Met Office: “Unequivocal evidence of global warming”

Yesterday I posted my blog piece reviewing Steve Goreham’s book “Climatism!”. And the same day we heard about a new report, apparently prepared jointly by our own Met Office and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which claims to offer “unequivocal evidence of global warming”, and states baldly that “the world has been heating up since the 1980s”.

How do we square this with Goreham’s scepticism?

Dr. Peter Stott of the Met Office (and a notorious Warmist) says “It is glaringly obvious that greenhouse gases are the explanation” – although naturally he doesn’t say why it is glaringly obvious.  Dr. Stott is one of the lead authors of the IPCC’s 2007 4th Assessment Report.  He was also one of the recipients of one of the CRU’s leaked e-mails, from another IPCC author, sent in October 2009, which said, inter alia, “We can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t … our observing system is inadequate”.  You may have thought that science fearlessly sought the truth, but it seems that Warmist scientists merely seek confirmation of their prejudices.

The irony is that no one I know questions that there has been some warming in the last thirty years – although not much.  In fact only about 0.7 deg C in the last hundred years.  So the fact of warming is not in dispute.  The spin of the Warmists, however, is evident in their insistence on 1980.  Over the last 30 years, there is a superficial correlation between the increase in temperatures and the increase in atmospheric CO2.  What they don’t want you to know is that the current warming trend started around 1850 – that’s 160 years ago, not 30.  And they don’t want to air that point, because significant increases in CO2 did not occur until the mid 20th century – a hundred years after the current warming trend started.

It is perfectly obvious, therefore, that the trend is not cause by CO2, but is simply a long, slow recovery from the Little Ice Age.  As I say so often, it is consistent with well-understood, long-term, natural climate cycles.  Dr. Stott offers no evidence that CO2 is a factor.  He merely states that it is “glaringly obvious”.  But science needs evidence, not mere assertion.

At the same time, Nature reports that global warming could be wiping out phytoplankton – tiny marine organisms that play a vital role in the oceanic food chain.  And we are all familiar with the threat to corals from ocean warming and acidification (caused by CO2), and the threat to all hard-shelled sea creatures which will dissolve in an acidifying ocean.  Never mind the polar bears.

But we can sleep easy in our beds.  If you believe that climate started in the 1980s, you might be concerned.  But the earth, and the climate, have been here for 4.5 billion years.  During that time, temperatures have often been higher than today, and atmospheric CO2 levels very much higher indeed – as much a ten times as high.  So today’s species – or their ancestors – have survived much more rigorous conditions than we see today.  Corals have survived for millions of years, as have other hard-shelled marine species.  And polar bears survived the Holocene maxima, the Roman Optimum and the Mediaeval Warm Period, and in fact their numbers are increasing quite strongly today, despite Al Gore’s worries.

The Warmists are very good at scary stories to frighten the children, but their propaganda doesn’t stand a moment’s analysis.

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12 Responses to Met Office: “Unequivocal evidence of global warming”

  1. Matilda, by Hilaire Belloc should be recommended reading for Al Gore. If he ever starts talking about the real threats to the world no-one will believe him.

  2. Philip Burrows says:

    3rd paragraph
    What Trenberth meant is “Global warming is still happening – our planet is still accumulating heat. But our observation systems aren’t able to comprehensively keep track of where all the energy is going. Consequently, we can’t definitively explain why surface temperatures have gone down in the last few years. That’s a travesty!”
    For more about Trenberth, see here.

    4th Paragraph
    I think you have built a straw man Roger. I am looking at the press release from the Met Office that you refer to and I can clearly see temperature records from the past 2 centuries. The idea that they are trying to hide something is ridiculous. You must have got the wrong end of the stick because what they actually said was:
    “Each of the last three decades has been much warmer than the decade before. At the time, the 1980s was the hottest decade on record. In the 1990s, every year was warmer than the average of the previous decade. The 2000s were warmer still.”

    5th Paragraph
    The increase in temperature in the latter half of the 20th century is clearly greater than the rise between 1850 and 1950 as shown here.

