This page is devoted to giving reactions to the almost daily reports from Lord Nigel Lawson's website (The Global Warming Policy Foundation, GWPF) run by Dr Benny Peiser.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation was launched by Lord Lawson and Dr Benny Peiser on 23 November 2009 in the House of Lords. Its mission statement follows:
We have developed a distinct set of principles that set us apart from most other stakeholders in the climate debates:
· The GWPF does not have an official or shared view about the science of global warming - although we are of course aware that this issue is not yet settled.
[BBC: The physics is beyond doubt, the uncertainties are the extent and distribution of warming and its consequences.]
· On climate science, our members and supporters cover a broad range of different views, from the IPCC position through agnosticism to outright scepticism.
· Our main focus is to analyse global warming policies and their economic and other implications. Our aim is to provide the most robust and reliable economic analysis and advice.
· We regard observational evidence and understanding the present as more important and more reliable than computer modelling or predicting the distant future.
[BBC: We agree]
Above all we seek to inform the media, politicians and the public, in a newsworthy way, on the subject in general and on the misinformation to which they are all too frequently being subjected at the present time.
[BBC: GWPF does report generally from the press and such reports are often biased by the reporter's viewpoint and sometimes lack of understanding.]
The UK Met Office has revised its global temperature predictions as a result of a new version of its climate model and climate simulations using it. It now believes that global temperatures up to 2017 will most likely be 0.43 deg C above the 1971-2000 average, with an error of +/- 0.15 deg C. In reality this is a forecast of no increase in global temperatures above current levels. If the latest Met Office prediction is correct, and it accords far more closely with the observed data than previous predictions, then it will prove to be a lesson in humility. It will show that the previous predictions that were given so confidently as advice to the UK government and so unquestioningly accepted by the media, were wrong, and that the so-called sceptics who were derided for questioning them were actually on the right track.
David Whitehouse, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 7 January 2013
A song and dance about 0.15 C°
The apparent stasis in global warming since the El Niño event of 1998 has been made much of by extreme critics of global warming theory. For some years it has been obvious that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning cycle is in a cooling phase, as it was from 1940 to 1976. The cooling it causes negates the expected warming from the ever increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere which is caused by fossil fuel burning. The Met Office has published their findings and they do nothing to discount the observation that since 1850 there has been an underlying warming of about 0.7 C° per century with the effects of the various long term cycles superimposed. No natural effect upon global temperature that explains the underlying warming has been identified, but a consistent increase in CO2 concentration does.
Further negative spin from Benny & Nigel 15th January, 2013
Prof Julia Slingo, the Met Office's Chief Scientist was not happy with the BBC either. The BBC's report was not perfect but it was in essence correct. Journalists have a duty to be correct, not to be liked or approved of. This goes to show that in general one should not let scientists be journalists. To say the Earth will continue to be at record warm levels similar to that seen over the past decade is a long-winded way of saying 'the next five years will see the same global temperature as the past ten' (actually the past 15 years.) In other words no significant warming for two decades. Roger Harrabin is right, and Julia Slingo is spinning. -- David Whitehouse, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 14 January 2013
One day it will be recognized how the Met Office's betrayal of proper science played a key part in creating the most expensive scare story the world has ever known, the colossal bill for which we will all be paying for decades to come. Meanwhile, it is not just here that this latest fiasco, reported in many countries, has been raising eyebrows. Our ministers love to boast that British science commands respect throughout the world, they should note that the sorry record of our Met Office is beginning to do that reputation no good at all. --Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 13 January 2013
If one doesn't anticipate catastrophe, one must be vilified, and equated with those who deny the Holocaust. Yet the real deniers are those who don't just claim that the pause is insignificant, but that it doesn't exist at all. Such deniers also still insist that the 'science is settled'. The truth is that the unexpected pause has triggered a new spate of research, in which many supposed 'consensus' conclusions are being questioned. How have the Green deniers been so successful in concealing such debates? Partly it is the web of commercial interests that both fund and are sustained by Green climate orthodoxy. But it is also their dissenter-trashing machine. David Rose, Mail on Sunday, 13 January 2013
David Whitehouse, Christopher Booker and David Rose expose their ignorance of the science and observations of global climate.
From GWPF 2nd July 2012.
CO2 is Greening the Planet: Savannahs Soon to be Covered by Forests
A new study published today in "Nature" by authors from the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre and the Goethe University Frankfurt suggests that large parts of Africa's savannas may well be forests by 2100. The study suggests that fertilization by atmospheric carbon dioxide is forcing increases in tree cover throughout Africa. A switch from savannah to forest occurs once a critical threshold of CO2 concentration is exceeded, yet each site has its own critical threshold. The implication is that each savannah will switch at different points in time, thereby reducing the risk that a synchronous shock to the earth system will emanate from savannahs. --Goethe University Frankfurt, 28 June 2012
This is the summary of the paper from online-Nature
Atmospheric CO2 forces abrupt vegetation shifts locally, but not globally
Institut für Physische Geographie, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Altenhöferallee 1, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany & Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
It is possible that anthropogenic climate change will drive the Earth system into a qualitatively different state. Although different types of uncertainty limit our capacity to assess this risk, Earth system scientists are particularly concerned about tipping elements, large-scale components of the Earth system that can be switched into qualitatively different states by small perturbations. Despite growing evidence that tipping elements exist in the climate system, whether large-scale vegetation systems can tip into alternative states is poorly understood. Here we show that tropical grassland, savanna and forest ecosystems, areas large enough to have powerful impacts on the Earth system, are likely to shift to alternative states. Specifically, we show that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration will force transitions to vegetation states characterized by higher biomass and/or woody-plant dominance. The timing of these critical transitions varies as a result of between-site variance in the rate of temperature increase, as well as a dependence on stochastic variation in fire severity and rainfall. We further show that the locations of bistable vegetation zones (zones where alternative vegetation states can exist) will shift as climate changes. We conclude that even though large-scale directional regime shifts in terrestrial ecosystems are likely, asynchrony in the timing of these shifts may serve to dampen, but not nullify, the shock that these changes may represent to the Earth system.
