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« Tightening scientific belts | Main | Miller and the lights »
Friday
Mar152013

Whitehouse and the temperature standstill

In the latest report from GWPF, David Whitehouse has examined the 21st century temperature standstill and the history of attempts to, ahem, deny its existence.

A new report written by Dr David Whitehouse and published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation concludes that there has been no statistically significant increase in annual global temperatures since 1997.

After reviewing the scientific literature the reports concludes that the standstill is an empirical fact and a reality that challenges current climate models. During the time that the Earth’s global temperature has remained static the atmospheric composition of carbon dioxide has increased from 370 to 390 ppm.

“The standstill is a reality and is not the result of cherry-picking start and end points. Its commencement can be seen clearly in the data, and it continues to this day,” said Dr David Whitehouse, the author of the new report.

The report shows that the temperature standstill has been a much discussed topic in peer-reviewed scientific literature for years, but that this scientific debate has neither been followed by most of the media, nor acknowledged by climate campaigners, scientific societies and prominent scientists.

The report also surveys how those few journalists who have looked at the issue have been reporting the standstill, with many far too ready to dismiss it or lacking a sense of journalistic inquiry, preferring to reports squabbles rather than the science.

”If the standstill continues for a few more years it will mean that no one who has just reached adulthood, or younger, will have witnessed the Earth get warmer during their lifetime,” said the report’s author, Dr David Whitehouse.

In his foreword, Lord Turnbull, former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service, commented:

“Dr Whitehouse is a man who deserves to be listened to. He has consistently followed an approach of examining observations rather than projections of large scale computer models, which are too often cited as ‘evidence’. He looks dispassionately at the data, trying to establish what message it tells us, rather than using it to confirm a pre-held view.”

Full report here

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Reader Comments (62)

Just reading through this. 'Excellent' - first word to describe this historical account of the pause.

Down in the article, there is a passage that makes it appear as though Whitehouse is not aware that Grant Foster is Tamini.

Mar 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM | Registered Commentershub

Unfortunately, it's from the GWPF, which is "unreliable" in the eyes of the MSM.

Mar 15, 2013 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Can it really be the case that, over the past 15 years, the sum total of all the Earth’s natural climatic variables, such as changes in solar irradiance, volcanoes, the Pacific Decadal oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the Arctic Oscillation, all of which can change from cooling to warming over decadal timescales, have behaved in such a way as to produce a cooling effect that is the mirror image of the warming postulated by the anthropogenic climate forcings from CO2 and other greenhouse gases, from the changing water vapour, from tropospheric ozone, and from a clearing aerosol burden? Am I alone in thinking, that in the dynamically changing global climate, this looks like a contrived, indeed scientifically suspicious, situation?

To answer the question: Or maybe, something in the manner and amount of the attribution of warming to "anthropogenic climate forcings from CO2 and other greenhouse gases, changing water vapour, from tropospheric ozone, and from a clearing aerosol burden", is wrong?

Crosspost with pesadia! ;)

Mar 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM | Registered Commentershub

TheBigYinJames

The irony is, that that is what makes it reliable.

Mar 15, 2013 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

In October, 2011, a Greenwire article interviewed a dozen climate scientists for their views on why the earth had refused to warm in the face of rising carbon dioxide levels. All the different ideas indicated the science is not settled. I don't recall any of them conceding their climate models had been falsified, or even badly damaged.

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/candid-comments-from-global-warming-climate-scientists/

Mar 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

An outstandingly excellent report. I would say it is one of the most important documents written about global warming. One aspect of it that struck me is that it validates the position of a 'sceptic' because it shows that one can hold a view that is lambasted but that turns out to be true. Whitehouse's work really shames most of the media, especially his alma mater the BBC. Terrific stuff, and I love his understated English humour, especially when describing the Climategate emails that showed Bob Ward desperately trying to get the Met Office to put Whitehouse down, but neither Bob or the Met Office could do so.
It's a must read for all climate scientists and sceptics alike.

Mar 15, 2013 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterAppreciative Scientist

GWPF? Well we can't believe a word they say. After all aren't they run by one of Thatcher's old mates?

Those nice people from the BBC, Greenpeace and WWF tell me that this decade has been the warmest on record, it's worse than we thought and my children are going to fry unless we get back to nature and start growing our own food and making our own candles.
In the meantime those nice Chinese firms will send us all the windmills we need.

