Is Global Warming Quickening?

On Monday 14th March, Channel 4 News (UK terrestrial news channel) carried a report on catastrophic February warming and involved two distinguished UK climate scientists. What was said was so far away from the physical reality that I experience here on Earth that I was left wondering if they were talking about the same planet. So I have done a little digging.

Everyone who can should try and watch the 5 minute clip. The link takes you to a news catch up page. Select Monday 14 March and the clip titled “Is Global warming Quickening?”.

Figure 1 The NASA GISS LOTI (Land Ocean Temperature Index) graphic shown on Channel 4 News. This is a screen capture from the video archive linked above. Take a close look at the gradation of the colour scale that is discussed further below. This image bears no resemblance at all to the current NOAA SST image that appears immediately below the fold.

Sea Surface Temperatures (SST)

Let us begin by comparing the NASA GISS LOTI (Land Ocean Temperature Index) with current  SSTs.

Figure 2 The full global SSTs as recorded on 14 March 2016. NOAA SSTs downloaded from this link. If anything I’m more concerned by all that blue. The dying remnants of the El Nino along the Equator cover a vast area that is not captured by this projection while the cold southern ocean covers a relatively small area.

The SSTs present a totally different picture. In fact a worryingly cool picture with the N Atlantic now looking as cool as I’ve seen it, a likely refection of the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) preparing to flip to cool mode. The N Pacific and whole of the Southern Ocean are distinctly cool. How they manage to manufacture record warmth out of this is a story for another day. But how do Figures 1 and 2 appear so different. Part of the answer lies in the colour scale intervals that are chosen.

The boundary between red and blue in Figure 2 is in fact zero and the colour code intervals progress at 0.5˚C intervals. This is technically sound and is the way I would do it. But take a look at the scale on Figure 1. It is quite extraordinary. Here are how the intervals progress, there is no zero and we begin with +0.2 to -0.2˚C which is the big fat number in the centre (Figure3):

Figure 3 How the GISS map (Figure 1) is scaled. dT = the change from one colour to the next.

I find this scale to be totally bizarre and I’m lost for words. NOAA do it the way I would on the SST map. But in preparing the post I have noticed that HadCRUT use an even more bizarre scale than GISS with an upper category of 5 to 17.3˚C for the temperature anomalies. I suspect the upper bound of 11.5˚C on the GISS map is set by a single station. It is difficult to accept this rendering of the data as objective.

What The Climate Scientists Said

The program was presented by C4 anchor Kathy Newman and had interviews with two climate scientists. Dr Chris Brierly, a climate modeller from University College London. And Dr Emma Boland, an oceanographer and climate scientist from the British Antarctic Survey.

Kathy Newman the Presenter begins:

It’s a bombshell, a true shocker that heralds a climate emergency.


Across the Arctic and much of Russia, temperatures were up to 11.5˚C warmer than normal.

Now wait a minute Kathy, the deep orange on the map represents 4 to 11.5˚C. All this shows (if the map is correct which it probably is not) is that the deep orange areas were at least 4˚C warmer than the reference period and as we shall see that is not an unusual fluctuation for the Arctic. But she has two climate scientists to interview who will surely keep her right 😉

Dr Brierly:

This is really very warm. I was expecting this year to be one of the warmest…

There’s an El Nino in the Pacific…

There’s not much sea ice up in the Arctic…

This is really quite scary and it’s jumping a lot faster than I would have anticipated…

What?! Not much sea ice up in The Arctic? It is approaching the spring equinox and Arctic sea ice should be near its annual maximum. Has something gone catastrophically wrong to make it disappear? Let’s take a look.

Figure 4 Arctic sea ice area as of 14 March 2016. Image Cryosphere Today.

So there we have it, 12.86 million square kms of sea ice, not substantially different to the equinox peaks of the last 12 years. The trend of gradually declining spring equinox maxima is clear to see and it is still too early to say if spring 2016 will set a new satellite era low. Given that we are in an El Nino year there is absolutely nothing alarming about this at all. Especially since the decline in Arctic Sea ice is likely part of a longer time scale natural fluctuation. Saying “There’s not much sea ice up in the Arctic” is a misrepresentation of fact.

Kathy Newman referring to the El Nino

Climate scientists believe that accounts for some of the rise in temperatures but only around 1/10th of February’s rise.

How shocked are you at these figures?

