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‘Scientists confess’? The attack on the IPCC that went terribly wrong

Natural caution from the IPCC means that extreme weather events linked to climate change - such as floods in the Kedarnath Valley in the Himalayas - aren’t predicted. EPA/STR

When an error was found in the IPCC Assessment Report Number 4 - that mountain glaciers were likely to melt by 2035 - climate change deniers obsessed about this for several years, endlessly returning to it as proof that the IPCC was thoroughly flawed in its findings and the science could not be trusted.

Even with all the caution that the IPCC is famous for, it still managed to make a few errors in its almost 3000 page report. The caution also meant that the IPCC report in 2007 would have been loath to predict the unprecedented glacial lake outburst flood in the Himalayas that killed 6000 people in June. The ice around 20,000 large glacial lakes throughout the Himalayas is melting very fast, and when combined with monsoon rains, the ice gives way releasing billions of cubic metres of water - which happened at Kedarnath on June 16 this year.

The IPCC reports are never going to be able to warn people from these individual events, but only provide probabilities of them occurring. This makes the caution that we will see in the Assessment Report Number 5 - due out on Friday - as reassuring as it is disturbing.

But the question of evidence, facts, methodology - indeed of caution that newspapers had been scrutinising the IPCC over - came back to haunt several of them last week, when the UK’s Mail on Sunday made its splash story: “World’s top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just HALF what we said”, by climate denier journalist David Rose.

The UK’s Telegraph mirrored this headline with “Top climate scientists admit global warming forecasts were wrong”, which was also parroted by The Australian the next day with “We got it wrong on warming, says IPCC”, and in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

However, Rose’s central claim is that climate scientists have halved their assessment of warming since 1951.

The Daily Mail’s original story from September 15.

Rose claimed in the original article of September 15, which has since had to be corrected in the online version, that the IPCC claimed in 2007 that the planet was warming by .2 degrees Celsius per decade, but the new report says that the “true figure since 1951 has been only .12 degrees Celsius per decade – a rate far below even the lowest computer prediction”.

The error in Rose’s article is that the 2007 IPCC report only claimed the rate of warming since 1951 to be .13 degrees Celsius, not .2 degrees Celsius. So, if the new report does say .12 degrees Celsius warming since 1951 when it does come out, this revision is like saying that with updated data, global warming is only around 90% of what IPCC scientists said it was.

Yet the Daily Mail revision has dropped its claims about the long term trend to focus on the so-called warming hiatus of the past 15 years to produce an even bolder headline: “World’s top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just QUARTER what we thought”.

The Daily Mail does not seem to be fussed by the scale of its changing headline blunders. It may as well just put out another revision to say global warming does not exist at all. But the revised article again cherrypicks the leak of the unfinalised IPCC Report number 5, to produce a headline that is even more disparaging of the IPCC. Rose’s story does not look at ocean heat content as Dana Nuccitelli and John Abraham do in a demolition of Rose’s piece. Nor does it look at the fact that the last ten years have been the warmest on record in the past 150 years.

Correction in The Australian, September 21. @MeddlesomPriest

Nevertheless, the frenzy of journalism dismissive of global warming that blindly followed the Daily Mail’s lead has led to publications having to issue corrections. First the UK Telegraph, and now The Australian and Sydney’s Daily Telegraph on September 21.

The Daily Telegraph’s September 21 correction of its story that appeared on the 17th

A correction? Well you’d think these papers had just misspelt a name, or had someone’s title wrong, rather than bludgeoned its readers into thinking that global warming had halved - and that the last IPCC Assessment Report had it all wrong.

Newspapers have a responsibility to report all issues as accurately as possible, as they have much influence on public understanding - especially of science. That such a monumental blunder about something as serious as global warming could be pardoned by a tiny and feeble “correction” is a breathtaking betrayal of journalistic standards themselves.

Did the Australian newspapers think to ask Australian climate scientists what they thought of the story? Well if they did, as I have of a number of climatologists, they would have been told that there is no point commenting until the actual report is released. You see, sometimes it’s better to be cautious, even if we may be running out of time to be so.

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214 Comments sorted by

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    1. Gerard Dean

      Managing Director

      In reply to Jamie Johnson

      You are right about hypocrisy Mr Johnson

      There are many, the majority according to the ABC, who know climate change is happening and insist governments worldwide stop using fossil fuel to cut emissions.

      The hypocrisy arises when these same people then CHOOSE to burn JetA1 fossil fuel for their own pleasure.

      Gerard Dean

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    2. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Yes Gerry, let's BURN them for their heresy- no- hypocrisy!
      or better still synthesise them into avgas equivalents before or after they die?

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    3. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Notice how Dean simply refuses to address the subject of the article.

      Poor old Gerard and his "look over there, a squirrel" trolling.

      It has gone from being mildly annoying to just plain sad.

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    4. Craig Somerton

      IT Professional

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      That pesky needle never leaves the groove in your broken record does it Gerald?

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    5. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      "JetA1 fossil fuel"

      Is there something seriously wrong IF that is their only cause of CO2 emissions? You claim is unconditional, by the way.

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    6. Peter Turner
      Peter Turner is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Thinker

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Gerard, you continually push this one point (JetA1) as if it meant something.
      Each of us individually has a responsibility for our own emissions - I'm sure you'd agree.
      Yet you talk as if any consumption of fossil fuels is hypocritical.
      I would argue that as with the nations of the world, it is incumbent on us all to REDUCE our footprint - we are nowhere near able to eliminate our individual footprints entirely (yet) unless we self terminate and even then the co2 of cremation?
      My point is, whatever…

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    7. Chris Brown

      B. Comm

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Gerard, what do you manage and direct? Your own trips to the toilet?

      Are you suggesting that it would be a lesser impact on the environment for an individual to avoid air travel than to encourage national governments to take action to reduce C02 emissions?

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    8. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Chris Brown

      Chris, I think the fact that underpins Gerard's comments on jet fuel is that commercial airlines contribute more CO2 globally than Australia.

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    9. Michael Pulsford

      Lecturer, RMIT School Of Art

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Tu quoque is a weak argument. A doctor who smokes should still tell her patients not to, and they should listen. Or for a more parallel example, a doctor who smokes should still lobby her government for good public health policy that addresses smoking.

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  1. Trevor Kerr

    ISTP

    David, since (1) the masses receive their wisdom in the form of headlines on front pages, and (2) further discussion of the accepted dogma is both unnecessary & futile (democracy has spoken!), wouldn't it be a good idea if Minister Hunt added a personal touch to all communications about climate?
    For example, Special Climate Statement for 13/9/13 from BoM is titled "Exceptionally warm late winter/early spring with unusually persistent warm conditions over the last 12 months". This is unnecessarily alarmist, and out of sync with the stated tenor of the regime. I'd like Mr Hunt to intervene there, and amend the SCS to read "Warm late winter/early spring with warm conditions over the last 12 months". In fact, I'd be surprised if a directive along those lines hasn't already been issued from Mr Murdoch.

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    1. Gerard Dean

      Managing Director

      In reply to Trevor Kerr

      The moment a commentator condescendingly refers to the majority of Australians as the 'masses', stop reading.

      Gerard Dean.

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    2. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      The moment a commentator refers to JetA1 fuel, stop reading.

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    3. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Trevor Kerr

      "I'd like Mr Hunt to intervene there, and amend the SCS"

      Even better, Mr Hunt should sack anyone in the BOM who has anything to do with climate research.

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    4. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Trevor Kerr

      What a load of delusional crap, Trevor. Seriously, this endless bullshit about Murdoch the great manipulator is just pathetic. Where's your bloody evidence? No wonder global warming has fallen off the radar for many. The endless bloody whining "it's all Rupert's fault", "it's the MSM's fault' etc etc makes people want to puke. Perhaps it's the piss poor job being done by the alarmists that's got people thinking this is a Henny-Penny moment. Thank God Flannery is gone - a smart guy but prone to making the sensationalist claims that blow up in his face. That is the sort of publicity that harms the credibility of the science. Own goals, people, own goals.

