Harder and harder to ignore

Professor Myles Allen -- will you ignore him?

Bishop Hill has an account — Lindzen at the Oxford Union — of the recent Oxford debate involving (mainly) Professors Richard Lindzen and Myles Allen. The latter comments (1.25pm):

“I was deeply embarrassed to be associated with Hasan’s ad hominem attacks on Dick Lindzen, in particular his going on about speaker fees and airline tickets. I thought this was going to be a discussion of climate science, and most of it seemed to be, as ever, about people and politics. As I hope I made clear when I had the chance, these were completely irrelevant to the discussion (and nothing he brought up seemed in any way exceptionable anyway) and that kind of attempt at personalising everything is just what is preventing a sensible discussion. I am very sorry that a visitor to Oxford was treated in this way.

On the science side, I’m happy to accept that studies comparing simple models with observations of the recent record, of which several have been published recently, suggest a climate sensitivity in the region of 2 degrees (although this isn’t the only line of evidence). But even a two degree sensitivity, if we do decide to burn all available fossil carbon, which would take concentrations well over 1000ppm, would be more than enough for 4+ degrees of warming. The real question, therefore, is whether 4+ degrees is OK. That’s what we need to be discussing, and unfortunately, because once again it was side-tracked onto irrelevancies, the debate didn’t go there.” (emphasis added)

Prof Allen is probably the world’s leading authority on the “Detection and Attribution” aspects of climate change science, See www.eci.ox.ac.uk/people/allenmyles.php for a deeply impressive CV. Also, as a long-term participant in and supporter of the IPCC process, his lack of sympathy for any “denialist” agenda is beyond question.

His acceptance of recent papers putting equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) at 2°C is a watershed in the climate wars.

Who will tell me this man should be ignored?

h/t Barry Brill

Views: 45

48 Thoughts on “Harder and harder to ignore

  1. This man’s view of what is the likely carbon dioxide climate sensitivity should be ignored. That climate sensitivity is zero, period. There is no “watershed in the climate wars” until that is the ruling consensus.

  2. Andy on 11/03/2013 at 7:05 am said:

    A post on recent studies of sensitivity by Judith Curry


  3. Richard C (NZ) on 11/03/2013 at 9:15 am said:

    >”The real question, therefore, is whether 4+ degrees is OK”

    The current cool phase of the 60 year cycle has already sent “leading authorities” of aspects of climate science scrabbling for explanations and a growing number revising CS down.

    Given that “Detection and Attribution” is on the premise that their detection and attribution is aGHG-centric, the IPCC authors and “authorities” are blindsided by any natural phenomena that comes along because they are just not in that investigative mode. The next one to whack them between the eyes will be the cool phase of the quasi-200 year solar cycle kicking in right now (on top of the 60 yr cool phase) and the effects should be evident in the ocean heat and sea level metrics by the AR5 release in September 2014. Atmospheric effects will probably be lagged at least 5 years so they have a little respite there – maybe.

    The real question the IPCC’s “leading authorities” will face around the end of 2014, therefore, will not be “whether 4+ degrees is OK” but: how could so many so-called “experts” have got it so wrong? So no, I for one will certainly not be ignoring the likes of Professor Myles Allen when they have to front up to that question because there is plenty of literature on cooling scenarios but the IPCC choose not to consider them because the papers are not aGHG-centric.

    Climate sensitivity (ECS) at 2°C may be a watershed in the climate wars but you ain’t seen nuthin yet.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 11/03/2013 at 1:54 pm said:

      >”The next one to whack them between the eyes….”

      Not everyone is CO2-centric of course:-

      ‘The main activities of The Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences at Pulkovo’

      Solar Physics and Solar-Terrestrial Links
      Radioastronomical Research
      Celestial Mechanics and Ephemeris Astronomy
      Stellar Astronomy and Stellar Dynamics
      Space Research
      Astronomical Instrumentation and automatization of science

      Astrometry page 22.12.2005 (updated on 12.04.2009):-


      Measure temporary variations of shape and diameter of the Sun, as well as fine structure and dynamics of the granulation on the Service module of the Russian segment of the International Space Station [ISS]

      The main goal of the project:
      I. The study of global processes occurring deeply inside the Sun and of the related physical processes within the system Sun–Earth:

      …………forecasting of the time and scale of the upcoming global cooling.

