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Check With Climate Scientists for Views on Climate

Posted on 2 February 2012 by Kevin Trenberth

In response to the latest denialist plea for climate inaction published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the WSJ has published a response letter from a number of actual climate scientists, which is re-printed below.

Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.

You published "No Need to Panic About Global Warming" (op-ed, Jan. 27) on climate change by the climate-science equivalent of dentists practicing cardiology. While accomplished in their own fields, most of these authors have no expertise in climate science. The few authors who have such expertise are known to have extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert. This happens in nearly every field of science. For example, there is a retrovirus expert who does not accept that HIV causes AIDS. And it is instructive to recall that a few scientists continued to state that smoking did not cause cancer, long after that was settled science.

Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record. Observations show unequivocally that our planet is getting hotter. And computer models have recently shown that during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures, warming is occurring elsewhere in the climate system, typically in the deep ocean. Such periods are a relatively common climate phenomenon, are consistent with our physical understanding of how the climate system works, and certainly do not invalidate our understanding of human-induced warming or the models used to simulate that warming.

Thus, climate experts also know what one of us, Kevin Trenberth, actually meant by the out-of-context, misrepresented quote used in the op-ed. Mr. Trenberth was lamenting the inadequacy of observing systems to fully monitor warming trends in the deep ocean and other aspects of the short-term variations that always occur, together with the long-term human-induced warming trend.

The National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. (set up by President Abraham Lincoln to advise on scientific issues), as well as major national academies of science around the world and every other authoritative body of scientists active in climate research have stated that the science is clear: The world is heating up and humans are primarily responsible. Impacts are already apparent and will increase. Reducing future impacts will require significant reductions in emissions of heat-trapping gases.

Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused. It would be an act of recklessness for any political leader to disregard the weight of evidence and ignore the enormous risks that climate change clearly poses. In addition, there is very clear evidence that investing in the transition to a low-carbon economy will not only allow the world to avoid the worst risks of climate change, but could also drive decades of economic growth. Just what the doctor ordered.

Kevin Trenberth, Sc.D.

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Climate Analysis Section National Center for Atmospheric Research

La Jolla, Calif.

Kevin Trenberth, Sc.D, Distinguished Senior Scientist, Climate Analysis Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Richard Somerville, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D., Director, Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University

Rasmus Benestad, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, The Norwegian Meteorological Institute

Gerald Meehl, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Michael Oppenheimer, Ph.D., Professor of Geosciences; Director, Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, Princeton University

Peter Gleick, Ph.D., co-founder and president, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security

Michael C. MacCracken, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Climate Institute, Washington

Michael Mann, Ph.D., Director, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University

Steven Running, Ph.D., Professor, Director, Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group, University of Montana

Robert Corell, Ph.D., Chair, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment; Principal, Global Environment Technology Foundation

Dennis Ojima, Ph.D., Professor, Senior Research Scientist, and Head of the Dept. of Interior's Climate Science Center at Colorado State University

Josh Willis, Ph.D., Climate Scientist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Matthew England, Ph.D., Professor, Joint Director of the Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia

Ken Caldeira, Ph.D., Atmospheric Scientist, Dept. of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution

Warren Washington, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Terry L. Root, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

David Karoly, Ph.D., ARC Federation Fellow and Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia

Jeffrey Kiehl, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Donald Wuebbles, Ph.D., Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois

Camille Parmesan, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, University of Texas; Professor of Global Change Biology, Marine Institute, University of Plymouth, UK

Simon Donner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Canada

Barrett N. Rock, Ph.D., Professor, Complex Systems Research Center and Department of Natural Resources, University of New Hampshire

David Griggs, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Monash Sustainability Institute, Monash University, Australia

Roger N. Jones, Ph.D., Professor, Professorial Research Fellow, Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, Australia

William L. Chameides, Ph.D., Dean and Professor, School of the Environment, Duke University

