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Phil Jones Q&A Highlights - The Debate Isn't Over

BBC News - Q&A: Professor Phil Jones

Q. Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?
A... in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

Q. Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming
A. Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level...

Q. There is a debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was global or not. If it were to be conclusively shown that it was a global phenomenon, would you accept that this would undermine the premise that mean surface atmospheric temperatures during the latter part of the 20th Century were unprecedented?
A. There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions...

Q. If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?
A. The fact that we can't explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing ...

Q. Do you agree that natural influences could have contributed significantly to the global warming observed from 1975-1998?
A. This area is slightly outside my area of expertise. When considering changes over this period we need to consider all possible factors (so human and natural influences as well as natural internal variability of the climate system). Natural influences (from volcanoes and the Sun) over this period could have contributed to the change over this period.....

Q. When scientists say "the debate on climate change is over", what exactly do they mean - and what don't they mean?
A. It would be supposition on my behalf to know whether all scientists who say the debate is over are saying that for the same reason. I don't believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well....


Reading between the lines, he knew the hockeystick was fake (1910-1940 and 1970-1998 rates the same) and that non-anthropegenic influences were significant (though not by how much - after all, he only studied human influences like aerosols and CO2). But he believed that what he was doing was so important - far more so than, say, developing power generation and distribution - that he not only never spoke up but supported things such as the hockeystick.

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