane is a byproduct of both natural gas production and crude oil refining. Just in the past year, its production has spiked by 15 percent, and a good chunk of that new production is considered surplus, to be exported from brand new fuel terminals. In fact, just since 2012, propane exports have gone up from around 150,000 barrels to 400,000 barrels a day as of last October. It should be flush times the Hank Hills of rural America. But, according to The New York Times, it’s quite the opposite.

World: Egypt’s Precarious Energy Position

Egypt faces a serious energy crunch in securing the required petroleum and natural gas imports to meet expected summer requirements, Egyptian Oil Minister Sherif Ismail told Reuters on Monday. While keeping the geographic company of hydrocarbon giants, Egypt is a net energy importer and currently relies on regional allies for oil and natural gas shipments.

UK: With competitive ruin looming, energy policy needs a brand new start

What passes for energy policy in the UK took another turn for the worse yesterday when Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, waded into the debate about energy prices by suggesting that both Centrica and SSE are profiteering from gas sales and should possibly be broken up.

UK: Cruachan hydro power station output ‘could double

The output of the Cruachan hydro electric power station in Argyll could be more than doubled under plans revealed by Scottish Power.

UK: UK’s dependence on gas imports to blame for high prices not Centrica

Energy secretary Ed Davey’s attack on British Gas and SSE for making double digit profits will win him support from hard pressed consumers but it ignores the fundamental issue that is driving up the cost of energy in the UK: As a nation we increasingly depend on expensive imports of natural gas to keep us warm in the winter.

UK: Should British Gas be dismantled?

The energy minister’s letters to the assorted competition and energy regulators is a masterpiece of iron fist in velvet glove.

Naturally Ed Davey understands the annual energy market assessment being carried out by Ofgem, the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition and Markets Authority must be “independent”. And the regulatory troika must feel it can “recommend any of a range of things, ranging from no action to a full market investigation reference”.

World: U.S. scientists achieve ‘turning point’ in fusion energy quest

U.S. scientists announced on Wednesday an important milestone in the costly, decades-old quest to develop fusion energy, which, if harnessed successfully, promises a nearly inexhaustible energy source for future generations.

For the first time, experiments have produced more energy from fusion reactions than the amount of energy put into the fusion fuel, scientists at the federally funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California said.

My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time.

Europe: Germany to charge fee for off-grid electricity

The German government has proposed a new fee that will affect companies generating their own electricity. Critics say the fees will drive companies away from renewables altogether.

Europe: Germany Plans to Raze Towns for Brown Coal and Cheap Energy

Villages face the bulldozer as one of Europe’s renewable energy leaders leans more heavily on an old habit.

World: Fracking, agriculture are on water demand ‘collision course’

BOSTON, Feb. 7 (UPI) — Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is increasing competitive pressures for water in some of the most water-stressed and drought-ridden U.S. regions, a study indicated.
Fracking involves massive amounts of water, sand and chemicals injected at high pressure to fracture rock and release stored gas. The technique has unleashed a U.S. oil and gas boom.

World: Iraqi pipeline attacks raise fears of threat to oil

Fifteen soldiers were killed this week guarding an oil pipeline in northern Iraq, the first assault to involve so many casualties amid concerns an al-Qaida insurgency in western Iraq is spreading to vital oil-producing regions.

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30 Responses to Blowout week 7

  1. Roger Andrews says:

    Ed Miliband wonders whether David Cameron has “lost faith in climate change as the cause of the extreme weather.”

    I was intrigued by Miliband’s use of the word “faith”, so I looked up its meaning in the dictionary. According to Pocket Oxford it means “belief in divine truth without proof.”

    I think that about sums it up.

    Incidentally, here’s a plot of annual England and Wales rainfall since 1766. No data for Scotland, unfortunately, but I doubt it would look all that different.

    http://oi62.tinypic.com/2427eat.jpg

  2. Euan Mearns says:

    Let me dissect some of economist Lord Stern’s claims:

    Four of the five wettest years recorded in the UK have occurred from the year 2000 onwards. Over that same period, we have also had the seven warmest years.

    Well as far as I’m aware January 2014 was only the 16th on record rainfall since records began in 1766. This chart (provenance unknown) puts things in perspective.

