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Tyndall Centre gives up on science

Professor Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre, Britain's national centre for excellence in the study in climatology and its consequences doesn't seem to have got the memo about low climate sensitivity:

He recommended investment in public transport and renewable energy.

"The new president of the World Bank has said he expects to see people fighting for food and water everywhere.

"Hopefully we would be more organised and find a rationing system.

"We are not talking about many many generations away. We are talking about our own lifetimes and the lives of our children."

In the most likely scenarios, the Met Office climate change predictions for the Government forecast temperatures in the UK to increase from the 1961 to 1990 average of 10 to 17C in the summer to 15 to 22C by 2080.

Is this the result of one of those climate change communication strategy meetings? Louder! Longer! Pottier!

Take it away Kevin.

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Reader Comments (73)

"In the most likely scenarios, the Met Office climate change predictions "

I wonder what the Met Office's comment would be about this startling prediction of theirs! It would be interesting to see any justufication.

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

22 degrees. I wonder how I'll cope. Do I still need that insulation they want me to buy?

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:15 PM | Registered Commenterrhoda

"Tyndall Centre gives up on science"

Did they start?:

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

In the most likely scenarios, the Met Office climate change predictions for the Government forecast temperatures in the UK to increase from the 1961 to 1990 average of 10 to 17C in the summer to 15 to 22C by 2080.

Five degrees Celsius in the next 63 years?!!!! Isn't this significantly worse than the IPCC's most extreme prediction?

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

I went to see Kevin give a talk on climate change at Keele University just before Christmas.

His intention was undoubtedly to shock the audience by pouring scorn on what we are being told about warming (scientists don't think we can handle the truth) and convincing us we were well on the road to catastrophic warming. What he called a 'planned recession' is what's called for. He left us in no doubt that only rolling back energy consumption to the levels seen in the 1970s starting NOW could possibly prevent an average 4 C rise by 2050 and 6-10 C or more by the end of the century.

Whether his talks actually change anyone's behaviour - or whether they go away feeling that nothing anyone could do could possibly make any difference - is a different matter. IMHO the talk was so downbeat about our future prospects, the latter response is far more likely.

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered Commenter@HG

Perhaps I'll save the money I'd planned for a new central heating boiler and have aircon installed instead. And no need for that new winter coat..or those snow shoes either.

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Kevin Anderson obviously hasn't been trying hard enough.....

"Warmist Kevin Anderson on his personal efforts to prevent CO2-induced bad weather: "I’ve done without a fridge for 12 years, but recently relented...I’ve cut back on washing and showering" "

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Why did Professor Kevin Anderson miss the chance to state that snow will become a thing of the past?

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Next Christmas on every ‘climate scientists’ shopping list should be the story of the boy who cried wolf , with a notice attached that its not a instruction manual on what to do but a warning on how to get yourself ignored and laughed at.

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Close the Tyndall Centre, and all you would notice is a slight diminution of annoying wailing noises somewhere in the background....

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Damn, my log stores are full to the brim and I've got loads of insulation and double-glazing. What a waste. It's a good job I didn't take up the Green Deal to spend even more money on keeping warm. ;<)

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Even Monbiot found it strange a few years ago to communicate the dangers of climate change by describing England as a warm country...

Attack of the Killer Orange Groves? The Day of The Palm Triffids? London’s California Horror?

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:50 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Kevin Anderson is one of the best of the climate charlatans in academia. Why do I say best rather than worst? Because of course this type of BS from a "scientist" is the best recruitment mechanism for scepticism. Just look at the comments at the Telegraph!

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:53 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

In the most likely scenarios, the Met Office climate change predictions for the Government forecast temperatures in the UK to increase from the 1961 to 1990 average of 10 to 17C in the summer to 15 to 22C by 2080.

Five degrees Celsius in the next 63 years?!!!! Isn't this significantly worse than the IPCC's most extreme prediction?

Feb 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

For clarity - the +5K I mentioned was for global temperatures above pre-industrial (I got confused in the stream of tweets!).

Here are the projections for the UK from the UKCP09 project:
They suggest that 3-4K above 1961-1990 is the central projection for UK summer temperatures under medium emissions, and 4-5K above 1961-1990 under high emissions.


