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The Economist on climate sensitivity

The Economist covers the climate sensitivity debate in a must-read article and accompanying leader article.

The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now. It does not mean global warming is a delusion. Flat though they are, temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century remain almost 1°C above their level in the first decade of the 20th. But the puzzle does need explaining.

The mismatch might mean that—for some unexplained reason—there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-10. Or it might be that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period. Or, as an increasing body of research is suggesting, it may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before. This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy.

This is an absolute must-read. Wow.

Article here.

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Reader Comments (104)

I'd like to know who wrote that. It seems fair and balanced to me. Is the Economist the one that doesn't attribute articles as a matter of policy? Pity.

(Of course, there really is no such thing as CS the way the warmists use it.)

Mar 27, 2013 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Rhoda, my thought exactly. Who wrote this? Someone with a very detailed knowledge of the recent literature.

Mar 27, 2013 at 6:22 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

The article states:- "The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. "

and continues:-

"That is about a quarter of all the CO₂ put there by humanity since 1750."

I do wish experts would differentiate between C & CO2.

Mar 27, 2013 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Good article. It still chaffs that the null hypothesis seems to be that "the IPCC is right," but eventually data will overcome this religion.

Mar 27, 2013 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames

Or, as an increasing body of research is suggesting, it may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before.

But, but... That would mean that 'The Science' wasn't settled after all. How likely is that?

(Probably about as likely as 1.4 billion cubic kilometres of liquid Water having something to do with the regulation of planetary temperatures... ho..hum ... back to the modelling board)

Mar 27, 2013 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

The article's tone and content still reserves the right to be alarmed, and seeks to protect that position at several points in the text, but what a breakthrough to see this more detailed attention to the issues involved, and as far as I recall, no grubby abuse by terminology, labelling, or innuendo of those whose work has supported less rather than more alarm. This is a great step forward for such a conformist magazine as The Economist has been. Worms might be turning ...

Mar 27, 2013 at 6:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Gee, inspection of " the range of PROJECTIONS derived from 20 climate models (see chart 1)." makes them seem pretty good from before the 1950's till the end of the 1980's.

Must have been the burning of large amounts of research money that knocked them off course.

What huge, sophisticated computer systems they must have had prior to the 1950's? Or to invert Yogi Berra's coment: "Prediction is easy, especially the past".

If Economist readers can not tell the difference between "hindcasting" and "forecasting", where are we heading? Further down the rabbit hole?

Mar 27, 2013 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterbetapug

The folks over at the Economist are clearly idiots. Don't they know that models are far more accurate than reality.


Mar 27, 2013 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Who wrote?

Don't know but whoever it is has done some independent work away from the madding crowd. Or have they, note the source of Chart 1 - "Falling off the scale"


" may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before......."

Is somebody now saying that the "ways" are now "understood"? Haven't seen much evidence so far.

Anyhow good balanced article which hopefully will do the rounds and make some realise their responsibilities.

Mar 27, 2013 at 6:41 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

It may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before. This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy.

Is this not call negative feedback.

Mar 27, 2013 at 6:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

Could be up, could be down, or up again or down again.

Still, the numbers seem to be <2C/first doubling and <2100. And saying that the science is not settled.

What is of interest is that ALL the warming since 1750 is being attributed to CO2. Notice that? NONE is recovery from the LIA.

Again, is some of the 0.8C is not from the 1/2 trillion tonnes of CO2, then the sensitivity is, again, <2C.

The natural aspect of temperature rise since 1820 keeps getting forgotten. For the warmists, usefully. Especially since it is completely out of the picture for their >1975 rise.

All recent work points to CO2 being PROPROTIONATELY less powerful than has been considered for cooling by aerosols or warming by black carbon. Whatever the actual RF is for CO2, the ratios are less than provided in the models by the IPCC.