Dr Boland

Well they are very unusual…

This was the most unusual month we’ve seen ever in records…

Over hundreds of years we’ve never seen a month so unusually warm as last month…

Some of the warming is down to the El Nino…


But only about 1/10th

Dr Boland


Let’s take a look at what the satellite temperatures show (Figure 5). February has certainly spiked up but temperatures are only 0.1˚C higher than during the last big El Nino of 1998 (but they may well go higher still). It is this incremental rise relative to 1998 that may be attributed to global warming and perhaps half of that incremental rise of 0.1˚C may be attributed to man. But as already stated, temperatures may go even higher in March and April.

According to this data the El Nino has caused a 0.5˚C spike in temperatures and virtually all of the February spike is down to the El Nino. I would like to do the same exercise on Hadcrut4 but the February numbers are not out yet. Where the 1/10th claim comes from is simply unfathomable.

Figure 5 UAH satellite temperature record from Roy Spencer.

What do Thermometers Show?

To wrap this up, I have had a quick look at three climate stations in the Arctic deep orange zone (Figure 1) fully expecting to see some dramatic spike up. Charts for Vardo (N Norway), Murmansk (N Russia) and Fairbanks (central Alaska) are shown below. Each has long and complete records. Data are GHCN V3. The dashed lines mark the February 2016 temperatures.

Figure 6 Mean February temperatures for Vardo, North Norway. February 2016 was the 26th warmest since records began in 1880. Note the dynamic range of 10˚C.

Figure 7 Mean February temperatures for Murmansk, North Russia. February 2016 was the seventh warmest since records began in 1918. Note the dynamic range of almost 20˚C.

Figure 8 Mean February temperatures for Fairbanks, central Alaska. February 2016 was the ninth warmest since records began in 1930. Note the dynamic range over 2o˚C.

By this point I am rather speechless. There is absolutely NOTHING unusual about the February temperatures at any of these stations. Sure, they are all above average, but it is a warm phase with El Nino, but none are close to setting a record let alone a dramatic record busting spike. Sharp eyes will also find it hard to see any significant warming trend in the February data.

Note that there is a HUGE dynamic range in the February temperatures where swings of over 20˚C from one year to the next are not uncommon (see Fairbanks). This places the 4 to 11.5˚C dark orange (Figure 1) in context. I’d have expected Dr Boland to have known this and to have made this clear to Kathy and all C4 viewers.

Concluding Thoughts

I sense that since the Paris accord was struck that the warming propaganda has gone up a couple of gears. I have rarely listened to a TV broadcast on climate change that was so packed full of scaremongering hyperbole. It leaves me feeling rather uneasy.

The Arctic Sea ice is intact, there is absolutely nothing in the February temperatures that cannot be explained by the El Nino and / or by data that is continually adjusted and massaged in efforts to prove a theory.

Meanwhile the BBC reported today:

Climate laws will be tightened to cut carbon emissions effectively to zero, the government has said.

I’m totally baffled by Cameron’s administration.

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56 Responses to Is Global Warming Quickening?

    • sod says:

      being more than two standard deviations below the 30 year average is of course “not a lot of ice”.

      I also have doubts about the el nino to arctic sea ice link. If anything, it should possibly bring more snow to the arctic?!?

    • I did an interesting exercise on this (assuming the data is accurate). I showed all and then started deselecting. What is noticeable is the 1980’s are all above the average line provided and those after 2000 (except 2001) are all below. Clearly a declining trend.

      • Willem Post says:


        I did the same by selecting only the 1980s and only the 2000s, and the 2000s are below the 1980s.

        This declining trend has been going on since about 1700, the low point of the Little Ice Age.

        The issue is how much acceleration there has been in recent times, if any, and why?

        I think China’s increased use of coal, in a VERY DIRTY MANNER, during the past 40 years, has been depositing soot all over the world, especially the northern hemisphere, with most of the people and industry.

        On white snow and ice surfaces, that would be an accelerator.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      There is no doubt that the sea ice is declining. The issue is the cause. Do we want to work with a geological model that presumes that the Arctic sea ice should always be constant and then attribute any observed changes to Man? I’d classify that as simplistic non-science.

      • Indeed. The cause is the key point which is far beyond my experience. But It does need to be defined as opposed to assumed.

      • what is your geological(?) alternative model for arctic sea ice and what data did determine it?

