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Daily Mangle

Filed under: — group @ 15 February 2010

Yesterday, the Daily Mail of the UK published a predictably inaccurate article entitled “Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995″.

The title itself is a distortion of what Jones actually said in an interview with the BBC. What Jones actually said is that, while the globe has nominally warmed since 1995, it is difficult to establish the statistical significance of that warming given the short nature of the time interval (1995-present) involved. The warming trend consequently doesn’t quite achieve statistical significance. But it is extremely difficult to establish a statistically significant trend over a time interval as short as 15 years–a point we have made countless times at RealClimate. It is also worth noting that the CRU record indicates slightly less warming than other global temperature estimates such as the GISS record.

The article also incorrectly equates instrumental surface temperature data that Jones and CRU have assembled to estimate the modern surface temperature trends with paleoclimate data used to estimate temperatures in past centuries, falsely asserting that the former “has been used to produce the ‘hockey stick graph’”.

Finally, the article intentionally distorts comments that Jones made about the so-called “Medieval Warm Period”. Jones stated in his BBC interview that “There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia” and that “For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.”

These are statements with which we entirely agree, and they are moreover fully consistent with the conclusions of the most recent IPCC report, and the numerous peer-reviewed publications on this issue since. Those conclusions are that recent Northern Hemisphere warming is likely unprecedented in at least a millennium (at least 1300 years, in fact), and that evidence in the Southern Hemisphere is currently too sparse for confident conclusions. Mann et al in fact drew those same conclusions in their most recent work on this problem (PNAS, 2008).

Unfortunately, these kinds of distortions are all too common in the press nowadays and so we must all be prepared to respond to those journalists and editors who confuse the public with such inaccuracies.

Update 2/16/10. Phil Jones has confirmed to us that our interpretations of his comments in the BBC interview are indeed the correct ones, and that he agrees with the statements in our piece above. He and his CRU colleagues have also put up an response to some of the false allegations in a previous piece in the UK Guardian. We’ll report further such developments as they happen.


493 Responses to “Daily Mangle”

  1. 151
    SecularAnimist says:

    I don’t think that the scientists and scientifically-inclined laypersons who frequent this site can fully appreciate the cocaine-like thrill that Ditto-Heads achieve when they regurgitate the latest drivel that Rush Limbaugh, Fox News or some other “right wing” propaganda outfit has spoon-fed them.

    Ask yourself this: if the entirety of the so-called “conservative” mass media were literally a wholly-owned subsidiary of ExxonMobil, how would its behavior be different from what we are seeing today?

  2. 152
    Didactylos says:

    Bulldust: here, we make a distinction between being “pro-AGW” (sticking to the science) and being rabidly pro, to the point of distorting the facts and making up improbable doom-laden fantasies. Those people are not helping.

    And yes, when we see exaggerations that overstate the magnitude or effects of warming, then we speak out. Not that anyone notices – the media has no interest in reporting how they played fast and loose with the truth, and the deniers prefer to believe that all AGW is an exaggeration. So, such corrections are usually sermons purely for the benefit of the choir.

    But still, we correct, and we correct. And by “we”, I don’t just mean myself. RC has done a few pieces reigning in media distortions of climate science and correcting errors large and small.

    * A few minor corrections for An Inconvenient Truth
    * Explaining the link between Katrina and global warming
    * Dispelling the common myths about sea-level rise.

    And those are just a few examples that I recalled from the top of my head. If you read the archives you will find many more.

  3. 153
    GSW says:

    Your update Update 2/16/10 link is wrong – this refers to the allegations made by the Guardian. Not the Daily Mail.

    [Response: Thanks. Fixed now.]

  4. 154
    Nick says:

    Another popular version of the interview over at American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/climategates_phil_jones_confes.html

  5. 155
    P. Lewis says:

    Folks, the update link is wrong. That link goes to the Keenan story in the Guardian… well, it did when I just followed it.

  6. 156
    scott says:

    how are you reconciling the “sloppy record keeping” and “lost data?”

