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Climate change cover-up? You better believe it

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Was Sen. James Inhofe right when he declared 2009 the year of the climate contrarian? A slew of emails stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit highlight definite character flaws among some climate scientists—including an embarrassing attempt to delete emails that discussed the most recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—while also exposing what looks like a failure of scientists to acknowledge a halt to global warming in the past decade.

Sadly for the potential fate of human civilization, rumors of the demise of climate change have been much exaggerated. The past decade recorded nine of the warmest years in recent history as well as the rapid dwindling of Arctic sea ice, surely the result of imminent global cooling if climate change contrarians are to be believed. After all, one of the most "damaging" emails in question from Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., is actually mourning the paucity of Earth observation systems and data in the past decade, such as satellites (gutted by a lack of funding and launch miscues in recent years) to monitor climate change in the midst of natural variability.

The "Copenhagen Diagnosis" released today reveals that by any objective measure—melting ice sheets, greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise—the climate is warming faster than anticipated. And when the natural variability induced by massive climate systems such as oscillations over decades in ocean temperatures, currents and even sunspots reverts to the mean, the roughly three warming watts per square meter added by greenhouse gases will still be there to drive climate change.

You can judge the emails for yourself at this wonderful searchable database. While the revelations about pressuring the peer review process and apparent slowness in responding to an avalanche of requests for information unveil something below impressive scientific and personal behavior, they can also be seen as the frustrated responses of people working on complex data under deadline while being harassed by political opponents.

Note the adjective there. Political, not scientific, opponents. Because the opposition here is not grounded in any robust scientific theory or alternative hypotheses (all of those, in their time, have been shot down and nothing new has been offered in years) but a hysterical reaction to the possibly of what? One-world government? The return of communism? If that’s the fear, perhaps someone can explain why the preferred solution to climate change offered by former proponents of inaction is nuclear power. Has there ever been a nuclear reactor built anywhere in the world that didn’t rely on government to get it done? Sounds like socialism, doesn’t it? Hello France? USSR? USA?

The problem is not the behavior of climate scientists or their results. The problem is fear of the actions required to actually deal with the findings of climate science, and it has turned the field into a contact sport as Stephen Schneider of Stanford University puts it in the title of his new book. For example, we might decide to start cutting emissions of greenhouse gases, perhaps by restraining our burning of fossil fuel, or at least capturing and storing the carbon dioxide emitted in that process. It would appear, in fact, that the Obama administration will actually bring to the climate conference in Copenhagen some kind of a proposal to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s not something some folks want to see, primarily those working in the fossil fuel extraction and/or burning business.

There is, in fact, a climate conspiracy. It just happens to be one launched by the fossil fuel industry to obscure the truth about climate change and delay any action. And this release of emails right before the Copenhagen conference is just another salvo—and a highly effective one—in that public relations battle, redolent with the scent of the same flaks and hacks who brought you "smoking isn’t dangerous."

As physicist and climate historian Spencer Weart told The Washington Post: "It’s a symptom of something entirely new in the history of science: Aside from crackpots who complain that a conspiracy is suppressing their personal discoveries, we’ve never before seen a set of people accuse an entire community of scientists of deliberate deception and other professional malfeasance. Even the tobacco companies never tried to slander legitimate cancer researchers." Well, probably they did, but point taken.

Image: University of East Anglia

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  1. 1. adpack 2:35 pm 12/5/2009

    This is an analysis of "Climategate" written at a level that even "non-scientists" can work through. The consequences justify the effort.




    THE WHISTLE BLOWS FOR TRUTH ……………………………………………………… 3










    LYING EVEN TO CHILDREN …………………………………………………………….. 35


    WHAT IS TO BE DONE? …………………………………………………………………. 38

    ESSENTIAL READINGS ………………………………………………………………….. 40

    Link to this
  2. 2. Jarmo 3:39 am 12/15/2009

    I do not believe in a conspiracy nor do I deny anything because I am afraid as suggested. But I want the papers
    on the table as usual when talking about science.
    Until then the whole AGW is speculation.
    As every scientific theory is.