Gary Yohe, Ph.D., Professor, Economics and Environmental Studies, Wesleyan University, CT

Robert Watson, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Chair of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia

Steven Sherwood, Ph.D., Director, Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Chris Rapley, Ph.D., Professor of Climate Science, University College London, UK

Joan Kleypas, Ph.D., Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research

James J. McCarthy, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Oceanography, Harvard University

Stefan Rahmstorf, Ph.D., Professor of Physics of the Oceans, Potsdam University, Germany

Julia Cole, Ph.D., Professor, Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona

William H. Schlesinger, Ph.D., President, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Jonathan Overpeck, Ph.D., Professor of Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona

Eric Rignot, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Professor of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine

Wolfgang Cramer, Professor of Global Ecology, Mediterranean Institute for Biodiversity and Ecology, CNRS, Aix-en-Provence, France

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 119:

  1. Kudos to all of the scientists who signed this letter!
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  2. It would be nice to see how many other actual climate scientists could be interested to add their names to a virtual version of this letter. Perhaps hosted here?
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  3. It is indeed a remarkable thing that that the WSJ is prepared to publish this letter, and congratulations to all signatories. I just wish the Australian Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun would give Tim Flannery, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Naomi Oreskes and David Marr a similar right of reply to the highly offensive and arguably defamatory claptrap published yesterday by Andrew Bolt.

    The denier campaign is alive and well here and will only grow louder as the introduction of carbon pricing on 1 July approaches. The efforts and contributions of SkS will play a vital role in this debate, and I'd like to offer my most profound and sincere thanks for all that you do.
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  4. Good letter, but it would be nice if they had extensive references in their discussion, or at least links to them. I understand "skeptics" couldn't care less about supporting their statements, and in their case they're better off without them, but scientists should do better. Is there a WSJ restriction, related to a restriction in the print version?
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  5. Talk about serendipity!

    Suggested reading:

    “Climate scientists not cowed by relentless climate change deniers” by Tony Feder, page 22 of Physics Today, Feb, 2012

    To access this timely, in-depth article, click here.
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  6. GreenCooling @3,

    I don't know whom this Andrew Bolt fellow is affiliated with. But I did find cases of racial discrimination, e.g. here which undermine his quality as journalist and his integrity.

    Skimming through the claptrap you're pointing at, confirmed my opinion about Andrew. It suffice to quote him as saying "Arctic ice has not retreated since 2007" which is the old monckton myth disproved last year and abandoned by Monckton himself. But Andrew is still clinging to it on February 01, 2012: unbelievable, a rare case of 100% head in sand! What world is Andrew living on?

    I found that OZ media that are part of Murdoch empire (like Daily Telegraph tabloid we are talking about here) tend to provide a workplace for individuals such as Andrew Bolt. Other media, i.e. smh.com.au or abc.net.au do not. I read/watch the latter regularly and I am confident such incoherent rambling would not be published there.
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  7. Simon Donner, one of the signatories of the above letter, has further commented on the issue here.
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  8. Will this "letter" from the experts get equal billing to the shrill denial of the opinion/editorial?

    Or will it be put down in the letters from mere mortals section?
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  9. Every once in a while, something comes along that gets the batteries, depleted by frustration and setback, a recharge. This made warm winter day a little easier on the nerves.

    Thumbs up to the Wall Street Journal for printing it. Maybe some of their constituency in harms way with this pollution can get some attention. I'd go and check up, but the last round of comments there pushed Vogon poetry into fourth place.
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  10. Another splendid comment from Louis A. Derry, assistant professor of geological sciences at Cornell University here.

    Thanks to link from M Mann's twitter, via (bizarrely) a certain weatherman's blog.
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  11. Thank you Dibble for the link to Derry's concise,informed and incisive response.
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  12. It is sad that this letter does not really tell us anything new but merely repeats several parts of the standard IPCC type view and states things that disagree with the earlier letter without providing any explanation for how the differences of opinion come about. We are told that the long-term warming trend has not abated but what the interested outsider needs to know is why they hold this view and the earlier letter’s authors seem to hold an opposite one. Without an explanation all that we get is a sort of “’tis, ‘tisn’t” argument that is not really a debate.