      The upcoming cooling will lead to a substantial decrease of concentrations of water vapour (the main greenhouse gas) and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as these concentrations are directly dependent on the temperature. The global cooling will also lead to the extension of the total area of ice and snow cover ― to the rise of the mean albedo of the underlying surface. Due to the above changes, the amount of absorbed solar energy by the whole underlying surface of the Earth and the share of greenhouse effect will considerably decrease. We should expect an additional sharp intensification of cooling due to the above secondary factors which are a direct consequence of a 2-century decrease of the TSI ― a global change on the Sun.

      [See graphics and plots]

      …….we will be able to issue a reliable forecast of the time and scale of the upcoming global fall of temperature on the Earth within approximately 8 years by conducting an active research of temporal variations of the shape and diameter of the Sun and of the solar energy flux on-board the ISS during no less than a half of the ongoing 24th “short” 11-year cycle

      # # #

      Hence Abdussamatov (2012). It will be interesting to see how they go against the UKMO. Their 2009 – 2015 forecast from April 2009 is this graphic from that page:-


      So far so good, no atmospheric cooling kicking in by 2015 in their view. No GHG warming either:-

      “The increase in greenhouse gases concentration is not the reason of global warming, but on the contrary, the result of the rise of temperature caused by prolonged increase in the TSI”

      “The cooling can be similar to the one observed in the whole Europe, North America and Greenland in 1645–1715 in the period of Maunder minimum of solar luminosity and sunspot activity when the temperature will fall by 1–1.5 Celsius degrees down to the mark of the so-called Maunder minimum”


      I can wait.

  4. Andy on 11/03/2013 at 10:43 am said:

    Myles Allen may think that 2 degrees is a likely figure for ECS, and indeed many other IPCC authors are heading for lower figures, e.g James Annan.

    So why does the IPCC remain unwavering in its central estimate of 3 degrees?

    • Australis on 11/03/2013 at 2:27 pm said:

      We won’t know where the IPCC is going to jump until the SMP for its AR5 is released later this year. Sceptics should take every opportunity to focus attantion on this key figure over the next few months.

      Another commenter at Bishop Hill pointed out that Prof Allen’s future 0.4°C referred to the ECS, whereas the medium-term driver of climate was more likely the “transient climate sensitivity.” The atmosphere will probably take hundreds of years to come into equilibrium.

      If the pre-industrial 280ppm finally doubles in 2080 or thereabouts, it probably won’t redouble to 1120ppm until about 2200. As the scale is logarithmic, that would only add 1°C to the existing 2°C.

      A further redoubling to 2240ppm (by say 2300) would add only 0.5°C – by this time the warming is at a lower rate than the 20th century, and that was benign enough.

      Will we really be using the same energy sources throughout all these centuries?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 11/03/2013 at 3:43 pm said:

      >”We won’t know where the IPCC is going to jump until the SMP for its AR5 is released later this year.”

      We know what the FOD said (page 11):-

      Key Metrics Characterizing Anthropogenic Climate Change

      “Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 2°C–4.5°C, and very likely above 1.5°C. The most likely value is near 3°C”


      0°C is looking most likely as the standstill goes on but if CS has any validity at all (it hasn’t), the final draft will have to be revised down. They have no wriggle room now.

    • If they lower ECS values then they will also lower the limit for “dangerous” warming to 1.5 degrees.

    • If it weren’t so serious, we’d all be rolling in the aisles laughing at these insignificant numbers — because we can hardly measure atmospheric temperatures with enough precision for either side to claim victory!

    • Andy on 11/03/2013 at 8:23 pm said:

      I wasn’t joking. I think Hansen has already suggested this.

    • Clarence on 12/03/2013 at 3:08 am said:

      The ECS had a cut-off date for the research papers they consider. They waive it only when it suits them to do so.