Better work on RF values for aerosols, black carbon, heat into the atmosphere by oceanic discharge of "fossil" heat, cloud cover variations over time, all serve to squeeze the RF of CO2. Some down from the top, some up from the bottom. It is not, however, same old same old. The power to reduce temps is not high enough to negate a 4.5C warming, so it limits the upper case.

AR5 has a problem: the IPCC have hitched their wagon to the fancy computer models with big assumptions. To decrease the upper end will require a revamping of their modelling closer to the "C" scenario, which as we know is zero emissions after 2000. Which means that the real "C" would rotate the whole mess down. And ruin the party.

Mar 27, 2013 at 6:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Proctor

For a publication that'd IMO binned its credibility a decade ago by unquestioningly embracing the 'consensus' as received wisdom and gone off banging the pots and pans for carbon taxes and other nasty crackpot policy responses, that's an unexpected bit of sanity.

Mar 27, 2013 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Very good article. I hope we see more like that. Quite correctly, the article did not explore other possible climate forcings, though they are well known to readers here.

I refer to academic research funding, re-distribution of wealth, taxation, income from feed-in tariffs and numerous other left wing or green political objectives or lobbying from vested interest groups. Sadly, many of the claims in the scientific literature and IPPC publications atre driven by such factors.

I felt that a key scientific fact that was missing is that the earth has witnessed much higher temperatures and much higher atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in its very long history. It is the case that man can influence very localised climate, eg through deforestation or soot deposits, but the planet has a very robust thermostat and compared with the range of natural perturbations, the influence of man is fairly insignificant. If strong positive feedback due to water vapour was a possibility, life on earth would have ceased years ago.

Water is the key to the stability of our climate. The simple idea that in the gas phase it is a GHG is what dominates the thinking of warmists. The ability of water to exist in three phases within our natural temperature range and the massive energy of phase change transitions compared to the energy required for temperature change is at the heart of the thermostat mechanism. Water is also key to cloud formation which is effectively the sun shade of the earth.

In summary, the article is an excellent step in the right direction. We need more, lots more.

Mar 27, 2013 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodingers Cat

I dont know who wrote it but they sent it back from the future - 30 March 2013 to be precise.

Mar 27, 2013 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

Very interesting article the title of which (I suggest) should be "On the other hand"
The message that I got was that, basically, everything is up for debate and that, I think, is how it should be.
More of the same please.

Mar 27, 2013 at 7:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

I think it has been written by a player whose name we would recognise, very possibly as a warmist. A warmist who is backing off from the true faith to a sort of protestant re-writing of it. A climate Martin Luther.

Mar 27, 2013 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

I posted this comment on James Delingpole's thread. The question mark is my querying of the following extract. As I understand it this is incorrect, unless I've missed something somewhere.

Carbon dioxide itself absorbs infra-red at a consistent rate. For each doubling of CO₂ levels you get roughly 1°C of warming.


Mar 27, 2013 at 7:47 PM | Registered CommenterGrumpyDenier

As Richard Betts might call by, perhaps he can deal with the situation in Britain rather than what is happening to a hypothetical global temperature (how the notion of a 'global' temperature gained traction remains one of lifes mysteries)

Around 30% of the world is cooling according to BEST (but with caveats) This includes countries with some very good historic figures-our own. This is opposed to those countries whose figures should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

The GISS figures since 1880 can be seen as a staging post, not the starting post, of increasing temperatures which began around 1660. Since then there have been various advances and retreats but temperatures have remained on an upwards trend for 350 years

Here are the Met office figures for Central England-the oldest such record in the world. Either we are having another dramatic temperature retreat in the UK or it will be shown to be merely a blip in the centuries long upwards trend-who knows?