BBC: This is a good example of reporting by GWPF, it's based on properly peer-reviewed work and although its conclusions are based on computer modelling they are broadly in agreement with what might be expected from many experiments that have been carried out on the beneficial effects of carbon dioxide.
Reported by the GWPF 11th July 2011
"We found that previous estimates of historical temperatures during the Roman era and the Middle Ages were too low," says Professor-Doktor Jan Esper of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, one of the scientists leading the study. "Such findings are also significant with regard to climate policy." They certainly are, as it is a central plank of climate policy worldwide that the current temperatures are the highest ever seen for many millennia, and that this results from rising levels of atmospheric CO2 emitted by human activities such as industry, transport etc. If it is the case that actually the climate has often been warmer without any significant CO2 emissions having taken place - suggesting that CO2 emissions simply aren't that important - the case for huge efforts to cut those emissions largely disappears. --Lewis Page, The Register, 10 July 2012
BBC: This is old news and is illogical. Sure, there have been periods in the past that have been warmer than our current climate and have occurred before modern emissions of CO2. This only underlines the observation that other factors affect climate than the concentration of CO2. That we have had previous warm periods with no carbon emissions occurring does not mean that carbon emissions cannot cause atmospheric warming.
Reported by GWPF on 29th August, 2012
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 117, D16115, 7 PP., 2012
New Evidence That Water Vapor Is A Negative Feedback
A paper published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research asks the question, "Why does the temperature rise faster in the arid region of northwest China?" The runaway greenhouse theory alleges that warming from greenhouse gases will be amplified by increased evaporation and atmospheric water vapor. According to the theory, wet areas with the most atmospheric water vapor should warm faster than arid areas with less. However, observations from 1960-2010 show that the dry region of China warmed faster than the rest of China and the entire globe. The authors explain this apparent paradox as primarily due to the Siberian High, a natural atmospheric circulation. CO2 is well-mixed in the atmosphere and therefore cannot account for different rates of warming in different regions. The finding that arid regions warm faster and cool faster than wet regions around the globe was confirmed by physicist Clive Best, who examined 5600 weather stations in the global CRUTEM4 temperature and humidity database, finding that water vapor acts as a strong negative feedback rather than a positive feedback as alleged by the IPCC.
This is a good example of the negative views given out by the Global Warming Policy Forum. The authors show considerable misunderstanding of their subject. They ask about arid regions warming, but arid regions (deserts) are usually warmer than moister regions because they have smaller albedo values and so absorb a greater fraction of the incoming solar radiation. They state correctly that CO2 is a well-mixed gas and cannot account for local variations in temperature. But increasing CO2 concentration is linked with global warming and, locally, the actual magnitude of the warming depends upon other factors. In a more moist region there might well be more clouds produced and thus cause less warming than in an arid region.
The runaway greenhouse theory is not relevant to the Earth; there is no possibility of runaway. Runaway has probably happened on Venus which has 90 bar pressure of CO2 and has a blocked IR radiation window. The claim that greenhouse gas theory concludes that wet areas should warm more than dry areas is wrong.
The Chinese author's conclusion that water vapour exerts a negative feedback is incorrect and shows a lack of understanding of the physics. A greater greenhouse gas concentration leads to global warming enhanced by a greater concentration of water vapour. The warming is offset somewhat by a greater cloud cover, mainly in moister regions. The vast southern ocean is implicated in restraining global warming in the southern hemisphere. But desert regions with their generally smaller albedo values experience the full warming.
Clive Best seems not to be able to separate the warming effects of water vapour and the cooling effects of clouds following global warming due to extra CO2. His conclusion is incorrect.
From GWPF: Global warming stopped 15 years ago and the average temperature has not risen at all since 1997, the Met Office said last night. But critics said the Met Office had released the figures onto the internet without publicity - in contrast to the attention it gave to those released six months ago that reinforced the case for global warming. Those figures went up to 2010 - the hottest year on record - and showed a continuing warming trend. Dr Benny Peiser of Lord Lawson's Global Warming Policy Foundation said: "It is quite scandalous that the Met Office is misleading the public. The latest data proves beyond any doubt that there has been no warming [trend] over the past 16 years." --John Ingham, Daily Express, 15 October 2012
More premature conclusions from Benny, the Lord and the Express. Let's look at the last 16 years of HADCRUT4 data. The plots are annual means for the NH, the Globe, SH and calculations of what the trend would be if only CO2 were the determining factor.
The black line shows my calculations and on that basis the NH has warmed by 32% more than might be expected from CO2 alone. The SH has warmed by only 20% of what might have been. The global mean trend is 76% just based on CO2. It is clear that the globe is not warming as much as expected from CO2 changes alone. But that is not surprising when we know that other factors participate, e.g., the AMO 60 year cycle, now in its cooling phase. The report proves nothing and is nothing to get excited about. There are other examples of CO2 increasing and global temperatures decreasing.