    Don´t guess who the criticts are, I can tell who I am.
    But I also want to know why YOU believe, not having seen
    what you should have seen. Do you just believe in what
    other peopel tell you? Or don´t you just want to know?

    Link to this
  3. 3. mefremov 11:10 am 12/17/2009

    interesting that nobody is ooking at the acqisition of data… no trees incaliformia ir canada to look at?

    Link to this
  4. 4. late78flh 7:29 am 12/18/2009

    Again, in another "scientific magazine" the declaration that man-made global warming is FACT and not to be disreputed or debated by any scientific or reasonable inquiry. We are supposed to assume that because enough people "announce" that it is true that it is indeed, fact. We must, regardless of conflicting evidence by other scientific sources, embrace the popular and politically correct gospel, delete all contrary research,deny their data, strike their names from the record and embrace the one and only truth of man-made global warming and that any subsequent inquiries will be met with only ridicule and scorn.
    This is what religious fervor sounds like to me.

    Link to this
  5. 5. Kenlviste 10:06 am 12/18/2009

    The deniers of climate change should remember that political imprisonment of Galileo did not make the earth the center of the universe and the demonizing of Darwin has not prevented living things from evolving. The old adage applies, "You can’t beat Mother Nature" Nature doesn’t heed political arguments. The wise person will not try to contadict nature with politically inspired arguments. To do so exposes one as a fool.

    Link to this
  6. 6. orcinasorca 10:17 am 12/18/2009

    I am not surprised by the comments given from both ‘sides’ of this issue. It amazes me that throughout history man has not learned anything from his past. Every time a controversial issue arises, such as the earth revolves around the sun not the other way around or that the Earth is indeed round, huge debates and hateful accusations fly in every direction. The important thing to remember is that we are always learning and we are only human….we all have our beliefs and degrees of passion for those beliefs. We will never be able to remove those from science no matter how hard we try. The science will come out no matter what either side thinks it should look like in the end. All we can do is wait and try to make this a better place to live in regardless of the outcome.

    Link to this
  7. 7. johnjames3 12:25 pm 12/22/2009

    I find it truly amazing that the supporters of man-made Global Warming , (especially Al Gore) do not welcome a strong debate out in the open at the United Nations in front of the world. As Al says" The debate is over, the facts are in!" What facts Al? YOUR facts ha….! Polar bears live, Ice sheets are thickening in other parts of the Arctic, not just the one side you say is melting…Give us the WHOLE picture, not just your snapshots to produce your Carbon credit $$$ Big AL!..All this talk about big oil…they wish they could make as much money as Al Gore stands to make with his "snake oil".

    Both sides, set up your tables, bring out your charts, you get 5 days to present each side, then an open forum for debate….It will never happen because….the Man-Made warming alarmists have no balls….and no proof…Sorry, but man doesn’t have the capability to warm this planet, when we compete against volcanoes and natural earth changes….It was warmer before the industrial revolution AL!!

    Link to this
  8. 8. Captain Electron 1:49 pm 12/26/2009

    It has been terribly saddening to me to see the scientific community infected with a new religion of apocalypse. No where does the community discuss the many positive benefits we have received already and will receive in the future from global warming.

    Link to this
  9. 9. MyBigToe 5:12 pm 12/26/2009

    So what is so surprising!

    All of this is symptomatic of both people and societies’ unwillingness to change even when the signs indicate that they must change and adapt to the ongoing changes or possibly watch their society and others collapse.