    A warmer atmosphere holds more water. Add to this the increase in sea level, particularly along the English Channel, which is making storm surges bigger, and it is clear why the risk of flooding in the UK is rising.

    Well Earth’s atmosphere hasn’t warmed for 16 years, so why should it suddenly want to dump non-record rain on England? And the systems that brought the rain were not warm since they dumped masses of snow on Scotland. The reason for the high rainfall is the geometry and activity of the jet stream, not the temperature of the troposphere.

    And sea level changes are trivial compared with the anomalous high tides experienced in early January.

    http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=5537

    The upward trend in temperature is undeniable

    Well I’m afraid it is. The first of Stern’s comments are simply BS, I don’t have time to research the rest (Roger?)

    • Roger Andrews says:

      “The first of Stern’s comments are simply BS, I don’t have time to research the rest (Roger?)”

      Euan, your wish is my command. I’m going to ignore Stern’s propaganda and deal only with the comments that I can check against facts or independent statements.

      “Four of the five wettest years recorded in the UK have occurred from the year 2000 onwards. Over that same period, we have also had the seven warmest years.” Two, not four, of the five wettest years since the England & Wales precipitation record began in 1766 (2000 and 2012) have occurred since 2000. Four, not seven, of the warmest years since the CET record began in 1659 (2002, 2003, 2006 and 2011) have occurred since 2000.

      “That is not a coincidence.” It almost certainly is. Mean annual E&W precipitation and mean annual CET are totally uncorrelated over the long term (R^2 = 0.008). Note also that the “record” warm years since 2000 haven’t been “record” wet years, and vice versa.

      “We are suffering from unprecedented extreme weather.” No we’re not. An extreme weather event is commonly defined by a three sigma excursion (i.e. more than three standard deviations above the mean), and the only year in which this threshold is exceeded in UK is 1872 (precipitation).

      “There is an increasing body of evidence that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense.” Not according to the IPCC AR5: “Precipitation extremes also appear to be increasing, but there is large spatial variability”. “There continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale”.

      “(T)he increase in sea level, particularly along the English Channel is making storm surges bigger”. Not so you’d notice. Tide gauge records show that sea level in the Channel has risen by about four inches over the last 50 years, i.e. by less than 2% of the ~20 ft spring tide range.

      “(V)ery warm surface waters in the north-west Pacific during November fuelled Typhoon Haiyan.” Sea surface temperature along Haiyan’s track were in fact normal for the time of year: http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/typhoon-haiyan-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies-for-early-storm-track/

      “(Haiyan was) the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall anywhere in the world.” According to the Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration Haiyan wasn’t even the strongest to make landfall the Philippines. It was number seven. http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/11/14/is-typhoon-haiyan-the-strongest-storm-ever/

      “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last September pointed to a changing pattern of extreme weather since 1950, with more heatwaves and downpours in many parts of the world.” The IPCC pointed to nothing of the sort. In fact it admitted that it really couldn’t detect any trends in extreme weather events. http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.mx/2013/10/coverage-of-extreme-events-in-ipcc-ar5.html

      “The average temperature has not been 2C above pre-industrial levels for about 115,000 years, when the ice-caps were smaller and global sea level was at least five metres higher than today.” Another study concludes that average global temperatures were 2C above industrial levels during the Holocene maximum only ~6,000 years ago. http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.mx/2010/11/review-of-holocene-climate-optimum.html

      “Fortunately poorer countries, such as China, are showing leadership and beginning to demonstrate to the world how to invest in low-carbon growth.” Lord S must have been smoking something with this one. Over 70% of the growth in global carbon emissions since 2002 has come from China, which at one point was commissioning a new coal fired plant each week. As for China being poor, at last count it held $3.82 trillion – repeat trillion – in foreign reserves.

      “(Global warming) could cause mass migrations of hundreds of millions of people away from the worst-affected areas. That would lead to conflict and war.” I guess it’s possible that some scientist frustrated beyond endurance by Lord S’s drivel may eventually bop him on the nose, but that’s as far as I see the conflict going.