Feb 6, 2013 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterEd Hawkins

It may be that Kevin Anderson is playing the 'all or nothing' gambit here, since the climate establishment in for example Sweden seems to be moving to downplay catastrophism, as does our own Richard Betts. Here is an extract from a letter published in a major Swedish daily as reported by the No Tricks Zone blog, referring to presumably the same World Bank report that the relatively unwashed Kevin has latched on to:

The World Bank’s recent climate report was not saying that we necessarily face an extreme global temperature increase – but was about the potential consequences of such. It is one of several examples of how climate information can be misinterpreted and ultimately damage the credibility of researchers, writes leading climate scientists.

Recently, the World Bank published a report entitled ‘Turn down the heat: Why a 4° C warmer world must be avoided’.

The report received wide media exposure with its dramatic title, and in that it was the World Bank, which published it. The Bank had commissioned a German institute in Potsdam to write the report. It does not contain an analysis of the Earth’s climate, but primarily deals with the consequences of a supposed global temperature rise of 4°C. No detailed analysis was made of the probability of such a change. This was not clear in the Swedish debate.

As a warming of 4°C during this century is extremely worrying, it is important to try to assess how reasonable such a strong warming is. Individual model simulations have calculated global warming by 2100 of +6°C or more, but these have been deemed highly unlikely by the UN climate panel (IPCC 2007). The slow global warming, especially over the past 15 years, has reinforced this view.

The letter goes on to say some quite refreshingly sensible, data-supported, things about temperatures, sea levels, and hurricanes. They are clearly not happy with people going 'over the top' with climate scares stories, since they wish to retain some dignity and credibility for climate science. They may be too late for that, not least since they seem to think that praising the discredited IPCC is one way to achieve it. But the interesting thing is that they have not taken the opportunity, as Kevin Anderson has, of using the World Bank report as a means of spreading more doom and gloom. Instead they are using it to draw attention to misleading 'science' and misleading stories in the mass media. Gosh, what can have got into them?


Feb 6, 2013 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

""The new president of the World Bank has said he expects to see people fighting for food and water everywhere."

So he thinks it won't be long before "Children just aren't going to know what food is"

Feb 6, 2013 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Favourite Telegraph comment so far:

"I thought we were being urged to insulate houses against the cold, not ventilate them because of expected heat?"

Feb 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

@ed hawkins

'Here are the projections for the UK from the UKCP09 project:
They suggest that 3-4K above 1961-1990 is the central projection for UK summer temperatures under medium emissions, and 4-5K above 1961-1990 under high emissions.'

And if you started them again under 1990 conditions, what would they predict for the period 2000-2010?

If not zero, why should we pay any attention to predictions for 2080?

Feb 6, 2013 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Is it me? The whole CAGW meme seems to be disintegrating at the scientific level. Various loonies are spouting forecasts that are clearly beyond the pale, and for the first time I've known, not just in this case but others like climate sensitivity, other scientists are saying, "Hang on, this seems a little over the top!"

I do hope these honest scientists multiply and stop the inexorable green hell my grandchildren will have to put up with, if good people don't stand up for truth.

Feb 6, 2013 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

So Oxfordshire will indeed reach the temperature of, say, Portugal. Are folk dying in the streets down there? Didn't notice last time I went to the Algarve. Oh bugger, I'll miss it, even if it is as early as 2060.

It's nonsense, and I do not know why anybody from the MO is here to defend it. Don't you know how daft it makes you look? Is solidarity sufficient reason to depart from your senses? Let's see you give us just one degree before you come up with this rubbish.

Feb 6, 2013 at 3:42 PM | Registered Commenterrhoda

Banks were compelled to pay out hundreds of millions for mis-selling their wares. When do these climate charlatans start to be held to account for their totally evidence-free global warming scares?

For this guy to claim there's even an outside chance of such excessive warming by 2080 is stretching reasonable science beyond breaking point and into the realms of fabricated nonsense. It's no longer enough to laugh at this stuff. People and nations are being forced to squander billions tackling a 'problem' that reality shows is absolutely nowhere near their alarmist projections.

Seriously, when does this sh*t stop and when do the trials for misrepresentation start?

Feb 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

"Fighting for food" is not foreseen in ANY of the available assessments of probable impacts of climate change on agriculture and access to food. Even those assessments that estimate the larger negative impacts (which are, on the other hand, not really the best, to put it mildly) agree that the impact would be on an agricultural output several times larger than today, and access to food would be determined by a population with a per capita income much higher than today.

