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« E.ON to split | Main | Diary date, Senate edition »
Thursday
Nov272014

Bob misrepresents the science again

Bob Ward's interview with Conor Gearty is fun, with the film-noir style making Bob look even stranger than normal. His views are amusing too, having only the loosest connections with the science. Take this bit on the 2-degree target.

This is straight from the science...we've seen from the evidence that if we go above global warming of more than 2 degrees we will be facing very severe risks that the world has not seen for millions of years...

As an actual climatologist explained at BH once:

Most climate scientists* do not subscribe to the 2 degrees "Dangerous Climate Change" meme.

And then there's this on the impact of climate change here in the UK:

We can already start to see the impacts of climate change in the UK...more flooding, more droughts, more heatwaves. They are things that are going to get worse. We are already starting to increase.

The trends in drought in the UK is downwards. Any increase in flooding is due to increased exposure rather than flood. I'm not aware of any studies on UK heatwaves.

Bit of an embarrassment really.

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Reader Comments (157)

I'm amazed anyone considers plants & animals are so sensitive that they can detect a long-term difference between 1.9K & 2.0K, whilst living normally with 100x that difference as diurnal change.

Nov 27, 2014 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

The guy in the scarf at the start of this clip reminds me of Bob Ward. The strange guy seated right is Lord Stern who was about to tell Tim Yeo that the UN should force national governments to raise one quadrillion pounds over the next century and investing it in windmills all over the world instead of digging up coal. Peter Lilley is in the white shirt on the right. http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=16619

Nov 27, 2014 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSuffolkBoy

The thing that sucks so bad is that the amount of people seeing that interview is much larger than the amount of people who see the above refutation so all those people are scared into voting green.

Nov 27, 2014 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

Poor little Pinocchio Ward. Just a puppet on a string.

I may win on the roundabout
Then I'll lose on the swings
In or out, there is never a doubt
Just who's pulling the strings ?


It's $100 billion carbon trader, Jeremy Grantham, Pinocchio .

Jeremy Grantham's 2Q 2010 letter


Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future.

http://www.gmo.com/websitecontent/JGLetter_SummerEssays_2Q10.pdf

Sandy Shaw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWWC-tqePec

Nov 27, 2014 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

"This is straight from the science...we've seen from the evidence that if we go above global warming of more than 2 degrees we will be facing very severe risks that the world has not seen for millions of years..."

So, by his OWN mouth.............It's happened before, & we didn't have a runaway greenhouse effect, so his point is?

Nov 27, 2014 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

What an embarrassment.

I trust that "real" scientists will not hesitate to condemn this baseless scaremongering.
In fact I can hear them all shouting down Bob Ward, right now:-)

Nov 27, 2014 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

Meanwhile over at WUWT, friends of "Professor" Boab Ward are complaining about Dr Tim Balls use of the perceived N..zi analogy to describe the Science fraudsters on the alarmist side. One of them is a good friend of His Lordship of this parish, the other being Dr Tasmin sounding rather upset. Ah well -
let's enjoy the popcorn .

Nov 27, 2014 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterpatrick healy

millions of years?? is bobby referring to the mwp in a liberalretard way

Nov 27, 2014 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

We can already start to see the impacts of witchcraft in the UK...more flooding, more droughts, more heatwaves. They are things that are going to get worse. We are already starting to increase.

Bob Ward - Matthew Hopkins is there any real difference?

Nov 27, 2014 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter C

This is straight from the science...we've seen from the evidence that if we go above global warming of more than 2 degrees we will be facing very severe risks that the world has not seen for millions of years...

The last interglacial 90,000 years ago was 5C warmer than today and sea levels 10 meters higher. Humans and Neanderthals flourished across Asia and the Middle East. It was the Ice Age that killed most of them off!

Nov 27, 2014 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

I am sure your Grace will forgive me if I do not waste any of the precious moments that providence has granted me by watching Retard Porn. If I accidentally misspelt any of that, so much the better!

Nov 27, 2014 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterH2O: the miracle molecule

More flooding, less flooding, more rain, less rain, more droughts, fewer droughts, more heatwaves, less heatwaves, more snow, less snow, etc. It all seems to be used by lunatics like Bob Ward to justify their alarmist nonsense. If there was some consistency people like him might just have a tad more credibility.