    The piece on computer modelling is particularly bizarre. These apparently show “that during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures, warming is occurring elsewhere in the climate system, typically in the deep ocean”. Now it may well be that measurement of temperatures in the deep ocean could show such a thing, but no explanation at all is offered about how a computer model could do so.

    It is also sad to see some of the less doctrinaire members of the global warming community joining in on this. One of the signatories of the letter, Robert Watson, has in the past been rather critical of the IPCC overstatement of the seriousness of climate change and has stated that his side’s view should always be challenged by sceptics. What a pity that he has chosen not to rebut the sceptic’s letter in any detail at all but has joined in on the repetition of claims thus taking the rest of us no further at all.
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  13. Elsa,

    Have you considered that if the facts are "merely" repeated by those who are qualified to repeat them then maybe there is a strong chance that it is the reality?

    Check the qualifications and motivations of those who are sceptical.

    However claims can only be supported by evidence and not by letters to the editor.

    The really scarey bit is what if the IPCC report underestimated the situation...they may have!
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  14. I don't want to split hairs but what I criticised was repetition of views, not facts. The facts that seem under debate here are whether or not there has been warming in the last 10 years or so. That is something on which it would be interesting to see some real data (and I have put together some comments set out in the earlier section of this website that deals with this debate) rather than repetition of two points of view.

    The qualifications point I accept, although it seems to me that many of the supposed "climate scientists" do not have anything like as much in the way of qualifications as they claim. Phil Jones is one I have looked at in particular and it seems to me he has very little in the way of a proper scientific background and certainly his approach to science with regard to data sharing (the withholding of underlying data without which his work cannot be meaningfully reviewed) is most unscientific.

    Motives are interesting and possibly helpful but I am afraid that quite often these days it is motives, rather than the underlying arguments, that get criticised in many debates, not just ones about global warming. Whatever one's opponents motivations one needs to answer their points rather than question their motives.

    I would completely agree with your comment about evidence, unfortunately there is none in this letter. That is one of the reasons that I am critical of it.

    I am not sure why you think the IPCC may underestimate the situation. Clearly one of the signatories to this letter - whom you presumably think is properly qualified - thinks quite the opposite.
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  15. GreenCooling @3

    Andrew Bolt and his ilk are paid to have an opinion and are not required to justify it...unlike those who are paid less than he and are required to publish theirs in a forum that demands rigour and takes no prisoners...peer review or op-ed?
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  16. #14 elsa : "Without an explanation all that we get is a sort of “’tis, ‘tisn’t” argument that is not really a debate."

    Op-eds in WSJ are not a scientific debate. Scientific debate occurs in scientific publications and workshops. For a recent example, Dessler 2011 have answered to Spencer and Braswell 2011 and Lindzen and Choi 2011. So, you must read these papers (with replies) and conclude which is the more convincing from a scientific point of view. Same is true for all domains of the climate observation and modelization.
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  17. Chriskoz@6

    Andrew Bolt's primary affiliation is with Rupert Murdoch (is that the truth or was your news limited?), and has distinguished himself as a purveyor of far right propaganda and a convicted rascist. He's very well known for these views here, yet sadly does appear on the ABC Insiders show, and with Australia's richest person, mining magnate and Monckton fan Gina Reinhart, increasing her stake in Fairfax (publishers of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age) this week, progressive commentators are very concerned she is doing this precisely in order to have the likes of Bolt given a broader audience....

    Gina also owns a big slice of channel 10 TV on which Andrew consequently hosts the "Bolt Report", but fortunately few Aussies are stupid enough to watch this and it does poorly in the ratings...