  7. 157
    ZT says:

    Re. Update 2/16/10. Phil Jones has confirmed to us that our interpretations of his comments in the BBC interview are indeed the correct ones, and that he agrees with the statements in our piece above. He and his CRU colleagues have also put up an initial response to some of the false allegations in the Daily Mail piece.
    This link (currently) goes to comments about a Guardian piece…:
    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/guardianstatement

  8. 158
    Hank Roberts says:

    #87, Ian says [claims no data]
    Ian, your mistaken claim was refuted in the inline answer to #86.

  9. 159
    Reader says:

    Isn’t it becoming obvious that the media will deliberately distort the facts, despite the evidence? It’s very clear to me. And the public itself hates the evidence. Read the comments from the unwashed, they are largely ignorant of the data and clearly prefer to remain that way. This has some rather strong implications.

    The groundswell of support that the climate change ‘lobby’ would like to see will not happen, the opposition and the lies are too well funded and being supported by a rather large dedicated group of denialists. Anytime an article comes out, it is instantly attacked. You could stick a thermometer up their ass and they’d deny it was 98.6 degrees.

    I think what this means is they will have to be forced to experience the effects of climate change before they will ever come around to the truth. And that will most certainly happen now, as we are well past the point where this can be prevented.

    In the end, the global warming crowd will be proven right (and already is, as the East is being buried under snow, more ‘proof’, they just don’t want to admit it). But by the time they evidence is in, it will be hell on Earth.

  10. 160
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Bernie says, “It is also interesting that your comment did not receive a response.”

    Pray, why should I respond to technobabble. Next thing we know, this dude will start posting in Klingon!

  11. 161
    Rod B says:

    Marion Delgado(118), very good points. While not rebutting any of them, I offer clarifications on a couple. In #4 you sound just a little like Physics at the end of the 19th century when it was common knowledge that there was nothing more to learn.

    In #3, the 80/20 rule is well known and well accepted, but accurate only in some context’s – like a business trying to assess the marketability of a less than business busting new product. When you are considering implementing stuff that potentially grossly affects for the worse and for a long time a majority of the societies and countries (or maybe not), 80% accuracy is not near good enough.

  12. 162
    Tom Scharf says:

    Crying that AGW is the victim of bad media story is a bit rich. AGW has been a media darling for a decade. I can’t stand media group think, whether it be the recent UK anti-AGW spectacle, or the US pro AGW bias.

    I agree the article was a bit sensationalized. It is still rare for a climate scientist to “admit” temperature trends recently are bending the wrong direction for reasons that are not yet known. It may also be the case that the media are now asking harder questions.

    It would be nice if this board spoke up when the ridiculous alarmism/misleading/overstating articles on AGW are put out. AGW is winning by about 100:1 margin here I think, but this has changed in the last 3 months.

  13. 163
    David Harrington says:

    If you give interviews to the media the answers you supply, and the interpretation put upon them, move immediately beyond your control as soon as you utter them. Methinks that Prof. Jones should have been more explicit in what he said and should probably get some media training before attempting to “clear the decks” next time.

  14. 164
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “In #4 you sound just a little like Physics at the end of the 19th century when it was common knowledge that there was nothing more to learn.”

    So did we learn anything new about pendulums?

    And did the 20th Century start with people saying “well, Newton could be wrong. Dunno what to replace it with, but he’s wrong.”?

  15. 165
    Deep Climate says:

    I cover this latest nonsense from the Daily Mail, as well as the Times, here.

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/02/16/morano-sends-lies-from-uk-times-and-daily-mail-around-the-world/


    Get ready. Lies originating in the U.K. over the weekend in newspaper stories by Jonathan Leake of the Times and Jonathan Petre of the Mail on Sunday, are about to hit the contrarian echo chamber. As usual, Marc Morano is on the case, with his Climate Depot science fabrication clearinghouse claiming that “World may not be warming, say scientists” and “Phil Jones admits: There has been no global warming since 1995″.