Statistics from the Met Office Central England Temperature Record from the year 2000 onwards show:

2000 – 2012 annual trend figures: -0.7°C
this is equivalent to almost all the agreed global warming since 1850

2000 – 2013 winter months December January February trend: -1.5°C
this is equivalent to twice the agreed global warming since 1850

Now 12 years is not an official trend but it sure is interesting, and the return of the cold has had an enormous impact on our heating bills and on our farming practices. Not 15 miles from the Met Office a farmer on Upland Dartmoor has replaced their traditional Dartmoor stock with hardier Welsh cattle as the native stock have not coped well the last five years. Nor has the human stock. Temperatures have been plunging as rapidly as energy prices have been escalating as successive govts nonsensical energy policies come home to roost.

What is or isnt happening with the assumed Co2/temperature correlation isn't some academic exercise whereby climate scientists can .advance alternative theories whilst the Economist observes from the sidelines.

Unless we believe that an extraordinary co2 bubble existed over the UK for a dozen or so years in the 1990's which has now drifted away, surely the obvious must be faced. That is that the 1990's were a manifestation of the long established rising temperature trend caused by natural variability. The sharp decline in the last decade is also natural variability.

We can't predicate an insane energy policy on the notion that we must curtail co2 at any costs-including shutting down perfectly good power stations during a time of sharply declining temperatures and energy scarcity.We must predicate it on what is surely becomingly increasingly obvious-our climate is very variable naturally due to the weather extremes that constantly punctuate it.

Mar 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

At first glance an excellent article. While one can pick holes in anything, this is the first sensible, and above all balanced, discussion of the topic I have seen.

What depresses me about climate science is the apparent obsession with overstating the case exhibited by both sides. Rose made some excellent points, but couldn't resist the temptation to go too far. The various rebuttals were just as bad, overstating the problems in Rose's article and understating the problems in the consensus view. This article finally gets it roughly right, and about time too.

Mar 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

"It is possible, therefore, that both the rise in temperatures in the 1990s and the flattening in the 2000s have been caused in part by natural variability."

Gosh, it's just about possible I suppose:

Up down, up down. It's like a metronome.

Two possibilities:

1) There's a natural cycle going on, with a period of about 60 years. Which means the overall warming that we are currently experiencing is about 1/3 of the warming propounded by alarmist fears (which is based on looking only at the warming from 1970 to 2000).

2) A series of truly incredible coincidences have taken place:
- The cooling due to "natural variability" from 1880 to 1910 looks uncannily like the cooling from 1940 to 1970 which was caused by evil people emitting sulphates.
- The warming from 1910 to 1940 that was due to a bit of "natural variability" and a bit of C02, looks spookily similar to the warming from 1970 to 2000 which was caused by evil people belching out vast amounts of C02.
- The temporary pause in warming that we are now experiencing looks a lot like the start of the exact same thing that happened in about 1880 and 1940, but is in no way caused by the same things. Unless it's all the fault of the evil Chinese and their awful sulphates.

Maybe the global temperature graph would be flatlining if it wasn't for appalling people. Maybe everything we do wrenches the temperature graph up and down. Or maybe we haven't really begun to understand what's going on.

As someone once said: "What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably." No we won't kill you. We'll just forlornly reflect on the hubris of supposed experts.

Mar 27, 2013 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

" It does not mean global warming is a delusion."

Yes, it does.

We may be live in a warming world, warming in the sense that it is still warming since the last ice age but when you take out this natural variability, the "global warming" aspect (meaning man made created element of the warming) is nothing more than random noise.

Mar 27, 2013 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

I hope Sir Mark Walport takes the Economist; he may be able to rein in Ed Davey and his cohorts and their insane rush to cut CO2 emmissions.

Mar 27, 2013 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Thompson

A wonderful effect of this article here in (some of) the colonies will be on our political class and the chatteratti among whom the Economist is widely read --- and believed.

Mar 27, 2013 at 8:48 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

The Economist leader, Apocalypse perhaps a little later:

Mar 27, 2013 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

I think it has been written by a player whose name we would recognise, very possibly as a warmist. A warmist who is backing off from the true faith to a sort of protestant re-writing of it. A climate Martin Luther.
Mar 27, 2013 at 7:46 PM rhoda

A climate heretic.