Nov 27, 2014 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterStu

patrick healy
The bust-up at WUWT is a bit mind-blowing.
We have Betts and Edwards and Watts jumping down Tim Ball's throat because he dared to quote at length from Mein Kampf wherein HItler sets out the rationale behind the "Big Lie". This piece of obfuscation — and I'm surprised that Anthony is letting them get away with it, to be honest — illusrates perfectly a basic procedure of climatology: ignore the man behind the curtain.
Because in his opinion piece on WUWT Ball goes on to establish that the principles underlying the Big Lie (who originated the concept is not really of any importance unless you deny the validity of any thoughts that emanate from A Very Nasty Person) are alive and well and have been at least since the 1970s.
The whole piece is well worth reading and I would commend it to BH readers. It will become clear as you work through it why Betts and Edwards, and indeed anyone else committed to the AGW meme, come what may, are less than keen on it!

Nov 27, 2014 at 7:36 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

"[...]the two degrees warming[...]is straight from the science"

No, Bob, it was straight from some uneducated politician's mouth. And for the avoidance of any doubt, that's the same orifice, performing the same function, as the orifice upon which you sit.

Nov 27, 2014 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Ward: "This is straight from the Science - Right !"

Oh dear, where to start...

Nov 27, 2014 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered Commentergareth

Bob Ward's primary function, is as a mouthpiece to spiel the alarmist lies for boss man and chief pocket money provider - Grantham. All else is explained when you know this one fact. Gollum Ward, is an unconscionable and slithy little twerp but he knows well the big house where the salary cheque is signed....

"ee presses in oi palm, m' silver precious...........'n' oi do the biddin' of the lord of warmistas."

Nov 27, 2014 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

The Eemian was 2-6C warmer than today and was only 130,000 years ago.

Nov 27, 2014 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

@Clive Best

My thoughts exactly, glacial/interglacial periods. The "millions of years" reference demonstrates complete ignorance of climate. Even Wikipedia knows better.

Nov 27, 2014 at 10:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Bruce

Stop misrepresenting the science.

In the Eemian central European temperatures were 1-2C higher than the present and South of the Alps 1-2C cooler ( Kaspar et all 2005 ).

Sea levels were 4-6m above present levels ( Overpeck et all, 2006 ).

At current warming rates we are probably about a century from Eemian temperatures. Comparable sea levels would take a little longer.

Comparison with earlier humanity is misleading. It is easy for a hunter-gatherer to migrate elsewhere in a relatively empty world or replace a flooded hut. It is a little harder to migrate when all the land is already occupied or replace a flooded nuclear power station or a flooded city.

Nov 27, 2014 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Clive Best

The glacial interglacial cycles have dominated the last two million years, with interglacial conditions comparable to the present.

For warmer conditions you have to go back past that, into the Pliocene.

Nov 27, 2014 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM

'Stop misrepresenting the science.'

For once I agree with you. That, as we know, is your job.

Nov 27, 2014 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

EM
At current rates of warming?

Nov 27, 2014 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

'And with ''the science'' blind them.'

Nov 27, 2014 at 10:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoseph Sydney

'EM
At current rates of warming?

Nov 27, 2014 at 10:42 PM | Roger Tolson'

Roger,

Once the penny drops, stand by for a master class in cherry picking dates. My guess is that the last 20 years won't feature.

SJ

Nov 27, 2014 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Long term trend over the last 134 years, the full record has been 0.6C/ century. By cherry picking dates you can make that larger or smaller.

Arguing about the rate is just arguing when we pass Eemian levels this century or next.

Nov 27, 2014 at 11:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

The 2-degree limit was invented by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

He admitted in an interview with "i>Der Spiegel that it had nothing to do with the science

"Two degrees is not a magical limit -- it's clearly a political goal," says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). "The world will not come to an end right away in the event of stronger warming, nor are we definitely saved if warming is not as significant. The reality, of course, is much more complicated."

Schellnhuber ought to know. He is the father of the two-degree target.