    But a cursory examination of the actual articles shows that not only are both claims false, but the articles themselves are chock full of other misleading statements. And reborn skeptic evangelist Jonathan Leake of the Times has not only selected highly dubious research, but has glossed over the fossil fuel industry ties of the researchers, especially those of economist Ross McKitrick. So, for the benefit of Leake and other journalists, I’ll also go over a few unsavoury facts about McKitrick that I didn’t get to last time.

    Not that any of that matters to the contrarian blogosphere and the right-wing U.S. press who will no doubt embrace these latest supposedly fatal blows to climate science in the days to come.

  16. 166
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “I think that the burden of proof is for those who claim that the warming is unprecedented.”

    This has been proven.

    Did you miss the 1998 MBH and the NAS study afterward that agreed?

    NOTE: that data was done before 1998 and so doesn’t include the hottest decade yet.

    Now, where’s your proof it’s wrong?

  17. 167
    Lord Big-Wig says:

    Why are some of the most hysterical denial fanatics English? Lord Monkton, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, etc. Are they on the payroll of BP, decline of Empire, mass emigration to Australia, absence of good scientists, or what. What strange psychological tick is causing this unusual abnormality?

  18. 168

    Richard Ordway,

    Wow! What a beautiful bibliography! I’ve just spent most of the morning copying and pasting into my own source list, which is divided into subject areas. Thank you for posting this! I’m familiar with fewer than half of these articles and there are a lot I want to look up now!

  19. 169
    Bud says:

    mircea @81

    “[Come on… this sounds like the answer of a creationist (argumentum ad ignorantiam). The automatic answer to your question is “natural variability”. The question was a fair one. What falsifiability criteria are there? You can do better!”

    “Natural variability” is the correct response to “why the Earth sits at 288K instead of 255K or so”? How does that work?

    If someone was to ask “why is the average human height 5.5ft plus, rather than 2.5 ft?” would you answer a)natural variability or b) legs?

  20. 170
    ccpo says:

    “Dane Skold says:
    15 February 2010 at 6:30 PM

    Re: “They’re not the least bit interested in finding the truth. They don’t even have any concept of it–which is why they prefer to buy into lies and conspiracy ideas. The inmates seek the keys to the asylum—Jim”

    You are quite wrong about [They’re]. We are absolutely interested in the truth, to whatever conclusion the true data leads.”

    Yet, you state:

    To date, your conclusions have been hidden

    which is a flat lie, and:

    in obscured and obfuscated data and methods

    which is a flat lie, and:

    and thus found wanting in transparent data and methodology.

    an utterly biased opinion given the basis is lies. Then you add another:

    When that blessed day comes that a “skeptic” is given your actual data and methodology and reproduces your results and conclusions, then, sir, we will believe you.

    as vast reaches of data, methodologies, etc., are very, very available. What IS true is that you don’t know how to use them and don’t understand them – worse, have no desire to. You knew back in the 90’s your stance was a lie, yet, here you are.

    “Until then, your tantrums and pounding on the table do not make your arguments or opinion any more persuasive. Instead, you appear more and more to be the boy who cried wolf.”

    80+% of Arctic Sea Ice mass gone. Really, that’s all you need to know. While it doesn’t “prove” global warming in and of itself, with all the other data, it’s like a fire burning through the door in front of you, and that door is your only escape.

    Quit pretending you are a serious person with serious concerns. All you and the other “skeptics” do is focus on personalities and essentially irrelevant “errors”. Why don’t you address the preponderance of evidence, even once?

    Rhetorical question to the bought-and-paid-for and the brainwashed.

  21. 171
    Doug Bostrom says:

    I must say, events of the past three months have served well in cementing once and for all our knowledge of just who is most eager and quick to politicize science. At least that’s been settled.

    Dr. Jones serves as an A-1 example that even if scientists were by and large inclined to make this a political matter, they’d lose as their skills and instincts do not lie in that direction. On the other hand, the alacrity and skill with which any opening for polemic and demagoguery is exploited by the PR flacks and ATM politicians running the oppo camp illustrates their natural proclivities beyond any doubt.