The methodologically best studies in this respect use an "integrated assessment" approach, combining climate models, agronomic crop models, agro-ecological zones and their prospective displacement, and economic models about production, income and trade. This kind of studies are exemplified by the work led by Dr Gunther Fisher in the Land Use program at IIASA, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria). They are not skeptical about climate change: they regularly use the IPCC projections, often choosing the very worst scenarios as the basis of their agricultural projections. Their latest assessment, in combination with FAO (another organization that usually stresses the importance of the hunger problem), foresees that by 2080 the prevalence of hunger, as per FAO Undernourishment indicator currently at about 12.5% of the world population (down from 18.6% in 1990-92, about 24% in 1980, and about 30% in 1970), will be negligible (around 1-2%) in most IPCC scenarios, and up to 5-6% in the very worst, even after taking into account not only the most severe climate change scenarios but also the expected detraction from food supply due to an increasing use of food crops for making biofuels, and also adopting very modest hypotheses of technological progress in agriculture (less than half than in the latest 50 or 20 years) and very modest expansions in agricultural land (95% of agricultural growth in the latest 50 years, measured at constant prices, have come from increased value of production per hectare, and only 5% from increased number of hectares).

In fact, the prospects do not vary much by including or excluding the impact of climate change: with or without its effects the prospects are qualitatively similar. The latest IIASA results are in:
Fischer, G., 2011. World Food and Agriculture to 2030/50: How do climate change and bioenergy alter the long-term outlook for food, agriculture and resource availability? Included in FAO 2011, Looking ahead in World Food and Agriculture: Perspectives to 2050, available here.

The widely used FAO Undernourishment Prevalence indicator represents the probability of a person not having access to enough food to stay alive and perform light physical activity while maintaining the minimum acceptable body weight for each age, sex and height. It is regarded as "non statistically significant" at values below 5%, because of inherent variation in the food needs of people according to age, sex, and stature. In other words, in most scenarios hunger would be not statistically significant by 2080, and very low by 2050. It may still afflict millions of people, but fewer than today and representing a small percentage of humankind, much lower than today, in all scenarios. Hunger, of course, will not disappear, and adequate policies would still be needed to improve the lot of the remaining hungry people, but the size of the problem would be far lower than today, as is today far lower than a generation ago.

These prospects are consistent with past trends not only in food production and consumption but also in income growth and anthropometric measures of malnutrition (such as child stunting and wasting) which have greatly improved in the latest 20-30 years (including all regions, even Sub Saharan Africa which also shows an improvement although the progress there is slower than in other regions of the world).

Even if hunger will remain with us, and will still require adequate policies, the most widespread food concern in 2050-2080 would indeed be overweight and obesity, and their related health consequences, which are already rapidly mounting problems all over the world including many developing nations.

Watch up for my coming book on world hunger trends and prospects for a more complete account. Will put an alert here when it is out.

Feb 6, 2013 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterH.M.

"Prof Anderson pointed out that UK buildings and hospitals are not equipped for these temperatures".

What about equipping the Hospital in Stafford for actually not killing it patients .Wasting more NHS funding on Climate Change coordinators.

Feb 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

In contrast to Fischer's more optimistic view is this IFPRI report (recently discussed at WUWT), which predicts about a 20% increase in malnourished children in 2050, comparing a climate change scenario to a no-change scenario. [Barring their suggested "investment" in aid of approx. US$7B per year.]
Frankly, despite the best efforts for accuracy in these matters, I find all such long-term predictions to be so much a function of postulations that they are mere educated guesses. And are there any error bars on these estimates?

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:25 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

On my politics page, there are a number of links on the glorious role the Great Earth Mother, Margaret Thatcher played in developing UEA into a world centre for lying about the weather. It may look strange in some browsers, sorry.

Here is one article.

The UK Government became a strong supporter of climate research in the mid-1980s, following a meeting between Prime Minister Mrs Thatcher and a small number of climate researchers, which included Tom Wigley, the CRU director at the time. This and other meetings eventually led to the setting up of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, within the Met Office.

Feb 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

The average temperature in Arizona in the U.S., during most of the year, is warmer than 17-22 deg C and much warmer than that for about half the year. I understand everyone in Arizona long ago died and the state is now uninhabited.

Feb 6, 2013 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterEd

I think the punishment should fit the crime. The likes of Anderson should be held to account for their ridiculous scaremongering. Put him in jail until Global average temperatures have increased by 2 degrees.