    6th Paragraph
    CO2 clearly decreases the pH of the oceans.

    7th Paragraph

    “Looking further back, there are other examples of mass-extinctions coinciding with global warming and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Examination of the mass extinction that occured 251 million years ago during the end-Permian find that the patterns of mortality are consistent with the physiological effects of elevated CO2 concentrations (along with the effects of global warming). 205 million years ago at the Triassic–Jurassic boundary, a sudden rise in the levels of atmospheric CO2 coincided with a major suppression of carbonate sedimentation, very likely related to ocean acidification. A similar situation occurred 65 million years ago during the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event. Most of the planktonic calcifying species became rare or disappeared.”

    Final Sentence
    You are confusing warmists with scientists. WG1 is the best climate science we have.
    I am more worried by the economic alarmist propaganda you put forward.

  3. co2hound says:

    The average lifetime of a species is between 1.8 and 2.4 million years. See the book “Heatstroke” for the reference. So that means there are no species alive today that have had to deal with anything like the extremes of the past in temperature or CO2 concentrations.

    Your cavalier treatment of the Phytoplankton issue shows you do not know the gravity of their pending loss … they are surely on their way to extinction even if we stop all CO2 emissions now. The CO2 already in the atmosphere will provide enough heating to kill them off or at least make them a non-factor in the ocean’s food chain.

    If they go … we go.

    That’s how serious it is.

    • The average lifetime of a species may well be two million years, but lineages of species last much longer — our own ancestors ten million (or forty million) years ago had much in common with us, and would have responded in a broadly similar way to environmental stress.

  4. It particularly worries me that Philip Burrows & CO2hound seem unaware that the climate forcing effect of CO2 is non-linear, and that from today’s level of 390 ppm, further increases will have a very small and diminishing effect on climate.

    • Philip Burrows says:

      I am well aware of that Roger, but we realised that there wasn’t saturation of CO2 in the atmosphere 60 years ago. You clearly cannot grasp the Beer-Lambert law.
      For a proper understanding of the saturation argument, please read Spencer Weart’s article here and here.
      I recommended Weart’s book to you 6 months ago, have you read it yet?
      I managed to get through the Peter Taylor’s and Andrew Montford’s books you recommended and am happy to give you my interpretation if you want. Any other book recommendations would be gratefully received. If you wanted a balance to “Climatism” I would recommend Clive Hamilton’s “Requiem for a Species”.

      • Let’s be clear, Philip. The changes we have seen in climate in the last 100 (or the last 30) years are small, and are well within the typical range of variation. Current temperatures are not particularly high either by geo-historical standards, or by comparison with the last 5000 years. And current CO2 levels are actually rather low by geo-historical standards. Against that background, it’s really bizarre that we’ve managed to talk up a crisis out of a totally normal situation.

      • Philip Burrows says:

        You have totally dodged the point and disappeared into bad rhetoric. Ignoring Beer-Lambert and promoting the saturation myth makes you appear like a denier and not a skeptic.
        Of course you could prove me wrong,
        by either pointing out problems with Weart’s arguments or by admitting that you shouldn’t be promoting bad science.

      • Axel Morris says:

        If you are THE J.P. Burrows who continually slavers on about the twee and niminy-piminy reationships of the so called, Beer–Lambert–Bouguer “Law”, then I am a monkey’s uncle !

        Reality dawns when you refer to the websites of Gavin Schmidt et al…..

        As to Trenberth, he has made much more recent statements about the tree ring data, and become more circumspect in that regard.

        Oh, and the Met. Office graphs.
        Did YOU look at the scales on the y-axis, they are practically insignificant in terms of timescales of biostatistics.

        Mr. Helmer, I suggest that you verify whether that is indeed the “real” J P Burrows, or not (as I suspect) merely a troll and acolyte of Gavin Schmidt.

    • Philip Burrows says:

      WTF?? Well done Axel, your ability to go off course in a discussion is unparalleled.

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