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  2. Tim Mazzarol

    Winthrop Professor, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Marketing and Strategy at University of Western Australia

    It is very sad to see the debate over climate change high jacked by politics. Whenever science is caught up in politics it is bound to lose. Scientists cannot say that something is definitely true or not because science, by its very nature, must always hold open the chance that a theory can be dis-proven.

    This is usually sufficient for those who wish to deny science to argue for the evidence to be ignored or challenged. It does not matter whether the majority of scientific opinion supports a particular…

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    1. Gerard Dean

      Managing Director

      In reply to Tim Mazzarol

      Tim

      Whilst I totally disagree on your outlook on things climate change, I do commend your considered call for reasoned debate about the issues.

      But I think there is a weird human trait arising here. According to many studies, the majority of people do accept the science and agree that we should stop burning fossil fuels to cut carbon dioxide thereby stopping the earth's climate changing.

      The weird bit is that those same humans who accept the science then continue to burn fossil fuels for their own pleasure, in the full knowledge their actions are harming their children's future. Their only act on climate change is to externalise the responsibility to the governments and then continue their high energy lifestyle.

      It is like those medieval people accepting the science that the earth is a globe, but then refusing to sail over the ocean in case they fall off the edge.

      Very strange things us humans.

      Gerard Dean

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    2. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Tim Mazzarol

      So, the 97% consensus of climate scientists are actually the lone 1% against the consensus?

      Egad. As Mr Spock would say, "That Jim, is illogical."

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    3. Peter Campbell

      Scientist (researcherid B-7232-2008)

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      "Gerard do you accept the science or is it contrary to your ideology? That is the first point to get out of the way..."
      He is just baiting. If you search the site for JetA1 the search engine gives up after 10 pages of it from Mr. Dean. In there he describes himself as "a proud denier". His incessant rhetorical question has been answered every way possible but still he asks it.

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    4. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Tim Mazzarol

      "Scientists cannot say that something is definitely true or not because science, by its very nature, must always hold open the chance that a theory can be dis-proven."

      Then the clowns come along and say the science is not settled.

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  3. Gerard Dean

    Managing Director

    The author is very mistaken when claiming that, 'Newspapers have a responsibility to report all issues as accurately as possible'

    A privately owned newspaper can report on an issue any way the editor and owner want's it too. The editor has a duty to the owners and shareholders to turn a profit and remain solvent.

    It just so happens that if a newspaper strays too far from its readership, the readers will walk. Sadly, they are running from the Melbourne Age which has deserted a large percentage of its former leadership of educated conservatives. The Age's unquestioning embracing of climate change is embarrassing for a once great paper that prided itself on fearless and even handed reporting over its 150 year lifetime.

    Gerard Dean

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    1. Liam J

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Readership of The Australian is falling even faster, and that paper has in fact never paid its way. The yank billionaire who owns it has for decades been happy to prop it up, & all of its editors coincidentally parrot his extremist views.

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    2. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Educated conservatives; aren't those two things, education and conservatism, mutually exclusive?
      With the exception being those times and places where only the conservatives receive an education?
      Mr Abbott, make it so!

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    3. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      I think you are right up to a point, then after that point, some questions can be asked. When a newspaper distorts facts and lies then future generations should be able to sue. The Koch brothers bankrolled (by hundreds of millions of dollars) the anti global warming movement into existence in the United States, meetings were organised and the movement became active in Australia.
      There is now in Australia an active coalition of big business, politicians, miners, bloggers, The Australian, The Telegraph…

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    4. In reply to Gerard Dean

      Comment removed by moderator.

    5. Rick Fleckner

      Student

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      You are wrong Gerard Dean, newspapers that boast 'journalists and 'journalism have special legal rights that ordinary folk do not. A good troll would know that.

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    6. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Only hundreds of millions of dollars, Alice? Chicken feed.
      The LNP direct action will cost $3B.
      The renewable energy finance corporation, set up by the Green Labor, in partisan with the LNP is to cost $10B.
      Not to mention the billions spent by Obama. Oops, I mentioned it.
      Hundreds of millions? Bah!

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    7. Kym Afford
      Kym Afford is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Population activist

      In reply to Liam J

      I refuse to read it following years of gross denier "ha, ha!" articles.

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    8. James Jenkin

      EFL Teacher Trainer

      In reply to John Newton

      Hi John, yes people should be free to publish whatever they like, and they do, on the web. (Well I've seen the Holocaust denial thing but maybe not the story about Abbott and incest.)

      Aren't punters smart enough themselves to sort what's reputable from 'twaddle'? You seem to be suggesting a wise select few should be deciding what the hoi polloi are allowed to read.

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    9. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to James Jenkin

      "....Aren't punters smart enough themselves to sort what's reputable from 'twaddle'?..."

      I can't tell if you are being sarcastic James, or if you want a serious answer. If the former - then good one! Extremely amusing. If the later - no. But then, you only have to look at the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Adelaide Advertiser etc, or listen to Alan Jones et al to know that to be the case.

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    10. John Newton

      Author Journalist

      In reply to James Jenkin

      James, all those headlines were made up - by me. The fact that you believed them makes my point.

      People are entitled to their own opinions. But not their own facts. And that should go for media proprietors.

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    11. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      "The renewable energy finance corporation, set up by the Green Labor, in partisan with the LNP is to cost $10B."

      No. It loans out up to $10B. It actually makes a profit.

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    12. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike, the problem with your position on this is that it locates the public as some sort of empty vessel into which the 'right' information can be poured. It then implies that, because the 'wrong' information is getting poured in, something must be done to a.) stop it and/or b.) take control of the issue out of the hands of that public. Unfortunately, such a position is untenable in a democracy.

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    13. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Phillip

      The problem with 'what' position John?

      Is that the position where I believe that the media should be accountable for what they print / broadcast etc, and if they deliberately publish lies dressed up as news then they should be able to be held to account?

      Is it the position where I believe that the vast majority of the country does not have the expertise to make informed judgements on many issues, and relies on the aforesaid media to properly inform them so they can make those judgements?

      So in what way is either of those positions 'untenable in a democracy'? The second is just a statement of fact. And the first is why we have laws and have statutory bodies like ACMA who are supposed to deal with complaints against the media and issue appropriate penalties for transgressions against the law.

      So please John - tell me where I am wrong.

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    14. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike,
      Have you ever lodged a complaint with ACMA or its predecessors?
      I have. It's a grand exercise in futility, a mob of secretive people skilled in evading direct answers to direct questions.

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    15. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      I agree Geoffrey, and that's the problem.

      They should be acting on complaints and issuing appropriate penalties; but for some reason their powers are being limited.

      Perhaps if they were given a bit more power some of the more extreme elements of our media circus might receive appropriate punishment for the deliberate lies they are spreading. For example, the tripe in the last few days by many sections of the media about the IPCC.

      To base such a campaign - for campaign it is - on a single inaccurate and deliberately misleading report written by a climate denying "journalist" (and I use that word very advisedly) in the UK is nothing short of despicable. Will they be held to account, despite numerous complaints about their behaviour? I won't hold my breath.

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    16. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike, your position assumes that the general populace are idiots. That is where I think you are wrong. You've said we've got laws to protect us against a propagandist media. So on both counts I don't see that you've got much to complain about.

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    17. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Phillip

      ".....Mike, your position assumes that the general populace are idiots...."

      So John, in what way do you disagree with my statement about people not having the expertise to make informed judgements on many issues? I hesitate to ask that quesiton, given your own predeliction for commenting on climate change, but give it a go if you like.

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    18. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike, I think that anyone who is concerned about the future would make an effort to seek out a bit more information than that which is available through the msm.

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  4. Tim Mazzarol

    Winthrop Professor, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Marketing and Strategy at University of Western Australia

    If you were told by a doctor, who had undertaken a rigorous scientifically sound assessment that you were going to die if you did not change your behaviour what would you do? If you refused to accept her advice and went to another doctor, who gave you the same advice using the same scientific evidence, you might still disagree. However, once you had heard from a majority of doctors that they held the same view what would you do?