    Good to have that cleared up.

  22. 172
    Tom Scharf says:

    Ray Ladbury has twice stated “if they publish, they get included”

    This is particularly laughable given the extent of manipulation of the journals and suppression of dissent shown in Climategate.

    I don’t have to prove you wrong for you to not take my hard earned taxes. You have to provide clear and convincing evidence that you are right.

    IMO the climate models / predictions are not solid enough yet to declare imminent disaster and make large lifestyle changes over.

  23. 173
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Another thought: information comes to us in strange ways. It’s remarkable how quickly energy is being poured into this thread by folks claiming to be skeptical of anthropogenic global warming. It was true of the previous thread as well.

    From the perspective of rate of work– horsepower so to speak– these more politically oriented postings tend to surpass the input power levels devoted by skeptics to purely scientific posts.

    I’m sure this means something.

  24. 174

    jb: So do we wait for 100 years of stat. significant warming?

    BPL: We have 160 years of statistically significant warming.

  25. 175
    Hank Roberts says:

    > stuff that potentially grossly affects for the worse and for a long
    > time a majority of the societies and countries

    That’s why people are worried about climate change, for sure.

  26. 176

    #99, Professor Jones was accurate in his statements to climatologists, perfectly all right! But he was adressing the general public not inclined to understand the language and numbers of Climatologists. It is exactly there where contrarians mine their words, somehow looking confusing language is perfect for their propaganda.

  27. 177
  28. 178
    Jacob Mack says:

    Still Phil Jones admits to large uncertanties and does not support the statement: “The debate is over.” Much like RC has also stated in agreement with his desire to gather more data and do more analysis. I will say again AGW while a real phenomenon with “much of the warming from the 1950’s is man made” it is hardly translating into leftist doomsaying either. Planting more trees, growing more algae and reducing benzene being dumped into the waters will certainly help in addition to modest emissions lowering; when I say modest I do not mean planting a 5 watt windmill, but I also know we can never do away with all fossil fuels or all GHG emissions for that matter… this is scientifically and technologically impossible even if we relied upon dangerous nuclear power for 100% of our energy needs.

  29. 179

    We should note, with regard to the Solanki solar article, that the reporter almost certainly did not write the stupid headline–editors usually do that.

  30. 180

    joe,

    No, they are not in conflict. Two different subjects.

  31. 181

    Gilles: I think that the burden of proof is for those who claim that the warming is unprecedented.

    BPL: What part of “It’s warmer now than at any time in the last 2,000 years, and possibly a couple of orders of magnitude longer than that” did you not understand?

  32. 182
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Rod B. says, ” In #4 you sound just a little like Physics at the end of the 19th century when it was common knowledge that there was nothing more to learn.”

    Rod, you are being disingenuous. Marion is not saying there is nothing left to learn. Rather he is saying its exceedingly unlikely that someone who has devoted all of about 30 minutes to mastering the nuances of climate science is very unlikely to come up with anything really novel that a century’s worth of highly trained and motivated scientists haven’t already considered. Do you see the difference? Do you dispute it? Do you have a counter example?

    As to #3, First, I would say we probably know about 90-95% of the important stuff. Second, all of that stuff we know says that if we keep burning fossil fuels, we will severely impact the globes ability to support the 9-10 billion souls it must support until the end of this century. The level of confidence on this is probably at least 95%. The question Rod is whether we go with the odds as calculated by the best science we have, or whether we bet the future of human civilization on a 20:1 longshot. Feel Lucky,Cowboy?

  33. 183
    Andy says:

    KBob and others are confused regarding Dr. Jones’ answer that verified the earth has warmed in the past such as in the late 1800’s. The fact that the press and many citizens are treating this as some revelation shows just how poorly they understand climate science.

    Go to the “Start Here” button of this web site and you will find the explanation which is basically:

    Global warming didn’t start in the 1980’s when the man-made signal first became apparent to many scientists and the press. Humans have been changing climate prior to this by clearing forest, burning coal, etc. which put a lot of carbon dioxide in the air. Also, warming periods have been caused by natural factors as well. It is all a matter of attributing the forcings and feedbacks responsible for increases (or decreases) in global temps.

