Once again, for political reasons, the Met Office is “jumping the gun” and drawing conclusions about the global annual temperature of 2011 before all the data has come in. It is also erroneously saying that even with a globally cooling La Nina event 2011 is a record year.
Reported in the Times today (paywall) and in the Guardian are a series of statements prepared by the UK Met Office that are a masterclass of spin in the use of statistics. The Met Office Press release is here.
The Times: World temperatures still rising (as spring daffodils flower in November). Hannah Devlin, Science Correspondent:
Temperatures across the world are continuing to rise as predicted by climate change scientists, according to the latest global figures released by the Met Office.
The figures, timed to coincide with the UN climate conference in South Africa, show that this year is likely to be the eleventh warmest on record. The average global temperature for the first ten months of 2011 was 14.36C (57.85F), 0.36C above the long-term average.
Although cooler than last year, scientists said this is explained by a weather phenomenon called La Niña, which causes a temporary cooling of the global climate.
When 2011 is compared with previous La Niña years, it ranks as the warmest since records began in 1850. Peter Stott, from the Met Office, said: “This year we have seen a very persistent and strong La Niña, which brings cooler water to the surface of the Pacific Ocean. This has a global impact on weather and temperatures, and is one of the key reasons why this year does not figure as highly as 2010 in the rankings.”
He added that the Met Office stood by a previous prediction that half the years in this decade would be warmer globally than 1998, the warmest year to date.
Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, which worked with the Met Office on the figures, said that the records provided “overwhelming” evidence that the climate has warmed, but that not every year would be warmer than the last.
There is a great deal of misrepresentation in this article. Somehow its twisted logic concludes that even as 2011 turns out to be a rather cool year, as it admits probably the 11th warmest on record taking us back to the temperatures in the 1990’s before the recent warmest decade on record, somehow the world’s temperature continues to rise as expected.
Taxpayers will have to pay billions of pounds a year equipping council houses, town halls, hospitals and other public buildings with the latest green technology, under new proposals by the European Commission.
By Robert Watts | The Telegraph
Local authorities and other public bodies, already struggling with spending cuts, will be obliged to fit schools, swimming pools and libraries, with state-of-the-art insulation, boilers, generators and windows.
Councils say the plan as it affects them alone would cost taxpayers up to £50bn.
The draft Energy Efficiency Directive states public bodies should "lead by example" and "purchase only products, services and buildings with high energy efficiency performance".
Public bodies will also be obliged to refurbish 3% of their properties to the high energy-efficient specification each year, under the plans.
Local authorities say the proposals – set to take effect in just over two years – may force them to make even deeper cuts to core services, such as rubbish collection and care for the elderly. It is understood ministers also strongly oppose the directive.
FRESH outrage erupted yesterday over the cost of details of the aid package overseas aid after it emerged that Britain is to stump up £1billion to help African countries fight climate change.
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne will spearhead the megadeal that will see taxpayers shelling out for projects to help farmers insure their crops against flooding and drought.
Other schemes include installing solar power in villages and building slurry pits that can produce gas to power generators.
The move will infuriate millions of hard-pressed taxpayers trying to make ends meet. South Africa, the most economically advanced in the continent, is one of the continent, it is one of the countries to receive the handout.
Last year, its economy grew by 2.8 per cent while Britain's grew by just 1.8 per cent.
Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom said: It is inconceivable that the Government feels able to spend money on climate change in Africa when its austerity measures at home are causing such pain. If we have the money then we should spend it here.” Mr Huhne is expected to announce details of the aid package ahead of talks at a United Nations summit on climate change in Durban, South Africa, which starts this week.
BBC sought advice from global warming scientists on economy, drama, music... and even game shows
By David Rose | Mail Online
Britain’s leading green activist research centre spent £15,000 on seminars for top BBC executives in an apparent bid to block climate change sceptics from the airwaves, a vast new cache of leaked ‘Climategate’ emails has revealed.