    Completely agree Bolt is paid to promote these views, and we should all be worried about the depth of the pockets that feed him and his ilk, but having truth on our side is needless to say a significant advantage.
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  18. elsa@14

    A view is a perspective. The broader one's view the better the perspective. So how does one broaden the view? Read the published scientific literature...most of it is accessible if not easily understood. And if not places like this will give a "heads up" as to to what is happening with regards to our current understanding rather that what we knew 10 years ago. Reality unfolds much faster than we can grasp let alone manage.

    A letter to WJS from "either side" cannot begin to touch the reality of the situation.

    With regards to the IPCC report of 2007 I am pessimistic and skeptical. I hope to be proven wrong...after all a pessimist is never disappointed..either I was right or if I was wrong all the better.
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  19. A couple things. First, my understanding is that this letter was not "printed" but only appeared on-line. The original denier piece was actually printed. WSJ is one of the few papers left where the print version actually is widely read. Perhaps someone with access to the printed copy can verify this.

    Second, skept.fr @16 wrote "Op-eds in WSJ are not a scientific debate." This is 100 percent true, but we all know that the original op-ed will be endlessly quoted and cited by deniers in the coming months if not years for consumption by the general public and policy elites as "evidence."
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  20. elsa#14: "The facts that seem under debate here are whether or not there has been warming in the last 10 years or so."

    Debate? One side has a full record of evidence, the other side has a cherry-picked few years. One side has a trend lasting many years, the other side has 'if we connect these two points, the trend is down.' One side has measures with statistical significance, the other has 'because we say so.' That's not a debate, its an avalanche.

    "That is something on which it would be interesting to see some real data"

    Try the 'most used climate myths' on this website. There are a number of 'warming stopped in ___ ' threads. Or look at the BEST threads. All are just rife with real data.

    While you're at it, consider Arctic ice melt and world glacier mass loss; explain how these symptoms can possibly be happening if there's been no warming.
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  21. For anyone who thinks that the IPCC has been exaggerating the possible impacts of warming, I suggest a long hard look at this collection of graphs showing Arctic sea ice extent, area and volume.

    In particular, look at the fifth line of graphs. Comparing actual measurements of ice extent against a background of the modelled projections. Anyone who wants to accuse modellers of having overstated expected impacts of warming must qualify their statements or accusations with a standard rider "Well, of course, except for Arctic ice."
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  22. elsa, if you're looking for data, peruse the threads in this site and examine the links to the scientific literature contained therein.

    Above all, please refrain from the tired, creationist-style game of equating denialist handwaving (the WSJ letter by Lindzen et al) with statements backed by solid empirical support (the reply letter posted in this OP).
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  23. @Elsa #14
    "Phil Jones is one I have looked at in particular and it seems to me he has very little in the way of a proper scientific background"

    This and the rest of your post is ....what shall i say....a little bit ridiculous?

    Please have a look at this and take your time to read and understand the publications where Phil Jones has participated.
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/pubs/byauthor/jones_pd.htm
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  24. elsa: "The facts that seem under debate here are whether or not there has been warming in the last 10 years or so. That is something on which it would be interesting to see some real data"

    Ok, elsa, look at the simple linear temperature trend since 1997, 1998, and 1999 in GISS, HadCru, RSS, and UAH. These are generated from the data.

    As far as Phil Jones goes, data is withheld all the time in many areas of science. I seriously doubt if most of those who have been critical of Jones would be any less critical--or believe what he has to say any more--if the data had been wide open from day one. Some folks have entrenched but evidence-free beliefs about the way things are. It's very difficult to loosen up this entrenchment (and that's my professional opinion as an educator). It's even worse when someone invests themselves publicly in a belief.

    "I would completely agree with your comment about evidence, unfortunately there is none in this letter. That is one of the reasons that I am critical of it."