        Anyway, you implied that el Nino was to be blamed for this hot arctic
        which obviously is inconsistent with the 98/99 el Nino for the arctic.

        so much about simplistic data picking

        • Euan Mearns says:

          The geological model is based on cyclical changes to The Gulf Stream / thermohaline circulation. The chart shows Bond cycles from sediment cores in the N Atlantic. These are similar in nature to the D-O cycles. And both Bond and D-O cycles just happen to correlate with quasi periodic changes in solar geomagnetic activity.

          Persistent Solar Influence on
          North Atlantic Climate During
          the Holocene
          Gerard Bond,1* Bernd Kromer,2 Juerg Beer,3
          Raimund Muscheler,3 Michael N. Evans,4 William Showers,5 Sharon Hoffmann,1 Rusty Lotti-Bond,1 Irka Hajdas,6 Georges Bonani6

          7 DECEMBER 2001 VOL 294 SCIENCE

          See also other climate history material posted below.

          Your mind is closed Michael and there really is little point in your participation here.

          • yes, minds are closed to what one considers science.
            your cycles are on the order of hundred years or so..
            not really relevant it seems.

            so I stop here and we wait to see the next months/years melting.

          • robertok06 says:

            “Your mind is closed Michael and there really is little point in your participation here.”
            No, Euan, please!… let him at least leave a rant against nuclear… don’t be cruel.

      • Willem Post says:


        Katy Newman likely invited safe GW proponents to pontificate in sound bites.

        Why not send a rebuttal and ask to be invited next time, so you can explain it to a broader audience.

        • Euan Mearns says:

          Yeh, I’m writing to C4. I sent the post to the Good Drs last night and got an immediate response from Chris Brierly. Evidently he didn’t mean that there was no sea ice in the Arctic.

  1. Willem Post says:


    Are there any records regarding sea ice prior to 1979, say back to 1700, that would show an ongoing trend since then, i.e., coming out if the Little Ice Age?

    • Euan Mearns says:

      There’s this world class hokey stick from Cryosphere today. But I’ve never been able to establish what the pre-satellite data are based on.

      There’s a lot of historic data out there. I vaguely recall that a large project has just been convened to compile all the historic charts and logs.

      • Willem Post says:

        It looks like about 1960 was the onset of declining sea ice, which coincides with increased coal burning, especially by China.

        China’s economy booming since 2000 (being a member of the WTO), with increased coal burning, coincides with acceleration of sea ice reduction.

      • robertok06 says:

        News of a few days ago… on Nature GeoScience… about the culprit… why Arctic sea ice has been melting faster and temperatures in that area 0.5 C higher than “normal”…

        “Now a new study, published in Nature Geoscience, suggests that a reduction in air pollution over Europe has also been contributing to rapid Arctic warming in recent decades.

        The study looks specifically at sulphur dioxide, which is emitted from power stations, vehicle exhausts and industrial processes, such as extracting metals from ore.

        Sulphur dioxide reacts in the atmosphere to form tiny particles called sulphate aerosols. These have a cooling effect by scattering sunlight and stimulating clouds to form, preventing sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface.

        Sulphur emissions in Europe peaked in the 1970s and have declined to around a quarter of that level as governments have tackled air pollution. This decline has meant a reduction of the aerosol cooling effect, the researchers say, magnifying Arctic warming by 0.5C since 1980.”

        As you can see, it’s a typical case case of friendly fire… trying to beat the enemy sulfur dioxide and actually rising temperatures… and all of this OUTSIDE of the computational capabilities of the global climate simulation codes… which are good only to justify the salaries of the “climatologists” which use them.

      • Willem Post says:


        1769 having about the same sea ice extent as 1995 (included in satellite data) indicates ocean current and air current changes may be at work over these 230 years.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      And there’s this from HH Lamb that shows sea ice occurrence around Iceland. Note that the Vikings abandoned Greenland lat 15th Century.

      Image borrowed from Paul Homewood.

      • Roger Andrews says:

        In my December 2015 post I plotted all the Arctic ice extent records I could find. Conclusions were:

        1, We have no records covering the entire Arctic before 1979. The available records cover smaller areas and are based largely on seasonal ice edge measurements.

        2. With one exception all these records show a gradual decrease in ice cover since at least 1900 and in some cases since 1850.

        3. The exception is the Chapman and Walsh reconstruction, the one the IPCC and others use. It shows a hockey stick bending abuptly downwards when the satellite measurements begin in 1979.

        4. The pre-1979 records that can be compared with surface air temperatures tend to show ice decreasing with increasing temperature and vice versa, which is what we would expect. The Chapman/Walsh construction does not.