    Research, historic and current, has provided us with a vast amount of information that we are only now starting to assimilate and link in a manner that allows us, for the first time in the relatively short history of our species, to both spatially and temporally relate historic, recent, and ongoing local, regional and global observations so that we can model and plan for the climatic change adaptation that will be required. Yes, as seen throughout the geologic record, the Earth’s Climate has frequently changed, sometimes quite rapidly, and this would continue even without us. However, our historic impacts can clearly be seen in various archaeological studies, mostly at local scales, that provide evidence of human induced ecological and micro climatic change. We are part of the climate model equations and should be. My own work and travels over the last 35 years, especially in the Arctic, tell me that ecological and local microclimate change has been ongoing since the last continental de-glaciation but has started recently, within the last 20 years, to change, often quite rapidly, in an uncharacteristic manner.

    What is frequently missed in the current Global Climate debate is that when you get right down to the basic physics it is a all a matter of energy balance and system equilibrium. We observe and measure patterns of interacting volumes of momentum-density (essentially these, as I term them, are the temporal and spatial momentary summaries of the interactions of all components that, in this instance, constitute Climate). The Earths Climate has always fluctuated, sometimes, upon reaching the system,s cusp point, abruptly to reach equilibrium with the changing energy balance.

    Our species since the Industrial Revolution, has been re-introducing one form of energy that had been locked away for hundreds of millions of years back into the biosphere through burning of fossil fuels. Logically there must then be a human induced impact and we, for the future of our, and all other species, need to monitor, model and plan for adaptation to the more severe and rapid changes that are coming.

    Link to this
  10. 10. binla 7:22 am 12/28/2009

    I agree. Perhaps this is just a natural cycle and has been repeated numerous times in Earth’s past. None of the present data seems to show that.

    Link to this
  11. 11. Chryses 8:10 pm 12/30/2009


    "… This religion of AGW will eventually destroy any hopes man has of determing a cause and combating (if possible) AGW. For the same reason the USA was born, man hates to have religion dictated to him …"

    There is no valid basis for the claim, and I see that you have not attempted to advance one. I see that you are taking your religious crusade on the road. I doubt that it will play any better here than it did in the other forum.

    Link to this
  12. 12. Chryses 9:44 pm 12/30/2009

    halneufmille ,

    You are quite correct. A risk assessment would justify measures to reduce the human CO2 component.

    Link to this
  13. 13. Shoshin 11:17 am 12/31/2009

    SCIAM is well on it’s way to becoming the laughingstock of the science community for it’s slavish devotion to AGW.'s-climate-lies

    Anybody remember when Penthouse Magazine decided to publish their version of sci-porn called "OMNI"?

    SCIAM is headed down that same road.

    Link to this
  14. 14. Chryses 11:47 am 12/31/2009


    You made the mistake of including your source. The blog’s attribution says it all; "From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley"

    Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (born 14 February 1952) is a British politician, business consultant, policy adviser, writer, columnist, inventor and hereditary peer. Please note that he is neither a scientist nor a climatologist.,_3rd_Viscount_Monckton_of_Brenchley

    Your "science" is based upon a long-winded rant by a politician.

    Link to this
  15. 15. Shoshin 2:35 pm 12/31/2009


    You are right of course; I erred in actually quoting a source.

    I should have taken the same path as the CRU Crew and said "Publish sources??? We don’t need to publish no stinkin’ sources!!"

    Link to this
  16. 16. Chryses 3:01 pm 12/31/2009


    I think it is better to be aware of the false, nonsensical claims SOME people make, sooner rather than later. Dont you agree?

    Link to this
  17. 17. PhilJourdan 8:49 am 01/5/2010

    Biello: "There is, in fact, a climate conspiracy. It just happens to be one launched by the fossil fuel industry to obscure the truth about climate change and delay any action"

    Yes there is, but not what the author of this piece would have you believe.

    I would expect sloppy journalism from a blogger, not from a supposedly major magazine. So I guess this is no longer a major magazine, but instead just a mouth piece for the money that is pouring into the AGW debate.

    A shame. At one time it was probably a reputable publication, not the propaganda wing for a cause.

    Link to this
  18. 18. Shoshin 11:08 am 01/5/2010


    I agree with the need to be aware of false non-sensical claims.