Mar 15, 2013 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

So, have the warmists run out of ways to massage the latest data upwards, or are they continuing to do so and are now genuinely 'hiding the decline'?

Mar 15, 2013 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

Not in the media - because its not 'news' is it..?

'Weather totally average' doesn't sell newspapers...!

Mar 15, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Gamechanger

Mar 15, 2013 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterjason

This is it. We have our 'Bill of Rights' in this wonderful document. Wave it in front of anyone who dares to call us deniers now. Send it to Lord Patten to show him what the BBC could have been and how far it has fallen, send it to Sir Paul Nurse to show him how far the Royal Society has fallen, send it to David Cameron to show him how badly advised he has been, and send it to Al Gore.

Mar 15, 2013 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterTonyM

Cunningly the AGW crowd have moved on. They only mention climate change as linked with extreme weather now. I saw a report on BBC World the other day on high snowfall in northern Japan that was 'likely caused by global warming". In an otherwise excellent report on potholes in Florida, the Guardian concluded that with climate change, the frequency of potholes in likely to increase. I kid you not! Monty Python would have been proud.

Mar 15, 2013 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterpotentilla

@ potentilla

the Guardian concluded that with climate change, the frequency of potholes in likely to increase.

And I thought that the prevalence of potholes had something to do with local councils spending their money on Politically Correct, Political Commissars in pen-pushing roles instead of spending it on maintaining the services for which they are responsible. But, you live and learn!

Mar 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

I think they may be talking about sink holes which would be more likely after heavy rainfall but nevertheless still stupid to relate it to CC.

Mar 15, 2013 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Schofield

potentilla

I saw a report on BBC World the other day on high snowfall in northern Japan that was 'likely caused by global warming".

The beeboid bubble of willful impenetrable ignorance is more inpenetrable than a willfully ignorant thing. Beeboids know nothing.

Some numbers, from my home town in northern Japan. The blue line is daily snowfall (last winter 16.3 metres) and the orange line the depth of the snowpack (2.7 metres). We have more this year.

This is my next-door neighbour's rice field. The pole is 3 metres high, and the bands are 30cm.

Here's the memsahib's factory after a couple of sessions clearing snow off the roof. Factory on the left, car park on the right.

In town it looks like this.

Five metres of snow is nothing. This is the road up to Gassan ski-jo. Gassan opens in late spring, once they have opened the road.

My point. There are century old farmhouses here, with doorways in the first floor (second floor if you are American). 15-20 metres of snow, and a bed of 2-3 metres is a normal annual event in the heavy snow areas of Japan. This is not "climate change". It is "climate normal".

Mar 15, 2013 at 2:47 PM | Registered CommenterHector Pascal

potentilla:

Cunningly the AGW crowd have moved on.

It's not that cunning. The general public gained the impression that global warming meant higher temperatures. The impact of David Rose's pieces in the Mail on Sunday show that there's a eager market for further revelations of a Global Warming Standstill. People like to know when they've been conned, whether about Hillsborough, Jimmy Savile or completely unnecessary price hikes on their energy bills. This isn't going to turn out well for those who jump ship too late - and it may already be too late. Well done indeed David Whitehouse and the GWPF.

Mar 15, 2013 at 3:13 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The Met Office Climate change web page has this;

"The purpose of the programme is to provide up-to-date, robust and traceable scientific evidence to government on climate variability and climate change."

And therefore the government knows of the stand-still and is ignoring it, or it doesn't know and is ignorant of it. Either way it's a dereliction of duty by a publicly funded institution. HoC or MO: which is it?

Mar 15, 2013 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

I like the way that Whitehouse uses the Keenlyside paper as support for his thesis, but doesn't actually point out that their forecast for the first period was completely wrong, and the second is looking pretty unlikely. Seems to be a bit of an unfortunate omission, no?

Mar 15, 2013 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom

Tom
I think the fate of Keenlysides work comes out pretty clearly in the report.

Mar 15, 2013 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterilsonh

So, have the warmists run out of ways to massage the latest data upwards, or are they continuing to do so and are now genuinely 'hiding the decline'?

Mar 15, 2013 at 1:08 PM | Ian E
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

The problem the Team face with massaging the temperatures upwards is that to do so will inevitably lead to divergence from the satellite data sets.