    And are you just as critical of the letter that preceded it? If not, I'd have to question your motivations. You point to Watson as well and tell us that we learn nothing from his signature. Not true. Watson, you claim, has been critical of the IPCC in the past, but here he signs Trenberth's letter that, in part, claims, "It would be an act of recklessness for any political leader to disregard the weight of evidence and ignore the enormous risks that climate change clearly poses." Is Watson an idiot for not reading what he signs his name to, or does he now agree with Trenberth that the situation is serious? We actually learn quite a bit from Watson's signature (if signatures are a meaningful way of determining truth for you).
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  25. muoncounter wrote: "Debate? One side has a full record of evidence, the other side has a cherry-picked few years."

    We now live in a world where there can be a 'debate' about whether the universe is more than 6000 years old, whether Barrack Obama is a Kenyan born secret muslim, and/or whether Rupert Murdoch 'news' outlets are biased.

    People whose entire worldview is founded on lies and delusion can 'debate' anything... and never lose, because the facts disproving their position don't exist in their reality.
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  26. @greencooling
    I agree with most of what you said but calling bolt a 'convicted racist' isn't entirely right, there was a civil case. Considering the findings I am surprised he isn't in a criminal court.
    The judge that found against bolt in the case of eatock vs. bolt commented that he had been dishonest and wrote that bolt had made ommissions and written untruths and distortions, thats just to start with. Bolts dishonesty regarding his reporting on climate change may not be as offensive but it certainly follows a trend. Anybody interested look up Eatock vs. Bolt
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  27. NYJ and elsa - I can tell you from personal experience that it takes a whole lot more time and effort to debunk a Gish Gallop of myths than it does to create one. Writing "global warming stopped 10 years ago" takes about 5 seconds and no intellectual effort whatsoever. Debunking that one-sentence myth can take several hours and paragraphs, depending on how thorough you want to be.

    In short, the scientists responding to the 'skeptic' letter were under no obligation to put any more effort into their response. The 'skeptic' letter was unsubstantiated nonsense myths, so the response really doesn't require anything more than pointing out the myths are just that - myths.

    If you want some detail as to why the myths are wrong, see the Skeptical Science debunking of the WSJ letter.
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  28. In an ideal world, the media should act as a bridge to translate evidence and inform their readers responsibly and impartially, who would then digest it and collectively modify their behaviour to live sustainably.

    This to me is called common-sense.

    However, it is a rude shock to me that the world does not in fact work this way.

    Instead, the truth is smothered and distorted by dishonourable people for many reasons, and the vitriol and lies spouted by the far right in comments sections and on youtube is just shocking.

    Thanks to the Net and to sites such as this one, we can bypass the mainstream media and get close to the evidence, but it requires above average intelligence and mental skill to make sense of everything. The majority of people perhaps just don't know or care enough to find out things for themselves, and instead are content to form opinions based on a constant drip of ubiquitous background propaganda. Once a belief set is formed, it seems that it sticks through hell or high water (pun intended!)

    If the media can't or won't do their job to help educate Humanity and pull together, then what will? A direct strike by a Category 6 hurricane on the Whitehouse? People having to swim to work?

    Who or what is driving the insanity of denialism, and why?

    Is it really so unacceptable to transform the way we live to make a better world to live in, or does it really matter if we are the last generations to enjoy our planet?
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  29. elsa... "Phil Jones is one I have looked at in particular and it seems to me he has very little in the way of a proper scientific background..."

    Really? Is that so? Well a quick google scholar search tells me that Dr Jones has something in the neighborhood of 150 published peer-reviewed papers on various topics on climate change. How many do you have?
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  30. Elsa,

    It's odd that despite your complaints about the lack of hard scientific evidence in this letter, your comments here rely heavily on opinion, "gut instinct," hand-waving, innuendo and slander. In short, you present plenty of "views." But facts? Not so much.

    It's also odd that despite your complaints about the civility of individual commenters, you seem to have no problem accusing scientists you disagree with of incompetence or worse. That doesn't seem very civil to me.

