Video of the Week: The climate wars

From the BBC a terrific show screened earlier this year. This is part 3 of the series:

Having explained the science behind global warming, and addressed the arguments of the climate change sceptics earlier in the series, in this third and final part Dr Iain Stewart looks at the biggest challenge now facing climate scientists. Just how can they predict exactly what changes global warming will bring? 

It’s a journey that takes him from early attempts to model the climate system with dishpans, to supercomputers, and to the frontline of climate research today: Greenland. Most worryingly, he discovers that scientists are becoming increasingly concerned that their models are actually underestimating the speed of changes already under way.

A great primer on the climate change and the risk we face. 

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37 thoughts on “Video of the Week: The climate wars

  1. john byatt says:

    Was dwelling on our natural though somewhat strange idea of setting a target temp rise
    Not long ago we had a target of 1.5DegC . When we found that we would not be able to achieve that we jumped straight to 2DegC as the target, why not 1.6DegC or even 1.8Degc ?. when we realise that we cannot achieve 2DegC will we then set a target of 2.5Degc?.

    at around .8DegC we have obviously crossed some line into what we optimistically refer to as the new normal, was that in 2002 or 2005, or was it when we passed the 350PPM

    We looked at the events of the last decade and thought ,right we will set a target nearly double what set these new normal events off, oh no we cannot achieve that so let us now set a target nearly three times the level which triggered these events.

    lets hope that the system behaves in a linear fashion, the chances of that though may be overly optimistic

    It has begun, yet the world is in denial

  2. john byatt says:

    Also think about how we are measuring the temperature rise, we are using the surface temp as the marker, a marker which only accounts for a few percent of the total heating.
    we had to do it that way I suppose as it was the longest records that we held to use as a base,

    In hindsight it may prove to have been a very bad metric

  3. Eric Worrall says:

    Judith Curry, co-author of the BEST Study, speaks out on the current pause in global warming.

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/14/pause-discussion-thread/

    The data confirms the existence of a ‘pause’ in the warming. The impact of this pause within the climate dynamic community has been to focus increased attention on the impact of natural variability, particularly the impact of internal multi-decadal oscillations in the ocean. The new climate model calculations for the AR5 have focused on trying to assess what it would take to accurately simulate these multi-decadal ocean oscillations and how predictable they might be. These new observations and climate modeling results will hopefully impact the the IPCC AR5 deliberations so that we do not see the same overly confident consensus statements that we saw in the AR4.
    .
    You might be interested in my recent blog post:
    http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/02/rs-workshop-on-handling-uncertainty-in-weather-climate-prediction-part-i/
    .
    The flawed assumption behind the orthodoxy was that natural variability is merely ‘noise’ superimposed on the long term trend. The natural variability has been shown over the past two decades to have a magnitude that dominates the greenhouse warming signal. It is becoming increasingly apparent that our attribution of warming since 1980 and future projections of climate change needs to consider natural internal variability as a factor of fundamental importance. I sincerely hope that the AR5 provides an assessment of what we know and what we don’t know and areas of disagreement, rather than trying to manufacture a consensus.
    .
    Climate models are very complex, but they are imperfect and incomplete. In that context the problem is how people interpret the simulations from climate models in view of the uncertainties and imperfections.

    • rubber taster says:

      So the queen of confusion, the climate denial princess states the bleeding obvious. I guess we should be grateful that she is catching up – welcome to 2005 Judith…

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Your rather frantic denial is amusing rubber. As the flatline continues into next year, what will your excuses be then?

      • rubber taster says:

        The only flatline is your brain activity Pants. You’ve been shown to be a liar. Your kids must love this (remind me to send them copies of all your lies here…for future reference. They should know what a sad pathetic person their father is)

        • Eric Worrall says:

          I know it must be hard for you to accept, but if you do a least squares regression line over the last 15 years, it comes out flat – the trend is less than the measurement error, which in statistics terms means there is no statistically significant trend.

          Its a simple measurement. Go on, try it for yourself.

          What you are doing is confusing the measurement with the theory. The MET office says its all a fluke, an artefact, caused by a series of statistical and climatic coincidences, but the implication of this artefact is that normal trends should reappear, in the near future.

          Its going to be an interesting few years.

  4. john byatt says:

    If our coal and gas are used in other countries then it does not count?

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4411920.html

    • Eric Worrall says:

      I agree – the Gillard government’s stance on exporting fossil fuel is utterly hypocritical.

      If they truly believe the world is warming dangerously, they should stop all such exports immediately, rather than continue to contribute to China’s near 10% per year growth in emissions.

      The continuation of said exports to me suggests they don’t really believe in dangerous global warming, they’re just playing you guys for suckers.

  5. Eric Worrall says:

    Judith Curry, co-author of the BEST Study, speaks out on the current pause in global warming.