    You might grab onto a minority of doctors who held views that you…

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    1. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Tim Mazzarol

      If those doctors were continually claiming they were wrong, always claiming their initial prognostication was insufficient, and, using the same failed tools for prognostication, then say things are worse than they first thought, then I would certainly look for a second opinion.

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    2. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      That's why your posts become so unreliable Mark. You devote so much time to trying to find mythological "somethings" to prove none of this is happening, you even post research papers , and references which support the fact of climate change. Seemingly displaying an inability to read and comprehend. That's why there is no body of evidence to support your position. Your position is based on nothing.

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    3. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Felix.
      Try your favourite search engine. Type in, "climate change is here and it's worse than we thought". Google has 4.960,000 hits.

      Approximately 5 million examples where they admit they were wrong. "it's worse than we thought" is not an admission you were right the first time. Especially when you claim the science is settled. Do I have to search those"settled science" quotes out to for you to deny?

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    4. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Hi Alice. No one "denies" climate change. Many deny the hiatus in the warming, though, as a changing climate has often done. How about you? What is your "position?

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    5. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Alice, in todays news we have this: "“The heat is still coming in, but it appears to have gone into the deep ocean and, frustratingly, we do not have the instruments to measure there,” said Professor Ted Shepherd of Reading University. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/21/climate-change-ipcc-fossil-temperature

      You say I often post links that support the AGW theory, but that is only to highlight the inconsistencies & contradictions that seem inherent in the warming debate.

      Yours & my links are fine examples. Just trying to understand. Cheers.

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    6. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      @Troll McGuire

      "If those doctors were continually claiming they were wrong..."

      The IPCC are not claiming that they are wrong. Read the article before trolling. Rose claimed they were wrong, they were not, he was lying and he has been caught out.

      The fact that you keep repeating the lie says everything about your own lack of integrity.

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    7. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Hi Mike. It couldn't be any more plainer. Saying "it's worse than we first thought" is another way of saying the first attempt was incorrect. What else can it possibly mean?

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    8. Peter Campbell

      Scientist (researcherid B-7232-2008)

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      To continue the medical analogy, let's say you were diagnosed with cancer.
      Initially the concensus of multiple doctors might be that you probably have a cancer of some sort.
      With further tests it becomes clear that you almost certainly have a cancer of some sort but that might be a slowly developming and manageable problem or it could be very serious. Your prognosis has rather large error bars on it.
      With yet further examination and monitoring the details become clearer, the prognosis more narrowly…

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    9. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      "....Hi Alice. No one "denies" climate change...."

      And this is why you have no credibility Mark. Lots of people do.

      And I am not sure about Alice, but my position is pretty simple. I am not a climate scientist, and it would be foolish of me to think that I know more about the situation than them. When I want to know about climate science, I read papers from peer reviewed journals, and would never ever trust anything I read on a blog or a newspaper or saw on TV.

      What's yours?

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    10. Grendelus Malleolus

      Senior Nerd

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Mark

      Try your favourite search engine. Type in, "we were wrong UFOs are real". Google has 22,100,000 hits.

      Approximately 22 million examples where someone on the internet says something that google collates in response to your search query that may or may not back up your claim.

      That is why absolutely you much provide properly referenced sources in defence of extraordinary claims.

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    11. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Mark, if you were able to understand science at all, you'd understand the difference between refinement and being wrong. But you can't, so you're doomed to occupy the latter category.

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    12. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Peter Campbell

      Thanks for taking the time to provide the detailed and elegant refutation that Mark requires but will be unable or unprepared to accept.

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    13. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      “The heat is still coming in, but it appears to have gone into the deep ocean and, frustratingly, we do not have the instruments to measure there,”

      The heat is all going to go into the deep ocean. We can all stop worrying now.

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    14. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Grendelus Malleolus

      UFOs ?? Unidentified Flying Objects??
      Not extra-terrestial flying objects.

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  5. Alan John Clark

    logged in via Facebook

    David Rose is not only a climate change denier, he is also a child abuse denier, he gave evidence to the UK's Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs in defence of two convicted child abusers, and he did a character assassination job on child-abuse victim Steven Messham.

    http://jerseyabusescandal.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/httpricosorda.html

    http://tompride.co.uk/2012/11/11/child-abuse-scandal-can-of-worms-just-who-is-daily-mail-reporter-david-rose/

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    1. Alan John Clark

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      For how long was I silent between you posting the link and saying my silence about it is telling? Think about it.

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    2. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Alan John Clark

      19 minutes.

      Like you, I was unaware of this news item as I do not follow German politics. Not real sure of the link between the German political environment and the discussion here but may those greens die in a ditch over their stance.

      That clear enough for you Mark?

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    3. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      There was once a man called Mark who committed a crime. Does that make you a criminal?

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    4. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Very reputable, balanced source there, Mark! I'd take anything on hat site with a grain of salt...in fact, I'd suggest half a tonne of it.

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    5. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Alan John Clark

      So, you condemn the stance of the greens? You say nothing. Why post only one example if you are so offended by this type of behaviour? Does it make a lesser crime if someone else does it? If throwing crap was your sole intention, prepare to get some thrown back.

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    6. John Newton

      Author Journalist

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      That is, like most of your climate change assertions, a gross oversimplification which those who read the story you reference will discover

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    7. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Roger Davidson

      Hi Roger. Clear as day, and agree. As to why we are discussing this, best to see Allan's comment. Just trying to balance the ledger.

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    8. Rick Fleckner

      Student

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Mark, your reference, which I went to and read, is as accurate and relevant as the Tony Abbott stuff about punching the wall along side the head of someone that bested him politically. No doubt there are German Greens members with ancestors of dubious repute, just as Eric Abetz has a dubious link to German Nazism. Do you see, in this context, how piss weak your argument is?

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    9. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Rick Fleckner

      Hi Rick. Not here to defend Abbott. Possibly a fair analogy, but the difference is the wall punch was hear-say. "At the time the pamphlet was published, Mr Trittin was a grassroots activist for the Greens. Mr Trittin, the co-leader of the party and a former German environment minister, told a press conference in Berlin on Monday: “It was also my fault and my responsibility that these mistaken demands endured for so long."

      The demand for legalisation was withdrawn during the course of the 1980s after campaigning by women’s groups within the Green party. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10312930/Germanys-Green-Party-leader-regrets-campaign-to-legalise-paedophilia.html

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    10. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      See John newton's comment immediately following your response to me, Mark. I'm sure you won't comprehend that, so there would be no point in my replying.

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    11. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      And you believe that the fact that an individual German Greens activist proposed a bit of radical, and distinctly dodgy, policy that was subsequently, and correctly, repudiated by the party constitutes evidence of anything other than the obvious fact that Trittin was a dickhead and the German Green sparty functions effectively to deal with errors?

      Or do you just like to write things that contain the words 'greens' and 'peadophilia' in one paragraph in the Murdochian hope that some mud will stick?

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    12. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Nice of you not to deny that there is something seriously wrong with David Rose.

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  6. Garry Baker

    researcher

    These editorials are just what the media want (given they are focused on profits, and not science). They add something to a supposed controversy by letting a reader know that even the experts are forced to question or revise their own work at times. All the while failing to instill folks with some knowledge that this vast subject (climate) has to be an ongoing conversation in order to stitch the myriad of detail together, and should never be interpreted as a bunch of short term predictions to…

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  7. Keith Thomas

    Retired

    You will have noticed, I’m sure, that in the years following every consensus IPCC report, there are claims (including many based on field research) that the facts on the ground are worse than we were led to expect. Between successive reports, field data consistently show that the previous IPCC report under-estimated the risk – that it was wrong, and wrong in significant proportions (or otherwise there would not be this slew of articles in the period between reports).

    Why has there never been an IPCC report that, in the period before the next report, generates research and assessments that lead overwhelmingly to observations telling us ‘we got it pretty right’?