"Yes, I plead guilty," he says, smiling. The idea didn't hurt his career. In fact, it made him Germany's most influential climatologist. Schellnhuber, a theoretical physicist, became Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief scientific adviser -- a position any researcher would envy.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/climate-catastrophe-a-superstorm-for-global-warming-research-a-686697-8.html

Nov 27, 2014 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

OK, I watched him for the first time. He comes across in very much the same way as the shifty politicians who appear on TV (such as "Question Time" which I am currently avoiding again). And he's equally evasive about giving a direct answer to a direct question, settling for BS, or worse in this case, to dig him out of a tight spot.

Credit to Gearty for making him squirm with even some simple questions.

Nov 27, 2014 at 11:59 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

EM, It is not cherry-picking to point out that the climate models which are used implicitly in your statement predicting future global warming, did not predict the recent ongoing lull, halt, pause or hiatus (take your pick).

Nov 28, 2014 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterBudgie

Budgie

Some aspects of climate change such as the atmospheric physics do not change. Other parameters such as volcanoes and aerosol pollution cannot be predicted ahead of time. Within those limits GCMs do well. Put in parameters which match reality and you get out projections which match reality. Model runs including the above average vulcanism, increased Asian pollution and weak solar cycle seen since 2000 project the pause.

Nov 28, 2014 at 12:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Budgie

Some aspects of climate change such as the atmospheric physics do not change. Other parameters such as volcanoes and aerosol pollution cannot be predicted ahead of time. Within those limits GCMs do well. Put in parameters which match reality and you get out projections which match reality. Model runs including the above average vulcanism, increased Asian pollution and weak solar cycle seen since 2000 project the pause.

Nov 28, 2014 at 12:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic

Let me rephrase that for you, EM.

IPCC models bear some similarity to those you might see on the catwalks of Milan: They can change their clothes pretty quickly. Take models that didn't predict the pause in 2000, fiddle with some of their adjustments backstage, turn them around, and you can have them back out claiming to predict the pause in 2014.

That's a hindcast, not a prediction.

Aerosol effects are large and even more uncertain than CO2. Any competent modeler can fiddle with the aerosol adjustments to get a pause. The only thing that has really changed since 2000 is that they now reach for justifications that they previously dismissed out of hand, such as volcanoes.

The cynic might add that this is deliberate because it opens the escape hatch of saying that volcanoes are unpredictable and thus "It's not our fault we were wrong".

Nov 28, 2014 at 2:44 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Come out and say it, Entropic man. Are Bob Ward's claims scientifically valid? A yes or a no will do.

Nov 28, 2014 at 3:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

"Long term trend over the last 134 years, the full record has been 0.6C/ century"
Ah, the "plot 2 points then continue the line to infinity in both directions" scientific method. So doom awaits. And 50,000 years ago the earth was at negative Kelvin.

Nov 28, 2014 at 6:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

More science fantasy[1] from the BBC's Department of Imaginary Science. There seems to be something of a blitz this week. Is this a softening-up exercise before conferences in Lima and then Paris?

[1] David Shukman: How could man intervene to change the climate?http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30229874

Nov 28, 2014 at 6:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterSuffolkBoy

Re +2degC: a few points to combat ridiculous alarm and any decarbonisation policies

Richard Tol confirms that any modest negative effects of warming could only ever begin at ~+2degC


+2degC can never be attained with added CO2 because of the diminishing effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas with increasing concentration

see: https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/the-diminishing-influence-of-increasing-carbon-dioxide-co2-on-temperature/


At ~1.6% of world emissions any efforts at decarbonisation by the UK can never have any discernible impact on global temperature, and the annual growth of emissions in China outstrips UK emissions regularly

see: https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/de-carbonisation-outcomes/

The last millennium 1000 - 2000 AD was the coldest of the whole of our currently benign Holocene epoch
The Holocene optimum 8000 years ago was about 3degC higher than now according to ice core records
The previous Eemian interglacial peaked at a much higher temperature than has ever occurred in our current Holocene epoch

The world survived these disasters

see https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/the-temperature-context/


And take note of what sensible academics have said in formal testimony:

Professor Judith Curry’s Congressional testimony 14/1/2014:

“Motivated by the precautionary principle to avoid dangerous anthropogenic climate change, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile. The stagnation in greenhouse warming observed over the past 15+ years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales.”