  2. clivebest says:

    The data in Figure 1 have been interpolated to look smoother than they really are. The map projection used also accentuate the poles, and systematic in-filling has the added effect of boosting all Arctic coverage with the same trend.

    “The Met Office and the NCDC leave areas of the Arctic Ocean without stations out of their analyses, while GISS approaches the problem by filling in the gaps with data from the nearest land stations, up to a distance of 1200 kilometers (746 miles) away. In this way, the GISS analysis achieves near total coverage in the Arctic.”

    Note that neither NASA nor Cowtan & Way do any in-filling in Antarctica.

    I think the scale on Figure 1 also shows an in-built bias. The bottom range is -4.0 to -4.4 whereas the top range is +4.0 to +11.0 ! Why not simply have 4.0 ? Presumably every month has a different scale depending on the lowest/highest anomaly found.

    I think it is best to wait for Hadcrut4 results which do not do any in-filling. ( Cowtan and Way is HADCRUT4 with Arctic in-filling)

  3. Gavin D says:

    Euan, I suspect that there’s one more statistic to add to your beautifully clear set of graphs, and that is the one that plots the incidence of GW propaganda against the timing of funding cycles.

  4. Doug Brodie says:

    On another forum I had an alarmist trying to argue that because the current El Niño is already bigger (or steeper) than the 1998 El Niño, this somehow proves that the man-made global warming is powering ahead. Don’t forget that in 2013 even the biassed Met Office reluctantly acknowledged the so-called “pause” in global temperatures. Any rise since then is clearly due to natural weather conditions rather than man-made CO2 given that the alleged warming rate from CO2 forcing is asserted by the UN IPCC to be only 0.02degC per year.

  5. Drs. Brierly and Boland seem to have accepted that the loss of Arctic sea ice is largely if not entirely a result of increased temperatures caused by human interference with the climate. If so then the climate models that simulate the impacts of this human interference should replicate historic temperature trends in the Arctic.

    Do they?

    Apparently not.

  6. A C Osborn says:

    There is quite a bit of anecdotal data on Ice Age Now that seriously contradicts the “Warmest ever February” theme with quite a few records broken for low temps, Snow Cover & Snow Depth in not just the Northern Hemisphere, but also in Asia and South America.
    March is also showing the same things as well.
    There is also this very interesting data on No Tricks Zone for Argo Buoy data showing a large amount of cooling in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool as well as the obvious cooling of the El Nino area.

    If as is being suggested Solar Cycle 25 is as low as Cycle 24 then we really are looking at a quiet Sun.

  7. RDG says:

    “I’m totally baffled by Cameron’s administration.”

    Perhaps the previous blowout post which contained this link provides the answer. The “rich” (in derivatives “money”) countries don’t get coal or nuclear (aka deindustrialisation). but the “poor” countries (China and India) are somehow exempt from this climate change malarkey. The Kings of Derivatives, JP Morgan, says the “rich” countries must engage in “progress” to save mankind. In the good old days, they would just bomb you to rubble when it was time to foreclose, but the nuclear bomb now exists so….oh thats another reason you must shut down your nuclear reactors.
    So the Cameron administration is just a bunch of traitors.

    “JPMorgan will stop financing all new coal mines and coal power plants in rich countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”). As per the OECD, over 30 countries including the U.S., most of Europe, Japan and Australia qualify as rich countries. JPMorgan will not finance new coal mines in other countries as well, while at the same time will provide finance to coal-fired power plants in developing nations such as India, Indonesia and China.”

  8. Javier says:


    I find it surprising that when discussing a global warming quickening, the rate of change of temperatures is not brought up. The derivative of temperatures with respect to time dT/dt is the obvious way to look at the speed of global warming.

    Obviously the answer depends on the temperature data set used. While a long term increasing rate of warming can be defended using BEST or GISS LOTI, the UK Met Office does not defend an increase in the rate of warming, as can be easily appreciated in their paper on the “Recent Pause in Global Warming”:
    Their figure 6 clearly deserves being part of your article as it puts to shame the claim that global warming is quickening.

    That figure is based on the work of Murphy et al. 2009 on the energy balance of the Earth:

    That two scientists defend that the rate of warming is quickening based on two years data during a strong El Niño speaks volumes of the quality of those scientists and the desire of some scientists to promote unfounded alarmism to get some TV coverage. The credibility hit when nature does not cooperate with alarmist scientists and El Niño gives place to cooler temperatures will be taken by all scientists.