    If you don't want to be seen as a tone-tolling hypocrite, perhaps you should try living up to your own high standards.

    Also, demanding "real data" on the Internet's best self-service portal for exactly that makes you seem kind of...well, lazy. The literature supporting AGW is voluminous and goes back more than a century. Ultimately, the only person who can get you to understand this literature is you. But to do this, you'll need to put aside a few pet assumptions and develop some humility.

    Unfortunately, it seems you'd prefer to spend your time searching Phil Jones' background for reasons to dismiss him. Again, that's not scientific. It's also not particularly civil. Or ethical.
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  31. CBD#25: "there can be a 'debate' about ... "

    There is considerable overlap among those who hold the extremist positions in those 'debates' and those who buy the tripe that Mr. Murdoch peddles.

    "Sunday morning news shows ... are less likely to degenerate into people shouting at each other," said Cassino. "Viewers pick up more information from this sort of calm discussion than from other formats. Unfortunately, these shows have a much smaller audience than the shouters."
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  32. elsa... I also find with a little searching that Dr Jones is an "ISI highly cited researcher." This is a highly coveted distinction few scientists achieve.
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  33. @andylee - The media's job is deliver news to its constituency, and become profitable by selling sympathetic advertising. They are bound by the legal statutes. After that, their business is selling, not telling.

    The media has done more to sell this controversy than all the blogs and think-tanks put together. Right now, anti-science syndrome and anti-intelligence disorder ... sells.
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  34. I am grateful to DSL for pointing me in the direction of a number of interactive sites with temperature data. I had raised the question of temperature over the last 10 years so that is what I searched for (2001 to 2011, global mean land temperature). The result gives a graph with a series of fluctuations and a trend line that is almost completely flat. Unfortunately I cannot seem to copy and paste it into here but insofar as it shows anything about trends it is not supportive of the view that the world got warmer (or cooler) in this period.
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  35. Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.

    He means climatologists actively publishing.

    For 'scientists actively publishing' the number is closer to 90%.
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  36. #34: 2011 saw one of the strongest La Ninas since the 50's. La Ninas lower the measured surface temperature significantly. It will increase once we hit ENSO neutral conditions, and once the next El Nino hits, we will likely see a new global average temperature record, just like we saw in 2010, despite the lowest solar activity in more than 100 years.
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  37. elsa be aware that looking at temperature trends over a timescale as short as a decade is statistically meaningless - the data is too noisy on this scale to expect to get a statistically significant trend whether it is actually warming or not. The only reason that anyone is discussing the trend over the last decade is because it suits the skeptic position, provided you forget about what we have learned about statistics over the last century or so.
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  38. Last I checked, 2001 to 2011 was 11 years. Not 10.

    Instructions for including links to pages / images can be found by clicking the link reading 'Click for tips on posting images or hyperlinks' at the bottom of the comments box.

    Ten years with trend
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  39. elsa@34
    You have asserted a fact (The result gives a graph with a series of fluctuations and a trend line that is almost completely flat) without providing any reference to your source. In previous statements you were concerned with the lack of science content in the rebutal letter. Does your assertion meet your own standard of science content?

    I am not saying that you are wrong about the graph, jsut that you have provided nothing at all to back up your claim.
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  40. Hmmm, ok that link was wrong. Gotta take beginning of year vs end of year into account;

    Past 10 years
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  41. Elsa, my point with the links was that you can pick whatever trend you want for the short run. Take a broader view. Find fault with this analysis.
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  42. At the same time, take into account that solar input has been "unusually low" for the past half decade.
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  43. pbjamm: You are right - it does not meet my own criteria, but unfortunately I was unable to cpoy and paste the graph onto here, so I had no alternative but to leave it out.
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  44. In the true spirit of the "butwhattabout" brigade, the discussion has again been hijacked by a mysterious claim of significance in a phony 10-year flatline (check your residiuals on that flatline claim, Sparky).

