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« Keenan writes to Slingo | Main | Intergovernmental AR5 patch up - Josh 240 »

AR5 press cuttings

Marcel Crok says that the good news in AR5 is being hidden.

Bob Tisdale says that the way the pause is being shown is comical.

Matt Ridley was on the Daily Politics, up against some of the slimiest creatures in British public life.

Judith Curry has fun explaining to a journalist how the IPCC gets to that 95% certain figure. She also gets a mention in the WSJ coverage.

The Today programme featured a piece with Chris Rapley and Lord Stern and another with Chief Scientist Sir Mark Walport, who thinks (believe it or not) that climate science needs new communication strategies. I kid you not. In a later section, John Ashton (former Foreign Office climate bod) and Connie St Louis (sci journalism person) discussed a range of issues on the periphery of the climate debate. Mostly this was a case of publicly funded officials trying to silence dissenting voices.

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Reader Comments (67)

I follow up on the post I made on the Lindzen thread about keeping at them like terriers at their ankles.
Where is the evidence for the 80cm rise? What is the science? What is the empirical evidence? It is agenda-driven junk science. They know it and the politicians know it. Some of the scientists are not happy with the way in which all the IPCC reports have been suborned in the interests either of Big Money or Big Enviro or Big Taxation but it needs someone reputable and whose qualifications they can't dismiss to keep hounding them and give encouragement to those like Curry that are prepared to speak out.
(Dixon's "my Astrophysics PhD beats Montford's Chemistry BSc" had Mrs J choking on her coffee incidentally; best foot-in-mouth of the day.)

Sep 28, 2013 at 3:24 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Your Grace I see you tried to persuade Dixon to debate the science and he sort of seemed to not say no. Any chance that you were able to follow this up after the event? He did present himself as a rather unpleasant individual. I suppose he does not know that to win any argument you have to put forward your points in a way that does not alienate the audience. Your riposte to his smoking causes cancer and holocaust denial was excellent.

Incidentally the link to Hawkins and Tamsin is broken for me and I have not been able to find anything on iplayer. Perhaps it has been deleted?

Sep 28, 2013 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

I emailed the BBC Scotland guys and suggested they host a debate. They are thinking about it, which may well mean 'no'.

Sep 28, 2013 at 6:57 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Thanks for your response your Grace. Given that Dixon's big point was that sceptics should be given no airtime I cannot see that he will be up for it. For him the debate is over and to take part in a debate can only lead to a personal disaster for the Astrophysicist masquerading as an activist.

Sep 28, 2013 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

Great that Good morning Scotland had Andrew Montford on to debate with Richard Dixon. Richard shot himself in the foot at the end of the interview 14min12s with his praise of the " vibrant renewable industry " in Scotland. Why did he not recommend that Scotland needs to start planning for one or two new nuclear power stations ? Why did he not recommend going forward with fracking ? Why did he not agree with David Mackay of DECC who said at a Harvard lecture that it would be more sensible to put the UKs solar panels in India or China ( nearer the equator ) ( 17 minutes in )
Why did he not point out the many reasons to think that wind turbines are not worth the money , given by :
Richard S. Courtney
Leo Smith
Paul Miskelly
Dr Alan Moran

Sep 28, 2013 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I suspected the fuss might be short-lived. But it seems to be fading even faster than I expected: on the BBC website it's slipped to headline number 5 - two places below the Prince George christening announcement.

On TV3 News in NZ the day after release it was placed after the first advertisement break, so about 20 minutes in. No sign of scepticism about it of course, but also just a matter of fact report with an activist scientist saying we should be worried and then a Minister saying "of course we are worried, but we won't ruin our economy to fix it". So actually saying "get lost".

Either the mainstream are placing the report with such low priority because they don't really believe it, but don't want to wear the heat from the bed-wetters if they ignore it completely, or they worry about their audiences suffering alarmism fatigue. Whichever it is, the traction is minimal.

The NZ Herald has several short stories about how important AR5 is. But also stories about how they couldn't agree on a figure as crucial as climate sensitivity, and another on how the "hiatus" is an awkward problem for the official narrative.

Meanwhile our Green Party, which is less loopy than some Greens, is barely talking about the report at all. A senior Green went on TVNZ to rail against GM food labelling.

Sep 28, 2013 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

Frightening that Samantha Cameron supports FoE.

Sep 28, 2013 at 11:34 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Hey Tamsin have a one to one with Judith.

Sep 28, 2013 at 11:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Ridley was by a million miles the most logical person on the Daily Politics show, what a shame he undermined all his comments by telling the world that he agreed that humans have caused more than half the warming since 1950. If he says what he believes to be true then he can not be criticised but he did not help the cause one bit.