      • ““Four of the five wettest years recorded in the UK have occurred from the year 2000 onwards. Over that same period, we have also had the seven warmest years.” Two, not four, of the five wettest years since the England & Wales precipitation record began in 1766 (2000 and 2012) have occurred since 2000. Four, not seven, of the warmest years since the CET record began in 1659 (2002, 2003, 2006 and 2011) have occurred since 2000.”

        The statement refers to the UK – not England & Wales, not Central England, not Buenos Aires.

        The relevant figures would be those for the UK, where 4 of the five wettest years have indeed occurred since 2000.

        Top five wettest years in the UK
        1 2000 1337.3 mm
        2 2012 1330.7 mm
        3 1954 1309.1 mm
        4 2008 1295.0 mm
        5 2002 1283.7 mm

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2013/2012-weather-statistics

        Similarly, 7 of the warmest years were indeed from 2000 onwards. You will more easily see this if you look at the figures for the UK, rather than figures for something else as you are doing.

        Here are the figures for the UK:

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/pub/data/weather/uk/climate/datasets/Tmean/ranked/UK.txt

        ““That is not a coincidence.” It almost certainly is. Mean annual E&W precipitation and mean annual CET are totally uncorrelated over the long term (R^2 = 0.008).”

        Central England is still not the UK. For UK Winter, heavy precipitation has been increasing since the 1900s (IPCC SREX, e.g. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.1672/abstract). There are also basic physical reasons to expect more intense rainfall in a warmer world.

        ““We are suffering from unprecedented extreme weather.” No we’re not. An extreme weather event is commonly defined by a three sigma excursion”

        Extreme weather is not ‘commonly defined’ at all and where it is defined it is done in many different ways. For example:

        “An extreme weather event is an event that is rare within its statistical reference distribution at a particular place. Definitions of “rare” vary, but an extreme weather event would normally be as rare as or rarer than the 10th or 90th percentile. By definition, the characteristics of what is called extreme weather may vary from place to place.”

        or

        “Definitions of thresholds vary, but values with less than 10, 5, 1%, or even lower chance of occurrence for a given time of the year (day, month, season, whole year) during a specified reference period (generally 1961-1990) are often used.”

        or

        “Some climate extremes (e.g., droughts, floods) may be the result of an accumulation of moderate weather or climate events (this accumulation being itself extreme). Compound events, that is, two or more events occurring simultaneously, can lead to high impacts, even if the two single events are not extreme per se (only their combination).”

        “There is an increasing body of evidence that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense.” Not according to the IPCC AR5: ”

        Yes according to AR5, for example: “The frequency or intensity of heavy precipitation events has likely increased in North America & Europe”.

        And again, IPCC SREX shows that UK Winter heavy precipitation has been increasing since the 1900s.

        “(T)he increase in sea level, particularly along the English Channel is making storm surges bigger”. Not so you’d notice. Tide gauge records show that sea level in the Channel has risen by about four inches over the last 50 years,”

        Small shifts in a mean produce a larger effect on the probabilities of extremes, and extreme storm surges are certainly noticeable.

        ““(V)ery warm surface waters in the north-west Pacific during November fuelled Typhoon Haiyan.” Sea surface temperature along Haiyan’s track were in fact normal for the time of year:”

        Even if true this would not contradict the claim that they were very warm. And there’s nothing in the link that suggests that the temperatures were ‘normal’ in any case, especially since ocean temps have been increasing for decades.

        ““(Haiyan was) the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall anywhere in the world.” According to the Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration Haiyan wasn’t even the strongest to make landfall the Philippines. It was number seven. http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/11/14/is-typhoon-haiyan-the-strongest-storm-ever/

        According to figures from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center Haiyan was indeed the strongest tropical cyclone in history at landfall.
        http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2573

        ““The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last September pointed to a changing pattern of extreme weather since 1950, with more heatwaves and downpours in many parts of the world.” The IPCC pointed to nothing of the sort. ”

        IPCC AR5 SPM:
        “Changes in many extreme weather and climate events have been observed since about 1950 (see Table SPM.1 for details). It is very likely that the number of cold days and nights has decreased and the number of warm days and nights has increased on the global scale6. It is likely that the frequency of heat waves has increased in large parts of Europe, Asia and Australia. There are likely more land regions where the number of heavy precipitation events has increased than where it has decreased. The frequency or intensity of heavy precipitation events has likely increased in North America and Europe. In other continents, confidence in changes in heavy precipitation events is at most medium. {2.6}”

        ““The average temperature has not been 2C above pre-industrial levels for about 115,000 years, when the ice-caps were smaller and global sea level was at least five metres higher than today.” Another study concludes that average global temperatures were 2C above industrial levels during the Holocene maximum only ~6,000 years ago.”