    Unfortunately these "claims" sell a lot of soap and are making people like Al Gore, IPCC head Pachauri and GreedPiece and their ilk very wealthy. If this doesn’t say conflict of interest to you, you need to give your head a shake.

    Face it, if it bleeds it leads and nothing sells papers (including embarassing shmatas like SCIAM) like

    END OF THE WORLD!!! (story on page 3)

    Link to this
  19. 19. lakota2012 1:41 pm 01/5/2010

    "Our species since the Industrial Revolution, has been re-introducing one form of energy that had been locked away for hundreds of millions of years back into the biosphere through burning of fossil fuels. Logically there must then be a human induced impact and we, for the future of our, and all other species, need to monitor, model and plan for adaptation to the more severe and rapid changes that are coming."

    This is exactly what I don’t understand about the rabid DENIALISTS unable to see how humankind has upset the natural balance of carbon on Earth, releasing every year for 150+ years, more and more carbon that was stored for hundreds of millions of years. Of course logically, there must be a human impact, but not to any religious DENIALIST!

    We also have to add to the human fossil fuel emissions, the destruction of carbon sinks like forests and peat bogs, and the huge industry of raising domesticated animals for food, where Americans eat far more animals and their byproducts than the rest of the world. The carbon footprint of each and every cheeseburger is tremendous!

    Link to this
  20. 20. lakota2012 1:46 pm 01/5/2010

    Biello: "There is, in fact, a climate conspiracy. It just happens to be one launched by the fossil fuel industry to obscure the truth about climate change and delay any action"

    Yes there is…

    I’m so glad the philly jourdan road show of religious DENIALISM finally understands the huge conspiracy through collusion that the fossil fuel industry has wrought upon us, and their decades-long mis-information campaign in order to make more and more record profits at the Earth’s expense!

    Link to this
  21. 21. PhilJourdan 2:02 pm 01/5/2010

    You did not read the link did you? You should never comment until you read the link. In it you would find that the "conspiracy" and "money" is all flowing to the AGW side of the park, and some of it from Big Oil! (Shock! yes, Exxon Mobile donated $100m to AGW!!!!).

    You really should read more, that way you dont come off looking the fool.

    Link to this
  22. 22. lakota2012 12:40 am 01/6/2010

    "I would expect sloppy journalism from a blogger"

    Me too, so why should you expect anything different from

    YOU attack other sources as being BLOGS and then have the audacity to use them yourself as a valid reference!

    YOU are a total HYPOCRITE!

    Link to this
  23. 23. PhilJourdan 8:52 am 01/6/2010

    No Lakota – the article is a blog – the LINKS in the BLOG are from the mainstream sources. So apparently you ran over to the link, saw it was a blog and did not read it.

    As I said, you did not read it, so you cant comment on it. Why are you so religious and close minded? Afraid you are actually going to have to learn something new? Perish the thought!

    Link to this
  24. 24. lakota2012 3:49 pm 01/7/2010

    "the article is a blog" …."So apparently you ran over to the link, saw it was a blog and did not read it."

    For crissakes philly, how can you always be so WRONG?

    I read your JOE USER BLOG, and actually checked out a few of the links provided, or else I wouldn’t have known about branson and his $3 billion for biofuel research. What’s wrong with funding RESEARCH, instead of funding PROPAGANDA?

    Actually, the link to ExxonMobil was from 2007 and talked about the 2002 funding of the Stanford Univ. Global Climate and Energy Project by corps like Exxon and GE.

    Here’s a bit more information right from the horse’s mouth at ExxonMobil, their thoughts on climate change and their funding of the mouthpieces: the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, Resources for the Future, The Center for Clean Air Policy, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    Link to this
  25. 25. Chryses 5:56 pm 01/8/2010


    PhilJourdan is a straightforward denialist, while all the time claiming to be the voice of reason. I refuted his posts in the "Seven Answers to Climate Contrarian Nonsense" forum a couple of weeks ago, and ever since he has invested his efforts to egg on others, rather than run the risk of looking like a fool again.