The emails – part of a trove of more than 5,200 messages that appear to have been stolen from computers at the University of East Anglia – shed light for the first time on an incestuous web of interlocking relationships between BBC journalists and the university’s scientists, which goes back more than a decade.
They show that University staff vetted BBC scripts, used their contacts at the Corporation to stop sceptics being interviewed and were consulted about how the broadcaster should alter its programme output.
Like the first ‘Climategate’ leaks two years ago, they were placed last week on a Russian server by an anonymous source.
Again like their predecessors, they have emerged just before a United Nations climate summit, which is to start this week in Durban.
The film, made by British television producer Martin Durkin, presents scientists, economists, politicians, writers, and others who dispute the scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic global warming.
The film's basic premise is that the current scientific opinion on the anthropogenic causes of global warming has numerous scientific flaws, and that vested monetary interests in the scientific establishment and the media discourage the public and the scientific community from acknowledging or even debating this. The film asserts that the publicised scientific consensus is the product of a "global warming activist industry" driven by a desire for research funding. Other culprits, according to the film, are Western environmentalists promoting expensive solar and wind power over cheap fossil fuels in Africa, resulting in African countries being held back from industrialising.
The film won best documentary at the 2007 Io Isabella International Film Week.
A number of academics, environmentalists, think-tank consultants and writers are interviewed in the film in support of its various assertions. They include the Canadian environmentalist Patrick Moore, former member of Greenpeace but for the past 21 years a critic of the organisation; Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Patrick Michaels, Research Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia; Nigel Calder, editor of New Scientist from 1962 to 1966; John Christy, professor and director of the Earth System Science Center at University of Alabama; Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute; former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson; and Piers Corbyn, a British weather forecaster.
Carl Wunsch, professor of oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was also interviewed but has since said that he strongly disagrees with the film's conclusions and the way his interview material was used.
• Chris Huhne makes comments during Commons statement • Claim based on assumption home energy use drops by a third
By Sean Poulter | Mail Online
Families will pay £280 a year in ‘green taxes’ by 2020 to fund the shift to wind, solar and nuclear power, ministers admitted yesterday.
The huge cost faced by ordinary people will pay for the Government’s pledge to cut carbon emissions and be ‘the greenest ever’.
Households currently pay £89 a year on their bills for the green energy drive, but this will increase every year to reach £280 by 2020, according to the Government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
The ‘taxes’ will provide almost £8billion a year towards the £200billion cost of vast wind farms, nuclear power stations, a new pylon network, and to put up solar panels.
But in a bizarre statement, energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne told the House of Commons that his policies mean consumers will actually be better off.
He said: ‘By 2020, we expect household bills to be 7 per cent – or £94 – lower than they would otherwise be without our policies.
‘Britain’s homes will be cheaper to heat and light than if we did nothing.’
MUNICH, Nov. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- CFACT will cosponsor an international climate conference in Munich on Friday and Saturday, November 25th and 26th at Munich's Hotel Maritim. The conference is also cosponsored by EIKE, the European Institute for Climate and Energy, the Berlin Manhattan Institute and others.
CFACT has joined in presenting a number of conferences in Europe and CFACT Europe Executive Director Dr. Holger Thuss reports that this conference will be the largest and most successful yet. The conference will feature numerous scientists including Dr. Horst-Joachim Ludecke, Dr. Gernot Patzelt, Dipl. Meteorologe Klaus-Eckart Puls, Dr. Henrik Svensmark and others. Dr. Svensmark will comment on his research on the role of solar radiation in cloud formation which was the subject of recent research by CERN the European Organization for Nuclear Research and home of the Hardon super collider.
The Munich conference comes on the very eve of COP17 the UN conference on climate change in Durban, South Africa.
Following Munich, CFACT will send a spirited delegation to Durban which will feature Lord Christopher Monckton, Dr. Kelvin Kemm, Dr. Leon Louwe, CFACT Executive Director Craig Rucker and staff.
