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« Slingo writes to Lewis | Main | Lindzen on AR5 »

The calming influence of the Mail on Sunday

Amid all the efforts to create panic over climate change it's good to have the calming influence of the Mail on Sunday. This morning, David Rose returns to the climate fray with an article looking at start dates for measuring the pause:

A footnote in the new report...confirms there has been no statistically significant increase since 1997.

Last night independent climate scientist Nic Lewis – an accredited IPCC reviewer and co-author of peer-reviewed papers – pointed out that taking start years of 2001, 2002 or 2003 would suggest a cooling trend of 0.02-0.05C per decade, though this would not be statistically significant.

In a box on the same page, we learn that the figure of 60% for the rebound in Arctic ice was in fact wrong, NSIDC having made an error on their webpage. Bob Ward is jumping up and down and demanding that Judith Curry apologise. He is a truly bizarre character.

In the same paper, we learn about the thriving polar bear populations of the Canadian Arctic:


For years polar bears have been the poster boys of global warming – routinely reported to be  threatened with extinction due to melting ice-packs and rising sea temperatures.

Indeed, when they were put on the US Endangered Species list in 2008, they were the first to be registered solely because of the perceived threat of global warming.

One prominent scientist said their numbers would be reduced by 70 per cent by 2050 while global  warming proponents – including Al Gore and Sir David Attenborough – used emotive imagery to highlight their ‘demise’.


Yet there is one small problem: many polar bear populations  worldwide are now stable, if not increasing.

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Reader Comments (33)

Compensate for Pinatubo and it's 22 years:

Sep 29, 2013 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

Slightly O/T. Lord Lawson's piece in the Sunday Telegraph is in danger of being swamped by ecotards. The Noble Lord needs some support.

TRENDING. The Phrase, "not statistically significant" is losing it's scientific meaning and being used in the media to mean,"we don't like the implications of this data set."

Sep 29, 2013 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Lohse

A quick look here:

Shows 2012 ice minimum = 3.4 million sq km and 2013 = 5.1 million sq km. I make that a 50% increase. Not quite 60% but still embarrassingly high for those predicting a disappearance. What is Bob Ward's problem, he should look at the IPCC's figures with equal scrutiny but that would never happen.

Sep 29, 2013 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Yesterday somebody equated the GREENS and their leaders to Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

The Khmer are the people of Cambodia and Rouge is the colour red in the French language

So shouldn't we name the GREENS The Eurasian Vert

They pretend to be O-VERT but their goal is to Re-VERT to a past golden age. They sub-VERT government and per-VERT science.

oh come on, it's Sunday, surly we can develop this theme

Sep 29, 2013 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

The Daily Wail and Wail on Sunday show a worldwide monthly online readership of +120 million people. The print editions of the Wail have a monthly readership of +13 million, and Wail Online has a UK readership of +10 million. That does help get the sceptic message across to a lot of people...

Sep 29, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterJabba the Cat

Anoneumouse ...
Stop calling me surly

Sep 29, 2013 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Yet there is one small problem: many polar bear populations worldwide are now stable, if not increasing.

I remember reading recently (can't find the link) that all polar bear populations actually studied were increasing, or stable.

But the paper concerned said that the population was actually decreasing, as they had modelled other populations which they had not actually studied, but knew existed, and the models said those populations were decreasing.

I wonder where we have heard of this sort of science before...

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

Bob Ward really is an authoritarian greenshirt, isn't he? I now think of him as an obersturmbannfuhrer in the Leibstandarte Jeremy Grantham.

Sep 29, 2013 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Weetabix

see for links to various MSM articles including one on polar bears

Sep 29, 2013 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

It's not obvious why the The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment continues to employ him as Policy and Communications Director. He is a disaster in the role. The Peter Principle in operation perhaps - he has risen to his " level of incompetence."

Sep 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I see that Nuttercelli has posted amongst the comments...

Sep 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Goat

I think Bob Ward and I think of the Sturmabteilung and of paid Party thugs.

They had a marching song.

Sep 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

I'm currently reading Fritz Vahrenholt - Sebastian Luning's book "The Neglected Sun" which has just been translated from the German original 'die kalte Sonne'. (On amazon UK if they haven't run out already, as it's selling fast)

This covers, among other things, the IPCC's selective attitude to known "peer-reviewed literature". The book references a wealth of scientific papers that the IPCC has chosen to ignore as they don't fit the narrative their political and NGO masters desire.

It seems the IPCC does use "peer-reviewed literature" when it suits them, ignores it when it doesn't and gets WWF or Greenpeace to write something when they need a fudge.

The volume of 'forgotten' established science based on natural climate cycles the IPCC chooses to ignore is staggering.

As a footnote - Dominic Lawson's article in the Sunday Times says - "...This is not to accuse the scientists themselves of wilfully twisting their climate models, in order to arrive at some preconceived outcome. That would be to move from scepticism to paranoia"

If he cares to read the book I think he will be persuaded otherwise !