Feb 6, 2013 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermartin brumby

martin brumby

Jail's too good for him. Let see him freeze in a sink estate flat on temperature linked benefits as fuel prices soar. Same with those other eco warriors Cameron, Osborne, Blair and Mandelson.

Feb 6, 2013 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Let us be in no doubt as to what was behind Thatcher's interest in CO2. The oil industry war on coal (this was before carbon trading).

On November 8 1989, Margaret Thatcher shocked the UN with a speech on global warming

Two days before she delivered the speech, the UK blocked a proposal at a conference in the Netherlands for a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2005.

It was Thatcher who insisted that "nothing can stop the great car economy" and her ministers who announced "the biggest road building programme since the Romans".

In the introduction to his book 'Enemy Within', Guardian journalist Seumas Milne wrote that in the Spring of 1990, (Miles) Copeland warned British miners union leaders Arthur Scargill and Peter Heathfield that the CIA and MI5 had been involved in kick starting a media campaign against the them and helped to frame corrupt allegations against them.,_Jr.#Retirement

Feb 6, 2013 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

How do these morons get to be professors in the first place?
Is it "honorary" because he was made Director of this propaganda outlet, or was he once a real scientist?
If the latter, when did he receive his frontal lobotomy?

Feb 6, 2013 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Here is a quote from his page at Manchester (they don't seem to have heard of apostrophes there):

Kevin has a decades industrial experience, principally in the petrochemical industry. He sits as commissioner on the Welsh Governments climate change commission and is a director of Greenstone Carbon Management - a London-based company providing emission-related advice to private and public sector organisations.

So just like all the others he has a vested interest in whipping up hysteria.

Feb 6, 2013 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

The nonsense about the consequences of a small rise in average temperatures in the UK is risible; after returning to NZ after living in outer London for a number of years, both my wife and I were surprised at how rapidly we became accustomed to the higher temps here in Auckland (NZ) than we had experienced in London. Right now, I feel decidedly cool at 19C here in my study, while the same temp. in our accommodation in London would have seemed comfortably warm. Our central heating in London was set to turn off at that temp.
Our flower and veg. garden seems to enjoy the extra warmth too, as everything is growing very well at this time of late Summer, even if the total lack of rain for a couple of weeks meant that all our plants needed daily watering; our lawns dried out and browned quite considerably until the overnight rainfall of more than one inch a couple of nights ago turned them green again.

Feb 6, 2013 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

How is this for pro-warming scientific thinking... to the statement: “Global warming is happening; I can accept that. The planet has warmed and cooled in the past, without any help or hindrance from humans; why is this particular period any different?”

The response was: “Because this time humans are doing it. Duh.”

It is a logic that cannot be countered, except to shake your head in wonderment at the vacuity of thinking that exists.

Feb 6, 2013 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Whilst we grew red scared by a few degrees
Nature didn't change
Still very much red itself
In tooth and claw

Feb 6, 2013 at 8:42 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

I think one thing that most frustrates alarmists is that most sceptics are prepared to accept that they could be wrong; as yet, there has been no believable, scientifically-backed argument to convince them that they are. (Also, the presently-proposed “solutions” to the problem are quite laughable.)

I suspect that most alarmists will still be clinging to their mantra as the ice-sheets grind over London: “It’s global warming! Stop heating the planet!”

Feb 6, 2013 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Feb 6, 2013 at 7:10 PM | Don Keiller

How do these morons get to be professors in the first place?
Is it "honorary" because he was made Director of this propaganda outlet, or was he once a real scientist?
If the latter, when did he receive his frontal lobotomy?

We live in the 'Age of Incompetence'.

Feb 6, 2013 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

He has form as an alarmist. See

Feb 6, 2013 at 9:19 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

@Harold W. (Feb 6, 2013 at 5:25 PM):

