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Collating the evidence for man made warming.

Paul Simon has a warmist screed in The Times this morning, which lists the evidence for Man made global warming. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to fisk them and see what stands up as fact, which are unproven or unattributable to man and which are lies.
For ease I have inserted numbers to reference the statements, and changed the formatting to make them clearer.

Barbecue autumn is about to end with gales and heavy rain ....individual weather events are incredibly difficult to pin down to climate change — it is only by taking the long-term view that a pattern emerges. On its own, the remarkably warm autumn enjoyed by much of Britain so far is not evidence of climate change. But it fits a pattern of increasingly later autumns, and earlier springs, as the climate grows warmer.

As temperatures rise, ice melts, seas expand and mapmakers are having to redraw the world.
(1) Italy and Switzerland are realigning their border after Alpine glaciers that marked out their frontier melted.
See comment below and here which shows the retreat of the glaciers cannot be pinned on man.

(2) New islands have appeared off the coast of Greenland as glaciers melted and revealed land previously hidden under ice. as above

(3) Rising sea levels across the world have submerged several uninhabited islands, and now the first inhabited islands are going under — the Carteret Islands off the coast of Papua New Guinea are being evacuated as the sea engulfs the land. The entire 1,000-strong population is being moved to another island.
Lie - The Carteret Islands are a typical low lying atoll formation which is sinking, any small increase in sea level is irrelevant. A Mr C Darwin showed us that atolls sink as the underlying volcano erodes away. And I tend to believe him more than I do Mr Monboit. The only Man Made part of this disaster is that the islanders used dynamite to fish, blowing holes in the protective coral

(4) Mountains are defrosting as their permanent ice melts, with the Eiger, in the Alps, crumbling in large rockfalls. As fact one

(5) Everest is gradually losing its height, nearly 0.1m annually, because of warming that is shrinking glaciers.
Huh? Everest the mountain is getting higher by about one inch a year as the plate tectonics that formed it continue. Base Camp has got lower because it is on a shrinking glacier - see above

(6) Nowhere is the shrinking ice more shocking than in the Arctic, which is warming twice as fast as anywhere else on Earth, 3 to 4C in past 50 years, and with unexpected consequences.
Lie - that is not what the actual thermometers show, the uptick only emerges from computer models of what they should show.

(7) Recently, the Inuit in Canada were warned to avoid wasps that had just arrived. The Inuit had never seen wasps before.
Most references to this story seem to return to this writer but the wasp seems to have been an Arctic Yellowjacket, I think you can guess where it is normally found.

(8) Broccoli can now be grown in Greenland.
As it could be in the 1890s

(9) The permanently frozen ground, permafrost, is melting and giving off so much natural gas, methane, that it bursts into flames when ignited with a match. A bit vague of where this is happening or how it has changed but the global Methane emissions aren't spirally out of control, and we don't know what drives them so not evidence for man made warming.

(10) At the other end of the world, the Antarctic Peninsula, the finger of land pointing towards South America, is turning green as ice retreats and grass starts to colonise the bare ground.
The peninsula is anomalous in the Antarctic, on the rest of the continent the ice is growing. The undersea volcanic activity near the peninsula may have a bearing but whatever there is no link proven here to man.

Perhaps the most shocking changes are taken globally over decades.
(11) Twelve of the hottest years worldwide have been in the past fourteen years, in records going back to 1850.
Cherrypicking dates - the world has been gently warming for many years, (I personally think that man has contributed a bit to that warming) but it is very hard to spot a change in the trend that can be pinned on man

(12) “There are so many impacts being found across the world it is clear that the Earth’s climate is going through a fundamental change, and so rapidly it cannot be explained by natural causes. This is a man-made phenomenon,” Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring at the Met Office Hadley Centre, said.
That's an opinion, not evidence

(12 )The air we breathe has been growing more humid over the past few decades. Warmer air contains more water vapour, the invisible moisture that gives the feeling of humidity. More worrying, water vapour is also a greenhouse gas, so it traps solar heat in the atmosphere, stoking up the warming effect of man-made climate change. And the rise in humidity is matched by the world getting wetter, on average.
Actual data shows the relative humidity has fallen 21% since 1948 in the upper troposphere where the models predict the greatest feedback.

(13)Precipitation worldwide has increased by 2 per cent since 1900.
Dr Mike Hulme says that There exists no widely accepted reliable instrumental global-mean precipitation record comparable to the surface air temperature record covering the last 100 years. so an accuracy of 2% is not supportable, the best estimates are it is somewhere near stable,

(14)The jet streams in the northern and southern hemispheres have shifted towards the poles by about 70 miles. These rivers of wind at about 9,000m (30,000ft) mark the clash of subtropical and polar air masses and are the key to driving much British weather.
The jet stream has always moved about - no evidence that it has permanently changed.

An hour with a cup of tea, two aspirin and Google and that is that, not one of the facts gets even anywhere near proving man made global warming. Where is the bloody evidence?

Comments

Dear (fellow) Englishman

Paul Simon has a warmist screed in The Times this morning, which lists the evidence for Man made global warming.

The Times lits various annecdotal "evidences" of warming, of varying reliability. Some of it is rubbish, as you have already pointed out.

The long term warming is hardly surprising (and very welcome) since we have slowly come out of the Little Ice Age and we are very much in need of a warmer overall climate to feed ourselves and the world.

Nowhere in the article can I see any evidence that it is man-made. Could it be that the author has no more evidence for that than do any of the other AGW supporters?

The questions on global warming to which we need answers seem to me to be as follows:-
1/ Is the world warming?
2/ If so why?
3/ If so is that good or bad?