      Papers on lowering ECS having been coming in thick and fast. The three mentioned by Judith Curry today say:

      1. Feedbacks vary widely depending on regional factors (including warmth) so all the previous estimates used in the models are wrong;
      2. The IPCC has over-estimated ECS by a factor of about two;
      3. Observed temperatures show that all the higher IPCC estimates cannot possibly be correct;

      The science ‘community’ has to explain the standstill somehow. The option of saying that natural variances swamp any AGW contribution is not appealing. A judicial reconsideration of ECS is about the only other plausible way out. Eventually, they’ll get to saying that ECS is a variable feast, but it’s going to be very bad in future centuries.

    • Mike Jowsey on 11/03/2013 at 8:43 pm said:

      Gave you a thumbs up, but couldn’t be bothered making a comment myself. This is an echo-chamber for CAGW zealots. Martyn Bradbury is full of hot air. He hates losing, and obviously is feeling like a loser. And the guy responding to your note is just goading you, missing your point entirely.

    • Andy on 11/03/2013 at 9:53 pm said:

      the Daily Blog has imported all the crazies from Hot Topic and The Standard combined.

      Maybe there is an Import Crazies feature in WordPress.

      I do wonder why Dave Frame bothers commenting at HT and the Daily Bog though. He gets ostracized at all these venues.

    • Andy on 12/03/2013 at 9:05 am said:

      I did reply to Frank M with a polite fact filled commnet. Unfortunately it didn’t get past moderation, yet a shorter comment did.

      Bradbury writes thus:

      Climate deniers are the creationists at a lecture on evolution. They need to be shown the contempt they deserve and we need to start making genuine efforts at greening our economy and giving our industries the research and development support that is going to help us adapt to the climate change our denial has already booked us in for

    • Alexander K on 12/03/2013 at 9:36 am said:

      I wouldn’t bother. I first became aware of Martin Bradbury before he was into his teens and it was clear then that he was lazy and arrogant but had the gift of the gab, which did not endear him to anyone charged with the responsibility of educating him within the school system or inserting real knowledge into his wonderfully egocentric world view.
      He is still very obviously insufferably opinionated and quite frequently incredibly misguided and clings to his comfortable ignorance.
      As many have said of similar folk, he is ‘not evil, just wrong’ but in his case, very loudly and wordily so.

    • Andy on 12/03/2013 at 10:02 am said:

      No it is not worth responding. However when Richard Christie responds with this dross and my comment doesn’t get past moderation I feel like making some kind of statement.

      My comment was about the self-serving agendas of the likes of WWF and Greenpeace, and I provided a reference to “The Delinquent Teenager” by Donna Laframboise. In reply to the technical solutions I responded with some information about Thorium energy. My comment doesn’t make it past moderation but the threatening comment from Richard Christie does

    • Richard C (NZ) on 12/03/2013 at 11:11 am said:

      On the bright side, your comment from last night got through at Stuff this morning Andy. I posted one this morning but I don’t see it yet.

  5. Andy on 11/03/2013 at 10:23 pm said:

    Breaking news. Climate change causes more stable weather patterns, aka anti cyclones


    • Mike Jowsey on 12/03/2013 at 11:37 am said:

      Thumbs up for yours Andy, and I posted this:

      Climate change causes droughts? Show me the trends of increasing droughts in NZ. Or globally. If it had been a wetter summer than usual you would be saying “Increasing precipitation is entirely consistent with the modeled projections of the IPCC”.
      Suggested reading: “Little change in global drought over the past 60 years” http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7424/full/nature11575.html
      “Global drought may have changed less than thought” http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/346428/description/Global_drought_may_have_changed_less_than_thought

    • Richard C (NZ) on 12/03/2013 at 4:48 pm said:

      Looks like your comment and mine didn’t make it past the gatekeeper Mike. Bob’s got waved through though.