Sep 29, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJazznick

23 years of progress in climate science (advice for policy makers):

FAR (1990) : "The unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect from observations is not likely for a decade or more"

SAR (1995) : "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate"

TAR (2001) : "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities."

AR4(2007) : "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations."

AR5(2013): "It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together."

Sep 29, 2013 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

OldGoat, thanks for pointing out that Dana has entered the fray on the DM site.
I wonder if he noticed that likes and dislikes are allowed there and that CIF moderation is not open to him.
What a brave bunny!

Sep 29, 2013 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Clive Best, do I detect a levelling off there? Bravo, I think you have discovered the hidden truth in this report. They do acknowledge the pause, it's just that the rest of us have been reading it wrong.

Sep 29, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterBerniel

Clive Best (Sep 29, 2013 at 10:46 AM): you’ve missed one – AR6 (2019): “The five year plummet of global temperatures proves that humans beyond 100% certainty were the influence behind climate change, as the New World Government’s actions on our impeccable advice have averted the catastrophe of the world being a tiny bit warmer, and we need to act NOW to stop the next Ice Age.

Sep 29, 2013 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Perhaps those at the IPCC refer to the famous Monty Python 'Paused parrot sketch'.

Mayhap global warming has ceased to be. Is there, to their consternation, a cessation of the warming global?

Actually, the perfectly natural post- 'little ice age' warming trend may continue. I fear it may not.

Sep 29, 2013 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterBob Layson


AR5 admits that up to half of the observed increase in temperature is NOT caused by man. I suspect the main reason why they have refused to give a most likely value for equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is that it is too close to comfort to ~2C - the level below which climate change is not dangerous. Instead they state:

"No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies."

If you can understand what that means then you are smarter than I am !

Sep 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

In the newspaper review on Radio 4 at 9.40, the Mail article on the ice mistake was mentioned, by Angela Rippon I think, as was the article by Lawson.

Sep 29, 2013 at 12:08 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Kevin Lohse 8.50AM
I think you'll find normal service has been restored on Lawson's article. Virtually all supportive at this stage.

Sep 29, 2013 at 12:13 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Soarer, this is a good report on polar bears as it considers numbers and condition of individual populations.

Sep 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterNospin

In political terms, AR5 was actually the incoherent and rambling suicide note of the IPCC.


Sep 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

Clive, it means they haven't a clue.

When I pointed this out at Pierre Gosselin's place - following Barry Woods' sleuthing at Anthony's - a commenter there observed that by about 2020, this phrase would be their get-out clause.

I guess that is why it was in the small print, which Barry read.

Sep 29, 2013 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Wood


The Old English name which derives from an occupational surname for a civil guard/keeper of the watch, or alternately as a topographical surname from the word "marsh" i.e. swamp, bog.

A bog is a mire that accumulates a deposit of dead plant life

Sep 29, 2013 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Phillip Bratby,

I'm not sure how the Peter Principle can apply to Ward - given that he failed his PhD, surely that would have the point where he exceeded any level of even assumed competence?


Like it - a new marching song - The (how about 'Duh'?) Bob Ward Lied (gotta love German)

The IPCC on high! The ranks tightly closed!..

Sep 29, 2013 at 1:42 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

You may as well go to Dr. Susan J. Crockford's blog Polar Bear Science (, if you want science-based writings on polar bear biology and ecology. Her 35 years of first-hand experience with these creatures mean something. Cheers!

Sep 29, 2013 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterFigaro

Aren't we getting a bit ahead of ourselves? Although the SPM stinks, the actual science about to be published is encouraging if you're a lukewarmer.

The warming 'pause' (flatlining) is acknowledged.

Predictions of future warming have been toned down from 2 - 6°C to 1.6 - 4°C. And the 1.6°C figure is not far from what extrapolation from the observed data would say (except to add that we've already had half of it).

Sep 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeary

Soarer, oops missed the link out, here it is

Sep 29, 2013 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterNospin

It's not obvious why the The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment continues to employ him as Policy and Communications Director. He is a disaster in the role. The Peter Principle in operation perhaps - he has risen to his " level of incompetence."
Sep 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby


Based on what we see I entirely agree.
Unfortunately his influence might be largely hidden, much like Alastair Campbell's was. In his heyday Campbell would constantly berate journalists and news organisations who were even slightly off-message, who would then "mend their ways". Worse, many would start to self-censor in advance to avoid the inevitable harrangings and complaints to their superiors.
What we heard at the time about Campbell was the tip of the iceberg and, for all I know, it might be true of Ward and his ilk too.

Sep 29, 2013 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Sep 29, 2013 at 12:08 PM | Paul Matthews

Great line from Lord Lawson in the article you mention:

... Gullible journalists (who are particularly prevalent within the BBC) ...

Sep 29, 2013 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Sep 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM | Clive Best

because 'we don't know' is probably the best explanation

Sep 29, 2013 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

"No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies."
This states very clearly that the science is not settled.

Sep 30, 2013 at 2:22 AM | Unregistered Commenterghl

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