Should the Team diverge the temperature sets for which they are the gatekeepers too far from the satellite data set, it would look very suspicious, more pressure would be placed upon them to justify the adjustments. Accordingly, the Team are constrained by the pressence of the satellite data sets which sets are keeping them more 'honest'

Mar 15, 2013 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

@ potentilla

the Guardian concluded that with climate change, the frequency of potholes in likely to increase.

And I thought that the prevalence of potholes had something to do with local councils spending their money on Politically Correct, Political Commissars in pen-pushing roles instead of spending it on maintaining the services for which they are responsible. But, you live and learn!

Mar 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM | Roy
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Your observation on the actions of Local Councils is no doubt correct.

Given that potholes are caused mainly by water freezing, the quote from the Guardian would appear to be an acknowledgement, by them, that they are anticipating that, in the coming future, it will be getting colder/winter conditions will be harsher/snow will not, after all, be a thing of the past.

Mar 15, 2013 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

That was a fairly heavy read but well worth it.
Interesting how things you always knew suddenly switch a light on ...

When pressed about Lawson’s point about no warming this century, Rapley [at the time director of the Science Museum] replied that it was ‘factually true’, but that natural variability in the system could account for it, adding that the underlying trend of the last 30 years followed exactly the predictions of man-made global warming.
This was in 2008. Since nobody was talking very much about global warming in 1978, or indeed much before 1988, when were these "predictions" made?
Phil Jones replied: [In an email to Mike Lockwood in 2009]
Bottom line: the no upward trend has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.
I would love to hear Phil's answer (and I am sure it would truthful because, as his mum says, "he's a good boy") to the question why the global warming perhaps not being as catastrophic as he first thought is something that would make him "worried".
Me, I'd be relieved!

Mar 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

A very good summary of where we are. I have sent the link to Nick Clegg and also to my servant* at DECC who sends out the stereotyped letters. Unfortunately, they won't read it. But they won't be able to say that nobody tried to warn them.

*he does not qualify for the epithet 'civil'

Mar 15, 2013 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

February 2010, Phil Jones, 15 years.
November 2011, Ben Santer, 17 years.
February 2013, Pachauri, 30-40 years.
Yet;
January 2013, Met Office, no warming for 16 years and no more until 2017 = 20 years.

In this bid escalation, someone has to call. Dr. Whitehouse has done just that.

Mar 15, 2013 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

From the report: Phil Jones replied: "The bottom line: the no upward trend has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried".

Can you imagine scientists in another field studying a great danger - the spread of HIV or CJD, for example, say, and seeing signs that the annual number of victims of the disease is no longer increasing.

Then one of them saying "the no upward trend has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried".

Mar 15, 2013 at 5:52 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Whitehouse's report make another, unstated, case. Did the IPCC and Al Gore deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

Mar 15, 2013 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterCliveBg

Whitehouse's report make another, unstated, case. Did the IPCC and Al Gore deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
In recent years, The Nobel Peace Prize has become a bad joke. It is no longer the provence of truly deserving recipients such as Mother Theresa. It now appears that to receive the award, one needs to be a terrorist, former terrorist, or otherwise be responsible for countless deaths and/or have blood on one's hands.

Since the action that the IPCC promotes and/or causes the political elite to adopt as solutions to the problem being peddled by the IPCC is leading to misery, starvation and deaths (there is little doubt in my mind that some deaths have been caused by the swap of arable land to bio fuel production rather than foodstuff, consequential escalation in food prices is claimed in part for the Arab Spring, and also no doubt some deaths have resulted from fuel poverty and the lack of preparedness for winter/snowy weather leading to more road accidents), it appears that the IPCC (and its lead authors) fit the bill for such an award.

Don't forget this is not a science award, although no doubt the public mistakely believe that the IPCC have been awarded a Nobel science Prize., They have not.

Mar 15, 2013 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Roy and Richard Verney.
Sorry I misled you. The report in the Guardian was indeed about sink holes as there had been a spectacular one recently under a guys bedroom in Florida. He was never found. With climate change, more of us are likely to disappear suddenly down a great big hole while sleeping. Is that alarming or what?

I must have been thinking of potholes in Yorkshire - which are of course sink holes that have occurred a while ago.