    If my car stops, which it has done maybe a 10,000 times before, I’d want to know what caused it to stop before proclaiming that I’ve hit a brick wall. Maybe I just used my brakes, maybe a wheel fell off.

    Bottomline: your going to have to trust the science to know whether or not this warming period is man-made just as most people must trust scientists when they say that the earth revolves around the sun. If you’re not a trusting person then you’re going to have to dedicate quite a bit of time reading studies for yourself. I believe this web site has all the resources necessary in terms of published science to satisfy most people.

  34. 184
    Walt Bennett says:

    Re: #159

    Please note,

    “Reader” is not a sock puppet for yours truly.

    :-)

    I don’t play that way.

    Reader, please take a gander at my blog, http://realskeptic.blogspot.com for an opinion that starts where you are but does not assume armageddon.

    Also, we went on for several pages at the end of the “2009” thread.

    All is not lost, although “Round One” surely is.

  35. 185
    Andy Lacis says:

    This episode is a reminder that the Miranda warning has broader applicability than is normally credited. It does appear that “While you may have the right to remain silent and consult and attorney, anything that you do say, or don’t say, not only can, but most certainly will, be used against you by all those who are ignorant of the facts, and especially by all those who could care less what the facts are.”

  36. 186
    Ken W says:

    Ian (53) wrote:
    “For years MSM has unquestioningly accepted that AGW is proven and has spun stories that reinforce that view”

    Hogwash! For years the MSM has gone out of it’s way to appear balanced. They frequently find a single skeptical scientist and give he/she as much column space as the 500 climate scientists that disagree with the skeptic. That’s what they’re taught in journalism school, try to appear balanced by presenting opinions from all sides of the issue.

  37. 187
    Rod B says:

    Reader (159), if they did deny it they would probably be correct, as 98.6 is not the average anal temperature. Though picayune accuracy is probably not important to your strongly felt ideas.

  38. 188
    Leonard Evens says:

    Is it possible for Jones and his colleagues to sue the Guardian and other media sources for libel? I thought that British law currently allowed plaintiff’s much greater latitudee in such suits than in the US. Defendants can lose even if they can prove their statements were true. In this case, it would be possible to show they were in fact false, and they certainly affected the reputations of the CRU group.

  39. 189
    John E. Pearson says:

    It looks as if we’re going to start building nuclear power plants again.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/16/AR2010021601302.html?hpid=topnews

    The article says these two power plants will come on line 5-7 years.

    I personally think this is good news because I believe doing so will allow us to quit coal by mid-century thus leaving a future for my grandchildren other than nomad raiders. Over the past 2 decades I’ve gone from being strongly anti-nuke to grudging acceptance. I’ve been convinced of this by reading stuff by people like Hans Bethe, Richard Rhodes, Stewart Brand, James Lovelock, James Hansen. I’m still not a huge fan of nukes, but for me, it comes down to the uncertain danger of nuclear power versus the certain danger of coal. Brand remarked that we should worry only about storing waste a century at a time because technology will improve (provided we get control of CO2 emissions) rather than trying to decide now how to store the waste for thousands of years which is sort of impossible to do with certainty. If we start producing large quantities of photovoltaic/ocean wave/etc power I’m all for it but as of right now the only non-hydro renewable energy source that is actually producing a significant amount of energy is wind. Here’s a snippet of Brand on technology. http://www.longnow.org/seminars/02009/oct/09/rethinking-green/

  40. 190
    MarkB says:

    ZT (#157),

    Just out of curiosity, who’s “us”? Any idea when the response will be released?