The Team will be foaming at the mouth.

Mar 27, 2013 at 9:14 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Straws show which way the wind blows.

Mar 27, 2013 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Cruickshank

This is very significant for the Economist considering some of the past pronouncements in the subject of climate. However, it is not fully joined up. It does not matter how much the average temperature rises. It is the impacts of that rise upon human beings and the rest of nature that should be of concern. There are two factors that are important here.
First, is that lower sensitivity will imply a slower rate of temperature rise over time for a given rise in greenhouse gases. Therefore if median sensitivity is halved, so is halved the median expected temperature rise this century. The worst alleged impacts are from destabilization of the climate system as a result of rapid change. The climate tipping points are far less likely to be breached by slower rates of warming. Along with that, it is far easier to adapt to more gradual changes. So 30cm a century of sea level rise is far easier to adapt to that 30cm a decade.
Second, is that catastrophic impacts have been over-hyped. The most costly projected impacts have turned out to be founded on little or no substance. The melting of the ice sheets is not accelerating. Crops yields will not fall by 50% in some African countries by 2020. The Amazon will not suddenly collapse from a drop in rainfall. Tropical storms are not getting more frequent or violent. Etc.
These two components of slower warming rates and the lower costs from a rise in temperature over time multiply together, to make a dramatically different picture over time.

Mar 27, 2013 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

Interesting article.

It may well be wishful thinking on my part, but am I the only one who detects an ever so slight lifting of the CAGW iron curtain?

Notice the recent editorial in the Sunday Telegraph, some indications that the Germans (who invented the ECO/Envio religion), the Danish media - (see Pierre Gosselin at Notrickszone) are covering their bases in view of the current '100 year' cooling. It is even being noticed on the other side of the world. See Ian Wishart over at Climate Realists site.
The most revealing thing about the Economist article was the response from readers. Virtually all castigating their previous pro warmist stance.
As is often said - interesting times ahead'

Mar 27, 2013 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterpatrick healy

Today's a weird day. This article and blog posts on Hansen's latest paper which appears to say that burning fossil fuels is responsible for the lack of warming. !!

Mar 27, 2013 at 9:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterRB

Alice Thomson - in The Times 27/03/13 - Opinion - No Coal,but the Uk's energy cauldron is empty.

Another watershed opinion piece "We cannot have an energy policy that does not work and is not affordable, yet that is what we have drifted towards."

Unusual for the Times ......... Feels like a warm glow developing all round!

Mar 27, 2013 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Thomson

I think the article stinks. Some will see it as a "fair and balanced" view. Doesn't do it for Me though.
I mean check out the long term temperatures:

and rainfall here:

The Economist piece gives it away in the headline - There's still global warming and something must be don. Sheesh!

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

I think that the reason we have seen no rise in world temps for 15 years is all to do with how these temps are measured. The study by Anthony Watts into weather stations in the US shows that a large percentage are now showing higher readings because of environmental changes at their sites. These environmental changes and the higher readings they cause probably all had taken place by the 1990s. An awful lot of the 'warming' in the 20th Century is down to the UHI effect, maybe that has reached a plateau too. I remember seeing something online once that showed that readings from rural weather stations in the USA had shown no overall change in temps over the past 110 years. Also I am sure there have been attempts to make temps appear to have risen, the case of is it Bolivia that now has no weather stations and they use a proxy from the Pacific coast in Peru? A lot of weather stations in the Arctic regions are at airports, etc etc. Maybe all the fiddling of figures reached a maximum in the 1990s and that's why we seem to have a stop to warming. I guess I am saying maybe there never was any warming anyway, except natural stuff - glaciers have been retreating for 250 years so that can't be us with our coal fired power stations.

Someone must know, do satellite weather stations show any warming at all?

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterANH

This sensible and balanced article, coming so soon after Sir John Beddington's wall-to-wall media appearances, makes him look - how can I put this politely? - like a right charlie.