        No it doesn’t. The figure of 2C refers to northern high latitudes, not global temperatures.

        The clue would be in the title of the paper:
        “Climate change between the mid and late Holocene in northern high latitudes”.

        • Euan Mearns says:

          Frank, I’m teaching this morning and Roger lives in Mexico – so a response may be a wee bit delayed 😉

        • Euan Mearns says:

          Frank, thanks for your contribution. Much of the discrepancy on stats seems to flow from Roger quoting data for England and Wales, Stern citing UK data. I know which I think is more appropriate. I have re-read Stern’s piece and find that I disagree with virtually all. Im my opinion this is Green propaganda designed to further a Green energy agenda using recent floods as an emotional lever. Sterns analysis is largely devoid of scientific and economic merit – in my opinion.

          By way of example:

          Since then, annual greenhouse gas emissions have increased steeply and some of the impacts, such as the decline of Arctic sea ice, have started to happen much more quickly.

          The mis match between the actual rate of Arctic sea ice decline and the models tells you one thing and that is the models are / were wrong. The whole Arctic Sea ice debate is in fact a gross oversimplification of an extremely complex subject. Have you ever asked yourself how historic sea ice records are created? I could go on at great length here. See what you make of this:

          The pronounced decrease in ice cover observed in both our terrestrial and oceanic proxy-based reconstructions between the late fifteenth and early seventeenth centuries occurred during the widespread cooling period known as the Little Ice Age (about AD 1450–1850 (ref. 18)). Reconstructed Arctic SATs show episodes of warming during this per- iod (Fig. 3f), but according to our results the decrease in Arctic sea ice extent during the Little Ice Age was more pronounced than during the earlier Medieval Warm Optimum.

          Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years
          24 NOVEMBER 2011 | VOL 479 | NATURE | 509

          I presume you may be in the camp that believes the floods are due to “climate change”. As far as I can tell they are linked to an abnormally cold polar stratosphere giving rise to an active and mobile polar vortex that impacts the activity and location of the jet stream. I can find no reference to these processes in the AR5 summary.

          The flooding issue needs to be broken down into two components. 1) river management issues that have led to flooding and 2) the weather pattern. The former is important since without the floods January’s weather would have passed off with grumbles. With the floods Lord Stern is warning of global conflict and the need to revitalise his plan to bankrupt Britain. I am writing a post on my view of the floods and their causes under the headings:

          Heavy sustained rainfall
          Natural climate variability / natural climate change
          Flood management engineering
          Exceptional tides

          Only once these variables and their impact are fully understood can anyone begin to assess a potential human overprint. I begin to lay out some of my thinking in these other posts:

          Ski Scotland: another global warming paradox
          So Foul a Day and the Jet Stream

        • Roger Andrews says:

          @Frank O’Dwyer

          My ten cents’ worth.

          First on the subject of the UK precipitation records. The Met Office record starts in 1910, which is curious because the Hadley Centre data sets contain no annual precip data for Scotland and Northern Ireland before 1931. I still can’t find the data set the MO used.

          Anyway, if you take the Hadley records back to 1931 you find that three, not four, of the five wettest years in England and Wales and also in UK as a whole (2000, 2002 and 2012) have occurred from 2000 onwards, and I’m not going to make a big deal about one missing year.

          But the fact that the Met Office ignored the 144 years of E&W precip data between 1766 and 1909 – and its own data too – is outright cherry-picking. Adding Scotland and Northern Ireland also isn’t going to make any significant difference because precipitation patterns there are very similar. Feel free to compare the 1931-2013 records if you have any doubts about this. The data are available here:

          http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadukp/data/download.html

          And the plot of E&W precipitation since 1766 shows no significant change over the last ~250 years. Here it is again for reference:

          http://www.euanmearns.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/image52.png

          That’s the bottom line.