    I am suggesting that the IPCC are working from a partly-invalid paradigm by focussing on the emission side of the equation (the annual up-tick in Keeling’s graph) and ignoring the annual down-tick.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Keith Thomas

      I think you need to go to the basic structure of the IPCC Keith and from what I have gathered from past readings is that the IPCC consists of about 2000 scientists/researchers more or less and it is not as though they are all in one location for those 2000 consist of m nay different groups doing all sorts of studies, that being the reason we see do see various technical reports being published from time to time, not all of them directly saying that temperature increases can be this or that and more…

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    2. John Armour

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Greg North

      Also Greg it's not just the temperature of the water but phase change.

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    3. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to Keith Thomas

      Yep. The AR4 in 2007.

      In 2007 scientists had to dismiss the recent trend of extreme warming in the 90's - which was FAR greater than they had previously predicted. "The first candidate reason is intrinsic variability within the climate system."

      Just as they are having to do in the AR5, the AR4 had to dismiss climate variability hyped up by the media.

      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/double-standard/

      There are clear and logical explanations to what we are observing but it seems…

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    4. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      Hi Andrew. You might want to avail yourself of the latest climate science: Weather is now climate: "A few years ago, talking about weather and climate change in the same breath was a cardinal sin for scientists.
      Now it has become impossible to have a conversation about the weather without discussing wider climate trends, according to researchers who prepared the Australian Climate Commission's latest report. http://www.theage.com.au/national/climate-change-a-key-factor-in-extreme-weather-experts-say-20130303-2fefv.html

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    5. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      So you just totally missed the point of my post?

      Frequency of weather events is a statistical interpretation.

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    6. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      No, Andrew, Mark believes that if someone somewhere links two words then some kind of causality or meaning is created.

      Once you grasp this, you understand why he is completely unable to understand the scientific process. He believes that truth is constructed by twisting things until they fit your preferences.

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  8. Tiffany Meek

    Graphic designer, psychology student

    I think it's fascinating that there is an expectation that any group of human beings, scientific or otherwise, should have the capacity to accurately predict global warming and/or climate change - and to criticise an organisation for 'getting it wrong' is simply non-sensical considering it would be like winning the lottery to 'get it right'. Considering the myriad of intricate cyclical systems in operation on this planet, some of which we are unaware of or lack understanding of, I think it's amazing that anyone even 'has a go' at these predictions. Additionally, the fact that there has been LESS warming than predicted is a cause for celebration and should be an encouragement for us to keep up the good work and continue with our determination to minimise our impact on the planet, as we just might be proving that we CAN turn things around before it's too late. Why is it that we get so caught up in the blame and attribution game that we forget what really matters?

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    1. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Tiffany Meek

      Tiffany, define less warming, if your definition is limited to surface air temperature, then warming slowed. If your definition includes ocean temperature and melting ice , then there is no comfort for any of us. We are about to experience further feedback mechanisms which will rapidly warm the atmosphere again due to melting ice, permafrost, and warming oceans due to unprecedented amounts of CO2 and methane being released into the atmosphere from tundra and from under warming oceans in the arctic…

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  9. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

    Boss

    David,
    There is little joy in being right on a technicality when the bigger story is so dismal.
    There are several estimates of rate of change of temperatures in the Draft. You are reporting one.
    The bigger concern is that the Projected temperatures from modelling are far larger than historic actual. If you inferred a rate of warming from the model graphs, it would not match the IPCC's words and it would cause comment.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/19/an-animated-analysis-of-the-ipcc-ar5-graph-shows-ipcc-analysis-methodology-and-computer-models-are-seriously-flawed/
    ............
    Slip down to "Clarification" near the bottom of this piece.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2420783/Worlds-climate-scientists-confess-Global-warming-just-QUARTER-thought--computers-got-effects-greenhouse-gases-wrong.html
    ..................

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    1. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Alice,
      That is simply rude.
      There is actual data in the references I just gave, in contrast to almost every other post here.
      Trolls do not usually provide data with arguments, they just give ad homs a lot of the time.
      Your task is to show that I am wrong, or accept what I have written.
      Simple.

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    2. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Sherrington. You are a troll. You turn up here to continually claim that there all these scientific papers that overturn AGW science. When asked to list them, you either run away or post drivel from climate crank blogs.

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    3. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      OK. Somehting more constructive..

      How about you go to those articles - find the source material (I assume they might cite some study), link those and we'll see if they match up with the Daily Mail and Watts articles.

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    4. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike,
      When data are put before the public, it does not matter a great deal about the cover of the book, or whose blog it is on. The data are still data and might even be found at several sites. I simply use a convenient for at the time.
      It is terribly anti-science to say, as you have done "I'm not going to read that because I don't like the name of the blog." That's a childs' game, goes with hissy fits.

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    5. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      @Shorter Sherrington

      "When I said that there were scientific papers debunking climate science, I actually meant that there were these blogs on the internet that I demand be treated the same as peer reviewed science because otherwise I got nothing"

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    6. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      Dear, oh dear, Mr Vincent. Tch tch! The denialists are taken to task at TC for citing blogs and here you are at it. Not that I'm against anyone citing blogs but in this case why not go with the peer-reviewed science - "Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature"
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011JD016263/abstract
      GISTEMP, NOAA and HADCRUT4 show no statistically significant warming for 17 or more years. RSS and UAH 20 years.

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    7. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      Grant Foster AKA Tamino is very highly regarded statistician. Read those links if you want to learn something.

      I would agree that 17 years is enough but you need to determine what "statistically significant" means. You would also need to know what you are measuring the deviation FROM. The NULL when judging whether or not warming trend has changed in the last 17 years is the *pre-existing trend*, not a flat line. Looking at a graph and saying 'hey look it is kinda sorta flat therefore it isn't statistically significant' doesn't cut it.

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    8. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike,
      How am I to present recent work that is floated for pre-publication review on a blog?
      When I do, does the name of the blog matter?

      Here is but one example posted on this thread.
      http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/14/nic-lewis-on-the-uk-met-office-on-the-pause/

      This is quite scientific and it appears on a blog owned by one of the best-regarded climate scientists in the world, She certainly knows a lot more than you do.

      Now repeat your untruth that I never giver references to papers. Just to show the unrepentant, uncompromising YOU.

      Oh, here is another one that I posted in the last couple of days -
      http://pluto.mscc.huji.ac.il/~msdfels/wpapers/Tide%20gauge%20location.pdf

      I can't help it if the mods snip posts.

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    9. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Felix,
      Can I then take it that you have not encountered the not uncommon practise of showing a paper pre-publication to see if some useful comments come in? That a blog is a somewhat usual place to air these? Or even that an author can place it own his/her own web site and tip me off that it's there, destined for publication? I suspect that you have not been around the topic very much.
      Are you aware that it can take up to a year for a paper to pass the peer review process? An example is to be read…

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    10. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      Wary as I am of referencing what the inestimable Mr Hansen refers to as "climate crank blogs", I'm going to have to in this case.
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php
      Check “show advanced options” and set the serial correlation periods to the years shown below. You ask what "statistically significant" means. The answer (also from a climate crank blog I'm afraid) is–
      “If the trend differs from some ‘null hypothesis’ by more than 2σ, then we say that the trend is statistically significant…

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    11. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      Trends in 15 year data depend somewhat on the source of the data and how much it has been adjusted.
      From the official NASA GISS site, we can see the adjustment that went on between 2008 & 2013 -
      http://www.geoffstuff.com/GISS%20adjustments.jpg
      You can probably make a similar figure for Hadley work if you know how to.
      It might be that some of these adjustments are warranted, but like many prior adjustments, they emphasise old records cooler and recent records hotter. This affects the trend.
      If…

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    12. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      ""Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature"
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011JD016263/abstract
      GISTEMP, NOAA and HADCRUT4 show no statistically significant warming for 17 or more years. RSS and UAH 20 years."