It would be nice to think that some of our "opinion formers" - I'm thinking in particular of you, John Humphries - might read this article and reflect on how even a Chief Government Scientist is liable to talk a load of old cobblers.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

A weird day indeed. Looks like Gavin has come out to play too

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins


Yes, yes and yes again.

Cogent points very well made.

And how I would love Richard Betts to answer them. Not that he will of course, for all his air of matey reasonableness.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Easily the best technical discussion I have ever seen in the MSM, based on very recent research too. It didnt discuss my favourite hobby horse - the "missing Hot Spot" and its implications for WV amplification - but otherwise terrific.

This could be a key breakthrough. Whether "The Economist" really deserves its reputation or not, they cant just be called right wing cranks!!

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterBill

The "Leaders" article pointed to by Don B, (above), towards the end has this:

[Good] is putting a price on carbon and ensuring that, slowly but surely, it gets ratcheted up for decades to come.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterunknownknowns

It must hardly be reassuring for the Economist to comprehend that the panic was exaggerated, the alarum too loud trumpeted, and those trampled in the stampede suffered unnecessarily.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Better than usual, even for The Economist. I'm constantly threatening to cancel my near-lifelong subscription over their 'me-too' AGW coverage, but will persevere for now.

One key bit of nonsense: As Dr Knutti puts it, “the bottom line is that there are several lines of evidence, where the observed trends are pushing down, whereas the models are pushing up, so my personal view is that the overall assessment hasn’t changed much.”

Yep, very scientific. Give equal weight to Reality on the one hand, and a bunch of half-arsed computer models which have never been anywhere near the money on the other.

Remember (only 15 years or so ago) when all models of solar system formation gave results comfortably like ours (rocky planets near the star; big gas giants further out; little ice worlds beyond that). Made perfect sense. Then the first actual discoveries were of SuperJupiters whizzing around next to their suns. Back to the old drawing board. Happens all the time.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered Commentercui bono

The "Economist" dithers but is quite clear on two central facts: (a) the warming trend stopped 15 years ago; and (b) greenhouse gas emissions have soared during that period.

So we had about 19 years when the AGW theory worked and a (probably) longer period when it didn't and won't. But Pachauri and Hansen are using words like "resume" and "re-commence" as if the current period was a known anomaly.

The late 20th century period was the anomaly. But it's now over - finished - gone. Dead as a parrot:

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAustralis

Heresy, heresy I say!

The Economist? Nay shurely shome mishtake?

Wotevah next - Miliband comes clean about Brown's profligacy and apologises for open borders and Labour's policy of mass immigration?

Nah, lets get real.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now. It does not mean global warming is a delusion.

It is neither a puzzle, nor evidence that global warming is a delusion. I assume that by 'global warming' the author is deploying the old alarmist trick of using this phrase sometimes to mean what it says, sometimes to mean AGW, and sometimes to mean CAGW. Here I think he means the last of these three.

It is not a puzzle. It is just what might expected given the insight expressed by Lindzen some decades ago that the effect of rising CO2, even after a doubling would be so small as to be hard to distinguish in the variation due of other factors. That to me was the voice of basic science, and no subsequent observations have given me any cause to change that view.

Not does it make global warming, first sense, a delusion. The globe is always either warming or cooling, and that view is also subject to the timescale of interest. Nor does it make global warming, second sense, a delusion. Lindzen was always perfectly clear, that all else being equal, the addition of more CO2 is likely to contribute warming to the atmosphere.

But the third sense, the catastrophic one does take a bit of knock back. Previously leading alarmist institutions such as the UK Met Office do seem to have backed off the 'catastrophe' kick already, and this piece in the Economist will reinforce the political wisdom in doing so - which I suspect they will have discussed at high levels in that once-more-respected body.