Mar 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterpotentilla

Well done David....the dam must burst one day but let us hope it is not after all the shysters have retired or passed on.

Mar 15, 2013 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterjames griffin

It seems the major explanation for the pause/stall/slowdown in surface warming in the scientific literature is an increase in SO2 emissions - whether from volcanic or industrial sources - followed by decreased CFC emissions and a slight decrease in solar insolation. I agree that some activists sites for example SkS and CP, are in denial about this plateau. They point to continued ocean warming but ignore that the rate has slowed. However, I'm afraid it is the folks here who are in big time denial that CO2 caused warming will dominate in the long run. The half life of atmospheric SO2 is much less than that of atmospheric CO2. And there is no pause in ocean acidification.

Mar 16, 2013 at 12:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike

Mar 15, 2013 at 4:37 PM | richard verney

Accordingly, the Team are constrained by the presence of the satellite data sets which sets are keeping them more 'honest'.

Not at all! James Hansen and his merry men at GISS have a neat 'trick' where they cool the pre-satellite record:

https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/hansen-admits-that-he-is-taking-the-enron-approach-to-science/

Mar 16, 2013 at 1:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Two errors in David Whitehouse’s report with respect to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. First:

“85. In the media it had been mentioned that the first half of 2010 had also seen a strong El Niño effect, but in none of the 571 news reports collated in Google News was El Niño given as an explanation, despite the fact that it markedly increased the global temperature. Neither was there mention of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which went positive, thereby also contributing to global warming.”

Second:

“192. Can it really be the case that, over the past 15 years, the sum total of all the Earth’s natural climatic variables, such as changes in solar irradiance, volcanoes, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the Arctic Oscillation, all of which can change from cooling to warming over decadal timescales…”

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index does not represent the sea surface temperatures of the North Pacific. There is no process through which the Pacific Decadal Oscillation can cause global surface temperatures to warm when the PDO is positive or cool when the PDO is negative, because the sea surface temperatures of the North Pacific are inversely related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index.

Mar 16, 2013 at 1:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterBob Tisdale

It is known the are a number of different climate cycles with different periods. At some point in time the peaks of these cycles will coincide, for example in 1998. It only takes a few minutes to illustrate this using a spreadsheet. Here's one I did earlier which took all of five minutes

http://jeremyshiers.com/blog/ipcc-global-warming-alarm-over-co2-but-stay-silent-on-suns-growing-heat/climatecycles/

This is not supposed to replicate the temperature record, but to show the sort of variability to be expected when there are a number of cycles (4 in this case) with different periods (11, 22, 60 and 400 years here).

If a few minutes with a spreadsheet can show this sort of pattern what is the need for vast teams slaving away with supercomputers, unless it's to save them having to get a real job.

Mar 16, 2013 at 8:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Shiers

@billy liar

Thanks for the great link to Steven Goddard's post

'https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/hansen-admits-that-he-is-taking-the-enron-approach-to-science/


It deserves a wider circulation..The graphs are very revealing and makes one wonder if there is any real substance to 'warming' at all. Or whether a large proportion (at least) is only caused by 'adjustments'.

Question for those with better knowledge than I.

When did accurate satellite measurements really become available? How soon after that did the 'warming' cease to be apparent?

The cycnic might suggest that the two weren't too far temporally apart from each other.

Mar 16, 2013 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

@richard verney
Your assessement of the sinking reputation of the Nobel Peace Prize is spot on. However, Mother Theresa was another example of the prize being given to rather unpleasant, self serving characters. She was not the saint that she claimed to be, but a sadistic little fraud.

Mar 16, 2013 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

Bob,

Are they fatal errors?

Regards

Mailman

Mar 16, 2013 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Very well designed piece of science journalism. It would be interesting to follow it up with a research effort on follow the money. Such a line of investigation may reveal the cause of the warming emphasis in main stream media reporting.

Mar 16, 2013 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered Commenteroebele bruinsma

Latimer Alder. I don't know whether they were accurate then, but they satellite era started in 1979 and UAH hasn't seen warming for 25 years.

Mar 16, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

So, have the warmists run out of ways to massage the latest data upwards, or are they continuing to do so and are now genuinely 'hiding the decline'?

Mar 15, 2013 at 1:08 PM | Ian E


No, see Steven Goddards site. The yanks are manipulating for all they are worth.