          On your other comments I think you’re missing my point. Stern cites a number of weather phenomena as positive proof of CO2-induced global warming but presents no supporting data, and when you look at the data that are available you find that there’s no proof whatever that any of these phenomena are related to CO2-induced global warming, only highly speculative interpretations. And if you will forgive me saying so you haven’t provided any proof either. The specific events cited by Stern that I’m referring to are:

          The recent “record” rainfall years in UK
          Increasing storm surges in the English Channel
          Typhoon Haiyan
          The hot summers in Australia and Argentina and the floods and landslides in Brazil

          I will of course reconsider my position if you could provide proof that these events are in fact caused by global warming, but I don’t think you or anyone else can.

          • Roger,

            You set out to ‘fact check’ Stern’s claims and you clearly argue that his claims are *incorrect* (as opposed to not proven).

            I don’t think I am overstating it to say you have spectacularly failed to do so. To take 2 of the most clear examples:

            – Stern made some claims about warmest and wettest years in the UK which I was easily able to verify just by looking at the Met Office records for the UK. This is a logical choice of dataset for the UK which is not in any way bizarre, unwarranted, or surprising, and when you look at it you find Stern was 100% correct. You act as if he had instead made some inexplicable claims about UK records which were wildly incorrect and for which support cannot be found anywhere. Well, he didn’t, and it’s demonstrably true that he didn’t.

            – Stern made a claim re the IPCC report statement on heatwaves and downpours since 1950 and you said that IPCC had said nothing of the sort. But they did, which anyone can verify just by opening the *summary* and reading it. I’ve quoted the relevant section which Stern more or less exactly paraphrased. Perhaps you think IPCC were wrong to say it, or disagree with the report, but that they DID say it is a matter of basic reading comprehension and should be beyond dispute.

            I think if you can’t concede simple and clearly demonstrable points such as these then it may be a waste of time to try and discuss your other points.

            Re your claims of ‘positive proof’ and ’caused by’ I have no intention of defending claims I haven’t made and that I don’t think Stern made either. Even if I had, your request for proof is rather like pointing at a particular tumour and demanding proof that that particular one was caused by smoking, or demanding I provide videotape that proves OJ Simpson murdered his wife. (See also: “You’re entitled to arguments, but not that particular proof – http://lesswrong.com/lw/1ph/youre_entitled_to_arguments_but_not_that/)

            I’d rather see you defend the claims that you *have* made such as the 2 I mention above.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Frank, Stern says this:

            Four of the five wettest years recorded in the UK have occurred from the year 2000 onwards. Over that same period, we have also had the seven warmest years.

            Most of the commenters here are basing their comments on Paul Holmwoods evidence that is based on CET (?) that begins in 1766, I’m not too familiar with CET. So when Stern talks about “wettest years recorded” we are entitled to assume that he has pushed the boat out to ensure that his comments are based on all records and not just recent records.

            I want to make clear that your comments are most welcome. I approve 99.9% of comments posted here and cannot verify the accuracy of all of them – that is the whole point of the discussion. But I feel you are getting hung up in detail (which is important) while missing the bigger point. I don’t believe anyone can right now scientifically link the English floods to CO2 or any other human activity apart from the negligence of The Environment Agency. Stern, a very senior and influential politician in the upper house along with his from fellow peer, and sceintific head of the UK Met Office have made categorical statements that have done so. This according to The Bishop as published by the Spectator:

            Taking such a level-headed view, the Met Office report represented a valuable opportunity to bring some calm to an increasingly frenzied debate over the flooding. However, unfortunately for everyone, the good work was all undone by the Met Office’s own chief scientist, Professor Dame Julia Slingo. Newly ennobled in the New Year’s honours list, Slingo seems to have found the temptation to put a global warming spin on everything that crosses her desk too much, and she blurted out to journalists the extraordinary claim that ‘all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change’.

            http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/02/over-flooding-the-met-office-has-hung-its-boss-out-to-dry/

            So in my opinion its pretty serious when two peers at the heart of UK energy policy point the country in one direction that will impoverish the country based on zero evidence.

