Articles Tagged "David Whitehouse"
Friday, March 8th 2013, 6:48 AM EST
This is a paper that was bound to cause lurid headlines along the lines that the Earth is warming faster than at anytime during the past 11,000 years; that the temperature rise and rate of rise of the past 100 years is like nothing we have seen since the last Ice Age, and that global temperatures have been rising abnormally since the start of the industrial revolution. The obvious conclusion drawn is that it is all down to mankind’s emission of greenhouse gasses. The paper in question is in the journal Science and is produced by a team of researchers from Oregon State University and the department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. It describes a reconstruction of regional and global temperature for the past 11,300 years – the most recent climatic epoch termed the Holocene.
Such reconstructions are important because they allow today’s global temperature to be placed into a historical context, possibly enabling some conclusions to be reached about distinguishing anthropogenic influence on climate from natural variability.
Friday, February 22nd 2013, 9:16 AM EST
GWPF Welcomes Dr Pachauri's Acknowledgement
London, 22 February: The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) welcomes that Dr Rajenda Pachauri, the chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has acknowledged the reality of the post-1997 standstill in global average temperatures. (see interview with Dr Pachauri in The Australian 22 February).
The GWPF has been highlighting the global warming standstill for many years against fervent denial by climate activists. Recently, Nasa’s James Hansen also recognised that global temperatures have not risen for more than a decade.
“Even though the scientific case for the standstill is secure, and well represented in peer-reviewed scientific literature, it will surely help the climate debate now that the IPCC chairman has confirmed its existence,” said Dr David Whitehouse, the GWPF’s science editor.
The post-1997 global annual average temperature standstill is one of the most important aspects of current climate science. Its recognition by the chair of the IPCC means there is now growing pressure that this empirical fact will receive full analysis in the forthcoming AR5 report.
The GWPF points out that Dr Pachauri’s assertion that it will take a temperature standstill of “30-40 years at least” to affect theories of man-made global warming is without a scientific basis. “The 17-year standstill already strains climate models, and if it continues for much longer it will demonstrate that the climate models on which the IPCC has based its assumptions are inadequate,” Dr Whitehouse said.
Dr David Whitehouse - email@example.com
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Monday, January 7th 2013, 4:23 PM EST
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.
The new forecast produced by the UK Met Office for the next five years is a considerable change from forecasts given in the past few years. An excellent comparison between the new and older forecasts can be found here.
It is worth comparing the current forecast with that made just five years ago. In 2007 The Met Office Hadley Centre reported to the UK Government that it had pioneered a new system to predict the climate a decade ahead. It said that the system simulated both the human-driven climate change and the evolution of slow natural variations already locked into the system. “We are now using the system to predict changes out to 2014. By the end of this period, the global average temperature is expected to have risen by around 0.3 °C compared to 2004, and half of the years after 2009 are predicted to be hotter than the current record hot year, 1998.”
Tuesday, January 31st 2012, 6:16 AM EST
Today the Mail on Sunday published a story written by David Rose entitled Forget global warming - it's Cycle 25 we need to worry about
This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.
Despite the Met Office having spoken to David Rose ahead of the publication of the story, he has chosen to not fully include the answers we gave him to questions around decadal projections produced by the Met Office or his belief that we have seen no warming since 1997.
For clarity I have included our full response to David Rose below:A spokesman for the Met Office said: “The ten year projection remains groundbreaking science. The complete period for the original projection is not over yet and these projections are regularly updated to take account of the most recent data.
“The projections are probabilistic in nature, and no individual forecast should be taken in isolation. Instead, several decades of data will be needed to assess the robustness of the projections.
“However, what is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming, with the decade of 2000-2009 being clearly the warmest in the instrumental record going back to 1850. Depending on which temperature records you use, 2010 was the warmest year on record for NOAA NCDC and NASA GISS, and the second warmest on record in HadCRUT3.”
Monday, July 30th 2012, 2:33 PM EDT
The second series of papers from the BEST consortium analysing global land temperatures have been published. They contain some interesting analyses, and the good thing is that all the working and code is posted online even if the papers have not yet passed peer-review! It includes the first analysis of global land temperature 1750 – 1850. However, the papers suffer from being too ambitious in the face of sparse data, and the conclusions reached by Professor Muller in this accompanying article in the New York Times is too far reaching considering the data he has been studying, and the analysis he presents.
Monday, October 15th 2012, 6:09 AM EDT
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In response to an article in the Mail On Sunday that points out the absence of a recent temperature rise in the Met Office’s newly released Hadcrut4 global temperature database the UK Met Office released a statement that is misleading.
The Mail On Sunday article uses the Met Office’s Hadcrut4 database that was updated from 2010 to the present day last week.
We live in the warmest decade of the instrumental era (post-1850), and most of the warmest years have occurred in the past decade, but what the Met Office ignores to say is that, at present, we live on a temperature plateau – there is no recent upward trend in global temperature.