    • Seems strange that my comment got through. Obviously Bill and Richard Christie need to write to the editor of The Press and point out that I am a “climate denying troll” and should be banned, like I have from every other blog

    • Andy,

      “should be banned, like I have from every other blog”

      Ahem. But not from this one…

    • Andy on 12/03/2013 at 8:37 pm said:

      No, I only get banned from left wing blogs where quoting the IPCC is labelled as Denial

    • Simon on 12/03/2013 at 12:53 pm said:

      There is probably no evidence for a global increase in drought incidence. At a regional level, there are some interesting things going on, especially in the northern hemisphere.
      Down in little NZ, we’ve had a blocking upper ridge sitting over us http://blog.metservice.com/2013/02/why-its-been-so-dry/ which probably has little to do with climate change. Australian meteorologists are blaming their hot weather on a shift in the jet stream plus high ocean temperatures.
      If you really want to get annoyed, read Salinger’s piece in today’s Herald. Even I think that he is overstating things somewhat.

    • Mike Jowsey on 12/03/2013 at 1:14 pm said:

      Thanks Simon – I needed a good dose of annoyance 😉

      Basically he does the usual conflation of weather and climate, concluding:

      The message is clear: nature is showing the trend towards a future where major droughts are more common. Those involved in land based industries will need to adapt their decisions and management to fit the trends towards more water and soil moisture deficiency in a warmer world.

      Trouble with that conjecture is that for the past 17 years there has been no warming. And when the floods come in the autumn, he will be chirping on again with the “more floods” meme.


    • Richard C (NZ) on 12/03/2013 at 3:44 pm said:

      I find Jim Salinger more disappointing than annoying these days. This is what he and Mullan came up with in 1999:-



      Now it’s just “a warmer world”. An update of that 1999 quality would be useful now but we’re unlikely to see anything like it again for some time I’m guessing.

    • RC, you say “This is what he and Mullan came up with in 1999”, but the paper is 23 pages, with a 1300-word conclusion. What, please, is the “this”?

      Just so we can compare it with “Now it’s just “a warmer world”.”

      So you mean simply an apparent loss of scholarly activity?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 12/03/2013 at 9:30 pm said:

      >”So you mean simply an apparent loss of scholarly activity?”

      Well yes, sort of. That paper, along with a bunch of other mostly 90s papers, was indirectly cited in the Australia and New Zealand section of AR4. if you follow the link from AR4 you get to a NIWA website article ‘Past Climate Variations over New Zealand’ and it’s there in the citations, .


      But what can AR5 point to for the period of 1994 – 2013? I go to the ‘Climate’ page of NIWA’s website but I can’t find an equivalent to Salinger and Mullen 1999. There’s all the annual summaries but nothing I know of that puts the big picture together since 1994.

      All the work now is impact reports and adaption strategies for future climate change scenarios of the warmer kind.

    • Bob D on 12/03/2013 at 3:19 pm said:

      I had this to say:

      This line explains why you can completely ignore this piece:
      “…and records of the past contained in ice cores confirm the near- perfect match between temperature rise and greenhouse gas increase. ”

      Dr Renwick is implying that CO2 increases drive temperature rises. But he should know that in the ice cores (eg: Vostok) temperature leads CO2 increase, by about 200-800 years. In other words temperatures rise first, then they are followed hundreds of years later by CO2 increases, driven by out-gassing from warmer oceans. If the temperature rise came first, how was it driven by the CO2 rise that only came centuries later?

      If Dr Renwick didn’t know this then he really shouldn’t be commenting on climate change, and we can ignore everything he says about it.

      If he did, then you can disregard everything he says here because he is obviously trying to sway public opinion in what appears to be a dubious manner – after all, surely the order in which these events occur is important, and should have been mentioned?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 12/03/2013 at 3:50 pm said:

      Bob! Long time no see. Have you been writing a paper for publication in a journal somewhere perhaps?

      Here’s my latest effort:-


      Whatya think?

    • There you go, Bob – you’ve been missed, my friend.

    • Bob D on 12/03/2013 at 9:54 pm said:

      Thanks guys, just been a bit busy, I’m afraid.