          • Roger Andrews says:

            For those who may have missed it US SecState John Kerry recently delivered a climate change speech which is arguably even farther over the top than Stern’s propaganda piece:

            ” …. climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

            http://judithcurry.com/2014/02/17/john-kerrys-remarks-on-climate-change/

  3. Roy Spencer: 95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong

    Perhaps “Roy Spencer: 95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong” would be more appropriate: http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/02/roy-spencers-latest-deceit-and-deception.html

  4. Roy Spencer: 95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong

    Letting your climate change denial bias getting in the way of critical thinking, Euan? Perhaps “Roy Spencer: Must be Wrong” would be more apt.

    See here: http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/02/roy-spencers-latest-deceit-and-deception.html

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Thanks for the link. I did wonder how this chart had been compiled, but just don’t have time to check everything. The comments here are for peer review and civil discourse. I’d be disappointed if Roy has jinxed this the way you suggest and I’ll send him in email inviting him to respond. I’d quite like to see your alleged correct version plotted out to 2029.

    • Roger Andrews says:

      Here’s Figure 1.4 from the Second Order Draft of the IPCC AR5

      http://oi59.tinypic.com/abpjxs.jpg

      Looks like the IPCC agrees with Dr. Spencer.

      • A C Osborn says:

        Roger Andrews says: February 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm
        Also take a look at “Evaluation of Climate Models” Chapter 9.2 Model Response Error, Box 1 of the Normalised Density Graph,
        http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter09_FINAL.pdf

        Only 1 element of the CMIP5 models falls within the Hadcrut4 Curve, the average is almost 0.2 C higher and the extremes are almost 0.5 C higher and the data only goes up to 2012.

        Of course the yearly years track much better, that is what the models were based on, so they had to.

        • Roger Andrews says:

          Figure 9.8.a) looks very much like Spencer’s graph too.

          And Figure 9.8 b) shows that matching the models to observations in the late years simply shifts the “bust” to the early years.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Roger, Im trying to write the definitive post on the cause of the catastrophic “Home Counties” flood. Also teaching at University of Aberdeen for the next 3 days. If you could cut out the charts you refer to + these AC refers to and mail me then I’ll post them in the thread.

          • Roger Andrews says:

            Euan: Not quite sure what you mean by “cut out” – could you clarify? But if you’re looking for charts related to the IPCC model-observation comparisons then Steve MacIntyre has some good ones plotted up at http://climateaudit.org/2013/09/30/ipcc-disappears-the-discrepancy/

          • Euan Mearns says:

            On my Mac, command – shift – 4 gets a screen shot of a pdf or anything. Great for grabbing embedded content. The point about shifting mis match from one part of the time series to another is an important point.

            I feel that cliamteismydj may be making a valid critique although his flashy animated charts makes it difficult to judge. I also feel that the charts that you and AC have posted support Roy’s case. I sent him an email, he would do well to respond.

            I’m only ever interested in trying to find out where the truth lies. And I have a problem with “hindcasting” of climate models. Those that predict what just happened. We are I believe about to be subject to a barrage of hindcasts of the very localised English Home Counties floods.

          • Roger Andrews says:

            Euan: I can send you a tinypic or a pdf of anything you want. Before I do, however, I suggest you take a look at Steve M’s stuff to see how much of it you can use. It might also set your mind to rest over climteismydj’s criticisms, which I don’t think have any merit.

            Another thing to bear in mind is that comparing models with HadCRUT4, which is an apples-and-oranges area-weighted average of surface air temperatures and sea surface temperatures, isn’t a robust approach. Model output doesn’t even include a variable that can be compared directly with HadCRUT4 – to get one you have to area-weight the modeled SAT and SST output in the same way as you area-weight the observations. The correct way to do it is to compare modeled SAT with observed SAT and modeled SST with observed SST, with SST being the more important because the oceans are where all the heat is. And here’s what you get when you do that:

            http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/roger-andrews-ipcc-ar5-climate-models-another-bust/

  5. A C Osborn says:

    So does this mean just the UK ““We are suffering from unprecedented extreme weather.”” or does it mean the world.
    Take a look at the list of worldwide weather extremes for 1954 at C3, see
    http://www.c3headlines.com/2014/02/1954-a-bad-year-of-climate-change-natural-disasters-pummel-large-swaths-of-globe-again-1.html

    Among many there is in the USA alone 8 Hurricanes, Drought and a temp of 117 degrees.