This, together with the lack of contempt or condescension about non-alarmist perspectives in the article, is important since without talk of catastrophe, who in politics is going to push for catastrophic policies whose only justification was the faith that they were needed to avert an even worse one, and that those opposing it were all kinds of crazy or corrupt?

The Emperors of CO2 Alarmism have no clothes. None at all. The Economist is still too coy and too cautious to look and see, but they have taken what is for them a bold step in publishing this article. Perhaps it will encourage them to find the courage to keep raising their heads and opening their eyes. The sights they will see are not pretty, not at all edifying, but they do deserve to be more widely appreciated for what they are, and for what they have done to us.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

I think we have view it as just good step in the right direction.

I note that the editor made it the "editors pick" for the issue and he has sent it to Anthony at WUWT
( that action could be seen as more significant than the detail of the article itself)

Mar 28, 2013 at 12:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

This Economist article is a generally better article than usual in a mainstream magazine on climate.
However, the second last paragraph suggests that temperature rises linearly with addition of carbon(?). This leads them to conclude that there is a real problem as stated in the last paragraph. If, instead it takes another trillion tonnes to cause a further 0.8 degree C increase then, on their estimates we are looking at 2080. This even allowing for all increases to be caused by CO2. hardly a real problem.

Mar 28, 2013 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Callander

Economist catches up with the GWPF. Bob ward, leo Hickman take note.

Mar 28, 2013 at 12:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterHed

"The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now."

And Belmesada et al have found a big piece of the puzzle.

Mar 28, 2013 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Sorry. No deal. This is an important matter and I mark more severely than Andrew Montford. I won't be fobbed-off with small-mercies.

The Economist has just discovered that:
"...the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar"

-That gets a score of 1 point out of 10. This was common knowledge before James Hansen finally fronted up [peace be upon him].

The Economist has just discovered that:
"Ed Hawkins, of the University of Reading, in Britain, points out that surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range of projections derived from 20 climate models"

-That gets a score of 1 point out of 10. This was common knowledge before Ed Hawkins told the Economist.

The Economist has just discovered that:
"Flat though they are, temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century remain almost 1°C above their level in the first decade of the 20th century"

-That gets a score of 1 point out of 10. No more easy points for basic information that the author should know before they put a finger on the keyboard. This is common knowledge available from many websites such as wood-for-trees which offers clunky but honest interactive graphing tools, along with several relevant data-series. Half a point is deducted for omitting that this rate of 1 degree/century is half the rate that is touted as not being worth getting out of bed for.

Perhaps the Economist thinks they are being graded unfairly? I'm just warming up.

A full point is deducted for the serious error of describing climate sensitivity as a measurement. It is not a measurement. It is an abstract from the models. And describing what can't be measured as de-facto being due to CO2 is just compounding the error. The Economist appears not to recognise what constitutes physical measurements.

I can't go on. The ongoing unwarranted assumptions are transparent, and too much is couched as being 'surprising'. It is not good enough. I expect better from the Economist. The candidate needs to re-write this term-paper and resubmit it at a later date.

Mar 28, 2013 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I am in agreement with Paul and michael hart; this article stinks.
"If you can keep your negativity when all around you are losing theirs then you are a manic depressive my son" that is me for sure.
From the Economist:
"There is no plausible scenario in which carbon emissions continue unchecked and the climate does not warm above today’s temperatures"
Only ice core records, so they can stuff their plausible scenarios. In each of the last seven interglacials recorded in the ice core records; first the earth warmed, then CO2 levels rose and then the earth gently cooled while CO2 levels continued to rise.
This article is bollocks.
(No I have not tried anger management courses)

Mar 28, 2013 at 1:25 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Michael Hart

None of the above is common knowledge beyond the blogosphere. The average guy and gal on the street has no idea. A substantial number of educated readers,, read opinion setters, do now. Rejoice. A baby step to ending the scre mongering and insane policy rollbacks. Heres hoping.

Mar 28, 2013 at 1:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterDMC

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