Sep 29, 2013 at 2:16 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Polly Toynbee, Richard Dixon & Gregory Barker seem to have bought in to the fantasy that current wind & solar technology is going to be able to provide most of our electricity. Maybe it is a nice dream to get all our power from a few windmills scattered around, trouble is it won't work unless you can get the wind to blow a steady 30 mph 24/7 365 and also get the sun to shine 12 hours a day 365 days a year with an interconnector from Australia to England.
They could try listening to national grid control engineer Derek Birkett who explains in his book, " When will the lights go out ?" why wind and solar don't work on the national grid. People need to look at the whole system.

They could also try John Milne, Co-ordinator of the Scottish Wild Land Group, who wrote an interesting 2013 summer magazine, " Wind farms gone wild, is the environmental damage justified? " in which he said: “We disagree with those who claim that wind generation is even part of the answer. We believe that the scramble for wind farms is doing great damage by deluding the public into believing that a meaningful contribution is being made to a reduction in CO2 emissions.” :

It's odd how some people think that CAGW is the greatest threat to life on Earth but then in their refusal to build new nuclear power stations show that they think the greatest threat is actually nuclear accident - well they can't decide.

Sep 29, 2013 at 7:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Table SPM .1
Increases in intense tropical cyclone activity
Virtually certain in North Atlantic since 1970
Question: Is the North Atlantic now tropical?

Sep 29, 2013 at 7:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

I don't subscribe to "causes" and I certainly don't see scepticism as one.
Back again to what I said on the Lindzen thread yesterday — if you are going to give succour to the warmists in what you say, don't say it. I don't know (or care) whether mankind's activities have contributed more than 50% of the warming in the last 60 years but if it keeps the warmist activists happy to believe that I'll go along with it. (They don't know either but it's an article of faith with them so let it be.)
The argument is that whether they believe it or not or whether it is true or not is irrelevant. The earth is not responding to the increased CO2 levels the way they say it should and the amount of warming, however caused, is still well within natural variation and nothing to be frightened of.
They are abusing the science for political purposes; it is up to us to point out where their conclusions are wrong or where their science is letting them down. Nit-picking around the extent to which an individual is prepared to go along with their science is non-productive.
(Actually I reckon Ridley is probably wrong and you are right; it's just that saying so doesn't further the argument!)

Sep 29, 2013 at 8:51 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Polly put the kettle on?
Toynbee glossed over Climate Gate by stating it was just a few naughty scientists, clearly oblivious to the fact that they were at the heart of the IPPC contributions. Also oblivious to the fact that UnReal Climate are part of The Guardians environment network.
This fragrant women turns up on the BBC regularly as an unwanted smell.

Sep 29, 2013 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

At the Bish's suggestion I have listened again to (and transcribed) the Shelagh Fogerty show interviews with Peter Stott and Emily Shuckburgh, and have to correct my earlier assertion that it was Dr Shuckburgh who stated there is strong evidence of AGW, and then cited changing rainfall patterns. Shuckburgh did say that the heat was going into the oceans, but was generally more circumspect. However, it was Stott who stated that a huge amount of heat is going into the oceans, and continued rise in sea level, and changing rainfall patterns, and the decrease in Arctic sea-ice , and that this is new 'evidence' for AGW, which he present to to delegates. Here is a quote:

so these are drivers of the climate system, and we have put all this together, and in fact it is evidence from the last 15 years… the, the warming ocean, the retreating snow and ice, the changing rainfall patterns, the continuing sea-level rise, and this evidence is so strong, of the dominant role of human influence on the climate system.

Here is the full transcript (with approximate times in parenthesis):

BBC Radio 5 Live, Shelagh Fogarty Show, 27.09.2013: Matt McGrath (BBC Environment Correspondent) interview with Peter Stott (UK Met Office) in Stockholm on release of the IPCC SPM5.

Shelagh Fogarty (studio, 2.10) … where does this report fit into the IPPC’s history, because it has been an interesting history, not without its issues and not without its attackers…

Matt McGrath (2.30): … Indeed, not without its controversies, it is rather is a bitter day here in Stockholm, the wind blowing in off the water, but I think there is a sense of, I suppose, quite warm delight amongst some of the scientists here today, who see this I suppose, as reclaiming the some of the ground they may have lost in some ways because of the controversies of the last report, chief among them was the error, the blooper if you like, that the Himalayas might all melt by 2035, but there were other issues too that followed in the years to come, I think that one of the clear things that comes out of today’s report is the focus on the science, the absolute, that, you know that Thomas Stocker said that we are not here just to make headlines, we are here to assess the science, and a very serious and sober approach to it. And with me is one of the serious and sober scientists, Peter Stott, from the Met Office, and one of the [IPCC] co-ordinating authors on Detection and Attribution and this is very important, Peter, because… this is saying who dunnit… who is responsible for climate change… so tell us who is it?