  9. Euan Mearns says:

    I received this explanation from Emma this morning. I’m still working on trying to understand it.

    Hi Euan,

    I don’t have much to add to what Chris has said. Please correct my name – it is Emma not Ema. I’m happy to have any of these comments added to your blog:

    I agreed with Cathy’s assertion that 1/10th of February’s rise was due to El Nino because, from my own research on the day, that seemed an accurate order of magnitude. Using the GISS data, other people have attempted a more accurate calculation, see for example 0.2 degrees is 14.8% of 1.35 degrees, so I stand by my agreement.

    Given that the discussion was based on the GISS data, and not the UAH data, I’m not surprised that you have reached different numbers.

    Emma Boland

    I am waiting for Chris to confirm I can publish his response.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      And my reply to Emma:

      Dear Emma,

      I have now had time to work out what your reply means. I attach a graph of GISS LOTI and an excerpt from the GISS LOTI data table. The land ocean index is the column on the right.

      I have also re-listened to the broadcast a couple of times and picked this up:

      Kathy talking about February 2016: “Globally there was a 1.35˚C jump”

      This is simply untrue. The rise in February 2016 was from 1.14 to 1.35˚C = 0.21˚C and I will stick to my assertion that most of that is down to the El Nino.

      What you appear to be talking about is the rise in temperature since the 1951-1980 reference period that LOTI is based upon: 0.21/1.35 = 16% of the rise since the reference period can be attributed to the El Nino.

      This is not the same as saying that only 10% (or 16%) of the rise in temperatures in February 2016 was down to the El Nino.



      • Javier says:

        It looks to me that Emma and you, Euan, are talking about different things.

        My interpretation is that Gavin’s crew are attempting to remove the El Niño warming from global temperatures by statistical methods. Seems to me that Emma is referring to the +1.35°C anomaly value for February 2016 that according to their statistical method only +0.2°C are due to El Niño.

        In reality all that is meaningless and more alarmist propaganda for public consumption. There is no way one can separate El Niño warming from global warming. Only the multidecadal average tells us how much warming we are getting and any deviation from that average, whether El Niño or not, is just noise in the global warming.

        To say that 1/10 of the February warming is due to El Niño is completely empty of any scientific value. A reminder of the sorry state of climatology.

    • I agreed with Cathy’s assertion that 1/10th of February’s rise was due to El Nino because, from my own research on the day, that seemed an accurate order of magnitude.

      Here’s an XY plot of the Niño3.4 index versus linearly-detrended HadCRUT 4, which is more commonly used than GISS LOTI. The plot begins in 1975, which is when the “PDO phase shift” initiated the current phase of warming. R squared for the trend line is 0.72, implying that 72% of the recent temperature rise was caused by the El Niño. You could probably lower this number with an application of creative statistics but I really don’t see much wriggle room here.

  10. Euan Mearns says:

    I came across this chart from Bob Tisdale. I find it quite mind blowing. Can anyone explain what is going on.

    • robertok06 says:

      It’s quite simple, Euan:

      the northern hemisphere has the arctic sea ice melting fast, and all that melting ice releases lots of joules of energy… while the antarctic ice is stable, more or less.

      Clearly all this non-uniformity cannot be balanced quickly, the two hemispheres are quite “independent” in terms of atmosphere… but in a few years (maybe months?) a new equilibrium will be reached, as usual.

      • Euan Mearns says:

        My satirical friend Roberto 🙂 For the benefit of non-physicists and non-meteorologists, the Arctic Sea Ice has been freezing up for 6 months and not melting. And melting ice absorbs energy, not release it.

        And the bomb 14C data (although it has limitations) shows really rapid mixing of air masses between N and S hemispheres.

        The difference between N and S hemispheres is a real puzzle for me.

        Human H2O vapour emissions anyone?

        • A C Osborn says:

          Earth’s inclination + lots more water?

        • GISS LOTI averages air temperatures over land (SAT) with ocean SSTs. It shows the NH warming faster than the SH simply because SATs show more warming than SSTs and there’s a lot more land in the NH.

          But as I’ve said so many times before mixing SATs and SSTs isn’t a valid way of estimating global surface temperatures. I’ve been hoping this message will sink in before I die but I’m beginning to wonder.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Roger, it has sunk in for me. But the ocean acts like a black body as does the land, but in a different way.

            Why does the el nino and enhanced H2O vapour not show up in the S hemisphere?

          • Yeah Euan. I know it has. Excuse my frustration.