Thanks for the reference. I know the IFPRI study you mention. It is among the studies performing an integrated assessment, though in my view inferior technically to the IIASA set of integrated models; however, they do not foresee an increase in child malnutrition. They actually forecast a reduction in child malnutrition, in both absolute and relative terms, between the present (actually 2000) and 2050. They estimate (Table 6, p.12) that the number of malnourished children was 148 million in 2000 and would (in 2050) be 113 million "without climate change" and 132-134 million "with climate change" including an (extremely modest) effect of CO2 fertilization (which I think should be somewhat larger). In other words, the number of malnourished children in 2050 will be lower than in 2000, with a total population (and children population) much higher, i.e. a net significant reduction in the prevalence of child malnutrition. They do not specify what measure of malnutrition they use, or the source of their data, but the most probable (in view of the figures) is either stunting or underweight in children under-five. According to the WHO, the number of stunted children was 253 million in 1990, 203 million in 2000, and 171 million in 2010 (WHO study, doi:10.1017/S1368980011001315), a bit higher than the 148 million in 2000 "compiled by the authors" and not otherwise specified. Whatever the definition and measure, a fall in absolute numbers from 148 million in 2000 to 113 or 137 million in 2050, with a significantly increased population, would be an important step ahead. The prevalence of stunting has fallen from 40% in 1990 and 26% in 2010. There were 617 million children under five by 2000, thus 148 million implies a prevalence of 24%. The implied prevalence of the IFPRI "malnutrition" would fall from there to something like 15% in 2050 (they do not report the total population of children in 2050, but it can be assumed to come from the UN projections). Fischer does not do a forecast of malnutrition (stunting or underweight in children), only undernourishment (insufficient dietary energy consumption by people of all ages), but is consistent with these estimates. In fact, the reduction foreseen by IFPRI, from 2000 to 2050, is smaller and slower than the reduction in malnutrition already achieved from 1980 or 1990 to 2000 or 2010. As this reduction is visibly accelerating in the 1990s and 2000s relative to previous decades, the IFPRI forecast is likely to be too timid.
In summary, the IFPRI report is fully consistent with Fischer/IIASA figures. However, I think the IFPRI projections on food and agriculture are nonetheless inferior to those coming from the IIASA. For instance, their impact on crops in each region is estimated by IFPRI for a given crop (the variety used today) with a given crop management (as observed today), as seen in their Table 1, p.5. This could be right when evaluating a natural ecosystem, say a rainforest, i.e. abstracting from any exogenous human intervention, but not for agriculture which is itself a form of adaptation to prevailing environments. Spontaneous farmer adaptations, and spontaneous market response supplying adequate agricultural inputs and technology, cannot be left aside. Ceteris cannot be paribus in this regard, just as you, visiting a beach in August, from the observation of people sunbathing at the beach in summer cannot forecast mass death of tourists from exposure when winter comes: sunbathing is an adaptive human behavior, and people would not remain almost naked in the beach by midwinter.
Same is valid for agriculture, but the assessment of the impact on crops in the IFPRI study is done just in the way just outlined about beaches in winter, without regard for human adaptive response, as if crops were natural vegetation. Agriculture, like sunbathing, is not a natural process: it is an adaptive human activity in interaction with Nature; crops are grown in each location according to the local climate. Currently grown crops are far different from those grown in 1950 or 1900, not to speak of 1798 when Rev. Malthus published his famously wrong prediction of mass hunger. Crops now are also distributed differently over the globe than they were in 1900, and would surely be distributed in a different way by 2050 or 2080.
The IFPRI study does analyze adaptive modifications of agriculture but under a separate heading, as if the impact of climate change on the agriculture of 2050 could be modeled by assuming that the agriculture of 2000 exists under a different climate. In practice, the climate would change very gradually, and the population of current farmers would die and be replaced by new farming people, in the same or other places, with different crops and technologies.
Once "adaptive investments" are considered, according to IFPRI, the number of malnourished children in 2050 would return to the neighborhood of the figure "without climate change" (115 million). I think that much of this effect would result from normal economic development, normal spontaneous farmer adaptation to a gradually changing climate, expected changes in the organization of production (e.g. lower share of production coming from subsistence farmers and more from commercial farms, as already occurring), and expected agricultural technology progress, not necessarily necessitating especial "adaptive investments" (though some there would surely be) but only the ordinary adjustments farmers apply everywhere.
These adjustments must be part of the projected impact assessment, not an exogenous and optional "investment". One cannot conceive of the average farmer in 2050 or 2080 blindly behaving like her or his grandparents, planting inadequate crops with obsolete seeds inherited from the year 2000 and with the farming techniques used in 2000, just as the average farmer today does not plant the seeds of 1900, or grow the crops as their forebears did a century ago. In fact, many of the grandchildren of today's farmers would, by then, be living elsewhere, probably in towns, perhaps abroad, eating food produced by others either in their country of residence or elsewhere, as do already a majority of humans.
My point is not that climate change "by itself" would be harmful or beneficial; my point was intended to rebut the idea, copied at the beginning of this thread, that by 2050 people will be "fighting for food and water everywhere". That is not only wrong: it is based on flawed methods for assessing the impact of climate change on agriculture.