    You can check out his antics there via this link:

    He’s really not worth the bother.

    Link to this
  26. 26. Ross_Perot69 9:45 am 01/9/2010

    Pollution isn’t good. If we have the ability to completely wipe out our footprint we should do it. Leave it to the volcanoes and dwindling cyanobacteria populations and deforestation to account for excess carbon. Even if global warming is a conspiracy to make money, I won’t be getting any of it, neither will you, unless you invest wisely or invent something that can be suppressed by the oil companies. So, why not at least push for cleaner air? Has anyone read Crome Yellow? Huxley writes that the people who run the world are the best only at gaining supporters, and that these people are normally irrational. That is, they don’t necessarily have the best interest of the people, or the entire ecosystem in this case, in mind. I suggest ‘Prescription for The Planet’ by Tom Blees. Excellent book with some plausible yet radical ideas.

    Also, what does being an atheist have to do with being scientific? The fact that you’re an atheist is completely a useless bit of information. Irrelevant. Let’s keep it about the topic, not whatever happens to be floating through your mind this week.

    I am a life-long non-fervent lesbian who has full blown AIDS with a finite interest in Science, BUT I don’t believe in man-made global warming. <——-RED FLAG!!!! —Example of a complete lack of credentials or sound argument! (Don’t state facts that have absolutely nothing to do with global warming, i.e. Your "bottomless" interest in the physical sciences and a life-long interest in random chance. Does this bottomless interest make you a climatologist? Oh, it doesn’t? Wait, are you sure? Oh, you aren’t responding because I’m just typing this right now? Alright then. Good day. )

    Also, Skeptical Bill, you cheated yourself by commenting. You should be tossed from the game. The game of life. Suicide. Do it. Now.
    _internet bully 87

    Link to this
  27. 27. Chryses 10:11 am 01/9/2010


    Was there any relevant content to that post other than advertising that you believe that the theory of AGW is wrong?

    Link to this
  28. 28. lakota2012 10:46 am 01/9/2010


    PhilJourdan is a straightforward denialist, while all the time claiming to be the voice of reason.

    He’s really not worth the bother.

    Very true, and his last antics of wrongful accusations against his BLOG sources relating to ancient 2002 history, was quite ludicrous. I did notice that philly couldn’t defend Exxon’s funding of the manufactured doubt industry and their massive PR campaign over the last 20+ years, especially when I produced the link from the horse’s mouth at Exxon.

    Apparently all these religious DENIALISTS ‘think’ that all funding of scientific research should be ended so that more money could fund the fossil fuel industry’s manufactured doubt industry to sway public opinion against science!

    Link to this
  29. 29. mike cook 10:57 am 01/9/2010

    The fantastically over-promoted theory of anthropogenic global warming is going in the toilet NOT because Exxon or other fossil fuel interests had the temerity to fight back against the biggest scientific blunder of the last 400 years, but because the climate is noticeably getting colder for most people and will continue to do so for decades to come.

    Yes, weather matters. The North Pole is not going to melt in our lifetimes because the summer ice meltback effect is a product of dust and soot from China (which is why almost all the meltback is to the north of China) as well as the Gobi Desert and over-grazed Mongolia. Prevailing winds become katabatic to the far north and will not carry much dust to the pole.

    Antarctica is not melting at all, period. Its ice sheet does what is ice sheet always has. The climate lies that have been told about Antarctica are legion, but perhaps the biggest lie has been the ability to go back in history in many areas of the world where there were few measuring instruments in consistent use and to make estimates of what the over-all climate must have been. If you do this so as to make the historical climate a bit too cold, then it is really easy to claim that things are warming lately.