            Why does the el nino and enhanced H2O vapour not show up in the S hemisphere? The El Niño shows up in HadCRUT4. Where are you getting your water vapor data from?

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Roger, this is a fast moving climate. The fact that HadCrut and others are a month behind does’t help. So I’m not sure if it is Bob Tisdale or GISS that are at fault? But Im sure that everyone would appreciate an update on GISS, UAH, RSS and Had quite soon.

            I’m totally confused!

  11. Leo Smith says:

    Its quite simple.

    Joe public is bored with Climate Change, its totally lost traction. Paris was a complete farce, and there is every sign that governments are already cutting funding.

    The fortuitous El Niño has given them a spike upon which to hang their whole academic futures, so, they have, and that is all it is.

    • The 1997/8 El Nino gave the contrarians a spike on which to hang their “pause” claim (even though surface records showed, at best, only a slowdown). now that we have a comparable El Nino, they are now saying the warming was mainly caused by a big El Nino, so not much to worry about. It’s not hard to see the flaws in that position.

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  16. Stuart says:

    I find the whole climate debate is getting a little tiresome now. I am in my 30’s and our school curriculum (UK) back in the late 80’s and 90’s was packed full of global warming, global warming, global warming.

    I have almost gone full circle on the issue from accepting what I was taught at school, to rejecting it to now accepting it again. But during this time I have also stopped caring.

    The climate is a wild beast, the planet is very old, humans are the most adaptive species ever.

    My current thinking is that anthropological climate change is real, but that it is relatively slow compared to human civilisations ability to adapt and exploit our environment. If the sea level rises by 5 meters over 1-2 centuries I doubt anyone will be much affected.

    Cities will simply shift and evolve with their coastlines. Land value epicentres will very slowly migrate upstream. Few people even will notice anything.

    Threats of famine will be trumped by GMO’s, water stress will be solved by industrial and technological solutions.

    Populations migrate and expand in response to economic pressures much faster than global warming will drive them. Just look at how the urban landscape has evolved over the past 100 years! London has been almost completely flattened twice in the past 300 years yet today it is arguably the best city in the world. Is the sea encroaching at 10mm per year really such a catastrophic threat to humanity?

    Climate change is a real phenomenon but its nowhere near the more important or most urgent issue facing humanity. We still have over a billion people living on $1 / day! Let’s help those guys first. Millions of people still die from curable and preventable diseases.

    There are much bigger and more deserving problems faced by more vulnerable and desperate people than what climate might exist 100 years from now.

    There are all manner of factors that could upend these forecasts, for example… What will happen to demographic projections when the male pill hits the market? These things are already in clinical trials.

    By 2100 there might only be 4 billion people.

    My point is that we cannot possibly know the future and extrapolating things so far ahead has never worked out as planned. Imagine if Victorians had extrapolated their world to the current day and made forecasts, do you think they would be accurate? Would they even have got the very basics correct such as world population? No. Could they have forecast energy consumption per capita? Could they have forecast industrial emissions?

    It’s good that we are increasing our understanding of the relationship between human civilisation and our environment but using this to extrapolate predictions of a far away future and then using those predictions to drive policy today is pure arrogance and folly. It’s only a matter of time before something invalidates these predictions.

    I remember a tabloid headline that forecast by the year 2000 everyone in the world would be a professional Elvis impersonator. That’s what happens when you extrapolate a trend and isolate it from external factors.

    The male pill would stop global warming, as would a pandemic, or a sovereign default of a major economy, or a world war, there are many external factors that could dramatically change our demographics, our consumption per capita or our emissions.

    I really don’t think it poses anything like the threat that it is hyped up to be.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Stuart, a very interesting comment that very few will read tucked away on this old thread. You should post it again on the next climate thread.

    • Is this the bargaining stage? Let’s say that the change is linear (a big assumption) and it continues as “slowly” as it has, what would that mean? Well, with climate zones shifting polewards more quickly than most species (of all kinds) can adapt (by about a factor of 3, IIRC), then that will have a significant impact, as humans aren’t the only species on the planet and rely on ecosystem services. In addition, moving cities becomes less “simple” as resources become more scarce and we may have to do with less energy. What we don’t know, though, is that there will be no non-linearities. That is very much open to question.

      It would be nice to think that humans have unlimited ingenuity and will always come up with solutions to any problem we may have but, even if that were so, we may not always have enough time to come up with solutions before the problems turn into predicaments.

      But having your frame of mind would be very nice. I hope you can hold on to it.

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