  6. On Seven Sharp TV One tonight 12-03-2013

    Tonight at Seven Sharp:

    What will life be like in New Zealand in 2100? Gill Higgins finds out that climate change has the potential to turn New Zealand into Australia.

    Should be a laugh

    • In case you didn’t see it, James Renwick got a lot of prime time TV coverage, repeating the “3 degree” mantra.

      Some other “expert’ telling us that we would all die of dengue fever, and a farmer suggesting that we will need to start farming kangaroos.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 12/03/2013 at 7:45 pm said:

      In other news, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are going to kill us all anyway so the planet gets saved in the end.

      Rates alongside climate change and terrorism as the greatest threat to mankind apparently. I’m inclined to think it rates higher than that.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 12/03/2013 at 7:37 pm said:

      Otago University’s idea to wrap Greenland in a blanket sounds promising.

      Vertical farming has been around in Cambridge since the 80s – 3 story stables with lifts to take the horses up and down. Not sure if that would work for dairy farming though. I’m thinking of the energy requirement here. Perhaps if they balanced the load of a lift full of cows going up with a lift full of cows going down and powered it all with cow poo and methane they might be on to something. Although wasn’t methane emissions from cows the problem in the first place?

      Not much progress on mitigating the sea level rise at Kapiti though. Sounds like its going to get really nasty there.

  7. Andy on 13/03/2013 at 7:13 am said:

    Off topic, there is a review of Joe Fones new book at Bishop Hill


  8. Richard C (NZ) on 13/03/2013 at 9:09 am said:

    Solar Wind, Earth’s Rotation and Changes in Terrestrial Climate

    Nils-Axel Morner, 2013


  9. Andy on 13/03/2013 at 12:57 pm said:

    Live chat with Jim Salinger
    on weather and drought

    New Zealand is in the grip of one of the worst droughts in a decade, but should we be getting used to it?

    One of New Zealand’s foremost climate scientists, Jim Salinger, says the current drought is historic and could spell the end of farming as we know it.


    • Alexander K on 14/03/2013 at 9:44 am said:

      I note that JS is still trotting out ‘The Models’ as if they haven’t been thoroughly discredited.
      ‘Blocking highs’ appear to be the cause of droughts and heat waves anywhere in the world, and they are a normal component of weather, nothing to do with real or imagined ‘climate change’. JS is nothing more than an alarmist – little wonder he got the DCM (Don’t Come Monday) for talking unauthorised and unadulterated BS to the press!
      A quick examination of trends shows that any form of extreme weather within or near historical limits is possible at any time and they are NOT becoming more frequent anywhere in the world. On the subject of trends, Jo Nova comments that trends for the past few years, contrary to JS’s nonsense, suggest a gently cooling trend, but she also warns of the dangers of inferring too much from short chunks of time.

  10. Alexander K on 14/03/2013 at 8:18 am said:

    I realise that this is very OT, but Climategate 3 has hit the blogs – see WUWT, Bishop Hill for more.
    As the Americans say – buy popcorn!

  11. Andy on 14/03/2013 at 2:48 pm said:

    Note that in Myles Allen’s publication list provided in the link in the main article, 10 papers (if I can count) were co-authored with Dave Frame.

  12. This thread at Bishop Hill is quite an interesting discussion on climate sensitivity, with contributions from Piers Forster and others

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/03/2013 at 11:01 am said:


      “There are still uncertainties though particularly in heat going into the ocean”

      But there is some indication now that heat going into the ocean is reaching a standstill just like the atmosphere a decade ago. I think Forster (along with many others) is in for an OHC shock come AR5 publication 2014 by which time it will be evident, I’m sure, that OHC peaked 2011/12 maybe 13. Awkward questions will be asked.

      No ocean warming = no atmospheric warming = no global warming. Well, not for a few decades anyway.

  13. Myles Allen believes he was misrepresented by Rose and The Daily Mail (join the queue please) and thinks that by adjusting parameters in the models we could be in for 11 degrees of warming

    So it’s anyone’s guess really


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