I agree that all these are exercises in modelling, and that nobody has the fabled crystal ball to look into the future. Neither as regards agriculture or food, nor as regards the climate. The purpose of my comment was to show that even under the worst climate change scenarios, an integrated assessment (which considers agriculture as a human adaptive activity) results in an improvement in the overall food and hunger situation by the second half of this century, with or without climate change. The IFPRI study is just another study, a little less technically adequate than the IIASA one, but not qualitatively different in its conclusions.

Feb 6, 2013 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterH.M.

I am a little confused. Is the head of a center for climatology quoting a report on climate predictions from head of a financial institution? That is an "expert" is quoting somebody who has no qualifications in the subject.
Why no quote the UNIPCC - a consensus of the leading experts in the field? Maybe it is because the said experts now admit that they exaggerated the catastrophic consequences of global warming, such as increased tropical storms, or increasing droughts in Africa.

Feb 6, 2013 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

We delivered a package of recommendations on which parts of DWP policy and services required high priority action to prepare for climate change. For example, grants are given to vulnerable people to help with heating costs in particularly cold weather. In the future, hot-weather payments may be needed to contribute to air-conditioning costs. Our advice provided a clear understanding of how climate change may affect the work of the DWP, highlighting areas where it should focus attention for policy changes.

Impacts on social welfare 7 April 2011

Not a clue, not a drop of common sense, lets see if HadGEM3 with international input makes a difference.

Feb 6, 2013 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Manic, I think the reason for quoting the head of the World bank may be that bankers are now seen as more trustworthy than climate scientists?

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:24 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Please note that the comment made about he Met office is not in quotes - and is not from me. I remain surprised at the absence of discernment of readers in assuming the press always reports the unadulterated truth. Subtleties and nuances are typically lost in condensing lengthier arguments - surely we are all aware of this?

As for the comments attributed to Betts & Hawkins - my understanding is that the most extreme RCP scenario (RCP8.5) is not that extreme, but more likely around business as usual - similar to the old A1FI emission scenario. Just check the growth rates from now to 2020 or so, and consider whether you think they represent the highest you could reasonably imagine?

My criticisms are broadly aimed at the dominance of overly political emission scenarios – including those from IIASA. We've had over a decade of abstract emission modellers not engaging substantively with actual emissions data and the reasons behind emission increases; just look at the latest BP energy outlook scenarios - again check the growth rates in the short term - do they seem reasonable!? Also where were these emission modellers when the Stern report radically underplayed the emission growth we had actually witnessed between 2000 and when the report was published in 2006? History is littered with politically palatable scenarios – the RCPs are the latest version of these.

If the Met office, Betts and others are broadly correct in the science - and I take the view that they are - then, if the emission scenarios I use are not unreasonable, neither are the outcomes of my work as it is based on the Met office and others science. From my quick scan of the responses, very few of those that are making substantive comments refer to the scenarios in any level of detail. As a basic starting point – take current emissions of energy related CO2 – and grow them at say 3 to 5% p.a. – is that an inconceivable rate? If you consider 3-5% is possible/probable, where does it leave emissions by say 2020, 2025 or 2030? Compare the numbers with others scenarios and give a bit of thought to Betts’ et al carbon budgets for different temperatures. Relate the budgets to the scenarios you’ve sketched out and then give some further thought as to how you could split the budgets between Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 nations – now what emission reduction rates are needed? Having done all this – then I’d be only too pleased to hear informed and quantitative comments on how the scenarios colleagues and I use are unreasonable. I apologise in advance if I have missed such thoughtful analysis in amongst the Bishops Hill usual high level of dispassionate and informed debate.

Kind regards


Feb 7, 2013 at 12:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Anderson

H.M. -
Thanks for the response. I agree that the IFPRI took what appears to be an unreasonably pessimistic point of view. First, they present most of its results ignoring CO2 fertilization; they say in a footnote that this is “[b]ecause the effects of higher concentrations of CO2 on farmer’s fields are uncertain”. And as you say, they appear to ignore (or downplay) agricultural adaptation to changing conditions.
But my more important objection to such exercises is that the primary external input to the model is regional climatic conditions, which are obtained from climate models which appear to overestimate climate change in general, and have not been shown to have skill in predicting regional changes. More precisely, Dr Betts states that they can predict well for certain parts of the globe but not all. If the conditions are not accurate, even an ideal model will not generate dependable expectations.