Lord Monckton and Marc Morano both make extremely articulate, informed and interesting guests on television and radio and offer valuable balance for print and online journalism. Kelvin Kemm and Leon Louw will offer unique South African perspectives. Craig Rucker co-founded CFACT well over two decades ago and offers a wealth of public policy experience.
Global warming science and policy is anything but settled. CFACT looks forward to engaging in a balanced, civil, informed and genuine dialogue in Munich and in Durban.
By JUSTIN GILLIS and LESLIE KAUFMAN | New York Times
The anonymous hacker who shook the world of climate science two years ago by posting a trove of stolen e-mails delivered a new batch on Tuesday, stirring up climate-change contrarians a little more than a week before global negotiations on greenhouse gases are to begin in Durban, South Africa.
The new e-mails appeared remarkably similar to the ones released two years ago just ahead of a similar conference in Copenhagen. They involved the same scientists and many of the same issues, and some of them carried a similar tone: catty remarks by the scientists, often about papers written by others in the field.
Climate scientists said the release was likely intended to torpedo any potential progress in the Durban negotiations, though not much progress had been expected anyway given that countries have been reluctant to commit to binding emissions limits.
Several thousand new emails have come to light purporting to show that these involved in pushing the 'We are all going to die' line in politics of climate change have at a lot more questions to answer.
Godfrey Bloom MEP, The UKIIP Energy spokesman said: "The person (or persons) unknown who leaked thousands of emails between climate scientists in 2009, leading to the 'Climategate' scandal has struck again.
"Thousands more emails have now been released into the public domain, revealing more about the institutional corruption at the heart of this pseudo-scientific enterprise designed to relieve people of their cash.
"Nobody has had time to digest the full impact of these messages yet but what seems obvious at first blush is that those involved in Climategate and the institutional defence of rank climate change alarmism, fraud, and deceit are going to struggle to cover their a***s this time.
"None of this would have happened had there been an honest and transparent public debate about climate change. But right from the start of this sordid affair, vested interests and political ambitions hid themselves in the complex world of climate science. People with enough sense to see through massive gaps in knowledge about the climate saw through the scam, and called it out as so much bullshit.
"We got called 'deniers'", said Bloom,
"But now the boot is on the other foot, and for the last two years, the alarmists have been fighting a rearguard action.
"Climate change scare stories no longer create moral high ground for politicians and their useful idiots in the environmental movement. What seems to have motivated the release of these emails is concern that the trillions of pounds that will be wasted on climate change policies the world over will take from the poor, increasing world poverty, death, and disease."
The London-based television company being investigated by Ofcom over a global news fixing row tried to “cultivate” a world-famous environmental economist and other leading opinion formers in the green movement for the documentaries it made for the BBC and other news broadcasters.
FBC Media claims in its promotional literature that it targeted Professor Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York, to be an “ambassador” for its corporate client on programmes it made about the controversial palm oil industry in Malaysia.
Mr Sachs, a special adviser to United Nations secretary general Ban-Ki Moon, was a prominent interviewee on a BBC World “Third Eye” documentary about Malaysia which was produced by FBC. The Independent has established that FBC was paid £17m by the Malaysian government to work on a “global strategic communications campaign”. The documentary was one of eight FBC programmes made for the BBC found to have been in “serious” breach of corporation editorial guidelines in a report issued yesterday by the BBC Trust.
FBC also worked for Sime Darby, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, and in a report for the Malaysian company gives a series of “campaign highlights”, among which is the “cultivation of influential ‘ambassadors’ such as the Earth Institute’s Jeffrey Sachs”. It refers to Sime Darby “champions”, among whom Mr Sachs is listed.
In a statement, the Earth Institute said Professor Sachs was “surprised and dismayed to see this completely inaccurate and utterly absurd portrayal of him”. It said: “He is not an ambassador or anything else for this company (Sime Darby). He has absolutely no personal relationship with the company and has never, indeed would never, serve as an ‘ambassador’ or ‘champion’ to any corporation.”
The Institute said Sachs had been “mischaracterized” in a way that was “quite troubling”.