    My personal impression of Dr. Phil Jones is that he’s a hard-working intelligent scientist who does good research but is not necessarily very media-savvy. The BBC interview mentioned that many of the questions were provided to them by “skeptics”. This is actually quite obvious. The “statistically significant” question regarding trends from 1995 were cleverly asked as a way to illicit a response that could be easily spun. Kees van der Leun in #97 points this out (I’d add that Jones could have mentioned the equivalent upper bound trend). It’s like someone asking “how much of the atmosphere is composed of CO2″ and if a scientist simply states the correct answer concisely, the media spin would be “U-Turn: Jones admits CO2 is insignificant”. Certainly, one cannot blame Jones for people misrepresenting him, but scientists can probably go further in making such things more difficult. If a loaded question is put forth – the relevancy of the question should first be detailed.

  41. 191
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    #1, & “How does it feel now that the media shoe is on the other foot?”

    Not sure what you mean. Except that in the late 80s and early 90s the media seemed to be reporting fairly accurately about AGW. Then from the early 90s to about 2005 there was virtually nothing about AGW, at least here in the U.S. I call it “the silent treatment” and it was so effective that when I mentioned global warming to a person in 2004, she said she thought it has been disproved, since she had seen nothing about on TV or newspapers.

    Oh yes, there was a NIGHTLINE program in 1995 (the year science reached the golden .05 on AGW), “Is Science For Sale?” re whether some climate denialists where being bought off by oil/coal. It was in the typical “pro-con” format reserved for opinions (that’s how the media do their “science”), with one bona fide climate scientist and 2 denialists bought out by big money (their names on http://www.exxonsecrets.org as Exxon funds recipients).

    The upshot was that Koppel figured science was not for sale, and that AGW was uncertain (he and his oily friends require .0000000001 on it). The sponsor was Texaco. I wrote to Koppel that even if science were not for sale, the media sure were. And why didn’t they at least try to find some other sponsor for the program — it was an open disgrace to the media.

    Aside from that program, the Chicago Tribune in 1995 (the summer of the massive Chicago heat deaths) did mention global warming a couple of times: One was in the travel section — seems some Swiss villages were being flooded out by glacier melt, so don’t visit there. Then buried on a back page was mention of how VP Al Gore was saving the gov over a $billion through energy efficiency; I think they mentioned GW in that 1 col inch piece.

    But the only reason I found those references was because our library had the electronic version and I did a search specifically for global warming/climate change/greenhouse effect.

    After 2005 the news coverage on GW did pick up a bit — but let’s face it, that’s way to little way too late. The media crime of silence during a very important period when we could have gotten onto the right track of mitigating AGW and helping our economic to boot had already been committed. And now the media are kicking a soon-to-be-dead horse (our planet) to speed up its demise with all their AGW disinformation. That amounts to genocide and ecocide.

    So, what shoe and on what other foot??? Or you must be from “not-the-USA” and actually have read some straight and accurate newstories about AGW over the years as the science slowly developed.

  42. 192
    Peter Whale says:

    I am confused, can anyone state what weather/climate denotes global warming and what weather/climate would denote no global warming?

  43. 193
    D Talling says:

    More ad hominem attacks. That will keep the feelings running high.

    The Daily Mail quotes Jones saying,
    ‘There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia.

    ‘For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.’

    So, where is the distortion?

    Also, Jones continued,
    ‘Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today, then obviously the late 20th Century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm than today, then the current warmth would be unprecedented.’

    Did you not print it because it runs counter to the slant you wanted to put on the interview? Looks like a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

  44. 194
    Peter Houlihan says:

    One of the problems here is the focus on surface temperatures. The bigger picture is an upward trend in the energy budget of the planet.

    That means some of that increasing energy is going to warm the atmosphere, but a whole lot of it is also going to warming the oceans and melting ice caps.

    It might be useful for someone to develop a database of empirical data on the global energy budget and to publish monthly data in the way that it is for surface temperatures.

    In the very least mention the concept of global energy budget, the information about ocean heat content, and the energy needed to melt ice caps every time you are asked a question about surface temperatures.