Feb 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Predictions for has far away as 2080 are a good idea becasue those making them will not be alive to be reminded of their BS claims . Now hows about some predictions for say five years time , or has the frequency and scale of wrongness made such approaches 'unacceptable ' within climate science?

Feb 7, 2013 at 1:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Mr Anderson can't even get modern facts right. For example he says this

"I’ve done without a fridge for 12 years, but recently relented and joined the very small proportion of the world’s population that has a fridge."

As soon as I saw that I thought his "small proportion" was shonky, and did some checking. Sure enough, he is just making stuff up as he goes along. About half the world lives in a home with a personal fridge, or access to one. (Think about how many do -- all of Europe, all of North America, most of the rest of the Americas, most of the old soviet union, about half all Chinese, all the rich Asians like Japan, S. Korea etc. That quickly adds up to half the world.) The best study I could find was:
It makes a useful point, that one of the first things people get when they get onto the electricity grid is a fridge. Because they are not stupid. There would be more with a fridge, but for the lack of electrical connection in much of Africa.

Anderson's relationship to modern checkable non-partisan facts being what it is, why should we expect that his relationship to projections would be remotely reasonable?

Feb 7, 2013 at 4:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

@HaroldW (Feb 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM):
I had no intention to dispute climate models or their results, or to assert my own projections of climate or about the future of agriculture or food. I simply stated that studies based on IPCC scenario projections do not support the idea that mankind will be "fighting for food" later this century. On the contrary, my point was that all serious analyses of those climate projections' implications as regards food and agriculture concur that the net projected status by mid or end century will be an improvement in food consumption and nutrition. Those studies suggest that some hunger will remain, no doubt, but that obesity will be far more widespread, in both developed and developing countries.

Feb 7, 2013 at 4:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterH.M.


Flattery will get you everywhere apart from over the first hurdle when your starting position is 'If the Met office, Betts and others are broadly correct in the science', broadly is too wide an assumption when introducing restrictive policy.

'If you consider 3-5% is possible/probable, where does it leave emissions by say 2020, 2025 or 2030?'
Causing only slightly more than the overblown current effect on climate, why not take your scenario out to 2100 and predict the emissions from future energy technology that will gradually evolve from present Physics.

'Relate the budgets to the scenarios you’ve sketched out and then give some further thought as to how you could split the budgets between Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 nations – now what emission reduction rates are needed?'
Why waste time and money, as energy technology evolves in unrestricted nations it will roll out across other nations as it has always done in free markets.

Your problem scenarios are a facet of restricting proven technological evolution to a set of rules be they political or faith contrived under a scientific banner designed by those more willing to risk other peoples well being than their own. The entrepreneur puts his own prosperity on the line before others, the evangelist the opposite.

Feb 7, 2013 at 4:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Thanks to Mooloo for your useful contribution - I will give a bit of thought to what you've said and adjust my comments on fridge ownership accordingly.

As for Beaverbook - I've treated your repetitive, banal and information-light rant with the disdain it always deserves.

Thanks again Mooloo


Ps. Why not use real and full names - as it stands the use of pseudonyms risks detracting from the substance of some of the arguments (may also be worth noting occupation etc?) - surely as much openness about ourselves helps others judge the context of our respective positions.

Feb 7, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Anderson

Prof. Anderson - thanks for popping in here, appreciated.

If I undertstand you correctly, you claim the 5C rise by 2080 is credible because the modellers have been using old emission rates, which are conservative compared with actual economic growth witnessed in recent years. Fair enough - but if that is the case it surely makes the disconnect between CO2 and average global temperatures even more stark:

A 5C rise by 2080 is equivalent to 0.75C per decade. 2080 is still some time away, and most contributers and readers here will not be around then to see if your catastrophism is justified. Will you put on record what you think global average temperatures in a shorter time period, say 2025? Or may I ask you how more many years of stable or decreasing temperatures will it take before you accept that the CO2 hypothesis is failed, or at least that the climate sensitivity used in the IPCC's models bears no relation to actual observations?

p.s. the primary reason I use a pseudonym is because I run a family business, and I do not wish to risk that business (and my family's only source of income) from being targeted by green activists who may take exception to anyone who does not adhere to their AGW religion. (Google Greenpeace and 'we know who you are and where you live' - No pressure)

Feb 7, 2013 at 12:04 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

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