      I know from experience that Burfield cannot read. "at least .. are required" does not mean the same as ".. are sufficient".

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    13. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Thanks for the links, Geoffrey. Not surprising that the usual alarmists are attacking you and accusing you of trolling. Neither is it surprising that they haven't got a rebuttal.

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    14. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      Andrew, the 15 year claim has been oft repeated but I am wondering if it is truly insignificant. It, after all, just under 10% of the post industrial revolution period. Surely 10% is significant. I'll be very interested to see how the IPCC report addresses the questions arising from it.

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    15. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      "I know from experience that Burfield cannot read. "at least .. are required" does not mean the same as ".. are sufficient"."

      Thank goodness Dr Santer didn't write "Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are SUFFICIENT for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature" That would have been so, sooo different.
      BTW have you completed the exercise I set you in a previous post to calculate the F value and p-value for the relationship between CO2 and delta T? And a leverage plot showing confidence levels. C'mon, it's not that difficult.

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    16. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to John Phillip

      Picking any period of time that starts with the warmest El Nino in history and ending with a prolonged set of La Ninas is bound to give you a predetermined result which ever way you spin it. If you want to fool yourself then go right ahead. If you are actually trying to work out what's going on then find a better way.

      But lets assume for argument's sake that the 15 year period didn't have these anomolies. You're only half way there. You then need to establish a plausible explanation as to why you believe that in 1998 there was a change in the energy budget for the planet.

      Go.

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    17. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      "The null hypothesis is no warming or cooling"

      No it isn't. The null hypothesis is the state the system was previously in - which was a warming trend. What you are trying to do is establish that the trend has changed. You have not done so.

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    18. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      To be more specific....What's so special about gradient=0 to make it NULL? Why not 0.1.... 0.3 etc.. Answer - because gradient=0 assumes the system is in equilibrium. It's fair to say that going by the temperature trends of the last century this is clearly not the case. Zero trend is an arbitrary figure and has no meaning in the discussion. What DOES have meaning is the pre-existing trend (before the 17 yr preiod you've chosen). Statistical deviation from THAT gradient means you are looking at a change in the system.

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    19. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      "No it isn't. The null hypothesis is the state the system was previously in - which was a warming trend."
      Null Hypothesis - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_hypothesis
      "In statistical inference of observed data of a scientific experiment, the null hypothesis refers to a general or default position: that there is no relationship between two measured phenomena". In this case temperature and time (17 years). In the case of testing for a biased coin, there is no bias. In the case of a new fertiliser, there is no increase in crop yield. In the case of and so on.
      a drug purported to cure heart attacks, it doesn't and so on.

      I'm sorry, but you don't appear to have a clue about any of this and entertaining as it is I might leave it there and go back to the cleavage at the Brownlow.

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    20. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      A trend line of gradient zero says absolutely nothing about the system being in equilibrium. Absolutely nothing, zip, niente. It exhibits no physics. It is the null hypothesis for a time series analysis and has no relevance to the physics of equilibrium statistical mechanics, microstates, entropy, the H-theorem or canonical partition functions.

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    21. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      Andrew, some, such as Tamino, state that there has been no slowing. Others say that there has been a slowdown in the atmospheric warming and others, still say that the warming has moved from the atmosphere into the oceans.isn't the current discussion within the IPCC about determining the 'why now' of the shift from atmospheric temp increases to ocean warming? There seems to be a range of views around this. I have no idea. I am just asking

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    22. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      "the null hypothesis refers to a general or default position". Why do you assume the default position is zero?

      The IPCC and scientific community are saying that the warming trend is continuing as it has for the last 60 or so years - that the current hiatus is just natural variation. The detractors are saying that the trend has stopped or that their trend is wrong. The test IS the established trend. How do you mathematically determine that the current "wiggle" is outside the bounds of variation? By applying statistics to the trend. If it falls outside 2 sigma you have to look at why.

      If the previous century had a flat trend and I was trying to demonstrate warming - the default position would be zero. But it wasn't.

      I see you've now resorted to personal insult. Last resort I suppose.

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    23. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      Huh?? A system in equilibrium will exhibit no change. Gradient = 0. It loses anergy as fast as it gains energy. A stationary object remains stationary, a moving object remains moving. This is basic stuff here.

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    24. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to John Phillip

      John,
      Essentially all of the main generators of global temperature/time series have now conceded the almost zero trend for somewhere between the last 10 and last 16 years of data. Hadley, GISS, Hansen himself, UAH are all on record.
      There is a flat to negative trend if you take these shorter periods mentioned. There is a long term trend upwards if you start your data at 1950 or 1900 or whatever.
      Having finally conceded a term of no significant warming, bodies are now in the phase of looking for…

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    25. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to John Phillip

      Time will tell a lot. Personally I wouldn't be making any bold statements until I see how surface temps fare through another strong El Nino. Keep your eye on the ENSO index.

      It seems the IPCC may have taken on a lot of criticism in reducing its lower bound of CO2 sensitivity from 2.0 to 1.5º.

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    26. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      No Andrew, the IPCC has NOT - I repeat has NOT - "reduced its lower bounds of climate sensitivity from 2.0 to 1.5 degrees".

      Please read the facts, not the lies in the media.

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    27. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      Exactly Andrew. Hopefully you understand the difference between a "lower bound of climate sensitivity" and the lower end of "a likely range for climate sensitivity".

      And how do you know that the figure has been revised? You do know what neither confirmed nor denied means, right?

      Quite simply Andrew, there has been a lot of ill informed speculation and outright lies published by many in the deniersphere over the past few weeks or so. Why do you think that is? The report comes out in a couple of days - I am sure you agree that it would be best to wait until we can read the report before we start to critique it?

      Hopefully you don't ascribe the the school of criticism so common among many in the deniersphere that you don't actually need to read a science paper or report in order to criticise it. If it appears to suggest that climate change is real annd that humans are responsible, then obviously it must be wrong because it doesn't fit the ideology.

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    28. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike,
      The broader question is whether equilibrium climate sensitivity is the appropriate metric. It is prefaced on certain GHG mechanisms that year by year remain unquantified, to the extent that you have to wonder if they are significant or not.
      Given the millions of $$ that have been spent chasing ECS, a range from 2-4.5 is a poor result for the work and $ investment. It is also significant that in the draft AR5, there is no mention of a number of lower sensitivities produced by authors who are ignored. Let's see what the final says.
      When a theory becomes ill like this, one has to wonder if the illness is terminal. A problem is that the existence of the IPCC depends on GHG being significant, so their work will plausibly be swayed. Time to look at other mechanisms?

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    29. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      ".....Time to look at other mechanisms?..."

      Yes Geoffrey. Perhaps you are right. No-one has ever done any work on this, ever. No-one has ever looked at alternatives. Gee, thanks for pointing that out! What were we all thinking? We were so blind until you pointed us in the right direction.

      Alternatively - and here's a suggestion for you - you accept that there is no other plausible mechanism, that we already know that increasing CO2 will increase energy retention in the climate system, and that scientists actually know how to do science.

      But if you want to look for another mechanism, go right ahead. if you find one you will win a Nobel Prize and the accolades of millions of people all around the world. But I suspect not. All that will happen is that you will keep cutting and pasting your dogma from blogs, and trolling sites like this with your ideological and completely unscientific opinion.

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    30. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      So what Vincent?

      If you have a look at what it says at that link you provided, you will see that it says exactly what I said it does. That:

      "....The likely range for equilibrium climate sensitivity was estimated in the TAR (Technical Summary, Section F.3; Cubasch et al., 2001) to be 1.5°C to 4.5°C. .......The mean ±1 standard deviation values from these models were 3.8°C ± 0.78°C in the SAR (17 models), 3.5°C ± 0.92°C in the TAR (15 models) and in this assessment 3.26°C ± 0.69°C (18 models…

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    31. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      I'm not sure why you're getting so uptight here. My original comment was "it seems....." which was a comment on what I've read about the climate sensitivity figure in the AR5. All we have are media reports at this stage.