Peter Stott (3.25): Well exactly, it is looking at what has caused, eh, the unequivocal warming we have seen, and now we have got this new evidence, which shows very clearly that the dominant cause of the warming is human influence through basically what we have done to the climate system, we have warmed it up, emitted greenhouse gases, so human influence on the climate system is clear, and now we have had this extraordinary thorough analysis of evidence this week, and this is a really strong and robust conclusion about the dominant role of human influence on the climate system.

Matt McGrath (3.55): well, I imagine you are in good voice for someone who has have been up for days, through the night here… um, lots of people talk about the pause, and the fact that the climate temperatures, surface temperatures over the last 15 years have not risen as fast as they were rising before that, and that people have pointed at that and say that there are some holes in your theory, what’s your take on that, after being here?

Peter Stott (4.10): We have always expected to have variability around the longer term trend, and that is exactly what we have seen, in fact we have done a very thorough assessment in this report about the last 15 years, and shown about the important role of the ocean, and also, our understanding of what’s called climate forcing, so these are drivers of the climate system, and we have put all this together, and in fact it is evidence from the last 15 years… the, the warming ocean, the retreating snow and ice, the changing rainfall patterns, the continuing sea-level rise, and this evidence is so strong, of the dominant role of human influence on the climate system.

Matt McGrath (4.45): People have said that the heating, the heating from the pause, might have gone into the oceans, is there enough evidence to substantiate that at the this point ?

Peter Stott (4.55): Um, we have got very clear evidence that the ocean is warming, and that a huge amount of energy that is going into the ocean, and that reflects this imbalance of the climate system that we have, and so we got, we have this beautiful illustration that I presented to the delegates here in Stockholm, that shows that, that continuing rise in energy in the climate system, expressed through not just the warming oceans, but then that melt of the Arctic Sea ice, we had record Arctic sea ice extent, it has changed global rainfall patterns, its, its, its changed extremes as well, more extreme weather…

Matt McGrath (5.25): and it is a clear linear relationship, so that the more you pump into the atmosphere, the more the temperature goes up, its… in a very complex system it is as simple as that?

Peter Stott (5.35): This is a very important new piece of science actually, that again, we explained it in great detail to the delegates here, we all wanted to look at it very very thoroughly, and, despite all the complexities of the climate system, there is this very clear linear relationship between the overall emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, and the global temperature rise, so the more we emit, the more the temperature increases.

Matt McGrath (6.00): And people talk about the dangerous 2 degree level, from what you have seen, from what we know now, are we going to blow right past that, and if so, when?

Peter Stott (6.05): Well there is still, still time, we showed we showed different scenarios, and the point about this is that what happens about the future depends very much on what we emit, and there is still a chance to avoid 2 degrees if you like, but it very depends on the scenario of the next, of the coming years, the next few years actually.

Matt McGrath (6.25): And we have had conversations like this before, in 2007, 2008 and 2009, leading to political inaction, why will things be any different now?

Peter Stott (6.30): We have this new report, and this is the the most thorough report, if you look at the document released today in Stockholm, it goes right across the climate, it is the most thorough document, it is the most thoroughly reviewed ever, and so this is really something the policy makers have owned in Stockholm, and now they have to take this document on and and, take it into account.
Matt McGrath (6.25): Okay, that remains for another day, Peter Stott, thank-you very much for talking to us, and back to you in in, in Falsham (?).

Shelagh Fogarty (studio, 7.00): Thank-you, that’s exactly where we are, thank-you Matt, Matt McGrath, the BBC’s environment correspondent. Listening to that was Dr Emily Shuckburgh, the head of Open Oceans, at the British Antarctic Survey, and I will talk to Andrew Montford in a moment as well, who is a writer, blogger and climate change sceptic. Dr Shuckburgh, on that question that Matt was raising there with Peter Stott, about this pause, the hiatus as it is called in the report, since I think ‘98 that there has been no evidence, or the Earth’s temperature sorry, hasn’t gone above the global average, and sceptics have leapt on this, perhaps understandably, and said ‘now where’s your continuing endless climate change’, what’s your thought on why that pause has happened?