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/14/pause-discussion-thread/

    The data confirms the existence of a ‘pause’ in the warming. The impact of this pause within the climate dynamic community has been to focus increased attention on the impact of natural variability, particularly the impact of internal multi-decadal oscillations in the ocean. The new climate model calculations for the AR5 have focused on trying to assess what it would take to accurately simulate these multi-decadal ocean oscillations and how predictable they might be. These new observations and climate modeling results will hopefully impact the the IPCC AR5 deliberations so that we do not see the same overly confident consensus statements that we saw in the AR4.
    .

    .
    The flawed assumption behind the orthodoxy was that natural variability is merely ‘noise’ superimposed on the long term trend. The natural variability has been shown over the past two decades to have a magnitude that dominates the greenhouse warming signal. It is becoming increasingly apparent that our attribution of warming since 1980 and future projections of climate change needs to consider natural internal variability as a factor of fundamental importance. I sincerely hope that the AR5 provides an assessment of what we know and what we don’t know and areas of disagreement, rather than trying to manufacture a consensus.
    .
    Climate models are very complex, but they are imperfect and incomplete. In that context the problem is how people interpret the simulations from climate models in view of the uncertainties and imperfections.

  6. john byatt says:

    Darwin wet bulb temps above 35DegC

    Temperature at which the Women’s Tennis Association allows a
    10-minute break between 2nd and 3rd sets

    1996 US Olympic Trials, Women’s 10 Km Walk, 6/18 (33%) of athletes
    required medical attention for heat-related problems

    1996 Olympics, Men’s Marathon, 14/124 (11%) of runners required
    medical attention for heat-related problems

    °1996 Olympics, Women’s Marathon, 21/86 (24%) of runners required
    medical attention for heat-related problems

  7. john byatt says:

    N Sano, lead negotiator for the Philippines , broke down in tears.

    “As we sit here in these negotiations, even as we vacillate and procrastinate here, the death toll is rising. There is massive and widespread devastation. Hundreds of thousands of people have been rendered without homes. And the ordeal is far from over, as typhoon Bopha has regained some strength as it approaches another populated area in the western part of the Philippines.
    “Madam chair, we have never had a typhoon like Bopha, which has wreaked havoc in a part of the country that has never seen a storm like this in half a century. And heartbreaking tragedies like this are not unique to the Philippines, because the whole world, especially developing countries struggling to address poverty and achieve social and human development, confront these same realities.

    “Madam chair, I speak on behalf of 100 million Filipinos, a quarter of a million of whom are eeking out a living working here in Qatar [as migrant labourers]. And I am making an urgent appeal, not as a negotiator, not as a leader of my delegation, but as a Filipino …”

    “I appeal to the whole world, I appeal to leaders from all over the world, to open our eyes to the stark reality that we face. I appeal to ministers. The outcome of our work is not about what our political masters want. It is about what is demanded of us by 7 billion people.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      He forgot to add “send more money”.

      The joke is on anyone who takes this seriously. Yes the typhoon was horrible. No it had nothing to do with CO2 emissions, or lack of rich countries paying money to poor countries.

    • rubber taster says:

      Eric’s appalling comments about the poor people in the Philippines will not be forgotten. He should be ashamed of himself.

  8. john byatt says:

    Left up at WUWT,

    john byatt says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    December 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm
    I cannot be doing it correctly, where do I start from to show that Monckton is correct and that there has been no warming for sixteen years.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1997/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1997/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1997.67

    • Eric Worrall says:

      There has been no warming – given the uncertainty of global temperature measurement, 0.05c = 0c in statistical terms. And even if the 0.05c is real, and not just an artefact of measurement error, its well below what we should have seen if climate sensitivity was anything like 3c / doubling.

    • rubber taster says:

      john, you are risking your mental wellbeing visiting that site…funny though!

  9. john byatt says:

    And another put up at WUWT

    john byatt says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    December 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm
    If they put this one up do we just say that Hansen fiddled with the data?

    http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/509796main_GISS_annual_temperature_anomalies_running.pdf

  10. john byatt says:

    Hope that WUWT puts them up, want to see how many different contradictions the attack dogs come up with,

    • john byatt says:

      One bloke said that I made it up myself
      another that hansen fiddled with the data
      another said that the adjustments were false
      ,

  11. john byatt says:

    then there was this one, the conspiracy theory guy

    DirkH says:
    December 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm
    john byatt says:
    December 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm
    “I cannot be doing it correctly, where do I start from to show that Monckton is correct and that there has been no warming for sixteen years.”

    How about trying UAH or RSS, which suffer less from violation of the Shannon theorem than HadCRUT? But you know what you’re doing and what you want to make people believe.

  12. john byatt says:

    IT appears that you have to use the HADCRUT3 unadjusted global mean or just look at sea surface temperatures, if you want to convince yourself that there has been no warming for 16 years.

    well they know what they are doing and what they want people to believe

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