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    32. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      If you are not sure why I am getting so 'uptight' let me explain Vincent.

      You made this comment:

      ".....It seems the IPCC may have taken on a lot of criticism in reducing its lower bound of CO2 sensitivity from 2.0 to 1.5º...."

      I simply pointed out that statement was incorrect - that the IPCC has not reduced it's lower bound of climate sensitivity. If you had accepted that then there wouldn't have been a need for further discussion, but you kept on about it and kept on quoting from media…

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    33. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Thanks for the reply, Geoffrey. (FWIW: I read a bunch of blogs - including 'Open Minds' & WUWT n addition to published peer reviewed articles. )
      I have to admit some concern regarding the failure of models to predict this shift from atmospheric to ocean warming. We await the IPCC's explanation with baited breath, I suppose.

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    34. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Don't be churlish, Mike. If you are uncomfortable refuting the information found there perhaps you're not really much of a scientist. I find it interesting to watch the interplay between that site and Tamino's. Sorry if the fact you can't censor the internet offends you.

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    35. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Phillip

      Don't be foolish John. And goading me about WUWT is pointless.

      And I don't need to refute the 'information' published there - half the time one article refutes previous ones. And that's why people like you - readers of WUWT - can never be called sceptics.

      If you were sceptical you would read what is there and question whether or not it was accurate, but you don't. You belong to the 'anything but CO2' crowd, and blindly accept anything which fits that ideology as accurate.

      That despite…

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    36. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to John Phillip

      John,
      After a career in which I often took place in reviews of scientific data and their interpretation, I have formed an opinion over the last few years - it's only an opinion and is therefore disputable. Both WUWT and RealClimate have had top-class essays. Both have also had some that are marginal in utility and quality. However, at the lower end, there is a RealClimate category of "bloody awful" that WUWT rises above.
      I can't understand the anti-science mentality of people who reject a set of…

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    37. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      All right Mike, you must be that 'suppository' of knowledge that our PM spoke of. You must realise that your total inability to argue your point calmly, bypassing the condescension on the way, wrecks your chances of convincing anyone other than the converted. Unfortunately, you do tend to come across as a zealot rather than a rational thinker and this hurts your position. Think 'hearts and minds', Mike, hearts and minds....

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    38. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Thanks, Geoffrey. I've had a few concerns about Tamino lately as he tends to write in that demeaning facetious tone exhibited by so many of the AGW proponents (Think George Monbiot and...er...some others closer to home.) Thanks for the info regarding funding. Some quarters would have you believe that it is only the sceptical side of this discussion that receives funding from nefarious sources. It'll be interesting to see where THAT discussion goes over the coming months with regards to Tim Flannery's future funds.

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    39. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Then keep an open mind on blogs, especially those that present good data irrespective of the wrapper.
      Pouring scorn on a blog that you don't read is really quite ignorant.

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    40. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Phillip

      Please don't make me laugh John.

      There is no chance of convincing you - you have already made up your mind and are immune to evidence. There is so much available if you wanted to read it, but you prefer to have your ideology confirmed by the echo-chamber.

      You get scorn and condensation because that is what you deserve.

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    41. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Reall Geoffrey - you criticise me for supposedly not reading WUWT, despite the fact that I just showed you that I did look at it. And that's why I have zero time for it - it's rubbish and demonstrably so.

      Perhaps you should follow your won advice, and instead of pouring scorn on the science of climate change, you should actually read some.

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    42. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      "That would have been so, sooo different."

      Yeah, so?

      "BTW have you"

      Have you read that I pointed out that I wasn't claiming any particular significance for my result? I just wanted to point out that there was no justification for the claim made by the mentally deranged denialist that for some strange reason you defend.

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    43. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      "The null hypothesis is no warming or cooling"

      Your null hypothesis is not rejected by your chosen data. Neither is it confirmed. Big deal.

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    44. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      "Your null hypothesis is not rejected by your chosen data.". Correct. Therefore no statistically significant warming over the years I quoted.

      "Neither is it confirmed. Big deal". Whaaat?

      "a null hypothesis is potentially rejected or disproved on the basis of data that is significantly under its assumption, but NEVER ACCEPTED OR PROVED".
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_hypothesis
      Sir Ronald Fisher must be turning in his grave. Do you have Wiki editor privileges? You must tell them about your new found definition immediately. They may look upon you as a statistical numpty but give it a crack anyway.

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    45. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      What ever, Mike. I'll continue to enjoy your self-righteous and ignorant pontificating. Certainly you don't provide any of the evidence that you prattle on about. Amazing that a self proclaimed 'scientist' self censors not on the basis of the scientific argument but instead chooses the by 'flavour' of the source. Open Mind, indeed. Pseudo religious zealot more aptly describes your total inability to argue logically or see the big picture.

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  10. Geoffrey Henley

    Research Associate

    Another predictable and biased article by David Holmes. Still obsessing over the News Ltd. while ignoring the totally one-sided coverage of climate change by papers such as the Guardian, the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald as well as organisations like the ABC and the BBC. These medias sources are constantly making exagerrated and misleading claims not backed by empirical evidence. How many times are they going to repeat the bogus 97% claim? How long will they ignore the recent pause in warming and the inability of models to predict recent changes in global temperatures.

    More hypocrisy from the Conversation

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    1. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      That would be 'one-sided' coverage by Guardian et al in the sense of only factual or evidence-based then Geoffrey?

      Would you like to put up for once and provide an ounce of evidence of inaccuracies in the reporting you challenge, or do you prefer just to throw mud from the sidelines?

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  11. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    Daily Mail is just using the same Oppositional tactics as Tony Abbott; oppose, oppose, oppose, no need for logic or internal consistency, just keep expressing outrage that the Right People aren't In Charge.

    Of course, if we the electorate ever do vote for them, then we are complicit in the ensuing devastation - "you voted for this, we are only doing as the electorate demands".

    Well, would a non-ignorant electorate really have put these people In Charge?

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  12. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

    Boss

    If there is a half-decent scientist reading this blog, I suggest that the topic is under-read and not taken seriously enough.
    Recently, Nic Lewis, a statistician, wrote about some features of climate models. One reference of many is at -
    http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/14/nic-lewis-on-the-uk-met-office-on-the-pause/
    The concept of CO2 driving climate was originally popularised because early climate models did not agree with the then understanding of natural variation. Man-made CO2 was adopted to…

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    1. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      You refuse (or are incapable) to quote confidence intervals as usual and clearly have not the slightest clue about hypothesis testing. But carry on if it gives you a warm and fuzzy.

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  13. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    "Australian" is an adjective, which begs the question "The Australian ... what"?

    Given the severe damage which AGW is causing to this nation, it's about time this Murdoch broadsheet was recognised as "The Australian Quisling".

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  14. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    The cock-up about Himalayan glaciers was in the Assessment of IPCC Working Group 2 - the social scientists who look at adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

    IPCC Working Group 1 - the physical scientists who actually do the science of how the natural world is changing - correctly reported the then-current understanding that Himalayan glaciers could be gone by 2350.

    Of course, the distinction between physical scientists who know what they're talking about and social scientists who…

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    1. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to David Arthur

      "Of course, the distinction between physical scientists who know what they're talking about and social scientists who may not quite understand every detail of what the physical scientists are talking about"

      Be careful; be very, very careful.

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    2. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      Thanks for that reminder, Dr Burfield.

      My understanding is the "Himalayan glacier melt by 2035" furphy to have been introduced into IPCC AR4 WG2 by someone who read it in a "New Scientist" report that was in turn purportedly quoting some one or other who thought they might have read it somewhere ... somebody's fact-checker didn't pick the error up.

      And then last week, six match officials managed to not get the tackle count right.