    Tree rings and ice cores can tell us stuff, but keep in mind that a thin tree ring might actually mean the year was hot and very dry, so the tree did not grow much. Similarly, a year of thin snowfall layer does not mean necessarily the year was really warm. A winter can be so cold that there is little snowfall, because cold air does not hold much moisture to begin with.

    Similarly arguments about species that like warmer or cooler climates moving around can be extremely tricky. Under the current pro-AGW bias in the scientific establishment (as verified by the e-mails) how is a researcher who finds the Arctic Fox is moving south even going to published in a peer reviewed journal?

    But if the vast majority of the peers are idiots it doesn’t matter anyhow. I like as my authority on everything and I believe their information, interpretation, and intellectual honesty will be confirmed by nature more and more as every year of this new cooling century passes.

    Once it warmed, but now the planet grows colder, colder, colder. Tell all the tall stories and fiddle with the statistics all you want. Colder, colder, colder, in Moscow, Memphis, and Beijing. Climate is way too general a phenomenon for a cadre of dogmatic conspirators to get away with a faltering manufactured theory forever.

    Link to this
  30. 30. lakota2012 11:02 am 01/9/2010

    "Has anyone read Crome Yellow?"

    Better yet, how about "Doubt is their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health"?

    George Washington University epidemiologist David Michaels, who is President Obama’s nominee to head the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), wrote a meticulously researched 2008 book called, Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health. In the book, he wrote: "the industry understood that the public is in no position to distinguish good science from bad. Create doubt, uncertainty, and confusion.

    Think tanks such as the George C. Marshall Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, and Dr. Fred Singer’s SEPP (Science and Environmental Policy Project) have all been active for decades in the Manufactured Doubt business, generating misleading science and false controversy to protect the profits of their clients who manufacture dangerous products or have a need to use and abuse our natural resources as quickly as possible while emitting the maximum pollution and greenhouse gases.

    Link to this
  31. 31. Chryses 11:22 am 01/9/2010

    mike cook,

    Here is a link to a little piece the BBC prepared. Please be sensitive to the distinction made between weather (brief period) and climate (long period).

    Link to this
  32. 32. Chryses 11:28 am 01/9/2010


    Alas, PhilJourdan cares little about fact; he and the other religious cranks are focused on faith. While that is suitable in certain domains, faith seldom delivers the goods when applied to questions of science.

    Link to this
  33. 33. lakota2012 12:49 pm 01/11/2010

    mike cook:
    "I like as my authority on everything…"

    It’s no wonder religious DENIALISTS like you believe our climate is getting colder with anti-science BLOGS like this!

    Patrick J. Michaels is Editor of the World Climate Report, a blog published by New Hope Environmental Services, "an advocacy science consulting firm" he founded and runs, which is essentially a PR firm.

    Michaels’ firm does not disclose who its clients are, but leaked documents have revealed that several were power utilities which operate coal power stations. On a 2007 academic CV, Michaels disclosed that prior to creating his firm he had received funding from the Edison Electric Institute and the Western Fuels Association. He has also been a frequent speaker with leading coal and energy companies as well as coal and other industry lobby groups.

    Michaels is also associated with a number of think tanks and advocacy groups which dispute global warming. He is a visiting scientist with the George C. Marshall Institute, a Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies with the Cato Institute and a member of the Advisory Board of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.

    Michaels was a favoured speaker for corporate, think tank and conservative advocacy group events. Between 1990 and 1993, Michaels spoke at events organized by the Consumer Alert, the North Carolina Coal Institute, the Pacific Research Institute, the Kentucky Coal Operators Association, the Chemical Manufacturers Association, the Virginia Coal Council, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, AMAX Energy Corporation, Consolidation Coal Corporation, Cincinnati Gas and Electric, Chief Executive Conference on Global Warming, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Aerosol Association, the Massie Coal Corporation, the Indiana Coal Mining Institute, the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Petroleum Council, the Heritage Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Wyoming Mining Association, Virginia Power, Amax Energy Corporation, American Electric Power, Alabama Electric Power Cooperative, the American Policy Center, the World Coal Conference, American Public Power Association, American Mining Congress, Maine Conservation Rights Institute, the Federalist Society, the Kentucky Mining Institute, Denver Coal Club and the Ashland Oil Corporation.