    It doesn't work for 6 or 12, Nature is not a decadal digital creature, but somehow someone has swamped another thread with claims that it is a definitive issue.

    It isn't. It's a trick from the bag of make-believer beans.

    The true significance is in the 12-month run from June 2009-June 2010 setting the complete all-time 12-month running period in the historical records (even higher with the new HadCrut). The true significance is the 10-foot thick layer of freshwater in the Beaufort Gyre.

    The rest is 'lies, damned lies, and statistics'.
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  45. elsa - You have made a number of claims based upon 10 year trends. While 10 trends are (currently) low, do they mean anything?

    No.

    Before making any more such claims, I would suggest you read the thread on Separating signal and noise in climate warming, in particular the referenced Santer 2011 paper. Given the noise and variation (not the same thing, mind you, see Foster and Rahmstorf 2011) it requires 17 years of data to separate any significant trend from the noise.

    So - what do we see with 17 years of data?

    You see this plot (linear trends from raw data, which was then smoothed with 60 month running mean for clarity). Showing trends with slopes of 0.156, 0.106, 0.081, and 0.149 C per decade - not even close to flat.

    Your '10 year trends' are cherry-picking. I do not know if you are simply unaware of proper statistical treatment in the presence of noise (if so, follow the links), or you are aware and and hence are trolling - but such short time periods don't establish anything about what's happening in the climate.
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  46. Let's take our eye off the right hand and concentrate on what the left hand is doing. They don't believe in anthropogenic climate change. Fine. Even if they can deny climate change evidence, they can't have their heads so far in the sand that they don't recognize the reality of peak oil, of coal fired power stations spewing out masses of pollution, of the destruction the west is causing to the environment and society of oil rich countries, of the number of our own and their young people that are killed in energy wars, of the money we spend on oil coming back to buy up main street, wall street, air ports and sea ports - making us tenants in our own countries. To the Denyers. "Forget climate change if you must". Simply look at our own short and long term interests.
    http://mtkass.blogspot.com/2010/10/forget-climate-change.html
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  47. What a gem:

    I am grateful to DSL for pointing me in the direction of a number of interactive sites with temperature data. I had raised the question of temperature over the last 10 years so that is what I searched for (2001 to 2011, global mean land temperature). The result gives a graph with a series of fluctuations and a trend line that is almost completely flat. Unfortunately I cannot seem to copy and paste it into here but insofar as it shows anything about trends it is not supportive of the view that the world got warmer (or cooler) in this period.


    Of course, this only make sense if you ignore ocean temperature increases & ice melt and cherry-pick your ten or eleven year period.

    It's not like we have another comment by elsa on another post here at Skeptical Science actually suggesting we ignore other indicators of warming such as increases in ocean heat content or increases in ice melt.

    Oh, wait... we do.
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  48. Elsa, the letter of reply printed here is just that, a letter. If you want an item-by-item scientific response to each of the unsubstantiated assertions made in the first letter then look at the science.

    An easy way to do so is to click on "Arguments" in the top menu bar. The Intermediate and Advanced versions of each rebuttal include links to the relevant papers in the scientific literature. No "skeptic" site does anything like this.

    Now ask yourself why.
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  49. william, sadly a large percentage of climate deniers can and do deny all of those things. Indeed, denying AGW is just a continuation of much deeper rooted delusions.

    The people who insist 'peak oil is a myth' are a case in point... consumption of a finite resource won't eventually peak and then decline? It is sheer insanity, but they passionately believe it.
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  50. Elsa@14 A quick look around the interweb reveals the following:

    Phil Jones -

    BA Environmental Sciences - Lancaster
    MSc --- Newcastle (UK)
    PhD Hydrology - Newcastle (UK)

    Sounds science like to me. What do you believe someone needs to create a temperature series? And has not Muller recently produced a very similar series?
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