Emily Shuckburgh (7.40): Well first of all it is important to understand what is being described here, so in fact the last three decades have seen increasing temperatures, decade by decade, and so when people talk about a pause, it is more of a plateau actually, we are still at record warm temperatures, and as was described by Peter, um just now, if we consider the Earth as a whole, then, although the surface temperatures haven’t warmed significantly over the last 15 years, we have seen many other changes in, around the Earth, we have seen record Arctic sea ice decrease over this time period and we have also seen continued sea level rise, so what’s been happening is that we can tell from satellite data that the heat trapped by greenhouse gases, has continued, but that heat has been re-distributed, around other parts of the Earth.

Shelagh Fogarty (8.35): Well into the oceans? because that is far from proven, is it?

Emily Shuckburgh (8.40): Well we do have um observations of the ocean, which show that the oceans have been warming…

Shelagh Fogarty (8.45): But we don’t know why, do we? We don’t know why.
Emily Shuckburgh (8.48): Well we do know that the heat has been going from the atmosphere into the oceans, but we don’t have a long record of the temperatures of the deep ocean, and so it is that, that eh, deep ocean that we would like better understand how much heat is going into that deep ocean.

Shelagh Fogarty (9.00): What about what that report says on sea levels,. because its 2007 report was criticised for the claims it made on rising sea levels, and in this report, it is claimed that by the year 3000 (sic) I think it is, they expect sea levels to be what 2½ feet, 80cm higher than now, in your view what would that result in? In the UK for instance?

Emily Shuckburgh (9.25): So that’s by the end of this century, um, the upper projection is just under 1m of sea level rise, that is the maximum that is anticipated by this report, and to put that into a UK context, if you think of the Thames Barrier, which was built some 30 years ago now, to protect London from flooding, at the time it was built, it was built to protect London from a 1 in a 1000 year storm, um and associated flood, um if you had 50cm of sea level rise then that would reduce down to only protecting London from a 1 in say, 250 year storm flood, and if it went up to a metre, which is considered unlikely but possible, then that would only protect London um, from an event that would occur one in every 10 years.

Shelagh Fogarty (10.15): And if someone listening to this in their house, and is sitting listening to you, and looking at their 3 different types of recycling bins, and their environmentally friendly shopping bags from the supermarket, and they are putting a sweater on rather than turn on the heating because it is getting a bit chilly now it is nearly October, and thinking, this is so huge, surely, me and a few other people doing this, in one country isn’t going to make the difference.

Emily Shuckburgh (10.40): Well you know, I can understand easily how one thinks about it, it is difficult to imagine how our individual actions could make a difference to such a huge problem, but at the same time, our individual actions have generated the problem in the first place, so it is case that each of us, doing our bit, can make a difference, and one of the things that was mentioned in your report just now, is one of the key new messages from this new climate report, is that the temperature that we will anticipate in the future is absolutely dependent on the amount of emissions we put into the atmosphere, so everybody who puts in an extra little bit of greenhouse gas emissions is contributing to that future temperature rise…

Shelagh Fogarty (11.36): however small…

Emily Shuckburgh (10.36): however small.

Shelagh Fogarty (11.36): Okay, thank-you very much, Dr Shuckburgh…

So it is clear from this that Peter Stott and possibly others from the UK Met office gave a key presentation to the SPM5 delegates, which cited changing rainfall patters as evidence for CO2 induced AGW. The question arises, what data, and from what period does this rainfall data span, and if it is not 30 years or more is it not just weather? Was the data / paper (if there is one) peer-reviewed? Likewise the 'evidence' that the heat has gone into the oceans - again, show us the data please. To me it seems very likely that Peter Stott and the Met Office have been indulging in yet more environmental imperialism, at the expense of their scientific credibility.

Sep 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

I've only just watched the Matt Ridley piece - Mat was by far the most effective speaker. With respect, however, I think you might have missed a trick. The most horrifying statement of the lot was Polly's casual dismissal of the deaths of 200,000 per year via biofuels as a price worth paying. As we know, the UN has declared biofuels a crime against humanity, and peer reviewed papers dismiss any CO2 reduction from current biofuels techniques. So, Matt, perhaps later in the piece when Polly was talking about insurance against the worst outcome, it might have been worth pressing her to state explicitly that despite the uncertainties, despite the failures of the models, 200k deaths a year through hunger is a price worth paying. Children starving today to save your grandchildren tomorrow. That should horrify all but the most zealous green, and rightly so.

At the very least, you might get the concession that uncritical acceptance of any old green policy can no longer be tolerated.

Remember David Attenborough's sudden outburst on letting them all starve: the luvvies are turning into monsters.

Sep 29, 2013 at 9:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Tamsin didn't exactly cover herself in glory with her "the climate system is not just the surface" pitch.

Sep 30, 2013 at 12:24 AM | Registered Commentershub

The BBC link is "not currently available" on iBBC Player.

Oct 1, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrian H

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