Integrity and the climate scientist
Dec 2, 2015
Bishop Hill in Climate: Sceptics, Climate: Surface

Here's an excerpt from Matt Ridley's article in the Times a few days ago.

How unusual is today’s temperature? As I did this weekend, you have no doubt had conversations along the following lines recently: “Hasn’t it been mild? End of November and we’ve hardly had a frost yet!” All true. But then be honest: can you not recall such conversations throughout your life? I can. And here’s what the Met Office had to say about November 1938, long before I was born: “The weather of the month was distinguished by exceptional mildness: at numerous places it was the mildest November on record.” In 1953, November was even milder and there was no air frost recorded in Oxford in the last four months of the year at all.

I am not saying it has not generally become warmer, but that the variation dwarfs the trend. Let’s go back a little further, to the Middle Ages. It used to be argued by some that the “Medieval Warm Period” of about a thousand years ago, when mountain glaciers retreated, vines grew further north and Iceland was widely cultivated, was confined to Europe. We now know from multiple sources of evidence that it was global. Tree lines were higher than today in many mountain ranges, for example. Both North Pacific and Antarctic Ocean water temperatures were 0.65C warmer than today.

And here is a letter from Professor Joanna Haigh in response:

Sir, A quarter of a century after Margaret Thatcher first warned of the perils of climate change, it is disheartening to find columnists in the UK media still confusing weather with climate and anecdote with evidence...

Personal conversations about British November weather cannot be a substitute for global observations of climate change — not only increasing temperatures but ice melt, the migration of wildlife, the acidification of the ocean, and so on. These observations confirm that man-made climate change presents real and increasing risks for the future.

The green establishment is not exactly covering themselves in glory on the integrity front at the moment are they?

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