  6. AlecM says:

    Stern and Krebs, neither of whom have the physics’ education to make any comments about the IPCC’s fake fizzicks, have shown themselves up for being opportunists in their zeal to capitalise on the recent bad weather. Both are also tainted by their personal interests.

    It’s a sad day when members of the hoL are so mired in deceit. But with Lords [edit] involved up to their necks in commercial mire, I suppose it has become de rigeur.

    • tim says:

      Not sure if that qualifies as civil discourse…

      • Euan Mearns says:

        I agree, bit close to the wind. Other blogs are better equipped to judge the business interests, morality and corruption aspects of our “elite”. I was aware of the accusations levelled at one of the Lords but not the other, so snipped. I also try to keep certain communication channels open.

  7. Kit P says:

    “promises a nearly inexhaustible energy source for future generations.”
    The nuclear industry is delivering today the limited amount of power we need. Not saying that strip mining coal is not fascinating to watch. On one vacation on some back road, the binoculars were pulled out not for a wild life refuge but to watch mining coal an inexhaustible energy source for future generations. I would suggest that anyone who worries about future generations has to hire out painting the gutters because it too complex a task, The problem with liberals is they have to become a conservative to replace the toilet paper roll.
    For the in the UK may be interested to know that Texas is a big state. Not a lot of farming going on in the part that is semi-arid. So yes, American researches seem just about as clueless as those in the EU

  8. Euan Mearns says:

    Fortunately poorer countries, such as China, are showing leadership and beginning to demonstrate to the world how to invest in low-carbon growth.

    According to BP, in 2012 the UK produced 4.1% of its total primary energy from renewable sources (ex hydro) and China 1.2%. China may produce lots of solar PV panels but seems to prefer to export these and to use coal and nuclear power for its own power generation. The other major contribution made by China to the global Green boom is permitting the mining of rare earth elements, one of which, neodymium, is used in the manufacture of magnets for wind turbines.

    China leading the world in Green extraction of neodymium.

  9. Kit P says:

    Euan, I think it is great that conditions are improving in China but as you noted there are some terrible environment tragedies occurring. Leadership can be measured. Leadership in coal mine safety happened 100 years ago. Not too long ago China had a fatality rate for coal miners 100 times the rate in the west. Recently I heard the rate had improved to 10 times the west. A great achievement but not leadership. China used to export coal. Now China now imports coal. This change correlates to a change in policy for building nukes. Each new 1000 MWe is a great achievement requiring a great deal of skill. China needs power and carbon emissions is not something they are worried about.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      The poor conditions in the rare earth extraction and processing industries are legendary but I don’t know how true this really is. Google turns up dozens of images like this one, more here.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/photos-of-chinese-rare-earth-mining-2013-4#the-air-is-so-polluted-the-chimneys-from-a-smelting-plant-are-barely-visible-13

      Neodymium magnets are I believe about twice as efficient as ordinary magnets, hence their use in turbines. Every turbine in Europe, that is supposed to be Green, may have a legacy of environmental destruction in China.

      Agreed that China made huge strides in coal mine safety. They started importing coal since demand growth outstripped indigenous supply growth. The latter has much to with logistics – transportation bottle necks between mines and market.

      • Kit P says:

        Euan, I am a little skeptical of news articles about environmental horror stories but that is based on what I have observed in the US. Sure you take a close up photo of a coal pile or a phosphate settling pond but that does not imply there is significant environment impact. If you look at in depth LCA following ISO 14000 rules, renewable energy is not all that ‘green’. EIS required by NEPA require power production have insignificant environmental impact no matter how you do it. AGW is an example of something that is insignificant. It is not the absolute value of the emissions but the impact of those emissions. Often we are debating which source of energy is less insignificant.
        Just as an aside the largest factor for safety and environmental impact is transportation of the fuel.

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