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  15. Grant Burfield

    Dr

    An interesting analysis of the IPCC and the spread of climate science denying denialism in general. As the author is a communications and media studies academic, I look forward to his considered social scientific analysis of an article in the Australian (circulation 160,000+) by Professor Judith Curry entitled, "Climate consensus 'skewing' science", which also discusses some of the issues outlined above. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/climate-consensus-skewing-science/story-e6frg6xf-1226724080490

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    1. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      "Perhaps one day, in the fullness of time, the Conversation might ask her for a contribution."

      Don't hold your breath Grant. The editors of the Conversation are not interested in the qualifications of those who have articles published here on climate change, only that they are CAGW advocates. That's why there are so many poor quality articles.

      It is a well-known fact that science only advances by objectively and dispassionately considering all points of view. something that the Editors of TC seem to be completely unaware of.

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    2. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      Oh? I didn't know TC had formed a partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology. Of interest would perhaps be the input to such a conversation by Australian climate scientists and academics. It would probably be an interesting read, although not for reasons you would wish for.

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    3. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Alice Kelly - my apologies. I didn't realise that contributions to TC had to be from institutions that TC had formed a partnership with. And why would TC want to form a partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology when at 25 it outranks every university and academic institution in Australia? As well as Germany, France, Italy, China, Korea, Brazil and etc.
      http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2012-13/world-ranking
      I little bit of selective xenophobia is always a good thing in academia. Better to leave more balanced reporting of all aspects of climate science to the MSM.

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  16. Mark Pollock

    Analyst

    As the author knows full well, it was not just that the IPCC got it totally wrong about their alarming prediction that Himalayan Glaciers would disappear by 2035. It was also the source of the error. Warming enthusiast constantly proclaim that their predictions/projections/entrail readings are 100% peer reviewed and therefore have scriptural status. In this instance, the egregious mistake served also to highlight the extent to which the IPCC process has been high-jacked by activist groups like the WWF.

    If this were the only example then it might not indicate much of a problem but there are many more, as the author knows or should know.

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    1. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      In 2006, the United Nations concluded that the livestock industry was a big contributor to climate change.

      In its report “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” the U.N. concluded that livestock were contributing 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases — allegedly more than the entire world’s transpiration.
      The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change used the report to forecast that Himalayan glaciers might vanish within 25 years.
      Mitloehner convinced the U.N. to recant its claim in 2010. http://helenair.com/news/state-and-regional/prof-debunks-flatulence-as-major-cause-of-global-warming/article_1c6c9c5e-2dbb-11e2-9e51-0019bb2963f4.html

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    2. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      "In 2006, the United Nations concluded that the livestock industry was a big contributor to climate change"

      As usual, the Greens had an eminently sensible solution to this -

      "A dramatic fall in the polls for the Green party has been blamed in no small part on their Veggie Day proposal, in which canteens would be obliged to offer only vegetarian food once a week"
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/german-elections-blog-2013/2013/sep/13/german-election-wurst-policy-veggie-day-greens

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    3. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Grant Burfield

      It must be tough for the Greens in Germany.

      Merkel has stolen their "energiewende" renewable energy policy. She also talks about the "green" economy and there is certainly no room for climate science denial.

      "In her speech, Merkel placed special emphasis on the so-called green economy. "We must manage to decouple economic growth from increased resource use," she said, adding that the focus should be on qualitative growth, not quantitative growth."

      "I emphatically believe in climate change," said Merkel, referring to scientific data that places the link between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming into doubt. "
      http://www.dw.de/new-impetus-needed-in-climate-talks-says-merkel/a-16101430

      I imagine "veggie day" is a lame attempt at product differentiation.

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    4. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      "I imagine "veggie day" is a lame attempt at product differentiation." I agree, and "wurst policy". Really! I certainly expected something better from the Guardian.

      The role we carnivores play in catastrophic climate change is not a laughing matter.

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  17. Geoffrey Henley

    Research Associate

    What about this classical piece of reporting from the Guardian.

    “In addition, scientists have tackled the apparent recent slowing of global warming observed by meteorologists around the globe. According to the new IPCC report, temperatures rose by about 0.15C a decade for the latter half of the last century. Since 1998, however, that rise has been reduced to only 0.05C.”

    At least an admission that the rate of warming has slowed. But then comes this humdinger.

    "The heat is still coming…

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    1. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      So now you link to a climate crank blog (tamino aka Grant Foster - a plagiarist no less).

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/01/mcintyre-charges-grant-foster-aka-tamino-with-plagiarism-in-a-dot-earth-discussion/

      I fail to see your point. You can get a different rate of warming by cherry-picking start and end points. So what.

      In any event, the main point is that you have a 'warmist' stating that the heat is building in the deep ocean even though there is no way of measuring it. Hilarious.

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    2. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Unbelievable!

      Henley debunks 99% of the climate "skeptics" posting at The Conversation.

      " You can get a different rate of warming by cherry-picking start and end points."

      worth repeating

      " You can get a different rate of warming by cherry-picking start and end points."
      " You can get a different rate of warming by cherry-picking start and end points."
      " You can get a different rate of warming by cherry-picking start and end points."
      " You can get a different rate of warming by cherry-picking start and end points."
      " You can get a different rate of warming by cherry-picking start and end points."
      " You can get a different rate of warming by cherry-picking start and end points."

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    3. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      The deep ocean? theres enough increasing heat in the layers 0-700 m. and 0-2000 m, yer no? right? for oceanographers to know that the deep ocean must be experiencing changes as well. So WHAT? They haven't measured it comprehensively yet, but indications are, that deep ocean layers are warming as well. They use something called physics to understand it, yer'no, like nobodies ever seen the nucleus of an atom eiver.
      http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-175
      http://www.nbcnews.com/science/deep-oceans-warming-alarming-rate-6C10606562
      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/LovelyDarkDeep/
      Facile comments like "Hilarious" do nothing to promote pretensions of intelligence, when you forget the first two layers of the oceans , then do not bother to understand how scientists CAN figure out what and how.

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    4. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      So you're saying that the Guardian is providing misinformation about climate change!

      Facile? Nothing is as facile as labelling those who disagree with you as 'deniers'!!!!

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    5. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Facile? You label those that disagree with you as 'trolls' and you have the cheek of accuse me of being facile.

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    6. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      There was lots to quote in that article Geoffrey, yes your understanding of what was actually being said in it was, well , how to put it kindly, incomplete. Which is why I gave you a few other research briefs to look at . Any thoughts?

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    7. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      "You can get a different rate of warming by cherry-picking start and end points. So what."

      What's your excuse?

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  18. David Ransom

    Former journalist

    David, I thoroughly agree with your view but believe you could have said it more clearly and forcefully. The casual reader could easily misread your sentiment. What's wrong with a story and headline along the lines: The latest lies some media are telling about climate change.

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  19. Anna Ross

    Healthcare professional

    Its hard to believe anyone still believes the crap being peddled by the Global Warming Nancies. They have beeen caught out telling so many lies and trying to suppress information critical to them that they are simply now acknowledged as LIARS. The best one is now that warming has paused, says the IPCC, yet we have been told that all this is accelerating. Please explain how it can accelerate and pause at the same time. This will be seen one day as the greatest scientific embarrassment in History and future generations will laugh at the compliant foolish media who promoted it. This always was and still is a trojan horse to attack free markets and re-regulate economies.

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    1. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Anna Ross

      "Crap, peddled, global warming nancies, caught out, lies, suppress information, critical to them, LIARS," blah blah blah.
      Anna Ross, show me some graphs of, world wide,
      1. ocean heat content,
      2. total ice mass, sheets and glacial
      3. summer sea ice extent,
      4. surface air temperature, and
      5. CO2 emissions, over the last 50 years, and tell me why? Otherwise your adjective strewn comments mean nothing. If you like you could post some "alternative figures to prove there has been no changes to these systems.
      Or you could read a couple of my posts to realise just how ignorant you are.

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    2. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Anna Ross

      An abusive ignoramus wants an explanation. It's all about the oceans.

      Surface temperatures have plateaued (because the PDO has entered a cooling phase and is cycling warm water deeper and bringing cooler water to the surface).