Mar 16, 2013 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Mar 16, 2013 at 12:56 AM | Mike

Normally I wouldn't bother with prats like you but really you are trully enormous.

Oceans : ph 8.0 to 8.5. Neutral 7.0 Acid less than 7.0. Lemons 3.3. The most dangerous side of neutral is the alkaline (greater than 7). My swimming pool was 3.3 at the end of winter last year. If it was the same on the other side of neutral it would have destroyed the pool.

alkaline water is actually an oxidative agent and increases free radicals within the body

Read more: Negative Effects of Alkaline Water | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_7609516_negative-effects-alkaline-water.html#ixzz2Nh9pof1P

You idoit enviros need to better educate yourselves before spouting.

Mar 16, 2013 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Stephen, Mike

Please upgrade the tone of your comments.

Mar 16, 2013 at 9:57 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Hopefully the GWPF will send copies to Chris Huhne for some quiet reading in the prison library. Also copies to Ed Davey, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and all other pro CAGW politicians. Unfortunately they are unlikely to read the work, and if they do, their scientific advisors from the Met Office will find the usual arm waving explanation to contradict the results.

Mar 16, 2013 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

"because the sea surface temperatures of the North Pacific are inversely related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index."

I originally made this observation on Bob's excellent blog a couple of years ago on eyeballing a couple of his plots.

A couple of points.
1) The generally positive PDO 1975-2000 was matched by the generally positive Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation over the same period. So we don't need the PDO to be responsible for a worldwide uplift in SST, because other oceans were affected by the same underlying driver (the Sun) anyway.

2)'Global warming' was predominantly a northern hemisphere phenomenon. Solar energy absorbed in the less be-continented south flowed north, pushing the northern arm of the Gulf Stream towards the arctic - Hence the Greenland and arctic ice loss while antarctic sea ice increased. The Fram strait is a wider passage than the Bering Strait, and most of the circulation went via the Atlantic. That's why the Northern Pacific dithered in approx anticorrelation to the PDO while the whole Atlantic warmed.

Which is why I give the AMO a stronger weighting in comparison to Pacific indicators (SOI in this plot) and along with using a cumulative integration of sunspot number, I have been able to reconstruct global SST since 1876 to a Pearson R^2 value of 0.9 for MONTHLY data.
http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/sst-model1.png

The co2 component could just as easily be the adjustments to the data Steven Goddard and others have noted.

Mar 16, 2013 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered Commentertallbloke

In 2010 a sceptic propogandist organisation, the GWPF, paid a sceptic propogandist writer, Andrew Montford, to write a report on Climategate. The report was unfavourable to the CRU.
In 2013 the same sceptic propogandist organisation paid another sceptic propogandist writer to write a report on "15 years with no warming". The report supported the sceptic position.

This is not surprising, but do you really expect non-sceptics to take this bullshit seriously?

Mar 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Playing the man again, EM? Funding determines truth? Then we cannot believe anything.

Mar 16, 2013 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Latimer Alder. I don't know whether they were accurate then, but they satellite era started in 1979 and UAH hasn't seen warming for 25 years.

Mar 16, 2013 at 9:29 AM | geronimo

Looks like a wrming trend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Satellite_Temperatures.png

Mar 16, 2013 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Funding determines truth? Then we cannot believe anything.

Mar 16, 2013 at 10:50 AM | Rhoda

Your solution to this dilemma?

Mar 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM - "Your solution to this dilemma?"

Why not write something about the contents of the report instead of drivel about the GWPF? You have read the report of course?

Mar 16, 2013 at 11:02 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

No Entropic man, most of us no longer expect "non-sceptics" like you to properly consider opposing evidence. You have righteous minds, not truly scientific (dispassionate) ones.

Mar 16, 2013 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterSJF

EM - "Your solution to this dilemma?"

The data is king (or queen in these politically correct times). All scientific papers contain 4 parts. A review of past work and thus justification for the current work, a description of the materials and methods used, the results that were obtained and a discussion and evaluation of these results. Only the materials and Methods and Results sections are likely to be objective in any paper regardless of author or source of funding. Everything else is subject to the opinions of the author(s).

If you want to see what the science is telling you look to the data. That is the primary reason why any scientist who attempts to reinvent the data to fit his/her preconceived theory should no longer be trusted.

Mar 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

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