    Link to this
  34. 34. lakota2012 1:14 pm 01/11/2010

    mike cook:
    "Yes, weather matters."

    Yep…especially to fossil-fuel funded DENIALISTS like patrick j. michaels, running a PR firm unable to mention the extreme negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) warming the Arctic this winter, while cooling the middle latitudes.

    January 5, 2010
    Extreme negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation yields a warm Arctic

    Arctic sea ice extent at end of December 2009 remained below normal, primarily in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic. Average air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean were much higher than normal for the month, reflecting unusual atmospheric conditions.

    December 2009 compared to past years
    December 2009 had the fourth-lowest average ice extent for the month since the beginning of satellite records, falling just above the extent for 2007. The linear rate of decline for December is now 3.3% per decade.

    Negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation

    These regional contrasts in temperature anomalies resulted from a strongly negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO). The AO is a natural pattern of climate variability. It consists of opposing patterns of atmospheric pressure between the polar regions and middle latitudes. The positive phase of the AO exists when pressures are lower than normal over the Arctic, and higher than normal in middle latitude. In the negative phase, the opposite is true; pressures are higher than normal over the Arctic and lower than normal in middle latitudes. The negative and positive phases of the AO set up opposing temperature patterns. With the AO in its negative phase this season, the Arctic is warmer than average, while parts of the middle latitudes are colder than normal. The phase of the AO also affects patterns of precipitation, especially over Europe.

    The phase of the AO is described in terms of an index value. In December 2009 the AO index value was -3.41, the most negative value since at least 1950, according to data from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

    While a negative AO leads to warmer temperatures over the Arctic, it also tends to reduce the flow of sea ice out of the Arctic by affecting the winds that can export the ice to warmer waters, where it melts. In this way, a negative AO could help retain some the second- and third-year ice through the winter, and potentially rebuild some of the older, multiyear ice that has been lost over the past few years. However, we do not yet know if the strongly negative AO will persist through the winter, or what its net effect will be.

    Link to this
  35. 35. lakota2012 10:53 am 01/12/2010

    Yep…the religious DENIALISTS continue to attack any scientific evidence of a warming Earth with their continuous "cooling" rants pushed by the fossil fuel industry.

    After Australian meteorologists claimed the last decade to be the warmest on record, they just broke another 100+ year record yesterday as they sweltered in 110+ degree heat.

    Link to this
  36. 36. bertwindon 6:52 am 01/28/2010

    But did you realise that current "Windfarm technology" is making matters worse, since there is every reason to believe that it never re-coops the energy that went into building it ?
    Figures from public meeting Llandeilo July ’05
    Cost of proposed farm ————- 153M
    Expected annual income from sale of energy ——- 0.2M
    There are two or three well-understood reasons for this hopeles performance. bertdotwindonatgmaildotcom

    Link to this
  37. 37. bertwindon 7:07 am 01/28/2010

    So you are saying that it some emails which are causing the polar ice to thin, and glaciers that have been around for centuries, to dissappear etc. etc. ? How do you account for these changes ? And the fact that the CO2 component of the air has increased so noticeably since the start of the 20th C.
    Please may I be forgiven for thinking that they may all be in some way connected ? CO2 does absorb long-wave infra red you understand ? Sea temperatures have apparently increased sufficiently to cause coral to give-up and die. But ir’s all ok and "nothing to do wiv us" ? What a happy little coockooland you must inhabit – while the fuel holds-out !

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  38. 38. bertwindon 7:15 am 01/28/2010

    I can’t really say that you were "wrong" – not yet "right" because in my brief scan of your drunken rant, I came across no actual statement ! Are you trying to say that it’s "climate science" that is at stake, not so much the whole Earth ?