      The amount of heat the earth is absorbing has increased but is staying in the oceans (for now) because of the above.

      http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/ipcc-report-to-say-climate-impacts-are-speeding-up-34602

      It's odd that people with such strong opinions know so little about the subject.

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    3. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      Gary,
      You must distinguish between arm waving explanations and data,
      There is no way that the Oceans have been adequately sampled to allow any conclusion about Ocean Heat Content in the last 30 years. Anyone attempting that is simply guessing.

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    4. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      True in arm-waving theory only; not yet true in practice.
      Nobody has yet measured the various effects such as thermal expansion (taking into account the expansion or contraction possible with different starting temperatures); sediments loads from large rivers; melting terrestrial ice/snow; parking water in land basins; basin extraction to sea; changes in heating (if significant) from underwater vents/volcanos; plate tectonic geometry. This is against a backdrop where the experts cannot even agree on a gross level of change. For the most recent paper in publication (that I know of) see
      http://pluto.mscc.huji.ac.il/~msdfels/wpapers/Tide%20gauge%20location.pdf
      This gives a Century 2000 change of 1 mm per year, with many of the tide gauges showing a fall in sea level. What do you infer about OHC from that?

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  20. Danderson

    logged in via Twitter

    Right you are, writers should not make up their own facts.

    The Kedarnath article you linked to makes no mention of a death toll. Scratching around at various sources tells me Kedarnath was one place within a wide region (Uttarakhand) which was hit by an exceptionally heavy and fast monsoon, resulting in about 5,500 deaths in total (that appears highly speculative).

    Wikipedia has a full write up of the 2013 India/Nepal floods.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_North_India_floods#Damage_at_Kedarnath_town

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  21. john tons

    retired redundant

    I think the article is ample justification for Abbott's decision not to have a minister for science. Afterall there was a time when scientists were these nice people in white coats who came up with all manner of things. But now they are finding things that make us uncomfortable - if the observations make us uncomfortable then they must be wrong. If we dont want to feel uncomfortable then simply silence the scientists or failing that seed enough doubt about their credibility to ensure that they are ignored. That way we can go back to sleep.

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  22. Mike Hansen

    Mr.

    Some good news for science and for democracy.

    "News Corp’s Australian newspaper revenues fall by $350m – three times more than Fairfax’s drop. The extent of News Corp’s financial woes in Australia have been revealed for the first time in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US. The filing reveals that the company saw its Australian newspaper revenues fall by $350m compared to the previous year, a fall of 15 per cent. It also wrote down the value of its Australian newspaper assets by $1.4bn."

    http://mumbrella.com.au/news-corps-australian-newspaper-revenues-fall-350m-three-times-fairfax-179273

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  23. Danderson

    logged in via Twitter

    Will David Holmes be offering a correction to his 6000 deaths from glacial melt fallacy? See my post above.

    In a piece where the topic is accuracy in reporting he gets to make up his own facts!

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    1. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Danderson

      What's your point? Your own link states:

      "This caused the melting of Chorabari Glacier at the height of 3800 metres, and eruption of the Mandakini River[13] which led to heavy floods..."

      "...according to figures provided by the Uttarakhand government, more than 5,700 people were "presumed dead.""

      Will you be offering David Holmes an apology?

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    2. Danderson

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      Gary you can't be that thick, please.

      How were the 5,700 presumed to have died? Specifics.

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    3. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Danderson

      Guess I must be: "devastating floods and landslides" seems to me to be the cause. What am I missing?

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    4. Danderson

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      And how does David Holmes say they died? The 5,700/6,000 people, specifics again.

      And we can also ask, where did they die? Which also helps us answer how.

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    5. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Danderson

      Danderson,
      Remember that there are some who make up fantastic body counts, like the 200,000+ deaths fro Chernobyl, contrasting to the official figures of under 100 so far and no discernible increase expected.
      I guess you'd call the 200,000 camp "deniers". eh?
      There's a simple test. Show me the death certificates, show me the headstones, show me proof.

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    6. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Danderson

      David Holmes:

      "...the unprecedented glacial lake outburst flood in the Himalayas that killed 6000 people..."

      Wikipedia article:

      "...received heavy rainfall, which was about 375 percent more than the benchmark rainfall during a normal monsoon.[12] This caused the melting of Chorabari Glacier at the height of 3800 metres, and eruption of the Mandakini River..."

      Stop playing cute and expecting people to guess what you are getting at. Spell it out or apologise.

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    7. Danderson

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      @ Geoffrey

      Sorry, not getting dragged into some irrelevant discussion about Chernobyl. We're discussing the article above.

      @ Gary

      Your second quote doesn't mention anything about people dying, but you expect it to back-up a claimed death toll from David Holmes.

      Stop playing dumb.

      My first post explained everything.

      BTW, I know you know I'm right.

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    8. Danderson

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Danderson

      The posted map shows an effected area which is roughly 500 km2.

      Affected areas:

      India (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh)
      Nepal (Far Western Region, Mid Western Region)

      4,200 villages affected.

      And you accept that one broken lake did this?

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    9. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Danderson

      "South Lhonak glacier (in Northeast Sikkim) is reportedly spread over 99 hectares and bears an incredible 19.7 billion litres of water, poised precariously close to causing another gigantic flood capable of seriously affecting downstream populations for hundreds of kilometres."

      "The surface air temperatures in the Indian Himalayas have increased by one degree Celsius in the past decade"

      "...the total precipitation will increase due to rising temperatures,"

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    10. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Danderson

      Danderson,
      It's not irrelevant. It points to a class of people who are seen, rightly or wrongly, as fabricating body counts. If those claiming a high count here admit to being in the class that included fantastic Chernobyl figures, then that opens up other lines to establish credibility.
      If it's worth spending the time.

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  24. John Sayers

    Designer

    Surely the Conversation question should been - was the IPCC wrong in changing it's Himalayan prediction - it has nothing to do with the "Sceptics"

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    1. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to John Sayers

      John,
      With respect, it has a lot to do with sceptics.
      It was sceptics who found the mistake.
      It was sceptics who kept calling for a correction while Pachauri kept trying to cover up.
      It was Pachauri who gave a concocted denial of the error, but sceptics who said 'not so'.
      It was sceptics (like Donna la Framboise) who uncovered the authorship of the article to a little known, little qualified worker in India or a nearby country.
      It was sceptics who then uncovered that something like a third…

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    2. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to John Sayers

      Surely the Conversation question should have been - why is there a conspiracy theory about what the IPCC put in its report.

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  25. ian cheong

    logged in via email @acm.org

    We will never see objective reporting on the IPCC, nor climate change, while the war is a "religious" one between believers and deniers. The media likes to report this way and the public are lapping it up.

    Having read the IPCCs, 4th report years ago, it is clear that the scientific messages of uncertainty written by scientists in the detailed reports were replaced by certainty in the summaries for policymakers.

    The InterAcademy Council (IAC) wrote a detailed review of IPCC processes. http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net

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    1. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to ian cheong

      Ian,
      The polarisation is so common that it's out of control. For example -
      On TC here, a contribution is picked up by a panel of 'experts' who quickly decide that you are a good bloke or a denier.
      Sensible discourse is prevented by incessant name calling and invention of stories about bloggers classed as deniers.
      I think you contribution is backed up be evidence, having read the IAC report.
      So be warned, you could face a barrage of fabricated knee-jerks - but not from me.
      I'm here to promote good science, but some people are so smart that they don't feel a need to learn.

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    2. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to ian cheong

      "It is scientifically irresponsible for scientists to claim we know all about how our planet works."

      Strawman alert.

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  26. Lee Emmett

    Guest House Manager

    Manipulating statistics in the interest of lies is unfortunately becoming more and more common as business interests and environmental considerations diverge.

    Polluters making money won't stop voluntarily.

    And this conservative government will not stand in the way of profits, nor will it insist on newspapers printing truthful articles on climate change.

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  27. Comment removed by moderator.

    1. In reply to John Sayers

      Comment removed by moderator.