To answer 1 you need to select a starting point- there is no doubt that the world has warmed since the end of the last ice age, nor that it has warmed since the little ice age in the late 1700s. However when stonehenge was built at the end of the holocene optimum (interesting choice of name there) The plant life (evidenced by the pollen types found) was of mediterranean type- so since then it has cooled. Similarly viking churches currently being exposed as the ice melts in Greenland indicate that the world was warmer when they were built.

I've never seen a convincing answer to 2, but would note that the world has been cooling and warming for a very long time, most of which can have nothing to do with human activity (the world was warming and cooling before humans evolved), so my starting point would be that this warming has the same causes as earlier warmings.

As to 3, well the medieval warm period was accompanied by an expansion in civilisation, and the great civilisations of the middle east thrived at the time of stonehenge, so a bit of further warming would do no harm and would probably be a benefit- there is no doubt that the warming since the end of either ice age has been a great boon.

I note that the tree ring studies normally used to disprove the existence of previous temperature variations only work if warming automatically benefits plant growth, which would indicate that warming is a good thing. Thats without considering that one such study was found to have an erroneous program which miscalculated the data, and another was based on data which has been apparently lost- I wonder how the otheres will stand up to close scrutiny.

Brian Fagan,
Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Niño and the Fate of Civilizations
(Basic Books, 1999). Link for the full chapter here:
_http://williamcalvin.com/readings/Fagan%201999%20chapter%20on%20LIA.htm_
(http://williamcalvin.com/readings/Fagan%201999%20chapter%20on%20LIA.htm)


"By 1500 European summers were about seven degrees Celsius cooler than they
had been during the Medieval Warm Period.

Some of the greatest suffering came in the shadow of the Alps. In June
1644, a procession of three hundred people led by the bishop of Geneva, Charles
de Sales, made its way high in the Alps to "the place called Les Bois
above the village where hangs, threatening it with total ruin, a great and
terrible glacier come down from the top of the mountain." The villagers had
good reason to worry, for the Les Bois glacier was advancing "by over a musket
shot [120 meters] every day, even in the month of August." The bishop duly
blessed the glacier and repeated his invocations at a whole ring of ice
sheets, which hemmed in seven small villages. It was as well that his
blessings worked and the glaciers retreated, for the Les Bois glacier had blocked
the valley of Chamonix itself and threatened to transform it into a lake. A
quarter-century later, the ice sheets had retreated, but "the land they
occupied [was] so barren and burned that neither grass nor anything else has
grown there."

Still, the worthy bishop's efforts had little immediate effect. Between
1640 and 1650, a decade with cool and extremely wet summers, glaciers
throughout the European Alps advanced farther than at any time since the Ice Age.
In desperation, the people again prayed for mercy. By September 1653, the
Aletsch glacier threatened so much farmland that the local people asked the
Jesuits for assistance. Fathers Charpentier and Thomas preached reassurance
to the community' for a week. Then a solemn procession walked for four
hours, bareheaded in the rain, to the "snake-shaped" glacier. The supplicants
heard mass and a short sermon, before the priests sprinkled the front of the
glacier with holy water in the name of Saint Ignatius and recited "the
most important exorcisms." "On that very spot just in front of the glacier,
they set up a column bearing his effigy: it looked like an image of Jupiter,
ordering an armistice not just to his routed troops, but to the hungry
glacier itself."

We are told that Saint Ignatius stopped the glacier in its tracks, but
rapidly advancing Alpine ice sheets continued to threaten farming communities
in the foothills. In the eastern Alps the expanding Vernagt glacier
repeatedly dammed river valleys and formed lakes behind rubble barriers that broke
repeatedly,flooding everything downstream. At Christmas 1677, one village
burned a vagrant suspected of practicing magic to block the valley. Hundreds
of people died in unexpected, catastrophic floods. Farming populations
fell sharply as people fled the encroaching ice. The hovering glaciers in the
Chamonix area brought bone-chilling cold, perennial frosts, and "such
strong winds that they sometimes carry away part of the hay and grass after it
has been cut."

The French historian Le Roy Ladurie has likened the fluctuations of Alpine
glaciers to the endless cycles of ocean tides. After centuries of "low
water" during the Middle Ages, the ice sheets were high in the mountains. Then,
around A.D. 1300, the tide began to rise and the glaciers spread
downslope. A glacial "high tide" brought the ice deep into foothill valleys between
1590 and 1850. The greatest thrusts occurred in the seventeenth century and
again in 1818--1820 and 1850--1855, scarring villages and decimating
Alpine pastures. By 1860 the tide had turned and a great retreat began. By 1900
many glaciers had receded more than two kilometers deeper into the
mountains in just forty years."

So what part of history do these people consider normal and what point do
they want to take us back to?

It never ceases to amaze me that that is all they've got.

1. Past temperature data that at best is uncertain and contrary to historical evidence and at its worst is fraudulent.

2. GCMs that are palpably wrong.

3. Anecdotal nonsense about ice, wasps, broccoli, polar bears etc.

For me it all comes down to one graph, the only temperature data I trust, this.....

http://johnstonanalytics.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/uah_jun09-1.18875039.png

If that is the unprecedented global warming we are supposed to be worried about then it's clear to me we are being sold a mustard mine.

"More worrying, water vapour is also a greenhouse gas, so it traps solar heat in the atmosphere..."

No, it doesn't.

DK

"(5) Everest is gradually losing its height, nearly 0.1m annually, because of warming that is shrinking glaciers."

Everest is a bloody great big lump of rock. Do you think they mean the snow cap? If so it can only shrink about 4m and then it'll stop.

"(8) Broccoli can now be grown in Greenland."

Vikings - Masters of Irony.

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