The Met Office says that the world has warmed by 0.03 deg C per decade since 1997 based on their calculation of the gradient in the Hadcrut4 dataset. But what the Met Office doesn’t say is that this is statistically insignificant. The gradient of the trendline in Hadcrut4 is very sensitive to the start and end dates used as temperatures vary significantly month-to-month, so the Met Office is being misleading in quoting trendlines for a particular start and end date without taking into account how the scatter of the data, the errors in the temperature measurements, and short-term changes affect the statistical confidence in the resulting trendline.
Tuesday, October 23rd 2012, 1:29 PM EDT
The data, displayed this way, reveal that far from showing a steady underlying rate of warming the global temperature has had two standstills, with curiously, the 1998 super El Nino delineating them.
In the debate about the significance of the observed global annual average temperature standstill – whose duration now stands at the past 16 years – some have argued that it has little climatic significance. Not only is it shorter than the canonical thirty years used as the minimum to deduce climatic effects, it is also unimportant because the underlying decadal rate of warming is close to the IPCC’s estimate/prediction of 0.2 deg C per decade, and that this rate of warming has remained unchanged over the past thirty years. Thus it is maintained that global warming has not stopped even though there may be a pause in the temperature increase, or as the UK Met Office put it, a recent lower rate of warming. What we have seen in the past 16 years is therefore just variation in the rate of warming and that the underlying rate of global warming is as significant today as it has always been.
The evidence for this is the average global temperature for the past three decades. The UK Met Office in their State of the Climate brochure use an oft-repeated graph that shows this underlying increase in warming.
Thursday, December 20th 2012, 11:59 AM EST
Our world is based upon science. It is a shame, though perhaps inevitable, that more people do not truly appreciate it. The clothes you wear, the mobile phone you use, the food you eat and the vaccination that protects your child are all wonders of science, based on so many generations of scientists carrying out observations and measurements, formulating hypotheses and theories, using logic and mathematical models.
Few would argue that climate science has not been controversial, even if opinions as to why differ. It is important to everyone on the planet, so the bar on evidence and conclusions should be set high. But climate science is no different from any other area of science. The process of science involves scrutiny, questioning and often cussed unreasonableness in the face of data, its gathering and interpretation. Truth will out eventually and the result is progress, a step towards better understanding. Carl Sagan (how he is missed) once told me that science was a “baloney detection kit.”
But where is the baloney? Many misunderstand what is going on in climate science. It’s as if there is a reflex against what is seen as an attack on the scientific method by outsiders, by uninformed, unqualified skeptics armed with their blogs and a bad attitude. Their views are dismissed as mere opinions out of line with the consensus and indeed of science itself. But the debate about climate science is not an attack on the scientific method. That view shows a shallow understanding of climate science and the issues involved. Neither is the debate regarding climate science about politics or a view about the right course of human development. It might come as a surprise to some, but the debate about climate science is about science, framed in the way science is changing.
Friday, November 30th 2012, 3:27 AM EST
The Leveson Report does not have much to say about science reporting, and even less about the problems of reporting climate change. But what it does say ranges from the blatantly obvious to the misguided, in my opinion.
I think all reporters, science and otherwise, would agree that the MMR story that began in 1998 was clearly a disaster for science reporting, and for society as a whole. As a result of it vaccination rates fell by 12%. Cases of measles rose from 56 in 1998 to 1,370 in 2008. But it was not alone. The reporting of BSE/CJD from 1996 onwards, after the link between BSE and new variant CJD was established, was poor. It tended to be alarmist, and relied on too narrow a range of sources about the possibility of an epidemic, which in the end did not happen. The BBC was particularly guilty of this. Likewise a few years later the coverage of Foot and Mouth disease and genetically modified crops in the press has at times been to coloured by the views of pressure groups and public opinion, and science has not been as prominent as it should have been.
The problem with MMR wasn’t the reporting of the work, of what was after all that of a qualified expert, but the fact that it fell into the old media cliché of the maverick scientist who might be proven right. It is said by some, including the submission by the Science Media Centre to the Leveson enquiry, that the problem with MMR was ‘false balance,’ in which a minority view is represented by one voice (Wakefield) and the view of the scientific consensus is represented by another single voice, giving the impression of a kind of equality or balance of argument that does not exist in the scientific community. The public will get misled, it was argued, and in the case of BSE/CJD and MMR they certainly were.
Sunday, December 16th 2012, 7:04 PM EST
Rising sea level has become an icon of global warming with claims that by 2100 many cities on the coast will face severe problems. In 2009 the Met Office, the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) and the Royal Society released a joint pre-Copenhagen Conference statement that included as one of its five main scientific points: “There is increasing evidence of continued and accelerating sea-level rises around the world.”
At the same time the Royal Society said in a press statement touching on sea level changes that, “…estimates generally larger than those previously projected including evidence of continued and accelerating sea-level change around the world.”
What a difference a few years makes.
Sea levels have been rising since the end of the last Ice Age as the Northern Hemisphere’s ice burden was lifted. From Roman times however there is no evidence of significant changes in sea level until about 1750 – 1800 when sea levels started to rise linearly until about 1910 when the rate of change increased. Since 1910 the rate of sea level rise has been, within the errors, constant, despite the statements made by the institutions listed above.