  45. 195
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    Now onto the IPCC issue — as I mentioned in an earlier post, when I was writing a paper on FOOD RIGHTS & CLIMATE CHANGE I read p. 493 of the Asia Chapter of AR4 WG2, and decided not to use the 2035 claim bec it seemed much sooner re glacier retreat than I had read before, and also the source — WWF. This is not to say NGOs don’t do good, science-backed work; they do. In fact, I figured there must be some sci study to back this, so I got the WWF source, but then seeing that they quoted The New Scientist, I thought that was just too weak for me to include such a new and quite startling claim. Besides there are so many other AGW threats to Asia, that the glacier thing is almost redundant (like having enough nukes to destroy the world 8 times over). Not to downplay the fact that glacier and snowpack retreat will be very very desvastating for large segments of the world’s population; it’s a serious problem — but one among many many other negative GW effects.

    So, see, NO HARM DONE by that mistake.

    And it seems that only I and the lone scientist who discovered & exposed the mistake 1 year or so after the IPCC was published were the ONLY ONES WHO ACTUALLY READ THAT PAGE on Asia. At least not many would have read it.

    So the real story from this is that the world seems to have written off Asia, and Africa, and Oceania, and Latin American, and….the rest of the world.

    That’s the real story.

  46. 196
  47. 197
    Journeyman says:

    The lack of warming or cooling should be easy to define. Just look at the temperatures, if it is higher, it is warmer, and if it is lower, it is cooler, within the error margins of the thermometers. The statistical significance refers to the global warming trend only. In this case, there has been warming since 1995, and not since 1998.

  48. 198
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    RE #151 & “Ask yourself this: if the entirety of the so-called ‘conservative’ mass media were literally a wholly-owned subsidiary of ExxonMobil, how would its behavior be different from what we are seeing today?”

    I’m just now beginning to think that Exxon may be rethinking its AGW disinformation campaign expenditures. Here’s what I wrote on another blog yesterday.

    [Re another problem thought caused by a single-source harm…] It’s the big guys out to harm the little guys. That makes sense to people.

    Well, with AGW, the shoe’s on the other foot — it’s all of us who are guilty. We can now feel the pinch and we don’t like it, so if the shoe is pinching, say, Exxon & co more than others, and they do their usual — try to cover it up, create anti-science matter, and sow doubt as their most important product, etc (see http://www.exxonsecrets.org to see if your favorite org is receiving Exxon money), that’s just BAU for them.

    I’m even thinking that Exxon may be quite surprised that people have fallen for their anti-science so extremely well, that they’re even regretting giving money to so many disinformation campaigns. But the reason the public falls for it so readily is that we are also wearing that pinching shoe that tells us we are to blame, and we’ve got to do something about it.

    Ego is such a big factor — we’d even kill off our own progeny to salve our ego and our goody-two-shoes image. We’d even forgo all sorts of economic benefits. Like I’m saving $100s per year $1000s per decade since I started mitigating AGW in 1990, without lowering living standards. But the people I’ve spoken to over the past 20 years are not really interested if it means they have to accept that there is a problem, and they are the cause.

    So someone forgot to dot an i in the IPCC report — “Throw the whole thing out,” the people clamor, “We’d rather die and kill our children than admit we are responsible for such a terrible problem.”

  49. 199
    David B. Benson says:

    Once again, several of the commenters on this thread today would do well to actually study the instrumental temperature record. So here are the decadal averages from the GISTEMP global temperature anomalies product:
    1880s -0.25
    1890s -0.26
    1900s -0.27
    1910s -0.28
    1920s -0.16
    1930s -0.03
    1940s +0.04
    1950s -0.02
    1960s -0.01
    1970s +0.00
    1980s +0.18
    1990s +0.32
    2000s +0.51
    Take note of the dramatic change of trend in the last 30 years in comparison to the first 100.

  50. 200
    nigel jones says:

    What about the argument that the planet has continued to gain heat energy since 1998. What about the many greenhouse signatures. Several papers on all of this that are hard to refute.

    The so called “global warming lobby” better get in the mainstream media and start pushing these points better, and refuting the sceptics. Or you will all be destroyed.


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