    Link to this
  39. 39. Traveller 1:16 am 03/6/2010

    Interesting. I heard that the one of the biggest causes of climate change in the future will be our air travel, which although only contributes a small percentage of CO2 now, will grow by a phenomenal figure in the next 30 years. I guess <a href="">online travel</a> sites like Expedia will not tell you this, but there are hundreds of posts on climate change posted on blogs listed on travel index If you are interested in climate change check out this cool <a href="">travel guide</a> post on solving the problems that face our planet.

    Link to this
  40. 40. bertwindon 3:45 am 03/6/2010

    You can believe what you like, Bill. You can even believe that you are a "scientist". It isn’t gonna break my heart, and it isn’t gonna reduce the global average rate of temperature rise.
    Whereas if co2 and methane were no longer being added to the atmosphere, there is every reason to suppose that the Earth would not be warming so rapidly. Every "scientific" reason that is to say. But who’d wanna go to a church like that !? Turn-up that heat ! screw the future, let’s have a good fix now !

    Link to this
  41. 41. bertwindon 3:48 am 03/6/2010

    "Replicate" some melting polar Ice ?? – now I think this is a whole new Type of "hogwash" !

    Link to this
  42. 42. bertwindon 3:50 am 03/6/2010

    Well I guess "people like you" must be "lifelong atheists with a never-ending interest in science", then.

    Link to this
  43. 43. bertwindon 3:57 am 03/6/2010

    "Nothing like claiming a scientific ‘fact’ and then deducing stupidity from it".
    Whilst the above is obviously true in the sense that it is intended, I cannot readily see the relevance to the issue of climate change and -science. Could you be so good as to point me at it ? What "fact" is "claimed" ? What "stupidity" is srrived-at from it ?

    Link to this
  44. 44. bertwindon 4:05 am 03/6/2010

    @Mark M
    I wouldn’t say that you were "wrong" only because I can’t actually find a statement for you to be wrong about. You seem more concerned with "climate scienc", while most people I meet are concerned with Climate CHANGE.
    To the "unscientific" – and indeed to many of a "scientific" type of mind – it seems very reasonable to link an action with an observed concurrent change. Maybe we are all a bit simple, but it has worked well in the past.

    Link to this
  45. 45. Traveller01 3:04 am 03/11/2010

    Interesting. I heard that the one of the biggest causes of climate change in the future will be our air travel, which although only contributes a small percentage of CO2 now, will grow by a phenomenal figure in the next 30 years. I guess <a href="">online travel</a> sites like Expedia will not tell you this, but there are hundreds of posts on climate change posted on blogs listed on travel index If you are interested in climate change check out this cool <a href="">travel guide</a> post on solving the problems that face our planet.

    Link to this
  46. 46. Traveller01 3:05 am 03/11/2010

    Interesting. I heard that the one of the biggest causes of climate change in the future will be our air travel, which although only contributes a small percentage of CO2 now, will grow by a phenomenal figure in the next 30 years. I guess <a href="">online travel</a> sites like Expedia will not tell you this, but there are hundreds of posts on climate change posted on blogs listed on travel index If you are interested in climate change check out this cool <a href="">travel guide</a> post on solving the problems that face our planet.

    Link to this
  47. 47. bertwindon 7:33 am 03/11/2010

    But do you really need a "computer model" if your tent goes through the ice and you’re there swimming with polar bears when you should be on dry ice "gathering data" ?

    Link to this
  48. 48. AllanP 9:29 pm 08/6/2010

    Excellent comment, Mark M. More truth in that piece than all the politicians put together!

    Link to this
  49. 49. AllanP 9:32 pm 08/6/2010

    Excellent comment, Mark M. More truth in that piece than all the politicians put together!

    Link to this
  50. 50. AllanP 9:32 pm 08/6/2010

    Excellent comment, Mark M. More truth in that piece than all the politicians put together!

    Link to this

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