Professor Richard Lindzen UK parliament committee testimony 28/1/2014 on IPCC AR5:

“Whatever the UK decides to do will have no impact on your climate, but will have a profound impact on your economy. (You are) Trying to solve a problem that may not be a problem by taking actions that you know will hurt your economy.”

Nov 28, 2014 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered Commenteredmh

I said it before I may say it again , but its strange that Bob 'fast fingers ' Ward continuies to draw his pay cheque given how awful he is in this job , but Grantham is a very rich man who is looking to get even richer by riding the AGW train so he is free to do what he likes with his money.

Nov 28, 2014 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Brute

Yes

Nov 28, 2014 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM, presumably with such an unequivocal yes you can easily direct us to some proper references to support that assertion?

Nov 28, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteveW

Nov 27, 2014 at 11:56 PM | Rick Bradford

"The 2-degree limit was invented by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)."

In fact Schellnhuber, ever the opportunist, latched onto an idea that was first enunciated by economist, W.D. Nordhaus, in a discussion paper for the Cowles Foundation in 1977 and probably earlier, in 1974/5. Schellnhuber humbly claims it as his own, as you have shown.

In 1977, Nordhaus made the comment that: “If there were global temperatures more than 2 or 3° above the current average temperature, this would take the climate outside of the range of observations which have been made over the last several hundred thousand years.”

The 2 degree meme has obscured the original premise from the UN, stated here in 1990, “…Beyond 1 degree C may elicit rapid, unpredictable and non-linear responses that could lead to extensive ecosystem damage.”
- United Nations Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases"

You can read an excellently researched history of it here, http://theartofannihilation.com/part-1-expose-the-2%C2%BA-death-dance-the-1%C2%BA-cover-up/.

I should warn you that the author, a lady calling herself "Cory Morningstar", is fully signed up to the apocalypse, her bio is a revelation, http://theartofannihilation.com/about-the-author/.

However, I can find no fault with her account of the events relating to the history of the 2 degree meme.

A must read, if you want to know from the horses mouth, about the major uncertainties of their knowledge on sensitivity, is this paper by Boykoff et al, which addresses the climate stability question. It also refers to Nordhaus and the history of "emission stabilisation".

"A critical exploration of the concept of ‘climate stabilization’ in contemporary climate policy", Boykoff et al
http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/resource-2805-2009.58.pdf,

One of the "et al's" is David Frame, a colleague of Myles Allen, and co-author with him of of "Towards the Trillionth Tonne", Allen et al http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v458/n7242/abs/nature08019.html

There is an interesting contrast between the two papers.

From Allen et al: (received September 2008 by Nature Climate Change)
"Total anthropogenic emissions of one trillion tonnes of carbon (3.67 trillion tonnes of CO2), about half of which has already been emitted since industrialization began, results in a most likely peak carbon-dioxide-induced warming of 2 °C above pre-industrial temperatures, with a 5–95% confidence interval of 1.3–3.9 °C."

From Boykoff et al: (received by Global Environmental Change on 3rd January 2009)
"Climate stabilization has thus become an enduring myth, providing an easily graspable understanding of climate change, even though there are many questions about the framing of the problem, the accuracy of the figures and the implications for management. It has provided a ready interface between scientists, economists, policymakers and environmentalists, and it is this collective weaving that makes it so hard as a concept to disentangle from."

Nov 28, 2014 at 10:36 AM | Registered Commenterdennisa

Prof Phil Jones was asked during an interview on the BBC where the 2C came from. His reply was that he did not know, someone in the EU was the probable source, but it was plucked out of the air.

So total myth not fact.

Both the RWP and MWP were up to 5C warmer than today, no problems back then.

Nov 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Long term trend over the last 134 years, the full record has been 0.6C/ century. By cherry picking dates you can make that larger or smaller.

Arguing about the rate is just arguing when we pass Eemian levels this century or next.

Nov 27, 2014 at 11:24 PM | Entropic man
==================================================================

So, it's got warmer since the end of the Little Ice Age.

Stone me.

Nov 28, 2014 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

@ John Marshall

The 2C "limit" came from Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research — PIK.

Rahmstorf agreed that he made it up, aka pulled the number out of his arse, because it sound good, definitive, and "sciency". It's just like the 5 fruit and veg, or the X standard drinks per day. It is pure policy-based evidence-making.

Nov 28, 2014 at 12:13 PM | Registered CommenterHector Pascal

DNFTT

Nov 28, 2014 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

What puzzles me is: How do these bozos get air time..?

Nov 28, 2014 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

As far as heatwaves are concerned in the UK, nothing has come close to 1976,, and since 2006 there has been a noticeable absence of such.

Indeed on the CET daily numbers, there has only been one day above 29C since 2006.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/krebs-worries-about-heatwaves/

Nov 28, 2014 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

We can already start to see the impacts of climate change in the UK...more flooding, more droughts, more heatwaves. They are things that are going to get worse. We are already starting to increase.

Like Bob, I am very concerned about the likelihood of more heatwaves in the UK. In July there was a terrible spell of weather here, when it became so uncomfortably warm we had to go for a swim in the crystal clear waters of our highland rivers most afternoons to keep cool. We also didn't have to light the stove in the house for over an entire month. I remember complaining bitterly about this at the time, as I much prefer cold wet summers, as do my clients, the weather being the main reason so many visitors come to Scotland. I was very relieved a couple of weeks later when normal service resumed and we had some ice (frost) on the summer house roof on the morning of August 5th, and then some proper frosts on August 22nd and 23rd (when a friend in Glen Lyon had to spend 5 minutes clearing ice off their car so she could get to work). Yes, 2 degrees of global warming is a terrible prospect for is all, especially in the cold and damp northern hemisphere, where energy is cheap and everyone wants to spend their free time chopping logs, (or disposable income) on trying to keep the house warm.

Nov 28, 2014 at 1:27 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

sherlock1 on Nov 28, 2014 at 12:28 PM

"What puzzles me is: How do these bozos get air time..?"

And how they are never questioned. There is never a credible session of questioning, let alone hearing alternative views without being accompanied by dismissive tones from the 'neutral' chairman.

We know why, but it is shameful.

Nov 28, 2014 at 1:33 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

The BBC's environment analyst Roger Harrabin put questions to Professor Jones, including several gathered from climate sceptics. The questions were put to Professor Jones with the co-operation of UEA's press office.

Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

C - Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?

No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant.

Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?
An initial point to make is that in the responses to these questions I've assumed that when you talk about the global temperature record, you mean the record that combines the estimates from land regions with those from the marine regions of the world. CRU produces the land component, with the Met Office Hadley Centre producing the marine component.

Temperature data for the period 1860-1880 are more uncertain, because of sparser coverage, than for later periods in the 20th Century. The 1860-1880 period is also only 21 years in length. As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different (see numbers below).

I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998.

So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

Nov 28, 2014 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Jeremy Poynton:

So, it's got warmer since the end of the Little Ice Age.

Stone me.

Strange, isn't it Jeremy, that the likes of EM and his ilk are able to prophesy doom and gloom with a 0.6C/c but cannot tell us what the ideal temp should be. I mean, is he saying that it should not move? That it should never change, or only go downwards? Maybe he's a real climate change denier? Rather like a 'flat-earther', he's a believer in flat temps.

Nov 28, 2014 at 2:36 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

BBC Scotland was celebrating the wonderful news yesterday that the installed capacity of renewables in Scotland had overtaken that of nuclear for the first time. A renewables talking head rep was invited on to say what a great milestone this was. If only the reporter had thought to ask what the output of the McWindmills was at the time of the interview...but then the BBC wouldn't want to spoil the charade.
Next story, how somewhere in Scotland would become a nuclear wasteland if required to store spent fuel from RN submarines.
Nice juxtaposition there BBC.

Nov 28, 2014 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

It didn't seem like much of a "grilling" to me, more like throwing him a few easy deliveries so he could perpetuate his exaggerations and falsehoods. Where's Andrew Neil when you need him? Gearty was a soft touch.

Nov 28, 2014 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDerek

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